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How And Why To Create Homemade Organic Fertilizers

Organic fertilizers can save you money and boost your yields. Here’s an overview on how and why you should make your own homemade fertilizer. You won’t regret it!

It has never been easier to start growing cannabis. The sheer amount of products and options available can be overwhelming, but they are all intended to make your life easier. That does not mean new systems will be cheaper or more effective than traditional methods for tending to your plants. It really depends on the scale of your operation and your goals as a cultivator.

SYNTHETIC VS ORGANIC FERTILIZERS

There seem to be two distinct schools of thought; one involves modern, petrochemical-intensive monoculture production, where sterile conditions and precise metric manipulation of variables are intended to maximise production. Bottled nutrients with strict NPK values and a short pH-range are utilised to minimise deficiencies and support robust growth.

The other technique is the organic or “natural” way, in which plants are grown without petrochemical influence. In this scenario, what is really happening is you are feeding the soil microbiology, which in turn directly feeds the roots all of their favourite munchies in just the right proportions.

New, inexperienced growers need some time to delve into the intricacies of each method – organic vs synthetic. Analyse the pros and cons, then get going with growing! You will surely change your mind on numerous subjects as you develop your green thumb.

ARE BOTTLED PRODUCTS WORTH IT?

As time passes, you will soon start to notice that most of what you buy in a bottle is either exceedingly expensive, wasted, or easily substituted at a fraction of the price with your own concoctions.

Take into consideration that most bottled fertilizers, be they synthetic or organic, lose some of their price value due to the high water content contained within. It is also extremely complicated to mix everything a plant needs into a stabilised bottle. There are limits to chemistry and plant physiology. Nutritional performance is surely lost to bottled convenience.

MAKING YOUR OWN FERTILIZER

Making you own fertilizer can get quite addictive. Not only will you save a significant amount of money in the long-run, you will also begin to understand plant nutrition to a much greater extent, learn to dial-in exactly what your plants require, and ultimately, harvest bigger and better-tasting buds.

Are you throwing away your premium-price bagged soil after each crop or heavily dosing your plants with nutrients and additives without any significant increase in yield?

If so, simply read on.

HOMEMADE FERTILIZER: WHAT DO PLANTS EAT?

We will not go too deep into this subject, rather, we shall quickly provide some basic concepts. Surely you have seen “NPK” mentioned before. These are the macronutrients – the big players in a plant’s health and development.

  • N – nitrogen
  • P – phosphorus
  • K – potassium

Along with these macros, we also have micronutrients, referred to as trace elements. These are metals and minerals that the plant needs in very small quantities, yet are of equal importance as NPK for healthy plant growth. Examples include calcium, magnesium, copper, iron, zinc, manganese, cobalt, iodine, selenium, molybdenum.

We also include vitamins and acids here, along with other organic compounds.

Fertilizer manufacturers essentially mix these and attempt to chemically stabilise them for bottling, transportation, and shelf-life. Any given nutrient line is just that brand’s take on a full nutritional plan; all of them claim to be better than the rest.

The secret to a grade-A yield is the right proportion of these constituents at the right time. In this sense, these nutrient lines are quite convenient.

But there is simply no replacement for creating or supplementing with your own, homemade organic fertilizer. In fact, that is what the best of growers do on a regular basis. With some experimentation, you will soon understand how easy this is, and what a difference organic soil makes in your garden.

WHY ORGANIC?

The main reason for making organic nutrients is quite simple; they can be extremely cheap (or free), and you can make them in your backyard or kitchen with household appliances. They are often very easy to make, are not dangerous, and ultimately, are more environmentally friendly.

Composting, for instance, can save you a ton of hard-earned cash. After a harvest, the soil you used needs to be “recharged”. Most indoor tent growers simply throw away the depleted soil and buy a fresh new bag. That means lugging bags in and out and buying new soil each run. If you start composting all your organic food waste along with your used soil, magic happens. The soil is literally recycled and recharged with all the necessary microbiology and high-quality food your plants need. It will contain everything – NPK, trace elements, and an army of agro-bacteria and mycos to colonise your rhizosphere.

