What fertilizers do you use?

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ragamala
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Re: What fertilizers do you use?

Post by ragamala » Wed Jul 11, 2018 9:00 am

Terry S. wrote:Putting on my ex-chemist's hat, I would say that inorganic mineral salts such as this are not going to suffer much change from being left in the sun.
Thanks, Terry, I'll trust your thoughts on that. I was wondering where the blue colour came from in the first place, and whether it was just a blue dye added for some commercial reason or just as a visual indicator when dissolved.
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Re: What fertilizers do you use?

Post by ralphrmartin » Wed Jul 11, 2018 5:12 pm

I think the dye is there just so you can see when you have added the fertiliser, so you dont e.g. double dose. Also, different fertilisers have different colours, so I suppose that helps you tell which fertiliser you have added.

As to all this discussion as to whether then N in Miracle Grow is available - I use Ericaceous Miracle Grow, and my plants are growing very well. I don't think the results would be as good as they are if it were unavailable to cacti and succulents. Whatever the theory might say, the experimental evidence is clear...
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Re: What fertilizers do you use?

Post by Terry S. » Thu Jul 12, 2018 7:47 am

Whatever the theory might say, the experimental evidence is clear...
Really? To be sure, you would have to take a bundle of identical-appearance plants of the same clone, pot them in the same compost, randomly split them into two groups and apply the two different feeding regimes. It would require a mathematician to tell you how many plants would be needed to get a statistically significant result. This would then have to be repeated on a range of different genera. The experiments would then need to be repeated using different potting mediums to see for example if there were differences between using JI/grit and pumice. In other words, we are only guessing about this.

Its a bit like the situation where growers have stated that their Chihuahuan Desert plants have grown better when they have put limestone chippings in the compost. No, they have grown better because they have been repotted! In any case, the amount of calcium ions dissolved from chippings would be minimal anyway.
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Re: What fertilizers do you use?

Post by Nick_G » Thu Jul 12, 2018 8:12 am

I have used Miracle Gro ericaceous feed on my South American cacti for the last few years and they have never looked better in 40 years of growing these plants. Previously I used Chempak 4 or 8 as I still do with all my other plants.
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Re: What fertilizers do you use?

Post by Eric Williams » Thu Jul 12, 2018 9:13 am

Perhaps we should treat our plants as people, and vary our feeds. We are mostly healthy and we all have different foods. I change my fertiliser often during the season.Ericaceous Miraclegrow, Chemp no 8 and 4. My results are pleasing to the eye, but not scientific lol. Cheers
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Re: What fertilizers do you use?

Post by Nick_G » Thu Jul 12, 2018 9:21 am

Nick_G wrote:I have used Miracle Gro ericaceous feed on my South American cacti for the last few years and they have never looked better in 40 years of growing these plants. Previously I used Chempak 4 or 8 as I still do with all my other plants.

I should add that this coincided with a change to pure moler clay (Sanicat cat litter) as my potting medium and a vast improvement in root growth as a result. This also meant that I only need to water every two to three weeks. I'd used the conventional JI plus grit mix before.
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Re: What fertilizers do you use?

Post by ralphrmartin » Thu Jul 12, 2018 6:17 pm

Terry S. wrote:
Whatever the theory might say, the experimental evidence is clear...
Really? To be sure, you would have to take a bundle of identical-appearance plants of the same clone, pot them in the same compost, randomly split them into two groups and apply the two different feeding regimes.
Point taken. But what is clear, is that when feeding with Ericaceous Miracle Grow, my plants are showing no signs of Nitrogen deficiency, and that was the point I was trying to make. So either it is providing enough, or my tap water must be horribly polluted, or there is enough in the first place to last 3 years (how often I repot) without getting leached out in my compost (which incidentally is 1/3 grit, 1/3 JI Ericaceous compost, 1/3 fertilised coir).

So, this regime does not appear to be harming the plants, and may actually be doing them some good.
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Re: What fertilizers do you use?

Post by rodsmith » Fri Jul 13, 2018 8:27 am

Nick_G wrote: I should add that this coincided with a change to pure moler clay (Sanicat cat litter) as my potting medium and a vast improvement in root growth as a result. This also meant that I only need to water every two to three weeks. I'd used the conventional JI plus grit mix before.
Are you saying that Sanicat is all you now to use for potting, Nick, i.e. no other ingredients? If this is correct, how often do you fertilize? How long have you been with this regime?
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Re: What fertilizers do you use?

Post by Nick_G » Fri Jul 13, 2018 1:46 pm

rodsmith wrote:
Nick_G wrote: I should add that this coincided with a change to pure moler clay (Sanicat cat litter) as my potting medium and a vast improvement in root growth as a result. This also meant that I only need to water every two to three weeks. I'd used the conventional JI plus grit mix before.
Are you saying that Sanicat is all you now to use for potting, Nick, i.e. no other ingredients? If this is correct, how often do you fertilize? How long have you been with this regime?
Yes Rod, just pure sanicat for all my cacti. The exception is when I pot up my seedlings into cells and then I use 50/50 JI and cat litter as it is very difficult to pot up small seedlings into cat litter. I fertilize at 1/4 strength nearly every watering, Miracle Gro Ericaceous for the South Americans and Chempac 4 or 8 for the Mexicans. I've been doing this for at least 5 years I should think but I don't keep records so can't be sure. Most of my succulents are in this mix also. The only problem is with bigger pots as the water does not pool on the surface and just runs straight through making it diffcult to soak the whole pot. Where this is a problem with the plants I keep as house plants I use the 50/50 JI and cat litter mix.
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Re: What fertilizers do you use?

Post by rodsmith » Fri Jul 13, 2018 1:57 pm

Thanks for the info Nick. I suppose for larger plants where it is difficult to ensure that the whole pot gets water, total immersion might be the way forward. I do this with all my plants at least once a year, usually for the first main water.
Rod Smith

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