Author Topic: when do YOU quit nitrogen?  (Read 3015 times)

Sorce

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when do YOU quit nitrogen?
« on: August 11, 2014, 02:47 PM »
Just wondering.

I ran out of my Vigoro 10-10-10 liquid so I started using Miracle grow Cactus drops at 2-7-7. Double recommended dose. Every 2-3 daysish.

Will probly continue till end of september.

Sorce

And a sick rooftop Garden I had the pleasure of installimg a fence on!

 

Leo in NE Illinois

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Re: when do YOU quit nitrogen?
« Reply #1 on: August 12, 2014, 12:08 AM »
cool roof top garden - I want one. First - I'll have to buy a penthouse condo downtown Chicago. ..... ;)

I don't have time to type all about how I fertilize. But basically a tree actually uses roughly 12 parts N to every part P and 2 parts of K. With this thought in mind a Truly Balanced for the tree's needs fertilizer would be 12-1-2. They use these nutrients in roughly the same ratios all year round. Only the total quantity changes. They use much more total in active growth, and less when dormant. Think about it, you don't change your daily Vitamins 6 weeks before first frost do you? You might double up if you have been really active, and skip it if you have been sedentary, or eating really well.   

I never quit with the nitrogen.

Plants in bonsai pots are in artificial substrate systems. Inorganic soils are very nutrient poor. I fertilize every time I water all year round.

BUT - my dose will vary. In cold weather, or when the trees are dormant, my fertilizer concentration is only 40 ppm as N  - roughly 1/8th to 1/4 teaspoon per gallon of a 12-1-1 fertilizer. In spring, when leaves are expanding and everything is growing, I up the concentration to roughly 120 ppm as N, or about 1 teaspoon per gallon. This is still low for heavy feeding plants. I heap on a 4 month controlled release fertilizer on the JBP, bamboo and other heavy feeders. I remove the controlled release a week or so before candle cutting time.

But at any rate - I fertilize year round, even when the trees are dormant.  It is a fairly weak solution, but I do feed them.

Everything written about fertilizer in hobby orientated gardening and bonsai books is wrong.  Read the literature for commercial production of potted plants and liners. Check out the Michigan State University Extension services websites, go to the pages for the commercial potted plant nurseries, avoid the hobby pages. I'm in the process of migrating my website from one web host to another, so I can't give you the link to the articles on my personal website. At a later date I'll return to the topic.

When I have a few more years of this program under my belt and good photos, I'll publish an article explaining exactly what I am doing. Or I'll publish an article explaining why those "wrong" fertilizer programs in the old books were really right. So far, it looks like it will be the first and not the second.
 

Sorce

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Re: when do YOU quit nitrogen?
« Reply #2 on: August 12, 2014, 06:02 AM »
Thanks.

I like to beleive Walter Pall's idea (or fact?) of "if it doesn't need it, it won't use it". But I thought that only applied to P and K.

I am convinced though, after paying closer attention this year, that it is not the N browning my leaves. Everything gets fertilized the same. The only ones to exhibit this browning of leaves are my ulmus. The ones in the west side "evening oven" stairwell. Having kept tomatoes and peppers back there this season, I noticed the browning after the first wilting of the mato due to underwatering. I started watering the elms twice a day since and have had no browning. No wilting toms either! 3 times a day. (Go kids and wife!) So I believe it is caused by being to dry. Not dead dry. But hot and dry enough to brown out.

I have noticed a yellowing of edges though, on small Ulmus where the foilage gets hit directly. East side. This, I am pretty sure is due to fert on leaves. I have been more careful and give a fresh water wash, seems to help.

Anyone else!?

Sorce
 

M. Frary

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Re: when do YOU quit nitrogen?
« Reply #3 on: August 12, 2014, 06:25 AM »
  I stop feeding when they are frozen solid.  But when they are growing I use Miracle gro at 3 times the suggested rate twice per week. They love it. I used to give it at 5 times the suggested rate once weekly but it seemed like a waste of fertilizer.
 

Sorce

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Re: when do YOU quit nitrogen?
« Reply #4 on: August 12, 2014, 07:02 AM »
Morning M.zilla

Thanks.

I have a hard time worrying about wasting fert too! Wish I had some benches with stuff growing below to catch leftover!  Thinking about adding more charcoal, or charcoal at all next repots. I have a few with fishtank activated carbon now. No notes though. Seems ok atleast.

Sorce
 

M. Frary

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Re: when do YOU quit nitrogen?
« Reply #5 on: August 12, 2014, 10:26 AM »
  The grass under the trees doesn't seem to mind.
 

Anthony

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Re: when do YOU quit nitrogen?
« Reply #6 on: August 12, 2014, 07:19 PM »
In the dry season we use Lawn Fertiliser [ Phostrogen or Miracle-gro ] at one third strength weekly, which is about 10 N and little of anything else. It is to hold the green under our sometimes as low 40 % humidity and with full sun. We are still more directly hit than Florida or your deserts [ mountains ?] as sunlight goes.

The organic part of our soils are supposed to have the ability to hold a % of fertiliser within itself, and the crushed brick holds some in solution, as liquid asorbed into itself.

The idea is to keep the green, but not grow weak watery shoots. Good food for insects etc.

No problems with elms or any leafy types.

As it goes - We grow our bonsai for beauty, not produce or lumber.
Good Day
Anthony

* Fertiliser in liquid form is always served using a small container with a narrow spout. You have probably seen it in Chinese restaurants , holding the see -yow [ soy sauce ]. Always into moist soil.
 

Brian Van Fleet

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Re: when do YOU quit nitrogen?
« Reply #7 on: August 14, 2014, 09:05 AM »
October.  Then I switch to Blue Mountain Organics 1-8-7 through November.
 

Chrisl

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Re: when do YOU quit nitrogen?
« Reply #8 on: August 14, 2014, 09:34 AM »
With my evergreens, I fert. till first frost.  Fall's fert is really important as this is the period where most thickening of branches occurs/yr due to incr. meristematic activity.