• Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
permaculture forums growies critters building homesteading energy monies kitchen purity ungarbage community wilderness fiber arts art permaculture artisans regional education skip experiences global resources cider press projects digital market permies.com pie forums private forums all forums
this forum made possible by our volunteer staff, including ...
master stewards:
  • Anne Miller
  • r ranson
  • Pearl Sutton
  • Leigh Tate
  • jordan barton
stewards:
  • Nicole Alderman
  • paul wheaton
  • Liv Smith
master gardeners:
  • Carla Burke
  • Jay Angler
  • John F Dean
gardeners:
  • Nancy Reading
  • Beau Davidson
  • Heather Sharpe

How to create my own fertilizer for corn?

 
Posts: 402
9
  • Likes 4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Greetings folks! I wanna find out how can I make fertilizer for corn, cause there will a shortage of those soon due to higher costs and poor economic conditions. I also wanna fertilizer for my other veggies to help them grow mightily strong. I'm looking for ingredients that will last for decades. Please let me know if you all have any ideas. Thanks!
 
pollinator
Posts: 347
Location: 5,000' 35.24N zone 7b Albuquerque, NM
228
hugelkultur forest garden building rocket stoves woodworking greening the desert
  • Likes 6
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Beans fix nitrogen that is in the air. Corn and beans are sisters. To keep the soil moist by shading it, plant the third sister: squash. Those 3 Sisters will keep each other happy for decades. They'll even produce lots of extra seeds so you won't have to buy them in tough economic times. Which beans depends on your climate.
 
master gardener
Posts: 4333
2009
2
personal care gear foraging hunting rabbit chicken cooking food preservation fiber arts medical herbs homestead
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
When I was a kid, we kept the fish from our spring fishing trips that were too small to eat, but were too injured, and wouldn't survive, if we released them back to the water. They became fertilizer.
 
Blake Lenoir
Posts: 402
9
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
How about dead fish for fertilizer? Many indians have done so in the past and have done so today. How I bury a dead fish in my growing area without rodents at the scene?
 
pollinator
Posts: 230
Location: Michigan - Zone 6a
59
hugelkultur trees urban books ungarbage
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Blake Lenoir wrote: How about dead fish for fertilizer? Many indians have done so in the past and have done so today. How I bury a dead fish in my growing area without rodents at the scene?

Your results may vary, but in my area, anything at least a foot underground does not attract any animals. You can also cover the meat with woodchips or other brown materials when you're burying it, which will help absorb the scent of meat. (and the nitrogen as it decomposes!)

If you have plants in your garden that you are worried about getting damaged, just try burying the fish somewhere else and monitor that area to see if anything comes by. (a trail cam, if you want to use one, is very useful for this as well as monitoring your garden)
 
Blake Lenoir
Posts: 402
9
  • Likes 4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
What about burying bananas, egg shells and stuff to help not only the soil, but plants?
 
Logan Byrd
pollinator
Posts: 230
Location: Michigan - Zone 6a
59
hugelkultur trees urban books ungarbage
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Blake Lenoir wrote: What about burying bananas, egg shells and stuff to help not only the soil, but plants?

You can bury anything made of organic materials! I bury meat (raw, cooked, and burnt), bones, vegetable scraps, fruit scraps, bread, grain, anything moldy, cheese, coffee grounds, tea bags, old onions, etc. Anything that can go into a compost pile can be buried.

There are even some plants (notably squash, pumpkins, and watermelon) that can be planted directly over a pit filled with old food. David The Good has done a few videos on it, and here's one if you're interested:
 
Blake Lenoir
Posts: 402
9
  • Likes 5
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Could we even bury pumpkins into the ground with seeds so they'll grow mighty in the spring and aid the soil?
 
pollinator
Posts: 155
Location: 18° North, 97° West
45
kids trees books
  • Likes 4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
My dad, an Iowa farm boy, buried dead fish in his veggie garden as mentioned above.
Now I live quite near the place where corn was domesticated in Mexico. Here most of the corn is left to dry in the field to later be made into tortillas, tamales, pozole, and other such yummy corn creations. the stalks and leaves are fed to livestock throughout the dry season. The best practice is to leave them in the field and let the animals graze on a section at a time. They eat, they poop, they pee, they trample some of the stocks, all of that fertilizes the land. Which is planted with the "three sisters" called milpa in Spanish.  The milpa also includes a variety of wild leafy greens called quelites some of these are eaten, others are "chopped and dropped" along with other non-eatable weeds during a hand weeding process which is very labor-intensive but also gives something back to the soil.
This year I'm planning on trying the JADAM homemade fertilizer method from Korea. Here's the information I've been following. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCpLIq2dhpu34qkIyyaeEGxw

 
Blake Lenoir
Posts: 402
9
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Are there any other methods of creating fertilizer from around the world a traditional way instead of machines and expensive ones that have more chemicals?
 
