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Organic Soil Amendments - Uses and N-P-K

Discussion in 'Organics' started by Northernlights4, Apr 19, 2009.


    Northernlights4 Well-Known Member

    By the way this should be a sticky in this forum.

    Organic amendments are any materials that have ever been alive either as plant or animal. Nutrients from organics are not immediately available to the plant. Soil microorganisms are needed to change nutrients through bacterial action into forms the plants can use in solution. Organics give a steady supply of nutrients over a long period of time, however, some, such as fish based products, become available quite quickly in warm moist soil. Organics are primarily a source of nitrogen and trace elements, but many also provide some phosphates and potash. Organics in quantities up to one third of the total soil volume are very beneficial to the soil structure. The organics are converted by the microorganisms and are used by the plant. Therefore, they should be replaced at the rate they are used.

    ALFALFA MEAL (3-1-2)

    Alfalfa meal or pellets is one of the green manure crops and contains small amounts of nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium which feed the plant. However, the biggest benefit of alfalfa is from the work it does in the soil. Alfalfa contains the hormone, Triacontanol, a plant growth regulator. Alfalfa meal can be top dressed and watered in. But quicker benefits are had when alfalfa is brewed into a tea. The primary boost comes from the millions of microbes in the fermented meal that activate the soil organisms that then convert nutrients into forms available to plants. Roses love it. Only apply alfalfa to the surface. If placed in the root zone, the rapid decomposition of alfalfa will generate heat which can damage the roots.

    BLOOD MEAL (12-2-1)

    Blood meal is a slaughter house by-product and is an excellent source of quickly available organic nitrogen, when used as a top dressing and watered in. Blood meal is completely soluble and can be mixed with water and used as a liquid fertilizer. Meal fertilizers, when not brewed, work best when they are scattered on top of the bed and watered in. Meals blended in the soil can become hot (called curing). All meals are used up fast. Bacterial action works quickly.

    BONE MEAL (2-12-2)

    Bone is used as a long-lasting source of phosphorous as well as low levels of nitrogen, potassium and calcium. The extremely slow availability of nutrients from bone meal make it a very safe fertilizer, especially when planting of potting very young or new plants.


    Compost is the decomposed, cured form of organic matter. Compost, worked into new beds or top dressed and watered into established beds, increases microorganism activity and improves soil character and moisture retention. There is some nutrient value as well. The best source for good compost is making your own.


    Cottonseed meal is a good natural fertilizer with a high percentage of organic nitrogen, perhaps the second best source of organic nitrogen after blood meal. Cottonseed meal is easily obtained at your local feed store. The nitrogen is broken down slowly and is available to the plant over a period of time. Cottonseed meal acidifies the soil.


    Worms are nature's own tillers and soil conditioners. Their main benefit is to soil structure where their many tunnels loosen the soil, improving aeration and drainage. Worms don't make the soil healthier, but are an excellent indication of healthy soil. If your pH is way off, earthworms won't stay around. They will leave if they don't like it. Earthworms can be introduced to new beds, but will eventually find their own way to them.

    FISH EMULSION (8-12-2)

    Fish emulsion is an all-natural organic fish fertilizer with a reputation for eliminating plant doldrums. Many exhibitors refer to it as their secret to growing show winning blooms. When used as a liquid drench, results are quicker than with other organics. It is a low-nitrogen concentrated liquid food containing a wide range of trace elements that will green foliage, grow vigorous roots and big blooms while also enriching the soil. A must for Miniatures. The odor dissipates rapidly.

    FISH MEAL (8-12-2)

    Fish meal is a great natural fertilizer, high in phosphorous and high in organic nitrogen. Fish meal is quick acting, offering a sustained supply of nutrients. Don't scatter fish meal, because of the strong odor; plug it in a series of holes about ten inches deep that can then be covered with about four inches of soil.


    Ground bark is sold as a soil conditioner which improves drainage. It has good water holding capacity and eventually breaks down to humus. Tree bark reportedly has a deterrent effect against nematodes. Many rosarians like to use it in an chunk form for mulch. It's use will cause a temporary drop in nitrogen levels in the soil so additional amounts of nitrogen must be added.


    Manures are a good source of nutrients and organic matter. Aged horse manure can be found in this area and is the preferred one of the manures, excellent as a soil conditioner for any kind of soil or as a mulch. In addition to being an organic source of nitrogen, decomposing manures are chelating agents that function to make trace metals available to plants. Dehydrated cow manure (2-1-2), dried and pulverized comes in fifty pound bags. It has been heat treated to kill weed seeds and is convenient, easy to apply and long-lasting. Manures may be high in salts. About half of the nutrients remaining in manures will be available each year.

