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fertilizer

Posted by toolstack Washington (My Page) on
Sun, Jun 29, 14 at 12:32

I'm using a liquid fertilizer 10-15-10. 1 tablespoon per gallon of water. Is that enough of everything the plants need?
Thanks
Randal


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: fertilizer

For N-P-K, plenty. For micronutes, probably not. Containers or in-ground. If in-ground, how have you amended the soil? Have you had it tested?

Kevin

This post was edited by woohooman on Sun, Jun 29, 14 at 13:36


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RE: fertilizer

They are in containers (five gallon buckets with holes drilled in the bottom for drainage). I used potting soil and yesterday I put a small amount of all natural mulch on top to help control moisture loss because we've had a lot of wind here lately. I don't know what micronutes are.


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Micronutrients are the nutrients that AREN'T the main 3 (N-P-K). Like Sulfur, Calcium, Magnesium, etc.

Look on the label for a list.

Potting mixes need help and container plants need a constant supply of nutrients. Most of us here use Miracle Gro All-Purpose or Foliage Pro at half strength every week in our container plants. If you decide to start using Miracle Gro, you'll need to supplement with a water soluble Cal mag for already planted plants. Lime can be added when planting, but it takes awhile to break down.

Foliage Pro already has Ca and Mg in it.

Myself, I use MG AP with fast release GYPSUM(for Ca) added at planting and epsom salts(for Mg) throughout the season. The reason I don't use lime is it raises ph and my water is already high ph.

Kevin

This post was edited by woohooman on Sun, Jun 29, 14 at 14:05


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Wacky formula.
Plants never use more P than N, so that middle number is way off the charts. I'd take Kevin's advice.

Josh


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I was using mg all purpose but I will have to get the calcium supplement how do I use Epsom salt?


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I usually don't use TOO much. Maybe 1/4-1/2 tsp/gal water. And I usually don't use it unless my plants show that they need it(splotchy yellowing on the foliage).

For the Ca, google "smokemaster witch's brew." You make it out of dolomite lime and white vinegar. Or... find a hydroponics shop for some water soluble calmag or just Ca(if you're going to do epsoms for the Mg.

Agree with Josh for the most part. I believe an extra shot of P can help with blossoms, but I wouldn't do it more than once or twice a season. He's smarter than me though when it comes to plants.

Kevin


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I thought I was supposed to use a fertilizer that was higher in p. I think I read that on some other site. I will go back to the mg. Thanks for the advice.

Randal


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Yes, a lot of advice suggests high P for flowering plants but this is not accurate. N is still the nutrient required in the highest amounts by all plants, followed closely by K, then Ca, and then Mg, P and S. Arguably, those last three are secondary nutrients, while N, K and Ca are true macronutrients.

If you're using MG all-purpose, I'd go with gypsum and epsom salts to supply Ca and Mg, respectively. Cal-mag also supplies nitrogen and Miracle-Gro-AP is high in nitrogen (note, however, that cal-mag is much less likely to burn plants than MG if overapplied. so using it to supply some N instead of Miracle-Gro is an alternative approach).


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Slimy is right.

You can't "force" a plant to do anything by giving it higher amounts of a nutrient. Adding a nutrient will *only help* if that nutrient is lacking - and, since so little P is actually required for healthy growth, P is almost never lacking in soil.

Kevin, thanks, but you hold your own when it comes to plants, buddy!

Josh


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Ok IL switch back to mg. And IL use gypsum and Epsom salt as needed. On a side note I went to a farmers market today I didn't see any peppers but a lady was selling pepper jelly I tried the bhut jalokia they made it with the seeds in pretty darn hot for jelly.


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Are those your peppers? Looks like they need a shot of gypsum asap.


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That's my habanero they are actually looking better I had them in the ground and they about died so I put them in containers with good potting soil. They really do look better.
Randal


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Gypsum is slow acting, even the fast release. You'll need to do the witch's brew or some water soluble stuff this season. Or, you might find your fruit end up with something known as Blossom End Rot(BER). Not a good thing after months of hard work.

