Can We Talk Fertilizers?

View previous topic View next topic Go down

Can We Talk Fertilizers?

Post  Deadwood on Mon Mar 12, 2012 8:56 pm

Please enlighten me. I have the following:

7 year old Black Pine (Formal Upright) Recently repotted and taking off
7 year old Trident Maple (Formal Upright)
10 year old Chinese Elm (Shohin Broom)
Shimpaku Jun 12 year old (Chopped before winter/ want Shohin) Recently repotted and recovering
Juniper Nana Shohin Budding like crazy


I have just been working on keeping the following trees healthy over the past year. So far successful. All accept for the Shimp which is in an unkown state.

I am just not sure of the direction to go as far as fertilizing. The brand? I see a lot of Miracle Gro availiable. I picked up some Miracid, but am really hesitiant to pull the trigger on anything yet. It has taken me a while just to water the trees as needed and I want to make sure that I don't do harm with a fertilizer. I know it's time to start, so can anyone recommend a brand that can be bought locally and will work for all of the above?

I can provide pics if it will spice up the thread and help with responses.

Deadwood
Member


Back to top Go down

Re: Can We Talk Fertilizers?

Post  drgonzo on Mon Mar 12, 2012 11:57 pm

I cant resist Twisted Evil

Not sure if you can get it locally but Dyna Grow 7-9-5 is the best fertilizer I have found yet.
I actually bought a gallon of the stuff.

You can order 8oz sizes for only a few dollars to try it out, even one of the 8 oz ones will last you quite a while.
-Jay

Check out this thread for a lot of info, towards the end it degenerated into an in-depth discussion of all sorts of soil and fertilizer related subjects...very informative for further info..
http://ibonsaiclub.forumotion.com/t7523-how-do-we-acidify-inorganic-bonsai-soil?highlight=inorganic

drgonzo
Member


Back to top Go down

Re: Can We Talk Fertilizers?

Post  Deadwood on Tue Mar 13, 2012 12:30 am

Thanks Mr. Goldsmith. I will look for Dynagrow. Much appreciated!

Deadwood
Member


Back to top Go down

Re: Can We Talk Fertilizers?

Post  Marty Weiser on Tue Mar 13, 2012 2:29 am

I think the answer is - It Depends. It depends not only on the type of trees, but also the media they are growing in, their stage of development, your growing conditions, etc.

I have used Miracle Gro for years along with Miracid less frequently. I have also used Peters and several other fertilizers that I found on sale. I think the major issues are 1) use a variety of fertilizers to insure your trees get everything they need, and 2) make sure you fertilize enough. With an inorganic growing media the fertilizer washes through so both of these are critical.

As I have gone to a more inorganic growing media over the past couple of years. As a result, I have been using more and more organic fertilizer since it releases slowly with each watering. I continue to augment with chemical fertilizers such as Miracle Gro and Miracid on a biweekly basis.

For the organic I have settled on top dressing with a mixture of about 4-5 parts organic lawn fertilizer, 1 part blood meal, 1 part bone meal, 1-2 parts composted steer manure, 1/2 part Ironite, and 1/2 part Epsom's Salts (Magnesium Sulfate). The last 2 are to fight off the Chlorosis that I seem to have. I made poo balls from the stuff, but decided that was more effort than it was worth so I just top dress using a 1 Tablespoon measuring spoon (not from the kitchen) in about the positions I would have placed the balls.

Of course if you ask 10 bonsai growers for their approach to fertilizing you will will be lucky if you only get 15 different answers so take mine with the appropriate grain of salt (do not add the table salt to the bonsai since that will generally be bad).

Marty

Marty Weiser
Member


Back to top Go down

Re: Can We Talk Fertilizers?

Post  drgonzo on Tue Mar 13, 2012 3:17 am

Marty

Its been my experience that inorganic soil mixes do not have adequate microbial populations to metabolize organic nutrients in enough quantity to sufficiently fertilize my plants. Perhaps you're experiencing the results of this microbial deficit yourself as you mention a continuing problem with chlorosis. It is because of this issue that I abandoned organic top dressings and fertilizers altogether and switched to synthetic feeds like the Dyna-Grow, where all macros and micros are immediately available to the roots without the need for microbial action.

