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How to make liquid fertilizer for organic hydroponics and in-ground plant growing

How to make liquid fertilizer for organic hydroponics and in-ground plant growing

Making Liquid Fertilizer – Nutricycling

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This process is a dual-phase extraction and biofiltration technique used for making liquid fertilizer from organic biomass. Bioponica has used this method over the past 5 years for creating plant fertility in soilless grow systems. It works very well. This is not a compost tea. We are using non-digested, non-animal waste, nutrient rich biomass that is abundantly available worldwide.

Nutricycling presents an extremely important opportunity for growers worldwide that otherwise rely on dry windrow composting to nourish organic farms or chemical fertilizers for non-organic growing. All biomass has nutritional value; how it is prepared for use is what makes this a unique opportunity. Unlike composting which takes 2-4 months to decompose, nutricycling extracts the nutrients within 5-10 days total. And it requires little effort to transfer to the plants, as it is contained entirely within the water used for hydrating or ‘fertigating.’ Low labor, low cost and much more efficient at capturing nutrients than dry composting.

When submerged into water under anaerobic conditions (phase 1), biomass quickly decomposes with the aid of microorganisms – anaerobes, thermophiles and acidophiles. All participate in the breakdown of solids and within water these become a “leachate” which may then be used for further biofiltration and decomposition. Biofiltration bags are added in this Phase as they increase microbe surface area for greater colonization and activity.

After 4-5 days of extraction, this liquid is transferred into an aerobic tank (phase 2) that decarbonizes the leachate, which puts it into a more plant-ready form that may be used in hydroponic, aquaponic and bioponic settings. Soil growers do not necessarily have to decarbonize, as the added microbe carbon-nourishment can be better handled in the soil.

Bioponica has developed and refined this process and named it ‘nutricycling.’ While we offer these components to make your own fertilizer, it can be done with any number of different materials and settings. Growers do not need to buy any of these materials from us or anyone else. The beauty of nutricycling is that it improves sustainability. Bioponica developed and sells parts for making your own Bucket Vortex Aerator, we also sell small, one cubic foot volumes, of inert aggregate within mesh draw string bags (Filtration Bags), for microbial colonization plus dehydrated biomass blends (Biomass Organix aka Primordial Soup) which are suspended in the water tanks of Phase One.

The Vortex Aerator is important; it accelerates water movement, mixing, breakdown of larger compounds, oxygenation and carbon removal. Viktor Schauberger referred to the water vortex properties, from his studies of river turbulence, as implosion, cavitation and hyperaeration.

It is possible to do this with materials sourced locally such as rocks that support biofiltration, biomass from grasses, food discards and common organic nutrient substrates as well as a vortex of your own making. With simple, readily accessible technologies, farmers of the world will create greater self-sufficiency and independence from the industrial grid of petro-derived and strip-mined fertilizers. Plus it’s a great way to recycle waste and improve the environment.

As a side note, fish also thrive on extracts from organic matter, particulary detritivores, filter feeders and suspension feeders. When producing organic liquid fertilizers using a balanced blend of biomasses, there is no need to add manufactured fish food to a fish tank producing tilapia, shrimp, crawfish, carp, koi, catfish or even mollies. They perform much like a biofilter, removing and deriving energy from carbon and excreting a low carbon urea with inorganic minerals that are easily used by plants.

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David Epstein

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