Hi @el_cheezer from the other end of AZ. I’ve been working with a similar base recipe as you and was thinking about reducing the lime component due to hard water as well. How have your trees been responding, or too early to tell? Do you think it might be better to just reduce the lime rather than cut it out completely? Was the acidifier a good idea?
I’m just getting around to making a new batch, as most of my trees haven’t broken bud yet. You probably have at least two months on me already!
My temps are already in the mid 90’s during the day for me (it’s 99°F today!), so I’m starting to prep and slow down for summer!
The trees have been doing really well, though I dropped the home made fertilizer about a month ago. I only have a couple dozen small trees, so I went with this stuff called Be-1. Trees have been doing great with it. It decomposes better, and seems to feed the trees with less soluble nitrogen. I decided to switch after listening to the fertilizer and soils podcast.
For what it’s worth, the trees did like the cakes with the acidifier and no lime way more than previous recipes. The glue is still not ideal. It’s better than the flour, but there has to be something better. I think lowering the soluble nitrogen and throwing in some kelp would improve it, too, if I decided to try again in the future.
Best of luck and keep me posted with your results!
Sweet, thanks for the info. I just use the cottonseed, blood and bone meal in the ratios you mentioned, no binders. I’ve been pretty happy with how it breaks down, honestly a little organic particulates working into the pots helps with moisture retention in this dry air. Think I’ll try a 20-30-20 all purpose added to the organics and eliminate the lime. Will keep posted.
I use Bio Gold pretty much all the time. I interlace this with a monthly fees of Fish Emulsion. Throughout my years in Bonsai I don’t believe there is anything better than fish emulsion to put that deep green glossiness on your foliage. It will always be a part of my fertiliser regime.
I have been doing liquid seaweed emulsion for the micro nutrients. Mix it up in a gallon bottle and dispense. 3 Tablespoons per gallon. Pour on top–just to wet the surface, then LIGHTLY water in. Makes them happy. Been using Biogold for two years, too.
I use fish emulsion, 3Tbls/gal, lightly dispense and water in. Only on trees that get early fertilizer. Good, not a compleate fertilizer, good for micro nutrients and bacterial growth!
I’m going to be doing a seaweed tea in the next few weeks for the first time.
@Nicknjh23, @KurtP: Do you guys submerge the pot, foliar feed, or just water the tree with it? Would love to know!
I just water it in. I’m sure different brands have different dilutions. I use 50mm In 10 litres of water. Others have mentioned the smell, it only smells for a short while and the benefits far outweigh the short smelliness. It really helps with micro bacterial activity in our soils. Give it a go. It’s not expensive and I believe you will agree that the results are great. While I’m here. I repotted a Sabina Juniper 5 weeks ago, over here in Europe these are know for being a little touchy about re potting. I followed some sound advice from Ryan and did not bare root as many do here in Spain. I watered in with Rhizotonic (canna). Three times. The tree has not even missed a beat. It’s showing great colour and is now growing again. I’m not sure if I can attribute it all to the Rhizotonic but it’s something I’ll be using again with the more touchy species at re potting time.
Added info to my above post…
@Nicknjh23 , was probably the NOT bare rooting that was mostly healpfull… I will have to look at Rhizotonic ingreadents…!
I am having better results with new trees and touchy species by not bare rooting. Probably , especially evergreens, due to the microbiom retention. Even decideous trees, I throw a handfull of old soil back into the mix. I had a truffel growing in a small oak forest once… I went went out and collected Ponderosa micrroriza for my trees… They are doing great!
That link you shared has Superthrive as an ingredient. I’ve never found anything to tell me that Superthrive is any good at all for anything good with plants. I’d love to find a study that says it’s anything of use, but I cannot find anything to that effect.
The fact that there are no studies showing it’s effectiveness is a huge reason why I didn’t use it in my own mix. I’ve never tried it, but the lack of any non-anecdotal evidence makes it a no-go for me. Maybe it does work, but it screams too much of “snake oil” to convince me.
I’m wondering if HB-101 is another product in that class. I bought a small bottle of it at a big price. I’m going to apply it to basil, rosemary, and dwarf kumquat (Fortunella hindsii). Mostly because I like to grow herbs and I have a pile of F. hindsii seeds. The last time I did this experiment, I did it with basil. Adding Superthrive to my watering resulted in stunted plans compared to plants without Superthrive. I wonder with HB-101 will do?
I’m hesitant to use the F. hindsii for an experiment. I did a mid-August, full-sun, transplanting of F. hindsii from potting soil to bonsai soil. After repotting, I soaked populations of the trees in a variety of solutions. For a control, one population was soaked in untreated water. I was hoping the control group would die. Nothing died. Everything thrived. All I proved is that you can transplant F. hinsii in the middle of August if you soak it for 15 minutes.
I just did some shopping around for a pellet maker for fertilizer. Too damned expensive. Nevermind.