making organic fertilizer cakes

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making organic fertilizer cakes

Post  dick benbow on Wed Feb 08, 2012 3:54 pm

Thinking i may want to try and make some this year to use and was hopeful if you agree this is something you've approved for use, would you mind sharing a receipe or two. I know that rapeseed and bonemeal are popular
but want to know how to mix, length of drying time etc. proper storage

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Re: making organic fertilizer cakes

Post  Poink88 on Wed Feb 08, 2012 3:59 pm

Try this...
http://www.orlandobonsai.com/?p=1801
and this...
http://www.matsubonsai.com/blog/post/2008/05/Bonsai-Fertilizer-Cakes.aspx

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Re: making organic fertilizer cakes

Post  drgonzo on Wed Feb 08, 2012 4:11 pm

dick benbow wrote:Thinking i may want to try and make some this year to use and was hopeful if you agree this is something you've approved for use, would you mind sharing a receipe or two. I know that rapeseed and bonemeal are popular
but want to know how to mix, length of drying time etc. proper storage

I have seen fertilizer balls used in a professional setting and the nursery man still had to supplement regularly with micro nutrients and "cheat" with chemical fertilizers so I just skip it altogether and just use good balanced liquid ferts with micros.

The material washed into the soil from the 'balls' will still require microbial activity in order for those nutrients to be made available to the tree, with older trees that have been in their pot for some time or have a high organic content to their soil, I would expect there would be bacteria in sufficient quantity to make fertilizer balls work. The balls themselves no doubt help increase the soil microbe count as well. Yet if you are using primarily inorganics there are much more efficient ways of delivering nutrients to the roots, but then you miss out on the fun of making poo poo balls!

-Jay

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Re: making organic fertilizer cakes

Post  dick benbow on Wed Feb 08, 2012 4:20 pm

thanks jay,
In the past i have used osmocoate and similar slow release fertilizers with maybe fish every two weeks but was never really satisfied. hence my interest in something different Smile

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Re: making organic fertilizer cakes

Post  Poink88 on Wed Feb 08, 2012 4:30 pm

Dick, I was on the same boat as you and researched a lot about making the cakes. The 2 links I provided was basically what I settled to try but things changed and I now use Miracle Grow all purpose. It is just easier and cheaper too. I will re-evaluate next year if I need changes to my plan. I actually started a thread lately about possible need of different fertilizer for different trees.

Good luck with your QUEST! Wink

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Re: making organic fertilizer cakes

Post  drgonzo on Wed Feb 08, 2012 5:13 pm

dick benbow wrote:thanks jay,
In the past i have used osmocoate and similar slow release fertilizers with maybe fish every two weeks but was never really satisfied. hence my interest in something different Smile

Osmacote contains no chelated micro nutrients, and fish emulsions have the same need for microbial action that fertilizer balls do.
Take a look at Poink's thread about fertilizer and you'll see my recommendations based upon my own experience.
-Jay

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Re: making organic fertilizer cakes

Post  Billy M. Rhodes on Wed Feb 08, 2012 6:24 pm

The Japanese have traditionally used the organic cakes, but Japan is a resource poor county and makes a real effort to utilize everything they have. The fertilizers they traditionally used were made from readily available resources that were often waste from something else. Although I am sure they have more access to chemical fertilizers they continue in the traditional way partly because of tradition and probably partly because, since the chemical must be imported, there is a higher cost to chemicals.

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Re: making organic fertilizer cakes

Post  dick benbow on Wed Feb 08, 2012 7:58 pm

I really appreciate getting all the different thoughts on a subject. really helps to settle things out in my mind, thanks all Smile

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Re: making organic fertilizer cakes

Post  JimLewis on Wed Feb 08, 2012 8:28 pm

Osmacote contains no chelated micro nutrients,

I don't use it, so haven't read the label in years, but are you sure of that?

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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: making organic fertilizer cakes

Post  Billy M. Rhodes on Wed Feb 08, 2012 8:48 pm

Osmocote has a number of different formulations, 3 to 12 month release, different NPK number, at least one has minors, but as I recall it was a high nitrogen formulation so I passed on it. I use a different brand called Multicote, it has a lower N with minors.

