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PunkRotten
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Who here uses Fertilizers?

Hi,


Anyone use fertilizers? I am looking to try out an organic fertilizer to perk my plants up when needed. Right now I have a sick Pepper plant and was advised to give it some fish fertilizer.

I tried to ask some people about it at Gardenweb and they are acting arrogant and condescending. Trying to tell me not to use fertilizers and to make my soil healthy. I understand it is all about having a healthy soil and feeding your soil. But they fail to mention how. I am not an experienced gardener, I am trying to learn all this. I have clay soil and have used miracle gro bags. I put down a little bit of worm castings cause I had some available from my worm bin.


But my worm bin is tiny and I have a small amount of worms and it is not produced fast enough or in big quantities. I started a compost bin about 2 weeks ago. I plan to use some in Spring, but for now I don't have any available. I just want to make sure my plants get adequate nutrients and grow as vigorous as can be. Is it wrong to use fertilizers? Also how could I begin to make my soil healthy, what are some of the typical amendments to add?

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soil
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sick peppers? give them rock powders. azomite is a good brand. peppers freaking love rock powders. makes they very very happy and produce tons of peppers.

not technically a fertilizer in the way NPK goes. but think of it as feeding the soil, and the soil feeds the plant.
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Gary350
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I use fertilizer sometimes but only when it is needed. You can not use it in hot dry weather or it will kill your plants. Each plant needs certain things. Most root crops like potatoes do not need much nitrogen. Corn is nitrogen hungry. I buy fertilizer at the local farm supply store it is so much cheaper than those tiny little 10 ounce bottles for $15 at garden stores. A 50 lb bag of 15/15/15 is about $30 and will last me 5 years. A 50 lb bag of ammonium nitrate is $45 and 50 lbs bag if Urea is about $57 either one will last me several years. A 1 lb bag of legume inoculant seems a little expensive $15 but it will last 10 years.

Put legume inoculant in a kitchen pepper shaker sprinkle a little on wet bean and pea seeds before you plant it gives the plants the ability to take nitrogen from the air.

15/15/15 is good for tomatoes it doesn't take much about 4 tablespoons per plant mixed in the soil before planting. I put this on a few other plants too like squash and peppers.

I use nitrogen on the corn and fruit trees.

Next time you plant peppers till in a LOT of peat moss, they love 50% pear moss in the soil. My pepper plants are sometimes 7 ft tall. Bell peppers are 5" diameter banana pepper are the size of real bananas.

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PunkRotten
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Someone told me to use alfalfa pellets, soy meal, or cottonseed meal.

Ladybug027
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I also use Azomite as of resent and it is great. Not only have I noticed a difference with my pepper plants but it has eliminated BER on all my veggies so I have plans to incorporate it into my spring bed prepping.

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I have a bag of Azomite around here and I add it whenever I plant new veggies into individual, "grown-up" pots. I also have one of the liquid kelp formulations that I use as "first aid" for plants when they're doing poorly.

The tricky thing with plants under stress from whatever cause (e.g., illness, pest attack, root rot/overwatering, dehydration) is that fertilizer may induce more growth in the leaves/stems than the roots can support, thus leading to the ultimate--and premature--demise of the plant. :( This underlies many experienced gardeners' warnings about "no fertilizer on stressed plants."

Then, to organic gardeners, the idea of "just going down to the hardware store" and buying some bag of something just because it has XYZ numbers for NPK--ignoring all the very important other nutrients--makes those organic gardeners go up the wall, meet the ceiling, and turn sideways. :wink:

Which is how I developed my own "dilute kelp solution" solution. :lol: When a plant is doing poorly and I cannot find out why--i.e., I've checked for snails, slugs, bugs, dry/wet soil or planting medium, accounted for recent temperatures/weather--I make a half-strength solution of liquid kelp and water the plant with it. No more water than the plant would normally get, so I always have extra. The extra goes to the roses if there are no other veggie plants "in need" or generally below par.

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lorax
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I use liquid hydrolized seaweed and vermicastings, myself, with a bit of compost thrown on for top-dressing. Out of all of the organics, that pairing seems to be the best all-round nutrients, particularly in the solanum areas of my garden.

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Wow, lot's of great suggestions in this thread!

I like growing peppers, so I'm making a mental note of pepper suggestions :).

Azomite: I've never heard of this one before. Rock dust, that's all it is? How does it help the soil?

