Questions on homemade fertilizers for vegetables and other plants


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1. Banana Water--how many peels per gallon, can I use some in water that I'm growing my cuttings in, can I use it on cactus and air/spider plants. Oh forgot would Snake plants benefit from this also.

2. Egg Shells--pretty much same as above + would it hurt to combine these with banana water?

3. Onion (hard outside) Skins Water--again same on using on all plants and using in water propagating plant cutting.

4. Would it hurt to mix Egg Shells, Banana Peel water and onion skin water together and use as fertilizer for all the above plants.

5. If all these are great fertilizers why buy Miracle Grow or any other for plants when the food we eat seem to have best of everything for the plants.
 
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1. Banana Water--how many peels per gallon, can I use some in water that I'm growing my cuttings in, can I use it on cactus and air/spider plants. Oh forgot would Snake plants benefit from this also.

2. Egg Shells--pretty much same as above + would it hurt to combine these with banana water?

3. Onion (hard outside) Skins Water--again same on using on all plants and using in water propagating plant cutting.

4. Would it hurt to mix Egg Shells, Banana Peel water and onion skin water together and use as fertilizer for all the above plants.

5. If all these are great fertilizers why buy Miracle Grow or any other for plants when the food we eat seem to have best of everything for the plants.
They are NOT great fertilizers. All plants need NPK, nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. The amount of NPK in banana peels is 0-3-42. Egg shells is 1-1-0. Onions have no data but sometimes people do add them to their compost pile. Beware of the odor of rotting onions, so cover them deeply. Banana peels are faster acting than egg shells but not fast enough to be much of a help for good plant growth Egg shells take forever to break down enough for plant uptake. Sure, you can mix this stuff up in water and make a sort of tea out of it but the results will be negligible at best. All of these waste products would be better put to use in a compost pile. If you want to use a liquid fertilizer forget about Miracle Grow. It is a synthetic fertilizer and can be harmful to plants if not used correctly. Use an organic like HastaGro. It benefits both soil and the plan and is foolproof. The following link may be of use.
https://www.thenutrientcompany.com/npk-value-of-everything-organic-searchable-database/
 
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We've used worm tea, compost tea and comfrey tea exclusively on our containers this year and everything has done at least as well as previous years when we've used commercial fertilizer. On our garden beds we put an inch or two of garden compost on all our beds in December - nothing more.

That said, I'm fairly new to gardening so not a particularly long term study!
 
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We've used worm tea, compost tea and comfrey tea exclusively on our containers this year and everything has done at least as well as previous years when we've used commercial fertilizer. On our garden beds we put an inch or two of garden compost on all our beds in December - nothing more.

That said, I'm fairly new to gardening so not a particularly long term study!
You're doing the right thing and keeping it organic as well. Trust me, there are plenty of studies to back it up.
 
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We've used worm tea, compost tea and comfrey tea exclusively on our containers this year and everything has done at least as well as previous years when we've used commercial fertilizer. On our garden beds we put an inch or two of garden compost on all our beds in December - nothing more.

That said, I'm fairly new to gardening so not a particularly long term study!
Are your teas anaerobic or aerobic. Anaerobic teas are ok but nothing in comparison aerobic teas.
 
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And since we are talking teas let us not forget that teas DO NOT MAKE NITROGEN, PHOSPHORUS OR POTASSIUM. Compost teas are NOT a fertilizer and the tea itself does not do all that much for a plant. What the tea does is multiply the numbers of soil micro-organisms and these micro-organisms are what break down the materials which do have amounts of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium, your manures and other fertilizers, into a form which a plant can uptake as a nutrient. The object of teas, whether it be a manure tea, a plant tea or a worm tea is to greatly increase the amount of soil microbes whether they be fungal or bacterial. Plant nutrition relies on both and the more microbes you have, the better your plants can uptake the nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium provided by the fertilizer.
 
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And since we are talking teas let us not forget that teas DO NOT MAKE NITROGEN, PHOSPHORUS OR POTASSIUM. Compost teas are NOT a fertilizer and the tea itself does not do all that much for a plant. What the tea does is multiply the numbers of soil micro-organisms and these micro-organisms are what break down the materials which do have amounts of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium, your manures and other fertilizers, into a form which a plant can uptake as a nutrient. The object of teas, whether it be a manure tea, a plant tea or a worm tea is to greatly increase the amount of soil microbes whether they be fungal or bacterial. Plant nutrition relies on both and the more microbes you have, the better your plants can uptake the nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium provided by the fertilizer.
You got it. However, additives can be added to the brew to increase nutrient levels. For instance, early in the season I add Alfalfa pellets to provide a Nitrogen boost for early season growth.
 

