Organic Fertilizer – 2 Fertilizers That Help You Most

When it comes to choosing an organic fertilizer, you have hundreds of options. It’s quite overwhelming.

I’ve put together some information on the 2 most important fertilizers for your organic garden. These are great organic lawn fertilizer products, too.

The fertilizers are actually more accurately called “biostimulants” because to be technically called a fertilizer, a product needs to have a lot of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium – much more than we even want to apply, and much more than can be obtained from most natural sources.

We’re mostly more interested in broad-spectrum, natural organic fertilizers with dozens of nutrients as well as other benefits, and that’s where biostimulants come in.

Sea Minerals Organic Fertilizer

Click for video transcription

This transcription will have some mistakes because it is partially automated.

Hey guys! It’s Phil from SmilingGardener.com and I’m finally back at the garden here, talking about sea fertilizer today. It was a bit of an anxious year because I broke new ground and put in a new vegetable garden this year. And I basically, I planted a bunch of stuff mostly in June and seeded a bunch of stuff and I left for ended up being about five weeks and it’s at my parents’ house.

So my parents were here to water it for the most part but they weren’t here all the time and you know when you put in a garden, a vegetable garden you wanna be here every day. There’s all kinds of things you wanna do every day so I was a little nervous about how it was gonna turn out. It turned out actually, turned out, worked out really well especially for a first year on new soil.

The soil is not all that great yet and you know I’m working on it with things like sea fertilizer, but I guess you can see part of it behind me here, there’s some green and herbs. I really like to plant things all together really biodiverse not straight rows. So I have, you know, I have 30 plants behind me right here. That’s mostly greens and herbs, so that turned out great. And I also show you more about that for the coming weeks and months.

Today, what I want to talk about was, oh! If you haven’t picked up the 50 Vital Organic Gardening Lessons for Becoming a Better Organic Gardener, you can do that at SmilingGardener.com, right on the main page. I’m sure you had heard me talked about that before.

And today what I want to talk about is, one of the first things I did when I came back is I put together a concoction and I sprayed my plants. And if you guys have been watching me for awhile, you’ll know that I like to do a lot of foliar feeding and spraying directly on to the plants. And today, I wanna talk about one of the ingredients that I like to use.

And the reason I started thinking about this was last night my dad was asking me about the health benefits and environmental implications of eating fish and things like that because my wife is a holistic nutritionist. And she and I work together teaching people about health and things like that. And he was asking about fish and he was asking about trout and I started thinking about the research by Dr. Maynard Murray.

He was an ear, nose and throat doctor who did a lot of research in the ocean because he was dejected! All the people who were coming to him with all kinds of diseases and diabetes and arthritis and things like that, and eventually his research took him to the ocean where he found that ocean trout live quite a long time.

They didn’t get any cancer, they got pretty big where as lake trout were smaller. They on average they were getting cancer after I think it was 5 and a half years is what its averaged out to be. I think it was lung (liver) cancer so eventually his research led him to believe that all of the, the fact that all of our minerals eventually make their way into our oceans. It’s a very mineral rich place, it’s the reason why the life in the ocean is so much healthier than the life on land. So he started getting the navy to bring in railroad cars of ocean water.

He bought a farm. And he was doing experiments on his farm watering and he just noticed huge improvement in the health of his plants. You know bigger yield, much less pest infestations, healthier plants all around, that tasted better and stored longer and things like that.

So I got really excited about sea fertilizer and I think what I am going to do today is post on my blog on how you can go about using ocean water or you can purchase a product to use it. And if I post it on my blog that way I can show you how like the amount to use and how to dilute it and things like that. So, if you’re not already watching it here, if you’re on YouTube or something you can go, I’ll put a link below to this blog post.

See, you can use ocean water but he eventually started using more concentrated forms and what’s going on today is products like this that don’t look all that nice. It’s just ocean water but it’s very concentrated ocean water, its very pristine and this one is called Sea-Crop, it’s the brand name, and I think It’s one of the best, it’s the one that I always used.

I’m sure there are a lot of other ones out there that are good too; and really what it is, it’s ocean water, so it’s you know, over 80 minerals from the ocean.

The way they make this one is there’s other organic living substances in there too. You know just bioactive substances, and really really super amazing to use in the garden. On the blog I’ll show you how.

The research the he did, if you wanna learn more about the research and just so much proof out there about how this works, you could read his book “Sea Energy Agriculture”, where he covers a lot of the research, one that always sticks in my mind about this product, the Sea-Crop is it was use in an independent trial on tomatoes and they got 89% more tomatoes on their plants and 44% bigger tomatoes. So just a lot more yield and not just yield, you know it’s also about improved health and taste and storage and all that kinds of stuff.