HUNGRY HUNGRY CANNABIS

But cannabis can be a very hungry plant, and if you want those highly desired, heavy, and dense nugs, you need to supplement the base soil conditions. Since you technically do not feed your plants directly when growing in soil, we highly recommend getting into the habit of brewing your own bacteria. The technical term is Actively Aerated Compost Tea (AACT), but the slang terms “bennies”, “beneficial bacterial tea”, worm casting tea, or just compost tea are frequently used.

Regardless of terminology, they are simple to make. Prepare to be amazed. Not only will you create millions of little minions that will protect and feed your roots, you will also extract the best mineral and fungal properties of these soils into a tea, which you can directly feed to your roots, or use as a foliar spray against most common diseases.

SOIL AMENDMENTS

If you are growing outdoors and/or your soil quality needs a serious boost, here are some common amendments.

MACRONUTRIENT SOURCES

If you need a nitrogen (N) boost, you can add worm castings, a chicken manure recipe, crustaceous meal, and/or bat guano. You can also use human urine, but be sure to dilute it at a ratio of 10:1 parts water to urine. Otherwise, the urine will turn to ammonia and harm your plants. Never pee directly on your plants, it will burn the roots!

If you need a phosphorous (P) boost, boil some banana peels and drench your soil. Let it ferment slightly for optimal onset. Bone and fish meals, chicken manure, and rock dust are also great sources of phosphorus. Rock dust, for instance, is a slow-release source, so it’s great to mix with your depleted soil for a crop-long source of P.

If you need a potassium (K) boost, banana peel, bat guano, fish meal, kelp, wood ash, compost, and siliceous rocks are all great sources.

The two micronutrients calcium and magnesium should be set aside, as these are particularly important, especially during bloom. Only after these reach optimum levels can the other trace elements function to their full potential.

MICRONUTRIENT SOURCES

Calcium – limestone, clay, chalk, gypsum
Magnesium – dolomite, magnesium sulfate (Epsom salts)
Other trace elements – azomite (trace nutrients and humic acid)

It is very rare to need to specifically boost other trace elements. They are present in the vast majority of soils and rocks. In fact, most of the amendments we suggested will excessively turbo-charge with trace elements, although this is not a bad thing.

MANURE RECIPES

Manure recipes are as old as agriculture itself. Man started to notice that where animals went to do their business, flora would flourish. Manure, to this day, continues to be one of the main agricultural inputs across the globe.

Manure recipes are a fantastic source of slow-release NPK, but they pose two medium-risk problems. If not properly composted or fermented, they can potentially present harmful pathogens to humans, animals, and plants. They can also be a bit tricky to balance with your base soil. So there is no right or wrong manure recipe choice, it depends on your region. Talk to local farmers to get a sense what works best.

  • Sheep – Balanced and rich, but requires fermentation
  • Goat – Similar to sheep, but stronger
  • Cow – Not so rich, but easy to source and to work with
  • Swine – Obsolete
  • Chicken – Very rich, but usually exceedingly strong in NPK – be sure to dilute
  • Rabbit – Best for composting and worm production, very rich
  • Equine – Easy to work with and exceptionally great for pot flowers

TAKE IT A STEP FURTHER – GO VEGANIC!

If you are environmentally conscious, here is a quick note about “organic” fertilizers. Petrochemical fertilizers are really bad for the environment, but so are animal-derived products like bone or fish meals, among others.

First of all, the organic label is not a synonym of good, better, or correct. If you really care about the environment, be on the lookout for the OMRI certificate on bottles.

These animal by-products are industrial leftovers that are chemically treated and dehydrated to squeeze every last inch of profit possible out of the industrial process. They are far from being “organic”; they simply contain unadulterated organic raw materials before they are treated with synthetic chemicals. Way better that petrochemicals, but still, our environmental conscience and global warming efforts must not stop there.

Legendary, award-winning cannabis editor, writer, breeder, and activist Kyle Kushman is at the forefront of veganic (plant-based) cultivation of cannabis. Results are clear. If you respect millions of years of natural selection, you will be able to reach maximum genetic potential. Stop trying to cheat Mother Nature. She’s got dibs on experimentation and time.

THAT WAS WAY TOO COMPLICATED

If you are new to this, you may be suffering from information overload. How on earth could you ditch your handy bottles and get your hands dirty in cow dung?