Carla Burke
master gardener
Posts: 4333
2009
2
personal care gear foraging hunting rabbit chicken cooking food preservation fiber arts medical herbs homestead
  • Likes 5
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Compost, mulch, manure, and almost anything organic can simply be buried under or piled on. You're overcomplicating it.
 
Blake Lenoir
Posts: 402
9
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Back to Melissa's topic on Mexico. She told me of a plant that can be used among unused weeds and burying them into soil to be enriched. I wanna understand that topic again on the plant she just mentioned.
 
pollinator
Posts: 813
Location: South-central Wisconsin
306
  • Likes 8
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Biochar is probably the longest-lasting soil amendment I've ever used. It takes work getting it ready, but the benefits last 100 years or more.

There are lots of threads here on biochar, and too much information for me to summarize it!

I will say that most discussions about biochar seem to assume you're making it from wood. That's not a requirement. In fact, I get good results making it from crop waste. Things like corncobs and bean shells. I just take a portion of what would otherwise be composted, and use it for biochar. This also works well for things that shouldn't be composted. Whether that means dog turds or blight-stricken tomato vines, whatever you're dealing with. The charring process kills off any nasties and turns it into an awesome soil amendment.

Do a forum search on biochar if you want to learn more.



(edited to fix a typo)
 
Ellendra Nauriel
pollinator
Posts: 813
Location: South-central Wisconsin
306
  • Likes 7
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I just remembered, there are corn varieties that actually make their own fertilizers! They have nodes along the stalk where they secrete a substance that nitrogen-fixing bacteria love. The bacteria colonize the goo, and the corn plant enjoys the extra nitrogen.

I think Joseph Lofthouse has been working to re-select for this trait. He'll probably be along soon to chime in.
Staff note (Greg Martin) :

Permies thread on nitrogen fixing corn: https://permies.com/t/92432/Nitrogen-fixing-corn-discovery

 
Blake Lenoir
Posts: 402
9
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Anybody used bone meal to help fertilize soil and crops? Just watched a video on making bone meal. Check it out on YouTube!
 
master steward
Posts: 1574
Location: Coastal Salish Sea area, British Columbia
798
goat books chicken food preservation pig solar wood heat rocket stoves homestead ungarbage
  • Likes 4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
So i have read about soaking corn seeds in a mixture of wild grasses to "impart" endophytes to the corn seeds to help the corn plants grow. It gives them some of the resiliency from the wild grasses.

Some more information can be found here
https://www.researchgate.net/publication/352568624_Endophytic_bacteria_in_grass_crop_growth_promotion_and_biostimulation#pf8

Also more can be found here
https://archive.org/details/cu31924101546921/page/n31/mode/2up

If you want to go deeper
https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=endophtyes+James+white
 
pollinator
Posts: 163
Location: France, 8b zone
30
  • Likes 4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
If they are for personal consumption (AKA you don't require some kind of licensing, authorization or whatever from some government acronym), you should definitely consider urine and humanure.

Yes, it might not sound tasty, but if there is one fertilizer you will always have literally as long as you exist, is pee and poop.

Pee is easier to use. You need to dilute it, the ratio that seems the best for beginner gardener is something like 1 part urine 20 part water, about every two weeks, about 3-4 times per season. Obviously, it will really depend on the plant. I guess squash would love a lot of diluted urine, often, but plants that thrive on poor soil would be killed by smaller quantity. If you're worried about salt content in the urine, I've read a book where they experimented with adding salt IN the urine, and the plants seemed to grow even better (especially if it was diet salt, so not NaCl but KCL). If it still worries you, eat less salt.

Poop is however harder to use, as it will need to be processed first, both for hygiene and better result. So a composting toilet will help a lot: lot of dry matter. But it will need a few months of composting before it can be used.


Now, these two should honestly be the first to be used in a system. Instead of polluting water and creating waste, they should be processed on the land, and so create a circular "economy" (not sure about the word). Your plants get nutrients from the soil, you eat the plant, you poo/pee them, and the nutrient are coming back to the garden.

For more info on humanure, there's the Humanure Handbook that is filled with information. About urine, I'm sure there are books in english; the one I read was in French (called "L'urine, de l'or liquide au jardin").

Now if you have some animals, their own manure should be composted and used too.
 
master steward
Posts: 8560
Location: USDA Zone 8a
2574
dog hunting food preservation cooking bee greening the desert
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
There is a lot of really good information in the thread.

My suggestion would be to look into making compost tea.

Melissa mentioned JADAM so here are some threads that might explain what this is:

https://permies.com/t/137403/Making-liquid-gold-inputs-safely

https://permies.com/t/69926/JADAM-Korean-farming-experiences-tropics

Here are a couple of interesting threads that might offer some other suggestions:

https://permies.com/t/137293/EM-working

https://permies.com/t/100486/Mycorrhizal-fungi-bomb
 
Blake Lenoir
Posts: 402
9
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Who has studied the works of the late chemist Justus Von Liebig? He was responsible for studying the process of plant nutrition.
 
pollinator
Posts: 466
Location: SE Indiana
254
dog fish trees writing
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I started growing peanuts a couple of years ago and have never in my life seen such huge nitrogen nodules and huge numbers of them on any other plant. I don't think the nitrogen is available to other plants until the following year but if your climate is hospitable to peanuts, they might go a long way in increasing nitrogen.
 