So, yeah I post on the blog more about this and I also talked this there are some questions people often have about, you know, some of them they are a little bit concerned about using what is a, maybe salty product on their gardens. So, I’ll address it there. I just don’t want this video to become too long.

So I’ll put a link below to that. You could also when you’re there, you can pick up the 15 Vital Lessons for Becoming a Better Organic Gardener – just some lessons that I learned earlier on when I was studying this stuff that I thought were really cool. So I put them all together for you for free.

And I will be showing lots more videos about this garden over the next little while, I just–I’m excited to get in here we’re eating from it every day all kinds of good stuff. So, that’s all for now and I’ll see you next week.

Hey guys! It’s Phil from SmilingGardener.com and I’m finally back at the garden here, talking about sea fertilizer today. It was a bit of an anxious year because I broke new ground and put in a new vegetable garden this year. And I basically, I planted a bunch of stuff mostly in June and seeded a bunch of stuff and I left for ended up being about five weeks and it’s at my parents’ house.

So my parents were here to water it for the most part but they weren’t here all the time and you know when you put in a garden, a vegetable garden you wanna be here every day. There’s all kinds of things you wanna do every day so I was a little nervous about how it was gonna turn out. It turned out actually, turned out, worked out really well especially for a first year on new soil.

The soil is not all that great yet and you know I’m working on it with things like sea fertilizer, but I guess you can see part of it behind me here, there’s some green and herbs. I really like to plant things all together really biodiverse not straight rows. So I have, you know, I have 30 plants behind me right here. That’s mostly greens and herbs, so that turned out great. And I also show you more about that for the coming weeks and months.

Today, what I want to talk about was, oh! If you haven’t picked up the 50 Vital Organic Gardening Lessons for Becoming a Better Organic Gardener, you can do that at SmilingGardener.com, right on the main page. I’m sure you had heard me talked about that before.

And today what I want to talk about is, one of the first things I did when I came back is I put together a concoction and I sprayed my plants. And if you guys have been watching me for awhile, you’ll know that I like to do a lot of foliar feeding and spraying directly on to the plants. And today, I wanna talk about one of the ingredients that I like to use.

And the reason I started thinking about this was last night my dad was asking me about the health benefits and environmental implications of eating fish and things like that because my wife is a holistic nutritionist. And she and I work together teaching people about health and things like that. And he was asking about fish and he was asking about trout and I started thinking about the research by Dr. Maynard Murray.

He was an ear, nose and throat doctor who did a lot of research in the ocean because he was dejected! All the people who were coming to him with all kinds of diseases and diabetes and arthritis and things like that, and eventually his research took him to the ocean where he found that ocean trout live quite a long time.

They didn’t get any cancer, they got pretty big where as lake trout were smaller. They on average they were getting cancer after I think it was 5 and a half years is what its averaged out to be. I think it was lung (liver) cancer so eventually his research led him to believe that all of the, the fact that all of our minerals eventually make their way into our oceans. It’s a very mineral rich place, it’s the reason why the life in the ocean is so much healthier than the life on land. So he started getting the navy to bring in railroad cars of ocean water.

He bought a farm. And he was doing experiments on his farm watering and he just noticed huge improvement in the health of his plants. You know bigger yield, much less pest infestations, healthier plants all around, that tasted better and stored longer and things like that.

So I got really excited about sea fertilizer and I think what I am going to do today is post on my blog on how you can go about using ocean water or you can purchase a product to use it. And if I post it on my blog that way I can show you how like the amount to use and how to dilute it and things like that. So, if you’re not already watching it here, if you’re on YouTube or something you can go, I’ll put a link below to this blog post.

See, you can use ocean water but he eventually started using more concentrated forms and what’s going on today is products like this that don’t look all that nice. It’s just ocean water but it’s very concentrated ocean water, its very pristine and this one is called Sea-Crop, it’s the brand name, and I think It’s one of the best, it’s the one that I always used.

I’m sure there are a lot of other ones out there that are good too; and really what it is, it’s ocean water, so it’s you know, over 80 minerals from the ocean.

The way they make this one is there’s other organic living substances in there too. You know just bioactive substances, and really really super amazing to use in the garden. On the blog I’ll show you how.

