Well, now that everything's starting to grow well in the ground, it'll be time for fertilizing soon. One thing I haven't seen a lot of information on anywhere is low-nitrogen organic fertilizer. What I'm looking for is one type that I can use on just about everything--I don't want to buy one type for flowers, another type for tomatoes, etc. Is that unrealistic? Is there such a puppie? And can anybody tell me where I can get it?!
Have I got that right--low nitrogen? High nitrogen results in lots of foliage but not much fruiting and flowering, is that right? I'd sure being educated a bit. And when should I do it? And how often?
I fertilize my flower gardens twice a year with an organic dry fertilizer (fall and spring-low nitrogen). While things are growing I use Earth Juice--there is one for flowering/fruiting plants (low nitrogen) and one for leaf type plants (high nitrogen). You can also use a fish emulsion/kelp combo which is fairly neutral. I use compost in the fall for my veggie gardens and grow a cover crop which I turn over in the spring then I add a generalized dry fertilizer to the planting hole of each veggie I plant. For things like squash/cukes/melons I build a 'super' hill. I dig a hole and put composted manure in it, cover it, and plant the seeds. I innoculate my peas and beans. I don't do anything special for anything else I plant from seed--just feed the plants as they grow (once a month) with the Earth Juice or the fish emulsion/kelp combo.
My universal plant food is corn meal. I get it in 50 pound bags at feed stores. The protein in the corn has nitrogen in the molecules. The microbes in the soil eat the corn and excrete the nitrogen in exactly the form plants have learned to use as they evolved.
I also have alfalfa pellets around for the animals at the zoo, so I fertilize with alfalfa too.
Typically a combination of some fish meal (which can range any where from N6 - 12) combined with kelp meal (who's nitrogen is nearly negligible, but it's more useful for all the fantastic trace minerals it contains).
Even though the "number" on the fishmeal may seem high, it's release time in the soil is anywhere's from one to four months. Unlike synthetic ferts which napalm the soil and the plants overnight, this is a gentle, gradual and more importantly - [u]constant[/u] release.
A well balanced compost addition is, of course, one of your very best sources of fertilizing the soil, thus feeding the plants.
This year, I'm experimenting, however, with Gardens Alive's "Eden Rich". Wanted to stick to a solely vegetable-based fertilizer and see if it made any difference. Experimenting is fun!
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Posts: 2516 | Location: Linda in N.J./Zones 7 & "Twilight" | Registered: February 11, 2002
I put Kelp meal into my garden this year. I am noticing that the broccoli, lettuce and peas are doing wonderful. Big healthy plants. Once the plants were in the ground I fertilized with a fish/kelp fertilizer by Neptune Harvest. You can go to a website and order it directly from them.
I like to have separate supplies of high and low nitrogen fertilizer so I can add whatever I think is necessary. GardensAlive sells something called "N-Lite" which is 2-6-6. That sounds like what you are looking for.
It's an organic product, but if you want to use stuff that is more directly identifiable as to source, bonemeal will provide the phosphate (and calcium), and wood ash or greensand are a good sources of mostly potassium (and greensand has many trace minerals).