Where to purchase Fertilizer?

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Re: Where to purchase Fertilizer?

Post  drgonzo on Thu Sep 06, 2012 4:19 am

63pmp wrote:Chris (Coh)

I forgot to mention that US fertilizer makers kind of lie about how much NPK is in the fertilizer.
P, K, Ca, Mg are expressed as percentage oxides. That is P2O5, K2O, CaO and MgO

to convert to actual amount of elemental P & K you have to multiply the NPK percentage on the pack by these numbers.

N x 1
P x 0.437
K x 0.826

So a 10:10:10 fert really only has 10% N, 4.37%P and 8.26%K
Maybe this is why things aren't adding up.
Paul

Thats a very interesting factoid, and rather devious as well.
-Jay

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Re: Where to purchase Fertilizer?

Post  63pmp on Thu Sep 06, 2012 4:44 am

hi khaimraj,

I apologize for taking a while to get to your question.

You asked

"...in the light of the use of Akadama and organic balls of fertilizer and HB101, as opposed to "artificial" soils, and inorganic fertilizers does it really make a big difference ?"

I'm not sure what you mean by artificial soils, do you mean one that is not sourced from the ground? Personally I don't think that it matters what you use along as it is chemically inert and won't decompose. Most people use what is convenient and affordable. What is important is that the particle size and distribution enables adequate oxygen to get to the roots,the air filled porosity, this is essential and where many mixes fall down, the particle distribution, that is, the % of 2-3, 3-4, 4-5mm is very important. Too much 2-3mm sized particles in the mix will greatly reduce the air filled porosity and health of the plant.

I think that organic matter and CEC only have a small impact on how a plant in a pot feeds. With liquid inorganic (chemical) fertilizers, then the plant will take up the bulk of the fertilizer from the soil solution (the water left in the soil after it has stopped draining). If your fertilizer has urea as the dominant form of N, then yes, you need to think about how to get bacteria to live in your potting mix. Personally I think that fertilizer balls are the best way to feed a plant, because the nutrients are released slowly and microbial activity is magnified, microbes are essential for a healthy plant.

"On our side, peatmoss is broken down to a fine powder/particle iin a year,so obviously bacteria is doing something.In fact if I have to use peatmoss or cocopeat, I always add a few ounces of compost,to encourage a reaction."

I never use peat moss or sphagnum in my mixes, I don't see any need for them. If you must use an organic component use composted pine bark. Though it may be hard to get in your part of the world. Or try perlite, it holds onto water like a sponge but maintains AFP.

"With akadama, which broke down too quickly here in the tropics, I ended up firing the leftover material,and using that instead."

Well done!

"My problem with the suddenly discovered use of inorganic and peatmoss etc. soils is that they were already around in the workbook provided by The Bonsai Farm out of San Antonio,Texas back in 1980.
Nothing new."

I've not read that book, but I have a couple of old Japanese books from the late 1960's and they very much describe the importance of structural stability and particle size in potting mixes. Like everywhere, Japan is over populated and as materials become depleted alternatives must be employed, eg akadama. What I want to know is, what are modern substrates, as opposed to ancient substrates?

I have enjoyed your posts here,

regards

Paul

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Re: Where to purchase Fertilizer?

Post  coh on Thu Sep 06, 2012 5:09 am

63pmp wrote:Chris (Coh)

I forgot to mention that US fertilizer makers kind of lie about how much NPK is in the fertilizer.

P, K, Ca, Mg are expressed as percentage oxides. That is P2O5, K2O, CaO and MgO

to convert to actual amount of elemental P & K you have to multiply the NPK percentage on the pack by these numbers.

N x 1
P x 0.437
K x 0.826

So a 10:10:10 fert really only has 10% N, 4.37%P and 8.26%K

Maybe this is why things aren't adding up.


Paul

Paul,

I was aware of that, had read it a couple of places. It's not why things aren't adding up! There's more involved but this is going to have to be something for me to revisit during the winter, which is unfortunately coming up quickly!

Thanks for all the time you spend on this forum, it is much appreciated.

coh
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Re: Where to purchase Fertilizer?

Post  Khaimraj Seepersad on Thu Sep 06, 2012 11:46 am

Paul,

thank you very much for responding.

I have never really used particles as small as 2 to 3 mm with my 30 to 46 cm tall trees. Though on the mame, I have experimented with smaller inorganic particles of both sifted crushed red brick and sifted quartz builder's sand.

I am only just moving into the stage of perhaps needing to get into the heart of the root mass, for the pie shaped removals over the years to come. I will report on what happens as I go along.

