At the heart of all organic growing is the art and science of fertilizing organically. Healthy soil nurtures healthy plants which generally grow better, taste better, store longer and consequently, should have increased resistance to the stresses caused by heat, cold, drought, pests, diseases, rapid growth, etc. Fertile soil is not only the first step for increasing yields and quality but also for natural pest control and season extending. Your field or garden is a dynamic ecosystem. The relationship between plants and living soil changes seasonally, monthly and daily.
LONG TERM SOIL HEALTH
A successful fertilizing program addresses the soil’s long-term needs by adjusting deficient nutrients with organic fertilizers and soil amendments. Use your soil test and/or the general guidelines given ahead to determine which fertilizers will be of most value to you. An equally important aspect of soil building is adding a “green manure” cover crop to your crop rotation in order to build organic matter, nitrogen and biological life in your soil. See more on composting and cover crops.
Virtually every soil will benefit from regular additions of organic matter and humus. We feel that compost (in combination with a good cover crop program) is the best material to handle this important task. By compost we mean a material completely broken down aerobically and based upon animal manures and plant residues rather than woodchips. Raw manures are not a substitute for compost. Raw manure breaks down in the soil, tying up water, nitrogen, and other vital resources in the process. It often introduces weed seeds and pathogens, loses nutrients as it breaks down, and must be applied at 4 to 5 times the rate of compost. Raw manures definitely should not be used right before harvesting a crop.
Nitrogen is what plants need for vigorous vegetative growth.
If your crop needs additional Nitrogen see Bloodmeal, Cottonseed Meal, PVFS Liquid Fish, Fish Meal, Pelleted Fertilizers, Feather Meal, and others.
Phosphorus is what plants need to flower, fruit, and for root development. To supply Phosphorus, Soft Rock Phosphate is the best value. Bone Meal can also be used.
Potassium is what plants need, among other things, to establish vigor and resistance through sugar formation. To supply Potassium use Sulfate of Potash or Greensand.
Calcium builds sturdy cell walls in plants. Many soils need Calcium fertilization. In low pH soils, use Oystershell Lime or Mined Limestone which corrects not only calcium imbalances but also pH. In neutral or high pH soils, Gypsum is the material of choice, it also provides sulfur. Calcium builds sturdy cell walls in plants.
Trace minerals are as essential to plants as vitamins are to people. Almost every field we test is low in Trace Minerals. We get excellent response from soil applications of Compost, Algit Kelp Meal or multiple trace minerals (Azomite or Nutra Min). In extreme cases specific trace mineral supplements may be needed.
Best Choice in Liquid Fish Enzymatically digested using a low pH, low heat process which insures that the natural organic compounds are left intact while eliminating bacterial breakdown. This method keeps this biologically active fertilizer stable. Produced on the Northern CA coast, recycling by-product fish waste into a rich fertilizer, which was once dumped into landfills. All-purpose, water-soluble, liquid concentrate fertilizer. which can be used as a soil amendment or foliar feed. Provides quick-acting Nitrogen (2%), Phosphorus (4%) and Potassium (0.2%). Fertigation and side-dress rates are 10-20 gal/acre. Foliar rates are 1-5 gal/acre or 4 tbs/gal. Multiple applications are recommended for long term crops and heavy Nitrogen users.
SEA BIRD GUANO
Organic, fast-acting, balanced source of nutrients from seabirds in easy to apply pellet form. Exceptionally high, immediately available, water-soluble N-P-K content also makes it an excellent fertilizer. Work or water it into the soil at 1-2 lb/100 sq ft. For containers & houseplants, mix 1 part seabird guano to 60 parts soil. For established plants, mix 1 Tbs per gallon of soil. Use it as a foliar spray or injectable solution by preparing a guano tea: steep 1 Tbs in a gal of water for 48 hours. Water plants or filter and apply as a foliar spray. Tea can be used in fertigation and drip systems, if filtered. Can easily burn plants. Cannot be shipped to HI.
Water Soluble Kelp Extract World-famous as a root soak and a foliar-applied plant stimulant. Extracted from fresh Norwegian Ascophyllum kelp, using a process that concentrates all the goodness of the sea into a small amount of material. 1 lb of Maxicrop is created from over 200 lb of seaweed and contains more than 70 different growth hormones, cytokinins, auxins, vitamins, and enzymes. Maxicrop is sought after primarily for its trace elements but also has an analysis of 1% N, 0% P, 4% K. Often combined with fish products or other high-analysis foliars to create a cost-effective yield and quality-enhancer. Use at .25-.5 tsp/gal or 1-2 lb/acre. Inject at 1-5 lb/acre.
Slow Release N-P-K Feed grade cottonseed meal low in residues. Typical analysis is 5-2-1, and somewhat acidic so it can be used on plants that thrive in lower pH soil such as azaleas, rhododendrons, potatoes, and roses. For years, organic growers have used cottonseed meal as an all-around source of slow-release nutrients for all crops, especially acid-tolerant plants. Reputed to be a good choice for roses, azaleas, and rhododendron. Use at 10 lb/100 sq ft or 1500-3000 lb/acre. This is a commodity product. Please check for current price when ordering pallet quantity. GMO-free lab tested cottonseed meal is no longer available.
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