The research the he did, if you wanna learn more about the research and just so much proof out there about how this works, you could read his book “Sea Energy Agriculture”, where he covers a lot of the research, one that always sticks in my mind about this product, the Sea-Crop is it was use in an independent trial on tomatoes and they got 89% more tomatoes on their plants and 44% bigger tomatoes. So just a lot more yield and not just yield, you know it’s also about improved health and taste and storage and all that kinds of stuff.

So, yeah I post on the blog more about this and I also talked this there are some questions people often have about, you know, some of them they are a little bit concerned about using what is a, maybe salty product on their gardens. So, I’ll address it there. I just don’t want this video to become too long.

So I’ll put a link below to that. You could also when you’re there, you can pick up the 15 Vital Lessons for Becoming a Better Organic Gardener – just some lessons that I learned earlier on when I was studying this stuff that I thought were really cool. So I put them all together for you for free.

And I will be showing lots more videos about this garden over the next little while, I just–I’m excited to get in here we’re eating from it every day all kinds of good stuff. So, that’s all for now and I’ll see you next week.

I’ve written about sea mineral fertilizer before. I feel quite strongly that it’s the most important micronutrient fertilizer for your organic garden. It’s an amazing liquid organic fertilizer for vegetables.

If I could use only one fertilizer, sea fertilizer would be it.

You could get it directly from the ocean if you lived nearby an unpolluted part of the sea, but it’s easier to buy an inexpensive, very concentrated product.

It’s not too salty when mixed with water and it’s not too polluted if it’s taken from less-polluted parts of the ocean.

It contains over 80 ocean minerals and organic substances from sea water. Many gallons of ocean water are used to make a gallon of sea fertilizer.

Update: 2 1/2 years after I wrote this article, I decided to start selling sea minerals, so you can now learn a lot more about it here.

Kelp Organic Fertilizer

Click for video transcription

This transcription will have some mistakes because it is partially automated.

Hi! It’s Phil from SmilingGardener.com and today I’m talking about Kelp and specifically liquid kelp is what I use more often and any kelp will do and they comes from the ocean and because it comes from the ocean it contains a huge array of vitamins and minerals over 70 as well as proteins and other kind of great substances.

But the really nice thing about kelp is that it has this natural plant growth hormone. It has mainly cytokinins and auxins and they help plant processes in the root, and in the leaves, and in fruiting and so they’re really useful for a plant and it’s a very – one of the reason I use it a lot is its really very inexpensive and a little bit goes a long way.

The other thing I like about it is that it can be harvested very sustainably. It starting to be that there is some over harvesting going on but if it’s done right you know kelp grows to be over a hundred feet sometimes over two hundred feet long and if you just come along and chopped off the top couple like it can grow two feet a day sometimes, just go chopped off the top, it’s very sustainable, it renews itself really quickly.

And so if you find something that’s harvested sustainably and then process well which is more of a cold process you don’t want them to heated up too much. You want it to be processed cold so that it retains the enzymes and the proteins don’t get too denatured and it just – it continues to be a really live kind of product. That’s what you’re looking for.

So, I like to use it for my foliar feeding, I like to use it to start seeds as well because of those growth hormones that when the seeds germinates it has those hormones that really helps it to do a lot of things right away as well as the vitamins and minerals.

When a seed germinates it needs – different seeds are different but it gonna needs certain trace minerals that acts as enzymes to help it do certain things, kinda like a catalyst to help it get going.

So I soak almost all my seeds in it not so much my legumes like this is a scarlet runner bean I just harvested most of these as a bunch of small guys on here now you probably can’t see them coz they’re – they’re small.

Coz you wanna harvest them pretty often when they’re growing to encourage more growth. So I don’t harvest – I don’t soak legumes very much coz it’s not that great for them but most of the things I do soak and I do it in a very diluted amount of liquid kelp and water so it will be like – it’ll be like a teaspoon of kelp in a liter of water.

And you don’t want more than that because you just want that sort of one to 50 ratio and then there’s also a kelp meal or a powder which is more like a dry fertilizer which you can use. I don’t use that as much, I really like the liquid because liquid fertilizing is so efficient so I can put this in my sprayer with water and spray it on to the leaves of my plants.

It’s very efficient but when I did lived by the ocean I would get a little bit of fresh kelp off the beach. I don’t what to take too much of it because I think that’s probably – it has a very important role to play on the beach but if you have an abundance of kelp nearby pick it up, put it right on the garden as mulch or in the compost pile.

You don’t need to wash off the salt at all, its buffered by all of the other nutrients there and it just – it will disappear quickly but it’s just an amazing organic, just organic matter additive to the soil and it contains all the same things that a liquid kelp would contain.