We’re not suggesting that. In fact, we have barely scraped the surface of this subject. Entire books are dedicated to this very issue. It is tremendously difficult to condense so much information into so few words and make it pragmatically useful. We hope this is like a little seed of information to get you going in the right direction.

Above all, please understand that after you manage to get over the learning curve, it all is very simple!

BASIC HOMEMADE FERTILIZERS

To give you some perspective, you only need a bag of premium worm humus (if you are not composting yourself), a bucket, a strong pump, and an airstone; in 48h, you could breed enough aerobic bacteria, fungi, and trace minerals to make your plants go into turbo production mode. Do this every odd week during a crop cycle to net yourself a 20-40% increase in yield. It really is as simple as that.

Indoors or outdoors, you can compost your kitchen rejects like onion skins and egg shells or leftover salads; better still, use the stems and leaves from your last crop! To that, add some worms to drive your composting, and soon you will save tons on soil, recycling it into a world-class grow medium!

Don’t want to pay for kelp extract? If you live near the sea, just go out hunting for seaweeds and make your own seaweed infusion. And if you manage to do it right, it may well be more effective than the bottled version.

WORK YOUR WAY TO ORGANIC

If you are new to this, please do not feel overwhelmed with all these new terms. They are very similar, yet all slightly different. The trick is to understand your base growing medium, and what inputs you need to produce great results. Even pure hydroponics can benefit from organic additives.

We are not suggesting you ditch all commercial-grade nutrients. Rather, start supplementing those with your organic, homemade fertilizers. Baby steps.

Take it one extra level at a time. Eventually, you will notice that not only are your plants growing better, your bank account will grow too.

Little changes like adding compost teas will have a compounding effect. Your plants will grow more vigorously, and your soil will not deplete so aggressively.

Just by reading this article, you are halfway to a fully sustainable model. Feel free to experiment and adapt your methodology for a greener tomorrow.

FERMENTED PLANT JUICE (FPJ)

Fermented plant juice is a cheap and easy way to provide nutrients to your cannabis plants. This completely natural and organic method harnesses beneficial bacteria to break down plants into easily absorbed nutrients. It’s a simple way of creating super soil in your garden. FPJ is a product used commonly in Korean Natural Farming — a holistic cultivation approach that seeks to improve soil health through the use of indigenous microorganisms and the avoiding of chemicals.

Gardeners create FPJ using nutrient-dense plants and herbs such as comfrey, yarrow, stinging nettle, mugwort, aloe vera, horsetail, lambsquartres, and thistle. Some of these plants are viewed as common weeds and grow in most gardens. They’re a superb free source of plant nutrition! It’s best to harvest the young portions of these plants, which are particularly nutritionally-dense.

Some growers choose to use fruit instead of plants to create fermented fruit juice (FFJ). The concept here is the same — these natural products contain a wealth of nutrients that can be liberated by beneficial bacteria. Popular fruits include cantaloupe melons, apricots, berries, tomatoes, and sweet peppers.

Regardless of the source used, plant or fruit, bacteria are the real heroes here. These tiny beings conduct the metabolic process of fermentation. They extract energy from molecules and break down larger molecules into smaller ones. Essentially, they free up all the nutrition stored in fruits and plants.

These microorganisms feed on sugar and convert the energy source into alcohol. During this process, they create a nutrient-dense soup, which will provide your plant with many of the minerals they need for healthy growth. Sugar is also added to help pull nutrients and juices out of the plant material. This happens through the process called osmosis — the movement of solvent molecules from an area of low concentration to an area of high concentration.

HOW TO MAKE FERMENTED PLANT/FRUIT JUICE

Making your own FPJ or FFJ at home is super easy. Choose from the list of plants or fruits above and let’s get started.

STEP 1

Peel and cube your chosen fruit. If you’re using plants, chop them up into smaller pieces. If you’re using plants or fruits from your garden, don’t wash them! They possess beneficial bacteria that will enhance the fermentation process.

STEP 2

Weigh your fruit or plants before placing them into a large glass jar or a container. Add in an equal amount of brown sugar and mash up the plant material with a large spoon. Mix everything up to distribute the sugar all over the plant material.