Meadowlark

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.... why buy Miracle Grow or any other for plants when the food we eat seem to have best of everything for the plants.

Actually, there are many other plants that we humans don't normally consume that are far superior providers of NPK and micronutrients. Many are easily grown in the backyard garden either as cover crops, companion plants, and/or rotation plants. When added to the soil, they provide natural conditioners that synthetic fertilizers cannot.

I don't buy Miracle Grow...but I do grow miracle soil conditioners and add them to my garden soil. The result I strive for on my soil tests is " No NPK recommended" and nutrient density scores above 90%.

My next onion and potato rows will be here and will not have anything in the way of synthetic fertilizers...only home grown, homemade fertilizers.

sun hemp shredded.JPG



This past growing season was based on this cover crop...why buy alfalfa pellets when you can grow the real thing?



alfalfa 2 2022.JPG
 
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Forgive my ignorance but when you plant something it pulls up the nutrients that are already there into the cover crop. So if you plant something and till it in then you might be changing forms of elements (maybe the microbes can more easily break these down into plant absorbing ions) but you are never really adding anything by planting something. Legumes are the exeception because they use the atmospheric nitrogen (non available plant nitrogen) and fix it into a soil based nitrogen if tilled back in so you can add nitrogen by planting things. The other elements P, K, Calcium, Magnesium, Sulfur, etc aren't being added to as far as I can understand, unless you physically add them.

Nitrogen as far as I know is usually the first thing to be deficient so I can understand that tilling in legumes are a beneficial factor but sooner or later if you pull the micronutrients out of the soil by removing a tomato or corn stalk then you must physically add some of those elements back to the soil?
 
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Meadowlark

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Any garden plot can be viewed as a system with inputs, transformations, and outputs. If a garden plot was a perfectly closed system, then there would be degradation over time if only produce is removed as outputs, and nothing is added as inputs. However, my garden soil is not a closed system…far from it.

Inputs to my garden system include environmental effects, external composted materials, and soil amendments.

Environmental effects I define to include the Sun and its radiation, the rain and everything it washes out of the atmosphere and deposits on the garden, and the winds that carry various particulates like atmospheric dust, road dust, pollens, seeds etc. I’m unaware of any quantification of the effects these variables have on soil nutrients.

External materials that are regularly added to my garden system include composted household and yard waste (1-1-1), composted cattle manure from a 40 plus herd of cows (3-2-1), and composted utility company mulch (1-1-1). An approximation of the quantity of this input on an annual basis is 300 pounds of nitrogen, 200 pounds of phosphorus, and 100 pounds of potassium over the approximate 3200 sq. ft garden area.

Soil amendments made annually to my garden system include agricultural lime (calcium and magnesium), Epsom salts (magnesium sulfate), sulfur, and fish emulsion (4-1-1). These have generally negligible effect on phosphorus and potassium levels annually but do contribute to micronutrient density and aid in ph balance. and nutrient uptake.

Over the approximate 40 years of gardening in this same location, soil tests have consistently shown that growing and harvesting produce lowers nitrogen levels appreciably, but phosphorus levels are virtually not affected, and potassium levels are only slightly lowered with produce harvesting.

Hence as a synthetic fertilizer user starting out in my gardening experience, I evolved from using 13-13-13 to 25-0-0. Then I discovered I could completely satisfy my annual nitrogen needs through a combination of the inputs described above and cover cropping while maintaining phosphorus, potassium and micronutrients.

That’s where I am today, and I consider it a good place to be!
 
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Speaking of cover crops, last fall for the first time I planted a heavy seeding of hairy vetch in my tomato plant beds. Being a legume it's great at fixing nitrogen in it's root nodules. It comes back up in the spring and then just before planting in June the plants are cut at ground level and then the tomatoes are planted deep while minimizing disturbing the soil in the beds. It should not be tilled in as this will disturb the roots and minimize the release of Nitrogen into the soil. The plant residue is replaced as a mulch which has been proven to produce a better crop than using that black plastic mulch. Results were great and my incidence of blight this season was vastly reduced. Definitely doing it again this year as it supplies all the nitrogen i need.
Lots of info out there on this. https://garden.org/learn/articles/view/122/The-Tomato-Vetch-Connection/
 
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Meadowlark

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...produce a better crop than using that black plastic mulch. ...

I always find it astounding that gardeners use and even recommend using black plastic mulch. That someone would proclaim that Vetch is a better way than black plastic mulch is deserving of the understatement of the year award in my opinion. No offence intended to anyone :D :D

"This is the production method of the future," LOL, some of us have been using nitrogen fixing crops forever as did generations of savvy gardeners before us. The mystery to me is why anyone that seriously gardens would not use them.
 

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