Grandma99
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Posts: 66
Joined: Sun Jun 23, 2019 8:53 pm
Location: Oregon Zone 8b

Fertilizing containers

I'm new at this. I planted 10 gallon containers using 1/3 vermiculite, 1/3 peat moss and 1/3 compost (mix of mushroom, bat guano, worm castings, black kow, blood meal, green sand, kelp, biochar, azomite and everything else I could get). I planted approx June 1st 8" high plants. Everything is growing really well (lots of fruit) but ... I suspect I need to fertilize.

PaulF said here viewtopic.php?f=31&t=75979: "remember to feed the plants every ten days or so with a low nitrogen plant food."

So this brings me to my current dilemma ... do I take some of the above compost stuff, move my straw aside, and just sprinkle on the top? I also purchased some Boogie Brew and Boogie Brix (and air pump) but haven't mixed it yet. I also just received two sprayers (one for 'fertilizer' and one for 'bad stuff') and product called super compost tea here: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01JT ... UTF8&psc=1

Question then: Do you think my plants need fertilizing (see attached picture)? If so then they are probably overdue and what is the best way to 'fertilize' them? Are the items I've mentioned considered 'low nitrogen'? Thank you all for any input; I know your time is valuable.

corrected url
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FirstGarden.png

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applestar
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Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M

Re: Fertilizing containers

Since it sounds like what you have are liquid fertilizers, I think the easiest thing to do would be to use watering spikes. You could buy the kind that replaces plastic bottle caps, make them out of pvc pipes, or just poke holes in the bottle cap. So far I have resisted buying those since they seem so gimmicky, and I have simply buried pvc pipes, plastic water bottles, or simply placed the bottle on top of the soil with a shallow dimple for the water to pool and soak in.

(But if you buy one, be sure to get ones that fits securely or supports the bottles sufficiently. I kind of like the idea of the clay spikes used in conjunction with long-necked wine bottles, but visions of broken glass have kept me from actually buying those.)

When newly planted there are plenty of loose soil to situate the bottle, or deeply bury a pvc pipe with holes drilled of series of slots cut in them.

With the way your fabric pots are right next to each other, it might be possible to just push the neck of a bottle between the football and the fabric — that seems like the most supportive position. Laying a soaked hose or drip irrigation across the top of the series of fabric pots might work, too.

If you can place a reservoir somewhere higher, then the solution can be gravity-fed.

Any of these can also be used to supplement watering so they have a backup water in addition to regular watering.

If you hadn’t mentioned the liquid fertilizers, I was going to suggest using fertilizer spikes — be sure to use ones specifically formulated for fruiting (or flowering) plants. You don’t want excessive nitrogen at this point.

...if you use chemical fertilizers rather than organic, you will need to be very careful since evaporation will concentrate the fertilizer. It’s better to use weaker solution more frequently.
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Grandma99
Cool Member
Posts: 66
Joined: Sun Jun 23, 2019 8:53 pm
Location: Oregon Zone 8b

Re: Fertilizing containers

Hey Applestar! I ordered spikes and pellet organic fertilizer. When you mentioned spikes, I had to laugh because I had just been looking at them but 1) I plan to switch to soaker irrigation (I think) or drip and 2) I don't drink wine (I'm an old beer hillbilly), LOL. Anyway, it just seemed more 'grandma-proof' to use spikes which I can put on my calendar when to replace.

I focused on fertilizer which had low nitrogen as you suggested PLUS ... I did a soil test and it said all my planters were 7.5. When I research, best PH showed:

butternut 5.5 - 6.8
carmen sweet peppers 6.2 - 7.0
Bush Goliath tomato 6.2 - 6.8
Pineapple tomato 5.5 - 7.0
Chocolate cherry and Sungold cherry tomatoes 6.0 - 6.8

So I decided tomorrow to give them some epsom salts to up their acidity a bit. Then when the fertilizer gets here in 3 days, I can go ahead and fertilize them. I sure hope I don't kill these beautiful plants! Thank you so much for all your help! :-)

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