Kevin


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Kevin I'm looking the witches brew up now. I hope they pull through I really want some Habs that arnt store bought this year. This is the second night in a row that I've had my Thai for dinner an that's really rewarding.
Randal


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RE: fertilizer

I am using two kinds of MG products"

(1) Shake n Feed : It is a slow release granular that also has Ca and Mg. I use that mostly with my potted plants when I pot up. It has 12 - 4 -8 analysis (plus micros)

(2) A liquid fertilizer that comes in a 4-pack green bottles. It also has 12 -4 -8 analysis but it does not have Ca. The instruction says use ONE tblspoon per gallon. I use half as much but more often.

I supplement with dolomitic lime as source of Ca.

Years ago fertilizers like 10-10-10 ;; 16-16-16 were called "All Purpose" but nowadays the ones with 3 -1-2 ratio are called all purpose. According to some sources that is the the approximate proportion that most plants use NPK.
The other thing is that excess nitrogen leaches and goes down because it is readily water soluble. K is slightly more stable and sticks to the soil. P bonds to the soil better and lasts longer. That is why most soil analysis of established gardens will show adequate amounts of K and P. So in the absence of a soil analysis I use 3-1-2 ratio fertilizers. Once in a while I top dress a bit with 16-16-16 granular.


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Thanks for the info seysonn I just ordered a bag of dolomitic lime and IL use mg all purpose next feeding.


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Yep, good information.

I actually used the "witches brew" a couple weeks ago.
My plants had crinkled new growth, and I wasn't sure if it was due to pest damage, 100F+ heat, or lack of Calcium. I suspected lack of Calcium because I didn't add much Lime to my potting mix this season. So I took 1/2 a tablespoon of Lime (maybe closer to a 1/3 tablespoon) and added 3 teaspoons of white vinegar, then stirred until the bubbling stopped. I added that to my 2-gallon watering can.

The new growth on my plants corrected itself, but I can't be sure if it was the Calcium or the combination of the Calcium and the slightly cooler weather. Either way, the Calcium didn't hurt, and I feel comfortable now using the "Witches brew" again. As with most fertilizers and supplements, start light. You can always add more in the future.

Josh


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I should have the lime by Thursday so I'LL put it to work Friday for sure.
thanks all for all the advise.
Randal


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Take detail pics so that you can compare specific growth-points.

Josh


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  • Posted by djoy 5-6 (My Page) on
    Tue, Jul 1, 14 at 14:59

Interesting note on the "witches brew". I just read an E.P.A. response to an insecticide company that requested approval for the use of calcium acetate (product of the brew) as an attractant to eight different yellow jacket species in their traps.

Calcium and More yellow jackets.... hmmmmmm.... :-) I'm OK with that.

dj


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I did brew some of that today, about 3 quarts.

If it is neutral(pH ~=7) then it should not do anything other than just providing calcium. I will try to conduct a mini, non-scientific test on its effect. My thinking is that it (Calcium Acetate) should be more fast acting and effective that straight dolomitic or fast acting lime.

About use, as Josh said, go easy with it ( a reminder to myself). Plants need very small amounts of micro nutrients. Plus your soil might already have some of it.


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Question - How often can one water with 'Witches Brew' added to the watering can? Once a week, every other, or ????

Sandy


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toolstack, update pictures?


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  • Posted by tapla z5b-6a mid-MI (My Page) on
    Fri, Jul 25, 14 at 13:59

Growers need to let go of the idea that a little more of this and/or that is going to be helpful because someone has implanted the "up, down, all around" view of NPK. IOW, N is for the top of the plant, P is for roots & blooms, and K is for the plant's general well-being. It doesn't work that way ..... and just because a plant is chlorotic (yellow-green)is no clear indication it "needs a shot of iron chelate or Epsom salts. N is needed for roots and blooms as much as P, and P is needed for the general well-being of the organism as much as K. All 3 nutrients will be found in all plant parts, so each is as essential to the formation of all plant organs as the others. In most cases, adding elements or compounds aimed at providing 1 or 2 nutrients is more likely to be limiting than beneficial - like that excess P in bloom-booster formulations. If you're using a soil you can water correctly, establishing an effective nutritional supplementation program is very easy - so easy you can trust it w/o having to second guess whether a shot of magic elixir is just what your plants need.

