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NPK & pH of organic matters

There are so many organic matters that are available to us from our kitchen on regular basis and through other sources in our houses and work places that can be used for our roses. I know this forum is full of such information in various threads and I have been reading many such threads but I thought it might be a good idea to put all of them at one place.... preferably with pics, their NPK and pH levels. How is that?

Comments (151)

  • strawchicago z5
    5 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    Thank you, Jess, for recording what worked against blackspots. The problem with pine bark, if NOT decomposed: its acidic (pH 4), plus high in manganese (fungal promoter), plus high in aluminum (toxic for root).

    I notice the same with gypsum, Jess is right. I tested gypsum in pots. $$$ potting soil without gypsum: lousy root-growth, black-spot fest. Previous years with same potting soil, plus gypsum mixed-in: no black-spot. Why? Gypsum supplies calcium for solid root growth, plus makes soil fluffy to give oxygen to roots, plus the sulfur part of gypsum neutralize the high-pH of tap water. How vigorous the roots are determine the health of the plant.

    Glad to hear your termites are under control !!

  • jessjennings0 zone 10b
    5 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    Thanks Straw, am I right when I think that Sulphur also adds to the more blue-purple of flowers?

    the termites are still here and there but I'm so scared to use the strong tobacco to add into the soil due to the little birds that eat the worms...

    I'm going to soak logs in Boric Acid and add that onto the beds as bait so that the termites take that to their king & queen...I will also add more Vetiver oil, using ear buds and dip it in the oil, and plant that in selected places, around the roses.

    Termites are so interesting - the king and queen live up to 50 years...

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  • strawchicago z5
    5 years ago

    You are right about sulfur shift blooms to the blue-zone. Sulfur lowers soil pH, and at acidic pH range, more aluminum & other chemicals released for blue-color. Aluminum sulfate is used to change hydrangeas' bloom to blue.

    Didn't know that termites live that long .. I pray that you find a solution. I learn lots just through reading Amazon NEGATIVE reviews on $$$ products ... folks are helpful, they will give a product thumb-down, and cite something cheaper. I solved my 3-year-hand rash with magnesium stearate, thanks to a negative review on Amazon.

    I don't bother reading the positive reviews on Amazon, after seeing a probiotics with 2,000+ reviews and it was a joke .. people give positive reviews for free samples. Last year news: Amazon busted a company that paid people $5 for each faked review.

  • jessjennings0 zone 10b
    5 years ago

    Thanks Straw...


    I wonder where Khalid is and how his roses are doing...some might be starting to bloom any time soon now....

  • Khalid Waleed (zone 9b Isb)
    Original Author
    5 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    Jess wrote in another thread: "I am definitely starting my own compost this year, to be ready by spring hopefully...like you did, except I won't have all the ingredients you used, I'll have to improvise."

    Jess, I guess you will not be short of ingredients. If you read this thread in the start, it gives the concept and also few details about the NPK value of various organic matters. Thanks to Straw and Sam who really were very helpful in making me undertake this project.

    Basically, for roses, you need a compost that has a slightly acidic pH (6-6.5) and is rich in Potassium and Calcium (Straw's gypsum & potash substitute), has enough magnesium and trace elements, is low in nitrogen and very low in phosphorus.

    Here are my suggestion for you.... (keeping in mind your convenience and weather, ie, winters).