Gary, are you sure it's the peat and not the climate? Down south, you all have much more heat (something peppers love) than I do here up north. Have you ever grown some with and some without peat?
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stella1751
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When I visited my family in Washington in 2006, I had them take me to a local nursery. This was in the Tacoma area. There's a brand out there called, I think, Whitney Farms. I bought 20 lbs of kelp meal, the last of which I used up this year :cry:

Anyhow, I also bought a box, maybe two, of Whitney Farms organic fertilizer. It was the greatest thing since sliced bread, and two years later, I was kicking myself for not having bought more. I can't find it online, and we definitely don't have any out here.

Peppers like fish emulsion, but too much can compromise their production. I use compost tea to fertilize my plants these days, but before that I was using a mix of fish emulsion and a soluble kelp product called Sea Magic. They liked it. So did the tomatoes.
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Ladybug027
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Azomite is loaded with minerals. Here is some good info on it. hth

http://www.azomite.com/



garden5 wrote:Wow, lot's of great suggestions in this thread!

I like growing peppers, so I'm making a mental note of pepper suggestions :).

Azomite: I've never heard of this one before. Rock dust, that's all it is? How does it help the soil?

Gary, are you sure it's the peat and not the climate? Down south, you all have much more heat (something peppers love) than I do here up north. Have you ever grown some with and some without peat?

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farmerlon
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I guess it depends on who is defining it, but to me, anything that adds fertility to the soil is a "fertilizer". Compost is a complete organic fertilizer. Other organic "fertilizers" that I sometimes use are Rock Phosphate and Greensand.

Too bad you ran in to some arrogant attitudes elsewhere. Don't let that discourage you from asking questions and joining discussions. :)

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PunkRotten
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I think some of them might have been vegans and got all upset that I mentioned fish fertilizer.

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PunkRotten
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Someone on Amazon.com left bad feedback on azomite cause it contains lead.

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Anyhow, I also bought a box, maybe two, of Whitney Farms organic fertilizer. It was the greatest thing since sliced bread, and two years later, I was kicking myself for not having bought more. I can't find it online, and we definitely don't have any out here.


Pissst.pissst...Hey lady over here. 8) Want to buy some fertilizer. :wink:

I just Googled Whitney Farm, a Scotts Company product, and came up with tons of hits. Here is one.
http://www.amazon.com/Scotts-Co-109103- ... B0049PLD9O

Azomite, http://www.azomite.com/

Eric

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Gary350
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garden5 wrote:Wow, lot's of great suggestions in this thread!

I like growing peppers, so I'm making a mental note of pepper suggestions :).

Azomite: I've never heard of this one before. Rock dust, that's all it is? How does it help the soil?

Gary, are you sure it's the peat and not the climate? Down south, you all have much more heat (something peppers love) than I do here up north. Have you ever grown some with and some without peat?


If I grow peppers with no peat moss plants are very small peppers are the size of marbles. I put a lot of peat moss in the soil about 4" on top and till it about 4" deep so thats about 50/50 peat and soil mix. Peat tends to compost away and its gone so next year I only need to add about 2" of peat. As long as I keep adding about 2" of peat every year peppers continue to do fine. If I do not add peat after 3 years pepper plants are tiny 8" tall with marble size bell peppers. I think the peat loosens the soil and allows the roots to grow faster and better I think that is all it does but I might be wrong. Peat also makes the soil acid so maybe peppers like acid soil. If I add a little fertilizer with peat the plants get even taller and the cages will not hold them up.

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stella1751
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DoubleDogFarm wrote:
Anyhow, I also bought a box, maybe two, of Whitney Farms organic fertilizer. It was the greatest thing since sliced bread, and two years later, I was kicking myself for not having bought more. I can't find it online, and we definitely don't have any out here.


Pissst.pissst...Hey lady over here. 8) Want to buy some fertilizer. :wink:

I just Googled Whitney Farm, a Scotts Company product, and came up with tons of hits. Here is one.
http://www.amazon.com/Scotts-Co-109103- ... B0049PLD9O

Azomite, http://www.azomite.com/

Eric


OMG. Scott makes this?!! I had no idea. Well, it's good stuff, and if I lived on the West Coast, I would definitely keep some on hand. When I tried googling this, way back in 2008, I suppose, I couldn't find it to save my soul. Thanks, Eric! Now I'm in an ethical pickle: Do I buy it, knowing the loathsome Scott is responsible for it, adding this fertilizer to the one bag of Miracle Gro I already purchase each year for seedlings and flowers; or do I forego it, refusing to further increase this earth-pillager's revenue? I wonder whether Scott recently purchased Whitney Farms.

Oh well. I have eight months to decide :lol:
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I've used Whitney Farms Cactus mix for many years. It's an excellent product, too. Unless Scott's bought them out well before 2008, I'll certainly make it a point to examine the ingredients and the tilth of the mix before I buy any more of it.

