Author Topic: fertilizer  (Read 8101 times)

GBHunter

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fertilizer
« on: August 12, 2014, 07:05 PM »
Hello gents.
 Here are my questions:
I have read books talked to people and it seems I have as many answers as book read and people talked to. This is one issue that this hobby/art has, it seems that scientific things are being approached with artistic license. Fertilization is one of those things, so far I have been told to use synthetic fertilizer at 1/4 ,1/2 , full and up to 4X strength.  Also I was told to never fertilize dry plants so I would fertilize before or during rain, or water again that day.
Also it has been told to me to use time release fertilizer and synthetic(at various concentrations), or one or the other lol. Sooo I will post what is working for me, perhaps many people(you guys) can come to a consensus or perhaps differen regiments for different plants, stages, soils, enviroments.

Ok with all that out of the way let me reveal what worked well for me.
I use time released biologic(biogold) and a synthetic(miracid 30:10:10 full strength every 2 weeks) fertilizer.
I water in morning to mid day with the synthetic and follow that up with an evening watering to wash the fertilizer out.
so far I have great results. But please share your own. Also on occasion in a milk jug I place egg shells, grass, fruit peels and other biodegradables add water and let it rot turning it over once a day, this way I get cheap compost tea.
 

Anthony

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Re: fertilizer
« Reply #1 on: August 12, 2014, 07:32 PM »
GBHunter,

depends on what stage of growing you are working with.

Once a week at 1/3 strength Lawn fertiliser. Sometimes, Miracle-gro handy packs at 1/3 strength. [ 10 to 5 N ]

Trough or 1/2 to 1/3 55 US gallon barrels for trunk size. Large pots for the next stage [ ground growing also often gives the main branches.]
Here we may use blaucorn [ 20/20/20 ] but only enough for even growth. No insect problems.

We follow the idea that trees for exhibition get primed for 1 and 1/2 to 3 years, and if not exhibiting, are left with a general shape.
Supposed to be unhealthy to keep a tree at the exhibition stage.

In bonsai pots, just enough food to keep the leaf deep green in full sun, very little extensions.
However with a tree like the Fukien Tea, extensions will do nothing to thicken the trunk or other parts [ trough growing or real ground ].

Note our soil always has around 30 % or less by volume of compost [ sometimes some Canadian peat - from a renewable source.] the rest is inorganic [ and part is porous]
Good Day
Anthony
 

GBHunter

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Re: fertilizer
« Reply #2 on: August 12, 2014, 08:51 PM »
Is there a way we can boil this information down, so Jr members can have a fertilize regiment all set to go. After they pick up experience they can adjust the process to their liking. When I started it would have been wonderful to get a baseline a place to start, can we do that?
 

Sorce

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Re: fertilizer
« Reply #3 on: August 12, 2014, 09:08 PM »
Depends greatly on the soil mix, zone, work schedule, etc.

I personally cant stand salt buildup.

You can not follow Walter Pall's method if you do not, or can not, water once a day or more.
If there is one baseline...  That would be it for me.

The mix of oildry and pine nuggets, (trying Akoi next year, hopefully, don't start ;) found it local!) Im using, which I may totally despise by spring, has allowed for once a day watering and heavy fertilizing, every 2-5 days, has left me pretty happy for now.

Balanced 101010 till last week now 277.

Sorce

 

GBHunter

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Re: fertilizer
« Reply #4 on: August 12, 2014, 10:10 PM »
Mine is an adapted Brent method., 30:10:10 full strength every two weeks. However I have been told by Brent that the 0:0:10 for winter fertilization is a useless piece of #=/&€% £¥?!!!
 

Anthony

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Re: fertilizer
« Reply #5 on: August 13, 2014, 03:18 AM »
There is a reason for why it is stated that it takes 3 to 5 years to learn how to water bonsai.

To understand how to use fertiliser you would have to use one tree type and a very simple soil mix.

What do you want your soil to do -

[1] It should remain loose and porous up to repotting time. Particle shape preferably round [ ball bearings ]

[2] It should be able to retain a given amount of moisture.

[3] It should be able to hold a % of nutrients

[4] Correct ph for growing in

Once again, stage of tree development -

[a] ground growing for trunk and if possible main branches

branch refinement

[3] Maintaining general shape

Using fertiliser

[1] Feeding for ground growing

[2] Feeding for branch refinement

[3] Feeding to maintain the general shape.

But GBHunter if you are already friends with Brent Walston, why are you here asking questions ?

The 0.0.10 bit may be from the 1970's Peter Adam books.

For us the simple mix is just rounded aquarium gravel and compost.
Watering is by hand [ watering can ] and twice a day, once before or around 4.30 p.m [ dry leaves/damp soil before 6 p.m ]
twice if needed around 5.30 a.m until around 7.00 a.m.
Fertilising is done anytime after 5.30 a.m, into moist soil, once a week in the dry season.

