Blooms and NPK

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  #1  
Old 10-28-02, 07:47 AM
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Blooms and NPK

Now I am really getting confused with the properties and roles behind the N-P-K. I've been buying flowering plants from nurseries. They really look nice and attractive on display but once taken home, although they keep looking healthy, blooms start to decrease until I just finish with a bunch of green leaves. No more flowers! I've learnt that the phosphorous (P) helps in the production of blooms in flowers. Therefore, yesterday I went to a local nursery searching for an answer to my problem and a good fertilizer, however I was informed that it is the K that causes an increase in blooms and later I was given a fertilizer with values 12 - 5 - 30. What do you think? Shall I buy a fertilizer having a large value for P or K?

Thanks in advance.

Regards
ROBERT
 
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  #2  
Old 10-28-02, 09:08 AM
Gami
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Hi Robert,

I've always heard and read that it's the "P" that produces blooms. Here are 3 websites that agree. The first one explains it the best -

http://www.exploringwomanhood.com/ho...ing/blooms.htm
http://www.agcentral.com/imcdemo/06Phosphorus/06-01.htm
http://www.raw-connections.com/garde...fertilizer.htm

Gami
 
  #3  
Old 11-02-02, 11:14 AM
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This should help

Hi Robert,

Here's a link to a post at Garden Web's 'New to Gardening' forum. Nora_in_Vancouver has a nice rhyme to help you remember which is which. I think you'll find this helpful.

http://forums.gardenweb.com/forums/l...326803.html?26

Newt
 
  #4  
Old 11-02-02, 05:56 PM
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Smile Moderation & long term food is good for plants.

Hi Newt & Gami & r_abela

Good subject to talk about this time of year. When we use a plant foot like Espoma ( Plant Tone ) it takes sometines as long as a 6 month period to break down in order to feed the plants. Rapid Gro or 5-10-10 will release right now, so if you use both Organic & Ionic plant food, the plants will do better over a longer period of time.

I have read that Kelp meal can take as long as 10 years to stop providing plants with nutrients. Rapid Grow can be gone in two weeks & provides no micronutrinents Copper, Boron, iron, etc. Things like Blood meal, Bone meal, Green Sand, leather meal, Compost all last longer but don't release as fast as Salt base plant foods.

I think it's only when we don't build our soil with humatic material over the years. We end up with rock dust with a salty residue after many years of using only salt based plant foods.

So use both and don't exceed 5 percent Nitrogen or you will end up with all green & no fruit.

Over the time that I have been growing, I have found that If I put my Organic Plant food in the ground in the Fall, it will be ready to feed the plants all summer. Also don't forget that a foliar spray of Fish emulision & liquid sea weed used every 2 weeks while in the growing season, & your plants will be well fed all season long.

Below is from the link Newt provided us with. I think it explains why using 5-10-10 twice a year in your Garden along with, Organic plant food will not make you turn purple & cause your head to spin around 360 degrees.

* "Inorganic" molecules are molecules without carbon. "Organic" chemicals are carbon compounds. Living organisms are mostly collections of carbon compounds in a water solutions. Decomposition breaks organic compounds to inorganic forms, which are than taken up by plants. Inorganic fertilizers (e.g., Miracle Gro) supply nutrients in inorganic forms that the plants can take up immediately. "Organic" fertilizers apply organic compounds, such as dead leaves. The material is broken down by bacteria and fungus and the plants take up the nutrients as they are converted to inorganic form over time.


Marturo




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  #5  
Old 11-05-02, 07:15 PM
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Marturo,

That was most interesting. I had never heard of leather meal and looked it up. I just love learning new stuff. Btw, how do you find it different or better than other sources of nitrogen?

Newt
 
  #6  
Old 11-05-02, 09:19 PM
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Smile Building our soil.

Hi Newt,

Newt asked:
How do you find it different or better than other sources of nitrogen?

As a new grower many years ago, I could not get it through my head that Nitrogen was not the #1 source of food for plants. Big plants, little fruit.

Being 51 years young on this coming Sat. I have come to understand, that like all animals, plants need a large variety of foods, that provide all the same micronutrients that we need to stay healthy.

Take the dreaded Scurvy that hit the early sailors who had no refridgeration to keep fruit and vegetables fresh. With Scurvy your teeth fall out, and sometimes it can kill. A small piece of dried potato skin, has enough vitimin C in it to cure scurvy. That and the micronutrients that control the small functions of plant & animals bodies, has taught me that all things in moderation is a good rule to live & grow by.