I don't consider it impossible that Scott's is capable of making a good product, but I just don't trust that they will be able to resist filling it full of the wrong ingredients. :(
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stella1751
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Kisal wrote:I've used Whitney Farms Cactus mix for many years. It's an excellent product, too. Unless Scott's bought them out well before 2008, I'll certainly make it a point to examine the ingredients and the tilth of the mix before I buy any more of it.

I don't consider it impossible that Scott's is capable of making a good product, but I just don't trust that they will be able to resist filling it full of the wrong ingredients. :(


I was curious, so I dug my empty kelp meal bag out of the trash bin. It wasn't Scott's when I bought it. The label reads, "Rod McLellan Company, P.O. Box 70, Independence, OR 97351, www.whitneyfarms.com, copyright 2004 Rod McLellan Co." Scotts must have bought Whitney Farms sometime after this bag was packaged.
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Gary, wow, I looks like peat really does the trick for you! I'll have to try something like that in the future. I've used peat-based potting soil and noticed that peat is good at retaining moisture, so perhaps that has something to do with it.

I noticed that someone said that azomite has lead in it :shock:. Is this something that I should be concerned about?
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Does AZOMITE® contain heavy metals?
Yes, but in lesser amounts than exist in a typical soil. AZOMITE® is Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) by the US Food & Drug Administration (FDA).

Is the lead in AZOMITE® harmful?
The FDA and American Association of Feed Control Officials establish strict guidelines for the amount of various natural contaminates that show up in all types of feed ingredients. At 6.2ppm, AZOMITE® is well below the guidelines for allowed lead in natural feedstuffs.


http://azomite.com/index.php?option=com ... id=41#does azomite contain heavy metals

Eric

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soil
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high chances there is more lead in your garden hose than in the azomite. you can also source other rock powders such as glacial rock dust, crushed river rock, crushed granite, crushed basalt. azomite is just the easiest to get of all of them for the average gardener.
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DoubleDogFarm
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Just to be clear, my earlier post is in favor of Azomite. I use it all the time.

Eric

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soil
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i know, don't worry 8) im just saying it for everyone because thats what usually turns people off of rock powders. ive been using azomite and local rock powders for years and eating the food it produces.

and peppers love them so much. in fact i think ill go give mine some more today.
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Hmmm, peat has nothing much in the way of nutrients left in it. It will however increase the acidity of your soil and peppers like soil a bit on the acid side. That may certainly help my soil for the peppers.

Use fertilizers? Yes! I do not give a hang what the "purists" say either.

It is well and good to build your soil with manure, compost, worm castings and other organic matter, however if you don't have any, or enough, it is no sin to use some fertilizer in a bag. The goal is to give the plants what they need to make a good crop for you. Yes, even if it has 8-16-8 written on the bag.

My soil has good mineral content and nitrogen seems to be the thing most often lacking. I use Urea, which is 42% nitrogen. It doesn't take much to give the plants a boost. It is really important on the corn.
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Well, I may change my mind after I read this thread again thoroughly but I am a straight 13-13-13 guy. Just throw a little around a growing plant and then a little more after the plants begin to produce fruit.

Also, I used miracle gro on my little starter plants but have not tried it with producing plants.
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lorax
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Oh, I should also mention that I use reasonably fresh volcanic ash; I forgot entirely about it because its use is not all that voluntary for me. The volcano just deposits it on my garden for me every 6 months or so. If we go into a true dormant period, though, I'll be down in the lahar fields with a sack and a shovel - ash is my Azomite.

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soil
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does the ash layer ever get pretty thick? does it affect the plants when it rains and the sun comes back out.
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lorax
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Where I live we rarely get more than about 1/16" at a time; when the clouds go away I just rinse the plants off with the hose and it's all good. Closer in to the volcano it can smother plants; we lost the spring corn in this province that way.

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soil
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ok cool, i figured that.
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lorax
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On the upside, though, the ash is so wicked sharp that I never have nematode problems..... Hereabouts, it's about 50% micropulverized volcanic glass and the remainder in various minerals.

Kind of a PITA to deal with it when it actually rains rather than just drifting down out of the air - a true ash-filled rain is like being dropped on from high heights by large droplets of sticky black mud. Blech. :shock:

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OK, so the lead and heavy metals that are in azomite are already present in my soil anyways and probably in higher levels than in the azomite?

Thanks for putting it into perspective, guys.
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Haven't read every posts but I mulch with leaves and stems from other plants, left over veggies from the dinner table and some Miracle grow garden soil.

My egg plants were just barely surviving on the mulched dirt but after filling it in with Miracle grow garden soil around the roots, it just took off and now have so many egg plants!

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