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ADelmanto

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Most of my figs are in pots. They are in an unheated greenhouse all winter. They come out in April. When and how do you northerners fertilize your potted figs? I've been doing it in June, but I think that is a bit late. I should preface by saying I'm only willing to fertilize once, or at the most, twice per year. I prefer to use something granular and I'm not going to use fish emulsion, bat guano, Guinea pig toe nail clippings, or anything like that. I've been using a 10-10-10 / lime mix, but I'm willing to experiment (a little).
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drew51

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Everybody will give you a different answer. Many have it well thought out. I'm lazy, I do it fairly simple. First 10-10-10 is about the worst stuff in the world. Ratios are way off not just for figs, but for any plant. I use Dynamite control release. It says it lasts 9 months if temps are under 80F. My experience is it lasts about 4.5 months, which is not bad. NPK ratio is decent and includes micro nutrients. Osmocote says 6 months, so lasts about 3 months. I also add Plant-Tone or Garden-Tone once a month. I start in April. The start of the season is where they do the best. I'll put my trees against anybodies. The biggest fig this year started from a cutting in February is now 8 feet tall, first year. I have a few 6 feet, and a few 5 feet, and the rest are 4 feet tall now. A few smaller that i started later. I also never add lime. I like the pH  between 5.5 and 6.5. Hard to do if adding lime. I use gypsum in my homemade soil mix. Takes care of any calcium needs, as does the fertilizer, more is not better at times, the gypsum is probably not needed, but it tends to stay neutral, as pH is really important. Lime can sky rocket your pH.
Here is one of my first year cuttings, unk. Teramo, photo taken about 6 weeks ago.


This photo was about 75 days ago. Red Lebanese (Bass)


This is the 8 footer, photo taken 10-06-16 Sweet Diana. Not the best photo, as it was backlit by the sun. This one is in ground, but got the same fertilizer regimen.

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Figfanatic57

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Reply with quote  #3 
Very impressive. Which Dynamite control release? There are several different ones.
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Reply with quote  #4 
Hi Adelmanto,
Just curious : When and how often do you water ? ... (once a year ... LOL )

Even in ground, I fertilize from March to August sometimes mid-September. I'm using 10-10-10 . This year I tried 5-10-10 something like that. But next year I'll get back to 10-10-10.
I water (depending on the weather) from February to November . In the growing season May-September I water once or twice a week (even 3 times in the Summer). Just last week, I had 2 potted trees wilt ... because we had no serious rain for 2 months ( had, since it has been raining this week ) .

In pots, I need to water the trees more. So nutrients get washed away. I don't see how one could fertilize just once a year... but, that's ok for me, everyone is free .
In the ground, after big rains, it is the same. So I fertilize them all, once a month from 1st March to 1 August sometimes 15th September.
Some years, I add mulch, wood ashes, Lime (on the trunks that gets washed to the dirt) and occasionally manure (hard to manage the supply chain - get, store and dispatch- as I don't own animals ).

To get back to your watering schedule, did you think of using a liquid fertilizer ?
What are your results with your trees ?
Do you have a pic of a tree at beginning of the season and now ?
I've seen reportages where people keeping trees in botanic garden say that what works best is removing every (/other) year the top 5cm of dirt and replace with new loam ... and every 5, remove and replace 5 cm of dirt all around the roots - it has to do with the texture of the dirt getting messy as time goes by.


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drew51

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Reply with quote  #5 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Figfanatic57
Very impressive. Which Dynamite control release? There are several different ones.


The word dynamite has a link to the product I buy.
Here it is
http://www.seedranch.com/Dynamite-All-Purpose-Select-Indoor-Outdoor-Plant-F-p/dynamite-organic-7.htm

The reason I dogged 10-10-10 is the optimal ratio for most plants is 3-1-2. This is not for figs, but an average for all plants. Many species require different ratios, but it is a good general number. Not one plant requires 10-10-10. You could hurt your plants or pollute the environment, as the unused fertilizer runs off. So knowing ratios is very important. Phosphorus caused algae blooms in the great lakes and you're giving yours 10 times more than needed? That can be seen as irresponsible. The 10-10-10 fertilizer was developed after WWII, time to update!
Note that Dynamite has a 3-1-2 ratio. Too much potassium can cause problems too. It can burn plants, just like too much nitrogen. Too much nitrogen can hurt potassium absorption, ratios are extremely important.

