Bloom Fertilizer

This is an awesome solution you can make at home and feed your plants during the bud, flower, and fruiting stages of their growth cycle. During the changeover period from growing to flowering, we use CalPhos to enhance roots and strengthen plants. Now that we’re into flowering/fruiting, the natural farming method emphasizes Potassium to enhance qualities like taste and sweetness. To create the fruit extract, we’ll use the same principles we used for HerbaGrow.


How to Make:

  1. Collect fruits. Any fruits can be used. In North America, you can use herbs, or weeds high in Potassium like Comfrey (also a good source of Phosphorus). For the beta-carotene, yellow/orange plants like Carrots, Squash, Pumpkin, etc. We really emphasize Potassium during this time so those plants high in that element are recommended. In Asia we use banana, squash, pumpkin, papaya, mango, jack fruit, pineapple. Citrus fruits should generally be avoided. Recommended “best” combination here in asia is a 1:1:1 mix of banana, squash, papaya. In the west it could be banana, squash, pumpkin.
  2. TIP: if you are growing tomatoes, add tomatoes to the fruits to ferment! Get the plant-specific enzymes, nutrients, etc. Want nice big flowers? Use flowers! Want to help the budding stage? Use flower buds and after fermentation, use concoction during budding time! Ferment small growing fruits if you want to promote fruit growth to produce larger fruits.

  3. Mix fruits 1:1 with sugar. E.g. if you gather 1kg of fruits, mash them up with 1 kg sugar (brown sugar being the best), or 1L of molasses.
  4. Mash up this mixture – don’t use hands!
  5. Add mixture to plastic jug and cover loosely.
  6. It should ferment for 7-10 days.
  7. TIP: 7-10 days is normal for fairly warm (25-30 Celsius) temperatures. In colder temperatures it might take longer. Don’t worry, if you leave it longer no problem.

  8. If you start with 1kg fruits+1kg sugar, you’ll end up with 1.5L juice after fermentation.
  9. Drain the juice after fermentation, into a glass/plastic jug for storage
  10. Leave cap off! For first couple weeks to allow bubbling to finish, then cap it.

How to Use:

Add 1tbsp per gallon of water. 

Plants
Apply as a foliar spray or soil drench. Apply during bloom phase and fruiting phase. Can make separate bloom formulas for each phase.

  • Strengthens plants during flower/fruiting
  • Enhances flavor and sweetness in fruits
  • Performs the same function as commercial bloom formulas but is 100% organic, does not burn plants
  • Mix with BIM(.5tbsp of each) and apply together to leaves/soil

  • Henry

    Greetings,

    I’m a bit confused about 4.”Add mixture to plastic jug and cover with a newspaper and twine/rubberband.”. Is the latter suggesting that it should be wrapped with the newspaper and tied with twine or a rubber-band in the plastic tub?

    How long is the shelf life of the concentrate? Should be stored at room temperature or in the refrigerator?

    Many Thanks,
    Henry

    • Patrick

      Hi Henry,

      Great question, the instructions probably complicate the actual procedure a bit. You just need to cover the container so that wild things like ants don’t get in. Don’t seal it since gases will be released with fermentation.

      You can store it at room temperature and it will last for years, I’ll double check that with Gil to try and get an exact timeframe but I know it’s a long time. Once fermentation is complete it is quite stable. Hope that helps.

      Cheers,
      Patrick

      • Henry

        Thank you Patrick! Very helpful.

    • Shane

      I am wondering if you add water to this mix . I blended my mix and was left with a paste . I added 2 L water to thin the mix, any thoughts

      • Patrick

        Hi Shane,

        Thanks for visiting our site..join the mailing list! Ya that is no problem adding water, you will just have a little more diluted final product, which you can mix in greater concentrations when applying.

        When fermentation starts, after you mash the fruits with sugar, it should be a mush, thick and pasty. As it ferments there should be a decent amount of liquid that separates out, that will be your end product. However, sometimes less fluid is produced because of some cause like environmental conditions during fermentation, ingredients used, etc. it’s fine to add water in these cases.

        Cheers,
        Patrick

    • Mickael

      Hi there I found your recipe quite interesting and I’m wondering if honey would work instead of molasses, also I’ve had some considerable success with compost tea but would like to brew one that has all micro and macro nutrients , basically I’d like to make an alround balanced fertilizer using strictly natural products what’s my best bet to get all micro & macro nutrients naturally ?? Can I even get all of these into a tea or are some of them gonna have to be separate? Whats the best way to include a full array of nutrients in a balanced uniform organic way? I’ve been a little mixed up trying to chose and dont want to have to buy dozens of products to make a real alround ” clean ” fertilizer . My goal is to make a soil mix or

      • Patrick

        Hi Mickael,

        I would focus on using a really really nice quality compost for your compost tea. Then add a mineral mix to it when you go to use, to get the trace minerals. but “all the micro and macro nutrients” is kinda a subject thing that varies by plant species and ambient conditions. If you use things like aged manure, worm castings, and compost tea, with a little trace minerals added, you should be fine for your plants needs.

        Cheers,
        Patrick

  • Henry

    Hello Patrick,

    Just completed 1st batch of Bloom, fermented 10 days. The one thing that is noticeably missing is the lack of “bubbling”. Any problem there, and after the first 5 days I noticed spots of white mold, which I’m pretty sure is a good thing.

    I stirred this batch(which I had in a perforated 3 gal bucket)every other day or so.

    Many thanks.

    • Patrick

      Hey Henry, no worries about the bubbling, depending on environmental conditions you might not have noticable bubbling. There should still be gas produced but if you have it in a perforated bucket you wouldn’t notice that.

      Yep, as you assumed the mold is fine no worries there.

      You don’t need to stir it but that’s ok if you do. That might be why you didn’t notice bubbling, the stirring allowed better gas exchange to the surface.

      Just out of curiosity, what fruits did you use?

  • Henry

    I used Gil’s Papaya, Squash, & Banana and added a few stalks and leaves of Comfrey. Patrick how often can this be fed to tomatoes and peppers?

    • Patrick

      I don’t think there is an upper limit to how often you feed this as long as you dilute it appropriately. I would foliar spray once or twice weekly throughout bud and flower stage. I also add some to my compost teas I brew during this phase of the season. It isn’t super strong chemically, you just need to make sure you dilute it because of the acidity, byproducts of fermentation, etc.

  • Lucas

    hi ,it is ok if i use banana, squash, carrot ? or shoul i use banana, squash, pumpkin ?
    thank you

    lucas

    • Patrick

      Hey Lucas, using carrot would be great actually – good carotene source.

  • Peter

    hi , congratulations for your page , is very helpful , to make the extract , should i ripe the fruits in little pieces and mix them ? o should we crush the fruits ?

    thank you

    • Patrick

      Hi Peter,

      Thanks! Glad you’re interested in our site, join our mailing list! I’d crush the fruit before fermenting. You don’t have to do anything, but I think crushing leads to better fermentation and more juice in the final product.

      Cheers,
      Patrick

  • Klai

    Hello and thanks for taking your time to gather and put together all these information. This is a wealth of information and was exactly what I was looking for. I’m switching from growing chemically to organics and is trying to learn the ropes of growing organically. I hope you can help. I was wondering if both these GROW/BLOOM fertilizer works the same as a Organic Compost Tea? If no, can it be used with teas? If so, how? Do I just mix the fert’s directly in with tea, or after tea is finished brewing and diluted with water? Or do I water my plants with tea and fert’s separately? And what if I just water my plants without the compost tea and just grow/bloom fertilizer, any pros/cons? Thanks.

    • Patrick

      Hi Klai,

      Thanks for joining us! Join our mailing list! It’s a great intro to using all these concepts. I have a post on compost tea in the pipeline, it’s going to be a great one.

      As far as your questions go:

      1. These grow/bloom recipes are a little different than compost tea. They are fermented, decomposed without oxygen. They will contain many strains of bacteria, but primarily lactobacillus, the workhorse of the fermentation bacteria. Other genus of bacteria may be present but most likely in cyst form. In these recipes, lots of material is added and fermentation takes place, breaking the material down into smaller components that are bio-available. Proteins, enzymes, hormones, beneficial chemical compounds are all extracted during this process. In contrast, compost tea, done properly, is heavily aerated (as much as possible). This creates an aerobic environment in which a high diversity of bacteria/fungi flourish. However you can’t add a lot of materials like you do in fermentation (that would lower the oxygen content and the tea would “go bad”). You are basically just trying to breed a really high population of bacteria/fungi. Both of these things are amazing tools in the organic farming kit.