STEP 3

Cover the opening of your jar or container with a piece of cheesecloth. Use an elastic band to keep it tightly attached. The small holes in the material will allow carbon dioxide created through fermentation to escape. Store the mixture in a cool and dark place for 7–14 days.

STEP 4

Strain the mixture through a fine sieve and pour it into bottles for storage. Keep them in the fridge until you’re ready to use them.

STEP 5

Add four tablespoons of mixture to about 3.5 litres of water and apply as a foliar spray or use for watering.

Did you know you can save a ton on fertilizer? We show you how with an overview of homemade organic fertilizers.

EXTREMELY CHEAP NUTES! Don’t be fooled by BRANDS! Learn about how cheap it can be.

jpeg666
Well-Known Member

So I forgot what I was doing but I came across this website http://www.kelp4less.com and I looked around for maybe 10 minutes and realized. I could buy everything I need from this website in soluble powders for a fraction of the cost at buying expensive ass branded products like Advance Nutrient or General Hydro. You can buy like pounds of Soluble nitrogen and Potash for like $20/LB . 1 pound for $20. you could spend about $100 at this website and have the same amount of nutes in raw form as $500-$1000 in bottles of liquid nutes from companies like AN, GH and many others. I’m sure many people have known this. I just didn’t know how easy and cheap it was too find these Ingredients and How easy it is to obtain them.

I am never buying a Humic acid product again after seeing this website. They sell an 80% humic acid powder. 1Lb for $12. at my local hydro shop NBT sells a 30% humic powder. probably only 8oz for probably $30. Amazing. Seeing this website just turned my world upside down when it comes to buying nutrients.

Anyone else care to comment on this??

ThE sAtIvA hIgH
Well-Known Member
polyarcturus
Well-Known Member
CaliMackdaddy
Active Member
stoned cockatoo
New Member

Should be able to get most of that from any gardening store..

Don’t have to pay for postage and don’t look suss having bags and bags of ferts delivered

CaliMackdaddy
Active Member
jpeg666
Well-Known Member

It’s legit and there are many more places like it

Okay yea you spend 20$ for a pound of NPK product or you can spend $60 on all of the elements you need and fine tune your own forumla and then you there have over 3-4 pounds for less than what it cost too buy something like maxi bloom and maxi grow

The bottom line is that it is cheaper to buy the raw material and make your own bases, sometimes almost 500% CHEAPER.

Should be able to get most of that from any gardening store..

Don’t have to pay for postage and don’t look suss having bags and bags of ferts delivered

No. not at any garden store. even at my local hydro shop all you can get is expensive ass Branded products. also OSH doesn’t carry any raw material and they are an orchard supply I don’t think anywhere close to me sells this stuff

Yea some of the stuff if overpriced but I wouldn’t say half. why are you trying to shut my point down. I am simply stating that the raw material on that website like the Nitrogen, Phosphorus, Potassium, Calcium, Silica, are all MANY MANY times cheaper than branded bottled products.

When you walk into your local hydro shop and grab a bottle of AN about 10% of your money is going toward the material you are actually using and need. the other 90% you are paying for Filtered water, BRAND recognition, Advertising, fancy little art on the front of the bottle that they had to pay a professional artist to make.

So that is all I am trying to get across.

HotShot7414
Well-Known Member
Clown Baby
Well-Known Member
jpeg666
Well-Known Member

It also depends on if you want to go through the process of doing it all this way. I am not blasting anyone or any nute companies. All I am saying is that if you like learning and experimenting, which I love, then it would be cheaper to get raw material and have fun mixing and experimenting different batches of nurients. If you are Lazy or you dont have the time, or you have the money and would rather just buy a bottle and go then by all means go for it. but some people that are new into botany and growing plants and pot are all led to believe by these big companies that it is the only way to go. BUY OUR BOTTLES PRODUCTS. They don’t tell the buyers that you can go get Organic N, P, and K powders and a fraction of the cost. they would lose a small customer base.

