feeding...

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feeding...

Post  waway on Fri Jul 17, 2009 2:56 pm

hi guys. im kinda new to this hobby and as every bonsai hobbyist we want a healthy tree.

so im asking everyone to pls help me regarding feeding/fertilizing. which is better to use,

the slow-release or the liquid fertilizer (is it called the fast-release?)? or can i use both?

i mean putting those pellets on the topsoil at the same time spraying liquid fertilizers every

7-14days.

waway
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Re: feeding...

Post  Jay Gaydosh on Fri Jul 17, 2009 3:03 pm

This is one of those topics that may end up with dozens of opinions...all diferent.

I have tried the organic foods, bat guano, home made food balls, etc. I usually end up with nasty smelling trees, mold and an unhappy spouse.

My best results have been with the liquid, ready-to-use fertilizers like Miracle Grow.

The addition of a "taste of vinegar, as advised by some in this forum has added a new luster to my azaelias and evergreens.

JMO,

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Re: feeding...

Post  waway on Fri Jul 17, 2009 3:10 pm

thank you forbey for the quick reply. u mean to say organic fertelizers can stimulate molds and other nasty things?

so what about using the slow release together with the liquid kind? can this be done or is it "overfeeding" already?

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Re: feeding...

Post  Jay Gaydosh on Fri Jul 17, 2009 3:16 pm

I don't know about whether organic foods stimulate molds or whether the way I used them stimulated molds Neutral , either way, I ended up with mold. Sad Several of our local bonsai enthusiasts claim all they use are holme "cooked" organinc concoctions and claim to have great success with them. I can't make that claim.

A quick, controlled shot of properly mixed Miracle Grow, provides the plant with what it needs without having to mess with other ingredients. This leaves me with more time to collect and attend to my trees.

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Re: feeding...

Post  Kev Bailey on Fri Jul 17, 2009 3:21 pm

Depends which slow release you mean. Bonemeal is fine. Polymer or resin coated balls that allow chemicals to seep out slowly are not. The reason being they can retain a large quantity of fertiliser that isn't released while weather is cold, then as spring arrrives the coating has had all winter to deteriorate and the compost suddenly gets flooded with nutrients. I've killed several azaleas this way.

Pellets can become mouldy/maggoty and look unsightly but are safe for trees. They may need to be supplemented with trace elements or frit. Alternatively a balanced fertiliser with micronutrients should give the trees everything they need. Fortnightly through the growing season at manufacturers strength or more dilute is the general recommendation.

Both won't do any harm, the trees take what they need and rest gets washed away with watering.

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Re: feeding...

Post  waway on Fri Jul 17, 2009 3:25 pm

i like your feeding habit, no messy organic concoction, no nasty smells... maybe i will just stick to liquid fertilizers.

if i may ask, how often do you feed miracle grow on your trees?

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Re: feeding...

Post  Kev Bailey on Fri Jul 17, 2009 3:30 pm

I just said - "Fortnightly through the growing season"

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Re: feeding...

Post  waway on Fri Jul 17, 2009 3:37 pm

Kev Bailey wrote:Depends which slow release you mean. Bonemeal is fine. Polymer or resin coated balls that allow chemicals to seep out slowly are not. The reason being they can retain a large quantity of fertiliser that isn't released while weather is cold, then as spring arrrives the coating has had all winter to deteriorate and the compost suddenly gets flooded with nutrients. I've killed several azaleas this way.

Pellets can become mouldy/maggoty and look unsightly but are safe for trees. They may need to be supplemented with trace elements or frit. Alternatively a balanced fertiliser with micronutrients should give the trees everything they need. Fortnightly through the growing season at manufacturers strength or more dilute is the general recommendation.

Both won't do any harm, the trees take what they need and rest gets washed away with watering.

is this feeding regiment for established tree or growing tree? pls give me some recommendations for a growing tree to have a thick foliage. and also how and what to feed newly transplanted tree? thank you.

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Re: feeding...

Post  waway on Fri Jul 17, 2009 3:39 pm

Kev Bailey wrote:I just said - "Fortnightly through the growing season"

im sorry got some delay in refreshing my page.

waway
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Re: feeding...

Post  Guest on Fri Jul 17, 2009 3:47 pm

I use biogold pellets but also foliar feed with a small concentration liquid seaweed once a week.

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Re: feeding...

Post  Kev Bailey on Fri Jul 17, 2009 4:40 pm

For development I plant out in the ground and rarely feed as I have a good fertile improved clay soil that has all the nutrients. When I do feed developing trees it is usually blood fish and bone meal, bonfire ashes, or chicken manure pellets. I use this for developing boxed up trees too. Occasionally I give them a spray of 20:20:20 with a hoze end spray feeder.