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ADelmanto

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Reply with quote  #6 
Thanks for the info so far. I was thinking that 10-10-10 one time per year is like 3-3-3 3x per year. Lower ratio's, in proper proportion, more often, makes sense. Generally speaking nitrogen helps leaves turn green and grow faster, phosphorus helps roots grow, and potassium helps fruit production. Unless I'm mistaken. I overhead water every day. It's not over kill, but I can see that by October the nutrients have leeched out. I've got good growth, but I'm not happy with fruit set and getting the figs to ripen before frost. That's why I want to get started earlier next year. I can't put them out any sooner but I can fert and water sooner.

http://s1079.photobucket.com/user/Adelmanto/library/

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Figfanatic57

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Reply with quote  #7 
Andrew,
Thanks for the info, I will order some and some bone meal. My Fig leaves always turn brown in direct sun and the one under the front porch are nice and green.
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Reply with quote  #8 
I like 5 64 20. Something like that. I know the nitrogen is very low potassium 64. K is low too. This is liquid form. At first bud brake i buy citrus granules. Then from there liquid fish fertilizer.
Also. I start my copper spray for rust at first bud. Then after full leaf. Buy blue powder of copper

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Reply with quote  #9 
I heard it somewhere that when you fertilize, the result show up the following year and not the same season.
So if you skip or you don't do the right thing expect poor results the following year.
I started to use mainly Turkey compost this season in addition to Osmocote and will be amending the soil in my pots early in spring before the growing season starts. I will increase the ratio of Turkey compost to about 30%-50% in some pots and see what happens. If anyone tried this please feel free to comment.

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Reply with quote  #10 
if you are using an organic fert keep in mind these materials take time to break down. if you look on the back of your fert bag you can get an idea. it will say available or unavailable nutrients. I only use organic sources and prefer plant material over animal products. I don't focus on brands. I look for specific ingredients. now something like bone meal, fish or mammal takes months to break down. so if you use this in the fall it may be available for next season. I use this to my advantage instead of synthetic time release ferts. I also keep large batches of soil mixed with all my ingredients so when I transplant my plants have usable nutes. if your mixing your soil up right before transplant using organics your waiting a long time for these nutrients to be available. this maybe why some have success with bagged soils. these soils have been sitting with the fertilizer for a long time breaking down. when I mix up a batch of soil I add a large amount of organic inputs. this is more work upfront but less over the season as I have everything ready to go. depending on if your organic or not will determine more of the timing. I will fertilize half or quarter the amount more often instead of all at once. this creates less waste and decreases my chances of nutrient deficiencies. timing depends on what works for you. how much time do you have? my biggest goal is keeping the soil alive and living. always adding organic matter keeps the whole system and microbes happy. if you see a healthy living soil(tons of worms) your plants will reward you. hope this helps.


if you just wanted a 10-10-10 2x a year I would say, one at bud break around May. Then again at the end of July. I would think that would take you till the end of sept. If not maybe try a lower dose towards the end. let me know if you score any of those Guinea pig toe nail clippings. I bet they go for big bucks.



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ADelmanto

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Reply with quote  #11 
EB18702 Those Guinea Pig clippings work great but it's hard to chase those little buggers down. I use 40-50 lbs of fert already. If I do it twice per year I guess it's not the end of the world. Any one else use that much? I could use Osmocote or Dynamite. Any other brands?
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ADelmanto

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Reply with quote  #12 
I'm convinced that my fertilizer regiment needs to change. I'm going to apply a granular fertilizer once in early April when the pots come out of storage and again in July. I'm also convinced that my lack of fruit is because I've been using fertilizer with too much nitrogen. That all being said, what fertilizer should I use? I'm going to need 80-100 lbs and I'd rather not go broke buying it. I cannot use liquids or apply more often. Any ideas?

The Dynamite link brought me to a fert with 15-5-9. (Even more nitrogen than I'm using now)

http://www.gardeningknowhow.com/edible/fruits/figs/fertilizing-fig-trees.htm

http://www.fig-baud.com/pageanglaise.html

http://www.lebanonturf.com/products/items/3756549/index.aspx

I don't think the fertilizer I'm looking for exists. I may have to custom make something. According to the links above I should be using 1-2-3 or 5-10-20.

