Tuesday, February 23, 2010
Here's a fertilizer recipe as given by Steve Solomon in his book Growing Vegetables West of the Cascades. The recipe is published online here, so I think I can safely list the ingredients on this blog without any copyright problems.
Mr. Solomon calls this formula a Complete Organic Fertilizer (COF) because it provides a balance of the macro-nutrients as well as micro-nutrients and trace minerals that plants need to grow, thrive, and be nutritious. It's a fairly slow-release formula--basically a function of how long it takes for the ingredients to be broken down by soil organisms. He developed this particular blend to bouy trace minerals, calcium, and magnesium and also provide good levels of both nitrogen and phosphorus. Here are the vegan ingredients...measures are by volume: cups/ jars/ sacks, what ever works for the quantity you need:
4 parts seed meal (cottonseed or canola meal, or other seed meal that is locally available in your area)
1/2 part lime ( equal mix of agricultural lime and dolomite lime)
1/2 part phosphate rock
1/2 part kelp meal
Mix all ingredienst together...it is stable and can be stored long-term tightly covered in a cool, dry place. You can work it into the soil before planting or as a side dressing for already established plants. Steve Solomon recommends 1 to 2 gallons per 100 square feet as a general rule, but of course this will vary depending on how fertile your soil is naturally, seasonal growth rates, plant nutrition needs, and so on. The NPK ratio is 5-5-1 (5% Nitrogen, 5% Phosphorus, 1% Potassium).
I should also mention that Mr Solomon formulated this blend for soils specifically in the Pacific Northwest region west of the Cascade Mountains, our soils tend to be deficient in many trace minerals, and they tend to be slightly acidic with lower levels of nitrogen and phosphorus.
If you have a well-stocked garden center, you should be able to find these in smaller amounts like the ones shown in the picture. For larger scale production, you'd probably want to source these in larger quantities.
Ciao for now :)