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Repurposing inorganic chemical fertiliser

 
pollinator
Posts: 270
Location: Worcestershire, England
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When I buy plants sometimes I end up with little bags of slow release fertiliser pellets that the nursery give me to help the plant grow. As I avoid using any inorganic fertiliser on my land I end up with quite a few of them.

Are there any alternative uses people can think of for this stuff?
 
steward
Posts: 5217
Location: Cache Valley, zone 4b, Irrigated, 9" rain in badlands.
1923
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I see a few options... Use it, throw it away, stop buying plants from nurseries that use the stuff, be more careful at the nursery to avoid bringing chemicals home.

The fertilizer has already been mined from the Earth, and manufactured. So it seems wrong to me to bury it in a landfill. I wouldn't mind recycling the nutrients through the ecosystem though. There are plenty of wild areas that could use a little boost of nutrition that are not immediately used for food: lawns, barrow pits, etc.

I don't eat wheat, so when I get a meal at a restaurant, I say, "Don't put any bread on my plate." I can imagine saying something similar to the clerk at a nursery. "I don't want the fertilizer."

 
author
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I agree that you should try avoid getting it in the first place, but what you do have I personally would try growing something that can feed on it really quickly like grasses or greens or something. Then I would use them to fuel your system in their biological form (cut grasses, etc.)  

 
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"There are plenty of wild areas that could use a little boost of nutrition that are not immediately used for food: lawns, barrow pits, etc. "

I thought then term "Barrow pit"(sometimes "borrow pit") was strictly a Wyoming term. It must be creeping beyond the borders.
 
pollinator
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Location: Virginia USDA 7a/b
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Does it say what the composition is? If it is nitrate only (low phosphate) I would consider using it on hugels the first year. I have had to apply fish and urine to mine due to signs of yellowing on some of the plants, but as Joseph Lofthouse has said, the damage is done. There is nothing magical about nitrates and other nitrogenous compounds, you pee them out very day! Just make sure it is quite dilute...
 
Posts: 44
Location: North Texas plaines
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I'm old-school on this question of organic - inorganic source.  

I say a molecule is a molecule is a molecule.  In that vein, an
ion is an ion is an ion.  I don't believe it matters to plants where
an ion was sourced.

I do believe the "process" used to concentrate this or that can and
more likely often does harm the planet, but after the fact, I think
the plants don't really care.

Just my humble opinion.
gift
 
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