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SCfigFanatic

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Reply with quote  #13 
The break down of bone meal depends on the fineness or grind of the material.
Powdered bone meal does help in the speed of it being usable by the fig.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bone_meal

First sentence.

Doug


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TorontoJoe

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Reply with quote  #14 
I've been struggling with this one as well. In the past I've dumped on and mixed in to the soil bagged Home Depot sheep manure. I do this once to my whole garden before planting, along with a dose of Epsom salts. It's works wonders for making monster vegetables - I'm just not sure it's ideal for figs. I added a standard Miracle Grow last year and successfully grew lots of fig leaves. Figs not so much....This year I plan to make some changes.

The two most experienced fig gurus in my area have different approaches. I hear Adriano uses only rabbit manure. I don't know how much or how often. But I don't have access to that kind of poop so not really not an option. (Close to ginnea pig I think). Steven uses a balanced (I think 10-10-10). His credentials are impressive to say the least. I think I'm going in that direction. Maybe 5-10-10 if I can find it.

The problem I have is that I don't really know when to start, how much to use or how often.

The general wisdom is that you shouldn't use too much as it promotes leafy growth over fruit. Ok - how much of what type is too much?

Say I mix up some 10-10-10. In a 5 gallon pot - do I water with a gallon of the fertilizer solution? A cup? 5 gallons? Just soak it?

Then how often?

If I use granular do I use a cup or a bucket?

Do I start when I pull them out of the garage in the spring? Or wait for some leaves or shoots?

Some say they don't fertilize in ground figs - others say they do....

I don't expect solid, black and white answers here. I know what works for some doesn't work for others. Fertilizing is the single biggest factor that I'm trying to understand.




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ADelmanto

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Reply with quote  #15 
I was looking for rabbit fertilizer and Googled "Bunny Ranch". Now I'm in trouble with the wife. Thanks Joe
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PeterC

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Reply with quote  #16 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ADelmanto
I was looking for rabbit fertilizer and Googled "Bunny Ranch". Now I'm in trouble with the wife. Thanks Joe



lmao~!

Chicken manure works well

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TorontoJoe

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Reply with quote  #17 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ADelmanto
I was looking for rabbit fertilizer and Googled "Bunny Ranch". Now I'm in trouble with the wife. Thanks Joe


LOL! I had to google it...nope.... Don't think they can help....

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TorontoJoe

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Reply with quote  #18 
Quote:
Originally Posted by PeterC



lmao~!

Chicken manure works well
I've heard this as well. Don't know a supplier around here.
http://m.homedepot.com/p/Lilly-Miller-UltraGreen-10-lb-Tomato-and-Vegetable-Food-100504882/202521008

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Reply with quote  #19 
I think the reasons why some guys can use all different types of ratios is because in the short term the imbalances in the numbers isn't noticed. Let's say your using to much potassium, overtime this can lock out other nutrients. But watering in pots I think we may leech out these imbalances before they occur. By season end I bet our pots are pretty devoid of nutrients, which is probaly a good thing. Then next season we are adding another dose of fresh fertilizer. I know most nutrients are not as mobile as nitrogen but I still think we our loosing them. To much nitrogen in August maybe a problem. I bet we loose at least half our nitrogen to gas off and running out the bottom of the pot. In ground maybe a whole different ballgame. If a commercial farmer wasn't testing his soil he can run into a slew of problems by just blindly adding stuff. it doesn't make sense for us to test each pot. but it maybe a good idea to treat your figs the same and test one pot. a soil test maybe worth the investment. if you have a lot of figs you can dial in your fertilizer program and not waste money. I think we have more room with the fert ratios in pots because the above. What do you guys think of this theory?
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Erik
zone 6A northeast Pa
EB18702

