Fertilizing question

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Fertilizing question

Post  Poink88 on Tue Feb 07, 2012 7:27 pm

Feeding time is close and I would like to know what others do. I know different trees/plants, in different stages/condition/weather have different feeding requirement. It is good if you only have a handful of trees though. If you have more than a few...do you follow different feeding regimen (feeding interval, strength, NPK ratio, etc.) for each of your plants or just use same solution for all (shotgun method)?

If the later...do you just follow the fertilizer label on application rates? I am asking because I am lazy Embarassed and planning on just using Miracle Grow soluble all purpose every 2 weeks (then shifting to lower N as fall comes closer) on all my plants.

I would like to know if I am inviting trouble and could become a problem later. Note that I have mixed plants some are; seedlings, nursery plants, cuttings, small, big, evergreen, tropical, and newly collected/transplanted.

If you have better (and affordable) options for me...I am all ears. (just remember I am lazy LOL)

Thank you.

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Re: Fertilizing question

Post  JimLewis on Tue Feb 07, 2012 7:43 pm

If the later...do you just follow the fertilizer label on application rates? I am asking because I am lazy Embarassed and planning on just using Miracle Grow soluble all purpose every 2 weeks (then shifting to lower N as fall comes closer) on all my plants.

Question #1 - Yes
First half of sentence #2 - Good solution
Second half of sentence - Unnecessary. Check out Brent Walston's article on fertilization (www.evergreengardenworks.com).

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Natural Fertilizer

Post  Nemphis on Tue Feb 07, 2012 8:19 pm

Well,I always wanted to ask this question:
Is natural fertilizer good?
As I'm living close to the country-side and I have the possibility of getting natural fertilizer,is it good for the plants?Is it better than the chimical one?

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Re: Fertilizing question

Post  Billy M. Rhodes on Tue Feb 07, 2012 8:33 pm

Nemphis wrote:Well,I always wanted to ask this question:
Is natural fertilizer good?
As I'm living close to the country-side and I have the possibility of getting natural fertilizer,is it good for the plants?Is it better than the chimical one?

For Bonsai, probably not. One plus of natural fertilizer is soil conditioning, but since we change soil fairly often this does not help much. Natural fertilizer has to break down into the chemical components before plants can use it therefore Natural Fertilizer takes longer to help the plant and releases its benefits more slowly than the chemical, however, that leads to a plus because it is harder to burn plants with natural fertilizer. (Notice I didn't say impossible, even too much of a good thing can hard.)

Chemical fertilizer is faster acting but is easier to overdo.

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Re: Fertilizing question

Post  Poink88 on Tue Feb 07, 2012 8:35 pm

Nemphis wrote:Well,I always wanted to ask this question:
Is natural fertilizer good?
As I'm living close to the country-side and I have the possibility of getting natural fertilizer,is it good for the plants?Is it better than the chimical one?
If you are referring to cow manure (or something similar)...note that you need to let it "cure" or totally dry before you use it. It is great for garden use but I am not sure how you can use it in bonsai. I've read that it is not ideal for top only application (like bonsai cakes). I guess you can add it in my bonsai soil but I wouldn't.

In this case, better is a relative term.

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Re: Fertilizing question

Post  Poink88 on Tue Feb 07, 2012 8:38 pm

JimLewis wrote:
If the later...do you just follow the fertilizer label on application rates? I am asking because I am lazy Embarassed and planning on just using Miracle Grow soluble all purpose every 2 weeks (then shifting to lower N as fall comes closer) on all my plants.

Question #1 - Yes
First half of sentence #2 - Good solution
Second half of sentence - Unnecessary. Check out Brent Walston's article on fertilization (www.evergreengardenworks.com).

Thanks Jim, this is even better since it simplifies my life...less inventory LOL.

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Re: Fertilizing question

Post  Billy M. Rhodes on Tue Feb 07, 2012 8:41 pm

Natural fertilizers can also contain weed seeds, especially from grazing animals like horse, cattle, sheep, etc.

You can make a manure tea and use that. Get a large container, fill about 1/4 with manure and the rest water. After a few weeks you can begin to draw off water for your plants. You can refill this container for some time without adding manure.

