Organic Granular All-Purpose Fertilizer

ljezuit(ChicagoIL)May 16, 2011

While I have been gardening for quite some time it has only been the past couple years that I have been curious to growing my garden and landscaping in more of an organic way. While I have never used or been a fan of soluble water based fertilizer, I have added a granular 10-10-10 to some of my plantings (Mostly Vegetables such as tomatoes, peppers, corn, etc). Last year was the firs year I was able to produce enough worm castings from 3 bins to reduce the amount of fertilizer I would add (Applied only twice at � rate listed on the packaging). This year I was able to plant everything with a good dose of worm castings as well as work some in around the soil of the plants. With three bins going well I think I will have plenty as the season moves along. I live outside of Chicago with what I believe is good soil. Each fall I put all the leaves in as well as some kitchen vegetable scraps to overwinter. This year I will mulch with hay during the growing season for the first time.

My question is while I have not had a soil test done (Which I know I should) what are everyone�s thoughts on Jobe's Organics Granular All-Purpose Fertilizer? It is listed as Organic by OMRI with restrictions. The restrictions note 90 and 120 days prior to harvest/eating. If I use the fertilizer inside of 90 days on say tomatoes does this just mean it loses what could be "organic" status or does this mean it could be harmful?

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Given the restrictions about applying prior to harvest says this is an expensive form of animal manure.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2011 at 6:54AM
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What kimmsr means is that is the standard rule for applying any manure to your food garden. Root crops or anything in direct contact with the soil pose the greatest risk of contamination by manures or ferts containing them. If you are careful when you apply it and do not broadcast it over veggies contamination to your tomatoes would be unlikely. Watch out for splash up onto low hanging fruit or greens. And no it would not affect the "organic" status of your veggies.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2011 at 10:00AM
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I'd want to see the product label before I'd comment - the website (Easy Gardener, Inc., the manufacturer) does not disclose specific ingredients.

Usually that harvest restriction is associated with animal manures, as kimmsr suggests. It doesn't mean the produce/plant material is considered non-organic with that restriction - only that it may be harmful to consume if in more recent contact with the product in question.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2011 at 10:15AM
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Thank you all for the responses. I really appreciate them. So I guess from my perspective this could be harmful. If I were to use it now I would hopefully (If the weather turns better) be harvesting inside the 90 day window. What disturbs me is the packaging fails to mention this. There is one sentence that says "best results if applied at planting" but it then goes on to say you can use every 4 or 6 weeks? (The package is not in front of me now) I would rather skip this altogether and keep using my worm compost that is going well. My next project is to get the soil test done and then maybe just look for a nitrogen supplement since I will be growing corn also. While I think the manufactureres are trying to put out some Organic products they should disclose all of the potential warnings.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2011 at 11:48AM
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On the bag it notes: Derived from Feather Meal, Bone Meal, Composted Poultry Manure, and Sulfate of Potash. It notes that it contains Biozome with is the Jobes name for Archaea. Non Plan Food Ingredients are Bacteria, Endomycorrhizae and Ectomycorrihizae. I am wondering why if it is listing the Poultry Manure and "Composted Poultry Manure" there would be the restrictions. It still worries me that it could be dangerous in the garden.

It notes for Vegetables to use 1 cup per 10 square feet and to feed at planting and every 8 weeks during the growing year. I am wondering why they are not listing the warning on the bag just as it is listed on the OMRI website.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2011 at 8:42PM
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The Composted Poultry Manure may contain disease pathogens which are the reasons for the 90 days to harvest for crops growing above ground and 120 for root crops. While many people do not think the potential for these diseases is very high the Center for Disease Control (CDC) thinks the high number of cases of "stomach flu" (gastroenteritis) may really be food poisoning from E-Coli, Listeria, Salmonella, etc. that is undiagnosed and unreported. Since diagnosis of gastroenteritis requires several days of growing in a lab a stool sample and most people recover from that fairly quickly even doctors are reluctant to go that route.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2011 at 11:40AM
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I dislike using someone elses mix and no longer use animal products at all. If you are just looking for a general boost, why not alfalfa, soy, or cottonseed meal? A 50# bag at the feed store is a thrifty investment.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2011 at 6:21AM
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This fertilizer sounds a lot like what I just got. I certainly didn't see any such warnings on it. :/ I can't remember the brand but the ingredients sound exactly the same. To this point, I've just been using fish emulsion and liquid seaweed, but my plants seemed to be having some issues and I thought, perhaps, that a better formula of fertilizer would help. The one I picked up said it was for flowers, fruits, and roots (they had two different varieties at Whole Foods).

Anyway, the only fruit I have coming up right now are tomatoes (a whopping 2) and a strange looking strawberry. I hope more will come, but the strawberries' lack of flowers (everbearing plants) was part of my concern and why I opted to go with a granular fertilizer in the first place.

I'm fighting a seemingly losing battle to save my zucchini plants, have one last cucumber plant that looks like it'll be dead before long (but is nowhere near fruiting, anyway), and three watermelon plants that are *finally* starting to grow decently. I think, perhaps, the fertilizer helped there... And I don't expect to have fruit within 90 days, but I don't really know.

Should I be concerned?

    Bookmark   May 20, 2011 at 2:51AM
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I contacted the manufacturer of the product and they stated there was a miscommunication between OMRI and the company. They are reapplying to have the restriction lifted. I know there are probably alternatives out there but I believe a product like this has marketability. Small home gardens or just using it for some new plantings in the landscape etc sometimes require some fertilizer and the ability to just take out the right amount and not have to mix anything or apply more than one product has some interest.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2011 at 3:42PM
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Ive used it and found it to work well..its slow but thats a good thing :)

    Bookmark   April 23, 2013 at 6:43AM
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wayne_5 zone 6a Central Indiana

Espoma has a line of organic fertilizers like Plant Tone, Garden Tone, And Tomato Tone. These are like a slow release type. Whether they are OMRI certified, I don't know and likely for the original Poster that is not necessary.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2013 at 1:31PM
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