CSI GARDEN PROGRAMS
Fertility programs developed by CSI work as well for home gardeners as they do for commercial growers. In both cases it’s important to remember that plants grow from energy, not from fertilizer. Fertilizers contain energy and their specific ingredients make or provide the energy used by the growing crop. Most gardeners, like most conventional growers, apply poor energy (fertilizer) sources to unbalanced, minerally deficient soils and this accounts for their weed and insect pressures and also explains why fruits, berries and vegetables rot so easily – rather than dehydrate – if left in the refrigerator or on the counter. As you balance your soil mineral profile and bioactivate the soil with beneficial microbes these pressures will substantially lessen. Nutrient Dense provides your family with quality fruits, berries and vegetables that taste much better and are more healthy to consume. Below are three programs designed for a garden measuring 20’ x 50’ (1000 sq ft). Note: similar programs can be applied to your lawn, trees, shrubs, etc. We recommend NOT applying pesticides, herbicides, (especially RoundUp type products) fungicides, etc because any toxic chemicals applied to your property are very harmful to beneficial microorganisms and can easily move through the skin of native wildlife, pets, children and adults. Additionally these toxic chemicals often are carried through the soil by rainfall into city sewers, lakes and streams and ultimately into the ground water supply. (Always look for lawn care services offering natural, sustainable and nontoxic programs.) Click here for gardening links and resources.
From your local garden center (Note: many garden center products create the problems we’re trying to solve but the products we recommend will be some of their better products), buy a 50 lb bag of high calcium lime (not dolomite or AG lime which you buy ONLY IF you have really sandy soil) and one gallon of a liquid fish fertilizer (If you can find a fish and seaweed product that would be even better). Two to four weeks before planting apply lime to soil with a spreader and then, using a tank type sprayer or end-of-hose sprayer, apply 12 -16 oz of fish fertilizer (if using 2 gallon sprayer it may take 2 applications to apply depending on the thickness of the fish), four Tbs household sugar, and 16 oz of a cola soft drink to the soil and mix or rototill in. (Unlike the third program, this formula may not supply all the nitrogen your garden needs for this first year, but it will be a good start.)
Dig a row for the seeds, place the seeds or transplants in the row or hole and using a gallon milk jug apply the following solution over the seeds or in the transplant hole before covering: To 1 gal jug add ½ cup fish fertilizer, 1 tsp sugar and ½ cup cola. Fill with water, shake and apply this solution over seeds and transplants. Each gallon should treat about a 50 ft row.
Once the plants emerge from the soil, spray leaves once every two or three weeks using either the end-of-hose or tank sprayer. Note: adding a vegetable mix fertilizer containing trace minerals – boron, copper, iron, manganese & zinc – at their suggested rate could be highly beneficial. This may or may not be an organic program but is okay to provide these necessary trace minerals. IF using in the 2 gallon sprayer use at the rate of 1 tsp fish or fish/seaweed and per gallon of water. Spray earlier morning or later afternoon, not in the heat of the day.
In addition to above, adding 100 - 200 lbs of a good compost to the soil on top of the lime would be an improvement. Apply at manufacturers recommended rates prior to rototilling garden. Note: DON'T rototill deep! Rototilling damages beneficial fungi so keep it shallow - 2 to 4 inches. Apply 2 cans of beer (OR 6 oz liquid B vitamin complex), 1 cup Borax, 4 to 8 oz additional fish or fish/seaweed and 1 qt cranberry juice to pre-rototiller liquid mix. To in-row liquid mix, add 1 Tbs Borax and 4 oz fish. Apply foliar sprays as indicated above.
Prior to rototilling mix in water 1.5 oz COMPLETE (from CSI) to the Good preplant program above, apply evenly over the soil and then rototill in. NOTE: this should be sprayed within 1-2 hours of mixing in water as COMPLETE is teaming with microbes and will grow! This product will provide the necessary microbes along with their own food source to ensure the best possible transition to a biologically active soil and may provide most of the nitrogen needed to grow your garden.
For those truly serious about growing nutrient-dense crops remember, it’s impossible to know how to get where you want to go if you don’t know where you’re starting from. CSI can help fine tune your gardening project by conducting a professional soil test when you send us a soil sample. Download our soil bag tag and follow the instructions in gathering the soil. Put 2 cups in a plastic bag, staple the Soil Sample test form and send with a check for $74.00 (Tests 1, 2 & Recommendations) to: CSI Inc, 1718 Madison SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49507, 616-246-7933. These tests will give you a complete printout of what mineral balance is present in your soil AND how available they are to the plant roots. Our recommendations will tell you how to balance your soil and bioactivate it so your crops have the nutrition necessary for nutrient dense production.
NOTE: CSI has a full spectrum of products for gardening including one or five gallon containers of Organo Fish 4-1-1 fertilizer, dry soluble microbial-based fertilizers (COMPLETE being the simplest) and liquid nitrogen-fixing microbes for soil and foliar. IF the COMPLETE packet is stored in a cool, dry location it could last two or more years as one-half pound will cover 10,000 sq ft. COMPLETE was formulated specifically for CSI to help growers move toward nutrient dense production.
Patio, window ledge and even front step container gardens allow for creative expression in small places. Whether it be flowers or veggies, containers can be the perfect solution to small spaces. Search the web for what you need to know. Once you’ve decided on a container pick up a package of the decorative volcanic rock used as a ground covering. Place about three to four inches of this rock in the bottom of the container to give paramagnetic properties. Add good compost or potting soil. At the base of your seed or transplant place 3 to 5 Tainio Biopellets containing live enzymes and microbes (~2000 pellets for $102.00 freight paid) designed to stimulate plant growth and response. Place 3 to 5 at the base of plants in a container plus 1 for every inch of circumference. In a garden place 1 for every 2 inches of row. This products will last two years easily when stored cool and dry. Enjoy!
For the Really Serious Gardner
You will want to purchase: The Nontoxic Farming Handbook written by our own Dr. Phil and Ron, and a refractometer from Pike Agri-Lab Supplies, Inc to evaluate progress you are making toward growing healthy, high-brix, nutrient-dense fruits, berries and vegetables. Additionally, a 3-day Sustainable Growers Seminar, presented in January 2011, is also available from CSI in DVD, CD or MP3 format. Program contains 500+ PowerPoint slide booklet and 25 pages of articles written by Dr. Phil Wheeler.
Beneficial Products sold by CSI to Home Gardeners
Organo Fish - A 100% organic fish fertilizer that can be applied to both the soil and the foliage.
COMPLETE - A microbially heavy product developed to help gardeners achieve Nutrient Dense results.
BioPellets - A nutrition based pellet containing concentrated nutrition and microbes for annuals, perennials, garden vegetables, and potted plants. This slow release nutrient pellet will increase plant growth and production, help retain moisture, and increase the general health of the plant.
CSI carries a number of microbially based products that could be helpful, depending upon your soil test results, in boosting certain minerals missing or not available in your soil. Call to discuss products that may be more specific to your needs.
Note: Ken Lansing, CSA grower in Memphis, TN has used CSI for soil testing and recommendations for about a year. This spring he used COMPLETE for the first time. When asked how his strawberries were doing he replied: Strawberries are the best ever! I lost everything during the 2 weeks of rain but I applied product as per your suggestions and the berries are coming on and are delicious - sweet for the first time.