gardening question

Discussion in 'All Other Discussions' started by abcgrad94, May 26, 2009.

  1. abcgrad94

    abcgrad94
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    For those of you who garden, what can you use as fertilizer besides manure or chemicals? I'd like to stay as natural as possible and still get a good yield.
     
  2. just-want-peace

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    Don't garden much anymore, but I used to buy bags of manure from W-mart, or wherever available. That always seemed to be perfectly acceptable to my plants.
     
  3. Amy.G

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    Manure is about as natural as you can get. :)

    But you can make your own compost out of your household refuse like coffee grounds, egg shells, peels of fruits and veggies, ect., but NO meat products. Start a compost pit somewhere in your yard and mix your household refuse with soil, leaves, and grass clippings. Stir it often and it will turn into beautiful black fertilizer.

    I just use Miracle Grow though. :laugh:
     
  4. Scarlett O.

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  5. JohnDeereFan

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    Manure isn't natural?

    Composting is the best alternative I know of.
     
  6. annsni

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    I can get you all the horse manure you'd need. ;)

    If you use manure, you just need to be sure it is aged well. This will allow any of the hay seeds to die off and the manure to cure so it doesn't burn the plants.
     
  7. abcgrad94

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    Oh yes, manure is natural, and I would prefer to use it if I could find some around here. I was trying to find other alternatives that are more easily accessable.
     
  8. Amy.G

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    You can get manure at Walmart or Lowe's. It's already been aged (as Ann said) and is suitable for putting immediately in your garden.
     
  9. EdSutton

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    Don't be 'afraid' of "chemical" fertilizers, despite the overworked hype about 'natural'.

    The primary elements plants need are nitrogen, phosphorous, potassium, and calcium in varying amounts.

    The two most common sources for nitrogen are urea and ammonium nitrate, both of which compounds are found in nature, as well. (Urea and ammonia are the compounds that give "raw" manure and urine the distinctive odor, BTW.) Yes, they are synthesized in quantity for so-called chemical fertilizers, for production purposes, but urea, ammonia, and various nitrate compounds are certainly naturally occurring compounds.

    Likewise, phosphate rock is mined from the earth as are potash and 'Ag-lime', which is merely finely ground up limestone. Doesn't get much more natural than rock, no??

    It is true that one can and will run across strong "chemicals" in various herbicides and pesticides (the reason I do not snd would not use such chemicals as these on my garden), but the common plant foods are not really the same.

    Save a few nickels, is my personal suggestion on fertilizer. But in any event, consider the "analysis". A pound of common 10-10-10 has roughly the same amount of nutrients as a half-pound of 19-19-19, and may have two to four times a product which is sold as 'organic' that may have an analysis of, say, 3-4-4. One has to read the label on fertilizers, to get comparable quantities, IMO. AND be sure and check out the pH for the various plants. There is a great deal of difference between blueberries which must have an acid soil, with pH of <5, potatoes which really do better in a soil with a pH of < ~5.8, beans and corn with an optimum range of 6.2-6.6, say, and asparagus which likes a pH of 7+. There is no "one size fits all" for pH.

    In addition, I would recommend not using much nitrogen with legumes, such as beans and peas, but inoculate them to produce their own usable nitrites and nitrates from the atmosphere.

    Happy gardening!

    Ed.
     
  10. billwald

    billwald
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    I get 16-16-16 cheap at the farm store but use is sparingly and don't let the granules touch the plant with any kind of granular mixture.
     
  11. blackbird

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    I use 13-13-13 chemical fert on my garden--------I have about an acre and a half-------so way too much to be worried about spreading mulch or manure

    In the Winter when the leaves are falling from the trees---I have raked the leaves into the garden patch and worked them into the soil with the tractor and plow

    But if I were interested in small "box" gardens or potted plants------I'd probably use a combination of mulch and manure---when you use manure, though, you also have to weed out any seeds that the cow/horse/chicken/rabbit has been eating
     
  12. blackbird

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    Billwald---------dude-------where'd you get Triple Sixteen for "cheap"???????:type:

    JohnDeerefan------dude-------Manure IS natural-------but I have read that if one wants to go "organic" using no fertilizers at all----see??-----if the horse has been eating oats/corn "chops" that have been fertilized in the field-----then the manure from that horse is not considered "organic"--------hey-------don't ask me about that-----I was raised in Louiisiana, spent the majority of my preaching years in Mississippi---King state of Cotton---and now reside in the Heart of Dixie---------I don't live in California or Oregon or any of those other "tree huggin'" states!!!!!
     