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Reply with quote  #20 
I think the reasons why some guys can use all different types of ratios is because in the short term the imbalances in the numbers isn't noticed. Let's say your using to much potassium, overtime this can lock out other nutrients. But watering in pots I think we may leech out these imbalances before they occur. By season end I bet our pots are pretty devoid of nutrients, which is probaly a good thing. Then next season we are adding another dose of fresh fertilizer. I know most nutrients are not as mobile as nitrogen but I still think we our loosing them. To much nitrogen in August maybe a problem. I bet we loose at least half our nitrogen to gas off and running out the bottom of the pot. In ground maybe a whole different ballgame. If a commercial farmer wasn't testing his soil he can run into a slew of problems by just blindly adding stuff. it doesn't make sense for us to test each pot. but it maybe a good idea to treat your figs the same and test one pot. a soil test maybe worth the investment. if you have a lot of figs you can dial in your fertilizer program and not waste money. I think we have more room with the fert ratios in pots because the above. What do you guys think of this theory?
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Prosciutto, Naples Dark, Azores Dark, Columbaro Nero, De La Tira, I376, Des Roig Manyo, Greek Church U.

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Erik
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TorontoJoe

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Reply with quote  #21 
OK - One thing you wrote jumped out at me. "If a commercial farmer wasn't testing his soil". So I wonder....

If I wanted to test my soil - how might I go about that?

If I did and could determine the optimum levels of NPK in the soil then what would those values be?

Why are we all just going with our guts and not measuring and adjusting to what the soil needs? (Other than the fact that it's probably a pain in the rear)

I'm going to consult with Google now...

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TorontoJoe

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Reply with quote  #22 
There's this:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0019AI7PU?tag=amatop-20

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Reply with quote  #23 
Without the guinea pig toenail clippings how do you intend to get that sought-after seed crunch? I personally give my figs bunny poop. They don't complain.
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ADelmanto

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Reply with quote  #24 
Ok so I figured out 1 possible way to get close to the 5-10-15 ratio I'm looking for.

10 parts Tomato & Veg food 5-10-10
1 part Muriate of Potash 0-0-60
Works out to 4.54-9.09-14.55

Not sure if it's the best plan, but it's a plan.

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TorontoJoe

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Reply with quote  #25 
You're doing math now. I like it! Is that the tomato stuff from home depot? I don't see it on our side of the border. Although we're up to our ears in potash.
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TorontoJoe

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Reply with quote  #26 
Hey Aaron. Check this out

http://www.pennington.com/all-products/lawn-garden/fertilizer/plant-fertilizer/pennington/pennington-all-purpose-5-10-15

Definitely less math involved...

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ADelmanto

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Reply with quote  #27 
Yes, my head hurts from the math. I've also got 3 emails in to local rabbit farms. Seems easy enough to fert and top dress so why not.
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Reply with quote  #28 
Adriano's website is down but here is some of his fig-wisdom:

"For feeding, Ferreira uses rabbit manure tea and fruit or tomato fer­tilizer"

http://edibletoronto.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=204:fig-fetishists-&catid=75


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Reply with quote  #29 
Hi,
In ground, I just use 10/10/10 in bullets, a hand full every 2 weeks to every month.
In pots, the problem is elsewhere :
1. The trees get root-bound fast.
2. The dirt in the pot gets depleted but also its structure gets sandy with year. One must replace at least half of it every two or 3 years.
3. In the heat, in the pots, the roots get cooked and that's bad.
4. In the heat, the dirt dries out, the dirt gets dry and the tree gets a shock. That will stop the tree. The tree will loose time and then grow again if watered properly of course, if not, the tree may shed leaves or even die-back. In pot, in the heat, IMO, one must use a plate to keep some water available to the tree.
5. use straight pots, and not pots that are thinner at the base

If you don't fertilize, do not expect to get the best out of your trees ...

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Reply with quote  #30 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jdsfrance
Hi,
In ground, I just use 10/10/10 in bullets, a hand full every 2 weeks to every month.
In pots, the problem is elsewhere :
1. The trees get root-bound fast.
2. The dirt in the pot gets depleted but also its structure gets sandy with year. One must replace at least half of it every two or 3 years.
3. In the heat, in the pots, the roots get cooked and that's bad.
4. In the heat, the dirt dries out, the dirt gets dry and the tree gets a shock. That will stop the tree. The tree will loose time and then grow again if watered properly of course, if not, the tree may shed leaves or even die-back. In pot, in the heat, IMO, one must use a plate to keep some water available to the tree.
5. use straight pots, and not pots that are thinner at the base

If you don't fertilize, do not expect to get the best out of your trees ...



Just wondering....For those trees in pots - Most of mine are 4 liter (1 gallon) or 19 liter (5 gallon) size.

