time release fertilizer pellets for Bonsai

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time release fertilizer pellets for Bonsai

Post  poco cueco on Tue Jul 23, 2013 11:35 pm

I have read a modicum about slow release fertilizer pellets. they also come in various strengths depending on the onset such as early spring, during the growing season and winter.

There are several makers of these pellets but they appear to be vague in relation to some general guidelines.
1. what strengths of these time release fertilizers those of you who know what you are doing would you give a tree such as a Japanese Maple during the dormant season, during the onset of leaf production and during its major growing period.

2. Also, many of these pellets say to use 1/4 of a teaspoon every month. Would not the size of your bonsai depend on how much you use. A tall Japanese Maple (as an example ) I assume would need more pellets than a miniature bonsai.

3. Lastly...if that is ever true in may case, I have several with different (N), (P), and (K) ratios. I do realize that each tree has its own requirements.

4. The other side of the coin might be an evergreen such as the Simpaku Junipers.

5.I know I may end up with many answers to the above but I thought if I included a deciduous tree versus an evergreen, I might get a full range of answers and obviously more questions.

6. do I dare ask about the use of organic fertilizers being superior to the inorganic.

7. I am looking for a direction ,possibly something to read or buy and possibly opened up a huge door behind what appears to be a tiny one!

Have Mercy!

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Re: time release fertilizer pellets for Bonsai

Post  Auballagh on Wed Jul 24, 2013 1:19 pm

I don't use timed release fertilizer pellets.  In the past I've had some problems in the growing zone where I live, in using this type of fertilizer.  You may have more success using those products in Los Angeles, where the climate doesn't vary as much in temperature through the seasons.  But, here in Virginia many have found that it is hard to control the amount and timing for feeding your trees, if you use this stuff.  Bad things have happened, even to the point where some folks have lost trees due to fertilizer burn when most of the pellets in the soil broke down all at once and released their contents during unexpected warm spells in climate.


Last edited by Auballagh on Wed Jul 24, 2013 5:03 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Spelling & Typos)

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Re: time release fertilizer pellets for Bonsai

Post  Billy M. Rhodes on Wed Jul 24, 2013 5:08 pm

I have used time release fertilizer pellets for many years. The amount of time the pellets last and therefore how much fertilizer is released is very dependent on temperature and this information should be included with the product. A product that says it lasts 90 days (at 70 degrees) will release most of the fertilizer in 30 days or less at 90 degrees.
I use a product that is more balanced and contains trace elements. Some of the brands will be high in nitrogen and not contain any trace elements.

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time release fertilizer pellets for Bonsai

Post  poco cueco on Wed Jul 24, 2013 10:13 pm

I first want to thank you both for your information. I do have a follow up question for you both.
To Auballagh in Virginia( lovely state ), since you do not and I can understand why, In general, what do you use for conifers and what would you use for deciduous trees, fairly well established, where the weather averages around 70 - 88 degrees all year round.

To Billy who has had better luck, what brand of time release do you use if I may ask considering the same thing I asked of Auballag

Lastly, I really appreciate your feedback and how quickly you responded. I say this with all sincerity.

Edward

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Re: time release fertilizer pellets for Bonsai

Post  Billy M. Rhodes on Wed Jul 24, 2013 10:55 pm

I use Nutricote 13-13-13 with minors on everything. I have mostly tropicals (Ficus, etc.) with a few Junipers. I have very few deciduous trees.
I purchase the Nutricote from a commercial nursery supply in Apopka, FL called BWI in 50 pound bags, which I share with other Bonsai club members.
Osmocote is readily available but their formula with minors has a high nitrogen content that I don't want.

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Re: time release fertilizer pellets for Bonsai

Post  Auballagh on Thu Jul 25, 2013 2:43 am

Awesome - glad to help!
I was going to try and speak in generalities for this, and avoid specifics with brand names and such, but.....
Mr. Billy Rhodes wrote:Osmocote is readily available but their formula with minors has a high nitrogen content that I don't want.
- Bingo -
That is the product most specifically mentioned when there have been problems here in Virginia with Bonsai trees and timed release fertilizer pellets.
-
As to your question on what I would recommend for your area to use as fertilizer with conifer and deciduous bonsai trees?  Wow. I'll first caution you that in the case of fertilizer/feeding preferences, if you ask 3 different people raising bonsai what their recommendations are about this issue - you'll probably get 5 different opinions!
So anyway....
I'm NOT going to cover seasonality changes, and timing issues you should observe for more refined bonsai that you are feeding carefully to reduce their needle and leaf size.  That is a topic that can possibly ALSO become endless!
So, when your trees are in the peak growing season.  And, you want size and strength, or the needles and foliage have hardened off on your trees.....  
I fertilize my trees once per week and use a mix of synthetic and organic fertilizer.  The products I use aren't cheap, but they have proven themselves to get the job done well.  Everyone I've got, both conifer and deciduous get fed in a scheduling routine this way,
2 weeks of Organic - Neptune's Harvest, Hydrolyzed Fish and Seaweed Fertilizer.  1/3 strength
1 week of synthetic - DYNA-GRO, Liquid GROW Plant Food at 7-9-5 numbers. 1/4 strength
-
For my acid-loving Azaleas, Gardenias and Holly trees, I supplement their fertilizer by alternating with one of the following products every three weeks,
- MIRACID, at 1/4 strength.
- Hollytone, sprinkle and water it in.
-
And lastly...  if you have Junipers, Hinoki Cypress or Arborvitae (Scale foliage type trees), I strongly recommend using the following,
- ACTINO Iron, sprinkle and water it in every three weeks.  This a is a great feeding supplement with anti-fungal properties.

