Super Bloom

Phildeez(9b)May 21, 2011

My peppers are starting to get cranking so I picked up some Green Light Super Bloom

12-55-6 with iron to use as a light foliar spray in conjunction with a balanced water soluble fert.

I had been using MG Tomato Food but I left it out in the rain so I am open to suggestions on a new one.

How often should I be looking to use a 1/4 dose of Super Bloom? I had planned to use

it every other dose switching off with a balanced fert, but I don't want to overload the Phosphorous.

I am using 5-1-1 with Osmocote and Lime @ 1 tbsp/gal.

Also, I need a recommendation for a new balanced WSF. Or should I just keep using Tomato Food?

Thanks much! I will post pictures soon, all of the help from this forum has really

helped my container peppers out!


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I use Fish emultion and seaweed extract until my plants are full grown.
Every other time I water in 1/8 or so dose,I don't measure-whatever looks good at the time...
I use a pump sprayer for soil and folier feeding.Then I water.
At maturity, I use less Fish emultion and more seaweed extract.
I'll add a shot of Alaska Morebloom a couple times for budding.Just for the heck of it to cover all bases.
As soon as I see buds I add calcium acetate to my ferts.

I disolve powdered Dolomite lime in 5% White vinegar.Doesn't matter what amount of lime you add.The acid/vinegar will disolve whatever amount it can.

I just put an inch of lime in a cottage cheese container and fill it with vinegar and stir.
I add more vinegar as I use it.
I add about a couple oz. to a gal. or 2 of mixed ferts.

Dolomite lime has magnesium in it so I think it gives the plants both mag. and calcium.

Calcium helps stop blossum drop and especially C.Chinense need the extra calcium.

Just dolomite lime or bonemeal in the soil depends on PH and takes a while to be plant usable.
Calcium acetate can be used as a folior spray or in the soil.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2011 at 10:11PM
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I am going to use a bit of vinegar in my water until I have to start watering twice a day at which time I will bust out the hose.
My water has plenty of calcium for plants so I just need the lime for the PH and magnesium, the calcium is just extra.

I think I want to use a fertilizer that smells better than fish emulsion, I live in an apartment with close neighbors walking by constantly.
I have a little sprayer for a foliar mix, I may just put Super Bloom in it and use it at a very small dose daily, 1/7th to 1/10th dose.
I want to spray water daily for spider mites anyway.

What about a non-smelly WSF to use on the regular? Any suggestions besides Miracle Gro that carry any weight and are not overly expensive?


    Bookmark   May 21, 2011 at 11:10PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Hey, Phil, most of that super bloom content will simply wash out of the pot.
Plants use the big three nutrients in approximately a 3-1-2 ratio, which means
that plants are using about six times more nitrogen than phosphorous. Very little
P is actually required. Bloom boosters and other high number formulas are
typically a marketing gimmick.


    Bookmark   May 22, 2011 at 1:08PM
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Josh, I suppose I should ask next time -before- buying. Does the ratio of nutrients used by the plants
stay the same while they are fruiting compared to growing or going dormant at the end of the season?

Is there any reason to spend money on a more expensive WSF than Miracle Gro?
Or should I just pick up more MG Tomato?


    Bookmark   May 22, 2011 at 2:19PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

The short answer is: not much difference throughout the season.
Obviously, you'll fertilize at higher doses during the prime growth season,
but the ratio of the nutrients doesn't need to change.

The longer answer: there are ways to manipulate nutrients to influence container plants.
However, many growers withhold nitrogen rather than increase phosphorous to encourage
fruiting/flowering. For example, one might use a nutrient ratio of 2-1-2 instead of 3-1-2
for certain crops once the main vegetative stage has been met.

I'm of the opinion that a consistent stream of nutrients will keep plants healthy -
and healthy plants will produce blooms and fruit when they're ready.

Miracle Grow 24-8-16 is a fine product, in the proper ratio, but it lacks calcium.


    Bookmark   May 23, 2011 at 12:33AM
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Sure seems hard to find a WSF with calcium, only the super expensive hydroponic stuff from what I saw. Good to know about the MG 24-8-16 I could only find regular and high N stuff locally but ill take a trip to Wal-Mart if I HAVE to.

