Post Your Fertilizer Cake Recipes

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Post Your Fertilizer Cake Recipes

Post  bottasegreta on Sun Mar 08, 2015 5:16 pm

Last spring I made my first batch of fertilizer cakes after reading John Naka's Bonsai Techniques I. Made a few changes though: replaced blood meal with bone and blood meal, replaced water with balanced liquid fertilizer, tried mixing insecticide into the mix to prevent maggots. Ultimately, they never seemed to work as well as I'd hoped. They were always difficult to form and never completely broke down, inevitably leaving a residual hydrophobic core that I had to break up manually.

Here in New Orleans things are really starting to move, so this weekend I whipped up the first batch of fertilizer cakes of the season. This year I decided to go back to basics, and tried to make the John Naka's cakes just like he described:

"Mix 2 parts of cottonseed-meal and 1 part blood-meal with water to a texture about as soft as an ear love. Not too dry or too soggy. Form into a small ball about the size of a ping pong ball (1 heaping tablespoon). Flatten each one to 1/2 inch thick and place on the surface of each bonsai."

Well the original recipe was a lot easier to form into the cakes than any of my iterations last year. Lets see how they perform.

Anyone else out there using fertilizer cakes? What recipes do you use? What are the pro's and con's of using this fertilizing method you've found?

bottasegreta
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Re: Post Your Fertilizer Cake Recipes

Post  Marty Weiser on Mon Mar 09, 2015 1:23 am

I buy organic lawn fertilizer (Dr. Earth is what I can get), add some blood meal, bone meal, Epsom salts, Ironite, and a trace mineral mix. Typically about a 10:2:2:1:1:0.2 ratio. I don't bother to make it into cakes - I just use a measuring tablespoon to put piles on the pots. Seems to work well and is easy.

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Re: Post Your Fertilizer Cake Recipes

Post  Khaimraj Seepersad on Mon Mar 09, 2015 7:22 am

Hello Folks,

I started wondering if these cakes are really just meant for "finished" efforts, and the NPK breakdown is something like 5/6 N 2/1P 2/1K and because it is an organic material composted, there should be trace elements.

I also started to wonder why you would need to - boost - the composted oil meal with more N and P.

For the local ficus which I am growing in a 5 mm gravel [ silica base ] with a small % of home-made compost by volume, you get very slow and even growth.
If need be a weak inorganic fertiliser can be added, as a boost.

In fact last year I tested some older trees on just inorganic to compost [ less than 1/3 by volume ] great remained constant and even, so slow that it was frightening.
BUT it did show that for the - " finished " - stage, one could slow down the expansion [ loss of design ] considerably,but retain the health of the tree.

I don't make cakes, just a heaped teaspon on the surface of the soil, and let it water / decay in.
Readings show compost shifts to humus as it ages. This is probably the rounded dark shapes, I see when repotting.
Laters.
Khaimraj

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Re: Post Your Fertilizer Cake Recipes

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