Simply put; all the manure and bone meal in the world will never benefit your trees without enough soil microorganisms to metabolize it. This is the price we pay for inorganics, but the benefits are many!
-Jay

'Bout time we had a dedicated fertilizer thread.

drgonzo
Member


Back to top Go down

Re: Can We Talk Fertilizers?

Post  bucknbonsai on Tue Mar 13, 2012 3:36 am

jay, Im looking at that online. What kind of ratio do I mix it? whats the difference between it and miracle grow (trace elements?)

bucknbonsai
Member


Back to top Go down

Re: Can We Talk Fertilizers?

Post  drgonzo on Tue Mar 13, 2012 3:55 am

bucknbonsai wrote:jay, Im looking at that online. What kind of ratio do I mix it? whats the difference between it and miracle grow (trace elements?)
Buck-

The primary difference between Dyna-grow and Miracle grow is the nitrogen source used in both. MG derives most of its nitrogen from Urea which will require microbial action in order to convert it into a form the plant can actually use. Sometimes this process can be quite inefficient (cold root zone temps, low microorganism count) and the Urea can build up in the soil if not flushed regularly.

Dyna skips this step and simply uses all Urea free sources for its nitrogen, plus EVERY micro is chelated again making them instantly absorbable by the plant. there are also more micros and indeed the Dyna is a complete fertilizer, you can just use it and nothing else is needed..everything the plant needs to live is in there. The low soluble salts is excellent for salt intolerant trees like Hornbeam, Beech, and Maple...some of my favorites.

For about the same price I think it's a far superior fertilizer. I like to grow the best trees I can, with the best health I can possibly maintain. Bonsai training then becomes so much easier with vigorous plants.

I mix it to directions. 1/2 tsp per gallon. And because I use 100% Turface I can fertilize as much or as little as I want depending on plant stage of development or growing needs.

It really is a whole other world and is a much more "modern" way of gardening when you start to get into the synthetics and inorganics. I actually find it a lot more fun and interesting as well!

-Jay


Last edited by drgonzo on Tue Mar 13, 2012 4:39 am; edited 1 time in total

drgonzo
Member


Back to top Go down

Re: Can We Talk Fertilizers?

Post  bucknbonsai on Tue Mar 13, 2012 4:22 am

1/2 teaspoon per gallon!!, wow that gallon jug I plan on ordering will last forever, I to mainly grow hornbeam and maples. Do you water first then come through with the fertilizer solution to just drizzle over the whole surface, or do you drench the pots with the fertilizer solution? I ask because i mostly have large grow boxes and lots of them. In your climate, how often do you apply it and what months do you apply it in? I understand how its safe to use it all the time if you use inorganic soil mixes, but when the trees are not actively growing, it would be easier and cheaper to just use plain water. I saw your excitement over your watering can on another thread but that is a lot of trips back and forth to fill a can of that size. Depending on your answer to my questions, I think I am going to have to make a homemade watering can out of a 5 gallon bucket or something. Since I already have hundreds of gallons of soil mixture already made up (Probably 70% inorganic/30% organic = mostly turface, NAPA brand oil dry, drystall (pumice) granite grit, and some decomposed pine bark with peat), i probably wont switch to 100% inorganic yet, so I likely should decrease what you do by half or a quarter or what? i know that is a tough question but I was not sure if you have come across anyone in your club or something that uses dynagrow or MG in a mix that is not completely inorganic.
thanks

bucknbonsai
Member


Back to top Go down

Re: Can We Talk Fertilizers?

Post  drgonzo on Tue Mar 13, 2012 4:42 am

Buck

I water first then come back and fertilize to help distribute the nutrients throughout the soil.

I dont fertilize in winter or if trees aren't growing.

Dyna is good in any soil mix not just inorganic

And yes I figure a gallon will last me the next 10 years!

-Jay

drgonzo
Member


Back to top Go down

Re: Can We Talk Fertilizers?

Post  JimLewis on Tue Mar 13, 2012 3:31 pm

First, don't buy a pre-mixed liquid fertilizer! You are paying good money for water! Buy one of the powdered kinds and use your own (much cheaper) water.

Second, don't obsess over fertilizer. Plants don't give a dang what brand they get so long as they get the NPK and trace elements they need. ANY of the houseplant fertilizers you can find in the box stores or nurseries have all of those. If you like, give them a dose of fish emulsion once every 4-5 fertilizations. Or not.