So if you wanna know more about how much to use and how much it costs and things like that, if you’re not on the website yet I’ll put a link of that below where you can read more about that.

So that is one of my favorites that I used all the time that’s liquid kelp.

Hi! It’s Phil from SmilingGardener.com and today I’m talking about Kelp and specifically liquid kelp is what I use more often and any kelp will do and they comes from the ocean and because it comes from the ocean it contains a huge array of vitamins and minerals over 70 as well as proteins and other kind of great substances.

But the really nice thing about kelp is that it has this natural plant growth hormone. It has mainly cytokinins and auxins and they help plant processes in the root, and in the leaves, and in fruiting and so they’re really useful for a plant and it’s a very – one of the reason I use it a lot is its really very inexpensive and a little bit goes a long way.

The other thing I like about it is that it can be harvested very sustainably. It starting to be that there is some over harvesting going on but if it’s done right you know kelp grows to be over a hundred feet sometimes over two hundred feet long and if you just come along and chopped off the top couple like it can grow two feet a day sometimes, just go chopped off the top, it’s very sustainable, it renews itself really quickly.

And so if you find something that’s harvested sustainably and then process well which is more of a cold process you don’t want them to heated up too much. You want it to be processed cold so that it retains the enzymes and the proteins don’t get too denatured and it just – it continues to be a really live kind of product. That’s what you’re looking for.

So, I like to use it for my foliar feeding, I like to use it to start seeds as well because of those growth hormones that when the seeds germinates it has those hormones that really helps it to do a lot of things right away as well as the vitamins and minerals.

When a seed germinates it needs – different seeds are different but it gonna needs certain trace minerals that acts as enzymes to help it do certain things, kinda like a catalyst to help it get going.

So I soak almost all my seeds in it not so much my legumes like this is a scarlet runner bean I just harvested most of these as a bunch of small guys on here now you probably can’t see them coz they’re – they’re small.

Coz you wanna harvest them pretty often when they’re growing to encourage more growth. So I don’t harvest – I don’t soak legumes very much coz it’s not that great for them but most of the things I do soak and I do it in a very diluted amount of liquid kelp and water so it will be like – it’ll be like a teaspoon of kelp in a liter of water.

And you don’t want more than that because you just want that sort of one to 50 ratio and then there’s also a kelp meal or a powder which is more like a dry fertilizer which you can use. I don’t use that as much, I really like the liquid because liquid fertilizing is so efficient so I can put this in my sprayer with water and spray it on to the leaves of my plants.

It’s very efficient but when I did lived by the ocean I would get a little bit of fresh kelp off the beach. I don’t what to take too much of it because I think that’s probably – it has a very important role to play on the beach but if you have an abundance of kelp nearby pick it up, put it right on the garden as mulch or in the compost pile.

You don’t need to wash off the salt at all, its buffered by all of the other nutrients there and it just – it will disappear quickly but it’s just an amazing organic, just organic matter additive to the soil and it contains all the same things that a liquid kelp would contain.

So if you wanna know more about how much to use and how much it costs and things like that, if you’re not on the website yet I’ll put a link of that below where you can read more about that.

So that is one of my favorites that I used all the time that’s liquid kelp.

Kelp fertilizer contains over 70 minerals and vitamins.

Perhaps more important, it’s an excellent source of natural plant growth regulators.

This is one of the least expensive best organic fertilizer products out there. Certain varieties of kelp can be sustainably harvested because they grow as much as 2 feet per day and get well over 100 feet long.

For the best quality, kelp should be processed quickly at cool temperatures to preserve all of the benefits kelp has to offer.

In the soil, the benefit of using kelp meal and fresh kelp from the beach is that you get a huge amount of nutrients, ready to be used by plants and microbes.

Seaweed from the beach can go on the soil as a mulch layer where it will disappear quickly, or can go into the compost. Either way, there‘s no need to wash off the salt.

Kelp fertilizer is a staple in any foliar feed and is also great for starting seed. Liquid kelp fertilizer has the same nutrients as kelp meal, but we use it for its natural plant growth regulators that stimulate many processes in plants.

Although the nutrients are beneficial, at this small amount it’s really all about the hormones. They have the final say as to how your plants will grow, reproduce and die.

Update: 2 1/2 years after I wrote this article, I decided to start selling liquid seaweed, so you can now learn a lot more about it here.

So those are my 2 favorite organic fertilizers for plants. You can mix them together with water in a hose-end or backpack sprayer to apply them at the same time, or just use one of them.