    MILORGA NITE (6-2-0)

    Milorganite is 100% natural organic heat dried activated sewage sludge in a fine granular form. Heat treated for sterilization, it is inoffensive and easy to handle. A high nitrogen source that is also a good source for iron and trace elements that are slow release. Milorganite is easy to top dress with and water into beds and also won't burn roots when used in a soil mix.


    Kelp meal (1-0-8,) is a dry fertilizer made iron seaweed and is very high in potassiumand trace elements. An excellent source of plant hormones that stimulate plant and root growth. Liquid seaweed (4-2-3) has the same characteristics as kelp meal and is a quick boost for greening foliage. When mixed with fish emulsion, it can't be beat.


    Peat moss is an excellent, long lasting, slow decaying organic material whose greatest value is as a soil amendment promoting moisture retention and improving soil structure. Peat moss can hold water and nutrients ten to fifteen times its own weight when fully saturated and can still hold 40% air. It has little nutrient value itself but is excellent at holding nutrients to prevent them from leaching iron the soil. It will then release them to the plant. Do not apply to the surface. Sphagnum peat moss will repel water when dry. However, once wet and mixed with the soil, it will readily take up moisture. It increases soil acidity, so lime should be added to the sphagnum peat moss at the time of application. Its good traits last about five years before it is decomposed, which explains the logic of not planting a new rose in an old rose hole.
    Maersk, miggaman, moptrf and 7 others like this.

    Northernlights4 Well-Known Member

    +++++++++++++rep, biotch!

    RezzinTehSeahorse Well-Known Member

    nice + rep for you pal.

    I have a quick question that you seem to have some knowledge about- i have Neptune's Harvest Liquid Fish(2-4-1), Earthworm castings, and molasses. What would be a proper ratio for making a tea?

    Northernlights4 Well-Known Member

    Looking at the recommended amount for Neptune's Harvest Liquid Fish I would use 1 tablespoon per gallon.

    Earthworm castings should be about 4 tablespoons per gallon.

    Molasses should be 1 tablespoon per gallon.

    Hope this helps, you should have great success with that mix. I also recommend using some guanos and alfalfa meal. peace.
    Anonymous... likes this.

    Gr33nCrack Active Member

    Check out my video on YouTube 'Outdoor Grow - Organic compost for Cannabis . I personally used around 75% organic compost straight from my backyard and like 25 percent vermiculite. There's this park by my house that i go to often and there is always a ton of geese shit everywhere, so today i took a garbage bag and filled it with like 5 pounds of shit, I'm gonna let it dry and brew it into a tea, whenever i feel like feeding the plants again with it I can just go back and get more, This is perfect since i don't have enough money to buy good fertilizer for 10 plants, Check out the picture[​IMG]

    Wetdog Well-Known Member


    I have a 50# bag of Alfalfa meal in the garage. Time to get the buckets bubbling.


    svchop889 Well-Known Member

    Rabbit poop
    Johnny-mariseed likes this.

    zo0t New Member

    i ++rep joo betch
    oh btw best organic nutes ever == VINTAGE BAT GUANO aka guakalong :mrgreen:

    Anonymous... Well-Known Member

    Since y'all all seem very knowledgeable about so IMA gunna throw out my recipie that some ppl have helped me with and I've been adjusting but not their yet. Plz let me know if u feel I'm missing something or using something I don't need.
    1 gallon well water and air stone 36 hr brew
    1 cup black gold compost
    1/2 cup ewc
    1 tsp Mexican guano(veg)
    1 tsp Jamaican guano(flower)
    1 tsp molasses (black strap undefined)
    1 tsp kelp meal
    1 tsp alfalfa meal
    1 tsp fish meal
    1 tsp soft rock phosphate
    1 tsp dolomite lime
    1 tsp cal mag(general organics)
    Half way through I top off with more molasses ewc and compost!
    Last ten min 1 tsp mycorrichiaze( can't spell sorry)

    Have not bought yet,
    but want to add bone and blood meal??? What is your guys opinions I really appreciate any help like I said ppl have helped me with this before just want to perfect it!! Thanks for all input u guys are amazing.

    Anonymous... Well-Known Member


    GreenLogician Well-Known Member

    Anonymous, I've been following a similar recipe, but it's got alfalfa meal only used for "teas for transplant recovery/growth hormones"
    I haven't researched it in a while, have you?
    Is Alfalfa meal more appropriate for special occasions, or continuous general use?

    Anonymous... Well-Known Member

    Your asking the wrong person bro this is news to me. I have using it every time IMA send a buddy of mine a link to this forum maybe he can help us!
    GreenLogician likes this.

