Thursday, April 22, 2010

Happy Earth Day!

First of all, if you haven't watched it yet, American Experience: Earth Days is a fabulous documentary that is available on disc or to "watch instantly" on Netflix. I highly recommend it.

In honor of Earth Day , I would like to share with you the organic fertilizer formula from Steve Solomon's book "Growing Vegetables West of the Cascades". (My parents gave me this book in 1990, and I would say that it has been my most important organic gardening book.) I read that this formula used to be published in the Territorial Seed Company catalog but is no longer shared there.

I mix a batch of this complete fertilizer in a 5-gallon bucket so there is room to stir it all up. I store it in used peanut butter jars or whatever handy container I can find. Because this formula is by volume, you can make an amount that is convenient to you.

Steve Solomon's Not-So-Secret Fertilizer Formula

4 parts seed meal or fish meal
1 part dolomite lime
1 part rock phosphate ore 1/2 part bone meal
1 part kelp meal

Steve suggests replacing one part of the seed meal with blood meal in the early spring when the soils are cold, which is what I do. When I'm planting seeds in the vegetable garden, I sprinkle a little fertilizer in the bottom of the furrows and mix it in with the dirt a bit before I sow the seeds.

If you live west of the Cascades and grow or want to grow veggies, I suggest that you check out this book.

Happy organic gardening!

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