    1. Buy five to six 18 inch clay pots. If you already have them than it's great. Even smaller pots would do. This is the only investment that you need here. Put them in a place which is warm and it's convenient for you to drop the waste there (perhaps garage or some other secluded but closeby place).
    2. Fill two bags with garden soil (around 20 kg each, has to be natural soil from the garden, not an artificial potting mix) and keep them at the same place wherever you keep the pots. Keep a hand shovel with it for putting soil in the pots when needed.
    3. Cover the drainage hole of the pot with a broken clay pot piece or something else and put 2 inch soil at the base.
    4. Ingredients that you need.....used black tea leaves and coffee ground. Egg shells of used eggs (crushed, one per day is enough), peels of most of the vegetables and fruits that you eat (banana, oragne, lemon, grape fruit, apple, potato, cucumber, all are good and have high potassium and trace elements). Any other peels would also do. Vegetable waste after cutting the veges.... all.
    5. Put the garbage (point 4) in the pot and sprinkle some soil over it, just covering the garbage. The peels should be cut in smaller pieces to accelerate decomposition.
    6. Put next days garbage over the thin layer of soil and cover it again. Sprinkle some water over it, just enough to keep the things moist but shouldn't drain out of the pot. Keep making these layers of garbage and soil till the time pot is filled. The upper two inch layer should be garden soil. Mark the date on the pot. Sprinkle some water on the pot every now and than to keep the compost moist. Adding some vinegar to the water will speed up decomposition.
    7. Start the next pot and when that is filled, next pot. It takes me 15-20 days to fill a pot. Depending upon the quantity of garbage available every day, it could be earlier or later. By the time 6th pot is filled, you first pot should be either ready or at least 70% done. In Islamabad it takes roughly three months and the pot is ready. I think it should roughly take the same time at your place. Keep the pots at a place that is warm and it will be done earlier.... a cool place will delay decomposition.
    8. By the time spring starts, I guess you should have one to two pots ready. Use that compost and start filling this pot again. And then a cycle would form. A pot of compost will be available to you after every 15 to 20 days (ie, the filling time of one pot).
    9. Happy compost making.
  • Samuel Adirondack NY 4b5a
    5 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    Yes Khalid I like reading about that composting. I like the part about getting your natural soil from the best place to get the good microbes. Bob Cannard goes up in the forest to get them. He makes the compost in big barrels in Sonoma California. He also puts the soil in and uses an aerobic compost tea Brewer to stimulates the motion of the river. I like Observation how different soil have good results like magic pixie dust. In my cold climate it takes years for the soil in an area of the garden to grow plants real good.

    Khalid Waleed (zone 9b Isb) thanked Samuel Adirondack NY 4b5a
  • Khalid Waleed (zone 9b Isb)
    Original Author
    5 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    Sam: Thanks for your comments and I am really glad that you value the work being done. But it would have really not been possible without you and Straw.

    Using best garden soil has really done wonders for me. There is a pit in the ground behind my kitchen which I started filling in Oct last year and it was filled I think by November or December last. I checked it the other day and it is still not done. Whereas the compost pots that I started in January this year, two of them have already been used for giving a top layer in the pots while one is around 70% done. There are other which are 30 to 50 % done. Three differences I believe, one I am using garden soil in pots whereas pit only has garbage, no soil. Secondly, pots get a much better air circulation which enhances microbe activity. Third, the de-composable matter in pots is much less as compared to pit which actually might contains matter equivalent to 4 or 5 pots. Decomposition Time is therefore much less in the pots.

    Few people in my local community have asked me to give a lecture on making compost and growing roses on 16th of this month in a local gathering. After seeing the health of my roses, they are a bit fascinated by this. I intend telling them everything that I know so far and have no intentions of keeping it as "my rose growing secret". It is my earnest desire that more and more people adopt these natural and healthy living ways and get rid of these pesticides, fungicides, chemicals and all other artificialities that are slowly killing our planet. I hope I do not encounter a guy there who is on the pay role of these companies. Wish me luck.

    And I hope Jess also gets to see this post. The above post has been written for her.

    best regards

  • jessjennings0 zone 10b
    5 years ago

    Thanks so much Khalid, this really helps. All of that will be possible, I will use river sand, except the pots - those are too expensive here... at least R600 ($40.68) per clay pot. to me that is a lot. I have another idea that I'll use, will post pics as soon as I start with this...

  • jessjennings0 zone 10b
    5 years ago

    I have saved this info in a special folder to re-read and follow when I start with my compost project :-)

  • Khalid Waleed (zone 9b Isb)
    Original Author
    5 years ago

    Jess: With that price tag, clay pots are out. An 18" pot costs PkR 400 in Islamabad, which is like US $ 4.00. But with 40$ per pot, they are out. Can you get something like a jute bag or something that allows air circulation?

  • strawchicago z5
    5 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    Below is a pic. of "Smart-pot" made of breathable & strong fabric, but folks put soil in their fabric-shopping bags, and grow great veggies with that. I bought one recently.