Let me know below if you have anything to add, or any questions for me about these biostimulants.

51 Comments

  1. Bill on September 3, 2011 at 5:10 pm

    Thanks Phil! When you mentioned that sulphur kills microbes, I wonder if there is a concern using Gypsom/calcium sulphate? I typically use Gypsom for my tomato beds.

    • Phil on September 3, 2011 at 5:33 pm

      Hi Bill, gypsum is fine, provided your soil needs calcium and sulfur. When I was talking about sulfur here, I was simplifying a bit. What I meant was that the form of sulfur they use in molasses is as a preservative that kills microbes.

  2. Africanaussie on September 4, 2011 at 11:08 pm

    I love this post – you are right it is worth bookmarking to keep coming back to.  I tried to embed your lovely little diagram on my blog but it wouldn’t work – must be something I am doing wrong.  When you talk of sea mineral straight from the ocean – is the bit of seawater attached to seaweed that I pick up on the beach enough?  At certain times of the year when there is plenty of seaweed I mulch the entire garden with it.  I don’t want to overdo the salt.  You cant get a product called sea minerals here in Australia, and if something can be naturally foraged I am all for it. . 

  3. Phil on September 5, 2011 at 1:16 pm

    The embed code is working for me when I test it. Make sure you’re in “html” mode or whatever it’s called for your blogging platform so that you’re entering the raw html.Yes, stick with the kelp. It’s a bit different than sea minerals, but extremely good. You could also do a cup of sea water per square foot of soil once a year. Test it in a small area first. I know it seems like a lot, but it can be very helpful. Some areas of Australia have excess salt problems though, so you want to be mindful of that. But the kelp is an amazing mulch. Just leave some for the important creatures on the beach.

  4. Suzanne on September 14, 2011 at 10:54 am

    Hi Phil, Thanks so much for your lessons. I want to try the foliar spray with seaweed, fish emulsion & blackstrap. How soon do you start in the spring & how late in the fall do you stop?

    • Phil on September 14, 2011 at 11:05 am

      In the spring, I usually do my first spray when I’m preparing the soil, so if I’m adding any compost or just preparing a seed bed. In the fall, I keep going until I’m done working in the garden, so until I’ve harvested all veggies, seeded cover crops and mulched for the winter.

  5. liquid minerals and vitamins on December 5, 2011 at 9:21 am

    Plants benefit almost instantly from properly applied liquid chemical fertilizers. In fact, the benefit to plant root development is so well documented that many farmers use liquid fertilizer when planting crops to help seeds germinate and establish strong root systems.

  6. Christian 'Mots' Kuhasz on December 18, 2011 at 3:48 pm

    Hey Phil,I know this probably isn’t such an issue but I was wondering if you had a specific brand of liquid Kelp that you used. I searched online and found a couple that were processed at cooler temperatures but I would like to make sure I’m getting exactly what you are describing.

  7. Christian 'Mots' Kuhasz on December 18, 2011 at 9:32 pm

    Also, is it okay to mix all 5 fertilizers together when making compost tea? I planned on making a compost tea including earthworm castings and the five recommended fertilizers, but I would like to make sure this will be efficient and healthy for my garden. I will also be making the Bokashi compost. I don’t want to overwhelm my garden but I’m just one of those people that likes to go all out or not at all. This will be my first organic garden so it will mostly be trial and error but from the knowledge I’ve acquired, it seems like this will be a great start off for my garden. Feedback would be greatly appreciated.Thanks.

    • Phil on December 19, 2011 at 12:32 pm

      You can use all 5 together except for sea minerals and fish, which are better applied separately. It’s great that you like to “go all” – I’m like that, too. You still need to be prepared for some failures (aka. fun learning experiences) if this is your first time, but if you keep at it for a few years, you’ll get better and better.

  8. Steve on January 4, 2012 at 1:52 am

    Over the years I’ve read that salt is bad for plants. Since sea minerals is your favorite organic fertilizer or biostimulant isn’t salt a concern? I’ve never used it but all I can do is think how salty concentrated sea water must be. You mentioned you primarily foliar feed it. Do you also apply it to the soil? Do they process it to take out or lower the salt content?

  9. Phil on January 4, 2012 at 12:51 pm

    Hi Steve, just like for humans, too much salt is bad, but a little is essential. For the product I use ( http://www.smilinggardener.com… ) I end up using perhaps 1/3 cup over 1000 square feet, so it’s just a tiny amount of sodium and many other micronutrients.