As for calcium I have tap water with a fair amount, I think (see container fert thread for the #s and discussion of that), and lime.

Thanks again for setting me on the right path, Josh.


    Bookmark   May 23, 2011 at 2:43AM
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Calcium in water might not be in a form your plants can use easily/right now-PH etc.Just like bone meal,it has to break down into a plant usable form.
Thats why I make calcium acetate.

Other than cactus ferts and hydroponic stuff I haven't seen many ferts. with calcium.
There are ferts that are just the micro nutriunts plants need that you are supposed to add to your regular fert.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2011 at 6:11AM
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They really want all of my money don't they!? I need more info because nurseries around swear that our naturally filtered water is full of calcium and magnesium for plants to use. ill post my question to al on the container fert thread.

thanks for the help!

    Bookmark   May 23, 2011 at 12:48PM
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Your water probably does have enough of the stuff your plants need in it but if your soil isn't in the right PH it might not get those things easily.
Hard water can make your soil alkaline and inhibit the plant from being able to use the stuff in your water.
It's hard to say what your plant actually gets from the water.
I do notice a BIG difference when I add calcium acetate to my ferts.
Within a couple days I get a massive amount of buding.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2011 at 8:37PM
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Smoke, what is this calcium acetate? how do you get it?

    Bookmark   May 23, 2011 at 9:44PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Hey, Spongey, check Smoke's first post in this Thread ;-)


    Bookmark   May 24, 2011 at 11:26AM
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Smokemaster, do you apply normal amounts of lime and SRF to your mix? I do not want to overload my plants with calcium/magnesium, my water has a lot, and I used lime @ 1tbsp/gal.

Do I need to worry about overdoing it if I apply calcium acetate? My peppers are just going into full bloom so now would be the time.


    Bookmark   May 24, 2011 at 11:47AM
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Bahaha! I am such an idiot! I just put some dolomite lime granules into a tupperware to see if they would dissolve in vinegar. Well, you remember those science fair volcanoes from elementary? It was sort of like that. A few seconds after I put the lid on, swirled it around, and set it down on the counter...BOOM! Vinegar and lime in my face.

Thought you guys might appreciate that little tid-bit, as embarrassing as it is.


    Bookmark   May 24, 2011 at 12:13PM
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Thanks Josh! as i was typing that i thought i just read it somewhere but could not remember!

and i am with Phil here on over doing it with calcium. i forgot to add lime to my soil as i made it. and i fertilize with FP so should i also add this calcium acetate to it as well? or is just vineager and fp good enough?

    Bookmark   May 24, 2011 at 1:00PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Eric, what is your mix?
You might want to scratch some Lime into the soil.
I haven't dissolved the Lime, but I'd like to know more about it.


    Bookmark   May 24, 2011 at 5:45PM
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well 3 of my peppers are in forrest ocean/EB stone cactus mix. the others are in unscreened(do not have a screen nore the room in my apt) orchid bark, Sunshine growers mix #4,and EB stone Cactus mix. mixed at a ratio of 6-1-1 i figured that this mix would reatain more water than the "5-1-1" so i added 1 more part bark. it drains really fast! how much lime would you suggest "scratching into the soil? and how deep? 6 pots are like `14" terra cotta and i have #7 plastic pot and a #15 pot.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2011 at 6:11PM
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If you are worried about overdoing it just folior spray your plants.
From what i have read about Cal. and Mag. a plant stores/uses the same receptorsor whatever for both Cal. and Mag.
In general by adding both you are supposed to be able to avoid overdosing a plant with either of the 2 using Dolomite Lime and vinegar-acetate...
A lot of people get a cal. starved plant by just using epsom salt on their plant.
I don't know if you can overdose a plant with the acetate.
I've never had a problem.
I guess if you used it straight you could maybe mess up the soils PH.I really don't know.
I've never had a problem with the Acetate.
I have had problems with PH using Dolomite Lime or Bone meal though in the past.
I usually added whatever looked good at the time to my soil mixes.
I only use a shot or so of the acetate to 2 gal. of fert. mix.
I am a firm beleiver in using Cal. on my plants.
I think it helps keep them healthier and the added Mag. in the acetate greens up the plants.
Both I think have something to do with building a plants leaves cell structure-if I remember right,which means more efficient photocynthesis etc.