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Re: making organic fertilizer cakes

Post  drgonzo on Wed Feb 08, 2012 9:40 pm

JimLewis wrote:
Osmacote contains no chelated micro nutrients,

I don't use it, so haven't read the label in years, but are you sure of that?

I'm unaware of other formulations for the product as I also don't use it, but the bottle I had of it didn't list any micros, If It had them I would imagine it would be a selling point worth listing on the bottle whether legally required or not.
-Jay

ETA... A quick skip around the Scotts website seems to indicate that "Osmocote Plus" 15-9-12 has "9 other essential nutrients." as they put it. Some of which are labeled as "water soluble" only one of which (and only .03% worth) of Iron is actually chelated.

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Re: making organic fertilizer cakes

Post  marcus watts on Thu Feb 09, 2012 7:20 am

hi,
personally i think the fertilizer chosen goes hand in hand with your soil choice and the stage the tree is in at the moment.

Fast coarse growth, long internodes, large needles and large leaves are all fine for developing material, clip and grow main branch thickening etc so a standard chemical fertilizer would be fine for these applications. Once you have a tree in refinement and you are building fine ramification and scaled down foliage I prefer gentle, much weaker organic fertilizers as a chemical dose can spurt an acer or especially a trident into longer growth again.

you can be lazy and just use one thing on all the trees and they will all stay alive perfectly well, or you can fine tune the fertilising regime from tree to tree. For this reason I now formulate different 'cake' recipes to supply my acid prefering trees and the alkaline liking ones. I enrich all the cakes with trace elements and fine tune the formulations further to aid soil ph. My best results come from very 'live' organic mixes that go mouldy on the pot for a few weeks but I know some people prefer a less effective fertilizer with no mould (strange but true). Using unprocessed organic ingredients will mean the tree gains no nutrient benefit for at least 6 weeks, and the soil needs to be warm so growers can get mixed results but we have been trialling more 'modern' high tech organic components to get earlier and more constant results.

Our second company 'aqualabs ltd' spends a lot of time on R&D projects and then the in-house manufacturing of specialist products (we make foods for tropical corals and marine fish living in captivity among other things!), and we are nearing the end of measured trials on a small range of specialist plant foods before widespread release for the 2013 growing season. The key to bonsai fertilizing for us is controlable results so growth spurts are avoided, and creating pot contitions that allow full nutrient uptake by the plant in question.

In japan the nurseries using cakes are basically refinement nurseries - the ones we see all the pictures of with potted trees on benches, the ones doing apprenticeships etc. The trees they buy in come from other growers who are primarily field growers who use combined chemical and organic fertilizers - ie naruko and similar - this is a fast growth food not a refinement food that gives an instant burst from the chemical element followed by a slower release from the organic part, it is mostly spent in 6 weeks and reapplied after 8 weeks. The japanese growers have a much better understanding of the varied requirements a bonsai tree needs over its entire life while, I feel in the west we want a simple 'one product does the lot' type of solution. After a few years working the same trees you see that average effort gets average results.

cheers Marcus

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Re: making organic fertilizer cakes

Post  dick benbow on Thu Feb 09, 2012 11:22 am

Marcus, thank-you. what you've shared does make a lot of sense and something to be honest, I hadn't given as much thought to, as to "the why". Most of the folks I respect and admire their collection use bio-gold and have a refined collection, so I felt motivated to begin leaning that way. Now I better see. It's what I call an " Aahaw!" moment Smile

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Re: making organic fertilizer cakes

Post  JimLewis on Thu Feb 09, 2012 2:18 pm

It probably depends on when you want work hardest on your trees. I use "chemical" fertilizer (but remember they're all chemicals! Even "organic" fertilizers.) almost exclusively, with an occasional dose of fish emulsion supplemented with trace elements), but I'm retired, and can spend my "spare" time pinching new growth before I get all those "long internodes."

