Everyday Gardeners

Plant. Grow. Live.

There’s a New Fertilizer in Town

Today my fellow BHG garden editors and I had a special guest: The folks from Sustane popped down (from my home state of Minnesota) to talk about their line of natural, organic fertilizers. Sustane has been around for a while, but mainly in the professional arena: Golf courses, commercial agriculture, etc.

For spring of 2013, the company is releasing a couple of mixes designed specifically for home gardeners like you and me. The product is made from turkey litter, the company representatives told us, and fully composted at about 150 degrees for about half a year. That makes the nutrients available almost right away when you go to use it.

They talked a lot about organic fertilizers, of course, and their benefits: They help build the soil profile, they’re much less likely to run off into our water supply, and it’s tough to burn your plants by using too much. Organic matter, especially compost like this, also encourages beneficial microorganisms in the soil — and they can help your plants resist disease better.

I like that the company is using a waste product — turkey litter and droppings — and turning it into something useful. And I like the idea of using a natural product that’s not overly produced.

Happily, they provided samples so this spring I’ll get to try it out!

What do you think? Do you fertilize your garden? If so, does organic or synthetic matter to you? Comment below !

5 Responses to “ There’s a New Fertilizer in Town ”

  1. I only use organic fertilizers. Very glad to see a product that will be produced near my area. I try to use products that are produced locally when possible

  2. Using chicken manure on the rice fields in the US caused a buildup of arsenic in the soil and thus in the rice for human consumption because of what’s in the chicken feed. Has this product been tested independently to be safe to use over a period of time? What’s in the turkey feed?

  3. Ms. Watchel makes a very important point about poultry manure.
    I think all BHG subscribers deserve an answer. Has this product been tested for the long haul? What is in the turkey?

  4. Hi! I’ve requested more information from the company. The company representatives, when they talked about their product, let us know they have a ton of research available to us. So I’ll let you know what they say on this topic. —Justin, Senior Garden Editor, Better Homes and Gardens

  5. Suståne products are routinely tested for arsenic along with several other heavy metals and harmful pathogens. Arsenic has not been detected in our heavy metal screen tests. Suståne fertilizer utilizes composted turkey litter. Even so, we too were concerned when we learned that arsenic has been used as a part of chickens’ diets. We have approached our suppliers about this concern and have been assured that the turkeys are not being fed arsenic products. Interestingly, on January 1st, Maryland became the first state to ban arsenic in chicken feed. Hopefully more states follow suit.

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