Blake Lenoir
Posts: 402
9
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Did you all know that fish fertilizer was first being used by the Romans centuries back? It began in 1620. You all witnessed Squanto using fish to fertilize his corn and shown settlers from Plymouth how to plant them as recorded in historic writings?
 
Amy Gardener
pollinator
Posts: 347
Location: 5,000' 35.24N zone 7b Albuquerque, NM
228
hugelkultur forest garden building rocket stoves woodworking greening the desert
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hey Mark Reed, thank you for the peanut idea! I forgot that they are actually a bean (legume) and grow well in my region (Peanuts in New Mexico).  I was just drawing my 3 Sister's Garden and you made it work. You never know how you impact others so thanks again for the tip.
 
Blake Lenoir
Posts: 402
9
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
What about clover that draw nitrogen from the air and create its own fertilizer in the soil?
 
gardener
Posts: 3940
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio,Price Hill 45205
572
forest garden trees urban
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Well, you might want to try alfalfa pellets.
I wouldn't add them till the plants were established.

The urine thing reminds me of a correspondence I  had here on permies.
They told me about  growing corn plants  in sub-irrgated 55 gallon barrel planters and fertilizing them with urine.
I
 
Blake Lenoir
Posts: 402
9
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Speaking of urine, I've peed some around my corn, and watered it away with water from the hose to prevent burning. I didn't use no animal urine, only my own. How can we tell if urine's inflammable to our crops?
 
Mike Lafay
pollinator
Posts: 163
Location: France, 8b zone
30
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Urine is acidic.

Like fertilizer, if it's too strong it will burn the roots of the plants, and so you would see damages on the plant. I'm not sure of what they would look like though.

I'd recommend you to either pee around plants if they were watered recently, or to dilute said pee, as well as not apply it too often.
 
Blake Lenoir
Posts: 402
9
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Anybody used guano before to fertilize?
 
pollinator
Posts: 215
Location: South Shore of Lake Superior
59
homeschooling hugelkultur home care forest garden foraging trees chicken fiber arts medical herbs writing wood heat
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
You can also make fertilizer by steeping nettles (and other plants, possibly those you are weeding from your garden, I don't know the details on all that) in water, like in a 5 gallon bucket with a lid. It then needs to be diluted.

The instructions on this link describe both how to make what I was thinking of, steeped for a couple weeks, but also a quicker tea that can be used the next day, undiluted. https://www.plantopedia.com/stinging-nettles/
 
Blake Lenoir
Posts: 402
9
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
And were there ashes, burned weeds to be used for fertilizer? I've heard the Egyptians used them back then.
 
Mike Lafay
pollinator
Posts: 163
Location: France, 8b zone
30
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Burning anything has the inconvenience of destroying a lot of the interesting elements in what you're burning, as a lot of it while go in the smoke. And too much ash is not good for the soil, as far as I know.

It seems that you have a lot of questions regarding fertilizing, and if you're anything like me, perhaps you're being overwhelmed by the choices and possibilities.

Perhaps you should try to narrow it down with some criteria, such as:
  • Can I get a lot of it ?
  • How much does it cost ?
  • Do I have the time to process it properly ?
  • Can I store it properly ?
  • How long before I can use it in the soil ?
  • Is it adapted to my crops ?
  • Is it enhancing my soil, or just "one shot" ?



  • I'd like to add to my previous comment about using urine, if you're taking pharmaceuticals, you should at the very least compost the urine, to allow for the pharmaceuticals to get destroyed.


    Ultimately, having fertile soil is something that take years. It's also important to take care of it. For instance this winter, I have far too many spot which are not covered by anything, thus damaging the soil. Tilling damages it too, having only crops that takes from the soil and never give back damages it, etc.
     
    Blake Lenoir
    Posts: 402
    9
    • Mark post as helpful
    • send pies
      Number of slices to send:
      Optional 'thank-you' note:
    • Quote
    • Report post to moderator
    Hello! How's everybody's weekend so far? I wanna find out how I can get guano and where I find some?
     
    Blake Lenoir
    Posts: 402
    9
    • Mark post as helpful
    • send pies
      Number of slices to send:
      Optional 'thank-you' note:
    • Quote
    • Report post to moderator
    Back again. I wanna find out if anybody used blood meal for their corn. Could we use blood from meats and that sorta thing?
     
    You can't expect to wield supreme executive power just because
    Free, earth friendly heat - Kickstarter going on now!
    https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/paulwheaton/free-heat
    reply
      Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
    • New Topic