Author Topic: 0-10-10 down from current 20-20-20 for Winter mos.  (Read 3512 times)

KimchiMonger

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0-10-10 down from current 20-20-20 for Winter mos.
« on: October 19, 2010, 01:13 AM »
Any thoughts on using a 0-10-10 down from a currentt 20-20-20 fertilizer during colder winter moths? I recently received a newsletter (Dallas Bonsai) reminding readers to consider a 0-10-10:

Six (6) weeks before the first frost, you should start giving your bonsai 0-10-10 fertilizer. The low nitrogen helps the plant focus on strengthening the roots during the winter and prepares it for nice quality growth in the spring. This is an absolute must for winterizing regardless of the variety. I do it with tropical’s too because during the winter, the tropical’s aren’t going to be growing much, there isn’t enough light. So all you are essentially trying to do is keep them happy enough so all the leaves don’t fall off. Again, you need humidity to make sure of that. So remember, start fertilizing your bonsai now with 0-10-10 and prepare a place to move them, or identify what exactly you are going to do with them over the winter. They don’t need much over the winter, just your protection. If you take care of them, they will pay you back in the spring with lush foliage and fantastic growth – for a bonsai".


I hadn't thought about reduced Nitrogen helping my trees during the cold winter months. Are any of you reading this following such a suggestion as I thought it was best to just lay off the fertilizer while occasionally watering during those colder days.
« Last Edit: October 19, 2010, 01:23 AM by KimchiMonger »
 

Steven

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Re: 0-10-10 down from current 20-20-20 for Winter mos.
« Reply #1 on: October 19, 2010, 07:27 AM »
I use a 0-10-10 for mine prior to getting them ready for winter.
 

Jerry Norbury

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Re: 0-10-10 down from current 20-20-20 for Winter mos.
« Reply #2 on: October 19, 2010, 08:06 AM »
Six weeks before frosts...

Oh dear - that should have been at the end of August then since we had frost last night...
 

John Kirby

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Re: 0-10-10 down from current 20-20-20 for Winter mos.
« Reply #3 on: October 19, 2010, 08:36 AM »
I keep regular fertilizer on mine until we ,move them in to winter storage, but that is because they have had regular fertilizer over the summer and it isn't anything new to the plants. I know folks who have done this and it seems to work fine. I think the key is that most folks don't fertilize their trees enough, so doing anything is better than not. Try it and see how it works for you, it certainly can't hurt and will most likely help.

John
 

bwaynef

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John Kirby

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Re: 0-10-10 down from current 20-20-20 for Winter mos.
« Reply #5 on: October 19, 2010, 10:24 AM »
Wayne, I like our friend Brent out in California, but I think he misses the real point here. The point being, getting an active, consistent and somewhat aggressive fertilization scheme is at least as important as what you use. So, if thinking about putting 0-10-10 gets people thinking about (and then applying) fertilizer in the spring, I am for it. Just developing that habit is critical to tree development, then as folks learn they will begin to apply fertilizer at the most appropriate time by species and climate. As I said, I don't do this, but that is OK, my trees get fertilizer much earlier than most in the spring, if appropriate, and get fertilizer up to the day we put them in the cold storage- but just fertilizing will help people get their trees strong enough to work on.

John
 

bwaynef

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Re: 0-10-10 down from current 20-20-20 for Winter mos.
« Reply #6 on: October 20, 2010, 08:53 AM »
Wayne, I like our friend Brent out in California, but I think he misses the real point here. The point being, getting an active, consistent and somewhat aggressive fertilization scheme is at least as important as what you use. So, if thinking about putting 0-10-10 gets people thinking about (and then applying) fertilizer in the spring, I am for it.

I don't believe he's saying that using NO fertilizer is better than 0-10-10, but that 0-10-10 doesn't have the magical hardening-off qualities that most people attribute to it. 
 

John Kirby

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Re: 0-10-10 down from current 20-20-20 for Winter mos.
« Reply #7 on: October 20, 2010, 08:58 AM »
I realize that, but my point stands. John
 

akeppler

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Re: 0-10-10 down from current 20-20-20 for Winter mos.
« Reply #8 on: October 25, 2010, 12:37 AM »
I fertilize year round...but my climate allows it.
 

majohnson

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Re: 0-10-10 down from current 20-20-20 for Winter mos.
« Reply #9 on: October 25, 2010, 02:52 PM »
Peter Adams recommends in his book Japanese Maples, alternating between 20-20-20 and 5-2-2 organic. Then switching to 0-10-10 once in July and again in August to help harden off growth. With a slightly different feed schedule for older trees.

Not to hijack the tread, however does anyone every check the fertilizer levels in the soil with a meter.
 

Jerry Norbury

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Re: 0-10-10 down from current 20-20-20 for Winter mos.
« Reply #10 on: October 25, 2010, 03:23 PM »
Inorganic soil shouldn't be holding much if any fertiliser...
 

John Kirby

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Re: 0-10-10 down from current 20-20-20 for Winter mos.
« Reply #11 on: October 25, 2010, 03:42 PM »
Nope, I just keep adding more.
 

Tim Gardner

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Re: 0-10-10 down from current 20-20-20 for Winter mos.
« Reply #12 on: October 25, 2010, 06:35 PM »
I would think that using 20-20-20 on a refined Japanese Maple would be too much. The tree would send out to much vigourous growth.

Tim
 

rockm

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Re: 0-10-10 down from current 20-20-20 for Winter mos.
« Reply #13 on: October 26, 2010, 03:19 PM »
"Peter Adams recommends in his book Japanese Maples, alternating between 20-20-20 and 5-2-2 organic. Then switching to 0-10-10 once in July and again in August to help harden off growth. With a slightly different feed schedule for older trees."

Peter Adams published that maple book in 1988, if I remember correctly. It's a bit dated. Thinking has changed considerably. Low N fert is not really necessary. Plain old balanced fert given regularly does the job. Feeding schedules for older trees that don't need as much development should be a bit lighter than for those in development.

 If you're talking about this kind of meter"
http://www.gemplers.com/product/G72000/Soil-Fertilizer-Analyzer
to measure fertilizer in bonsai soil, you may have issues. I know that soil moisture meters are mostl useless in measuring soil moisture IN BONSAI SOIL. That's because the meter measures electical activity travelling through water between soil particles. The coarse nature of bonsai soil thwarts that measurement. I'd bet it's the same with a fertlizer meter...