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 Post subject: Fertilizers
PostPosted: Fri May 27, 2011 10:15 am 
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I'm not sure I even know what question to ask. I don't use them. Should I? When? What kind? How much?


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 Post subject: Re: Fertilizers
PostPosted: Fri May 27, 2011 10:28 am 
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ol' garly cooch
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Yes, you should. I know many would believe that their soil is okay, especially if weeds are thriving, but that is not the case. Different plants have different nutritional needs.

All plants need food to get them to grow, regardless if they are fruiting and flowering plants. You want a plant food that is high in nitrogen. For non-veganic gardeners the choices are a plenty and kind of gross: meat meal, blood meal, bone meal, feather meal, and anything else meal. For veganic gardeners, you can't go wrong with seaweed, neem meal or cake-(neem tree from india), compost, and worm castings. General Organics-(a division of General Hydroponics) makes a Bio Thrive Grow formula that is vegan, as well as a compost tea that is vegan.

Now, for those tomatoes, flowers, peppers, etc. If it has a flower or fruits, the plant needs phosphorous and potassium. Again, if you're a non-veganic gardener, you'll find all sorts of stuff out there, sourced from who-knows-where. Vegan options are also limited. General Organics also has a Bio Thrive Bloom formula. Tomatoes and Peppers also need calcium and magnesium. You can use epsom salts, and molasses to help out those nutrition requirements.

NPK is the nitrogen-phosphorous-potassium ratio in plant food. the higher the number, it is probably developed in a lab rather than nature. it's your call if you want to use that to feed your plants.

I hope that helps! For me, the best food out there for my precious plants is straight up good ol' compost.

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 Post subject: Re: Fertilizers
PostPosted: Fri May 27, 2011 10:30 am 
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jewbacca wrote:
For me, the best food out there for my precious plants is straight up good ol' compost.

I'm growing in pretty much straight compost. There's a bit of granite in there for drainage. And I add more compost whenever I plant something new. Does that mean I'm covered?


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 Post subject: Re: Fertilizers
PostPosted: Fri May 27, 2011 10:41 am 
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ol' garly cooch
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Yeah, you should be good. Just watch for signs of nutrient defeciency:

http://www.omafra.gov.on.ca/english/cro ... 07a3f1.jpg

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 Post subject: Re: Fertilizers
PostPosted: Fri May 27, 2011 10:44 am 
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Thanks!


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 Post subject: Re: Fertilizers
PostPosted: Fri May 27, 2011 11:06 am 
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So I kind of just sprinkle compost around the base of the plants and then water. Am I doing it right? And how often should I be doing that?

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 Post subject: Re: Fertilizers
PostPosted: Fri May 27, 2011 12:25 pm 
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Isa, yep--that's what I do. Example: worm castings. Lately, it has been pouring here in Indiana, so I've let Mudda Nature do the work of watering it in. Some people till it in, or make a tea by putting the fert in with some water, and an air pump to oxygenate it-(think carbonated fertilizer).

Since we have a holiday weekend coming up, I'll be bizzay in the garden and posting a buttload of pics. The crazy rain has made shiitake green up in diz bidnezz.

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 Post subject: Re: Fertilizers
PostPosted: Sat May 28, 2011 5:46 am 
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Thanks for the tips, I don't want to use anything non-vegan so I've been using seaweed but I suppose I'll need to look into phosphorous, potassium, calcium and magnesium. I guess I could try something like this liquid plant food but I'll email them to find out about the ingredients.

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 Post subject: Re: Fertilizers
PostPosted: Sat May 28, 2011 10:36 am 
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I used organic alfalfa pellets in the past. Apparently it's a fantastic fertilizer. I would spread pellets over my lawn and in the garden. They slowly break down & disappear into the soil. I also made a liquid fertilizer with alfalfa & molasses. Here's one recipe I found (bottom of page) http://www.weekendgardener.net/organic- ... 050805.htm


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 Post subject: Re: Fertilizers
PostPosted: Sat May 28, 2011 11:28 am 
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I planted my veggies in what used to be a compost pile. I just put railroad ties down in my yard last year and designated that area my compost pile with the intention of planting in it this year. So based on this, how often should I add fertilizers, and can I just use compost from my other pile, or should I be using something else as well? I planted kale, chard, red leaf lettuce, and peas so far.

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 Post subject: Re: Fertilizers
PostPosted: Sat May 28, 2011 1:47 pm 
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IsaChandra wrote:
So I kind of just sprinkle compost around the base of the plants and then water. Am I doing it right? And how often should I be doing that?


At the farm they plant with a scoop of compost, and then feed about once a month.

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 Post subject: Re: Fertilizers
PostPosted: Sat May 28, 2011 4:37 pm 
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Jewbacca, you know so much! I can't wait to see pictures of your garden and I wish I had somewhere to compost!
I don't know how useful this is, but I don't think I just came up with it on my own so I think I read it somewhere long ago. About one a week or every other week, I soak my used tea bags in a pitcher of water for a few hours and use that to water my plants. Sometimes I open up the bags and mix the tea into the soil too.