Bottom line and point I am trying to get across, Some people don’t search around and don’t know that these powders and raw materials are easy to get and easy to make concentrates at the fraction of the cost of bottled nutrients

CaliMackdaddy
Active Member

It also depends on if you want to go through the process of doing it all this way. I am not blasting anyone or any nute companies. All I am saying is that if you like learning and experimenting, which I love, then it would be cheaper to get raw material and have fun mixing and experimenting different batches of nurients. If you are Lazy or you dont have the time, or you have the money and would rather just buy a bottle and go then by all means go for it. but some people that are new into botany and growing plants and pot are all led to believe by these big companies that it is the only way to go. BUY OUR BOTTLES PRODUCTS. They don’t tell the buyers that you can go get Organic N, P, and K powders and a fraction of the cost. they would lose a small customer base.

Bottom line and point I am trying to get across, Some people don’t search around and don’t know that these powders and raw materials are easy to get and easy to make concentrates at the fraction of the cost of bottled nutrients

jpeg666
Well-Known Member
StainedClass
Member
smokebros
Well-Known Member

OP, I just wanted to give you kudos for posting finds like this. Someone previously said that the cannabis nutrient market is one of the biggest ripoffs, and quite frankly, it really is. I don’t even know where to begin. I mean, there are companies who put together some of the weirdest NPK ratio’s in their base nutrients, which requires you to buy another one of their thirty to sixty dollar bottle of watered down, overpriced, crap. From a marketing perspective, it is smart because these companies make A LOT of money from this business model.

When it comes to your newb, new, greenhorn, cannabis grower, 9/10 times they haven’t yet obtained even a basic level of botany knowledge and instead they learn as they go. The thing is, they fall for this exact thing. Instead of buying good nutrients, they fall for gimmick art logos, false statements, and compartmentalized nutrient lineups that have saturated the shelves of hydro stores all over the US.

When I started growing I was not that bad, but looking back I wish I had obtained the knowledge I know now, (it would’ve saved me some money). I mean, there are nutrients you can buy at Wal Mart or Home Depot that will grow better cannabis than your “best” lineups that cost hundreds of dollars can. A lot of these new growers truly don’t take enough time to understand basic Macro, Micro, and secondary nutrients and they are the ones who feed the machine.

Sorry for the rant.
-SB

StainedClass
Member
smokebros
Well-Known Member

THANK ME LATER.

jpeg666
Well-Known Member

OP, I just wanted to give you kudos for posting finds like this. Someone previously said that the cannabis nutrient market is one of the biggest ripoffs, and quite frankly, it really is. I don’t even know where to begin. I mean, there are companies who put together some of the weirdest NPK ratio’s in their base nutrients, which requires you to buy another one of their thirty to sixty dollar bottle of watered down, overpriced, crap. From a marketing perspective, it is smart because these companies make A LOT of money from this business model.

When it comes to your newb, new, greenhorn, cannabis grower, 9/10 times they haven’t yet obtained even a basic level of botany knowledge and instead they learn as they go. The thing is, they fall for this exact thing. Instead of buying good nutrients, they fall for gimmick art logos, false statements, and compartmentalized nutrient lineups that have saturated the shelves of hydro stores all over the US.

When I started growing I was not that bad, but looking back I wish I had obtained the knowledge I know now, (it would’ve saved me some money). I mean, there are nutrients you can buy at Wal Mart or Home Depot that will grow better cannabis than your “best” lineups that cost hundreds of dollars can. A lot of these new growers truly don’t take enough time to understand basic Macro, Micro, and secondary nutrients and they are the ones who feed the machine.

Sorry for the rant.
-SB

Agreed. A lot of new growers and greenhorns are minds to be molded and if they aren’t wise enough to clear the smoke away themselves they will end up being told wrong information and fall for horrid marketing gimmiks that cost them hundreds and hundreds of dollars. The products from companies like AN and Cyco might work but they are BS marketing schemes. They can easily package their product together and have at minimum 2-3 products that you need to buy instead they Rip their NPK’s apart package the rest in different bottles with different micro nutes in each bottle then slap a $30 price tag on each bottle and BAM! They made about $300 on 10 products that could easily be put into 2-3 products and sold for maybe 3-4x less and still at a profit.

This cannabis growing industry is all about making money. and a lot of people are stoner potheads that buy into and others just don’t really care because they make so much money off their crop the price for the nutes is meaningless.

So I forgot what I was doing but I came across this website http://www.kelp4less.com and I looked around for maybe 10 minutes and realized…….I could buy…