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Banana Plant Soil, Additives, and Fertilizer This forum is an area where you may discuss the soil to grow banana plants in, as well as soil additives such as teas, composts, manures, fertilizers and related topics.


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Old 09-30-2016, 07:01 PM   #1 (permalink)
 
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Default Silage as fertilizer...

As many here know, I use grass clippings around my bananas as both mulch and fertilizer. Here in Florida, especially in winter it's difficult as they dry out instead of rot.

I kinda stumbled onto this, but when attempting to begin the composting process with my grass clippings, I made silage. I know what it is from years of farm handing where we made silage every summer and fed it out every winter.

So, I Googled silage as fertilizer, and not surprisingly there is a very limited amount of information out there about it. I did find this (Italics mine) :

Silage fermentation is an anaerobic, acidification process that breaks the plant matter cell wall and releases nutrients. Grasses that have been properly silaged, can retain their nutrient value for months or years. The smell is sweet, like a brewing batch of beer and it makes an excellent tea when placed into a Fertilizer Tea Bag and submerged into a barrel of water.

If used on soil, the tea can be poured directly onto the ground. If used as a foliar leaf spray or as a hydroponic fertilizer, then there should either be media beds with lots of beneficial bacteria or else the extract should be processed using the Nutricycler™ to remove carbon and convert ammonia.


And this:

Utilizing the Nutricycler™, Bioponica’s clients are able to extract and bio-process wet and dry organic matter between 2-5 days. As an example, by extracting 25lbs of wet grass in 50 gallons of rainwater, a liquid fertilizer can be created with a NPK nitrogen-phosphorus-potassium PPM (parts per million) value of 125-65-400. As is, this is an ideal PPM concentration, of the key plant elements, for growing green leafy plants in any hydroponic or aquaponic system.

That was handy as it gives me what I believe to be the best idea as to the ratio of nutrients in silage, and it looks good for bananas...25-13-80 after dividing by 5

I found it here:

How to Make Home Made Plant Food | Making Organic Liquid Fertilizer

All I was attempting to do was find a way to get my clippings to retain water, since here in Florida the clippings will quickly turn into dry straw if not kept wet for weeks. I put them into a garbage can with a lid, along with kitchen vegetable and fruit scraps and once they have a good head start in decomposing, I dump it out around my bananas. So far they are loving it! I was worried about the ammonia and alcohol, but they don't seem to be an issue so far. But,both times I did it so far, I waited a day or two to water it in because of those two things.

I just dumped a large pile next to my biggest mat today, and we got a big rain about an hour later, so that will certainly be the best test as the alcohol or ammonia neither one had time to dissipate before being washed into the soil.

Let me know what you-all think or if you have tried this yourself. Of course, I will keep you all informed.
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Varieties I supposedly bought: Manzano, Cavendish, Blue Java, Sweetheart, and Gros Michel.
What it seems I actually have: Brazilian, Cavendish, Namwah, Dwarf Red, Gros Michel, Pisang Ceylon, Veinte Cohol and SH 3640, and American Goldfinger. FHIA 1, Paggi and FHIA 17... Always room for one more.
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Old 10-01-2016, 01:32 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Silage as fertilizer...

I think it's a awesome idea. Great thinking.
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Old 10-01-2016, 11:44 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Silage as fertilizer...

I have outlets on the tanks to use the liquid, and covering the top mulch will also help keep it moist.

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Old 10-01-2016, 12:22 PM   #4 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Silage as fertilizer...

Quote:
Originally Posted by PR-Giants View Post
I have outlets on the tanks to use the liquid, and covering the top mulch will also help keep it moist.

Do you have one of their systems or are you doing it homespun, using silage?
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https://sputinc7.wixsite.com/covwc

Varieties I supposedly bought: Manzano, Cavendish, Blue Java, Sweetheart, and Gros Michel.
What it seems I actually have: Brazilian, Cavendish, Namwah, Dwarf Red, Gros Michel, Pisang Ceylon, Veinte Cohol and SH 3640, and American Goldfinger. FHIA 1, Paggi and FHIA 17... Always room for one more.
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Old 10-01-2016, 12:54 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Silage as fertilizer...

