Tomato Fertilizer for Petunias

calpat(zone9ab No.Ca.)January 18, 2004

My neighbor always has gorgeous Petunias, finally asked her "How do you....". She uses tomatoe fertilizer, I haven't had a chance to find a package of this to see what ingredients in it would glorify this simple plants. Have any of you ever heard of this treatment? Last year I planted P's, they were great till I tried to deadhead them, they went belly up!

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The majority of tomato fertilizers have a heavy dose of alfalfa meal in the mix. Gardens Alive sells a good brand of tomato fertilizer. you smoke? I ask because you mention your petunias going belly up after you deadheaded them. There is a virus in tobacco smoke lingering on your fingers that is deadly to petunias. Suggest that you wash your hands and rinse them with alcohol before deadheading if you do smoke.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2004 at 10:47PM
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calpat(zone9ab No.Ca.)

Thanks Nandina, yes, unfortunately I am a smoker. However, when I'm putzing around in the garden I don't smoke & I do wear gloves. But will be ever alert for "smokers crud" in the future. Also going to try the tomatoe fertilizer treatment this season.

    Bookmark   January 23, 2004 at 10:48AM
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A virus in tobacco smoke is another of those urban legends that just won't go away. So you're not going to find and cure your problem if you believe a virus from tobacco is responsible.

As to the fertilizer, plants can't read, and labels such as "Tomato Fertilizer" are designed to attract and sell the product to gardeners that don't know what they really want or need. And you pay extra for the label. So, pay no attention to such labels and buy fertilizers according to recommended levels of N-P-K and trace elements appropriate to the plants you are using them on and to the needs of your garden soil.

For petunias, a balanced fertilizer (equal, more or less, N, P, and K) is usually best, but it ultimately depends on your local soils. Why not ask someone at your County Agricultural Extension office for that kind of information?

    Bookmark   January 23, 2004 at 4:31PM
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Sorry, Field, I am going to disagree with you on this one. I have had too much experience with growing petunias and employees who smoked. You will note that I picked up on this question right away. You can call it an urban legend...I call it the way I see it...from experience.
Calpat....please let us know how your petunias grow this summer after attention to hand sanitizing before handling them.

    Bookmark   January 24, 2004 at 8:46AM
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calpat(zone9ab No.Ca.)

Nandina, I will let you know this years experience & I will take note of the smoking stuff. Hope to quit. In as much as I keep a jar of alcohol available outside so that I can keep pruning shears, etc. "germ" free, I surprise myself at some of the thoughtless stuff I do sometimes. Another note to myself! These are my "senior moments" lol

    Bookmark   January 24, 2004 at 11:24AM
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Well, Nandina, believe what you want to. I guess I was just lucky for the 40+ years my wife and I were both heavy smokers while growing petunias with no problems at all. She still smokes, but I quit a couple of years ago. We still grow petunias (and have some blooming now), and I don't see a bit of difference. Plus, I've seen and read a report from one of the universities that said it was an urban legend that tobacco smoke had in it or transmitted the tobacco mosiac virus.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2004 at 4:08PM
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Old_West_Aussie(Perth foothills)

If you want a huge crop of tomatoes, try rose fertilizer. Our plants can't read what is on the packets.


    Bookmark   March 10, 2004 at 8:14AM
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mycarbumps(Zone 6b E.TN)

i work at a high end garden center and several of the employees smoke around the petunias all day long. (a real garden center, not like the crap they sell at lowes and home depot, if we kill all our plants, we dont get paid) my horticulture professor did tell us that the tobacco mosiac virus is spread by smoking, but i have never seen petunias get it. i wouldnt let anyone smoke near my tomatoes. but to answer your question, a tomato fertilizer should be high in phosphorus and potasium that would be good for root growth and blooming. other fertalizers (for lawns) tend to be high in nitrogen that will just grow you foliage. thats my $.02 ~Ryan

    Bookmark   April 13, 2004 at 7:42AM
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While this thread is very old, it's still visible via google, so it should be pointed out that you can no more have tobacco viruses in cigarette smoke than you could breed beagles in a bonfire. It is SMOKE...carbon-based matter that has been raised to hundreds of degrees, and reduced to particles so small that many air filters can't catch it.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2007 at 10:06AM
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albert_135(Sunset 2 or 3)

Do smoker's hands transmit tobacco mosaic?

What is the size of a virus relative to smoke particles?

Our (US) government once posted that there was no more tobacco mosaic in American tobacco products. Is that believed to be true?

How do we believe tobacco mosaic is transmitted between plants? Between people and plants?

    Bookmark   April 5, 2007 at 2:06PM
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