Also,through trial and error I found out if I added Epsom salt to the water mixed with the Cal. acetate I get crystals forming of who knows what in the bottom of the container.
The crystals are not water soluable and when strained out and put in the soil,don't eventually get disolved.
They won't re disolve in vinegar either.
So don't mix the homemade Cal./Mag acetate with Mag. Sulfate(epsom salt).

I forgot to tell you about the gas released by the reaction of the vinegar and Lime. LOL
I cover mine with platic wrap...
Don't forget to stir the settled Dolomite lime in the bottom of your container from time to time.
If the vinegar didn't react all the lime it could stirring it starts it to react again.
The lime also packs down in the bottom of the container like clay but when stirred it powders up again.Must have something to do with the reaction.

I agree with Josh,I use Nitrogen all through the season on my plants.
I do use more as far as a ratio of Fish Emultion to Seaweed extract in early season but do add a little more fish seaweed extract at budding.
I probably use about the same amount of fish emultion and add more P and K at budding.
Plants in general will take whatever they need,the extra stuff gets used up by other stuff in the soil or washed out the bottom of the pots when I water.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2011 at 6:30PM
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ok, so should i scratch in the lime as well as use the acetate? or just use the acetate? my educated guess would be to do both as the lime in the soil regulates the PH and the acetate provides Ca.Mg. am i correct?

    Bookmark   May 24, 2011 at 7:15PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Eric, it's tough to say how much Lime to scratch in.
You could start with a Teaspoon, evenly spread around the soil, then covered over and watered.
You can always add more if you notice problems - such as pale, yellowing plants.
I don't know enough about dosing with Calcium acetate to make recommendations.

In-ground, I supplement all season long with Fish Emulsion, which has Calcium, too.
Fish Emulsion is very good stuff.


    Bookmark   May 24, 2011 at 7:49PM
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I don't know.
I add some Dolomite lime in my soil mix when I make them up.
Just because I want the extra calcium and Mag. in my pots.Not for PH adjustment.
I only pay attention to PH in my Hydro plants,and rarely mess with that either.
The more stuff you mess with,the more stuff that can go wrong.
Ignorance is bliss. LOL
I've never added Lime afterwards.

I consider it somewhat of a waste since I use the witches brew regularly and don't know how long it takes for DE to effect a plant or the soil...
If it takes a long time your plant could be dead by the time the Dolomite lime gets dispersed into the soil enough to do anything.

I hardly ever mess with checking my soils PH.
Unless the PH is really messed up,there hasn't been a need to fix stuff that isn't broke.

Never had a PH problem that I know about except with Blueberry plants.
I got tired of messing with them and they are history.

I've had problems with ferts before(wood based soil mixes use lots more nitrogen at first) but never with PH as far as I can tell.
Plants in the ground adapt to the soil they are in so I figure I'd really have to screw up to get a really bad PH in my pots with the stuff I use to make my soil.

I just add whatever I felt like adding while mixing up my soil.
Same way I cook.Most times no recipe...

If you are worried about overdoing it just folior spray your plants and scratch in the lime in your soil.
Some will still get into the soil from dripping off the leaves though.
I guess since Cal. acetate is an acid and Dolomite lime is alkaline it couldn't hurt if your soil is already too acid.

I'm not a big fan of Folier feeding.
I only started doing it because it keeps the mite hords in check.
Otherwise I'd never folier spray my plants.
I never did before the mites invaded.
Mites are Forever.
I once sprayed half my plants and only soil fed my other half.
Didn't notice any difference.
A lot of people swear by folier feeding though.

It boils down to whatever works for the way you grow your garden-how much time etc. you want to spend messing with your plants.
I grew about 400 plants,2X a year here , year round and messing with PH etc. wasn't something I wanted to mess with,pot by pot at a time.
Mites killed all my plants last season.
Only growing 150 or so plants in pots this year to see if I can control the mites.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2011 at 8:25PM
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Thank you so much guys! i think at this point since i forgot to mix the lime in the soil, i will just add the witches brew each time i fertilize, and keep my eye on how the plants look. and if anything pops up that i am worried about then i will ask you guys! i just want to get the most out of my potted peppers!


    Bookmark   May 24, 2011 at 11:25PM
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