Here is what container gardeners should aim for (and again, it's easy): You should work toward ensuring that all the nutrients plants normally secure from the soil are in the soil solution at all times, in the ratio at which the plant actually uses the nutrients, and at a concentration high enough to ensure no deficiencies yet low enough to ensure the plant isn't impeded in its ability to take up water and the nutrients dissolved in water. This goal is easily achievable using one water soluble synthetic fertilizer. You CAN use organic forms of nutrition, like fish/seaweed emulsions or various types of meal, but that makes it more difficult to achieve the goal.

Most grower's shoot themselves in the foot (nutritionally speaking) because their supplementation practices make it impossible to achieve a goal that is actually quite easy to realize.

Think about the part above in bold ........... then, ask yourself if you can or want to disagree with what the goal should be. If you disagree, tell us why. If you accept the thinking as valid, ask yourself if what you're doing as far as nutritional supplementation will allow you to achieve the goal. If it isn't, getting on track is going to offer much more potential

Al


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Ill take some pictures and post them as soon as I get home from work. I think you will be surprised at the difference. There's been a lot of new growth on my Habaneros . I've been adding 3 tablespoons of witches brew to 2 gallons of water. Using around about a gallon per plant, all seem to really like it, I'm also using it on my tomato plants too.
Randal


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Makes sense to me, Al.

Dennis


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Pictures as promised. This is the same plant as above. Notice the 2 pods and it has a lot of blooms too.i will post the other habanero plant too both were about in the same condition.
Randal


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2nd habanero.


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Makes sense to me to Al. Having only grown a few pepper plants before this year it's easy to loose sight of things. There's a lot of information out there and not all of it good.
I believe I'm on the right path now. My plants are growing and more importantly producing peppers.
Thanks Randal


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Make sense to me too IN TERMS OF HOW MUCH OF EACH N,P,K plants need, BUT i am no convinced that most plants have enough intelligence (=genetic program) to decide. To this view, I am almost certain , that if PLENTY of N is available to most garden plans, they will take as much of it as they can to the point od getting indigestion-:). We all know of a condition described as plant "BURNED" due to excessive dose of Nitrogen, never a visual evidence of harm due to excessive amounts of P or K. It has been also well established that excessive amount of N will result in lush green plants with fewer flower and fruits.


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  • Posted by tapla z5b-6a mid-MI (My Page) on
    Sun, Jul 27, 14 at 21:13

Nitrogen doesn't have a lock on plasmolysis (fertilizer burn). ANY dissolved solid, nutrients or not, can slow or even reverse osmotic movement of water through cell walls. Common sugar, like you would use in your coffee, can cause plasmolysis just as surely as toxic levels of N. Fertilizer burn occurs when water is unable to move into cells or is pulled out of cells by a higher concentration of dissolved solids in inter-cellular water. As the cell collapses, plasma is torn from cell walls - thus the term 'plasmolysis'.

Al


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  • Posted by TNKS none (My Page) on
    Mon, Jul 28, 14 at 16:40

Will agricultural limestone work for this brew?
I have about 10lb of this stuff already
Im very rural and void of many common resources found in higher populated area's.


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TNKS: yes. Ag lime is commonly labeled as dolomite. As opposed to calcitic lime, which is normally made from oyster shells.