      2. You can use these bloom/grow fertilizers with compost tea any way that you can imagine. You can add it to the tea during brew, or you can add it to the diluted mixture at the end. When adding it to the tea during brew, I usually add less than I would if adding later. This is because I don’t want the compost tea getting too acidic and I don’t want too many nutrients in it (lowers oxygen levels and can harm bacterial/fungal growth). So in a 5 gallon tea I might add 1 tbsp bloom and 1 tbsp grow for a balanced tea. Or 3 tbsp bloom if I want a heavily bloom favored tea. Experiment adding more, I try to err on the side of caution with these things, I’ve burned my plants many times even with organic brews. If you add to the diluted tea just before adding to that plants, you can add at the normal rate (1 tbsp/gal).

      3. You can water with just bloom/grow and no compost tea, but you’ll be missing out some on the microbial diversity. Now if you made BIM you could get around that. Even with BIM though I still like making compost tea, it’s great stuff and complements the fermented extractions perfectly.

      Great questions Klai, hope you sign up and join our little army of unconventional farmers!

      Patrick

  • Klai

    Thank you, you’ve answered my question perfectly. And I just signed up. Another question:

    1. Now since the Grow/Bloom fertilizers are fermented and does not require oxygen, would it be safe to assume one can make multiple batches and store it in a air-tight container for later use (like say… next summer when I switch over to organic)?

    2. I didn’t know what BIM was until you mentioned it. Looks like great stuff. I was wondering if I can make and use BIM to jump start the beneficial bacteria in my left over organic soil (4-5 cubic yards) and store it until next year? Will the microbes/bacteria/fungi/etc still be alive by then? If not, how do I keep it alive? I will be watering it ever few day with de-chlorinated water, or tea (which is best if possible?). I plan on throwing some composting worm into the pile of soil too. The longer the soil sits, the better, or no?

    3. Lastly, these terms are thrown around in garden forums so loosely, it confuses me. Is it true that “Bacteria” benefits plants in the vegetative stage and “Fungi” benefits plant on the flowering stage or did I get it the reverse way around?

    I will love to see your Compost Tea recipe. Can’t wait. Thanks.

    • Patrick

      I saw that thanks! Glad to have you on board. There will be lots of great information coming out this year. To answer:

      1. Yep that’s the great thing about these recipes. Once finished they can all be stored for a long time. They are very stable after fermentation.

      2. You can use BIM for that purpose, sure. That’s what it’s for, boosting bacterial/fungal populations. If the piles dry out or freeze or something, the microbes will persist in cyst/spore form until conditions become favorable again. If you have the time, compost tea would be best to water them with. No need to use compost tea every time. Maybe every 5 waterings or so, use compost tea. There’s no rules just whatever works for you. Worms are great! Awesome composters and great for boosting microbe populations. The longer the pile sits the better it becomes. More microbes inhabit, more nutrients get broken down into bio-available forms, etc. It “ages”, aged compost and soil is best! Like fine wine 🙂

      3. It’s true bacteria and fungi are thrown around a lot. From my reading and discussions, it’s less about stages of development as acidity. High bacterial populations tend to make the soil more basic whereas high fungal populations tend to make the soil more acidic. So plants that like a more acidic soil would appreciate higher fungal counts and those that like it more neutral/basic would favor bacterial populations. Another convention I’ve heard a lot is fungi for trees/shrubs, bacteria for grasses/soft-stem. Honestly I don’t even worry about it too much anymore. I try to get as much beneficial bacteria, fungi, protozoa and nematodes as I can into the soil. A good healthy balanced population of beneficial microbes will make for awesome plants that require less maintenance.

  • Henry

    Patrick,

    I too would love to see your tea recipe!

  • Klai

    Thanks a lot Patrick, I REALLY REALLY appreciate it. You’ve been a TREMENDOUS help. I feel I’ve learned a lot more within a few hours visiting this page and talking with you; than I did, a whole month and a half asking questions and going through other websites. You’re very informative, simple and to the point. Keep up the EXCELLENT work. Will be looking out for your tea recipe 🙂

    • Patrick

      Wow, great feedback! I’m happy to help! Do you mind if I quote you in the testimonials section (coming soon)? Like I said if you are looking for tips on organic gardening this is a great place. Over the course of this year, through the Flog and new pages, we’ll be covering dry composting, wet composting, bokashi composting, crop rotation, no till farming, biochar, additional recipes and cover cropping just to name a few. Many of these articles are already written but are in the edit phase still. I love this stuff and I’m happy to devote my free time to this adventure.

  • Klai

    Sorry I’ve been busy but YES you can absolutely quote me in your testimonial section. Again, thanks.

  • John

    hi ,im doing the banana squash papaya FPE but im a little confused ,in another gil article (Beneficial Indigenous Organisms )in the making of bionutrients ,it says that the liquid generated can be diluted with 20 parts of water ,and then we can use 2-4 tablespoons per gallon of water , this disolution is rigth ? here is the article

    http://tribes.tribe.net/effectivemicro/thread/d6b8fd03-e2c7-4650-a658-51fdf4f013ad

    thanks for your time

    John

    • Patrick

      Hi John,

      Ha, I’ve seen that article floating around a lot over the years. That’s true in the article there is the step to dilute with 20 parts water. We changed that for several reasons. It’s simpler not to have to dilute it twice, and through practice farmers here have found 1 tbsp/gal of the pure extract to be effective, and not too much for plants to handle. Now if you are mixing FPE’s you’ll have to dilute accordingly but that is a separate topic. Let me know if that makes sense or any other questions. Thanks for visiting the site! Check out the FLOG, there will be posts on this and other topics coming out soon.

      Cheers,
      Patrick

  • Ainerol

    hello patrick

    we re making the ferment ,20 days from the begining , in the top layer of the ferment it has a white layer of mold ,it is ok ?

    thank you
    Ainerol

    • Patrick

      Yep, for sure thats fine, that will happen most of the time with this recipe, there’s no problem there. Keep the process anaerobic to keep the molds beneficial.

  • Karen

    Hi Patrick,

    what about using the peels of the fruits too? And is it ok to use a high-speed blender (ex: vitamix) to liquify and ferment?

    Karen

  • Annie

    Hi Patrick, boy am I glad I am far away from you bec I have a question and you might be very tempted to wring my neck! I was so tired of cutting up the tumeric and the devil said “use the blender, after all you are going to add water, right?” So I did. Another thing, I used my hand to mash up the bananas and since the pumpkin was a bit hard, I grated it, will my bloom fail do you think?
    Thanks
    Annie Kuala Lumpur

    • Patrick

      What, KL isn’t far that’s just a short flight away, I’m coming to get you! Haha no, no worries Annie that’s fine to use the blender. We even recommend it in some recipes, like the fish fertilizer recipe. I use my blender a lot when making these recipes, just to increase the surface area of my ingredients and help the fermentation process.

  • phoenix

    Would this work with apples? Persimmons? Plums?

    Curious which other non-citrus fruits would be most effective.

    Also curious whether one could leave the cap on loosely for the last stage of brewing to keep pests out – ?

    • Patrick

      Yes and yes. Non-citrus fruits are best to use, we recommend the non-citrus varieties actually. The fruits you listed would work fine in this recipe. As far as the cap goes, I leave the cap loosely on most of my fermentations. The best would be an airlock, but a loose cap works ok too.

  • phoenix

    Oh and it seems like a lot of sugar compared to other fermentation recipes (like the ones on EM-1 websites). Why?

    Also, speaking of EM-1, could you substitute EM-1 for molasses or sugar in this recipe?

    • Patrick

      I haven’t talked to Gil about why so much sugar. I assume so there is more alcohol and finally vinegar during fermentation, which substances act as solvents for lots of good stuff in the fruit. I’ll ask Gil about it.

      • phoenix

        Thanks so much for the prompt replies. I love this site.

  • Annie

    Was wondering if I could feed all my waste from squeezing out the juice from my bloom? Any one know? I have a feling they will love it, but the amount of sugar the waste conatins might kill off the worms. AND I don’t want to experiment on a few worms too.