Just as we try to ensure that we get a wide varietiy of foods, plant are no different. The biggest mistake most begining gardeners make, is with Nitrogen. Of all the components in plant foods, it is the least needed for a plant to grow & produce fruit.

We ooh & aah at the large trees we see in pictures out of the 1800s. Who was feeding them 10-10-10 ? We have covered the fact that salt based plant food, is not going to do the soil our our planet any harm, however when we add many suplements to our soil it is not just for plant food like 5-10-10 is plant food.

I believe that when we build the soil with animal manures, green sand, blood meal, Bone meal, leather dust, Gypsum, & so many others, we are feeding micro orginisiums that feed on, and then in turn release nurtrients that both plants & animals need to stay healthy.

There are trees that without certin types of fungi, will either die or grow very poorly, all because of a special relationship between plant & fungus. The Fungus cannot produce sugers & starches that a plant can with Photosynsynthesis. The plant on the other hand, cannot break down the micronutrinutrients that the fungus does by a special process it has. So the plant & fungus share the food that each need, for health & survival.

This is the part of being a gardener that is still Magic to me. As long as I live, the more I learn about this balance in nature, that we as gardeners are trying to recreate that delacate balance back into our gardens.

In Ireland Farmers for centuries have hauled kelp up from the high tide line & allow the rain to wash the salt off of the kelp, before plowing it into their fields. Native Americans, have planted a fish below their plants, all in order to feed the soil & make it grow their food. What took centuries to build the soil, we today can do with special Organic suplements like Fish & Kelp meal in years.

What I want, is a seedling planted into the soil to have the food it needs to grow in a steady uninterupted flow, until the plant produces it's fruit and dies. Using say just 5-10-10 causes plants to grow in an uneven up & down manor. That's not good for plants or animals to grow like that, especially when we & they are young.

So in answer to the question on leather meal, I think of it as just filling another niche, in a soil, needing many types of foods, to feed as many organisiums as possable to create a balance.

Marturo
 
  #7  
Old 11-05-02, 09:38 PM
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Hi Marturo,

Wow! I realize that plants need a wide variety of food and I use things like compost, greensand, rock phosphate and blood and bone meal. I hear you, but I just wanted to know what you liked about the leather meal as opposed to another organic source of nitrogen? I guess that you are saying that it's a form of animal manure?

Thanks,
Newt
 
  #8  
Old 11-06-02, 02:50 PM
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Hi Newt,

Well Newt, when I think of manure the first thing that comes to mind is an enzymatic break down of plant materiel. I won't use it fresh in the gardens, although I have seen plants growing right out of fresh manure. Poultry manure can contain so much Nitrogen it will burn plant roots, so it must be composted to cool off a bit.

Where as with Leather Dust, Blood Meal & Bone Meal I think more on the lines of a supplement that needs to be transformed by bactieria into its components, before it will release food for plants.

Nitrogen-Phosphorus-Potash in 5-10-10 is all realy relative to a measurment done by chemical analysis. Take for instance a multivitimen that we buy at the store:

Some of the values on a vitimin like B1 is 3,300 percent of the US daily recommended dosage. What do I need to take that much B1 for? Just so I can pee very yellow and see my money go down the drain.

When I know that the dried up potato peel cures Scurvy; 10,000 times that amount of Vitimin C, can cause me to form kidney stones.

We seem to have everything today have the biggest most powerful pill, plant foods, sprays & we seem to have forgotten how nature feeds the plants & animals in the wild.

I know you have seen this post before: Help, I have 9 foot tall Tomato plants & no Tomatoes. Question: What kind of plant food are you using? They reply, "Oh that 20-20-20 blue plant food".

Compost has less than 4 percent nitrogen, & yet the plants grow strong & produce great looking tomatoes etc.

Leather Meal has been used by Gardeners who are lucky enough to live near by to a leather factory. I had a source for free a few years back but they moved. Like all Organic supplements, you can't take a test that will measure the plant food in an Organic supplement. Organic suplements provide us with a steady source of plant food.

I don't take a vitimin supplement because I believe that if I am not getting enough from the food I eat, I am eating the wrong food. Why do we eat food if not to get the vitimins & minerals that it contains? Also, unlike a pill, our digestive track is designed to obtain what our bodies need from food & not pills.

