by TAMI SCHLIES
Instead of buying expensive, premixed fertilizer from specialty stores, try this recipe to make a complete organic fertilizer good for our Alaskan soils. This is easy, too, because the measurements are by volume, not weight – just use a scoop!
Mix 4 parts seed meal or alfalfa meal, for Nitrogen, which is needed for leaf growth. You can also use some fishmeal or blood meal, but be careful because it is fast acting and may burn plants. Try a 1 part blood meal and 3 part seed meal mix.
1/2 part bone meal for phosphorus, used in flower, fruit, and root growth. If you use a high nitrogen bone meal, you may want to cut back on your seed meal a little. 1 part soft rock phosphate may be used instead, which will release phosphorus more slowly over a longer period of time.
1/2 part kelp meal for potassium, used in stem structure and disease resistance. You could replace this with Greensand, which is slower acting and does not have the added benefit of micronutrients, but it is less expensive.
1 part dolomitic lime to offset the acidity of the seed meal if you tend to have acid soil. You could also use 2 parts wood ashes instead (not from treated lumber), if you have a lot of those, and in the process omit the kelp meal as well, since ashes are high in potassium. If you have alkaline soil, you might omit the lime.
Sprinkle liberally, work into the top couple of inches of soil for most vegetables and plants, and add more later in the season if they seem to be flagging. Remember to STOP fertilizing your fruit trees by June 1st so they shut down in time for winter!