    • Patrick

      Oh it should be great for you worms! pre-digested, they should love it! I feed mine all kinds of fermented stuffs, although mine are night-crawlers (preferred in asia), shouldn’t make a difference. The sugar content is pretty low after fermentation – microbes ate all the sugar already.

  • Annie

    I kept a little and consigned the bulk to my bokashi compost bin. I read some where someone poured the remnants of his coke into the worm bin and the worms loved it also another adds brown sugar to the bin but I wasn’t too sure about bloom’s waste. Thanks a heap Patrick!

  • phoenix

    Am I right in thinking that this is sort of like the equivalent of apple (or other fruit) cider vinegar for plants?

    Is there a way to tell that fermentation is complete and no alcohol is left in the mixture to poison plants? I know aeration will wine into vinegar eventually, but am not familiar with the indications of when it’s done. Will bubbling start or stop at certain point in the procedure?

    • Patrick

      I suppose that’s a good analogy though I haven’t made apple cider vinegar before and the recipe I found calls for 6 months and no sugar. Maybe this is an accelerated version of that process. A small amount of alcohol is ok since this is diluted heavily for use. But you should be able to tell when it’s gone by the smell – the fermented, sour/vinegar smell is pretty distinctive.

      Cheers,
      Patrick

  • Rose

    Hi. Can I use pineapple peelings to make the bloom fertilizer?

    • Patrick

      They are pretty citrus..We usually don’t ferment the citrus fruits. I’ll ask Gil about it though.
      Cheers,
      Patrick

      • Rose

        Thanks Patrick. I’ll wait for Gil’s feedback then. I wonder if you have already started with the hydroponics?

        • Patrick

          I haven’t started playing with hydro and I don’t think Gil has either..

  • Annie

    Patrick, I used the Bloom on my Yellow Pear Tomato plants as they were ready to flower. Bloom really works miracles. I harvested a few tomatoes to-day and they were so sweet and juicy. I had also applied Bloom on my Mulberry plants and within a few days, tiny berries appeared in droves on the branches. I am eagerly waiting for my other plants to show signs of flowering, then I will spray them with Bloom. I did banana, pumpkin papaya, tomatoe and pineapple at one attempt.

  • Adam

    Hello, after seeing this I decided to research high potassium foods and found that potatoes have huge amounts of potassium in them, sweet potatoes would also have the beta-carotene. Would these be good to include as ingredients? or is there a reason I should avoid potatoes? Also, Blackstrap Molasses is high in Potassium so it seems it may be beneficial if liquid sugars are suitable process, so would B.lack-S.trap M.olasses be good to use? I was thinking banana-papaya-sweet potato with BSM for the sugar? thanks for your input.

    • Patrick

      Awesome comment Adam sorry its taken me so long to reply I’ve been away. Yes, sweet potato would be great, and BSM is the ideal sugar source in our experience. Though not sure how the starch content will affect the final output, might be quite alcoholic so make sure you dilute appropriately. Try it and let us know how it goes! Would love to see how it turns out might have to try it also.

  • zek

    Hi, I am from Malaysia. I am learn about Natural farming fertilizer from our Department of agriculture. I want to know how to extract chitin & chitosan from crab and shrimp using fermentation techniques. If I burn the shell and mix with apple cider, can l get the chitin. Or the shell fermented with brown sugar without burning. Tq.

    • Patrick

      This is a great question and a little tricky. I’ve worked on this recipe personally. Getting Chitin is easy, getting Chitosan, the plant-available form of chitin, is much more difficult, or involved anyway. Here are the steps:

      1. leave chitin source (crab shells, shrimp shells, etc) in compost pile to let critters clean all meat and such off it.
      2. soak chitin source in mild acid (vinegar) to remove calcium. This should be pretty fast, I just use a day or so anyway.
      3. remove chitin and let dry
      4. soak chitin in EXTREMELY strong base. Recommended at least 40% sodium hydroxide. This stuff will burn you if you touch it. Ideally you would heat it at this stage to 100 Celsius but that makes crazy fumes. I just leave it in solution for a month. This is probably less effective but I’m limited due to living in an apartment.
      5. After 1 month remove chitosan from NaOH and let it dry.
      6. Soak this product in weak acid(vinegar) and it should dissolve.
      7. Apply this at roughly 1tsp/gal

      That is the rough recipe anyway. You have to be very careful, NaOH is toxic stuff. I don’t recommend making this unless you know what you’re doing. It would be much simpler just to dry out the shells, use a mortar and pestle to grind them up, and add this powder to your compost pile. You’ll get chitosan eventually as the microbes break down the chitin to the plant-available form..

    • j

      soak your shells in lab and ferment that way, then after 10 days, strain the solution and store, it should be full of chitin.

      • Patrick

        Thanks J, this is actually an upcoming article topic! Lots of studies showing awesome purification of chitin through fermentation..

  • Phil Bradshaw

    Hi Patrick.
    I wrote yesterday with regard to the calphos. The same applies to this question also.
    Would this “Bloom” nutrient be applicable in a hydroponic flood & drain situation? And if so, at what ratio? What I failed to ask yesterday, was could you please give any measurements in “metric” i.e. millilitres & litres to avoid any confusion between U.K. gallons, & U.K. tablespoons? Thanks again
    Phil B.

    • Patrick

      You know I really need to get all the conversions on this site sorted out so we’re all on the same page. It annoys me too, here in the Philippines we really use both systems, mixed and mashed up. Anyway you know google is great at converting, just type “3.5tbsp to ml” or “1.75L to gal” or any kind of conversion like that and it will do it right there for you.

      You know, I haven’t used this in a hydro system but it would be very applicable. I REALLY want to try all these recipes in hydro, it’s on the to-do list. For ratio, I’d stick to the recommended ratios for these recipes and see how you go. Make sure you strain them well! Though flood and drain should be fine.. Anyway I’d try 5ml/L of the bloom and work up from there. Keep in mind this depends how much water you added when fermenting the fruits. If you added water during fermentation then you can mix stronger amounts here.

      Patrick

  • Phil Bradshaw

    Hi Patrick.
    Thanks for your reply, regarding conversion rates, & yes, conversions are readily available on the net.
    What concerns/interests me, is the dosage rates with these home made products. I always err on the side of caution, but a “ball-park” figure would be a good place to start.It would be good to make my own nutrient, instead of spending fortunes on “Advanced Nutrients” expensive products. I am currently experimenting with a home-made product called “kvas”,for a substitute for Voodoo & Piranha, which you might like to “Google”. It has many applications, & is very simple to make!
    With regard to your pest problem; “garden hygiene” is very important. Try to clear up any dead & dying plant material that would provide a hiding place for pests. & keep surrounding areas clear of weeds, which can also be a vector for infection, both for insects,viruses, molds & fungus etc., I’m probably telling you something you already know. I’m Just trying to be helpful!

    • Patrick

      Heh thanks Phil! Yeah, I tend to err on the side of caution and then quickly progress until I overdo it haha.. Generally this means starting at 1tsp/gal and working up to several tbsp per gallon or even more in the case of bokashi and worm leachate.

      Thanks for the advice! Still need to look up that kvas sounds interesting…anything to cut out over-priced fertilizers, jeez..

      Cheers,
      Patrick

  • Francis

    Hi guys, first of all, thanks for sharing your amazing work, I’ve been reading and reading, just can’t get enough of all the information here.

    I had some questions, I live in the Caribbean, so I have some the fruit in the garden already (Mango, papaya). Now lots of times birds and other critters partially eat the fruits before we get to them. By the time the fruit falls on the ground, they are then not edible anymore/starting to rot/smelling funky. Would it be ok to use these fruit also?

    My second question is a bit more tricky. Your recipe above is in gallons, but we only use liters here. (I know the conversion and all) but what I want to do is make 1l bottles containing Bloom solution. But I want to alter the recipe so that you need to add 1 tablespoon (15ml) to 1L of water. I realize I would need to dilute the entire solution a bit to make it less strong since it’s only 1L.

    I’ve tried calculating it in different ways and asking different people, but no one seems to know how to calculate this. If you have an idea how to calculate this I would really appreciate the help 🙂

    Keep up the great work guys!
    Thanks again,

    Francis

    • Patrick

      Hey Francis,

      First, the fruits on the ground are perfect for fermenting! They are already inoculated with microbes! put them in a bucket, add sugar, seal it, and you’re good to go. They are actually better than using right off the tree since they already have good populations going, picked up off the soil ecosystem they landed on.

