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Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Fermented Milk Fertiliser

Here's a picture of the vomit-smelling sludge that floats atop my fermented milk fertiliser. People have been quite intrigued by my new fertilising regime, especially since I posted pictures of mulberries as big as my thumb, and attributed the luscious fruits to fermented milk fertiliser. See here, the mulberries.

With so many people wanting to know the hows, whys and wherefores, I thought it would be good to do up a post on how to make fermented milk fertiliser.

You need a huge black trash can, like so... See picture below.

Fill it about 5/6 full of water. Rainwater or dechlorinated water is best. Pour in 1 can of evaporated milk. The can says "net weight 400g". Dump in 250g of white sugar. Stir the mixture until the sugar is all melted. Throw in 2 individual portions of yoghurt or 2 cans of Yakult or 1 capsule of acidophilus. Or all of the above.

Sorry... Petunia is only precise when it comes to real work. Hobbies are approached with utmost artistic agaration. Cover and let ferment for 5 days... or 4... or 6... Ummm.... agaration, remember? Every once in a while, you take a scoop and then "tarik" the solution to introduce air into the mixture.

When you are ready to use it, draw out one pail (normal laundry pail size) of the fermented solution and keep it aside to start the next lot of fermented milk solution. This way, you don't have to use anymore Yakult/yoghurt/acidophilus capsules for the next batch.

By the time it is ready to use, the milk would have coagulated into a sedimentary layer at the bottom of the huge pail. Use a bamboo pole to mix it up. Dilute your solution with one part water and one part ferment. Water to soil. This solution seems to kill soil mealies and fungus gnat babies real good too.

Don't give to plants more than 3 days successively. And oh yes... once in a while, I throw in a packet of baker's yeast. The whole idea is to grow as much bacteria or yeast as you can, that will break down the milk and release the nutrients in a form the plant can absorb.


aseaaranion said...

Hey Pet, will you mind if I linked this post up on my blog?


petunialee said...

Link away!!

aseaaranion said...

=) Thanks.

termite said...

hi there pet,
interesting fertilizer! does the smell get overpowering? what really attracted me was when u mentioned it kills mealy bugs.

Open Kitchen Concept said...

Wow.. is like making cheese for plants..

petunialee said...

Termie - Hey... welcome back! I missed ya!

I cover the black pail so there is no smell. The smell lingers for about 30 plus minutes after soil watering. It IS rather strong. My husband complains.

I am weird. I actually like the smell.

petunialee said...

OKC - Now I know why I like the smell.

Joseph said...

wow, that is an interesting idea - one i've never come across. you'd think it would smell just awful, but then again, i'm used to using fish emulsion, which stinks pretty bad, too! thanks for sharing.

petunialee said...

Joseph - My pleasure to share! I thought of milk because I know it is high in calcium and phosphorus... I used fish emulsion quite a lot in the past. It's a high nitrogen fert. My plants would get soil mealies and mealies everytime my back was turned.

Since I started to rotate with fermented milk, there have been no more pests in my edibles.

termite said...

hey pet,

ah i been around hehe. usually lurking lah.

aha the things we all do for our plants. lol i would assume this would work on root mealies as well right? recently found root mealies in one of my flower plots x.x

petunialee said...

I THINK it works on root mealies... I tried it on some fungus gnat larvae and they disappeared. You go try and share with me, yeah?