To be frank, using compost as my only organic ingredient, has never killed or caused any problems and I have higher branchlet density on certain tree types than other folk down here. So I actually have to remove branchlets for the trees' health.

I started a project about 5 years ago on Tamarindus indica, because I noticed some seedlings producing many more branches than was expected.
Seeing how the Japanese have sweetened their pot with selected specimens for propagation, Zuisho for example,I thought we in the tropics should knuckle down and do the same.
I intend to follow with my Japanese black pines, as soon as I figure out how to obtain short needles, because black pines on this island do not follow the standard growing cycle listed in the books by the Japanese folk.

Been growing vegetables for years as shown by Rodale. Never had any problems and my tomatoes are sweet. Laughing
Stay Well.
Khaimraj

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Re: Where to purchase Fertilizer?

Post  JimLewis on Thu Sep 06, 2012 1:09 pm

Principles of Plant Nutrition 5th ed. BY Konrad Mengel and Ernest A. Kirby ISBN 0-7923-7150-X(HB), 1-4020-0008-1(PB)

Despite the snide comment a few messages above this one I have this book, albeit an earlier edition, and found it quite interesting and useful for bonsai (more useful for other horticultural efforts) in a general sense. There's a bit more here than the average bonsaiest needs, however.

_________________
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: Where to purchase Fertilizer?

Post  63pmp on Fri Sep 07, 2012 3:53 am

Hey Jim,

Mengel and Kirkby's book has more in it than just about anybody needs, after all, its written for post graduate researchers, or the like. But since we were being asked to cite references I posted up mine. And I heartily recommend those two books for anyone who is seriously interested in how trees grow and how fertilizers/nutrients/potting mixes influence plant growth. The second book is written for collage level education, and is easier to read; although written for Australian audiences it is still relevant to other countries.


Sort of on topic, here is an interesting read I found today, and shows how a little pot trial can have a profound effect on ones horticultural practice.

http://www.bonsaihunk.us/info/Hydroponics.html

I find this ironic as many times I've been hounded for suggesting bonsai is very much like hydroponics, or that a little fertilizer, often, is good practice. And this supports my point in an earlier post, if you want to see if a new product, or a different way of doing things will work in your environment and circumstances, then do a simple pot trial and see what happens.

Paul

P.S. Out of curiosity I would like to know exactly what the two different fertilizers were that Jerry used, for comparison sake.

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Re: Where to purchase Fertilizer?

Post  coh on Fri Sep 07, 2012 4:26 am

Jerry occasionally posts on this site, perhaps he'll weigh in. I was interested in the last paragraph in the article:

"Over the last year I am currently using an automatic fertilizer injector and feeding my trees with each daily watering. So far results are very encouraging with excellent growth in all my bonsai and no apparent problems."

I don't know when the article was written (page date is 2007), but would be very interested in hearing how the experiment is progressing.

coh
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Re: Where to purchase Fertilizer?

Post  Jerry Meislik on Fri Sep 07, 2012 2:28 pm

Hi to all.
I have been asked on how I grow/fertilize my trees. First it is necessary for all to understand how and what trees I grow.
1. My plants are all tropicals or sub-tropicals. I do not grow pines, larches etc.
2. My soil is inorganic; mainly red lava particles of about 3mm or so. I use organic materials rarely and as relatively low % of the soil mass.
3. My trees are indoors under artificial light 365 days a year and have been for many years.
4. My experiments with hydroponic (ebb and flow) systems convinced me that with basically inorganic soils require more frequent feeding or the use of soils and or fertilizer combinations that are long acting.
5. Organic fertilizers can produce slow release of minerals as can soils with higher CEC( cation exchange capacity). Organic materials have higher CEC.
6. Due to my growing circumstances the use of organic fertilizers is not possible due to bugs, smell etc. that won't be acceptable in my home. Inorganic materials with higher CEC are desirable in the absence of organic fertilizer and or organic soil mixes.
7. My experiments with hydroponics and my soil(red lava) led me to fertilize daily with an inorganic liquid fertilizer automatically mixed with a fertilizer injector (Dosatron).
Hope this helps.
Jerry

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Re: Where to purchase Fertilizer?

Post  Khaimraj Seepersad on Fri Sep 07, 2012 3:05 pm

Thank you,very much Jerry,
Later.
Khaimraj

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Re: Where to purchase Fertilizer?

Post  Leo Schordje on Fri Sep 07, 2012 5:50 pm

Jerry
I have been doing essentially the same as you, continuous inorganic feeding for over 20 years, I have been pretty happy with the results.
Leo

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Re: Where to purchase Fertilizer?