      Now for the conversion. So normally you would have 1tbsp per gallon of water. I’m just going to say it’s 4L per gallon of water (it’s really about 3.79L/gal). So if you want your bloom solution to be mixed at a rate of 1tbsp/L, then it needs to be 4 times more dilute than our recipe. So mix it with 3 parts water before you bottle it for distribution. This way it will be 4 times the original volume, so people can mix it 4 times the strength, or 1tbsp/L. E.G. you have 1kg fruits so you add 1L molasses. After fermentation this might be 1.5L of bloom fert. Dilute this with 4.5L water, then bottle it up, hand it out and tell people to mix 1tbsp/L.

      Note, you can also mix it with water before fermentation but it’ll be a little less exact since you don’t know quite the correct volume at that time.

      Hopefully I understood your question correctly. Let me know if not. Good luck!

      Cheers,
      Patrick

  • Tina L.

    Hello po! Can i speak tagalog here? ask ko lang po if applicable din yung bloom fertilizer or calphos sa mga flowering plants? like adeniums?

    • Patrick

      Oo naman, no problem sa tagalog. haha pero konte lang tagalog ko. ok lang gamitin ang bloom fertilizer sa lahat ng halaman. kung gusto mo, use yung malalaaking flowers para sa bloom fertilizer – i-ferment yung flowers para jan.

      Salamat,
      Patrick

      • Tina L.

        Wow you’re good at tagalog ha. In fairness to you! Thanks for the info. Malapit ko na magamit yung bloom fertilizer ko. I started the fermentation last nov. 24. I’m very excited to use it on my garden!

  • Travis Schulert

    Hello, Patrick.

    We talked a few days ago about BIM, I would like to know if there is any microbial inoculants I have to add. Right now I have lots of gourds and squash and potatoes going bad either on the rack or in the fridge. I would like to make all of this into a bloom fertilizer. Some of it is washed, some of it has been sitting out for months in the kitchen, so do they still have the bacteria and yeasts on them or do I need to supplement them?

    • Patrick

      Hi Travis,

      Nope, you don’t need to inoculate them with anything especially if they’ve been out for months. You can use them in this recipe. They will be great bloom inoculants, especially on your squash and potato plants. Just follow the recipe as is and you should be good. Remember it’s temperature dependent so if it’s cold outside try to do it inside somewhere where it’s a little warmer.

      Cheers,
      Patrick

      • Travis Schulert

        A heat pad hooked up to a thermostat, and the pad is set under a large cooler. It makes for a very good incubation chamber that can hold multiple gallon jugs. Also nice to be able to set it at whatever temp I want.

        • Patrick

          Ooo thats very nice – I’d set it for 35 or so! Great temp for lactobacillus spp.

  • Matthew

    Hi Patrick,

    I’m so intrigue with this topic of fermentation and i have a bit of questions to ask you. i read one of your previous recipes in making the lactobacillus spp. And i did a bit or research and found all the great benefits of this bacteria. i am current pursuing plant development within an Aquaponis system. i am a bit curious. i your article about lactobacillus spp you stated to add lacto at roughly 1L per 700m3 of fish-containing water. what i want to find out is how often i can add this into my aquaculture and will it breakdown the fish waste within the system.
    secondly this fermented plant juice can i also add it directly into the fish water to provide the added mineral content to supplement nutrients such as potassium, if so at what concentration and frequency can i add it at. will i also have to monitor pH also. i know i asked alot but i’m eagerly awaiting your response. i’m currently fermenting some papaya as we speak and i’m excited to try it on my tomatoes plants. thanks in advance.

    • Patrick

      Hi Matthew,

      That’s great you’re getting into this, it’s good stuff! As far as your questions go, here are my thoughts. I haven’t played around with aquaculture applications much so I’m not the best at these recommendations.. I’m going to err on the side of caution and hopefully it’ll work well for you..

      1. You can add the lacto as often as you feel it’s necessary. Yep, it’ll break down the fish waste in the system. Start with that rate – 1L/700m3 and add more or less as you see fit. It shouldn’t do any harm to the fish at that application rate no matter how often you add it.
      2. Yep you can add fermented plant juices to the system for sure! They will also have great lactobacillus populations. As far as application rate…I don’t know but I would start with same as the lacto – 1L/700m3, that is extremely dilute it should be ok.
      3. Definitely monitor the pH when you add these! They are acidic – at these application rates they should be fine but I’d still watch just in case.

      Hope that helps. Let me know how it goes! I’m dying to start an aquaculture setup. I’ve seen lacto used in ponds back in the states and its amazing – the fish explode in size and the water gets super clean, super cool. I’m planning to start a little aquaponics setup but it’s low on the priority list these days :(..
      Patrick

      • Matthew

        Thanks Patrick. I will surely add it at the rate you suggested it should be added and I’ll let you know the results of it. heck if its working so go I’ll even start to up the concentration of the rate to see if there is any ill effect at all. I like to experiment, I just like to figure out the unknowns. thanks again for your knowledge but you have to post some pictures of your crops for us to see. I’m dying to see your garden

      • Bill B.

        Hi Patrick,

        Just spoke at length with a man in America
        In his 60’s who has made millions of dollars
        Raising worms and fish.

        Quite the Dude, he is 🙂

        He has 200 acres with large fish ponds and
        People come from all over the region to
        Fish and picnic.

        Then he also has delivery trucks taking fish
        From his Hatcheries into a number of States.

        We talked a bit about microbes a tad.
        Didn’t just fall off of the turnip wagon myself
        In the microbe usage department.

        This cat is for real. He also has a fish pond
        Set-up where You Pay to fish (if your sweet)
        In the Philippines.

        Plus a Coconut Plantation
        And 3 houses in the Philippines.

        Two different young women in their 20’s
        Living in 2 of the houses and one house
        Just for him if he needs rest.

        Two young children by 2 different young
        Ladies from the Philipines in their 20’s that
        were brought here to
        America but they wound up going with
        Someone else after a few years.
        His other children are way older than you are.

        However this USA deal did not affect his
        House set-up
        In the Philipines.

        I told da man – no doubt he and his Daddy
        Been making some serious coin off of Lot’s of
        People fishing at their Lakes and Ponds
        For decades now.
        All cash money only – I understands.

        Thanks for every ting,

        Bill B.

  • Wendy

    my question is what happen if you do not diluted well?

    not for leaf but for root

    • Patrick

      It’s too acidic for roots if you don’t dilute well. There may be other factors too I’m not sure there but definitely the acidity would be harmful.

  • brian stephen

    hi love reading your site , I have a few thousand macadamia trees here in Australia we have not sprayed any chemicals other than molasses some cal nitrate Epsom salts and potash. I imported a container of condensed molasses solids that ha d been fermented and turned into granuals from vietnarm well it worked great it passed our quaranteen as organic, it was fantastic, but now we are having trouble buying more, you may be able to help me simulate the process and come up with a simaler product that I could do on farm. I am fermenting rice water at the moment , all idears would be welcomed and I would pass on all results. regards brian Stephen australia

    • Patrick

      Hi Brian,

      Sorry for the late reply, that’s really interesting though! Can you point me in the direction of any literature on that stuff you got? I’d be interested in seeing what it’s all about. Is it like solid molasses waste, byproduct of molasses production? I know that’s used in Asia when molasses isn’t available – it’s a little lower in sugars but more concentrated in vitamins/minerals. That can be fermented and broken down using the Aspergillus niger organism, which is a very common fungus. If I were you I would try and find the nearest molasses plant and ask for some of the solid waste, though processing there is probably different than here and they may not produce it. Once you have the solid molasses waste, you can play around with fermenting it.

      Hope that gives you some ideas. Let me know if you have any documentation on it, I’m curious. Cheers,
      Patrick

      • Patrick

        also, man, that’s allotta macadamia trees! grown organically, that is awesome.

  • Gaston

    Thank you so much. This is amazing. I am really enjoying this. 🙂

    • Patrick

      That’s awesome Gaston I’m glad you’re enjoying it!

  • brian stephen

    great to get your reply bring up Vedan Enterprises Vietnarm and the fert is VEDAGRO they have liquid and granuals I bought the granuals and I must say it worked great, but now a third party has rights to import into Australia I don’t like. my import licence required the name of the bacteria that they used and proof of how they destroyed it in manufacture the bacteria was LACTOBACILLUS we have easy aces to molasses and mangoes and fruit and veg scraps we also feed a couple of marema dogs we use a lot of boild rice, I just tried a rice water and milk and added molasses at the end smells lovley I rely need to make a concentrated mix as with the rice water one it is a 20 to 1 mix I use 10 thousand liters of water to spray 2000 trees, we are not totaley organic ,we never spray chemicals for bugs onley molasses we have to use a little roundup once a year, we have 100 sheep that roam around the trees, as for fertilizer I would use the vietnarm vedagro if it was easey to buy like before , fertilizer in Australia is very expensive, I feel I could make my own that would work as well as vedagro I just need some help from people like you, at the moment I mix 1000lit water add 2kg vedagro 2kg cal nitrate 2kg potash and sulphate Epsom salts , this mix will do about 200trees I hose the trees so I realey do the ground as well, I have the mix for em1 em2 em3 em4 I will do a mix and try . I could go on for ever regards brian Stephen PS greatfull for any advice.

    • Patrick

      Hey Brian,

      Wow, lots of stuff going on there. Let’s see. I have some feedback anyway..

      1. I looked up vedagro – super interesting product. It’s a byproduct of MSG production which is interesting. MSG production can be done many ways, but I think this company is just using molasses – just taking straight molasses, fermenting it, extracting the MSG, then drying the byproduct and pelletizing it. There are other methods to produce MSG they might be using though, some involve fermenting another carbon source like wheat gluten, corn gluten or defatted soybean meal. Others involve adding a little ammonia. Any of these would produce an excellent fertilizer as byproduct of MSG production. Their vedagro is pretty high in Nitrogen so maybe they are adding ammonia during fermentation. In any case, I think you can make your own fertilizer that is just as good. Looks like vedan has an unlabelled version of vedagro I’m not sure if you saw that already here.

      2. As I mentioned I think you can make fertilizer that is just as good as Vedagro. If you want to make your own fertilizer, you’ll want to order the ingredients in bulk. Look for the cheapest bulk molasses that you can get. Sounds like you have a cheap source for that so that’s good. Then look for fish. If you live close to the coast that’s much easier, haha. It’s normally pretty easy to find fish parts – all the waste junk from the fishing industry like guts, bones, heads/tails, etc. Visit the nearest fishery area and try to source that cheap there.

      So now you would have lots of molasses, fruit/veggie scraps, and fish parts. Ideally you would ferment fruits, veggies, and fish all separately. The veggie and fish fermentations will be mixed and applied together as a grow formula, while the fruit fermentation will be applied as a bloom formula. You can follow those recipes to make all of those. Basically use the lacto, in this volume you could use as little as 2ml/L, to ferment the ingredients. Use 1 part ingredient (fish/veggie/fruit), 1/3 part molasses, 2 parts water with the lacto mixed in to kickstart it. Ferment that for 3-4 weeks and then there you go – mix the fish/veggie fermentations together before you use.

      If you can’t separate the fruits/veggies that’s fine just ferment them together. For the bloom formula just leave out the fish fertilizer. For the grow formula use both together.

      For 10,000L, you would mix 40-80L of fertilizer to get the right concentration. I’d start with 40L and see how it goes, work your way up from there. So you’d be doing the fermentations in 200L barrels which is a reasonable size.

      I know this is more work and might not make sense economically……but it’s so much fun!! 🙂

      Hope that helps, let me know if any questions, and let me know how you proceed!
      Cheers,
      Patrick

  • brian stephen

    well I cant thank you enough Patrick I must say the vedagro did work wll I thought it was the fulvic acid , the high nitrogen content was what made me buy it, it was $400 aud landed in Australia a ton the equivalent here in Australia would be $1200 a ton. I will start you recipes asap. I have fermented a small batch of rice wash and milk. is it another substance that could replace the milk, we aussie have trouble understanding some of your measures, please correct me if I am wrong, say I have 6kilos of veg wast, now I would add 2kilos of molasses, this would give me 8 kilos in total weight, now I add this where I get lost sorry, is it 16kilos of water, how much lacto would I add to ferment, can i put a pressure valve on top of my fermenting chamber. once again many thanks brian Stephen we will send you some macas when we start harvesting

    • Patrick

      Hey Brian,

      This is for veggie fermentation? For the veggie and bloom fermentations, the original recipe doesn’t call for adding water. We’ve added water and the hydrolysis helps the fermentation but you don’t need that much – just 1:1 with water would be fine, so 8 kg of water, or 8 L in other words. For fermentations I just add 1 tbsp per L (15ml per L), but that is just me. You could add 5ml per L and it’d be fine, or 500ml per L and be fine. I just think 15ml is a good amount – not too much or too little.

      Sorry for the late reply hope this helps. Can’t wait for the macas, write me when you harvest. 🙂

  • Hi Patrick
    Thanks for your earlier replies on Calphos and using cocopeat as substitute for wheat bran.

    I have made calphos, lacto serum, fermented fruit extract using papaya only as I could not find pumpkin and squash then.

    Questions:

    1. I now have found pumpkin and squash. Can I combine them once the pumpkin and squash are fermented or should I just leave them in separate jars and only mix them during the application ?

    2. My cucumbers are flowering and fruiting a lot but the leaves are turning yellowish and pale green. Have added bloom fert to the soil only. Should I foliar spray instead ? Why would the leaves turn yellow pale green ?

    3. Can I add bloom fert into my self watering water reservoir (for most of my veggies) ? or should I do foliar spray and soil drench ? And also can I add fish amino acid to the water reservoir ?

    4. My cabbages look quite good, shall I add bloom fert to induce flowering ?

    5. My apple custard plant flowered but only a few form fruits, what should I add ? Also the leaves are turning pale yellow.

    Thanks for your help. I never get tired of reading articles from this site. They are really interesting and I love to ferment… haha

    Elsie from Malaysia, KL

    • Patrick

      Hi Elsie from KL,

      I dunno if I mentioned this already but you know I lived in Penang for 6 months some years back – best food ever. Roti canai is probably my favorite food in the world, but those laksas are pretty awesome too. Ok for your questions:

      1. Yep, for sure you can combine them after they are all fermented, thats how it should be done.

      2. If they are turning pale from the bottom of the plant up or all over at the same time, chances are your plants are low on Nitrogen. That’s normal during bloom but you can add nitrogen if you want, like fish fertilizer.

      3. Hmm that’s an interesting question. I would be cautious – how often do they drain the reservoir. Or rather how often do you add fresh water? If the ferts are sitting there in it, you can get some bad stuff growing.. but you can try it and see how it goes, start very dilute and build up.

      4. Yep, if you’re ready for bloom and the cabbages are :). You want your cabbages to bloom? Oohh, some kind of chinese cabbage right? I’m thinking in western terms..

      5. for the leaves, nitrogen probably. For the fruiting – good luck, it’s hard to get some plants to bloom in the hot humid weather. You can try fermenting fruits and use that to encourage them but it’s tough sometimes here in asia..

      Great questions. Keep reading and keep fermenting 🙂

      Patrick from Manila

  • brian stephen

    hi just a couple of questions, i fermented some rice water and finished off with milk then added some molasses could i use this as my lacto mix for my fertilizer mix and at what rate now it is diluted a little with molasses, also why is citrus not a good product to use. regards brian stephen

    • Patrick

      I’m not sure I follow… that sounds like the pure serum – 1 part LAB and 1 part molasses. Normally you would dilute that 1:20 with water and THEN add 1tbsp/L of that to fermentations. But you can use the pure serum no problem. You don’t need to use as much obviously haha but there’s no upper limit – you could use it the same rate as the diluted form you’d just get more microbes in there.

      We avoid citrus since the strong acidity can unbalance the little ecosystem you’re creating. The fermentations will get acidic anyway, but through the actions of fermentation bacteria. Making it acidic by adding citrus can destabilize it early.. But try it! You’ll know by the smell if it’s worked or not. 🙂

  • brian stephen

    sorry one more question can i shorten the fermenting down from 3 weeks, brian stephen

    • Patrick

      Yes, you can use before 3 weeks but it won’t be as far along so keep that in mind. I would use as a soil drench in that case rather than foliar spray, just because in the soil the ingredients can be consumed more easily by microbes.

  • Phil Bradshaw

    Hi Patrick,
    after 23 days of the extraction process, I filtered my Calphos. I added 24 mils to 4.5 litres (1 imperial gallon) of rain water. There are no dissolved solids in rain water, so it doesn’t register on my C.F. meter & is pH neutral (7). I tested the end product. The result was zero on my C.F. meter, with a pH circa 6. I use the liquid indicator solution.
    So I think, even at your original recipe, that the calphos is entirely safe to use, both as a foliar spray,& at the same rate the nutrient tank of a flood & drain hydroponic system. I hope this helps.

    Regards.
    P.B.

    • Patrick

      Thanks Phil,

      I was wondering about that. I figured the acid-base reaction undertaken in the recipe should create a fairly neutral solution, for you it seems it has! Acidity and dissolved solids aren’t issues so go for it! I think the application rates of the original recipe will be great!

      Thanks for the feedback Phil I appreciate it. Can’t wait to roll out the forum and get members like you on there…

      Thanks,
      Patrick

  • Brad

    Hi again Patrick,
    I made a slight adjustment at the beginning.Adding a further 5 mls of phosphoric acid to the extraction solution.Making it a total 25 mls per litre.
    My thinking being,that the higher concentration would make a stronger extraction.(?)I tell you this, in case anyone might want to replicate the process. I hope I am not being “pedantic!”

    • Patrick

      Haha awesome info Brad keep sharing. I hope it goes well you will have to keep us informed how it goes. 🙂

  • brian stephen

    hi Patrick, we have just finished making 40 litres of searum . 3, litres rice wash ferment 5 days remove top and bottom fats and waste, add 10to1 milk we put it in 20lit drums with pressure valves and fermented for 7 days, the finished searum smell good and is a nice yellow colour , we have added 1/3 molasses I thought this would mean we could store out of a fridge, we did this in a small experiment and the plants are growing fine , I was hoping to use 100mil searium to 20lit fish wast. brian

    • Patrick

      Hi Brian,

      Yep, 100ml of the pure serum(LAB+molasses/sugar) should be plenty for 20L fish waste.

      Normally we add 1:1 sugar. So you are fermenting the 10:1 milk/rice wash mixture. At the end you drain the fluid which is your LAB (lactic acid bacteria). Then you match that volume with molasses, or in weight of sugar if you’re using sugar. Then you can store it outside the fridge. If you are using less sugar I’d probably store in a fridge or use within a month or so. If you are using it within a week or so you can use much less sugar, maybe 1:10 ratio instead of 1:1.

      Lacto works really well with organic fertilizers, helps break them down before applying. It is also perfect for getting a good fish fertilizer fermentation going, like you are planning.

  • Thanks Patrick for the replies. Plse ignore the previous post.
    1.Just an update, I used calphos and bloom fert (papaya) on my apple custard plant both foliar feed and soil drench… I have 5 additional small buds formed haha ; fingers crossed that the total of 8 buds will turn into lovely fruits.  Cucumbers are also improving..haha
    2. I used bloom fert on my ciku (sapodilla) plants after using the fish ferts and calphos.  The tree which is barely 3 feet tall (on the ground) has probably no less than 30 flowers.  Hope to get them successfully turn into fruits. PLEASE HELP….can’t lose them.  What do I need to do, SOS?
    3. Am going to ferment seaweed by mixing them with brown sugar this weekend since the results are so encouraging. I bought one whole sack of dry seaweed from a Chinese grocery shop.  Let you know the results when ready.
    4. Am also going to try to do ginger garlic extract + chili; those fungus had better go away, I am coming …..
    5. I will also do the coco peat (wheat bran) bokashi.  Looks like my store room is going to be full in no time!!!
    6. My mango trees (5 of them) and papaya trees (7 of them) are all showing good results.  Many new shoots just sprout out from the formerly barren mango trees.  Used all those fermented stuff.  This is getting very interesting.  Only disappointments are with the veggies… they don’t grow much except for cabbage. Once I figure out how to drain water off the self watering water reservoir, I am going to try to add the fermented stuff to test these veggies.  Very diluted like what you said. Will report results.
    7. Good to hear you have been to Malaysia; our food is very nice leh?
    8. Thanks once again Patrick.  I am hooked.
     
    Elsie

    • Patrick

      Hey Elsie,

      That is awesome, you have a ton going on there which is great to hear about! I’m just going to get your questions here..
      2. that is awesome, I’m surprised a tree that small is blooming. You might remove some of the flowers so they don’t take energy from the others..also apparently sapodilla can flower year-round but only fruits twice per year so don’t be surprised if no fruit this round I guess..lets see though, exciting!
      6. Veggies are tough, they need lots of sun, but high temps can be rough especially if you’re growing foreign varieties. Tons of water, that’s helped me.. If you can figure out how to drain the reservoir, use the ferts and then drain it 2 days later and see how that goes.

      Yep, best food ever, I really sincerely missed the food after I left, was craving it so often the first few years after leaving.. 🙂

  • brian stephen

    thank you Patrick, I will add more molasses and make it 1/1, we will put down fish and vegie this week, we have just spread 20ton of lot feed manure, it was composted and the lot feed is connected to a meatworks so it has a few other goodies in it as well,would it be worth while fermenting some , a light shower of rain on it and you can really see where you applied it brian

    • Patrick

      Hey Brian – If you want to ferment some you can, it will make it that much more broken down.. I’d say make a large pile, mix in water/sugar/lacto and then cover the pile with tarps to keep it anaerobic. The mix for that inoculant would be like 5ml lacto per L, 15ml molasses per L, something like that. Really dilute since you don’t want too much acids/alcohols produced through fermentation there.

      But if it has been composted already it’s just fine as is, you don’t need to ferment it, it’s just fun to play around that way. Try fermenting some and putting that in a separate part of the orchard – trial area.

  • Gaston

    Hello Patrick

    I live in a country where winter is cold and long and my neighbour has a magnificent ornamental crab apple tree that produces tons of tiny little apples and of course at the end of winter they are all shrivelled up but they are still there. For some reason the birds and wildlife don’t go for them. I was wondering what would happen if I used that as a source of fruits for making a bloom fertilizer? I would expect the natural sugars in the fruits would have fermented on the tree if you know what I mean? In your opinion, would there still be enough in there for making something worth using out of it.

    Thanks in advance.

    Gaston

  • brian stephen

    I thought fermenting some would make a nice liquid solution, our weather here is up and down hot super dry or too wet, we have 100 sheep that roam the trees, so I want to feed the ground as well as trees, just read a report on sheep and onion growing in new zeland and they used em1, em1 came from japan, 1/litre em1 1/litre molasses 200lit water in sealed drum ferment till ph drops under 4 then this is called secondary solution, mix 1/litre secondary 1/litre molasses in open top drum with 200liters of water for 24 hours, then this was used as followers 2/liters mix 2/liters of molasses in 1000liters water and this did 2 ha pasture, ps macadamias are ready will be drying and cracking possibley next week, give me a mailing address so I can send you some brian

    • Patrick

      Hey Brian,

      The sheep around the trees is an awesome practice in itself as long as you have the space for it. There is a very interesting talk I watched on this topic, I’ll just put the link here.

      The main workhorse in the EM-1 is lactobacillus, you can get a lot of the same effect by using lacto in the same kind of application. You can also make your own BIM, which is like homemade EM-1. I would encourage you to make BIM from the macadamia trees and use that on your land the way they did EM-1. You would put the “traps” for collecting BIM microbes around the base of the trees, up in the canopy of the trees, buried down a bit where the tree roots are, basically get macadmia-specific microbes from as many habitats as you can around the trees. Also put ‘traps’ in grassy areas to get grass-specific microbes. You can use this BIM + lacto you have made already, with molasses and water your pastures with this, should be awesome for your grass and trees. If you have the time and inclination, it would be a great project for you orchard.

      I sent you an email with my address. Hope to get some awesome macadamia nuts!! What a treat, thank you so much!
      Patrick

  • Sebastien JOLIVET

    Hi Patrick,
    Sorry for my english, I’m french…
    As you live in Asia, I would love to know if you have already used the fruit Noni (morinda citrifolia) that you have “normally” in your country.
    It’s supposed to be very high in potassium and many other nutrients.
    I did one try but I’m not sure to be success because I still have the smell of the fruit (this fruit has a very bad smell by the way). I let it ferment during more than 2 weeks and I live in French Polynesia so temp is between 25 and 32°C.
    When I’ve collected, it still have 2/3rd of mashed fruits in surface and 1/3rd of liquid, could it be normal?
    Thank you very much for your site, it’s really interesting, I love it!
    Cordially
    Sebastien

    • Patrick

      Hey Sebastien,

      Ah bonjour Sebastien! Comment ca va? J’etudie francais mais je ne parle pas francais now hahaha… A long time ago..

      Anyway what an interesting fruit! I don’t think I’ve seen it around here but I will have to look for it from now on, I’m sure it’s here in the Philippines somewhere. With regard to your question:

      What you can do is drain off the liquid and put it in a sealed container. That is your first extract. Then take the remaining solids, and add 1/3 sugar to those by weight. So if you are left with 3kg solids, add 1kg sugar or 1L molasses (preferably molasses). Mash that up very well and let that ferment for 2-4 weeks. Then this is your second (stronger) fermented extract. Voila!

      Cheers,
      Patrick

  • Pamela

    good morning! i’d like to ask if my BLOOM will be a failure if there are some onions and some lime juice in the mix? i have some left over salsa, that i would like to mix with the overripe mangoes, banana, papaya, and cucumbers. is it okay to include them in the mix?

    • Patrick

      Hi Pamela,

      It kinda depends how much of the salsa you are adding. You can add a little bit no problem, but if it’s half salsa you might have some issues with the fermentation! Just because the lime juice is acidic and too much might disrupt fermentation.

      Cheers,
      Patrick

  • Dan

    Hi, I’ve just done a small batch using Gil’s banana, squash, papaya recipe. I mashed the fruits separately and then put them all in the same bucket then added the molasses, it’s been left it 14 days so far and was going to strain today. But reading through the the posts I noticed that in response to ElsieHoreb who mentioned about fermenting fruits separately, you say-

    “Yep, for sure you can combine them after they are all fermented, thats how it should be done.”

    Could you elaborate on why it is better to ferment the fruits separately as it doesn’t mention anything about this in the original post, and is there likely to be issues with the fertilizer I have made, such as acidity or such?

    • Patrick

      Hi Dan,

      Well, when fermenting different things, they can be unstable during fermentation but generally the final product is very stable. So the rule of thumb is to ferment different things separately, and then combine them when they are all fermented.

      For this recipe, using these fruits, it’s not a big deal and we usually ferment them all together. But for other recipes, like ginger-garlic, we really recommend fermenting them separately, you’ll see that in the directions.

      You should have a great fermentation with them all combined don’t worry.

      Cheers,
      Patrick

  • Thanks for you timely guidance

  • Kerri

    Patrick,

    I’m loving this website! So much good information that I just can’t get enough of. My husband laughs at me because I talk about your recipes so much I’ve started referring to you and Gil on a first name basis. 🙂 I already have my fish fertilizer brewing and I’m about ready to start on a neem extract.

    But I have a quick question regarding the Bloom recipe: I live in Uganda and we have a lot of avocados here. Can I substitute these for, say, the pumpkin and papaya, since these aren’t in season right now? I can also get bananas, mangoes, carrots, passion fruit, and even tomatoes, though I don’t know if these would be good or bad to add since they’re so acidic. Can you give me some recommendations?

    Thanks so much for your help and for making this unconventional farming method available to the rest of us. This knowledge is priceless!!
    Kerri

    • Patrick

      Hey Kerri,

      Glad you’re enjoying our site! Sorry for the late reply, busy days here.

      So, the avocado should be an excellent addition to the bloom recipe. All the fruits you mentioned should work well, though limit overuse of tomatoes since the acidity could disrupt the fermentation process – they are still fine to use in moderation. I like using lots of bananas since they have the Potassium, and carrots for the b carotene. I like using mangoes too since they are such a prolific producer – good hormones. You can see everything has a place if you want to use it. Don’t worry too much, just use what you have that’s cheap, have fun, experiment, you know how it goes.. 🙂

      Cheers,
      Patrick

  • Darrell

    Hey guys I have been using this organic gadening stuff for a while now with great success! I tried to make my own bloom formula for the first time but after 10 days of fermentation there was very little strainable liquid. there was a small collection of white mould spots on the surface with just a hint of green in a couple places. I followed the recipe to the letter. I decided to add about 6- 8 ounces of water to the mix and stirred it in and loosely covered it to sit for a couple more days. Did I not add enough molasses at the start of the process? I started with roughly 1 kg of mashed fruit and I added roughly 1 L of molasses. daytime temperature this time of year is high 20’s and well above freezing at night. Should I start a new mix or do you think i can salvage this one?

    • Patrick

      Hmm the green mold isn’t ideal but it’s OK for your garden, just don’t breathe in or drink the stuff. You shouldn’t have to restart. You added a lot of sugar which is good, but most likely the mold started due to the cooler temps – not warm enough for bacteria to acidify the ferment before mold colonized. You can try adding a little vinegar at the start of next fermentation if you still have cool temps, that should help the bacteria get the upper hand. In any case white mold is great, just the other colors we like to avoid.

  • trizsha

    when to use the bloom fertilizer?

    • Patrick

      When you see flowers forming, until the end of fruiting.

  • Rob

    Hi there,

    Recently started fermenting my own bloom fertilizer as well. I am fermenting these all in separate mason jars with coffee filters: Purple potato, red tomato, squash, red banana, apricot, carrot, and papaya in equal parts. I went for those with lots of color, assuming a purple potato is higher in beta carotene than a sweet potato, and a red banana is higher in beta carotene than a yellow, etc. Do you see a problem with any of these?

    • Patrick

      Hi Rob,

      What an awesome list! I think you’re instincts are right on, and it should make a great fertilizer. I don’t see a problem with those at all.

      Cheers
      Patrick

  • David De la Vega

    Greetings Gil and Patrick,

    Been reading and trying to absorb all i can before embarking at my first try at the bloom recipe. I have Mango and Avocado tress. But have a question about the third fruit to add. The other fruit trees available are mammee, starfruit, breadfruit, Spondias mombin (where i come from its called “jobos”), Annona reticulata (“corazon”) and Annona muricata (“guanabana”). The third most available of the list is the starfruit but since is very acidic its a no no. So my next choice, by quantity, its the mombin. I read that the breadfruit has more potassium but don’t have lots of those like the mombin. So its it OK to use mombin?

    Want to thank you guys for your time and patience. The information you guys provide is worth much more than silver and gold. Keep up the great work!

    Wishing one day your unconventional methods becomes the conventional way of farming,
    David De la Vega

    • Patrick

      Hi David,

      Yep, using the mombin should be fine! In fact you don’t even HAVE to use fruits, but for bloom recipe fruits are best. But if you can add carrots they are a great addition. Anyway, whatever fruits you have available will work really, even the acidic starfruit shouldn’t be too much a problem – acidity isn’t as harmful as alkaline in these recipes.

      Anyway hope you’re having fun, sorry for the late reply but in any case we’re happy to have you!

      Cheers,
      Patrick

  • Carl

    Hi guys thanks for all the great info
    I’ve got a fish mix, grow feed and kelp extract brewing at the mo , bloom is next ,using Em as my lacto source
    I’ve a few questions for you

    Could I add mussels to the fish mix? My thinking is the shells will slow the acidity giving the lacto longer to do its thing . This should also add some calcium plus iron , zinc and other goodies from the mussel meat .

    What is the dilution rate for the second stronger bloom brew ? Does this have the same mineral levels or any usefull differences ?ie more p or k ?

    Would using green fruit ie unripe be better for early bloom period ? Or am I better of keeping it simple and stick to original ?

    I’m about to trail a small hydroponic system using these recipes , will let you know the results

    Thanks again for all the great advice

    • Patrick

      Hi Carl, thanks for reading!

      for your questions, see below:

      Yep, adding mussels should be great! The shells might be a problem as they will react with acid as it is formed keeping the brew neutral, but try and see..

      For the stronger second batch, I dilute it twice as much as the first batch. But play around with it and see what works for you. Not sure the difference from the first batch in terms of minerals, maybe less minerals, but more organic acids and enzymes and things like that – good stuff!

      Yes, use the green unripe fruit to make an early bloom spray, and ripe fruit to make a finishing fruit spray.

      Yep, please try these things and then let us know how they go!

      Sorry for the late reply!

      Patrick

  • kostas

    hello from Greece.Very interesting site and very useful informations too.I have a greenhouse with cucumbers and squash and i like to ask if i can use some of them to make this recipe or it is necesary to add fruits.Thanks

    • Patrick

      Hi Kostas.

      Greetings! Nice to have you on the site! Sorry for my late reply – yep you can use those and they should work great! Try using the concentrates you make, on the plants they’re from. Like cucumber ferment on cucumbers, squash ferment on squashes, etc..

      Cheers,
      Patrick

  • Anna Maria

    After researching online all day today, I can’t believe my luck at finding all this information and recipes in one place, and all so detailed and clear. Thank you so much for your generosity.

  • Mike

    What about apples, bananas, and carrots? I have an apple tree in my yard and I thought it may work?

    • Patrick

      Yep that would work great! Sounds like a great combo. You can use the resulting bloom fertilizer on your apple tree next year during fruiting!

  • francis

    Hi Patrick,

    I have two very big mango trees in the yard, and i made buckets full of this bloom fertilizer, and I experimented mixing it with carrots, pumpkins, bananas, papaya, basically anything that was the cheapest to get. So I bottled them up and they have been sitting in the storage room for a few months now.. I have two questions:

    1. Do you think they will go bad/lose potency over time?

    2. In one of the bottles i noticed a rubbery layer starting to form on top. It looks like a SCOBY, which is used to make kombucha. Is this the case? If so would i be able to extract the layer and use it to make kumbucha safely for consumption?

    I realize my second question isn’t really about gardening, but I was wondering since we don’t have a store that sells kombucha here in Curacao.

    Thanks in advance 🙂

    • Patrick

      Hi Francis,

      That’s great, sounds like you’ve made some good serums. To answer your questions:

      1. No, they are pretty stable and will remain the same for a long time, even out of the fridge.
      2. Sometimes that happens, I guess when there are yeasts present to reinforce the growing matrix. Theoretically you could harvest and use that SCOBY to make kombucha but I don’t recommend it. I mean, if you never saw any molds in that bottle then it should be ok but I can’t recommend you consume that :). You can make a real SCOBY on your own though without a SCOBY mother. I make kombucha so I’m familiar with the process (though I was able to purchase a kombucha mother here in Philippines.

      Cool questions. 🙂

      Greetings to Curacao!
      Patrick

  • francis

    Patrick thanks so much for the speedy reply 🙂
    I really want to start making Kombucha soon, but the health stores here in Curacao are quite small, and unfortunately don’t have them. Which is why I was wondering to make it out of the SCOBY I have in my Bloom fertilizer bottle. I have never seen mold growing in the bottle, but I was very hesitant to use it to make a drink out of it. I did order a SCOBY mother from Amazon, but it’s being sent with very slow mail, so I hope it will arrive in good shape. Thanks again for all the information, you have a truly amazing source of information here. Greetings from Curaçao!

  • Jacob

    Can I add crab apples to the mix?

    • Patrick

      Yeah I think we’ve had a few people do that successfully. I imagine they are acidic, you might add them later than the other fruits by a few days, rather than right at the start.

  • James H

    Hello Patrick. Absolutely a really GREAT site with massive amount of understandable info. I’ve been reading & reading, it ALL makes sense. Thanks for your & Gil’s hard work & time!!!!

    I’ve been letting approx 40 gal (to make 2 barrels or so of finished prod)of chopped fruit & vegatables (bad & semi-bad from local veg & fruit store) sit & ferment for approx 2 1/2 wks. It’s been mostly sealed in plastic barrel with air lock. Originally I planned to add molasses early. However I just now was able to obtain the molasses from local feed store that ordered larger batch for me.
    Lots of bananas, squash, pumpkins, sweet potatoes, etc, etc, & many, many late season blooms from various plants.

    My question: Do you think it’s too late to add molasses now for correct, orginal planned fermentation process? Or do you suggest dumping this onto my (big) compost pile & start over? I opened the barrel this am & was only some white mold on top & was decomposing. Smelled good to me.

    Any tips or thoughts from you OR ANYONE else would be greatly appreciated.

    Again, I want to say TUF site is absolutely wonderful, informative, AND courteous. More minds thinking, asking & answering questions, the better!!

    BTW, I saw somewhere you are/were from S. Oregon….small world. I’m in C. Oregon, Bend/Redmond
    Thanks, James

    • Patrick

      Hey James, thanks for reading! Yep, born and raised in Grants Pass, used to ski/snowboard at Bend in the winter, awesome spot..

      So, sounds like your ferments went fine. Since you kept it sealed and there was enough fruit in there, I guess it worked out. You would smell right away if it didn’t work. Those white molds on top are actually probably bacterial populations – they often form filamentous colonies that resemble fungi, though i’m speculating here without seeing in microscope.

      Anyway, you can add a diluted mixture of molasses and microbial inoculant like lacto or BIM, it wouldn’t hurt and would kick it into secondary fermentation which is all good. But you don’t have to – depends what you want from it. If you add the stuff it will ferment more and produce more liquid (liquid fertilizer), vs as you have it you can add it to the compost pile to make more compost (solid fertilizer). Play around with it and have fun. 🙂

      Glad to have you on board,
      Patrick

  • Zak

    Has anyone tried raw cocoa beans in their bloom fert recipe ?

  • Bill B.

    Patrick,

    Are you and Gil still going to put some Chitosan
    on the market ?

    How are things going ?
    Well I hope.

    Thanks,

    Bill B.

    • Patrick

      Hey Bill,

      Yeah that project is underway, though I’ve been super busy with regular work recently, as I’m sure you’ve noticed..The Chitosan recipe will come out this year though. Let me know if you want to be in the Beta program – testing the recipe, getting pics, using it on your plants in comparison, reporting back.

      Cheers,
      Patrick

      • Bill B.

        Thanks for getting back Patrick.

        Yes, I would love to be in the Beta program.

        Please let me know how to get started.

        Bill B.

      • Bill B.

        Hi Patrick,

        Is the Chitosan Beta program still available and if so
        how could I be a part of it ?

        Thanks,

        Bill B.

  • miecull

    hey i made this with pumpkin, a yellow ornamental squash and 1 banana.

    Im on the final stage where im waiting for bubbles to disapear and ive been waiting for a little over 2 months!

    Ive been scooping off the top ill call it ‘foam’ that develops on top of the mixture about once a week.

    it just keeps coming back. any assistance here? is this normal? will it stop?

    I used brown sugar…

    • Patrick

      It’s just taking a while, dont worry about it. Also you don’t need to scoop the foam off the top, that’s ok.

  • The Witness

    hey its been 2 months and it hasn’t stopped fizzing and foaming, i made with brown sugar, pumpkin, yellow squash and only 1 banana, so my ratios were a little weird but is it normal for it to take this long?

    • Patrick

      Hey Witness,

      That’s ok, just keep it as anaerobic as possible and wait till it finishes. OH, and don’t worry about waiting till it finishes to use it. You can use it anytime you want, just open it and close it up again quickly so you minimize amount of air you introduce.

      Cheers,
      Patrick

  • Swaroopa

    Hello Patrick , I have been searching all over the internet for homemade organic fertiliser and your site is just one stop guide for all .It is awesome.Regarding the bloom mix, would appreciate, if you could please clarify this for me.Can we add the banana with the peel ? The peel is also a good source of potassium-phosphous . Thank you .

    • Patrick

      Oh yes, definitely add the peel! That’s the best part.. though you may want to rinse it first if you just got from the store and you’re unsure what they have sprayed on it..

  • hi Patrick,
    can we use cucumber for this stuff

    • Patrick

      Hi Afolabi,

      Yep, no problem. Very good in fact if you will be using it on cucumbers.

  • Bill B.

    Patrick,

    The large crab processors in the area press the crab shells to get
    any bits and juices out of them to sell.

    The Local ‘Crab Shack’ restaurant does not press them so they have more
    ‘goodies’ left in the shells.

    Do you feel that it will make much of a difference with your Chitosan
    Fermentation Method ?

    Thanks,

    Bill B.

  • Annie

    Patrick the Bloom I made has fermented and is tasting like vinegar, can I still use it? The last batch I made was sweet and taste like a thick fruit beverage

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