For the rainy season, we can stop fertilising as the added humidty aids in plant growth, or use an osmocote type fertiliser good for 9 months, designed for use at around 86 deg.F from Israel.
The compost also acts as a source of food.
We also adjust for the watering as well, often no need to water.
Good Day
Anthony
 

augustine

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Re: fertilizer
« Reply #6 on: August 13, 2014, 09:47 AM »
IMO, and there are many opinions, using miracle-gro and biogold is fine. Soil should be watered before fertilizing. You do not need to wash out the fertilizer "later." Every two weeks is fine. What concentration? one can always follow the directions on the label.

I have had good results using low nitrogen fert in the fall however I respect Brent's opinion, do what you like.

Some folks choose to refine their fertilizing regime in order to get more refined growth. You will learn as you go along however even this does not need to be complicated. First of all - excellent soil, use of all organic fert, fish/seaweed emulsion and maybe a few more tweaks or ingredients.

All this just my opinion and I have seen many other good approaches from the folks on this forum. Many good and knowledgable folks on this forum.

Have fun and enjoy!

 

Sorce

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Re: fertilizer
« Reply #7 on: August 13, 2014, 10:11 AM »
It is quite daily, personal, and study.

 

GBHunter

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Re: fertilizer
« Reply #8 on: August 13, 2014, 10:20 AM »


But GBHunter if you are already friends with Brent Walston, why are you here asking questions ?



what I am getting at is can we come up with a starting formula? Something to give to a beginner and say "here follow this". When I started in this hobby that was a big thing. It would have been great to have someone just give me one method. I was told 8 methods each method was sopposedly better than the last. Brent is the one that told me to just pick one then proceeded to give me his regiment. I took it adjusted it to my liking and tada.
 

Anthony

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Re: fertilizer
« Reply #9 on: August 14, 2014, 06:48 AM »
GBHunter,

the problem may be as simple as how intimate you are with your Bonsai. Hand watering as opposed to a hose, over or around 300 plants to work on, taking written notes and enough time to simply walk around and look at your trees.

The 3 to 5 years of learning how to water bit, is if you are doing this daily, if you are rushed or unfocused or detached, it would probably take 10 to 12 years or even more.
At some point the trees become like your children, insect or illness will worry and health becomes a joy.

Long before Design, Health must be the objective, the horticultural aspect [ as your question on the J.B pine was answered with experience, only 1 insult a year.]
I would always suggest 1/3 strength fertiliser into moist soil, if you have an organic ingredient in your soil mix.
A fully inorganic mix would require more of a hyroponic approach, or the composted oil/seed meal/cake approach,
If you are tending to trees in bonsai pots, at a given stage of development. Having gone past root, trunk, and the primary branch stage.
Good Day
Anthony

 

Brian Van Fleet

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Re: fertilizer
« Reply #10 on: August 14, 2014, 08:47 AM »
Is there a way we can boil this information down, so Jr members can have a fertilize regiment all set to go. After they pick up experience they can adjust the process to their liking. When I started it would have been wonderful to get a baseline a place to start, can we do that?
No, we can't.  Even you modified what was given to you (post #4).  Best to try something more achievable like world peace.
 

GBHunter

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Re: fertilizer
« Reply #11 on: August 14, 2014, 08:10 PM »
Lol
 

Sorce

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Re: fertilizer
« Reply #12 on: August 15, 2014, 12:09 AM »
Yes BVF. Lol.

Last time. And again now!

Thanks!

Sorce

 

GBHunter

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Re: fertilizer
« Reply #13 on: August 15, 2014, 12:24 AM »
Well gentelmen as suggested I am off to the Middle East. Once the mission is complete e will tackle the fertilizer problem once more.
 

Owen Reich

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Re: fertilizer
« Reply #14 on: August 15, 2014, 03:42 PM »
I think it would be best to frame your line of questioning around specific species and stages of refinement, where you are, etc.  Then answers could be more precise.

Brent has done a ton of work on the matter and it shows.  He is in one region though, so his results reflect what has and hasn't worked for him including what media, fertilizer types, species, and stages of development he works with. 

Giving beginners a basic fertilizer schedule in my opinion, would be easy.  There are American made fertilizer cakes (like the ones made in Florida) that have been made for the growing season, Fall, flowering plants, etc.  That's just one brand.  Colin Lewis sell a different line with similar but not the same specificity.  Beginners don't need to worry about fertilizer timing for optimum performance and specialized techniques yet.  They would benefit IMO from keeping their bonsai alive so they don't get disheartened. 

Pre-made cakes are easy to apply (no mixing unless you use the powder), easy to get via shipping, etc.  This is not the only beginner fertilizer system that could work anywhere, but it would be easiest as there is no liquid fertilizer mixing. 

Add cakes (say one every 6 square inches of surface area) after flush has extended in Spring. 
Center new cakes in spaces between original application one month later.
Next month, remove oldest cakes and replace with new group.
Rinse and repeat until September and switch to a Fall formulation cake until December.

You could amend this with a twice a month application of a balanced fertilizer that had a micronutrient mix in it too like Dynagrow and apply at half recommended rate.

This would be for temperate climate areas.  Coastal areas may need more.  Areas of the frozen North may shorten their schedule on both ends.

Again, not perfect or 100% accurate for every situation, but I'd feel comfortable telling a beginner that.