Water solubile fertilizer

esteban_2009(6)August 21, 2014

Hi folks,
I read about water soluble fertilizer on this site this afternoon and can't find it when I need it.!
I have been using Miracle-Grow and it is becoming very expensive for me to fertilize 20 tomato plants.
Dave (digdirt, a fellow Arkansan) mentioned a few that he had/is using.
Would some one please direct me to the site of this subject.
Thanks much,
Steve

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seysonn(8a WA/HZ 1)

MG water soluble fertilizer in 5 lbs box (24 -8-16), costs about $12. You dissolve ONE TBSP in ONE gallon of water, per plant, twice a month, maybe less. That will last you more than a season for 20 tomato plants ( = that is about 60 cents per plant.)

1 lb. = 32 TBS
5 lbs. = 160 TBS THAT WILL MAKE 160 GALLONS OR 8 TIMES FEEDING FOR 20 TOMATO PLANTS.

That is quite more than enough in the course of one season. .Considering that one should fertilize much less frequently as the season nears its end.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2014 at 4:40AM
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sheltieche

mmm, are you container gardening or open soil?

    Bookmark   August 21, 2014 at 10:14AM
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Daniel_NY(7a)

I use Fish & Seaweed Fertilizer (Neptune's Harvest) and Big Bloom (FoxFarm)

Both are organic fertilizers.

As you probably know, Miracle Gro is a synthetic fertilizer.

Here is a thread I found in GardenWeb that might interest you: why is miracle-gro bad.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2014 at 2:24PM
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seysonn(8a WA/HZ 1)

I use Fish & Seaweed Fertilizer (Neptune's Harvest) and Big Bloom (FoxFarm). Both are organic fertilizers.

%%%%%%%%%
Good for you, Daniel.
The OP's concern is COST. Obviously , organic fertilizers cost many folds more, if you can afford it . I don't use them just for economic reason. But then I use manures , which are organic.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2014 at 10:47PM
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Daniel_NY(7a)

esteban_2009 wrote:

> I have been using Miracle-Grow and it is becoming very expensive for me to fertilize 20 tomato plants.

How many times do you fertilize per week / month / season ?

    Bookmark   August 21, 2014 at 11:28PM
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esteban_2009(6)

Hi folks,
Thanks to all who responded.
Linda: All my tomatoes are in the ground.
Daniel: Once per month.
Steve

    Bookmark   August 22, 2014 at 10:14AM
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Daniel_NY(7a)

and how much is that "very expensive" ?

    Bookmark   August 22, 2014 at 10:23AM
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sheltieche

Well, your Miracle Grow is killing the very things i.e. microbes that are responsible for feeding your plants. So in the end it is a vicious circle- the more you kill your soil the more you need fertilizer because your plants are unable to grow without it. But it is a big subject.
If you are looking to change your needs regarding fertilizing looking into soil buildling, permaculture and composting might be a good idea.

Here is a link that might be useful: Soil is not dirt

    Bookmark   August 22, 2014 at 11:16PM
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joeorganictomatoes(6A)

I agree with lindalana with regards to the use of all synthetic fertilizers such as MG. I'm strictly organic and use fish emulsion, seaweed extract and Urban Farm Vegetable Fertilizer. Happy Gardening!

    Bookmark   August 23, 2014 at 11:00AM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

Meanwhile off the organic soapbox and back to your original question -

Steve - clarify a couple of points for me. 20 plants in the ground and feeding 1x a month, right? How are you applying it? Root drench or spraying the plants?

As seysonn said 1 box of MG All Purpose mixed 1 tablespoon per gallon of water in a bucket and poured on the base of each plant 1x a month would be your least expensive way to go. That box is more than enough to last all season. If you go this route be sure to water the plants well before pouring on the gallon of feed to each.

Now if you are using one of these that you fill with one of the pouches each time then yeah the cost will be more than quadrupled and a lot of it is wasted. It is a rip-off system IMO.

One alternative is this fish fertilizer. Note it has no nitrogen so not only does it cost a little more but you will have to add a low-N source. But it is good stuff and mixed 1-2 T per gallon and poured on the base of each plant after watering it will last all season.

Another alternative is Jungle Growth Water Soluable. More expensive but enough for a couple of seasons. And not as commonly available.

Other choices but note price vs. size differences:

PVFS Organic Liquid Fish 2-4-0.2

FoxFarm

Earth Juice Sea Blast. This is what I use in my fertigation system so don't let the nutrient levels throw you as fertigation dilutes it. But it isn't cheap although 1 bag lasts all season and then some and it can be difficult to find. Earth Juice also makes many other products that are good alternatives.