  10. Steve on January 7, 2012 at 1:32 am

    Hi Phil,Can you clarify what you say below,Actually, I don’t mix sea minerals and fish fertilizer because the manufacturer of the sea minerals has found it decreases the effectiveness to mix them. If I were using both, I would alternate between them, but I’d be sure to mix everything else in there.My question is, can you mix four together and just leave out the sea minerals or fish, or can you mix the sea minerals in and leave out the fish, or should the fish always be used seperately and the seawater always be used seperately?Just want to get it right.

    • Phil on January 7, 2012 at 12:55 pm

      Hi Steve, you can make a mix of everything choosing either the sea minerals or the fish as your main micronutrient source. And even if you mixed everything, it wouldn’t cause problems – it’s just (apparently) better to not mix sea minerals and fish together. So you could do sea minerals/kelp/molasses/humates or fish/kelp/molasses/humates. I’m not sure if I mentioned it in this article, but I’ve found this should be done fairly regularly (such as monthly) to get the best results.

  11. Jimmy L. Brooks Jr. on January 10, 2012 at 11:52 pm

    We bury fresh (ocean/sea?) caught fish heads from the local market underneath plants before we plant them. We also soak dried seaweed sheets used for Sushi in water and use the solution as a foliar spray. Steve, how do you feel about this?

    • Phil on January 14, 2012 at 6:02 pm

      Hi Jimmy, the fish heads are a traditional fertilization technique of people all over the world. It’s a great practice, although it might be more economical to just buy a quality organic fish fertilizer these days. I’m not sure how much value you’ll get from soaking the seaweed sheets compared to a dedicated liquid kelp fertilizer, but it certainly won’t hurt, and indeed may be a nice little addition.

  12. Steve on January 11, 2012 at 1:11 am

    If I buried fish heads under my plants they would probably get dug up by a dog, raccoon, fox or whatever. I don’t know about the Sushi seaweed sheets mixture you foliar feed. It probably doesn’t hurt. I like to be more exact with a tablespoon to know how much I feed.

  13. payday2222 on January 11, 2012 at 2:05 am

    I am fairly new to this site and as such may have not ran across it in other posts (blogs). But, as of yet, I haven’t heard any mention of Earthworm Castings as an amendment.

    • Phil on January 14, 2012 at 6:04 pm

      They’re a wonderful amendment. I go into detail on how to make your own worm compost in the Academy: http://www.smilinggardener.com

  14. Otis Funkmeyer on January 28, 2012 at 6:15 am

    We have a lot of ants on our fruit trees and I am wondering if mixing the molasses in will attract them even more, or if the good fertilizers will make them go away. What’s your recommendation? Any advice other than borax for ants! Great blog and looking forward to the Academy

    • Phil on January 28, 2012 at 2:40 pm

      Are the ants causing problems? They’re not necessarily a bad sign, unless they’re eating things. For some reason, the molasses can actually get rid of some kinds of ants, so I would go for it and see what happens.

  15. Allen on January 30, 2012 at 4:54 am

    I live in the SC, USA.I began using Neptune’s Harvest Organic Hydrolyzed Fish Fertilizer last growing season, which was my first gardening season in SC, after finding the SC soil seemingly devoid of nutrients accessible to the pumpkins, peas, beans, carrots, watermelon, honeydew, eggplant, sweet potato, tomato, lettuce, garlic, onion, okra and flowers, etc. ! that we planted in what appeared to be, on the surface, nice black dirt like we were used to in WI. It did seem to help but after hearing your comments about sustainability, etc. I think I will use it up by applying directly to the soil as we prepare the soil for this growing season and not purchase it again.Have you any thoughts on applying the hydrolyzed fish to the soil instead of to the foliage? Is there a simple formula for changing dilution for soil preparation as compared to the ratio of dilution for foliar feeding…more concentrated for soil feeding?I did look at the Organic Gardener’s Pantry website and it does not appear that they ship to the US.I’ve been researching for comparable products available in the US for most of the day.I found, on Amazon, the blackstrap molasses that you show in the video.So far I’ve come up with AG-USA Ocean Trace (sea minerals), MegaGrow SoilSyrup (for the humates) and Neptune’s Harvest Seaweed Fertilizer (for the kelp). Do you or does anyone else have opinions about these and / or other recommendations?I am hoping to use these or similar products in the vegetable garden as well as for some yearling bare root fruit trees that will be arriving shortly.Thank you so much for introducing me to Dr. Maynard Murray and for your insights into pest control, etc. !