    ShLUbY Well-Known Member

    seems like a lot of stuff for a tea. if you have good soil, with plenty of food in it, you shouldn't need to make these teas. microbes should be all you need to brew to populate your soil so they can break down all the organic amendments in it.

    all i do for teas are Aloe (no brewing), and compost tea (molasses +EWC/Compost). I think Kelp+alfalfa (for vegging plants) is another common easy one that requires very little time/effort to put together. even kelp + beneficial botanicals is a good tea.

    many of the guys that have soils dialed in, do zero teas anymore with the exception of a compost tea once in a while
    Vnsmkr and Richard Drysift like this.

    Anonymous... Well-Known Member

    I have fresh mix of ffof happy frog and perlite mix for soil
    Are u suggesting I make tea with just compost ewc and molasses

    And not my ten other ingredients but I am worried about over feeding my girls I just started a tea few hours ago 1g to dilute and split between 3 month old babies. I don't mind starting over and using less or leaving stuff out if that's best.

    Anonymous... Well-Known Member

    And I do have aloe plant in my grow room as well but never thought of adding that to tea. I use it for germ. And for babies in solo cups!
    Richard Drysift

    Richard Drysift Well-Known Member

    Shluby is right I think. The idea is to put your amendments and compost in the mix globally and just use teas to maintain microbial activity. Here's what I would do:
    1. Get a small tote bin for recycling soil and add in spent root balls (if you have any) some black gold soil, some of your happy frog, perlite, and up to an equal amount of EWC plus add all the amendments you list above except the molasses, cal/mag, and mycorrhizae
    2. Wait 30 days and then pot your plants in it; sprinkle mycorrhizae in each hole at transplants so the root ball sits directly onto the myco
    3. Add water
    In a couple weeks after the roots have settled in from transplanting brew up a simple tea of:
    1 tsp molasses
    1 cup EWC
    1 tsp kelp meal
    1 tsp neptunes harvest (optional)
    4 tblspn FF big bloom (optional)
    Bubble for 36+ hrs and give to the plants
    Give this tea recipe as often as every 2 weeks but any more is likely overkill.
    Use 10 drops of cal/mag per watering if you use RO or distilled Rainwater can be collected & given as is & is best for organic growing IMO
    Use your aloe for dipping newly rooted coles at first transplanting into soil...
    Teas do not feed plants like nutrients do; you've got to enrich the mix first for the teas to do their thing. Stop thinking there's a bloom or veg formula; plants will take what they need as needed as long as you provide it in their containers.
    For a bloom boost I add 2 or more jobes AP organic spikes and a layer of chicken compost & guano with oyster flour on top of that in the final size bloom pots just before flipping which really works awesomely; hope that helps

    ShLUbY Well-Known Member

    aloe gel 2Tbsp per gallon of water, and use within 20 minutes.

    as richard said, we amend our soils with raw organic materials, and let the microbes break them down into plant food. this way all you have to do is add plain RO or rain water. the ph takes care of itself if the soil is dialed in. effortless (nearly) gardening. Feed your soil, and your plants will take care of themselves.
    Richard Drysift

    Richard Drysift Well-Known Member

    Never used aloe like that but I know it works well for young clone roots; what are the benefits of using it this way? I thought it was a kind of natural antiseptic so always assumed it would kill off some of the microherd
    Anonymous... likes this.

    ShLUbY Well-Known Member

    aloe contains a wide array of ingredients including but not limited to: Vitamin A, B, C, and E, antioxidants, minerals, amino acids, enzymes of various kinds, sugars, among other things as well!

    I have seen HEAVY praying effects from aloe in my garden :)

    once i get all my aloes big and healthy after they were crowded heavily for so long, i'm going to start using it in my own diet! very healthful stuff. highly anti-inflammatory. you just harvest the clear gel, stay away from the greens and yellow ooze.

    ShLUbY Well-Known Member

    typically i just grab some aloe leaves, the amount i think is enough for how much water I'm using, and crush them by hand into a 1/2 gal of water; then, strain the mixture into the rest of the water i'll be using. after I water, i'll then add the crushed aloe leaves to working compost (or maybe worm bin too), or bury in working soil (you'd be surprised at how quickly it disappears), or you can dry and powder them (but this would take a lot).

    edit: and it's not something i do once a week or anything. typically I use it at transplant (or coconut water at transplant too), and at the beginning of flower typically.

    you will also notice how aloe makes water wetter, and really smooths it out. i believe this can be attributed to the saponins in the aloe gel.
    Vnsmkr and Anonymous... like this.

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