_________________
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: making organic fertilizer cakes

Post  drgonzo on Thu Feb 09, 2012 4:40 pm

marcus watts wrote:
personally i think the fertilizer chosen goes hand in hand with your soil choice and the stage the tree is in at the moment.

Its taken me 3 years of experimenting to come to exactly that conclusion!
-Jay

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Re: making organic fertilizer cakes

Post  Fore on Thu Feb 09, 2012 5:57 pm

I'm using this one you mentioned Jay above: Osmocote Plus" 15-9-12 8-9mos. Plus I use chemical ferts as well. I made cakes from Matsu's recipe, but I've been told the exact same thing by multiple people, and as again Jay noted, that there are no microbes available for breakdown and utilization in 100% inorganic substrates many of us are using now. So I'll use them in fertilizing my pre bonsai's still in soil.

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Re: making organic fertilizer cakes

Post  drgonzo on Thu Feb 09, 2012 6:56 pm

Fore wrote: there are no microbes available for breakdown and utilization in 100% inorganic substrates many of us are using now.

There are microbes present everywhere! Inorganic soils certainly have them as well, the organic components leached into the soil from the fertilizer balls decompose and help foster a microbial population, Its just a matter of efficiency and conversion rate of nutrients into the soil vs nutrients actually taken up by the tree. With primarily inorganic soils that rate can be increased with the use of certain synthesized chemical fertilizers. And decreased as well for maintainance of "finished" trees.

-Jay

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Re: making organic fertilizer cakes

Post  Fore on Thu Feb 09, 2012 11:15 pm

Jay, I agree, microbes are everywhere...but, I have to wonder 1. How long before the organics are available? And 2. When you have to repot a fast growing tree, say every two yrs., you have to re-establish the microbial colony. And if it takes a growing season say to fully establish this colony, then you have to start all over again. Just a bit of uncertainly about how much of organics are actually taken up and used. I think that's why I see many who use both organics and chem. ferts. Though it's interesting that chem. ferts can increase the breakdown of organics. I wonder how that works as you're only adding N-P-K?

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Re: making organic fertilizer cakes

Post  drgonzo on Thu Feb 09, 2012 11:22 pm

Fore wrote: Though it's interesting that chem. ferts can increase the breakdown of organics. I wonder how that works as you're only adding N-P-K?

Thats a new one on me I'd love to know more about that.
-Jay

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Re: making organic fertilizer cakes

Post  Fore on Thu Feb 09, 2012 11:31 pm

Not sure I'm following you Jay, I just stated what you wrote: "With primarily inorganic soils that rate can be increased with the use of certain synthesized chemical fertilizers" And was wondering the physiology of how that would work.

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Re: making organic fertilizer cakes

Post  drgonzo on Thu Feb 09, 2012 11:41 pm

Fore wrote:Not sure I'm following you Jay, I just stated what you wrote: "With primarily inorganic soils that rate can be increased with the use of certain synthesized chemical fertilizers" And was wondering the physiology of how that would work.

I'm sorry, let me try to explain.

I mentioned the relation ship between nutrients entering the soil and, of those, what percent is actually absorbed by the plants roots. With organic nutrients that require microbial metabolism in order to be made chemically available to the plants that rate is lower than if a nutrient source (synthetic chemicals) is used that doesn't require the microbial action. Thus the absorption ratio of nutriment entering soil (and actually being absorbed) when we use synthetic chemical fertilizers would be far greater as we cut out the inefficiency of the "middle man" so to speak.

we increase the absorbtion ratio with chemical ferts. not the microbial action.
Please forgive my often convoluted way of writing.
-Jay

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Re: making organic fertilizer cakes

Post  Fore on Fri Feb 10, 2012 2:21 pm

Ah, now I'm following you Jay, and agreeing Laughing Thanks for the clarification.

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Re: making organic fertilizer cakes

Post  moonlight7 on Thu Sep 27, 2012 9:52 am

Thanks for the info guys, i use humate organic fertilizer, it works What a Face

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