How much of the 10-10-10 would you use and how often?

Also when do you start? When they break their first buds in spring or immediately when you remove them from winter storage?

Most of my trees are in pots due to necessity. I know I'll be needing a lot of root and soil care. I just don't have a good fertilizer strategy. Last year I only grew fig leaves. I don't want to use too much...But like you said, to use nothing won't produce well...

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SCfigFanatic

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Reply with quote  #31 
Not that my advice be taken, but I fertilize when I see growth in the spring.
I fertilize again when fruit sets.
I taper off giving fertilizer after summer is over.
No more till next spring.

Doug

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Reply with quote  #32 
I appreciate all advice. Thanks Doug
What do you use?

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Reply with quote  #33 
I don't know why but many people sware by rabbit manure. So I googled "rabbit farm" and came up with plenty of leads around me. So that's part of my plan this year. I have over 200 pots. Mostly 15 gallon size. I over head water just about every day. I know for a fact my fert is leeching out. You can see it in the color of the leaves. When you check the links above they recommend a 5-10-15 fert. You may have to mix a couple products to get the numbers right. I will also be using pelletized lime. In a 15 gallon pot it's about a cup of fert and a cup of lime. I will then top dress with the rabbit manure to completely cover the pot maybe 1" thick. (It's mixed with shavings i'm sure so it's not going to be straight manure). I'll start the fert regiment when I take them out of storage which is at bud break anyway. I'll re-fertilize in June but no later than mid July. And then we'll see what happens.

Last year I was lazy about the watering. The figs dropped all of their fruit and I and killed about 25 varieties by the end of June. I'm not going to repeat that next year.

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SCfigFanatic

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Reply with quote  #34 
I raise meat rabbits.
Free fertilizer.


Doug

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Reply with quote  #35 
200 pots. That's a lot of poop! Don't know what it is about the bunnies though....supposed to be the best. Do you plan to drop the manure just once at the beginning of the season?
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Reply with quote  #36 
A wake up tonic of bunny manure tea in the spring, then I
scatter around base of tree but not up to the trunk of the tree.
I leave room around the base to not encourage rot and the
roots are spread out from the tree.
I would suggest using only a tea mix for potted trees.

Doug

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Reply with quote  #37 
I like that plan ADelmanto.

Don't know what the big deal with rabbit manure is. What separates a fertilizer is it's npk numbers and secondary metabolites. In organics fertilizer marketing there are some crazy claims. These secondary metabolites get to much attention at times. Though there are some good effects from them but at a high price tag. I do know rabbit manure isn't to " hot " and can be used right away. Maybe that's the big appeal?

If your interested in getting your soil tested there are online companies. Some schools will test them. You'll need to search your area. There are already ideal npk numbers established if you search. If you can get close to these numbers I'm sure your plants will do well. I've seen prices from 30 and up depending on tests performed. It maybe worth the investment even for shits and giggles.

Save your toenail clippings to sell. Toenails can add chitin to your soil. The toenail market is going to explode lol.

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Erik
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TorontoJoe

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Reply with quote  #38 
Never in my life would I have believed I would be typing the following words. "Here is a great article on manure". I must be getting old.....

includes an interesting chart outlining the NPK of all the common manure types, as well as the importance of other things.

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Reply with quote  #39 
Thanks for the scoop on the poop.
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Reply with quote  #40 
Scott osmocote  NPK: 11/11/18   8/9 months in warm countries or 5/6 months in cool countires.
Once a year when you take your pots out, after this,  you just have to water.
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Reply with quote  #41 
Early fertilizing will stimulate early growth which is a good or bad thing depending on your location. Late January in San Diego after heavy pruning. I'd recommend much later for colder locations.
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Reply with quote  #42 
For in ground trees and plants, Never!

After occasionally adding some ferts to under performing plants and never seeing a positive response I had my soil tested in 2004 and it came back saying I had above optimum levels of all (P,K,Ca,Mg) except fleeting N. So to that soil I will sometimes use a bit of high N lawn fertilizer if a plant seems sluggish but seldom makes a noticeable improvement.

Potted plants are a different matter.

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TorontoJoe

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Reply with quote  #43 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cjccmc
For in ground trees and plants, Never!