    Anything breathable like straw-basket, or fabric-bag would provide air for best root-growth & make good compost bin too. My compost bin is plastic, then I dump that 3 times a week in my garden heap. It's always dripping wet, so I have to use a plastic bucket to collect my kitchen scraps (lemon peels, coffee grounds, veggies).


    Khalid Waleed (zone 9b Isb) thanked strawchicago z5
  • Khalid Waleed (zone 9b Isb)
    Original Author
    5 years ago

    hmm.... smart pots. We don't have them here. Looks great. Thanks for sharing Straw

  • jessjennings0 zone 10b
    5 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    yes yes yes!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! oh wow this is such great advice :-)

    I can afford those shopping bags.... We don't have the smart-pots here, but the shopping bags definitely - ones made with fabric. that is going on my list, what a wonderful idea, I have hope for my composting project :-))))))


    many many thanks, Straw, and Khalid

  • Khalid Waleed (zone 9b Isb)
    Original Author
    5 years ago

    Sam & Straw

    An update on the compost pots. Things is working well and approx after every 20 days, one of my pots is ready with the compost. Each pot contains approx 10 kg of compost. When I am using that compost to give a topping to the pots and in the beds, there are many other pots that are in varying stages of decomposition, starting from just fresh (0-5%) to 80%.

    Here is a pot being filled. It takes around a week to 10 days to fill this 18" pot.

    Tea bags, banana peels and egg shells are standard ingredients. However, other kitchen waste like peels of potato, onion, green peas, cucumber, mango and every other thing are also added every day, as and when available. I keep sprinkling chicken manure and river soil on it every time I add a layer. (I did that immediately after taking the pics today). And then, I keep it moist all the time and keep it warm, in full sun. That has really hastened the decomposition process.

    Pot on right is almost 90% done and would be available for use next week. It looks darker because it has been turned over many times. The left pot has a lighter colour because it hasn't been turned over yet and still contains the top layering of river soil. It will be turned over next week. It is may be 50% done and will take another 3 to 4 weeks.

    This is a prepared pot that I am using nowadays.

    Straw: Any idea about the NPK of onion peels?

    best regards

  • Khalid Waleed (zone 9b Isb)
    Original Author
    5 years ago

    Sam: Just wanted to point out that sprinkling of chicken manure (in small quantity) and river soil (1" layer on every day after putting the layer of vegetables) really accelerates the decomposition process. Also, keeping the pots in full sun (against the advice usually given by experts) also helps in quick decomposition.

    best regards

  • strawchicago z5
    5 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    Khalid: You are right that things decompose faster in full sun .. it's cleaner & drier, more beneficial bacteria, and less smelly black mold and disgusting fungus.

    The worst mistake I did was to dump grass clippings on a shady spot under a tree ... that could not decompose, it matted up & wet through cold winter and rainy spring. That stank up like sewage, and glued up for a long time.

    I cannot find NPK of onion peels, but organic matter far surpass chemical fertilizer like MiracleGro high in NPK. Why? Vitamin C is very crucial for plant growth, and your compost has plenty of that. There are bioflavonoids in plants plus B-vitamins which help plants' vigor in heat.

    http://www.herballegacy.com/Wilson_Chemical.html

    " Of all the healthy compounds contained in onions, two stand out: sulfur and quercetin - both being strong antioxidants ... “ the absorption of quercetin from onions is twice that from tea and more than three times that from apples.

    White onions contain very little querctin, so it’s better to stick with the yellow and red varieties. Most health professionals recommend eating raw onions for maximum benefit. Consumption of onions may prevent gastric ulcers by scavenging free radicals and by preventing growth of the ulcer-forming microorganism, Heliobacter pylori.

