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Organic Super Soil Amendments | Definitive Guide To All-Natural Plant Food

The right organic soil amendments will breathe new life into tired super soil both during a grow and when you recycle your substrate. By replenishing nutrients when your plants need them most, you can ensure your organic grow results in a huge yield of crystal-coated buds with superior potency.

Contents:

By design, organic super soil has everything your cannabis plant needs to thrive. However, even the best mix may need to be replenished or amended from time to time. This is especially true when you start off with a store-bought mix, cultivate heavy-feeders, or reuse your soil.

Here’s a list of organic soil amendments that will keep your plants happy and productive, as well as those to avoid:

ORGANIC SOIL AMENDMENTS TO USE

1. WORM CASTINGS

With minimal effort and expense, a worm farm can provide an unlimited source of worm castings for your garden. You can also buy worm castings by the bag at most greenhouses and nurseries. Worm castings release nitrogen into the soil faster than virtually any other organic soil amendment. They also add healthy bacteria and a wide variety of micronutrients.

2. CRUSTACEAN MEAL

Made from ground-up shells from crabs, shrimp, and other sea creatures, crustacean meal is naturally high in nitrogen, calcium, phosphorus, and chitin. It’s a slow-release amendment, and it has a bonus feature: The chitin supports microbes that kill harmful nematodes that would damage roots if not kept in check.

3. BAT GUANO

This natural amendment has more nitrogen and phosphorus than any other natural substance you can add to your soil. Bat guano will also add a diverse community of bacteria and microbes to your plant’s root zone and support consistent plant growth.

4. BONE MEAL

This blend of ground beef bones is a great source of phosphorus, as long as you keep your pH level under 7. Outdoor cannabis farmers will need to fence off their plants if they use bone meal. Some animals are so attracted to bone meal’s aroma that they’ll dig up your garden to get at what their nose tells them is buried there.

5. BLOOD MEAL

Blood meal is similar to bone meal, except it’s made from dried cattle blood. This amendment is very high in nitrogen and can burn your plants if you use too much. It will also lower the soil’s pH level. Blood meal is thought to repel deer, squirrels, and moles, but it can attract dogs and other carnivores. Think carefully before you use it in an outdoor garden.

6. CHICKEN MANURE

Chicken manure is rich in nitrogen and phosphorus, but it’s really strong. It’s considered a “hot” fertiliser that can burn your plants if it hasn’t been properly treated and allowed to mellow for a period of time. Use this soil amendment with caution. Rabbit manure is a good substitute if you own a bunny or know someone who does; it’s plentiful, cleaner, and not nearly as hot.

7. ROCK DUST

Rock dust is exactly what it sounds like: crushed rock. It’s a slow-release source of phosphorus. If you recycle your soil, you’ll only need to add it every couple of years. Rock dust requires a pH level of around 7 to work.

8. KELP MEAL

Made from dried seaweed, kelp meal adds potassium to the soil, as well as over 60 essential elements and minerals, to help support the microbes in your soil. It’s thought to increase sweetness, boost flavour, and enhance colours—things that most cannabis growers desire.

9. COMPOST

Compost isn’t exclusive to the realm of organic weed growers. All farmers love this “black gold”. It’s generally made by layering soil, leaves, and household food waste, so it’s as good as what you put into it. If you’re using it for potassium, make sure you include banana peels and fruit rinds. Eggshells add calcium, and all compost contains beneficial microbes. Always make sure the compost is fully broken down and decomposed before adding it to your plants; it should look like rich, black soil when it’s ready to be used.

10. COMPOST TEA

If your plants look like they need a quick pick-me-up, try a compost tea. You can make this by aerating a mix of clean water and a small amount of compost. The air activates the microbes and causes them to multiply at a rapid rate. Within a few days, you’ll have a nutrient-rich compost tea that you can use as a liquid soil amendment throughout your grow.

11. WOOD ASH

Wood ash is a great source of potassium and lime, as well as many trace elements that cannabis needs to thrive. However, you should use this soil amendment sparingly or combine it with compost. It’s known to quickly raise the soil’s pH level to the point where it could lock out other nutrients.

12. MYCORRHIZAL FUNGI

Without beneficial fungi, organically grown cannabis plants will struggle to thrive. These microorganisms create a bridge in the root zone that helps plants absorb nutrients and water. They also protect the roots from damage by shielding them from harmful microbes. To add mycorrhizae to your soil, use a tube of inoculant.

13. PERLITE AND VERMICULITE

Cannabis likes air in its root zone. That’s why it’s important not to overwater or let your plants sit in standing water. It’s almost as bad to let the soil get too dry. Using perlite and/or vermiculite as soil amendments can help. Perlite is made from volcanic glass; it’s white, hard, and porous. Vermiculite is made from mica; it’s scaly, lamellar, and pale brown in colour. Both are very light in weight compared to their volume, and do a great job controlling moisture and aerating the soil. You can use one or both as a soil amendment.

14. GARDEN LIME

Also known as sweet lime or dolomite, garden lime is made from limestone. It contains a significant amount of calcium and magnesium. Although it actually raises pH, this type of lime is often used as a buffer to keep pH levels stable and prevent fluctuations. When liming your plants, always use dolomite lime and not agricultural or hydrated lime.

15. EPSOM SALTS

Magnesium sulfate, commonly known as Epsom salts, is a natural source of magnesium and sulphur that plants can readily use. Always use pure magnesium sulfate purchased from a pharmacy, and not a bath product that’s had oils or scent added to it. You can amend your soil by adding the crystals when you water your plants or by mixing them into a foliar spray.

16. AZOMITE

Derived from volcanic material, Azomite replenishes the soil with more than 60 water-soluble trace minerals. Those are the kind that can get washed away when you water your plants. This amendment can raise pH level, so it’s another one to use sparingly.

ORGANIC SUPER SOIL (NUTRIENTS) 1. WORM CASTINGS 2. CRUSTA- CEAN MEAL 3. BAT GUANO
NITROGEN (N) X X
PHOSPHOROUS (P) X X
POTASSIUM (K)
MAGNESIUM (Mg) X X
CALCIUM (Ca) X
BORON (B)
ORGANIC SUPER SOIL (NUTRIENTS) 4. BONE MEAL 5. BLOOD MEAL 6. CHICKEN MANURE
NITROGEN (N) X X
PHOSPHOROUS (P) X
POTASSIUM (K)
MAGNESIUM (Mg)
CALCIUM (Ca) X
BORON (B)
ORGANIC SUPER SOIL (NUTRIENTS) 7. ROCK DUST 8. KELP MEAL 9. COMPOST
NITROGEN (N) X X
PHOSPHOROUS (P) X
POTASSIUM (K)
MAGNESIUM (Mg)
CALCIUM (Ca)
BORON (B) X
ORGANIC SUPER SOIL (NUTRIENTS) 11. WOOD ASH 12. MYCOR- RHIZAL FUNGI 14. GARDEN LIME
NITROGEN (N) X
PHOSPHOROUS (P) X
POTASSIUM (K)
MAGNESIUM (Mg)
CALCIUM (Ca) X X
BORON (B)
ORGANIC SUPER SOIL (NUTRIENTS) 15. EPSOM SALTS 16. AZOMITE 17. GREEN- SAND
NITROGEN (N) X
PHOSPHOROUS (P) X
POTASSIUM (K)
MAGNESIUM (Mg) X
CALCIUM (Ca)
BORON (B)
ORGANIC SUPER SOIL (NUTRIENTS) 19. MULCH
NITROGEN (N) X
PHOSPHOROUS (P) X
POTASSIUM (K)
MAGNESIUM (Mg)
CALCIUM (Ca) X
BORON (B)
ORGANIC SUPER SOIL AMENDAMENTS (SPECIFIC NUTRIENTS)
NITROGEN (N) PHOSPHOROUS (P) POTASSIUM (K) MAGNESSIUM (Ma) CALCIUM (Ca) BORON (B)
1. WORM CASTINGS X X X X
2. CRUSTACEAN MEAL X X X
3. BAT GUANO X
4. BONE MEAL X X
5. BLOOD MEAL X X
6. CHICKEN MANURE X
7. ROCK DUST X
8. KELP MEAL X
9. COMPOST X X
11. WOOD ASH X
12. MYCORRHIZAL FUNGI X X
14. GARDEN LIME X
15. EPSOM SALTS X
16. AZOMITE X X X
17. GREENSAND X
19. MULCH X X X X

17. GREENSAND

Greensand looks like it sounds: like greenish sand. Its chemical name is glauconite, and it’s a rich source of potassium. It also contains calcium, magnesium, iron, phosphorous, and 30 or so trace minerals that help plants grow. Greensand also improves the quality of the soil to better control moisture levels. In sandy soil, it decreases the drainage rate. In clay soils, it does the opposite, loosening the soil so it drains faster. Greensand is slow to break down and release its nutrient content, so you only have to add it to soil every few years.