Kevin


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  • Posted by tapla z5b-6a mid-MI (My Page) on
    Mon, Jul 28, 14 at 18:19

You guys are all searching for the magic potion that will turn all things good, but you cannot make plants perform any better than what's dictated by their genetic potential; and you're never going to realize that potential if you have a hodgepodge of miscellaneous chemicals you perceive as "good stuff" in the soil solution. The best plants will be had when you take meaningful control over your nutritional supplementation program. If you apply a magic elixir and DO see an improvement, it's a clear indicator there is something wrong with your basic supplementation program and a call to focus your attention there. There will always be growers claiming that something they do is 'the next best thing', but again, there is no substitute for a program that ensures all the nutrients plants normally secure from the soil are in the soil solution at all times, in the ratio at which the plant actually uses the nutrients, and at a concentration high enough to ensure no deficiencies yet low enough to ensure the plant isn't impeded in its ability to take up water and the nutrients dissolved in water. It might be a tough pill to swallow, but you just can't get there by guesswork.

Best luck. May all your efforts be fruitful.

Al


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  • Posted by TNKS none (My Page) on
    Mon, Jul 28, 14 at 18:45

"Best luck. May all your efforts be fruitful."

Whipping up a batch of this or that for experimentation
along side proven method(s) is no such foul.
You intolerant holier then thou interweb beings are quick with assumptive positioning and flagrant insinuations from the safe point behind your keyboards.

I PURPOSELY planted in 5gal buckets this season,my mix was very simplistic and void of many commons.(hardwood fines and manure sand compost)
My sole purpose was to grow "WITH" alot of these home brew elixirs(teas as most are referred to) and purposely manipulate growth and production.

Following some socialistic perfect equation to success isnt for folks in my world,its not the entire world,just my slice and the company I keep.

Maybe you should write a book for the pill swallowers and leave the simple questions to simple folks you hold well beneath you.

I have 4.3 acres of garden this year and it hasnt taken any pills either.Must be that rainbow I see every morning every year shining on my "perfect dirt" ?


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I used magic potion on these (3) 5-gallon buckets...


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The only problem is...


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Don't take it so personally, tnks.

Pepper Rancher, those are lovely loaded peppers.

Josh

This post was edited by greenman28 on Mon, Jul 28, 14 at 19:05


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The stupid peppers are too heavy for the plants to support...


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Those ripe pods could be harvested any time.

Josh


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"Those ripe pods could be harvested any time. "
I know I was just trying to lighten the mood in the room... it was getting kind of tense.


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Al:

The talk about the witch's brew regarding this thread wasn't for some magic elixir. I simply suggested it to the OP as a form of Ca to get quickly to his plants since he wasn't sure if he had enough in his mix to prevent BER this year. Since most traditional forms of Ca require it to be in the mix prior to planting, I suggested this form so his hard work didn't go to waste with a harvest of rotted fruit.

The suggestion wasn't to "make all things good." It was suggested to make an almost inevitable bad ok.

A lot of these growers are just feeling their way through it, much like we all are. Given time, they'll catch up.

Kevin

This post was edited by woohooman on Mon, Jul 28, 14 at 22:34


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  • Posted by tapla z5b-6a mid-MI (My Page) on
    Mon, Jul 28, 14 at 19:24

I don't mind the personal affronts, but they usually come when someone is offended by the truth and can't think of anything constructive to say. It would be very difficult to find anything untrue or unable to be supported by sound science in anything I said, which by the way was offered to the forum in the same spirit as all the other contributions I made upthread. I wasn't being critical of the inventor of any one magic mix; rather, I was pointing to the futility of putting all your eggs in that particular magic basket. Searching for something magic that will suddenly turn your growing experience around is a common theme across all the growing fora here at GW and not unique to this forum, so it's not something I've encountered before.

..... and the "Best luck. May all your efforts be fruitful" was a sincere wish for good things to come for everyone on the forum.

I sure never expected THAT reaction to a wish for everyone's success.

Al

This post was edited by tapla on Mon, Jul 28, 14 at 21:03


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Just run along MASTER Jedi Gardener
I have receive several messages regarding EXACTLY what I referenced in my last post.
(it hasnt been 2hrs since my last post)
There are many here on GW that think your a **** and well above reproach in your self induced "expertise" and how you continually beat your own drum of exclusivity and insist everyone is a pill swallowing idiot .

np Josh

This post was edited by TNKS on Mon, Jul 28, 14 at 21:04


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  • Posted by TNKS none (My Page) on
    Mon, Jul 28, 14 at 19:58

DANG!!!
I used white buckets!! Im doomed
Next season it will be HD Orange for sure LOL!!