    • Phil on January 30, 2012 at 1:44 pm

      You can apply fish to the soil. They may give you a different application rate/ratio on the label. For example, for my brand, it’s twice as much product for soil applications, with only a 1:10 dilution. I would wait until a few days before planting to apply it.It can be a lot of work finding out the quality of a product, through reading everything about how it’s manufactured to talking to the manufacturers, but 2 of the ones you’ve found look decent. The one I’m not sure about is the soil syrup. There are a lot of cheap humate products out there, and these folks don’t really give any information about how it’s processed, so I wouldn’t use that one myself.

      • Allen on January 31, 2012 at 2:05 am

        Thanks Phil. I felt the same way about the soil syrup lol. I had queried the AG-USA company yesterday via email and a representative got back to me today and he suggested I also use another of their products, Huma-Tec. It looks much more like the real deal (based on what I saw here) and their site indicates OMRI listed.I had never heard of OMRI before yesterday. I am assuming it is a good thing from what I’m reading. Thoughts?I checked the OMRI site just now and did find both the Huma-Tec and the Ocean Trace. Interestingly, the Ocean Trace is listed as a livestock feed.I found the Neptune’s Harvest listed out there too. Still not feeling as sure about that one.I’ll try these three (unless I come upon a seaweed that feels better first and switch that one out) along with the Wholesome Organic Unsulphured molasses.Thanks again Phil. I’ll be reading and waching more and I’m looking forward to reading your book!

        • Phil on February 2, 2012 at 8:45 pm

          I think you’ll have lots of fun this year. Yes, OMRI is good, although if something is OMRI Listed, it doesn’t always mean it’s right for your garden, and if something isn’t OMRI Listed, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s bad.

    • Me, myself and I on April 16, 2012 at 2:24 pm

      Hi Allen :)We live in NC.  Doing some recent research to expand my options i wanted to share 3 consideration you may wish to further investigate as well as the wonderful insights Phil has given everyone here.  1. Mycology 2. Activated Charcoal for organic gardening as well as Rock Dust.

  16. Heart_gonzales on February 2, 2012 at 3:58 pm

    oh, i feel bad after watching your video regarding the fish fertilizer because I just bought 2 gallons. 

    • Phil on February 2, 2012 at 8:57 pm

      No worries, I learn things all the time that I wish I’d known 10 years ago. That’s life. You might as well use it and and enjoy the benefits this year, and perhaps move to a sea minerals fertilizer next year.

  17. Steve on February 3, 2012 at 4:38 am

    Hi Phil, I am also on a quest to find the best Humic/Fulvic acid product I can find here in the states and like everyone else It’s very confusing. I was told that fulvc acid is better than Humic acid to foliar spray because the size of the particle is actually small enough to get into the leaf stoma where humic acid particles are not. It was suggested that their Humic acid product would be better aplied to the soil. They look like a reputable company but this is truly a buyers beware market. Please let me know your comments. Can we name company names here or maybe private emails?

    • Phil on February 4, 2012 at 3:23 pm

      There’s not much point listing company names because I can’t go and research products for you, since that can take an hour or more. If the company looks reputable and seems to know what they’re talking about, you won’t go too far wrong.But that fulvic acid explanation is too simplified. A good humate product will contain both humic acids and fulvic acids, just like good flour will come with the bran, the germ, the starch, etc. – the whole grain.

  18. Teklu Tsega on February 4, 2012 at 10:03 am

    Hi phil this is very interesting lesson tank you very mach. I planned to use a compost for my garden  from tannery waste which is limed flesh contains natural protein,hydrogen sulphide, and lime ( i.e Nitrogen, calcium and sulfur).How can I extract them and use for the future?

    • Phil on February 4, 2012 at 3:46 pm

      I’m sorry, I don’t know enough about tannery waste to give much advice. My understanding is that it can be high in toxic elements like chromium and lead. If I were you I would do extensive research into its properties before using it.

  19. Tiernansmom on February 29, 2012 at 9:08 am

    great advice! I live in a rural area on the Oregon coast…so I think I’ll try ocean water versus buying the bottled stuff. Any advice on how much and how often? 

    • Phil on March 1, 2012 at 6:07 pm

      1 cup per square foot of soil. I have to revisit the research, but I would probably do that once/year and water it in after.

  20. Ron on April 28, 2012 at 5:07 pm

    Our garden generally tests low in Nitrigon, probably as a result of the excessive rains all winter here on the west coast. I have started reading about human urine and from what i have read, it seems to be a good, safe, free source of nitrigon.  Have you covered this somewhere  on your site?  What do you think about using it? 

