Which Fertilizer?

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AlanW
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Which Fertilizer?

Postby AlanW » Mon Feb 12, 2018 5:21 pm

Hi there folks
I have trawled through a lot of posts but cannot find a clear recommendation for which fertilizer to use for desert cacti & epiphytes.
I see adverts on line for Chempak , Cactus & Succulent Focus, Vitax & Tomorite tomato feed etc. But which is considered to give the best results?

I am sure this has been discussed ad nauseam in the past & I apologize to members for posting a boring topic.

Any advice would be appreciated.....
Terry S.
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Re: Which Fertilizer?

Postby Terry S. » Mon Feb 12, 2018 5:50 pm

For liquid feeding I suggest Chempak 8 - it has a suitable balance of nutrients including trace elements. Importantly, the nitrogen is in the form of nitrate and ammonium ions which is necessary for uptake of nitrogen by the plants. Some fertilizers such as Phostrogen have most of the nitrate in an organic form: urea, which has to be metabolized by soil bacteria before it can be assimilated. It is possible that the soil in pots of succulents, which has alternating wet and dry periods, may not be conducive to bacterial development. Furthermore, if you use mineral media such as moler clay, then it will be almost impossible for the bacteria to exist. Orchid growers are fully aware of this but we succulent growers are not so knowing.

Succulent plant fertilizers are OK, but they tend to be on the expensive side.
AlanW
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Re: Which Fertilizer?

Postby AlanW » Mon Feb 12, 2018 7:02 pm

Thank you for the information Terry. I did a search for Chempak 8 & found a link to a BCSS thread which discusses this at length & the majority agreed.

I will check my compost pH value first though.
RICHAUD
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Re: Which Fertilizer?

Postby RICHAUD » Mon Feb 12, 2018 10:55 pm

I don't know if this fertilizer is sold in GB but I use plantprod 8-16-40 (tu)
Eric Williams
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Re: Which Fertilizer?

Postby Eric Williams » Tue Feb 13, 2018 12:26 pm

I too have used Chem. No8 for many years, and changed to No 4 later in the season. No8 is low in nitrogen, and I may also use a higher nitrogen feed once or twice in the start of the growing season. I also use white vinegar to obtain optimum ph in the water. Cheers
AlanW
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Re: Which Fertilizer?

Postby AlanW » Sat Feb 17, 2018 2:52 pm

Thank you Richard. I have looked at their website & no it is not available here. Thank you for your suggestion
AlanW
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Re: Which Fertilizer?

Postby AlanW » Sat Feb 17, 2018 2:55 pm

Thank you for that Eric. What concentration do you use the white vinegar at?
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D^L
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Re: Which Fertilizer?

Postby D^L » Sat Feb 17, 2018 7:31 pm

I use 40ml of 5% vinegar in 10l of tap water. BUT 2/3 to 3/4 of this is consumed by the "hardness" in the water and does not directly change pH. So the amount needed is strongly affected by the water quality. I would try it out with your water and a pond pH kit or calibrated litmus. Annoyingly the "hardness" does not react immediately and the pH can bounce back over around an hour. I do a check after 2 hours. You only have to do this once!
I'd use rain water if I could be bothered to collect it :-)
David Lambie
Eric Williams
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Re: Which Fertilizer?

Postby Eric Williams » Sat Feb 17, 2018 11:22 pm

Hi Alan, David Lambie has explained my system exactly thanks David. I have used it for many years now. I don't know why exactly but I read that the vinegar should be white. Also he is right about rain water too, but as I live in a town rain water coming from roof etc tend to be dirty and contaminated for me. Cheers
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D^L
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Re: Which Fertilizer?

Postby D^L » Sun Feb 18, 2018 1:14 pm

Great minds, remember: certainly not fools. :-)

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