Quote:
Originally Posted by sputinc7 View Post
Do you have one of their systems or are you doing it homespun, using silage?
I've been doing this for decades and my tanks are extremely large, but any size should work fine.

It's why growing in sand works so well.
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Old 10-01-2016, 12:58 PM   #6 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Silage as fertilizer...

It would be interesting to see. What do you use for the silage?
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https://sputinc7.wixsite.com/covwc

Varieties I supposedly bought: Manzano, Cavendish, Blue Java, Sweetheart, and Gros Michel.
What it seems I actually have: Brazilian, Cavendish, Namwah, Dwarf Red, Gros Michel, Pisang Ceylon, Veinte Cohol and SH 3640, and American Goldfinger. FHIA 1, Paggi and FHIA 17... Always room for one more.
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Old 10-02-2016, 09:11 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Smile Re: Silage as fertilizer...

Quote:
Originally Posted by sputinc7 View Post

Let me know what you-all think or if you have tried this yourself. Of course, I will keep you all informed.
Some of your neighboring forum members have used a 55 gal drum cut to size and filled it up with their grass clippings and they posted positive results.

As the plant matter decomposes just add more on the top of the pile in the barrel.
The process will stay moist and ooze nutrients into the surrounding soil.

I made mine a couple years ago because the posts caught my interest.
I do think this works with small matts

As for the compost tea your thinking about, there are some good recipes on Youtube which use some household ingredients as a kicker.
I use teas....
Try Them out.....


Compost

by
Hostafarian
,
on Flickr
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Old 10-12-2016, 07:02 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Silage as fertilizer...

Soooo...what is your take....
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Old 10-12-2016, 10:04 PM   #9 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Silage as fertilizer...

Me?
It looks to me like it may impede root growth... How deep is the barrel in there? Banana roots don't go very deep.
I am still making silage in the old garbage can. (Silage is not compost. Different process of decomp completely.) I don't make the tea, although I may in the future, I let it rot enough it will hold moisture then dump it around my plant. But just today I took someone's advice... Too tired to look up whose... about covering the pile of clippings with a tarp so it doesn't dry out. Gonna see how that works. It's the dryer season here again, so it all turns to straw if you don't do something.
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https://sputinc7.wixsite.com/covwc

Varieties I supposedly bought: Manzano, Cavendish, Blue Java, Sweetheart, and Gros Michel.
What it seems I actually have: Brazilian, Cavendish, Namwah, Dwarf Red, Gros Michel, Pisang Ceylon, Veinte Cohol and SH 3640, and American Goldfinger. FHIA 1, Paggi and FHIA 17... Always room for one more.
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Old 10-13-2016, 04:41 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Silage as fertilizer...

Quote:
Originally Posted by sputinc7 View Post
Me?
It looks to me like it may impede root growth... How deep is the barrel in there? Banana roots don't go very deep.
I am still making silage in the old garbage can. (Silage is not compost. Different process of decomp completely.) I don't make the tea, although I may in the future, I let it rot enough it will hold moisture then dump it around my plant. But just today I took someone's advice... Too tired to look up whose... about covering the pile of clippings with a tarp so it doesn't dry out. Gonna see how that works. It's the dryer season here again, so it all turns to straw if you don't do something.
Sounds like a great plan.....with the silage.

My plastic barrel is about six inches in the soil.


I will put 1-2 5 gal buckets of clippings in at a time......very low tech.


I have seen two great barrel methods next to plants

Bananimals and Pr giants .

Both of these forum members had great photos of their success ....somewhere on here.
If I find them I will link you back .
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Old 10-13-2016, 07:51 AM   #11 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Silage as fertilizer...

Grass clippings are the main source of food for my bananas, they seem to like them. Problem is, I don't have enough yard for all my bananas once they get larger. The bigger the mat, the more it needs, ya know.
From page 1 of this thread, it looks like PR uses some form of silage tea... I would like to see that whole operation.
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https://sputinc7.wixsite.com/covwc

Varieties I supposedly bought: Manzano, Cavendish, Blue Java, Sweetheart, and Gros Michel.
What it seems I actually have: Brazilian, Cavendish, Namwah, Dwarf Red, Gros Michel, Pisang Ceylon, Veinte Cohol and SH 3640, and American Goldfinger. FHIA 1, Paggi and FHIA 17... Always room for one more.
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