18. HUMIC ACID AND FULVIC ACID

Use these two soil amendments together for best results. Humic acid helps the roots absorb nutrients more effectively, while fulvic acid makes the nutrients more bioavailable to the individual plant cells. Together, these two acids help the plant make the most of the available nutrients while minimising deficiencies.

19. MULCH

Mulch serves two purposes; it helps your soil retain moisture, and microbes like to eat it. Don’t mix this into your soil. Add a few centimetres of straw, compost, or wood chips over the surface of the soil. Replenish it monthly. Compost doubles as a top dressing and will gradually release nutrients as you water your plants.

SOIL AMENDMENTS TO AVOID

Urea is a component in urine; it’s what the kidneys make when they remove nitrogen from the body. You can also buy pure urea. It’s a cheap source of nitrogen, but not a great choice if you’re growing cannabis. Urea changes quickly to ammonium, which transforms the nitrogen your plants can use into toxic nitrites that plants don’t use or need. Next, the ammonium will turn into ammonia, which will evaporate and release a nasty smell.

SAWDUST

Sawdust contains nitrogen, but it contains even more carbon (50x more). This combination will lock out all nitrogen and starve your plants. You would have to allow the sawdust to age nearly 3 years to give the carbon enough time to decompose to the point it wouldn’t cause nutrient lockout. Don’t be tempted to mix sawdust into your soil to aerate it or increase its ability to hold moisture.

NON-COMPOSTED LEAVES

If you amend your soil with non-composted leaves, they’ll become fodder for harmful bacteria as they decompose. As these bacteria proliferate, they will compete with your plants for nitrogen—and they usually win.

A FINAL WORD ON SOIL AMENDMENTS

By nurturing your organic substrate with the right soil amendments at the correct intervals, you can grow healthy, profit-yielding cannabis plants with big, resinous buds. When you enjoy the fruits of your labour, you’ll also take comfort in knowing they weren’t exposed to any harmful chemicals or toxic pesticides.

However, it can be easy to overdo it and burn your plants—even if your amendments are 100% natural and organic. Take it easy with richer add-ins until you see how your garden reacts. It’s always easier to add than subtract from the soil. Soon, you’ll be able to anticipate what your plants need, giving them exactly the right amendments at exactly the right time.

Even the best super soil requires replenishment from time to time. In this helpful guide, we'll teach you what to use and what to avoid.

Organic Soil Amendments

bklyndiaz

Thought I would share this! At the end of post there are some PDF files attached.

Organic fertilizers and organic soil amendments come from natural sources–plants, animals, and rocks.

An organic fertilizer is a natural soil amendment that adds plant nutrients to the soil, most often nitrogen, phosphorous, or potassium. (NPK analysis is the concentration of major plant nutrients–nitrogen (N), phosphorous (P), and potassium (K)–in a fertilizer as a percentage of the whole.)

Soil amendments are used to condition or improve the soil. Most, but not all, soil amendments add some nutrients to the soil.

GUIDE TO COMMON ORGANIC FERTILIZERS AND SOIL AMENDMENTS:

Description:
Organic matter made from Alfalfa.
Benefit:
Adds nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium; primarily used to increase organic matter.
Average NPK analysis: 2-1-2
Application and amount for adequately fertile soil:
Till in 2 to 5 pounds per 100 square feet. Release time is 1 to 4 months.
Comments: Contains triaconatiol a naturally fatty-acid growth stimulant, also trace elements. May contain seeds. Available at feed stores.

Description:
Bat guano (feces) is harvested from caves and powdered.
Benefit: Adds nitrogen and phosphorus; stimulates soil microbes.
Average NPK analysis: 10-3-1 processed for nitrogen; 3-10-1 processed for phosphorus
Application and amount for adequately fertile soil:
Till in 5 pounds per 100 square feet or add 3 teaspoons per gallon of water to make tea.
Comments: Apply directly to soil or make as a tea for side dressing or foliar spray.