Many people love to diddle with various fertilizer formulations, claiming their trees are the healthiest in the world as a result. That's fine and dandy. It obviously makes them very happy. Problem is, they tend to want the rest of the world to do as they do. You may if you wish.

BUT it is not necessary. Your trees . . . . DO . . . . NOT . . . . CARE.

Half of IBC will be hollering now, I'm sure. That's fine. My trees, over the last 35-40 years, are as healthy as theirs, and I buy whatever is on sale when I need to replenish my stock. Right now, it is Miracle Grow Tomato Food, which is a silly name because you can grow anything with it. MARKETING!

_________________
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

JimLewis
Member


Back to top Go down

Re: Can We Talk Fertilizers?

Post  Deadwood on Tue Mar 13, 2012 6:57 pm

Just wanted to say thanks again. This is all good stuff and makes sense....well admiitedly, some of it is a little over my head. But for now I will take your word for it. In case anyone was trying to find it locally, Dynagrow has a website showing locations of distributors across the country. There is one near me so I will make the trip and let the magic begin this weekend.

The budding is crazy as the warm temperatures and sun could not be better for my trees right now.

Deadwood
Member


Back to top Go down

Re: Can We Talk Fertilizers?

Post  drgonzo on Wed Mar 14, 2012 1:55 am

Deadwood wrote:Just wanted to say thanks again. This is all good stuff and makes sense....well admiitedly, some of it is a little over my head. But for now I will take your word for it.

Its pretty easy stuff to understand if you take a little time to learn a bit about it and the understanding itself made me a much better gardener not just with Bonsai. And you don't have to take my word for it, Others have used Dyna for bonsai as well and had good success, Dan Trzepacz one of the founders of the Buffalo bonsai society also recommends it, but for me the proof was in the pudding.
Good luck
-Jay

drgonzo
Member


Back to top Go down

Re: Can We Talk Fertilizers?

Post  drgonzo on Wed Mar 14, 2012 11:24 am

JimLewis wrote: Your trees . . . . DO . . . . NOT . . . . CARE.

Jim
Essentially you're correct. It would also be accurate to say that trees don't care what color pot they're put into either. But it is a concern for us as bonsai hobbyists.

Likewise for myself as a bonsai gardener, fertilizer is one of the things I actually care most about. Indeed when growing in a 100% inorganic medium (as I do) that contains none, and holds on to very little, nutriment; the quality and efficiency of the fertilizer can really make a big difference in vigor.

I believe, after having participated in a few threads that touched on fertilization and through various private messages, that there are forum members who would like to both learn about and further evaluate different fertilizers and I feel that's a discussion that should be encouraged.

But I'm glad your plants have done well through the years with "whatever is on sale."
-Jay

drgonzo
Member


Back to top Go down

Re: Can We Talk Fertilizers?

Post  gope on Wed Mar 14, 2012 10:38 pm

Jay, Do you know, Is the 7-7-7 formula from DynaGro also urea free?

gope
Member


Back to top Go down

Re: Can We Talk Fertilizers?

Post  drgonzo on Wed Mar 14, 2012 10:47 pm

gope wrote:Jay, Do you know, Is the 7-7-7 formula from DynaGro also urea free?

Yes, I believe all their products are formulated without Urea. The 7-7-7 Has a lesser percentage of each micro and the 7-9-5 is useful for flowering and fruiting plants which allows me to use the one formula for everything, just simpler for a busy guy like me, but I'm sure the 7-7-7 is good stuff too.
-jay

drgonzo
Member


Back to top Go down

Re: Can We Talk Fertilizers?

Post  gope on Wed Mar 14, 2012 11:05 pm

Great stuff! Thanks! Couldn't find the information on their website.

gope
Member


Back to top Go down

Re: Can We Talk Fertilizers?

Post  John Quinn on Fri Mar 16, 2012 12:08 am

I tend to side with Jim on the issue of fertilization. That said, I recently did purchase some DynaGro Bloom formula ( a couple of months ago) and my large bougie has flowered more than any time in the several years I have had it. Nothing else had changed.

_________________
"Eschew obfuscation"

John Quinn
Member


Back to top Go down

Re: Can We Talk Fertilizers?

Post  Sponsored content Today at 4:19 pm


Sponsored content


Back to top Go down

View previous topic View next topic Back to top


 
Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum