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Good Fertilizers? Empty Good Fertilizers?

Post  newgloves on 8/14/2010, 2:34 pm

Well, the only fertilizer I've been using so far is some leftover Miracle Gro that hubby had for general landscaping. I'm not too concerned over organic/nonorganic although it seems that one of the points of doing your own garden is trying to keep things somewhat organic. Therefore, if you're just looking for a general boost - not supplementing a specific deficiency - what would you recommend?

I've heard a lot about bone meal, blood meal, fish emulsion on this board and am wondering what one is just a good general fast-acting enhancer? What do you use when you want to give your plants a boost? I'll be adding different composts when it's time to replant squares but in the meantime I would like to help my little guys along!

TIA!
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Post  Lavender Debs on 8/15/2010, 9:21 am

I use compost tea and fish emulsion when it is hot (a relitive term in the PNW). It gives a nice boost. I just don't want Mirical Grow in my food. A diet of Mirical Grow for my plants is like Happy Meals for my children. It solves the immediat problem but the effect overtime is not worth the solving of the immediet problem. Do you know what your soil is lacking? That helps in knowing what it needs.
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Post  Retired Member 1 on 8/15/2010, 9:24 am

Well, I'm using Miracle Grow for veggies -- 15-30-15. Also purchased a time release fertilizer from Walmart -- Expert brand. It's 18-21-11. Using both has helped my plants tremendously along with supllementing with rabbit manure and coffee grinds.
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Post  camprn on 8/15/2010, 9:29 am

I use primarily side dressing w/ compost (solid or tea), dried blood, bone meal, powdered milk, epsom salt, limestone. Occasionally I will give a dose of the miracle grow clone. I agree with Deb and my belief is that good growing soil is alive and the soil is what really needs to be fed. It can take a few years for me to generate healthy soil organically, but I'm on my way. Now I need to Think about a winter worm farm in the cellar. Very Happy
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Interesting read on soil health and aerated compost tea.
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Post  newgloves on 8/15/2010, 1:23 pm

Thank you for your replies! I should have specified that while I've been using Miracle Gro exclusively (for the past month) I would prefer to switch to organic fertilizers. I did read up about used coffee grounds & ran to Starbucks & got what seems like a lifetime supply. For those who use coffee grounds - how much/often should you use? I sprinkled a little around everything but the root veges & then watered. Should that be good for a couple weeks - a month - before it's time to reapply? Will the coffee grounds I have go bad before it's time again?

I was planning on getting the fish emulsion as well but it seems like both of those are nitrogen heavy as well as the blood meal. Is the bone meal a better one to work into the soil & have as an overall fertilizer/soil amendment?

I don't necessarily think my soil is lacking anything so far - or at least I probably haven't been doing this long enough to know. Everything seems to be growing fairly well (have some troubles w/ seeds sprouting & having to replant) but I'm just impatient so I want to give my plants a boost.

Thanks!
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Post  camprn on 8/15/2010, 3:02 pm

Hi again. There is a lot of good info about this subject that have been written in previous posts and you will be able to use the search feature to possibly find the specific info you are looking for.
Click this link to find info about soil requirements and soil amendments.

The threads on composting would be helpful to you in that there is alot of info about soil components.


As for coffee grounds, I use them primarily as a soil conditioner, the pH is neutral and it brings on the earth worms. The coffee grounds will be ok sitting in their bags for quite a while, as they will quietly compost on their own, until you decide to use them.

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Post  newgloves on 8/16/2010, 2:43 am

Thanks for the info - very helpful!
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