Whew......  now I'm going to probably have THE WRATH of the IBC 'Fertilizer Nerds' descend upon me and your thread, to hotly explain how I've (no doubt) totally GOT IT ALL WRONG! Embarassed 
Oh well.....  
If I can leave you with one small 'nugget' of advice when fertilizing your trees?  Don't Be Intimidated, and Don't Over Complicate It!  I've seen that way too many people get so ridiculously into the science of this discipline, then seem to make the mountain so technically and impossibly high to climb, they can't get 'er dun....
If you are going to succeed in raising your trees with good horticultural practices, and make them healthy and strong enough to withstand the styling techniques we must impose on them to be Bonsai?  You must,

Shocked Feed Your Trees! Shocked

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time release fertilizer pellets for Bonsai

Post  poco cueco on Thu Jul 25, 2013 6:40 am

I want to thank all of you for your feedback. If anyone else wants to jump in, I am a more than willing to read and study as any good student should. As I read your replies, I cannot help but think of two things: the first is a Executive chef sharing secrets to a special sauce and 2, asking a experienced woodworker the best way or method of applying an oil finish on wood( this one I can really relate too). Yes, I am sure that you ask anyone an area of specialty, you are will probably get many responses. I am sure I will have other questions but again in all humility, I do thank you for your efforts. I will be reading a lot and looking up quite a few things before I ask anymore questions.
With Great Sincerity and thanks,
Ed.

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Re: time release fertilizer pellets for Bonsai

Post  gman on Thu Jul 25, 2013 3:42 pm

Hi Ed,
Here is a link to another potential source of time released fertilizer and its in California:
http://reforest.com/
I've used the products both at work (reforestation programs) and with my Bonsai....they release based on temperature and moisture so sometimes they can be a little tricky in the release of nutrients Wink 
Cheers
Graham

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time release fertilizer pellets for Bonsai

Post  poco cueco on Fri Jul 26, 2013 4:14 am

Dear GMAN,
I took a quick look at the website and it is very impressive; however, what It appeared to me was they were selling 40lb bags of this stuff. That is a lot for me, not to mention what shipping would be. is this typical of the amounts that you must buy. That is out of my range for the moment. Do they sell it elsewhere in smaller quantities.

Lastly, I just want to let the rest of you know that I am quite busy looking up all the info that you have sent me. I will start with the easy stuff....if there is such a thing and do my homework and start buying it. It will cost me a few bucks down the road but when one considers what I have spent over the years on my woodworking or guitar playing and production equipment, I should be able to pull it off....I am gonna need a bigger HOUSE!

BIG THANKS!

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time release fertilizer pellets for Bonsai

Post  poco cueco on Sat Jul 27, 2013 7:40 am

Dear GMAM,
I am going to e-mail them my questions and see what kind of reply they give me since there is no price info available except by contacting them by e-mail. I will see what they say. I have taken notes from everyone who has responded to my question and as soon as I can find different places to buy the products with the cost, I will post what I came up with.

You all gave me some homework to do and I will check it out and get back to you all who are interested.

thank you all very much,

Ed

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Re: time release fertilizer pellets for Bonsai

Post  JimLewis on Sat Jul 27, 2013 1:15 pm

If I can leave you with one small 'nugget' of advice when fertilizing your trees? Don't Be Intimidated, and Don't Over Complicate It!


THAT was a very sensible answer!

FWIW, I go to Big Lots and buy whatever is on sale when I'm there, so long as it has NPK and trace elements. I doubt there's a Big Lots in Germany, but I understand that's about what Walter P. does also. I also look up the requirements of each plant I own (not in bonsai books or bonsai sites) to determine their need for acid, basic, or neutral soil (most do fine in neutral).

Great Green Gobs of nonsense has been written here over the years about fertilizing bonsai.

The most sensible treatises (that I have found) on the subject are:

http://www.evergreengardenworks.com/fertiliz.htm

and

http://www.evergreengardenworks.com/overfert.htm

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Re: time release fertilizer pellets for Bonsai

Post  Jkd2572 on Sat Jul 27, 2013 8:07 pm

I use dynamite slow release on everything using full strength. It claims to feed for 9 months. I put it on in the spring and don't worry about fertilizing again until next spring. Simple one time a year application. I can move on and worry about other things. The only thing I add is miracle grow azalea food once a month to my satsukis.

