Addicted
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Joined: Sun May 25, 2008 1:13 am
Location: Ma

Question on fertilizer

My first grow)I have 8 tomato plants,4 bell peppers and 4 summer squash plants in containers,planted in compost and peat,the stuff from Maine.I need to know what and how much/often to fertilize with.

Thanks
Jason.

opabinia51
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Joined: Thu Oct 21, 2004 9:58 pm
Location: Victoria, BC

Peat is actually not a good product to use because it contains no accessible nutrients to plants and is nearly impossible to wet all the way through.

If you don't have any dogs in the neighbourhood you can use cocoa bean hulls, some place sell coconut hulls that are ground up. Mulched leaves work great and are free and there are other alternatives as well.


Anyway, back to your question; you can simply add some composted manure and that should be good for the season. But, Kelp meal works well to for the season (I add both) and a weekly dose of liquid fish or liquid seaweed fertilizer also helps.

Blood meal is another alternative

Synthetic fertilzers are not good to use because they do not replace lost nutrients in the soil, you can burn your plants with them, they kill beneficial soil organisms and plants have no way of controlling how many nutrients they recieve.
Feed the soil, not the plants.

Addicted
Full Member
Posts: 37
Joined: Sun May 25, 2008 1:13 am
Location: Ma

Cool,Thanks.I have a dog so i guess thye Coco hulls are out.If the peat is so bad why do they use it?That's what the lady at the greenhouse told me was the best for what I'm doing.

Jason.

opabinia51
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Posts: 4659
Joined: Thu Oct 21, 2004 9:58 pm
Location: Victoria, BC

People have been using peat for years and I guess they are just stuck in an old paradigm. A lot of people still use peat but, the tide is slowly but surely shifting.

Try searching peat alternatives on google.
Feed the soil, not the plants.

cynthia_h
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Joined: Tue May 06, 2008 11:02 pm
Location: El Cerrito, CA

I used peat as a one-time thing to set up my Square Foot Garden this year. However, all future additions to the SFG, per its originator, are self-made compost.

Aside from environmental concerns about peat, it does NOT absorb water. Water just runs off of it. So, if you're using peat, you'll need to use something else to absorb and retain the water in your (?) pots (?) garden.

Cynthia H.
USDA Zone 9, Sunset Zone 17

Charlie MV
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Our soil is sandy and drains quickly. We've used a little peat in the bottom of the hole to help retain water.

mr_tumnas
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Posts: 34
Joined: Fri May 30, 2008 5:55 pm
Location: Louisiana

I use peat for seed starting and sometimes in pots. It's cheap, and it fills a pot, so I use it. I always mix it with plenty of vermiculite or worm castings or something to hold the moisture. There are serious environmental concerns though, like Cynthia said. But I do weekly penance for that :lol:

Another fertilizer I like for container growing is steamed chicken manure pellets. It's usually more balanced than most fish emulsion (the type I get is 3-3-3) and wont burn. I've had great success using it in my transplants. One small handful per gallon pot goes a long way, it seems. Unfortunately it can be hard to get a hold of..I got lucky. I live close to the manufacturer and pick it up for 6 bucks a 50lb bag. Bwahaha! :twisted:

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