Fertilizer going ballistic

Oh–there’ll be somebody suggest a ‘farm bailout’ program…
but as usual, the little farm or the 5 acre plot being produced by the
9-5 employee on the side, never gets any of those program dollars.


All the fertilizer I bought last fall/winter were 1/2 priced or less, no pain here, besides bought more than I should have.
Yesterday I stop by my friends place, The perineal garden I found Berger 7, stuff I bought before, not there but he bought plenty for his nursery. Have about 72 bags on hand, only need 6 for the rest of my uppotting. Great stuff, high perosity, small pine bark in the mix.

ive been buying at end season as well for the last 5 yrs. i feel im good for at least that long plus in a pinch i could put green chic bedding as a mulch and let it compost on top.

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More use of manure and urea is going to be helpful for the gardener…but may not help the farmer that plants 1,000 acres.

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Big time farmers can negotiate prices, while small time guys have to buy on sale items, I am a master at this.My iPad works wonders, it pays of big time!

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All these costs should get passed on to the end user (consumer)? I’d imagine all food will see a jump in the months ahead?

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I see BAYER the big German chemical company is selling their Enviromental Service Professional business…I suppose they see it a distraction. They make a lot of pesticides, herbicides, fertilizers on global scale.
Their Cary NC division is being sold to private equity buyers.

i read a article a few years back. i think it was in Sweden. they put in special urinals to collect urine. they then stored it in big tanks and would dilute it into pull behind sprayers to fertilize hay fields. they compared this to commercial fertilizer with similar N content put on different fields. the growth rate was compared and was found about the same. if this could be done on a state and national level it could be a great use of a waste product and cheap fertilizer. of course the salt and prescription drugs in it would somehow need to be filtered out but if that could be achieved it could greatly reduce demand for N based fertilizer.


Found this yesterday at local walmart.

Expert Gardner organics… NPK 4 4 4…
8 on Calcium.

Says… enhanced with beneficial microbes.
4 lb bag was 5.57.

All I ever use is some type of organic fertilizer (and I like the ingredients list on this) and compost.


Start to dig a hole and use free fertilizer. :slightly_smiling_face:

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I stopped at a rest area along the interstate on my last trip to Silver Spring MD to visit son, DIL, and granddaughter… somewhere in rural western MD, I think? There was a sign in the restroom, stating that the ‘flush liquid’ was filtered, reused/recycled mineral oil, and that some discoloration (it was yellow) was to be expected. Had never seen that before… wonder if they’ve got some new process for removing and disposing of solids and fluid nitrogenous components in the resulting ‘sewage’?
As an aside, the water from the water fountains at that rest stop was about the nastiest-tasting water I’ve had in many years…


lol! i think i picked up the same bag 2 days ago. is that the tomato one?

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@steveb4 … not the one specifically for tomatoes… this one is balanced…
NPK 4 4 4…

For tomatoes they would lower the N and bump up the P for sure and K may also be higher.

I do a custom mix for tomatoes using blood meal bone meal gypsum greensand and Epsom salt with of course loads of homemade compost.

Found this online…

What is the best NPK ratio for tomatoes?

Best Combinations

A fertilizer low in nitrogen (N), high in phosphorous § and medium or high in potassium (K)—the three numbers in fertilizer nutrient analysis, always in that order—is ideal for tomatoes. The best analyses for tomato fertilizers are 8-32-16 and 6-24-24, according to the University of Missour.

If you give tomatoes too much N, especially after they have started growing pretty good, they tend to produce a lot of vine and leaves, and little fruit. Some N early on is OK, for the initial growth spurt… but then you need to focus more on the P and K.

And of course the dreaded blossom end rot… they need Calcium, and enough water, consistently to avoid that (a good deep mulch helps). Bone Meal and Gypsum are both good sources of Ca and other trace minerals… green sand, lots of trace minerals, epson salt magnesium and trace minerals… we put every egg shell in our compost… good source of calcium (mature compost).

