Developing a Fertilizer

Discussion in 'Fertilizer Application' started by gorlax, Jul 24, 2013.

  1. gorlax

    gorlax LawnSite Member
    Messages: 2


    This is my first post on here. I have been curious into developing my own fertilizer for at home gardens. Particularly indoor plants, small gardens, etc. I run my own small garden and have done so for years using many products including organic teas, composts, chemical fertilizers, and so on. I recently became curious in creating my own custom blend for me and some friends.

    I am currently a senior at Arizona State getting my b.s in biochemistry, and I am pretty knowledgeable in chemistry and biology as expected. With my gardening interests I believe this to be something in my realm. :dancing:

    Here is my proposed blend:

    I want a N-P-K of roughly (15.5-19-38)

    I have not concluded what chemical fertilizers are the cheapest and best so these are my proposed ingredients.

    Calcium Nitrate ( to provide the nitrogen level and calcium)

    - 15.5% - Nitrogen

    - 19% Calcium

    I have not found out what to use to provide my ratios of P-K. What would be the best chemicals to get these levels? (Soluble Potash)?

    For the micro-nutrients I have found a supplier offering all chelated essentials in a single mix. I simply plan on buying this and mixing it accordingly, however it seems rather expensive at 70$ a lb, but 1oz makes 50 gallons so it essentially will make plenty of uses. The percentages of each micro-nutrient are not given either. I could get them if I inquired but I believe them to be standard levels.

    The levels I am looking for are around:

    Copper - 2.5%
    Boron - .001
    Manganese - .06%
    iron - .08%
    zinc - 10%
    molybdenum- .03%

    I noticed that this package does not include Cobalt, Nickel, Silica, or Magnesium. Which of course are needed!

    I am kind of stumped on the micro-nutrient part, would I have to buy these all individually to get these percentages?

    My sulfur content would be at 4%

    I also plan on using beneficial bacteria as well.
    Soluble Powder Bacillus

    1 billion CFU's / Gram

    • Bacillus subtilis sp. 1
    • Bacillus subtilis sp. 2
    • Bacillus subtilis sp. 3
    • Bacillus subtilis sp. 4
    • Bacillus polymyxa
    • Bacillus licheniformis
    • Bacillus amyloliquefaciens

    if anyone has any input please reply!
  2. ted putnam

    ted putnam LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,746

    I can't believe Kiril hasn't jumped all over this one...:laugh:
  3. phasthound

    phasthound LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,160


    I commend you for your thought process and your desire to put your education to work.

    That being said, keep on keepin' on. :)
  4. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    I'm developing an indoor potting mix that includes charcoal...
    If you're interested in learning a larger picture about living organisms,,, check out: TERRA PRETA... :)
  5. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 18,335


    Where did you come up with these numbers? Are we talking hydroponics here? If not, there is no need to address all the essential nutrients in a single fertilizer given plant nutrient requirements vary greatly depending on species, growing medium, environmental conditions, etc .... Custom blends are great, however they should be blended based on established plant need (soil test, plant tissue analysis, inputs, etc ...), not on a generic predetermined ideal ratio of nutrients that may or may not even be needed.
  6. americanlawn

    americanlawn LawnSite Fanatic
    from midwest
    Messages: 5,955

  7. ted putnam

    ted putnam LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,746

    Thanks for the link Larry.

    I did a representative/dealer locator search on their site and there is one for me about 4 miles up the road. I will plan on calling him and meeting with him.

    I take it you use some of their products?? If so, are you happy with the results? Are they competitively priced?
  8. gorlax

    gorlax LawnSite Member
    Messages: 2

    I got these numbers from one of the best selling products at my local hydroponic/garden store (no not miracle grow). Yes, I'm talking about hydroponic use, soil use, or any other medium like rock-wool.. I understand that many plants have a custom preference. I want this to be a custom blend similar to the products found in a hydroponic store (general hydroponics, botanicare, advanced nutrients):)
  9. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 18,335

    Don't clump them all together. There are big differences between soil and soilless mediums.

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