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Re: time release fertilizer pellets for Bonsai

Post  JimLewis on Sat Jul 27, 2013 8:19 pm

Jkd2572 wrote:I use dynamite slow release on everything using full strength. It claims to feed for 9 months. I put it on in the spring and don't worry about fertilizing again until next spring. Simple one time a year application. I can move on and worry about other things. The only thing I add is miracle grow azalea food once a month to my satsukis.  

Wow. That's kinda once size fits all fertilizing. Maybe I'm anal retentive (!) but I really prefer to "feed" my trees according to what (I think) each of them needs at any given time.

And, looking at their web page, the stuff is made for gardens, not potted plants. Heaven knows what it does in the confines of a pot. Or, how long it lasts with our frequent watering.

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Re: time release fertilizer pellets for Bonsai

Post  fiona on Sat Jul 27, 2013 9:57 pm

JimLewis wrote: Great Green Gobs of nonsense has been written here over the years about fertilizing bonsai.  
But also some very good information. I think we should be looking out some of the really good threads and elevating them to the Top Threads forum. There's a nice rainy day task for me. That'll be tomorrow then. Very Happy 

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Re: time release fertilizer pellets for Bonsai

Post  coh on Sat Jul 27, 2013 10:13 pm

Pretty much any day over there, right?

And I think we all know by now that "Great Green Gobs of nonsense" refers to anything that Jim disagrees with Smile

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Re: time release fertilizer pellets for Bonsai

Post  Jkd2572 on Sat Jul 27, 2013 10:59 pm

Jim you make it complicated. This is from their site and why I use it over other time release products.
"
http://www.dynamiteplantfood.com/the-science/

"The secret to the best looking plants with the least effort is in the Dynamite coating. This coating prevents “flashing” or quick release of nutrients during heavy rains thus protecting the environment.

Each Dynamite Plant Food “prill” is wrapped in a special resin coating that ensures controlled and precise release of the nutrients inside. There is an agent that allows water to penetrate and then release the nutrient into the surrounding soil. The prills will not crack or break, which prevents excessive nutrient release and minimizes nutrient runoff into the ground water. The special coating ensures that the nutrients release evenly over the entire 9 month period.

Each Dynamite prill contains major nutrients nitrogen (N) , phosphorous (P) and potassium (K) plus micro-nutrients like iron, magnesium, manganese, copper, zinc, boron and molybdenum (as established by the respective product analysis).

And Dynamite Plant Food feeds in average temperatures up to 77 degrees (other products can only sustain average soil temperatures of 70 degrees). Dynamite won’t ‘flash out’ but will maintain its integrity and continue to release nutrients for up to 9 months."

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time release fertilizer pellets for Bonsai

Post  poco cueco on Sun Jul 28, 2013 11:23 pm

Mr. JKD:
I have gone to the website and it very fascinating and I have a follow up Question?
There are many types of formulations that are listed and many of those I see on Amazon, my home away from home. Which Dynamite product do you prefer. I know that type of tree, weather, location in the world, etc. are definite considerations; therefore, your response to me and others who read this post I leave (obviously) to your discretion .
07.28.2013,15:22:42
ed

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time release fertilizer pellets for Bonsai

Post  poco cueco on Sun Jul 28, 2013 11:47 pm

To all who responded to my topic and those who have read the posts by myself and others:

Mr. Rhodes, I went to the website and found a 50lb bag of nutricote which is out of my price range at the moment, not to mention the shipping to Los Angeles, Ca. I did however find a reasonable cost for a small amount on EBay. That formulation was 14-14-14. I am wondering if that is what you are referring to?

To Ms. Auballagh: Everything you mentioned in your post on Wed, July 24th I found on Amazon( I should not be Amazed!). I do have some follow up questions concerning a few of the items mentioned but I will send you a private message to clarify those questions, not to mention I will also send a message to the moderators to get their advice whether I should respond here or create a separate topic since I am starting to stray away from time release issue to more of a none time release formulation.

Sincerely,
ed
07.28.2013,15:46:19

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Re: time release fertilizer pellets for Bonsai

Post  Billy M. Rhodes on Sun Jul 28, 2013 11:59 pm

I poured the fertilizer from the bag it was sold in into other containers and wrote 13-13-13 on those containers. Fertilizer is made in many different formulations for different applications. The one I use has minor elements, I think that is important in our non organic mixes.
Professional growers have specific goals and they attempt to control every possible variable, although this can also be important in Bonsai, our goals are more long term than most professional growers.
So, IMHO, the actual numbers are less important than
1. The balanced nature of the formula, avoiding high nitrogen formulations (higher first number)
2. The inclusion of minors in the formulation.
3. Possible the projected release rate, (the stuff I use is rated at 90 days at 70F, at 90F it is more like 30 days.
I have never known to burned a plant with a time release fertilizer.

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Re: time release fertilizer pellets for Bonsai

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