I looked up their Tomato version…


It is 3 5 6

I had some of that last year, but this week our Walmart was out.


thats what i picked up. i use it when my fruits are in bloom. get plenty of N from the chic manure i put down in spring.


Years ago a friend of mine could get me unlimited cow manure for $25 a pickup load x10 loads minimum. That pickup load was 6 bobcat scoops full. So I saved my last load I got for the rest of my life which I think was 15 truck loads. Also I stash piles of ag lime, woodchips and various other things i might need. In this area we don’t have a hardware store or a place to buy fertilizer anywhere close. We survive by thinking about where to buy the next pile of cow manure.


same here. before i had chickens i used to get horse manure from some folks up the street. i also had tubs of worm castings from my compost worms. collected urine. buried junk fish i caught in my compost piles as well as any dead chickens or squirrels i shot. planted N fixing plants in between my fruit trees and bushes. chop and drop comfrey and rhubarb. place arborist chips around all my plants every spring. all of it adds a little more to the health of your gardens and plants and im always looking for other resources to use. a local brewery gives away its brewing waste for free. im going to see if i can get into that.


The Weaver plant in mid NC (Winston-Salem) was on fire last month. I asked the question this week at SiteOne about availability and prices. They insisted it would cause no shortage or price increase at their stores.

Daddy Pete’s is just down the mountain from here, I’m using some of their bagged soils/amendments for inground grow bags this year.

My neighbor Clifton was notoriously a skinflint, maybe thrifty? He would clean out the barn stalls in the spring and trailer the manure behind the red belly tractor to several gardens he kept. He was low on fuel, and thirsty for a coke when he stopped down at Sugarloaf apple house on the big highway.

A swanky town woman parked her car next to his trailer, it was steamy and ripe. She throws her head aside, frowns and blurts out, “what is that horrible smell!” Clifton firmly replies, “that’s barn manure for my strawberries.” She gives him the up and down and says, “ haven’t you ever tried cream and sugar?”


You should put that one in a collection and author a book!!!

You are kind to laugh at an old guy’s stories, haha! You know, if these things hadn’t happened in my life here in the Brushy Mtns, they might be fiction.

I moved here after grandpa died, in the early 70’s. I was either 24 or 25. Had been on-the-run galavanting north to the Madeleine Islands, looking for somewhere to lite. Here’s where I stopped and reside maybe to my end?

The people and kin were foreign at first, cause “you’re not from here.” Turns out, I’m sitting on the same ground as 200 years of my kin have, I’ll be the last most likely.

Boomer, a real community in northwest NC, is as clannish and insulated from the world as it was when I got my first comeuppance. I learned quickly that to say any disparaging thing about a neighbor or acquaintance was a chance for a bad put down or maybe a fist in the face.

One of my long time friends and traveling partner here, a Vietnam vet recently deceased, early on took pity on me at the local beer joint and explained this way: “Don’t say anything about anybody to anybody here, cause we’re all related!”

I’ve only been hit a couple times since.

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Suspect I’m going to get some flack for this but going to say it anyway ammonia, nitrites, and nitrates are different stages of the same process. Is there really a fertilizer shortage? There is plenty of fertilizer but not everyone realizes what they are looking at.

It has been done before How to Use Ammonia As a Fertilizer | Home Guides | SF Gate

lush green lawn that is the envy of the neighborhood is the goal of many homeowners. To accomplish this, regular lawn maintenance including the application of fertilizer is necessary. This can become expensive; however, a primary component of a healthy lawn, nitrogen, can be obtained at a reduced cost. Ammonia (Nh3) is comprised of nitrogen, the stuff that lawns crave. Often applied as ammonium nitrate or urea, household ammonia can also be used to obtain the same results.

  1. 1.

Add 1 cup of ammonia to a 1-gallon container. Add additional ingredients as desired as part of your lawn fertilizer mixture. Examples include 1/2 cup liquid lawn food, a can of beer or 1/2 cup of liquid dish detergent to help the liquid fertilizer stick to the vegetation surface.

  1. 2.

