Daniel J La

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since Dec 19, 2018
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Recent posts by Daniel J La

Hello all,

After much reading, I’ve decided on a few amendments for the soil in our garden. I was on a quest to find a sustainable source of phosphorous:


When I tested our soil, N was OK, P was depleted, and K was low.

For the N and some P, I’ve decided to go with aged chicken manure as we’re looking to start planting right away and it seems to contain good amounts of N and P.

For the Potash I’ll buy some kelp meal.

I also am working at a coffee shop and have access to several pounds of coffee grounds per week.

I’m kind of curious how you all would proceed. My local nursery sells G&B aged chicken manure but when I called and asked for the fertilizer ratio the numbers sounded lower than what I’d read about chicken manure online (I can’t find the specs for the G&B chicken manure online). I’ve also read some nasty commentary about G&B products but it’s what’s available to me and the nursery guys like it.

Our plot is about 200 square feet. From what I read online this would require 80 lbs manure and about 4 lbs kelp meal. Do I really need this much? I’m also considering just buying way less and using it where I plant. Anyone have suggestions on how to proceed? We already have some Kale in, will probably start other leafy greens soon, then move on into more flowering plants a bit later.

Also I’m hesitant about direct application of the grounds. We did this last year without thinking about it at the same time we put in the worms. What are your thoughts on this? Better to age the grounds a bit, or compost? I read your guys thread about coffee grounds and it seems like most of you are either composting it first or letting it sit a while before use.

Any other simple amendment suggestions to get started right away? By the way, PH is at 6.5. Thanks!


Bryant RedHawk wrote:I have given a lot of info on composting in my soil threads the epic soil threads

edit, forgot to mention it but the start of the book is now available thru a link in the soil threads list (the last entry)

I very much appreciate your help. I started digging into your soil threads last night. Will definitely look into your book!
3 months ago
Hi Natasha, thank you for that info. It looks as though if we start right away we’d best use aged/composted manure tilled in with the soil. Or ditch composting the manure beneath plants as you suggest.

As I understand it, for greens we don’t need as much phosphorous, so perhaps we could start with those and let the manure compost in beds for flowering plants later.

3 months ago
Thank you Redhawk, I just saw your post. Great to know about the sea water.

Maybe we should consider buying precomposted manure.
3 months ago
Just reading up on manure. We were hoping to start planting in a couple of weeks. My friend has access to horse, chicken, goat, and rabbit manure but now I’m thinking about pathogens...

3 months ago
Thank you for the suggestions. This is what I’m looking for.

My friend works with horses, I may be able to get some but then yes I’m not sure if I’ll be able to break it down... Is poultry much preferable? From what I read P seems to be higher (our P is pretty low).

I can probably find some kelp too. How would one go about grinding kelp?

I’m also interested if you would recommend sea water also.

Thank you again

3 months ago
This is my first post.

I live in a hilly neighborhood of East Los Angeles (near the Arroyo Seco).

My landlord built an amphitheater like garden plot (concrete perimiters) descending down a small hill, partially shaded by huge guaje trees (Leucaena leucocephala. It hadn’t been gardened for years before I moved in.

Last year was our first go. We found found worms, coffee grounds, and covered the beds with sycamore leaves in the Fall. In the Spring we planted many types of vegetables: kale, and leafy greens, beets, radishes, and later squash, tomatoes, peppers...

Since then I’ve become much more interested in learning about the soil. I tested our soil for PH and NPK. PH is 6.5, nitrogen is ‘sufficient’, phosphorous ‘depleted’, and potash ‘deficient’. Our soil is fairly dense, with some sand.

I’ve been looking for an organic and sustainable source for phosphorous and potassium. Though I originally wanted to opt for rock phosphate/greensand, after more reading it seems like not the right direction environmentally speaking. I then thought bone meal (for P) would be best, though one of my friends from the garden doesn’t like the idea of bone or supporting meat industry in any way (even if it is a waste product)... It seems to me though that phosphorous is really only either rock or bone by nature, or a much smaller amount taken up by a plant. Which leads me to a more specific question: how much phosphorous do I really need if our soil is ‘depleted’? Vegetables seemed to do fine last year, though perhaps some issues with lack of largesse, insects... Would using something like barley meal provide sufficient phosphorous? Any suggestions?

I know there is so much going on in the soil beyond simple NPK; like how available are these nutrients actually becoming to the plant. I’ve also become fascinated with idea of sea water/minerals and bokashi... though I’ve tried neither. Anyway, we’re looking for some simple sustainable amendments to begin with. Any thoughts?

Thank you,

3 months ago