Post  Jerry Meislik on Fri Sep 07, 2012 7:44 pm

Leo,
Great to hear that you have a system that works for you.
I think the most amazing thing is that many plants actually tolerate the highly abnormal conditions imposed by pot culture despite the vast variations in soil, water, fertilization, temperature etc. that they would never experience in their native environments.
PS I was asked what fertilizers I use. For my hydroponic set up I use GroMagnon- 9:5:15 plus 10 more minerals.
For my non-hydroponic plants I use either
Plant Marvel 17-5-17 , plus 9 more minerals
Plantex 17-5-17 plus 8 minerals.
All of these seem to work just fine given my conditions.
PS I generally run my solutions at .7 to 1.6 mS of conductivity.

Jerry


Last edited by Jerry Meislik on Fri Sep 07, 2012 8:28 pm; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : additional materials)

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Re: Where to purchase Fertilizer?

Post  63pmp on Sat Sep 08, 2012 9:27 am

Hi Jerry

Thank you for the information.

I'm also surprised at just how flexible and tolerant plants are, surviving so many different approaches to care.


Paul

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Re: Where to purchase Fertilizer?

Post  Khaimraj Seepersad on Sat Sep 08, 2012 1:50 pm

Actually Paul,

what I wondered about, was firstly from situations that occurred down here with hydroponically grown tomatoes. They had zero shelf life, and would collapse after a few days, as wel as tasting like whatever water source was pumped around the roots. The fad soon died out [ now we are going through the green turned red tomato using gas.]

I base my Bonsai growing on making the trees stout/denser through heavy sun and slow growth. Still watering by hand and trying to give individual attention. The hose is for when I have an appointment at the wrong time.

I guess since no-one has to eat from these trees, they truly are decorative.
Wonder how this all affects the lifespan of the trees? Resistance to disease/insects.

By the way strong sun/heat does deter all save for parasol ants by night and the occasional 4 to 6" [ 10 to 15 cm ]grasshopper.
Later.
Khaimraj

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Re: Where to purchase Fertilizer?

Post  Jerry Meislik on Sat Sep 08, 2012 2:22 pm

Khaimraj,
Good thoughts on the hydroponically grown vegetables. They sure don't taste the same. Also not sure that the varieties grown hydroponically are the same ones as the normal ones.
Not sure how the lifespan of my hydroponically grown bonsai will pan out. I do know that the hydro plants grow more quickly than my non-hydro plants. Otherwise no visible differences are apparent.
Jerry

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Re: Where to purchase Fertilizer?

Post  Khaimraj Seepersad on Sat Sep 08, 2012 4:33 pm

Weird huh,
Jerry,
[your comments are alwasy appreciated.]

I try aim for a trunk size and then try to average a first branch at 3/4 or 2/3 the size of the trunk, so speed at that part of process is good. Mind you I don't often hit that average.

This is so I can avoid the "Green Hat " on a stump look. You know, the thick trunk with spindly branches. Confuses the eye, one is never sure if one is looking at a trunk up close and it is so big. Or if the spindly branches mean a tree in the distance.

Sometimes I wonder if the trunk being so large say 5 to 6" [ 12.5 to 15 cm ] and to bring the branches into proportion, the tree has to be grown beyond the say 5 inch trunk to 30 inches of height ---- to 6 inch trunk and 36 inches of height or width and the pot cost goes up massively due to firing limitations on clay.Or possibly more like 8" trunk to 48 inches of height or width.

After I get the branch to trunk proportions, I want very slow compact growth.
Most of our trees are fast growers in under 6 to 6 sunlight.
But then we seldom drop below 50% air humidity, and I still have to watch the fertilizer applications, too much growth.
Stay Well.
Khaimraj

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Re: Where to purchase Fertilizer?

Post  Jerry Meislik on Sat Sep 08, 2012 5:02 pm

Khaimraj,
All good points that you raise.
Keeping the scale of branches to trunk is often difficult. Part of the balancing act of the bonsai art.
Agreed, that at some point the speed of growth is less desirable. A slowdown of a nearly mature bonsai is often
desired.
Some plants however do not do well kept restrained and these suffer as they need growth to stay healthy. For instance
my shohin Ficus microcarpa really seem to suffer if kept tightly restrained. After a year or two they must be allowed rampant
growth or they lose branches and must be re-styled.
All part of knowing how your plants grow and behave under one's growing conditions. This is a never ending chore and I am always learning and un-learning.
Jerry

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Re: Where to purchase Fertilizer?

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