After occasionally adding some ferts to under performing plants and never seeing a positive response I had my soil tested in 2004 and it came back saying I had above optimum levels of all (P,K,Ca,Mg) except fleeting N. So to that soil I will sometimes use a bit of high N lawn fertilizer if a plant seems sluggish but seldom makes a noticeable improvement.

Potted plants are a different matter.


You make a very good point here. I've not had my soil like tested but I know the soil in in the area of my in-ground trees is pretty healthy. I fertilized last year and grew little more than leaves on one tree that should have done much better.

I really should have the soil tested.

As you say however, pots are another matter altogether.

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Reply with quote  #44 
I stopped by Griffin Greenhouse Supply the other day. They have a wide selection of many nursery items but the salesman might as well be selling used cars. He knew nothing about the products he was selling. My questions about fertilizers still remain unanswered.

So I've decided that my fertilizer program this year will be more in line with what I have researched about Baud Nursery. They use a 5-10-15 fertilizer. To achieve this I purchased Muriate of Potash 0-0-52 and Super Phosphate 0-45-0. The Nitrogen and minor elements will come from Bunny Poop. I'll also add some lime. The P and K are not slow release so we'll see how it goes.

I also picked up ProMix HP for my cuttings and ProMix HP-CC to mix into my potting mix for my 15 gallon buckets. I've never used it before, but it seemed interesting with the chunks of coir mixed in.

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Reply with quote  #45 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ADelmanto
I stopped by Griffin Greenhouse Supply the other day. They have a wide selection of many nursery items but the salesman might as well be selling used cars. He knew nothing about the products he was selling. My questions about fertilizers still remain unanswered. So I've decided that my fertilizer program this year will be more in line with what I have researched about Baud Nursery. They use a 5-10-15 fertilizer. To achieve this I purchased Muriate of Potash 0-0-52 and Super Phosphate 0-45-0. The Nitrogen and minor elements will come from Bunny Poop. I'll also add some lime. The P and K are not slow release so we'll see how it goes. I also picked up ProMix HP for my cuttings and ProMix HP-CC to mix into my potting mix for my 15 gallon buckets. I've never used it before, but it seemed interesting with the chunks of coir mixed in.


I would caution using something like bunny poop, just because for container growth you don't have the bacteria and microbes in the soil to break it down. I used to prefer organic and natural ferts, but like the famous "Al" on gardenweb (RIP) I found them unreliable and lacking. Currently I am using 50% HPCC and 50% Bark Fines in my two pots and found the mix to be excellent. I should note, wear gloves when using dry HPCC, it gave me some a lot of splinters. 

I see people have tried to answer. If you want to fertilize twice a year, just use Osmocote plus as recommended. Otherwise use Foliage Pro every time you water. I re-used a little syringe from the pharmacy used to measure liquid Rx. I think it's about 1ml per gallon for the maintenance dosage. I can't think of a simpler fertilizer regiment. 

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Reply with quote  #46 
I've been meaning to post this up. This is not mine but posted elsewhere by another fig grower. Really good data on quantities, types and frequency.

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livetaswim06

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Reply with quote  #47 
Also I should say 5 10 15 fertilizer sounds way out of wack. Perhaps that would be okay for in ground or specific conditions. I have read that 312 is always the most logical ratio.
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Reply with quote  #48 
Osmocote Plus is 15-9-12. That's not even close to the ratio I'm looking for. I was not happy with the fruit I got from 10-10-10 so I'm certainly not going to give them more nitrogen. I've got 250+ pots. Fertigation sounds good on a small scale but is not practical for me. I water about every day in the summer on an overhead system. I may go to a micro spray system this year. We'll see. I have no doubt Bunny Poop would break down under these conditions. My potting mix in the pots already is a mix of good organic soil, pine bark fines, perlite, and peat moss.

http://www.fig-baud.com/pageanglaise.html

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Reply with quote  #49 
Joe. That's a lot of great info. If I had 10 trees I guess I'd give that a shot. Fertilizing 7x per year is not going to work for me. I'm prob close to $150 per application.
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Reply with quote  #50 
I hear you. I'm nowhere near your scale. I was looking at it and thinking there might be a way to achieve similar composition with fewer applications and lower cost components...  

If I understand correctly one grower in Florida has integrated feeding into his irrigation. The idea being....you have to water anyhow.... (At least I think that's what it means) 

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