Description:
Blend of organic fertilizers; may include plant animal and mineral components.
Benefit: Boosts nutrients overall when soil fertility is low.
Average NPK analysis: Varies widely according to blend.
Application and amount for adequately fertile soil:
Depends upon blend; add to soil or use as a side dressing.
Comments: Commercial blends are convenient. Mixing your own is less expensive.

Description:
Blood meal is made from dried slaughterhouse waste.
Benefit: Adds nitrogen.
Average NPK analysis: 12-0-0
Application and amount for adequately fertile soil:
Where the soil is low in nitrogen, till in 2 to 5 per 100 square feet. Add 1 pound of bloodmeal for soil with adequate nitrogen. Keep bloodmeal a few inches away from plant stems; it can burn plants. Release time is 1 to 4 months.
Comments: Do not over apply; the excess ammonia can burn plants. Available at garden centers and feed stores.

Description:
Steam processed bone, a slaughterhouse by product.
Benefit: Adds phosphorus.
Average NPK analysis: Varies from about 1-11-0 to about 3-15-0, also contains about 24 percent calcium.
Application and amount for adequately fertile soil:
Till or rake in 3 pounds per 100 square feet for soil low in phosphorus; add 2 pounds per 100 square feet for soil with average fertility. Release time 6 to 12 months.
Comments:
Fine ground bonemeal make phosphorus more quickly available to plants. The calcium in bonemeal will raise the soil pH. Available at garden centers and feed stores. Bonemeal is more expensive than rock phosphate.

Description:
Used coffee grounds.
Benefit: Adds nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, also contains magnesium and copper.
Average NPK analysis: 2-0.3-0.6
Application and amount for adequately fertile soil:
Till or sprinkle on the soil; 5 to 10 pounds per 100 square feet. Do not add more than 25 percent coffee grounds to a planting bed.
Comments:
Coffee grounds are slightly or moderately acidic and can be balanced in the soil by adding a limestone supplement. Also compost coffee grounds as a nitrogen addition to your compost.

Description:
Decayed plant and organic materials.
Benefit:
Adds organic matter and nutrients to soil.
Average NPK analysis:
0.5-0.5-0.5 to 4-4-4; about (25 percent organic matter).
Application and amount for adequately fertile soil:
Spread finished compost across the planting bed 2 to 3 inches thick twice a year.
Comments:
Unfinished compost should be added to the garden in the fall so that it has time to further decompose. Aged compost can be added at any time during the year. Check commercial compost to make sure it does not contains seed or pesticide residue. Compost that smells like ammonia is not completely decayed or finished.

Description:
Processed from cotton seeds.Benefit: Adds nitrogen, also potassium.
Average NPK analysis: 6-0.4-1.5
Application and amount for adequately fertile soil:
Till in 10 pounds per 100 square feetComments: May contain pesticide residues. Release time 1 to 4 months.

Description:
Cow and steer manure.
Benefit:
Adds nitrogen and organic matter and some other nutrients to the soil (about 17 percent organic matter).
Average NPK analysis: 0.6-0.2-0.5
Application and amount for adequately fertile soil:
Add 2 to 4 inches of manure to planting beds as sheet compost in fall; turn the manure into the soil. Add fully composted manure as a side dressing during the growing season.
Comments:
Use dehydrated manure. Cow manure can be added to the soil or to the compost pile. Manure may contain pesticides and residue of livestock medications.

Description:
Crushed eggshells.
Benefit:
Adds calcium to the soil.
Average NPK analysis: About 1.2-0.4-0.1.
Application and amount for adequately fertile soil:
Apply 2 pounds per 100 square feet.
Comments:
Contains calcium plus trace minerals.

Description:
Magnesium sulfate a chemical compound.
Benefit:
Soil balancer, magnesium sulfate is an essential element in the chlorophyll molecule.
Average analysis:
10 percent magnesium, 13 percent sulfur.
Application and amount for adequately fertile soil:
Use 1 tablespoon of Epsom salt in a gallon of water as a foliar spray; 1 pound per 1,000 square feet.
Comments:
Epsom salt is highly soluble and is not persistent and will not build up in the soil.

Description:
Processed from poultry slaughter.
Benefit:
Adds nitrogen.
Average analysis:
Nitrogen 7 to 12 percent.
Application and amount for adequately fertile soil:
2.5 to 5 pounds per 100 square feet. Slow release, more than 4 months.
Comments: Slow release fertilizer.