    A recent study at the University of Bern in Switzerland showed that consumption of 1 g of dry onion per day for 4 weeks increased bone mineral content in rats by more than 17% and mineral density by more than 13% compared to animals fed a controlled diet. Several studies have shown quercetin to have beneficial effects against many diseases and disorders including cataracts, cardiovascular disease as well as cancer of the breast, colon, ovarian, gastric, lung and bladder.6

    Onions are also a source of vitamin C, potassium, dietary fiber and folic acid. They also contain calcium, iron vitamin B6.
    http://www.herballegacy.com/Wilson_Chemical.html

    **** From Straw: I posted the above info. since onion saved me from miserable hayfever: sneezing & red & itchy eyes & nose inflamed. I ate a tuna sandwich with lots of dill and red onions ... both are high in quercetin. Folks take quercetin pills (an antioxidant) for their allergies.

  • Samuel Adirondack NY 4b5a
    5 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    Wow 3 to 4 weeks. That's fast . Great going . Love to see those pictures. One of my favorite things to do is look at pictures of Soil. The difference between dirt and soil is the life. The life is so important. No chemical fertilizer is good for the life in the soil. In my garden I have millions of spiders worms and birds and chipmunks frogs. They supply manure too.

    Elaine says 60% browns 30%greens and 10%manuer.

    Khalid Waleed (zone 9b Isb) thanked Samuel Adirondack NY 4b5a
  • Khalid Waleed (zone 9b Isb)
    Original Author
    5 years ago

    "The difference between dirt and soil is the life."

    The is the best thing I have heard in many days. Thanks Sam

    "Elaine says 60% browns 30%greens and 10%manuer."

    Great. I think I am following the same.

  • Khalid Waleed (zone 9b Isb)
    Original Author
    5 years ago

    Another pot almost done..... may be another 5-7 days. Decomposition in hot months is quite fast.

  • strawchicago z5
    5 years ago

    That looks great. very loamy with air pockets. Our potting soil with peatmoss in America? I have to use 2 steel scoops to plunge through, so dense with resistance. Your soil is so fluffy that a toothpick can go through, very good for tiny roots.

    Khalid Waleed (zone 9b Isb) thanked strawchicago z5
  • Khalid Waleed (zone 9b Isb)
    Original Author
    5 years ago

    Straw: Top dressing of this compost really makes the soil very fluffy and the results are good.

    Last year I decided not to waste any organic matter. We had few windstorms last month that resulted in breakage of many branches in my house & neighbourhood. I collected the leaves and stuffed them in the rose beds.


    In hot weather, these dry leaves will help in retaining moisture and with time, they will decompose. Many of my rose bushes were devastated due to hailstorm last week, breaking of so many leaves and soft shoots. They all go back to the beds and pots. Some of the bushes do look sort of bald after hailstorm but they will grow leaves. This is how nature provides organic matter to keep the soil alive..... unfortunately for our quick gains, we disturb nature which in my belief, will never be good in the long run.

    Here is a bed that has been fed with lots of organic matter since past two year and now, upper 4-6 inches is a very fluffy soil full of worms and other insects.

    While I put all the vege & fruit waste, tea bags, egg shells etc in the compost pots, leaves available after windstorm / hailstorm go directly in the beds and with time, decompose in situ. This arrangement is working well for me.

    best regards

  • strawchicago z5
    5 years ago

    I love the pics. you post showing how you did that. I'm going to get the soil where I dumped my old branches & old tomato vines from last year. That soil is very fertile from the nutrients leaching down, lots of earthworm.

    Khalid Waleed (zone 9b Isb) thanked strawchicago z5
  • Khalid Waleed (zone 9b Isb)
    Original Author
    5 years ago

    Straw: I am trying to sort out things with a juice & milkshake shop. He uses lots of bananas, mangoes, apples etc and their peels are available in abundance. I need to collect them two or three days a week which wont' be easy but I will try to manage. If this arrangement materializes, I might have 2-3 pots filled every week and by fall, I will have plenty of compost to feed all my roses. What do you say?

  • strawchicago z5
    5 years ago

    You are the luckiest guy !! I wish I can get such from a local juice-shop. I asked my local produce for rotten veggies for my compost, but they refused. Sometimes I get lucky, and see ripe-bananas on sale $1 for a huge bag .. made tons of banana-bread to freeze, and peels go to compost.

    Getting coffee grounds from the shop was a nuisance waiting in line, so I just go behind their store, and dig out their garbage (nicely bagged too).