Pour the ammonia fertilizer mixture into a 20-gallon hose-end sprayer. Place the top on the container, and attach the sprayer to the end of a garden hose.

  1. 3.

Turn on the water, and apply the ammonia fertilizer to your entire lawn early in the morning. Repeat the application every three to four weeks.

Things You Will Need

  • 1-gallon container
  • 1 cup ammonia
  • 1 can beer (optional)
  • 1/2 cup dish detergent (optional)
  • 1/2 cup liquid lawn food (optional)
  • Measuring cup
  • 20-gallon hose-end sprayer
  • Water hose


Apply 2 ounces of the homemade fertilizer per 1,000 square feet of lawn. Watch the incremental measurement printed on the side of the sprayer, and adjust the speed at which you walk to apply the right amount of fertilizer per 1,000 square feet.

Take it a step further https://www.bobvila.com/articles/homemade-plant-food/

How To: Make Your Own Plant Food

With this DIY recipe and smart feeding tips, you can give your plants the nutrition they need without eating a hole in your wallet.

By [Glenda Taylor
Updated Feb 26, 2020 11:14 AM

If you want lush healthy houseplants and garden growth but aren’t thrilled about paying for costly commercial foods with ingredients you can’t pronounce, you’re in luck! You can easily make your own plant food at home for a fraction of the price and—as a bonus—know exactly what goes into it.

All it takes to keep your favorite plant species robust and beautiful are three common ingredients that you’ll find at any supermarket for around $5 total (if you don’t already have them on hand). Because this recipe requires such small amounts and the ingredients last for months, your cost will literally be pennies per batch!

You may be surprised to learn that the following products possess the properties and nutrients plants need to thrive:

  • Epsom salt contains magnesium and sulfur, both of which are beneficial for plant growth. Sulfur helps plants absorb nutrients from the soil while magnesium increases the plant’s ability to produce chlorophyll, which is responsible for maintaining healthy green foliage.
  • Baking soda stimulates blooms in flowering plants and also reduces the risk of fungal disease. This is especially beneficial for potted houseplants, which are prone to mildew as a result of overwatering and limited air circulation.
  • Household ammonia contains nitrogen, a component that promotes healthy root growth. For plant food, be sure to use plain ammonia, free of other ingredients such as scent or cleaning additives. And remember, ammonia is toxic to people and pets, so be sure to label and store your homemade plant food accordingly.

How to Make Plant Food

MATERIALS AND TOOLS Available on Amazon
1gallon jug
Epsom salt
Baking soda
Household ammonia


Measure 1 ½ tablespoons of Epsom salt into a clean gallon jug. A rinsed-out plastic milk jug with its lid makes a great container for this homemade plant food.


Add 1 ½ teaspoons of baking soda to the jug.

How to Make Homemade Plant Food


Measure a scant ½ teaspoon of household ammonia into the jug. Scant means slightly less than the full ½ teaspoon. Don’t overdo it with the ammonia; a little goes a long way!


Fill the rest of the jug with plain tap water, screw the lid on tightly, and swish well to combine.


Let sit for at least 30 minutes to allow the Epsom salt to completely dissolve. Label the container and store it in a cool dry spot where kids and pets can’t get into it.

Homemade Plant Food Tips and Tricks

  • No need to dilute your homemade plant food. It’s ready to go!
  • Feed potted houseplants once every three to five weeks. During the dog days of winter, when plants grow more slowly, once every five weeks is sufficient. When plants show renewed growth in spring, increase feedings to once every three weeks.
  • Use the same amount of homemade liquid plant food as you would normally water indoor plants. For example, if you typically give your potted fern one cup of water, substitute one cup of homemade plant food, which will provide sufficient water and nutrients.
  • Pour homemade plant food around the base of the plant, rather than on its foliage. This is the best way for the roots to absorb all the nutrients.
  • You can use this homemade plant food as an all-purpose fertilizer in an outdoor flowerbed or garden. After regular watering, while the ground is still damp, pour two to three cups around the base of each plant once every three weeks during the growing season. Stop feeding outdoor plants in late fall, before they go dormant.