Description:
Liquid fertilizer processed from fish waste.
Benefit: Nitrogen rich and adds micro nutrients to soil.
Average NPK analysis: 5-2-2, also contains sulfur.
Application and amount for adequately fertile soil:
Add 6 tablespoons per gallon of water. Release time 1 to 4 months.
Comments:
Can be foul smelling. Purchase fish emulsion at a garden center.

Description:
Ground and heat dried fish waste.
Benefit: Adds nitrogen, can also be a source of phosphorus and potassium.
Average NPK analysis:
Ranges from about 4-2-2 to 9-7-0.
Application and amount for adequately fertile soil:
Till in 3 pounds per 100 square feet where the soil is poor; add 2 pounds per 100 square feet where the soil has moderate fertility. Release time 1 to 4 months. Also contains many trace elements
Comments:
Fish meal can be placed directly in a planting hole early in the season. Purchase fish meal at a garden center or fish-processing plant.

Description:
Rock powder mined from granite quarries.
Benefit:
Adds potassium, also trace minerals.
Average analysis: 1-4 percent total potash; about 67 percent silica.
Application and amount for adequately fertile soil:
Broadcast 10 pounds per 100 square feet to soil low in potassium; apply 5 pounds for soil with average fertility.
Comments:
Contains 67 percent silicas and 19 trace minerals. Purchase granite meal at garden centers.

Grass Clippings (green)

Description:
Lawn clippings.Benefit: Grass clippings add organic matter and nitrogen to the soil; they stimulate worms and soil microorganisms.
Average NPK analysis: 0.5-0.2-0.5
Application and amount for adequately fertile soil:
Add 50 pounds per 100 square feet for soil low in nitrogen; add 30 pounds for soil with average fertility.
Comments:
Do not use grass clippings from lawns that have been treated with herbicides or pesticides.

Description:
Also called glauconite; greensand comes from a 70 million year old marine deposit mined in New Jersey. It is a greenish colored sand-based mineral.
Benefit:
Adds potassium and micronutrients.
Average NPK analysis:
0-0-1 (the total potassium may be up to 7 percent but the release is very slow).
Application:
apply 5 to 10 pounds per 100 square feet if soil is low in potassium; use 3 pounds per 100 square feet in average soils.
Comments:
Greensand releases potassium very, very slowly over a 10 year period. Slow release of 7 percent potash plus 32 trace minerals. Greensand helps bind particles of sandy soil and loosens clay soils.

Description:
Calcium sulfate powder, mined or as a by-product of mining.
Benefit:
Soil balancer; provides the soil with calcium and sulfur.
Average analysis:
22 percent calcium, 17 percent sulfur
Application and amount for adequately fertile soil:
4 pounds per 100 square feet on soil that is low in calcium; apply 2 pounds per 100 square feet on soil with average fertility; add ½ pound on fertile soil.
Comments:
Use gypsum to correct a calcium deficiency. Gypsum has little effect on the soil pH. Do not apply gypsum if pH is below 5.8. Gypsum will loosen tight, clay soil; it will neutralize too much sodium and magnesium in the soil.

Description:
Solid waste from horses and ponies.
Benefit:
Adds organic matter and small amounts of nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium.
Average NPK analysis:
Analysis varies, about 0.7-0.3-0.6
Application and amount for adequately fertile soil:
Spread 2 to 4 inches of manure in the fall and turn it under to allow it to further compost. Add 10 to 20 pounds of composted or dried manure per 100 square feet.
Comments:
Add dry, composted manure. Allow fresh manure to compost or age; it is high in nitrogen and salts and can harm plants. Composting manure will help destroy weed seeds. Horse manure collected from stables may contain bedding such as straw or sawdust or larvicides or livestock medications.

Description:
Dried, ground seaweed, an ocean product, also called seaweed meal.
Benefit:
Adds potassium and also calcium, sodium, sulfur, and organic matter.
Average NPK analysis: 1.0-0.5-2.5
Application and amount for adequately fertile soil:
Add 1 to 2 pounds per 100 square feet and till or turn it into the soil.
Comments:
Contains a broad array of vitamins, minerals, and soil-conditioning elements; do not over apply or the micronutrients can become toxic. Rinse seaweed of salt before adding it to the garden. Kelp meal is available at garden centers.