Potted trees are the ones fed fortnightly with a balanced fertiliser or miracid for the ericaceous (lime hating) ones.

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Re: feeding...

Post  JimLewis on Fri Jul 17, 2009 4:55 pm

Lots of blather is written about fertilizing bonsai. Here's some more, but based in horticulture.

Bonsai are plants. Bonsai are plants that are (usually) watered more often than other garden or even potted plants.

As plants, they need NPK and trace elements. They don't give a hoot how they get those NPKs and trace elements, so you might as well do it as easily for yourself as possible. Generally that will be the powdered "houseplant" fertilizer that you can get in every garden center and grocery store near you. These have both the NPK and trace elements in precisely measured doses and good instructions for their use printed right on the box (or on an insert).

Follow those and you can't miss. For ALL of your trees. Don't even bother with Miracid for azaleas et. al. A balanced houseplant fertilizer (balanced=where the NPK numbers are fairly close to one another) is fine all year long and is plenty acid for ericaceous plants in pots. With bonsai you can't over fertilize and "burn" roots. We water too often.

Few (Most) of the "organic" fertilizers that you buy (fish emulsion or seaweed) have few or no trace elements in them. I don't know about the Biogold (or similar) pellets, since I've never used them because I think their use is ugly, messy and for control-freaky me, too imprecise. READ THE LABEL -- it MUST tell you what's in it.

Use the same fertilizers for young and old trees. You may increase frequency for younger trees and reduce it for older ones -- if you want. I fertilize my shohin and larger trees monthly. I fertilize my mame (mini) trees every two weeks.

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Re: feeding...

Post  Norma on Fri Jul 17, 2009 6:34 pm

Hi All ...
Don't you wish there was THE answer to fertilizing ! It all boils down to where you live, what kind of soil you use, and what kind of bonsai you are growing .... easy ... huh ?! I've tried everything and have found there is NO easy answer. I do know that home-made fertilizer cakes will be eaten by my Australian cattle dog(red heeler) and she has knocked over pedestals to get to the "yummy treats".

An old Japanese bonsai master gave us a simple recipe to be applied once a month as a supplement to regular feeding: A mix of one part bone meal/ two parts cottonseed meal ... sprinkled lightly over bonsai soil.

Last weekend at a study group workshop one of my friends commented on my car's license plates. He thought I had purchased "vanity plates" but .....No, these have been on my car for 4 years and were entirely random.

Norma



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Re: feeding...

Post  Guest on Fri Jul 17, 2009 8:08 pm

JimLewis wrote:Few (Most) of the "organic" fertilizers that you buy (fish emulsion or seaweed) have few or no trace elements in them.


I don't know about the Biogold (or similar) pellets, since I've never used them because I think their use is ugly, messy and for control-freaky me, too imprecise.

I would love to see your research that breaks down the components of fish emulsion and liquid seaweed.
If you have never used biogold than how in the world do you know how it works.

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Re: feeding...

Post  JimLewis on Fri Jul 17, 2009 8:38 pm

Boy, I guess there are folks who'll start a fight just to start a fight.

I'm going by the label. In the USA if something is sold as a fertilizer it MUST list the ingredients including nutrients. I've never bought Biogold, so have never read the label. I HAVE bought (and use) fish emulsion and seaweed fertilizers and have read their labels, too. (I add the micronutrients to those myself).

Sheesh!

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Jim Lewis - lewisjk@windstream.net - Western NC - People, when Columbus discovered this country, it was plumb full of nuts and berries. And I'm right here to tell you the berries are just about all gone. Uncle Dave Macon, old-time country musician

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Re: feeding...

Post  FrankP999 on Sat Jul 18, 2009 12:05 am

forbey wrote:The addition of a "taste of vinegar, as advised by some in this forum has added a new luster to my azaelias and evergreens.
JMO,

Miracle Grow makes Mir-Acid fertilizer for azaela, pine, etc that like an acid pH condition.

Frank

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Re: feeding...

