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'The Recipe' 2009

(Maggi) Big Sandy, TX(Zone 8a)

I was thinking since I am going to use a variation of this in the veggie garden - and on the ornamentals - this year, I should maybe get some input from the organic gardeners here at Dave's.

The original 'recipe' was posted by kenboy (my DH) to the Brugmansia forum because we used it last year on the thousand+ Brug cuttings he rooted. We expanded our use to everything in the greenhouses over that winter of 2007/2008.

This winter we did not use the recipe and I am regretting that. We started spraying it today and hope to make it a regularly scheduled thing to do at least once a week this spring.

I have added many things off and on to our version of the recipe and do not use any water soluble fertilizers like MG or Peters.

Here's the link to the 2009 recipe thread in Brugmansias and the recipes that had been posted on the 2008 thread.

A Note: Measure out really hot tap water and dissolve the Epsom Salt in it first - LOL!

Originally kenboy posted this one:

2 cups water
1 12 oz can of beer
1/2 cup household ammonia
1 cup Epsom salt
12 drops Tea Tree oil
1/4 cup unsulphured molasses
1/4 cup liquid seaweed (Kelp)

Kell posted this one:

12 oz beer
1 cup Epsom salts
1/2 cup ammonia
2 cup water
1/2 cup molasses (I use black strap)
4 tbs bloom booster
vit B12 (I use 250-500mg)

You use 1 tablespoon per gallon of warm water.

Teresa_in_BC posted:

12 oz beer
1 cup epsom salts
1/2 cup ammonia
2 cups water
4 tbsp Bloombooster
4 tbsp Miracle-Gro
1/2 cup molasses

Mix together and store in tightly capped 1 litre bottle or jar. Does not require refrigeration.

To use: mix 1 tbsp in 1 gallon of water and apply every 2 weeks.

jestelleoan posted:

12oz of beer
1cup of epsom salts
1/2 cup ammonia
1/4 cup if molasses
1 to 3 drops of Tea Tree Oil
1 to 3 drops of Superthrive
2 cups of water
1 to 2 tablespoons of mix to a gal. of water.

kenboy later posted this revision: ** this is the one we currently use

2 cups of water
12 oz can of beer
1/2 cup of household ammonia
1 cup of Epsom salt
3 Tablespoons of Tea Tree oil
1/4 cup of molasses
1/2 liquid seaweed ( Kelp )
1/2 cup of garlic spray
1/2 cup of Humate Tea

1 to 2 tablespoons per gallon of water

There was a discussion about seedlings getting burned

ZZsBabiez posted:

2 cups of water
1 bottle beer
1/2 cup ammonia
1 cup of Epsom salt
12 drops Tea Tree oil
1/4 cup of molasses
1/2 liquid Age Old Kelp
2Tbs Miracle Grow

Lewisville, MN(Zone 4a)

I don't understand. If these are "Organic" what is Miracle Grow doing in your "Recipe"?

(Maggi) Big Sandy, TX(Zone 8a)

Well, other folks have used things like Miracle Gro in their versions of the recipe, but we don't.

Taking out the Miracle Gro, do you see any problems with it being called organic?

Dublin, CA(Zone 9a)

The Bloom Booster in one of the recipes would be out for sure as well and I don't believe that Super Thrive is organic either. Ammonia also couldn't be considered organic--I believe it is typically manufactured starting with gas/petroleum; there may be some ways to mfg it from plants too but there's still chemistry going on to make it, it doesn't come out of nature somewhere which is typically one of the prerequisites for something to be considered organic. Also in terms of how it works, it seems to me it would behave more like some of the synthetic chemical fertilizer sources of nitrogen in that it's water soluble and will run off rather than staying put in your garden to be absorbed as the plants need it. Beer may be questionable too, probably some non-organic ingredients in there. Most of the other stuff is probably fine as long as you're just gardening for yourself and aren't trying to sell things claiming that they're organic.

(Maggi) Big Sandy, TX(Zone 8a)

I wondered about the ammonia and the beer. I am sure I could find an 'organic' beer, especially in the Pacific Northwest with all the great microbreweries there.

I was thinking I could start peeing in a bucket and let the pee turn to ammonia - what's more natural than that? I don't think I would be telling folks I used it on my veggies tho - LOL!

I am not selling anything as 'organic' but I am curious about what ingredients would put us closer to 'organic'.

As far as nature goes, there are chemical reactions occurring continuously, but I get your point.

We use a very fine mist spray to apply the recipe to the plants, not much runoff. We generally don't spray anything on rainy days. Plants do absorb nutrients (and even bad stuff) through their leaves, not all essential elements are taken in via roots only. In any case, the ingredients in the recipe would mostly tend to improve soil health, or at least do very little harm if any at all.

In our ornamental landscape as well as our vegetable garden (raised beds) we use copious amounts of compost and mulch every year at least twice a year, and we do take care of our soil health as we understand it is the basic building block of any garden.

Dublin, CA(Zone 9a)

If you want to be as close to organic as possible, I'd ditch the Miracle Gro, Bloom Booster, and ammonia, to me those are the three farthest from organic things in there. The beer also comes with alchol which is not good for plants or organisms in the soil so I'd probably get rid of it too. The ammonia you can replace with an organic source of nitrogen like blood meal or composted manure, although it may have to be added separately from the recipe.

Hahira, GA(Zone 8b)

I have a question for kenboy - How do you make Humate Tea - I have a gallon of Humic acid. Thanks, Samantha

(Maggi) Big Sandy, TX(Zone 8a)

Considering we are mixing this at a rate of one to two tablespoons per gallon of water, and that the alcohol evaporates quickly in the mixed recipe anyway, I am not overly concerned about that.

Maybe I will try replacing the ammonia with some alfalfa tea?

(Maggi) Big Sandy, TX(Zone 8a)

Hmm, we don't make the humate tea. A local business called Watson Ranch sells it around here.

Dublin, CA(Zone 9a)

Yes, alfalfa tea would work for nitrogen too.

(Maggie) Jacksonvill, FL(Zone 9a)

Brief thread hijack-

I apologize for the hijack. Per admin, I could not post this on its own thread because non-members would see it and be distressed. I hope you will forgive my brief intrusion w/ something I think this forum/thread may find interesting.

For those of you interested in organic methods of improving your plant's health, we have a co-op now for Myco-grow and other beneficials you may be interested in.

Thank you for your tolerance of my brief intrusion,


Danville, IN

A welcome "intrusion"! Thanks.

(Maggie) Jacksonvill, FL(Zone 9a)

Thanks Hoosier. One never knows when you might offend by budging in. Appreciate the welcome.


Spokane, WA(Zone 5b)

I like Kenboy's the best.

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