Monday, March 14, 2011

Get Plants Off To A Great Start....

One of the things that we have been experimenting with over the past year is how we treat transplants at the time of planting.  On the onset of this, our goal was to figure out how to give the plants an edge and get them off to a fast start.  With all of our commitments to feed many families on a weekly basis, we pulled together several natural resources to help us do the job. We call this the 180 plant dip.

We start with a five gallon bucket ¾ full of well water (If tap water let it sit over night to allow the chlorine to dissipate)

We then add:

Fish Emulsion. We add about 7 cups of pure, stinky, fish emulsion to the 5 gallon bucket. This is a quick boost of kick-a-poo-joy-juice for the plant.  It’s like having a double shot of espresso before work! (Fish Emulsion can vary a little in nutrient content, but most are close to the N5-P1-K1 number we use.)

Ocean Trace. We add 3 tablespoons.  This adds all of the trace minerals (straight from the ocean) needed by the plant to give it a great start.  Mineral balance is crucial and these minerals are perfectly balanced allowing the plant to use everything that is nutritionally available to it.  Very important!  Plants that have certain mineral deficiencies early on are not nearly as productive as the ones that don’t. Essential for early development. (**We like using Ocean Trace because the sodium chloride has been removed)

Rhizofuel (3 tablespoons). A mycorrhizal fungi that we mix in and use as a root dip for our transplants. Mycorrhizal fungi is an extension of the plant roots and together are more effective in gathering nutrients and water thereby increasing the health of the plant.   "The resultant increase in uptake capacity ultimately results in increased plant health and vigor as well as a 30% decrease in need for nutrients, fertilizers, and water, which is great for the environment, soil, and water tables." Rhizofuel website

Looks yummy, doesn't it?
After adding all of these ingredients, mix well.  We take each transplant and dip the roots into this mixture and hold it for about ten seconds.  This allows the dirt and root ball to absorb to saturation.  Then we plant it and move on to the next one.  You will need to stir the mix several times as it settles quite frequently. (We do this for just about everything we plant, not just vegetables.)

After we are done, we pour any remaining mix onto the planting area.  We have seen remarkable differences in plant growth since implementing this. 

If you plan on saving this mix for a day or two, you will see a white mold growing on the top of the mixture.  It is ok, after all, you did add fungus to the mix.   **To keep you wife or husband from killing you, put a lid on the mixture if you store it in the garage overnight!!  It will be stinky...


  1. Would you be willing to sell this in batches? I'd buy it. Now to stop buying transplants and grow my own from seed. :)



  2. Yes we would sell it. Just bring a five gallon bucket and a lid. (very important) We can figure out what the cost would be, shouldn't be much over $10 and it will go a long way. Thanks

  3. Thank you so much for posting this "cocktail"! I've been meaning to ask you for the recipe since you gave our homeschool group a tour last month. I'm getting myself a 5 gal pail... with a lid!

  4. ~ Where does one find the ingredients?

  5. Cheryl,

    Thanks again for coming out Saturday. Stop by any time and let us know if you have any questions.


    Anonymous - Sea minerals can be bought over the internet or at 180 Degree Farm. We sell Ocean Trace, which in my opinion, has the most bang for the buck. It is an 8 oz bottle for $9.99.

    Fish emulsion can be bought at Home Depot in the outdoor department in the organics area or it can be ordered over the internet. It is pretty common and easy to find.

    The Rhizofuel, which we use here, is the all-in-one bio-stimulant, beneficial bacteria, fungi and mycorrhizal package. We have used many different varieties in the past and are very happy with the Rhizofuel product we use now.

    Hope this helps!