    Khalid Waleed (zone 9b Isb) thanked strawchicago z5
  • Samuel Adirondack NY 4b5a
    5 years ago

    my compost pile a with my garden claw. I used most of it. I put it in 5 gallon buckets like Khalid pots.

    Khalid Waleed (zone 9b Isb) thanked Samuel Adirondack NY 4b5a
  • jessjennings0 zone 10b
    5 years ago

    Thank you for this great info and ideas Khalid, I think your soil is great.... wish mine could me like that, but, I'm working at it.




    Khalid Waleed (zone 9b Isb) thanked jessjennings0 zone 10b
  • jessjennings0 zone 10b
    5 years ago

    That is a must-have tool Sam...the garden claw...you also have beautiful soil...

  • Kelly Tregaskis Collova
    5 years ago

    I am excited to find this thread. Been learning about composting this year as I had no idea there was a method. I have a large compost bin where I just threw all our kitchen scraps and yard wastes- took forever to decompose. Are there things that should not be added to compost aside from meats? Do you guys compost shrimp/crab shells? How about seaweed? Thank you!!

    Khalid Waleed (zone 9b Isb) thanked Kelly Tregaskis Collova
  • Samuel Adirondack NY 4b5a
    5 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    Shrimp crab shells and seaweed are very good! Shredded leaves and leftover chopped tree trimmings wood chips should be 60% to be fungal dominated compost that's what Elaine Ingham says.

  • Khalid Waleed (zone 9b Isb)
    Original Author
    5 years ago

    Kelly: The compost recipe that you see in this thread is rose specific. ie, it contains almost equal amounts of K and N, sufficient Ca and Mg and trace elements. P content in this compost is on the lower side. While adding various ingredients, I am mindful of the above NPK and do not add too much green and things containing high amount of P. That is the reason I do not add meat and blood (high nitrogen and enough phosphorus). The second reason of not adding shrimp waste, fish waste, chicken waste etc is to avoid bad smell and too many insect getting into the compost due to these meaty things.

    Another aspect that I keep in mind, while adding ingredients, is the approx decomposition time. They all must decompose roughly at the same time otherwise it would be hard to get fully prepared compost in time.

    If you are looking at a general purpose compost, I think adding shrimps, crab shells etc would be good though crab shells would take more time to decompose. Finely crushed egg shells decompose much quicker and roughly provide the same minerals, predominantly Ca.

    In the meanwhile, I am happy to see that another of my pots got filled today and was given a top layer of river soil. A couple of parties at home last week and there was lot of material available.

    best regards

  • Kelly Tregaskis Collova
    5 years ago

    Thank you so much for this information. It is very helpful. My roses are going to be soo much happier!

  • Khalid Waleed (zone 9b Isb)
    Original Author
    5 years ago

    Thanks to the hailstorm followed by a wind storm next day, though many of my rose bushes were devastated, I had lot of leaves to fill my rose pits. It will protect my roses from high heat as ground will not be exposed and moisture retention will be good.

    Natural calamities bring devastation but at the same time they bring some good too that is needed. We just have to trust nature..... Hail storm last week really devastated few bushes. Most had lot of shattered / broken leaves and broken soft shoots. But now, all my rose pits are filled with a 2" layer of leaves

  • strawchicago z5
    5 years ago

    Khalid: how do you cut those holes in the grass so nice and circular? Do you have an edging machine, or do you dig that by hand? How do you prevent grass from growing inward?

    If I have a hole in the grass, grass will grow inward within a month !! My grass' roots are really deep, 6" or at least 15 cm. I don't bother pull them up .. I put a black plastic down to solarize them few months in advance, and that covert grass into compost. Then I put plastic edging (black and very thick) down to prevent grass roots from growing inward, plus bricks on top.

  • Khalid Waleed (zone 9b Isb)
    Original Author
    5 years ago

    Straw: Those pits have been dug by hand, by myself and my gardener whom I pay to do some job when I am not around or am very busy. These as not as perfect as they look in photos but they are almost circular. So far, the grass has not grown inside the pits. Regular tilling keeps the grass away.