    • Phil on April 30, 2012 at 1:52 pm

      Nitrogen often tests low on soil tests for a few reasons, so I don’t pay too much attention to the N number. But yes, human urine is great, not directly on plants, but on the soil and especially on the compost pile.

  21. Veggie on May 13, 2012 at 8:17 pm

    I was wondering why use Sea Minerals when Kelp is really is like a sponge that would concentrate the minerals without the salt. This is just my logic and a quest toward simplification of gardening and not relying on too many products that are produced by far off elaborate industrial processes. I guess they are all energy intensive from harvesting and drying kelp (from Norway in some brands) or concentrating sea water into the bottled minerals. I guess this one can be done off shore in any coastline, but the mineral content would be vastly different for various regions. Do the sea mineral label list the mineral content exactly?As an alternative to Kelp – I read that Alfalfa meal contains lots of mineral. I have only seen it in pellets used as horse feed though. One would have to worry about pesticides used in growing the alfalfa.

    • Phil on May 14, 2012 at 3:05 pm

      All good questions and comments, Veggie. To me, sea minerals is much more sustainable than kelp, which we’re actually overharvesting. The mineral content isn’t listed on the label, but it is sometimes listed on the manufacturer’s website.Alfalfa is good, but you’re right, there are pesticides and it is starting to be genetically modified. There are organic brands still available at this point.

  22. Sander on June 6, 2012 at 9:05 am

    Hi Phil, great website, very informative! I live in the Netherlands and I’ve been using sea minerals in the garden for a couple of years now, in my case Celtic sea salt (Sel Gris de Guérande) in a concentration of 2000 ppm in water for most plants (I use a TDS meter).My question to you is: do you also use it on acid loving plants like blueberries? (as it does alkalinize the soil) And if so, do you just use it as a foliar fertilizer or do you also put it on the soil and in what concentration (ppm)?   

    • Phil on June 6, 2012 at 2:47 pm

      Hi Sander, yes I do use it on all plants, but mostly just as a foliar at a 1:200 ratio, and I’m not using enough to alter soil pH.(I don’t believe that blueberries really do want a very acid soil. They just need access to certain minerals in abundance. They can do well in an alkaline soil if they have the organic matter and minerals they need. But that’s a big conversation for another day).

  23. Lene Ring on June 20, 2012 at 4:02 am

    How about Daniel’s fertilizer?

    • Phil on June 23, 2012 at 2:04 pm

      Sorry Lene, I haven’t come across it.

  24. Curt Novak on April 16, 2013 at 12:37 am

    I have an indoor dwarf citrus tree, and daily foliar feed it with fulvic acid. I know how much you like sea water, but this fulvic has 74 minerals, many vitamins, and numerous amino acids. Would sea/ocean water be of additional benifit?

    • Phil on April 17, 2013 at 11:31 am

      Difficult to say if it will make a big difference, but it could. The sea-crop brand I use has some naturally-occurring microbes and other interesting substances ( http://www.smilinggardener.com… ).

  25. Curt on April 17, 2013 at 2:05 am

    Would I get any of an advatage from SEA MINERALS when I already foliar feed my plants with fulvic acid, which as you know has 74+ minerals, vitamins, and numerous amino acids?GREAT BLOG!

  26. Wil on July 12, 2013 at 8:45 pm

    How about the table salt we use with our food, can it be used as a fertilizer?

    • Phil on July 15, 2013 at 12:51 pm

      I don’t recommend it, for our soil or for our food. It’s stripped of all elements (except sodium and chlorine) and then they add things to prevent caking that we probably don’t want in our bodies or our soil. They do add iodine, which may be beneficial, so if you use table salt that doesn’t have all the other chemicals and bleaches and so on, that would be fine.

  27. Ludivine on August 19, 2014 at 12:32 am

    I have a question. I want to grow vegetables on my garden in containers, but don’t want to use manure for fertilizing the soil. Is it possible to ONLY use kelp and seawead as a fertilizer? Or is it not enough? Thank you in advance.

    • Phil on August 19, 2014 at 11:11 am

      Yes, manure certainly isn’t needed, and it is possible to use only seaweed and do okay, although your soil will probably be imbalanced. Ideally, you’d send a sample of the soil off to an organic soil lab and then follow their recommendations, but in lieu of that, here are some additional options: http://www.smilinggardener.com

      • Ludivine on August 19, 2014 at 12:33 pm

        Thank you very much for your answer. Also the info on your site will be very helpfull.

Leave a Comment