  13. Deacon

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    No manure or chemicals ... then you're stuck with compost ... which means time and work.

    Horse manure smells great! I can prove biblically that we'll smell it in heaven!
    But it's terrible for gardens, so full of weeds that it's worthless
    Usually the farmer puts down sawdust over the stall floor and you end up with nitogen poor, weedy manure.

    Now cow manure, that's good stuff but unless it has dried out, it stinks to high heaven. No weeds, just 100% pure garden goodness.

    Personally I go for the chemicals; quicker, easier and effective.

    Rob
     
  14. padredurand

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    Liquid manure is the way to go. You don't even have to put in on the garden. Just wave a pail of it over your tomatoes and they will grow a foot just begging you not to dump it near them.

    There's a farm about a mile upwind that has a lagoon. Next time he gives it a stir I get a 5 gallon pail full and mail it to you ABCgrad!

    PS: It is also handy as a cure for folks that have trouble with biting their fingernails.
     
  15. Trotter

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    Native Americans used to use to chop up fish and use them for fertilizer.

    We use granular fertilizer, but will be getting a load or more manure this fall as well as some topsoil and have it tilled into the garden. Should make next year's garden a whole lot better.
     
  16. annsni

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    I agree - horse manure is wonderful. To me, it means horses are near and I've always been horse crazy (DH says that the horses always take priority - wonder if he's right. ;) ).


    This is why you want to get good aged manure. Aged manure has no germinating seeds left and it's a nice crumbly texture. We'll put the manure from the paddocks into a separate pile for those who want manure because there are no shavings in those - just pure manure. :)
     
  17. JohnDeereFan

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    So do we. What what don't eat goes in the crab traps. What doesn't go in the crab traps goes in the ground via composting.
     
  18. JohnDeereFan

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    I didn't become a horse person until I married my wife. In fact, the whole reason we moved to our farm in the first place was so that she could keep her horses.

    Now, I can't imagine being without them. The truth is, I like horses (and dogs) more than most people I know.
     
  19. JohnDeereFan

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    We'd love to be certified organic, but it's just too much hassle and too many hoops to jump through.

    We have a contract with the Herr's folks (potato chips). If they ever stipulate that we have to be organic, then I guess we will but for now, neither they nor the stores we do business with or barter with seem to care.
     
  20. EdSutton

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    Compare the 'Farm Store' price of a 50# bag of 'ordinary fertilizer' to the 'Gardening Center' price, or the price of 15-15-15 Miracle Gro® or even the 'generic' version of that, anywhere, of a similar analysis, and you'll likely agree with billwald, here, as to what is or is not cheap, in this.

    He is fully correct about not letting the granules directly touch the plants to avoid 'plant burn' which occurs when the salts (mostly, but not entirely the nitrate and potassium salts) attempt to 'dilute' themselves, due to the innate solubility of the compounds, by attracting water from any available source, which in this case is the plant, itself.

    Incidentally, one may actually get a bit less burn from any accidental contact from 19-19-19 than one might from 16-16-16, as the first has 'urea' [(NH2)2CO] or 46% actual elemental nitrogen as the nitrogen source, and the second will most likely have ammonium nitrate (NH4NO3) or 34% actual elemental nitrogen. It is impossible to get much beyond a 17-17-17 with ammonium nitrate (or 19-19-19 with urea) on a 1-1-1 ratio with any commonly used materials. Therefore any 'analysis' such as 20-20-20 or greater requires less commonly used (and a good deal pricier) materials such as potassium nitrate (KNO3), potassium sulfate, and sodium nitrate, all of which will also give, with accidental direct contact, far more burn to the plants, than will the common ordinary stuff.

    Ed
     

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