Post  Guest on Sat Jul 18, 2009 1:58 am

I would not recommend miracid. Why do people add miracid to azaleas when they dont even test the soil to see if it needs more acid. Azaleas lean on the side of acidic, but they don't like that much. If you keep azaleas in kanuma, which I would recommend, it is an acidic soil so no acid should be added. Regular seaweed and fish emulsion and organic pellets have proven to be the best route through my experiments. One source says Seaweed is good because it contains almost every micronutrient and deliver good plant hormones. Another source says Seaweed is also good because it helps improve the structure of the soil. Seaweed has over 70 minerals, vitamins, and enzymes. You can see articles and articles on why seaweed is good for plants by googeling seaweed fertilizer benefits. Here is a link to one of the many sites that talks about fish and seaweed fertilizers. http://seamagic.com.au/seamagic6.html

Biogold is a japanese fertilizer that is 100% organic. It is expensive here in the states but the results on my trees make it worth it. Here is a link to their website http://www.biogold.co.jp/english/what/discription.html In japan, people use biogold on all sorts of plants, not just bonsai.
I am a believer in organic fertilizer. I use and eat organic products so why should my trees be any different. There are people out there, even professionals, that use just non organic fertilizer and will say look at my trees, they are doing good. But, there are also athletes that have good bodies that eat nonorganic food. Studies prove that organic food helps people to live longer and have less sickness, among many things. I feel it is the same for my trees. Use natural organic products that benefit both the trees and the planet we live on. My motto is with bonsai is do what works best, and after experimenting with many fertilizers, my biogold, fish emulsion, and liquid seaweed works the best.

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Re: feeding...

Post  Norma on Sat Jul 18, 2009 5:17 am

Shimsuki,
I , too like the idea of eating organic food which means they have not been sprayed with insecticides. This does not , however translate to bonsai growing. Another very detailed and long discussion this year highlighted the fact that the fertilizer you use is guided by the soil components in your bonsai pots. Organic fertilizer for those soils with NO organics such as decomposed bark or sphagnum moss. Inorganic fertilizer(liquid fertilizer such as Miracle Grow) where organics are included.

I know that you use kanuma(inorganic) for your azaleas but what kind of soil do you use for your other plants? For those of us who still use organics in our bonsai soil the fertilizer of choice would be Miracle Grow.

Norma

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Re: feeding...

Post  mr treevolution on Sun Jul 19, 2009 11:28 am

Norma hit the feeding nail on the head there!
I gave up on Kanuma for azaleas and the like due to its price/ availability and frankly my azaleas now seem happier and healthier with a different media. I now use Oak leaf mould, peat and grit; mixed in equal parts as suggested by Peter Adams (UK). Have used this mix for 4 years now.

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Re: feeding...

Post  waway on Mon Jul 20, 2009 4:01 pm

as what i understand from norma, it depends on the soil used. since my soil mix is part organic (compost 20-40%) and organic (grit and pumice 60-80%), so im planning on using both organic and inorganic fertilizer. here's what im planning to do, pls help me out if this is alright. on wednesdays i will be feeding liquid seaweed fertilizer and on the weekends i will be feeding miracle gro (for established tree), while for the newly repotted or transplanted i will be using a root hormone instead of liquid seaweed fertilizer.

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Re: feeding...

Post  fiona on Mon Jul 20, 2009 6:16 pm

If I'm reading this correctly, you plan to feed twice a week. If I'm not reading it correctly, please ignore this post.

I personally wouldn't feed twice a week, not even up here in the very wet climate we usually have where there might be a danger of fertilisers getting washed too quickly out of the pots. My own schedule is weekly feeding, taking seaweed and Miracle-Gro week about. But in the last six weeks I reduced this to fortnightly because, mirabile dictu, we have had a heat wave with next to no rain.

If you are watering regularly, there probably shouldn't be much danger from feeding twice a week. But I'd wonder why you'd need to. If you have a lot of trees, that could be wasted fertiliser.

Just my opinion based on what I do myself with good results.


Last edited by fionnghal on Mon Jul 20, 2009 6:17 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : used wrong word)

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Re: feeding...

Post  Kev Bailey on Mon Jul 20, 2009 6:24 pm

Yes your plan is over the top. Fortnightly does mine fine, and I regularly forget to feed some trees for a season or more, this does them no harm but it does slow them down. Also you do not need to water repotted trees with anything other than water. Rooting hormone is used on cuttings.

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Re: feeding...

Post  littlebobby on Mon Jul 20, 2009 6:32 pm

what advice would people suggest for trees I have planted in the ground for future use? I've been using regular tree and shrub feed one a fortnight so far.

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Re: feeding...

Post  Kev Bailey on Mon Jul 20, 2009 6:39 pm

It depends on how good your soil is. Mine is clay based but has been improved by the addition of large amounts of bulky organic matter - garden compost and horse stable manure with straw. I don't regularly feed any trees in the ground. I occasionally throw a handfull of chicken manure pellets around them, once or twice a year.

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Re: feeding...

Post  JimLewis on Mon Jul 20, 2009 8:14 pm

It also depends on how long they've been in the soil. Once established in the ground, trees and shrubs need very little fertilizer.

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