An Organic grower is a recycler by nature; so we look around for sources of supplements to enrich our soil, & also we need a lot so it must be free or cost very little.

If I was looking for natural Nitrogen & had to buy one or the other, I would buy the blood meal before buying the leather meal. Blood by it's nature will feed a wider range of Bactieria than leather meal will. For free, I will take all the leather I can get.

Some folks have stopped using Blood & Bone meal out of fear of Mad cow disiese. I have looked high & low for a soil connection & have not found none.

I hope that I answered your question on leather meal. Do you have a leather working shop anywhere near you? If so ask the owner for their dust scraps & they will more than likely give it to you, rather than pay to haul it away.

Marturo
 
  #9  
Old 11-08-02, 11:52 AM
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Hi Marturo,

That was very informative. Thank you so much. I do have a leather shop in a neighboring town, so I'll have to contact them.

Take care,
Sherry
 
  #10  
Old 11-09-02, 07:59 PM
Gami
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Hi Sherry/Newt,

For some reason, I thought you were female, but I wasn't entirely sure. Thanks for clearing that up. Welcome aboard!

You're a great asset to this board.

Hi Miguel,

Thanks for all your info regarding this post. YOU are a great moderator.

Gami
 
  #11  
Old 11-09-02, 08:42 PM
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Hi Gami,

Thanks so much for the compliment. I didn't realize that I had used my real name. That was a surprise to me too! I thought you knew from the other forums I hang around.

I agree with you about Marturo. He's a real sweetheart!

Newt
 
  #12  
Old 11-09-02, 10:51 PM
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Smile I won't fit my hat after this.

Wow this and a Birthday too, I won't know what to do with all this, real sweetheart & great moderator talk.

Well I thank you Ladies. I think you are both the greatest, the Garden forum would not be near as nice without you both

It was windy & cold here today & we planted more of our winter peas & came in all wind burned, then took the rest of the day selling Veggies to our happy Birthday customers.

You know even if you don't get rich in money growing food that people eat to stay healthy, it makes you richer in spirit than all the money on earth. Just knowing the food we grow is safe & healthy. That our friends who trust us to grow their food as healthy & safe as we can, is a good feeling.

Can you just see the old country stores where people would come by on your birthday, to just say thanks for thinking of us & our Family's health by what you do? I'm so lucky to do what I do, & have friends so nice, I must be doing something right.

I watched a news show where the Lady reporter asked the Food analyst. Should I feed my Baby GMOs from the super market? He said that Gmos were not better for you, they were cheaper to produce, so they had more profit margins.

She then asked. What should I feed my Baby? You could see by now, she meant it. The Man said, I can only say if it were my child, I would feed them 100 percent Organic to be sure they weren't getting GMOs in their diet.

He was not against sprays on food, I have seen him before & what he believes. However when 78 percent of all food in the super Market, is GMO people are getting scared that we have gone to far. Adding this & that from who knows what, to our food, without knowing or careing how this new science food, will impact our health.

I wondered when I was young, if I would live to see people realise that our illness comes from our food supply & how we keep boosting profits by modifying the food.

At 51, I saw it. The people are putting the puzle of cheap food & our sick socity together. It all seems like it was only yesterday, that I heard how people who ate Organic, were strange some how.

Our forum & the many other Forums that help people grow & learn to grow, without Chemicals are at the tip of a wave so large it will change the eating habits, of our whole world. What a great time to be alive.

Just think of all the first time gardeners who have been helped & encourged here at our garden forum, who otherwise they may have given up & said I can't do this. All because Gardeners & Farmers are the nicest people I have ever known.
Thank you all, my fellow Gardeners
Marturo
 
  #13  
Old 11-10-02, 01:21 AM
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Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday to you...

Marturo,

Happy Birthday!!!!

Newt
 
  #14  
Old 11-10-02, 02:44 PM
Gami
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You're welcome, Newt. I guess I'll have to check out some of the other forums one of these days. We're working on our house, and I'm sure someone can help with some of the things we run into.

You are also welcome, Miguel. Happy Birthday! I'm glad to hear you're having such a nice birthday! You deserve all the kudos. Don't be so humble.

I watched a program the other day where someone actually admitted that organic vegetables were healthier, even tho more expensive.

I ordered a book from Rodale Press. Something like "Healing with Foods". I can't remember the actual name. I'll let you all know what I think of it.

Gami
 
  #15  
Old 11-11-02, 11:59 PM
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Thanks to all of you for the very useful information.

RA
 
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