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 Post subject: organic fertilizers
PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2012 10:45 am 
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what are the best organic fertilizers for dallas st. augustine? it gets kind of confusing because of cornmeal, green sand, molasses, garrett juice etc. due to lack of knowledge on my part, not sure what to throw out there, though i guess i will do some baby shampoo spraying in lieu of aeration.

i think someone mentioned molasses as a fertilizer. will the liquid "horticultural" molasses work? they had it at lowes but i know some of the molasses spoken about here were "dry". is it all the same?
Thanks!


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 Post subject: Re: organic fertilizers
PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2012 4:47 pm 
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Dry is a product that has chopped straw or hay (I think I heard Howard say it comes from soy) that has been run through a slurry of molasses and is dried as large particles. It gives a lot of bang for the buck. Corn gluten meal is a good fertilizer also, but you might want to compare prices, I think the increase in the corn product is why it isn't used as much now.

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 Post subject: Re: organic fertilizers
PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2012 10:00 pm 
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thanks for the info. i will do some experimenting and let every one know what seems to be working.


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 Post subject: Re: organic fertilizers
PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2012 8:48 pm 
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What we're talking about when we're talking about organic fertilizer is a source of food for the soil microbes. Those microbes eat the same food we do. In fact the microbes that live in the soil are cousins to the microbes that live in our saliva, stomach, and intestines. When you think about fertilizer, think about what is already in the soil and what you can add to improve it.

Plants use photosynthesis to create sugar. Plants send that sugar to the roots to deal with things going on in the soil. They reserve the protein they create for seeds. When a seed falls to the ground, it will use that protein to create a new plant. In any case, the soil microbes do not get protein from plants. They normally get protein from dead animals and grasses that get stomped into the soil by other animals. The idea behind organic fertilizer is to control the application of protein. Since plants themselves supply sugar to the soil, we help with the protein component. If you look at the ingredients of a bag of organic fertilizer you'll find ground up seeds (corn, wheat, soy, cotton, alfalfa, and even coffee), animal byproducts (like feather meal, blood meal, bone meal, or meat meal) and other sources of protein.

What does not contain protein? Molasses, corn cobs, tree leaves, compost tea (and I'd argue compost has very little), greensand, and straw. These materials have other benefits to the soil but feeding protein to microbes is not one of the.

Of the popular grains, here is a list in order or protein content from highest to lowest.
corn gluten meal
soy bean meal
alfalfa
cottonseed
corn
coffee

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