Langbeinite, sold under the brand name Sul-Po-Mag

Description:
A mineral called sulfate of potash-magnesia; sold as Sul-po-mag commercially.
Benefit:
Quick-release potassium; also contains magnesium.
Average NPK analysis:
0-0-22; 11 percent magnesium, 22 percent sulfur.
Application and amount for adequately fertile soil:
1 pound per 100 square feet.
Comments:
Do not use this product often; it may interfere with the absorption of other nutrients. The release of potassium from Sul-po-mag is almost immediate. Do not use with dolomitic limestone; it will bring magnesium to a toxic level; instead, substitute greensand or other potassium source.

Description:
A lime that contains mostly calcium carbonate, with a small percentage of magnesium carbonate.
Benefit:
Soil balancer, calcium (38 percent).
Average analysis:
65 to 80 percent calcium carbonate; 3 to 15 percent magnesium carbonate
Application and amount for adequately fertile soil:
Add 6 pounds per 100 square feet if the soil is claylike; add 4 pounds if the soil is loamy; add 2 pounds if the soil is sandy.
Comments:
Lime raises calcium level in soil and will slowly raise the soil pH at the same time. It also adds calcium and magnesium to the soil. Perform a soil test before adding lime to the soil. You can purchase lime at a garden center.

Description:
A lime that contains about half calcium carbonate and half magnesium carbonate.
Benefit:
Soil balancer, calcium (25 percent), magnesium (8 percent).Average analysis: 51 percent calcium carbonate; 40 percent magnesium carbonate.
Application and amount for adequately fertile soil:
Add 6 pounds per 100 square feet if the soil is claylike; add 4 pounds if the soil is loamy; add 2 pounds if the soil is sandy.
Comments:
Lime raises calcium level in soil and will slowly raise the soil pH at the same time. It also adds calcium and magnesium to the soil. Perform a soil test before adding lime to the soil. You can purchase lime at a garden center.

Description:
Used growing medium to produce mushrooms; usually consists of wheat straw, hay, corn cops, cottonseed hulls, gypsum, and chicken manure.
Benefit:
Adds nitrogen and organic matter
Average NPK analysis: About 2-1-1
Application and amount for adequately fertile soil:
Add 2 to 3 inches of mushroom compost as sheet compost in fall and work it into the soil. Use during the growing season as a side dressing.
Comments:
Make sure mushroom compost contains no seed or pesticide residue. It is usually pasteurized before it is sold.

Description:
Oak leaf mulch.
Benefit:
Adds organic matter.
Average NPK analysis: 0.8-0.4-0.1
Application and amount for adequately fertile soil:
Add 100 pounds per 1,000 square feet. Add oak leaves to the garden in the fall and allow them to decompose before spring.
Comments:
Oak leaves can be used to add organic matter to the soil. Oak leaves can be used as mulch. They will not make the soil more acidic by any great degree. Oak leaves break down very slowly; shred leaves before adding them to the garden.

Description:
Plant debris that has been decomposed under water without oxygen. Peat moss comes from bogs, mostly from Canada but also from Europe.
Benefit:
Adds organic matter to the soil and increases the soil acidity.
Average analysis:
Peat moss has a pH range of 3.0 to 4.5.
Application and amount for adequately fertile soil:
Add about 2½ pounds of peat moss per 100 square feet as needed.
Comments:
Peat moss is best used around acid loving plants. Moisten dry peat moss thoroughly before adding it to the soil then mix it into the soil. If left on the soils surface peat moss will dry out and repel water. Most peat moss comes from Canada; it is not a renewable resource. Peat moss can be purchased in bales from garden centers.

Description:
Pine needle mulch.
Benefit:
Adds organic matter.
Average analysis:
Soil needles have a pH of about 6.5.
Application and amount for adequately fertile soil:
Add 3 to 5 inches of pine needles as mulch around plants. Add pine needles to the garden in the fall and allow them to decompose before spring.
Comments:
Pine needles can be used to add organic matter to the soil. They will take 3 to 5 months to begin decomposing. Pine needles can be used as mulch; they allow water to reach the soil. They will not make the soil more acidic by any great degree. Pine needles break down very slowly; shred needles before adding them to the garden.

