fish fertilizers for seedlings

rustico_2009April 11, 2013

I have usually used the 5-1-1 fish for rearing vegetable. I notice that most of the brassicas turn purple . Everything else seems to do pretty well( could be better at times) and usually the purple on the brassicas goes away in the garden and the plants grow fine.

Still, I'd feel better if it didn't happen and the purpling makes me wonder if maybe there are some things I can't so obviously see that are happening to other plants. Is there something better than the 5-1-1? That is plant or animal based. I use maxi-crop too, but I am not convinced that that does anything.

Bonide has a 2-4-0 fish fertilizer, would that be better?

This post was edited by rustico_2009 on Thu, Apr 11, 13 at 14:10

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do you use it as a foliar spray? What is in the soil mix?

    Bookmark   April 12, 2013 at 5:56AM
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Mark(Oregon, Zone 8)

I have the same q's as Randy, what's the soil mix?

If it's mostly composted wood as most soil mixes are, there's not much there for the plants.. Fish and Kelp are still only going to provide so much micro-nutrients.

Maybe consider adding some well aged home made compost to your mix.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2013 at 11:30AM
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The 5-1-1 is much higher in nitrogen than the 2-4-0. I prefer using a more balanced fertilizer, since my soil usually don't need lots of any one thing.

Phosphrous may be lacking and the 2-4-0 will help more than 5-1-1. If it's been colder, the phosphorus doesn't get absorbed as easily and the plant can turn purplish.

We used to use the used fish tank water and dilute it when we had gold fish.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2013 at 5:24PM
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My soil recipe for most seeds is
Homemade compost.

So I do try to sweeten it up, but never have taken a professional PH test

You can't stress brassicas from cold around here because it is too mild even in winter. The soil in the cells gets much hotter than out in the garden because of the lack of a heat sink.

I have to water cell flat trays every day, sometimes twice a day in my dry climate, maybe the compost nutrients from the compost are leaching? But then they are in trays so where would it go? Hmm.

Sometimes I bottom water with the fish and kelp and sometimes pour from the top. More often than not from the top I guess.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2013 at 11:37PM
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Get a pH test, even the cheap kind will help on that point. Knowing your pH is very important for growing different plants.

since you need to water every day, you will need to fertilize more often. It's not that the nutrients are leaking, but they are being used up. I usually fertilize at 1/2 strength every other watering.

I keep forgetting how warm you are Rustico, while I'm sitting with almost freezing temps this morning AGAIN.

I still guess that your phosphorous is low, and would change to the 2-4-0 next time you buy.

Water from bottom will help with the 'natural' salts from accumulating on the top of the soil (that white crusty stuff).

    Bookmark   April 13, 2013 at 9:04AM
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i think its the heat stress. maybe shading them for part of the day would keep the soil cooler? can you direct seed them?

    Bookmark   April 13, 2013 at 4:05PM
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I bet you are right about the heat , Randy, I can and should shade them....was thinking about that for fall when it is really hot and dry, but I guess in spring it is necessary too. Lots of difficulties with direct seeding of most types of vegetables.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2013 at 7:38PM
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