    What do you say about sprinkling a mix of 5 parts wood ash, two parts potash, two parts monopotassium phosphate and 1 part magnesium oxide. I want to keep it handy and whenever it would rain during monsoon, I am planning to use this, both in pots and beds. I will cover my beds and pits with 2-3 inch layer of leaves before the monsoon starts, as you have seen in the pics above. Next grass clipping from lawn moving will also go in individual rose pits. I will sprinkle this mix over this layer of leaves / grass clippings. What do you say?

    best regards


  • strawchicago z5
    5 years ago

    Khalid: I would do 4 parts wood ash, 2 part potash, 1 part monopotassium phosphate, and skip magnesium oxide ... will dig up the % of magnesium, and % of phosphorus in wood-ash, but my hunch is wood-ash is alkaline enough to neutralize acidic rain.

    Khalid Waleed (zone 9b Isb) thanked strawchicago z5
  • Khalid Waleed (zone 9b Isb)
    Original Author
    5 years ago

    Thanks Straw. So it is 4 part woodash, 2 parts potash and 1 part monopotassium phosphate.

  • jessjennings0 zone 10b
    5 years ago

    your roses are still standing strong and looking great Khalid, even after the terrible heat...and now the monsoon is upon them... good luck I am sure they will still thrive and have many beautiful blooms.


    It would be interesting how the excess of rain water will affect their fragrances, and also the general cooler weather...



  • Khalid Waleed (zone 9b)
    5 years ago

    Time to revive an old thread.... Its guava season again and there are lots of guava trees in my neighbourhood. Since no one takes care of them, the fruit is usually bad and not fit for human consumption. But it is excellent for my compost.

    I have been busy nowadays but took out 15 minutes in the evening to collect the fallen guavas from the neighbourhood. So far, I have 5 large sized pots filled of guavas. I am mixing kitchen waste as well as chicken manure with them.

    Here is a pot containing guavas and the other containing regular kitchen waste. I crush the guavas well so that they decompose quickly.

    I am no more using chicken or any kind of manure directly, either in pots or in ground or even in potting soil. I now put the chicken manure in the compost and decompose it. Here is the well rotten chicken manure that is a year old. I acquired it from a friends poultry farm a year back.... 5 or 6 20 kg bags free of cost.
    Guavas were chopped into small pieces and chicken manure was sprinkled on them. I have been making similar kind of layers in this pot since past few day, also putting kitchen waste (mostly potato peels, cucumber peels, onion peels, banana peels etc).

    Sam, Straw, do you like this arrangement?

    best regards

  • strawchicago z5
    5 years ago

    Khalid: My mouth salivates after your guavas .. that's my favorite fruit: still remember the juicy red flesh ... some are crunchy & tart and better tasting than apples !! I'm having hayfever (ragweed allergy) so I really crave after high-vitamin-C fruits.

    I like your perfect combo: high-potassium guavas with chicken manure. The high-potassium and high-fiber will de-salt the chicken-manure, and the high-vitamin-C is necessary for plants. When I checked on which vitamins plants need the most: vitamin C is most essential, then vitamin A & B-vitamins.

    Guava is acidic, but that will balance out your alkaline wood-ash. Plus it's a clean fruit, and don't get moldy fast like citrus-rinds or strawberries.

  • Khalid Waleed (zone 9b)
    5 years ago

    Thanks Straw. I hope this guava, chicken manure and kitchen waster trio works well. This time, I have mixed very little river soil.

    best regards

  • Khalid Waleed (zone 9b Isb)
    Original Author
    5 years ago

    A large size pot done.... emptied today and around 15 kg of prepared compost stored in a sack for future use.

    When it was decomposing, it used to stink a lot when I used to turn over the compost. Full of ugly worms and lot of bad odor. But now, when fully done, it had a wonderful aroma. This is how nature works and I am so pleased to see this. It convinces me further that nothing in this world exists without purpose. Death, decomposition, all become a source of life for other and life continues.

    What do you say, Sam and Straw?

  • strawchicago z5
    5 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    Khalid: The above looks fantastic: black and fluffy. You are right about if it smells bad, then it's no good for plants. I damaged a few roses when I planted in stinky soil: stinky under-decomposed grass clippings, stinky under-decomposed cracked corn, or that stinky chicken manure from Menards NPK 5-3-2. These roses withered & almost die, and I had to dig them up.

    However, the Charlie's Compost I got from Amazon had zero smell, it's made from fully-compost ORGANIC chicken manure (zero antibiotics) plus corn stalk. NPK of 0.1-0.1-0.1. I left inside my garage for 1 more year, then I put that straight into the planting hole: great on Pink Peace and Strike it Rich .. they become continuous bloomers, lots of branching & buds.

    I was happy to see a big bag of chicken manure, sold for $13, zero smell, at Ace Hardware. I haven't tested that yet. But I am NOT impressed with Chickity-doo-doo stinky-chicken-manure, stinky equals not-fully-composted. I burnt a few roses in June when I put that on top.

    Khalid Waleed (zone 9b Isb) thanked strawchicago z5
  • strawchicago z5
    5 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    Burpee Organic Tomato + Vegetable Granular Plant Food 3-6-4

    GUARANTEED ANALYSIS

    Total Nitrogen (N) ...................................................... 3%

    Available Phosphate (P2O5) ......................................... 6%

    Soluble Potash (K2O) .................................................. 4%

    Calcium (Ca) .............................................................. 4%

    Magnesium (Mg) ........................................................ 1%

    Sulfur (S) .................................................................. 1%

    Iron (Fe) ................................................................... 0.5%

    Manganese (Mn) ........................................................ 0.05%

    Derived from aerobically composted poultry litter, feather meal, and sulfate of potash.

    *** Above is what I used inside the pot of Jude the Obscure (tiny rooting). Zero smell chicken-manure (aerobically means open-air composted). The best bloom of Jude that I had ever gotten, compared to the 2 Judes that died in my clay over the winter, and the Jude that was fertilized with NPK 2-7-4 (mostly bone meal). Will post a pic. of this bloom, I'm convinced that phosphorus is best from animal-manure, rather than from bone-meal, which can't be utilized under alkaline condition (U. of Colorado Extension info.).

    Khalid Waleed (zone 9b Isb) thanked strawchicago z5
  • Samuel Adirondack NY 4b5a
    5 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    Khalid, Wonderful transformation!,. feed the soil and over time soil feeds the plants. I am feeding the coffee grounds to the soil now so that next season the worms will feed the roses.


    Khalid Waleed (zone 9b Isb) thanked Samuel Adirondack NY 4b5a
  • strawchicago z5
    5 years ago



    Above is the 1st-Jude bloom from a tiny rooting plus Burpee 3-6-4 chicken manure, plus gypsum, which far surpass other Judes in clay, or with NPK 2-7-4 (bone meal). The rooting was shorter than my finger, planted in June.

    Many petals & thick healthy leaves for a tiny rooting's 1st bloom was achieved through chicken manure's high zinc, copper, boron. The scent is best, thanks to decent phosphorus. The pink shade in Jude is through decent phosphorus. My other 2 Judes in clay were pale yellow, without pink shading.

    Some spotting on the edges due to week-long constant rain. Other than that, it's perfection of leaves .. leaves are larger than normal, and that's the most petal-counts I had seen for own-root Jude.

    Khalid Waleed (zone 9b Isb) thanked strawchicago z5
  • Khalid Waleed (zone 9b Isb)
    Original Author
    5 years ago

    Straw: Your JtO blooms are simply stunning. Mine is still without blooms. During hot weather, it just bloomed few odd times with insignificant blooms many of which dried out during the bud stage. JtO has a lovely fragrance but I won't rate it a great performer in high temps.

    After adding the chicken manure to my compost of guavas and vegetable / fruit peels, I am doing another experiment nowadays. I stopped using chemical fertilizers last year but there are a few left overs lying with me. Like this one...

    This is NK fertilzer 36-0-12 with trace elements.

    This is Microcure, a locally made trace element booster containing 4% Zn, 2% Fe, 2% Mn, 1% B and 1% Cu by weight.

    Then there are few left over chemical fertilizers like this Miraclegrow 15-5-12 with 1.2% added Mg.

    Straw and Sam: I have to water my compost regularly to keep it moist. I am now dissolving these nitrogen and trace element heavy chemical fertilzers in the water that I give to my compost pots. I have observed that this nitrogen heavy solution gives a great kick to the decomposition process and I see lot of maggots and worms in the stinky pot that mainly contains guavas, kitchen waste and few wild citrus along with chicken manure. Chicken manure iitself encourages maggots / worms growth. What do you say?

    I observed nitrogen deficiency in my rose recently as my compost did not contain lot of nitrogen and during monsoon / rains, much of it leached out from the pots. I thought it might be a better idea to add chemical nitrogen heavy fertilizer that I have in the compost. I don't use chemicals anymore but using them in compost (nitrogen + trace elements) might make my compost strong and more balanced. What do you say?

    best regards

  • Khalid Waleed (zone 9b Isb)
    Original Author
    5 years ago

    And two more compost pots prepared today. I was collecting the fallen guavas as well as wild citrus fruit since past few weeks. Already filled 3 pots with these and today, I found time to prepare two more pots.

    As usual, it starts with a layer of river soil at the base. The citrus chunks that you see are of wild citrus (some kind of wild orange) that are not eatable. But they are supposed to contain a much higher nutritional value as compared to the hybrid oranges that we eat.

    Since these wild oranges are high in citric acid, I sprinkled some wood ash to neautralize the acidic pH. I do not want to use too much of wood ash as it discourages the growth of maggots / worms. Just a sprinkling of it.
    Then I added a layer of chicken manure that is moist due to monsoon / rain last month and contain lot of maggots / worms already.
    Then a layer of tea bags. I do not remove the stapler pins used in the tags as they are a source of iron.

    A top layer of guavas and citrus.

    Then a final layer of chicken manure and just a sprinkling of river soil at the top (it helps in controlling the odour). Please note that this chicken manure is already more than a year old and is well rotted.

    Two pots ready for composting. Total of six pots in different stages of decomposition.

    Cant wait for this compost to be ready. It will be ready by end October, may be a bit earlier. In the meanwhile, I want to fill another 6-7 pots so that I have enough compost during winters. Each pot gives me 10 to 12 kg of compost.

  • strawchicago z5
    5 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    That's so exciting to see how you layer your compost-pots. Very logical and it makes sense how you layer them.

    I like how you put chemical nitrogen to speed up the compost. Only one I would keep for plants: Microcure, a locally made trace element booster containing 4% Zn, 2% Fe, 2% Mn, 1% B and 1% Cu by weight. That's good stuff, most soil is deficient in zinc & boron and a tiny bit of trace elements can make a BIG DIFFERENCE.

    I like how you put high nitrogen, thus salty chemical fertilizer into compost, the rain will leach out the salt. I dumped a high nitrogen chemical soluble at 22-10-10 onto my grass, and it BURNT the grass, turning the patch brown for months .. wasn't worth it.

    Khalid wrote: " I observed nitrogen deficiency in my rose recently as my compost did not contain lot of nitrogen and during monsoon / rains, much of it leached out from the pots. I thought it might be a better idea to add chemical nitrogen heavy fertilizer that I have in the compost."

    AGREE TO THAT, pots need lots of nitrogen due to fast leaching. I spend 4 times money on Organic soluble for pots at $20 compared to $5 if I had used MG-chemical-soluble (higher in nitrogen). Plus it's constant work & constant fertilizing with organics, can't keep up with the fast leaching of rain through pots.

    One University Extension recommended stable-owners to add chemical nitrogen to their horse manure, after farmers complained how little horse manure has in nitrogen, due to the sawdust-bedding that robs the manure of nitrogen as it breaks down.

    I got horse manure yesterday, it's filled with maggots & special nematodes that horse owners put to kill flies-larvae. Zero flies, zero mushroom in the black composted horse manure (pH over 8). Horse manure is good for trace-elements, but I still need chicken manure and alfalfa for nitrogen.

  • Sanjay Bansal
    last year

    Its a wonderful thought. It will be really helpful.

  • strawchicago z5
    last year

    bump up this thread for reference.

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