Description:
Droppings from chickens, turkeys, and other domesticated birds.
Benefit: Adds nitrogen and lesser amounts of phosphorus and potassium and organic matter.
Average NPK analysis: 1.1-0.8-0.5
Application and amount for adequately fertile soil:
Apply 5 to 10 pounds of composted manure over 100 square feet. Fresh manure can be applied to planting beds in fall along with high-carbon materials such as shredded leaves to aid in its decomposition.
Comments:
Compost poultry manure before adding it to the soil; fresh manure is high in nitrogen and can “burn” plants. Dry and dusty manure can contain fungal spores; wear a respirator or face mask when applying dry manures.

Description:
Finely ground mineral skeletal remains of prehistoric animals
Benefit:
Add phosphorus.
Average NPK analysis:
0-3-0; about 32 percent phosphate, also about 32 percent calcium.
Application and amount for adequately fertile soil:
Apply 6 pounds per 100 square feet for soil low in phosphorus; for average soil add 2 to 2½ pounds per 100 square feet. Release time is about 3 to 5 years.
Comments:
Rock phosphate is best added to acidic soil of pH 6.4 or less; also contains calcium, iron and 9 other trace elements. Rock phosphate can be purchased at garden centers or farm supply stores.

Description:
Wood shavings and dust from sawmill or woodworking.
Benefit:
Adds organic matter.
Average analysis: Can be acidic depending upon the wood.
Application and amount for adequately fertile soil:
Sawdust is often used as summer mulch; add 1 to 1½ inches around plants.
Comments:
Add nitrogen to the soil when adding sawdust to the garden; this will aide in its decomposition or be sure sawdust is well rotted before incorporating. Compost sawdust with nitrogen-rich materials.

Description:
Processed remains from soy.
Benefit:
Adds nitrogen.
Average NPK analysis: 7-2-1
Application and amount for adequately fertile soil:
Add 8 pounds per 100 square feet. Release time 1 to 4 months.
Comments:
Available at feed stores.

Description:
A natural occurring mineral.
Benefit:
Sulfur lowers the pH of soil decreasing the alkalinity of a soil with a high pH.
Average analysis:
A soil amendment to lower soil pH.
Application and amount for adequately fertile soil:
1 pound per 100 square feet to lower the pH by one point.
Comments:
Apply sulfur to the soil in fall; mix the sulfur into the top 3 inches of soil. Additional sulfur may be required if the soil is high in organic matter. Add additional sulfur after testing the soil. Sulfur is available at garden centers.

Description:
Straw residue from harvested wheat.
Benefit:
Adds organic matter.
Average NPK analysis: 0.7-0.2-1.2
Application and amount for adequately fertile soil:
Add 2 to 3 inches as a mulch; 100 pounds per 1,000 square feet.
Comments:
Straw can be used to reduce erosion.

Wood Ashes (leached)

Description:
The residue from wood fires that has been allowed to sit outdoors.
Benefit:
Adds potassium, depending on the type of wood; also contains calcium.
Average NPK analysis: 0-1.2-2
Application and amount for adequately fertile soil:
Add 2 pounds per 100 square feet every 2 to 3 years. Turn leached ashes into the soil after applying.
Comments:
Mix ashes with compost to spread coverage. Use ashes from untreated wood.

Wood Ashes (unleached)

Description:
Fresh residue from wood fires.
Benefit:
Adds potassium, depending on the type of wood; also contains calcium.
Average NPK analysis: 0-1.5-8
Application and amount for adequately fertile soil:
Add 2 to 3 pounds per 100 square feet every 2 to 3 years. Apply in fall and allow fresh ashes to sit through the winter before mixing them into the soil.
Comments:
Mix ashes with compost to spread coverage. Use ashes from untreated wood.

Description:
The manure of earthworms; it is dark, crumbly, and odorless.
Benefit:
A source of organic matter and small amounts of many nutrients.
Average NPK analysis: 0.5-0.5-0.3
Application and amount for adequately fertile soil:
Apply 25 pounds per 100 square feet if the soil is low in organic matter; add 10 pounds per 100 square feet if the soil has average fertility.
Comments:
Worm casting are about 50 percent organic matter and contain 11 trace elements. Worm casting can be produced in a home worm-box with red worm or brandling worms feeding on kitchen scraps. Worm casting can be purchased at garden centers.

Thought I would share this! At the end of post there are some PDF files attached. Organic fertilizers and organic soil amendments come from natural…