Nice crop there :thumbup


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This is actually my hydroponic/soil hybrid technique:
The plants and soil are contained in an 18" pot, and they suspend in hydroponic solution with a 4" cup as a wick.
They are never "watered" (H2o), they continuously get my hydro nutrient blend covering macro and micro needs.

This post was edited by pepper_rancher on Mon, Jul 28, 14 at 20:11


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Thanks all for the input for me and my plants it worked (compare pictures). So my soil / fertilizer must have been lacking. Hell I still don't know how to mix some good soil but I'm learning lol. Next year Ill be even better. Pepper rancher those are some great looking plants.
Kevin thanks for the witches brew info I don't think my plants would have made it without it.
Thanks
Randal


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  • Posted by tapla z5b-6a mid-MI (My Page) on
    Mon, Jul 28, 14 at 21:23

I agree you did a great job, Pepper Rancher!

I take it tnks couldn't really find anything wrong in what I said - just didn't like hearing it. I think it's probably better to stick to my forum habits and have a few think I'm a jerk, than to act out my anger whenever it suits me and erase all doubt.

Have a good growing season.

Al


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  • Posted by TNKS none (My Page) on
    Mon, Jul 28, 14 at 21:35

I would be interested in your "mix/method" PR
If you dont mind sharing the 411


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Yeah, no problem TNKS, ive posted it before but here it is again:
The mix isn't "mine", i first learned of it from MHPGardener on youtube. He does great experimental videos on different growing techniques; his dutch bucket tomatoes are amazing!
So the mix is: 12 gr Master Blend (tomato formula, 4-18-38), 6 gr magnesium sulfate, 12 gr calcium nitrate, per 5 gallons water (mixed specifically in that order).
What I have done differently from anyone I know of is to take Kratky hydroponic technique and cross it with traditional potting medium.
So basically a self wicking medium that continuously soaks the proper moisture into the pot, supplemented by tap roots that drop into the solution.
It is impossible to overwater, and all required nutrients are constantly available.
The medium i make is (roughly) 40% peat, 30% perlite, 30% vermiculite... but it would work equally as well with anything that could anchor the plant as well as wick nutrients up towards the plant.
Compared to traditional watering and fertilizing (in the ground) it uses a fraction of both water and nutrients, because they remain available until the plant takes them without draining away into the earth.

Hope this inspires further discussion :)


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"Hope this inspires further discussion :)"

I'll bite. Anything that saves near constant watering in this drought.

Tell us about the pot setup. A pot within a bucket? What are you using for a wick, and how do you go about replenishing the hydro/ferts? Photos?


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Pepper_Rancher wrote, "They are never "watered" (H2o), they continuously get my hydro nutrient blend covering macro and micro needs.".

How do you prevent rain water from watering plats and diluting mixture? What am I missing?

TIA
NECM


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Posted by tapla z5b-6a mid-MI (My Page) on
Sun, Jul 27, 14 at 21:13

Nitrogen doesn't have a lock on plasmolysis (fertilizer burn).
.............................................
.................................
. As the cell collapses, plasma is torn from cell walls - thus the term 'plasmolysis'.
Al
%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%

Whatever the mechanism, the point was that the plants will take as much of it (N)as available. So the plants do not have a regulating system when it comes to taking up Nitrogen, That does not happen with P and K. Does it ? It is like getting sugar into blood stream. A diabetes system cannot regulate it. That is the nearest analogy to Nitrogen and most plants.
My point simply was that plants wont necessarily uptake NPK at 3-1-2 ratio, even though that might be optimum level. It is my impression that plants (like pepper and tomatoes) will have a lush green foliage in a Nitrogen rich medium, That is maybe why they say that "N" is for foliage.


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> " the plants will take as much of it (N)as available. So the plants do not have a regulating system when it comes to taking up Nitrogen,"

Some support for that assertion, please?

Dennis


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