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 Post subject: Re: Fertilizers
PostPosted: Sat May 28, 2011 7:17 pm 
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I might also add that backyard gardeners are often faced with declining soil fertility in the years after they first break ground. One solution to this problem is to till leftover stalks, leaves, etc. back into the ground after the growing season is over so that their decomposition in the off time re-enriches the soil.

Also see "Soil Management in Yards and Gardens" from Washington State U, which is a good source of general information even though it is designed for Washington residents.

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 Post subject: Re: Fertilizers
PostPosted: Sat May 28, 2011 7:26 pm 
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von m wrote:
I used organic alfalfa pellets in the past. Apparently it's a fantastic fertilizer. I would spread pellets over my lawn and in the garden. They slowly break down & disappear into the soil. I also made a liquid fertilizer with alfalfa & molasses. Here's one recipe I found (bottom of page) http://www.weekendgardener.net/organic- ... 050805.htm


Fascist wrote:
I might also add that backyard gardeners are often faced with declining soil fertility in the years after they first break ground. One solution to this problem is to till leftover stalks, leaves, etc. back into the ground after the growing season is over so that their decomposition in the off time re-enriches the soil.

Also see "Soil Management in Yards and Gardens" from Washington State U, which is a good source of general information even though it is designed for Washington residents.


Thanks for the info, both of you. I think I can also use the liquid from the bokashi bin if I dilute it.

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 Post subject: Re: Fertilizers
PostPosted: Sat May 28, 2011 7:44 pm 
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Fascist wrote:
I might also add that backyard gardeners are often faced with declining soil fertility in the years after they first break ground. One solution to this problem is to till leftover stalks, leaves, etc. back into the ground after the growing season is over so that their decomposition in the off time re-enriches the soil.

Also see "Soil Management in Yards and Gardens" from Washington State U, which is a good source of general information even though it is designed for Washington residents.

That reminds me of another thing I did (it's been a couple of years since I had a garden). I had one of those leaf mulcher/blowers and in the fall I would rake up all the leaves and mulch them. I would spread all that mulch thickly over all my flower beds and under trees. It would help protect fragile plants/schrubs by adding an extra layer of wind protection. It decomposes quite a bit by spring adding nutrients to the soil.

I also read about and really wanted to try rock dust remineralization. http://remineralize.org/ I couldn't find any at the time, but am still curious and would like to try it some day. It looks like it is becoming more widely available.


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 Post subject: Re: Fertilizers
PostPosted: Sun May 29, 2011 11:17 am 
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I like kelp fertilizer. It's expensive but the little jug I bought last year will last me two years. I also lay banana peels at the base of my tomato plants throughout the season. I've heard that the potassium helps them set fruit. I put the peels down whenever I have them and kelp fertilize about once a month, in addition to working compost into the soil at the beginning of every season.


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 Post subject: Re: Fertilizers
PostPosted: Mon May 30, 2011 1:33 pm 
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ol' garly cooch
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Everyone has had excellent feedback as well! I'm still learning. My job more or less has me researching this stuff all the time.

I love kelp meal as well. For phosphate, you can get rock phosphate-(I can be found at my office singing, "Rock Phosphate!" to the tune of "Rock Lobster")

http://www.wormsway.com/detail.aspx?sku=RP405

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 Post subject: Re: Fertilizers
PostPosted: Mon May 30, 2011 5:19 pm 
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jewbacca wrote:
I love kelp meal as well. For phosphate, you can get rock phosphate-(I can be found at my office singing, "Rock Phosphate!" to the tune of "Rock Lobster")

http://www.wormsway.com/detail.aspx?sku=RP405

Haha, I sing so many things to the tune of that song.

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 Post subject: Re: Fertilizers
PostPosted: Tue May 31, 2011 8:29 pm 
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I've been using Bonnie Plants fertilizer (8-4-4) -this one:
Image

I guess it is a bit lame, but as far as I can tell it is vegan & organic (made from soybeans) and it's available at plain old big box stores like lowe's. ALthough the label says "organically-based" so I'm not 100% positive if that is some creative advertising or not.

My area in NJ is like a veganic gardening desert, so it is the only thing I've found locally that's vegan. I usually order lots of things from the internet, but fertilizer is tough since shipping costs are so high.

Last year I drove an hour to get some compost, since my backyard pile didn't work out. It was advertised as this great stuff - but I don't think it really was. I have to get a soil test to confirm.

I also tried straw once, but it didn't really break down. I put it on in the fall of 2009 and I still just had to rake some aside yesterday to plant some seeds.

Oh, and I use maxicrop too (which I did get from the internet since it isn't too heavy) but from what I understand it isn't enough on its own (1-0-4).

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