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Re: Fertilizing question

Post  Nemphis on Tue Feb 07, 2012 8:41 pm

Poink88 wrote:
Nemphis wrote:Well,I always wanted to ask this question:
Is natural fertilizer good?
As I'm living close to the country-side and I have the possibility of getting natural fertilizer,is it good for the plants?Is it better than the chimical one?
If you are referring to cow manure (or something similar)...note that you need to let it "cure" or totally dry before you use it. It is great for garden use but I am not sure how you can use it in bonsai. I've read that it is not ideal for top only application (like bonsai cakes). I guess you can add it in my bonsai soil but I wouldn't.

In this case, better is a relative term.

I've asked for a bit of manure and I found 5 or 6 years old cow manure,quite dried,they told me they use it at growing tomatoes.
Besides the cow manure I found some goat manure,but only 2 years old.

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Re: Fertilizing question

Post  Nemphis on Tue Feb 07, 2012 8:43 pm

Billy M. Rhodes wrote:Natural fertilizers can also contain weed seeds, especially from grazing animals like horse, cattle, sheep, etc.

You can make a manure tea and use that. Get a large container, fill about 1/4 with manure and the rest water. After a few weeks you can begin to draw off water for your plants. You can refill this container for some time without adding manure.

About the seeds,the manure I found is quite old,so probably if there would have been seeds the seeds would be rotten.
And I've been planning to put it in the soil of my olive,as I want to change the soil this month.

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Re: Fertilizing question

Post  Poink88 on Tue Feb 07, 2012 8:44 pm

5-6 years manure in open field has probably lost its potency.

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Re: Fertilizing question

Post  Nemphis on Tue Feb 07, 2012 8:45 pm

Poink88 wrote:5-6 years manure in open field has probably lost its potency.

It was not in open field,but in a manure pit.
The person I asked for as sold his cow long ago,and since then the manure stayed in the pit,undisturbed.

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Re: Fertilizing question

Post  Poink88 on Tue Feb 07, 2012 8:50 pm

Depending on the soil mix you will use, you can probably substitute some manure with your other organics. Good luck!

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Re: Fertilizing question

Post  Nemphis on Tue Feb 07, 2012 8:54 pm

Poink88 wrote:Depending on the soil mix you will use, you can probably substitute some manure with your other organics. Good luck!

The composition I was thinking about is:
20% natural soil(earth)
10% small gravel
20-30% manure
40% mixture used for flowers.

I don't know if it'll work.

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Walter Pall's feeding regime was the best for me.

Post  Sam Ogranaja on Tue Feb 07, 2012 9:06 pm

I follow Walter Pall's feeding regime and last year I was blessed with the healthiest trees I've seen yet. Free draining soil and heavy watering is a must. The only downside that I could see is that if I was maintaining rather than growing out, I'd have to do a lot of cutting back but since I have very young plants nowhere near show ready, heavy fertilizing is on the schedule for an indefinite period. Osmocote happened to be on sale for me and that's what I use. I can't wait to see how much more growth I'm going to get this year. All the proof I needed to make a commitment to Walter Pall's regime was to look at the timeline of his trees on his website. The timeline pictures that he posts on his website, are huge inspirations for me.

I hope this helps,
Have a great week!!!!!
Sam

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Re: Fertilizing question

Post  Sam Ogranaja on Tue Feb 07, 2012 9:08 pm

Nemphis wrote:
Poink88 wrote:Depending on the soil mix you will use, you can probably substitute some manure with your other organics. Good luck!

The composition I was thinking about is:
20% natural soil(earth)
10% small gravel
20-30% manure
40% mixture used for flowers.

I don't know if it'll work.

I'm not sure what the mixture for flowers is, but I don't think you could have that soil mixture for the regime Walter Pall recommends. I use roughly 60% turface and 40% lava rock. I was looking for pumice, but I got lazy, since turface has worked so well for me. I'd still like to add it to my mix.

Sam

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Re: Fertilizing question

Post  JimLewis on Tue Feb 07, 2012 9:16 pm

One problem with "natural" fertilizer is you never know what you are giving your tree. The proporttions of NPK can vary widely. So-called "chemical" fertilizers have the NPK carefully calculated to fit what plants use best.

"Natural" fertilizers are great for gardens and fields, but less so for potted plants and even less so for bonsai.

Good on Walter for using Osmocoat. I'm much to anal retentive to use it (and my trees are healthy, too).

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Re: Fertilizing question

Post  Sam Ogranaja on Tue Feb 07, 2012 9:27 pm

Hey Jim,

To my knowledge, Walter has never mentioned Osmocote, that's just what I've been using. I've heard that Osmocote can release too much under hot weather is this what you're referring to? I have a couple friends with large nurseries here and they told me that Osmocote tackled and solved that problem but I've never found solid proof of this.

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Re: Fertilizing question

Post  Poink88 on Tue Feb 07, 2012 9:48 pm

Sam Ogranaja wrote:
Nemphis wrote:
Poink88 wrote:Depending on the soil mix you will use, you can probably substitute some manure with your other organics. Good luck!

The composition I was thinking about is:
20% natural soil(earth)
10% small gravel
20-30% manure
40% mixture used for flowers.

I don't know if it'll work.

I'm not sure what the mixture for flowers is, but I don't think you could have that soil mixture for the regime Walter Pall recommends. I use roughly 60% turface and 40% lava rock. I was looking for pumice, but I got lazy, since turface has worked so well for me. I'd still like to add it to my mix.
Sam
I agree, that is too much organic and might end up too "mucky" and not drain well. Read about soil mixtures for bonsai first. (Hint, it actually is not soil).

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Re: Fertilizing question

Post  drgonzo on Tue Feb 07, 2012 11:11 pm

100% Turface and Urea free fertilizers like "grow more orchid" or dyna-grow Is my combination for outstanding plants. With this set-up I can Fertilize with every watering if I want.
http://www.clanorchids.com/store/osg07.html
http://www.clanorchids.com/store/osg20.html

Its just that simple.
-Jay

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Re: Fertilizing question

Post  JimLewis on Wed Feb 08, 2012 3:30 am

Sam Ogranaja wrote:Hey Jim,

To my knowledge, Walter has never mentioned Osmocote, that's just what I've been using. I've heard that Osmocote can release too much under hot weather is this what you're referring to? I have a couple friends with large nurseries here and they told me that Osmocote tackled and solved that problem but I've never found solid proof of this.

Guess I misunderstood. Yes. The chemical (and temperature) triggers for Osmocoat can cause problems with the random pellets. You never know when a big bunch of them is gonna let loose.

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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: Fertilizing question

Post  Nemphis on Fri Feb 10, 2012 6:09 pm

Sam Ogranaja wrote:
Nemphis wrote:
Poink88 wrote:Depending on the soil mix you will use, you can probably substitute some manure with your other organics. Good luck!

The composition I was thinking about is:
20% natural soil(earth)
10% small gravel
20-30% manure
40% mixture used for flowers.

I don't know if it'll work.

I'm not sure what the mixture for flowers is, but I don't think you could have that soil mixture for the regime Walter Pall recommends. I use roughly 60% turface and 40% lava rock. I was looking for pumice, but I got lazy, since turface has worked so well for me. I'd still like to add it to my mix.

Sam

Well,I don't know...
I'm quite broke,with no money posibility.
Can you sugest some mixture I can make without spending any money?

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Re: Fertilizing question

Post  JimLewis on Fri Feb 10, 2012 6:32 pm

Well,I don't know...
I'm quite broke,with no money posibility.
Can you sugest some mixture I can make without spending any money?

I'm sure we'd all wish for something like that. Unfortunately, unless you live in the desert where the soil is naturally gritty and gravelly, there simply aren't any naturally free-draining soils to dig.

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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: Fertilizing question

Post  Nemphis on Fri Feb 10, 2012 6:53 pm

JimLewis wrote:
I'm sure we'd all wish for something like that. Unfortunately, unless you live in the desert where the soil is naturally gritty and gravelly, there simply aren't any naturally free-draining soils to dig.

Well,I'm living next to a river,it's not even 1km to it,and on this river they are extracting gravel and sand.
Wouldn't that help?

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Re: Fertilizing question

Post  Poink88 on Fri Feb 10, 2012 6:56 pm

Course sand is good. Get some sifter/sieve and remove all the very fine ones. You can use sand as your "soil's" main component then add some organic to amend it.

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Re: Fertilizing question

Post  JimLewis on Fri Feb 10, 2012 7:00 pm

Poink88 wrote:Course sand is good. Get some sifter/sieve and remove all the very fine ones. You can use sand as your "soil's" main component then add some organic to amend it.

You probably will end up straining most of it. Your soil particles should be no smaller than 1/8 inch. River sand, unless you are in the mountains or higher foothills, tends to be smaller -- more suitable for kids' sandboxes or for making concrete.

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