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Homemade Liquid Grow Fertilizer (from weeds!)

Travis Schultz
Posts: 288
Location: South East Michigan Zone 6
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All credit goes to the original authors, I will post a link at the bottom to the original website.

This is the natural farming plant growth formula. This formula is effective not only for the Nitrogen it supplies, but more importantly for the growth promoting enzymes and hormones it contains. Chlorophyll in leaves is not broken down in oil or in water. They require weak alcohol in order to be broken down. Fermentation produces some alcohol as a byproduct, which breaks down leaves and releases those enzymes and hormones. This is an awesome product not only by itself, but when used in conjunction with other nutrients.
***For an illustrated example of this recipe, check out the farm log here. The flog has all kinds of good stuff, sign up to get the updates via email!***

How to Make:
This is really a combination of fish hydrolysate and fermented plant extract. Fish hydrolysate is used because it’s high in Nitrogen, a principal element needed by growing plants. It’s also rich in many vitamins, minerals, oils, etc. The plant extracts provide the growth hormones along with essential macro- and micro-nutrients.

Our grow formula uses 1:1 fermented plant material and fish hydrolysate. Learn to make your own fish hydrolysate.

Instructions for fermented plant extract:
Find a fast-growing plant in your area. It must be a green-color plant, fresh juicy succulent leaves are best.
Collect a bunch of the growing tips of the plant. The green leaves give you Nitrogen, the growing tips give you the growth hormones. We try not to wash them for you may wash off those microbes too. We want the photosynthetic bacteria that naturally occur on the leaf surface of these fast-growing plants (phyllosphere microbes).
Weigh the amount of material you’ve collected and add roughly half that weight in sugar.
Put in a clay jar or plastic container.
If fermenting a large batch, put a large rock on top of the material to push it down into the bottom of the container. After at least 5 hours, remove the rock, and cover the container with a newspaper/cheese cloth/etc and secure with string/rubber-band.
If fermenting a smaller batch, you can add water. Add at least enough water to cover the material but if you want to add more no problem.
Keep container out of direct sunlight. Solution will be fermented in approximately 7-15 days (depending on temperature).
After that time, drain the liquid and put in plastic bottle, leaving 1/3 empty so organisms can breathe.
DON’T TIGHTEN lid for at least 2 weeks or so. Wait till tiny bubble disappear and then close the container tightly.
Note: if you observe un-dissolved sugar in the bottom it means fermentation did not go to completion. Add a little water to reactivate and leave lid off for a few days.

Notes on this fermented plant extract:

To use on it’s own, mix 1Tbsp/L or 4tbsp/gallon.
Apply as foliar spray in morning or evening when temp is lower . During the middle of the day when sunlight is highest, the plant stomata are closed (to preserve moisture), thus the intake of our foliar spray becomes difficult and less effective.
Plant material can be used as animal feed or compost.
Extract should have a sweet, sour, and even alcoholic smell and taste. Yes, you can taste it no problem but make sure to smell it first! Make sure it doesn’t smell foul – in that case you screwed something up and will have to start over. It should keep forever technically. Will be progressively more vinegary but no problem.

TIP: This recipe is for your generalized growth promotant. If you want something specific to your plant type, use your plant type in the recipe. If growing tomatoes, use the growing tips of a tomato plant!

How to use complete grow formula:
So now you’ve made your own fish hydrolysate that’s loaded with Nitrogen and trace elements, not to mention fats and oils that will feed teeming fungal/bacterial hordes that’ll protect and nourish your plant; along with your own natural plant extract, full of growth hormones and stimulating enzymes, that will get your plants growing full and green!

Now it’s really up to you what ratio you mix your plant extract and fish hydrolysate. I mix mine 1:1, that is 1 part homemade fish hydrolysate to 1 part fermented plant growth stimulant. But again, everything is relative. The more you know and understand the materials, their active ingredients, the more you will be able to determine their appropriate use. Hypothesize, experiment, report back! Have fun!

Mix 1 Tbsp/gal

Apply once per week or as necessary
Apply as foliar spray in morning/evening
Apply as soil drench anytime
Mix with BIM for enhanced effectiveness
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