These are just a few of the many choices available to you. Do a Google search for 'water soluble garden fertilizers' for many more links.

Hope this helps.

Dave

    Bookmark   August 23, 2014 at 12:28PM
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dbrown2351(5)

I used 6 lbs for 20 plants over the course of the summer. Now that things are slowing down I am done fertilizing. This stuff works good for me. A gallon per plant every 10 days or so after they start producing.

As for the MiracleGrowaphobics, please go to the organic forum. If we need a preacher we can go to church.

Here is a link that might be useful: MG 18-18-21

    Bookmark   August 23, 2014 at 1:39PM
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seysonn(8a WA/HZ 1)

Synthetic Or organic ?

The elements/minerals that plants need to uptake, have to be in ionic form. Lets take calcium in eggshell.

Calcium in eggshell is calcium carbonate. CaCO3. Unless it is broken down into an ionic form, it is not avaiable to plants. Adding vinegar to it does the following:

2CH3COOH + CaCO3 --> Ca(CH3COO)2 + H2O + CO2

The product is calcium acetate(Ca(CH3COO)2). in this state calcium is in Ca++ form and available for plants (and even humans as calcium supplement). The same situation is true about N, P, K.
In synthesized fertilizers(When water added) those elements are in ionic form and available to plants. No microbial activity/help is needed.
In Organic fertilizers,however, the elements N, P, K are not available until the micro herds convert them into available form. In garden soil micro herds are always present when there is organic matter in it, which often is the case..

So , I don't think that using synthetic fertilizers harm or destroy the micro herd in the garden soil. JMO

    Bookmark   August 23, 2014 at 2:26PM
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sheltieche

Dave, not sure I am on top of organic soapbox LOL, my answer is lead by assumption that OP states MG is expensive for him to use... because rest of the good stuff like Earth Juice, FoxFarms and Neptune is more $$$ and less available locally...
well, the only way to get off using MG and go "cheaper route" is by incorporating his own stuff like leaf mulch, veggie scraps, you know the drill, going into composting etc...
It is more physical work though...

    Bookmark   August 23, 2014 at 2:41PM
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dbrown2351(5)

I will bet that most of the people here who use MG also compost. And they also know that compost is not enough by itself to feed tomatoes in any quantity.

The term 'synthetic' is really a misnomer because all the inorganic compounds found in commercial fertilizers are also found in nature..

    Bookmark   August 23, 2014 at 2:57PM
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seysonn(8a WA/HZ 1)

I concur with you DBrown.
Most of us also use compost manure etc along wit MG and other brands..
Synthesizing just means that it is formulated in a manufacturing process. For example consider ammonium sulfate, nitrate... They occur in the nature.

Having said that, I have nothing against those who use "Organic" fertilizers. I don't because of economic reason.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2014 at 9:56PM
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sheltieche

Since you do not see anyone running around rain forests fertilizing lush and beautiful growth I think mother Nature has a very good way of cycling material with no outside input.
And if you buy compost and MG and use it in same area methinks you wasting your $$ on one of them. But that is your $$...

    Bookmark   August 23, 2014 at 11:26PM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

You know it is entirely possible to be an organic gardener without resorting to preaching about it. Sort of like the repeated, uninvited visits from some of the churchy groups.

But since some seem determined to innundate the OP with irrelevant emails then nature's gardening in the lush tropical rainforests has absolutely nothing in common with growing tomatoes in the home garden. That comparison is a desperate stretch for even a dedicated organic gardener.

Dave

Edited to add my apologies to Steve, the OP.

This post was edited by digdirt on Sun, Aug 24, 14 at 12:50

    Bookmark   August 24, 2014 at 12:49PM
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PupillaCharites(FL 9a)

I have been using Miracle-Grow and it is becoming very expensive for me to fertilize 20 tomato plants.

Esteban, After reading seysonn's numbers, the only cheaper optioned mentioned is composting your photo-synthetic (Hahaha!) scraps in order to cut down on MG usage, is this not correct?

Taking notes on Dave's fav fertilizers, thx.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2014 at 3:08PM
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esteban_2009(6)

Hi Dave,
Thanks for the kind words and support.
Steve

    Bookmark   August 25, 2014 at 9:17AM
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Daniel_NY(7a)

Steve wrote:

> I have been using Miracle-Grow and it is becoming very expensive for me to fertilize 20 tomato plants.

Steve, I repeat my question I asked you a few days ago: how much is that "very expensive" ?

    Bookmark   August 25, 2014 at 9:23AM
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