Organic Gardening Blog
Welcome to my organic gardening blog. At certain times of year I post gardening tips weekly and other times much less frequently. Sign up for my ebook over to the right if you want to get my best stuff :)
I’m a big fan of organic liquid fertilizer.
But there’s also an important use for organic dry fertilizer.
I use liquid fertilizers mainly to provide small amounts of 80+ nutrients directly as a plant fertilizer, and also as a soil fertilizer.
Doing this plays a big part in helping me grow nutrient-dense food.
And yet some nutrients we need in the soil more than others, the big three in the organic world being calcium (Ca), phosphorus (P) and potassium (K).
We need to have enough of them in the soil, but not too much.
(I know that npk fertilizer is stressed in the conventional world, and yes, nitrogen fertilizer is sometimes useful too, but it’s really not all that hard to get enough nitrogen - calcium is much more important to get right, so that’s my focus today).
The benefits we get when we move those three minerals in our soil towards the ideal amounts are many: healthier plants, fewer pests and weeds, better soil structure, etc.
That’s where dry fertilizer comes in...
A garden inoculant is really just anything we use to bring beneficial microbes into our organic gardens.
These microbes are often deficient for various reasons, but if we can get more of them back in there, they:
- Make nutrients available to plants and even feed them nutrients and water directly
- Protect plants from disease both in the soil and above ground
- Improve the structure of the soil so it has the right amount of air spaces, water spaces, nutrient availability, pH, etc.
Plus there’s a whole list of other services they provide for plants and soil. Pretty cool...
I felt very lucky to spend this past week vacationing with my family on Hilton Head Island.
I recently started selling my favorite organic liquid fertilizers, the same ones I use at home.
But I also like to make my own homemade liquid fertilizer when possible, and that’s what I’m excited to show you today.
Many of our best liquid fertilizers come from the ocean.
But there are ways you can approximate them, if like me, you don’t live near the ocean.
All of these can be used as a liquid lawn fertilizer, liquid plant fertilizer and liquid soil fertilizer.
You might even make enough for multiple applications (such as monthly or weekly).
For all of these homemade fertilizers, I suggest mixing with at least 10 parts water before you spray.
That will allow the fertilizer to cover more area, and will ensure we don’t burn our plants.
And it certainly doesn’t hurt to mix with even more water...
This is what my organic garden looks like today.
Not quite ready to start planting yet, haha, but I’m gearing up for spring.
I’ve been making sure I have my seeds and organic fertilizers and microbial inoculants all ready to rock when the soil warms up.
(Speaking of which, I’ll have an exciting new announcement at the bottom of this post.)
Time for an update!
I'm super excited!
As I’ve mentioned before, I don’t post so much here come fall and winter.
That's because most people aren’t really thinking much about gardening anymore.
And that’s okay by me because it gives me time to get into other stuff.
I can't begin to tell you how excited I am about this new project I’ve been working on.
I explain it in the video to the right, and then here's the link...
Before we even get to these permaculture principles today, it’s a good idea to take some time to choose your goals.
You may want fresh, healthy food, a space to relax and be inspired, impressive flowers to brighten up the street, a play zone for kids – the potential benefits are as diverse as people.
Conventional landscape design tends to look at gardens mostly in terms of aesthetics (e.g. bright fall color) and function (e.g. a privacy screen).
But this approach often doesn’t do a great job of designing the garden as a living ecosystem.
Using a soil inoculant may seem kind of unnatural, so let’s start with why it might be a good idea.
The most important life forms in your garden are too small to see.
Microbes cover every soil surface and even inhabit the insides of all larger organisms.
They have a dramatic effect on plant health and nutrition, as well as our own.
In most gardens, the microbiome has been thrown out of balance by things like tilling, chemical fertilizers and pesticides.
And also the generally toxic environment we live in with pollution, antibiotics and other pharmaceuticals in our air and fresh water.
I don’t usually create many videos and articles once summer rolls around.
That's because you guys seem to stop tuning in as much this time of year and I often get into other projects of mine as well.
Of course I don’t stop gardening, but that doesn’t take much work once you have a garden that’s functioning pretty well, especially when you're focusing on perennial plants...
Friends' cottage overlooking Lake Huron.
Hey guys, I have a free article for you to download today about organic fertilizing with biostimulants!
Ongoing fertilizing throughout the summer can really help boost plant health/nutrition/yields.
But first, I haven’t posted here for 4 weeks, and I thought I’d catch you up on what’s been going on.
The least expensive organic fertilizer in the world is - cover crops!
Cover crops for gardens are simply plants that are planted to cover your soil, especially during the off season.
And they can also be used during the growing season, interplanted with food crops or even in ornamental beds.
But they do much more than just cover the soil. Garden cover crops: