Boon's (fertilizer) Cake Mix

somegeek

Yamadori
Messages
89
Reaction score
1
Location
SW Washintgon
USDA Zone
8b
I'm going to mix up a batch of these this weekend and I'm curious - what's the yeast for in this mix?

- 4 cups Cottonseed Meal
- 4 cups Bone Meal
- 3 cup Fish Emulsion (deodorized!)
- 1 cup baking flour
- 1 packet of yeast

somegeek
 

Eric Schrader

Chumono
Messages
520
Reaction score
755
Location
San Francisco, CA
USDA Zone
10
hmm....I've made these many times based on Boon's recipe and he never told me to use yeast. I think that is someone's idea of a joke. Also, fish meal works as well or better than fish emulsion and is cheaper (Boon told me this, I'm not making it up). Use the flour to make it stick together better if they fall apart. Also, using finer-ground bone meal will help them stick together. And it appears that you have the ratios wrong:

4 parts cottonseed
1 part bone meal
1 part fish meal
flour as needed.
Add enough water to make it sticky and scoop into balls.
 

boon

Sapling
Messages
31
Reaction score
0
hmm....I've made these many times based on Boon's recipe and he never told me to use yeast. I think that is someone's idea of a joke. Also, fish meal works as well or better than fish emulsion and is cheaper (Boon told me this, I'm not making it up). Use the flour to make it stick together better if they fall apart. Also, using finer-ground bone meal will help them stick together. And it appears that you have the ratios wrong:

4 parts cottonseed
1 part bone meal
1 part fish meal
flour as needed.
Add enough water to make it sticky and scoop into balls.
Thank you Eric,
what Eric post is what i use. i still put fish emulsion in it and water. my student in Seattle said he use ground up oatmeal also. he use coffee grinder to grind it up. it help good fungus to grow also. i may try it. now i have to get a coffee grinder LOL.
 

somegeek

Yamadori
Messages
89
Reaction score
1
Location
SW Washintgon
USDA Zone
8b
Thank you Eric,
what Eric post is what i use. i still put fish emulsion in it and water. my student in Seattle said he use ground up oatmeal also. he use coffee grinder to grind it up. it help good fungus to grow also. i may try it. now i have to get a coffee grinder LOL.
Thanks for the confirmation, Boon! Oatmeal... I'll have breakfast with my trees. :)
 

somegeek

Yamadori
Messages
89
Reaction score
1
Location
SW Washintgon
USDA Zone
8b
I'd read about folks using 20-20-20 Miracle Gro powder in their poo balls.

How large do folks make their poo balls when they roll them? ~1" diameter? I've read that you should put 1 ball into a 4" pot, 2 into a 6-8" pot and 3 into a 10" pot every two weeks?

Appreciate any input.

somegeek
 

darrellw

Mame
Messages
244
Reaction score
1
Location
Vancouver, WA, USA
USDA Zone
8
I'd read about folks using 20-20-20 Miracle Gro powder in their poo balls.

How large do folks make their poo balls when they roll them? ~1" diameter? I've read that you should put 1 ball into a 4" pot, 2 into a 6-8" pot and 3 into a 10" pot every two weeks?

Appreciate any input.

somegeek
Every two weeks seems a bit too frequent, at least mine don't break down anywhere near that quickly.

Pot size is just one factor, bigger factors are where the trees is in development and the time of year. I've seen black pines with the soil nearly covered if you are really trying to pump the tree up.
 

somegeek

Yamadori
Messages
89
Reaction score
1
Location
SW Washintgon
USDA Zone
8b
Every two weeks seems a bit too frequent, at least mine don't break down anywhere near that quickly.

Pot size is just one factor, bigger factors are where the trees is in development and the time of year. I've seen black pines with the soil nearly covered if you are really trying to pump the tree up.
Wow - I'll have to give that a try some time if I'm looking to move a tree along in growth. Guess I'll observe how long these take to break down as well.

Regarding the use of oatmeal, if it's blended to break it down to a powder, it'd do well as a binding agent to replace the flour in Boon's recipe and have the added nutritive benefit his friend noted vs just using flour(haven't seen it noted that this adds nutrients).

somegeek
 

somegeek

Yamadori
Messages
89
Reaction score
1
Location
SW Washintgon
USDA Zone
8b
I made up a batch of this tonight. The rolled oats turned into a powder nicely using a spice grinder. I sifted the cottonseed meal and blood meal using my sifting screens and ground up the larger stuff to sift through the finer screen using the spice grinder as well. This made for a smooth consistency to roll the balls with.

This was my final recipe:

4 cups cottonseed meal (sifted and blended)
1 cups bone meal
1 cups blood meal (sifted and blended)
1 cup rolled oats (blended)
1 cup horticultural charcoal (sifted and blended)

3 cup fish emulsion (deodorized!)

I did add maybe 1/2C of water to get the consistency more friendly for making the balls.

I threw together a drying rack to move things along. There are a few off colored balls I made, in there, which were whitney farms and fish emulsion only.

somegeek
 

Attachments

Last edited:

Tink32

Yamadori
Messages
64
Reaction score
1
Location
Virginia Beach, VA
USDA Zone
8
I was wondering if blood meal could be used instead of fish meal, I just got home from searching all the city looking for fish meal, but I couldnt find any. would anybody know if its ok to substitute blood meal for fish meal?

Tink
 

rockm

Imperial Masterpiece
Messages
9,683
Reaction score
12,366
Location
Fairfax Va.
USDA Zone
7
You cannot "pump a tree up" with poo balls. They're woefully inadequate when it comes to pushing growth. Chem ferts are the way to go if you're looking to put on bulk and increase trunk size.

Poo balls are mostly maintenance and slow growth fuel. Their ingredients are not nearly as available or as plentiful as in prepared off-the-shelf fertlizers. Piling them up does no good. It doesn't increase their efficiency, nor speed development (but it will produce mounds of maggots and clouds of flies--especially if you have blood meal and fish meal in the mix.)
 

somegeek

Yamadori
Messages
89
Reaction score
1
Location
SW Washintgon
USDA Zone
8b
I was worried about these poo balls molding so I stored them in a bucket and poured turface over them to help absorb moisture. Now, a few weeks later, the balls exposed on the surface have a few small mold spots, the ones below the surface in the turface, have zero mold.

somegeek
 
Last edited:

Tachigi

Omono
Messages
1,201
Reaction score
32
Location
PA.
USDA Zone
6b
Geek, good thinking....you can also spritz your balls as they dry with a 50% vinegar / 50% water solution a couple of times. This will keep mold off as well as most bugs and critters
 

Bill S

Masterpiece
Messages
2,494
Reaction score
19
Location
Western Massachusetts
USDA Zone
5a
Not me, I am not going to say it, un unn. Are these anything like the schwetty ones on S.N.L. :D Personally I like to use gold bond.:D Sorry, had too.

Hey somegeek, how do you deodorize your fish juice?????
 

somegeek

Yamadori
Messages
89
Reaction score
1
Location
SW Washintgon
USDA Zone
8b
The label states it's deodorized:



Though that must be relative cause you won't catch me dabbin' this behind my ears... it's still pretty rough.

somegeek
 

somegeek

Yamadori
Messages
89
Reaction score
1
Location
SW Washintgon
USDA Zone
8b
Geek, good thinking....you can also spritz your balls as they dry with a 50% vinegar / 50% water solution a couple of times. This will keep mold off as well as most bugs and critters
Just circling around - my method didn't work... they molded under the turface in time. I'll have to wait to make my next batch of balls when we get nice hot sunny weather for a few days.

I'll give your vinegar spritz a go next time.

Thanks,
somegeek
 

Eric Schrader

Chumono
Messages
520
Reaction score
755
Location
San Francisco, CA
USDA Zone
10
I always avoid the drying thing because it adds so much work. I scoop the wet mix directly onto the soil surface on a sunny day and avoid hitting the new balls for a couple days until they form a crust. Then I start watering them again. Sometimes they erode a little but no big deal. When I first started I was scooping them onto screens and then drying them in the sun. I started to build a food dryer specifically for the balls but never finished it because I didn't want to spend so much time on that rather than bonsai and bonsai tables etc.

I add blood meal sometimes for the iron content than any other reason, usually for balls that I intend for black pines. Really the exact content is not critical. I also use chemical fertilizer regularly in addition to the balls. In addition to that in the spring of each year I put a small amount of time-release fertilizer on my trees so that if I get forgetful about balls or liquid that they are still getting some food. I've been using Apex granular time release ever since Jim Gremel spent a day raving about it while I was chopping up and wiring some of his trees. It only comes in 50lb sacks so the one I have should last me another eon or so.
 

rockm

Imperial Masterpiece
Messages
9,683
Reaction score
12,366
Location
Fairfax Va.
USDA Zone
7
Why is there such an aversion to mold on "natural" fertilizers? Mold and bacteria are part of the process that breaks down the fertilizer into useable form for plants...Efforts to preserve poo balls in their pristine state are kind of a head scratcher...

Some of the nutrients in the poo balls may not be available to the plant unless they are decomposed a bit:
http://www.ruralheritage.com/back_forty/manure.htm

Covering the poo up may even be a bad thing, as it could lead to anaerobic decomposition:

http://www.ruralheritage.com/back_forty/manure.htm

If you're going to use natural stuff, ya gotta get used to natural stuff...:D:D
 

John Ruger

Shohin
Messages
470
Reaction score
0
Excellent website, thanks for the posting!
 
Top Bottom