Liquid Fertilizer Schedule

Hi everyone, I’m making a transition from solid fertilizer to liquid this year after dealing with pests attracted to the pellets I was using. I’ve already noticed slower growth across the board on all my trees and I’m starting to think the once a week schedule I’ve been keeping isn’t cutting it. The instructions for the fertilizers I’m using (Botanicare Pure Blend Pro Grow / Neptune’s Bounty) say to apply them once a week, but I’m guessing they are calibrated for substrates other than akadama/pumice/lava rock.

What kind of schedules are you keeping and are there any gotchas I’m missing here with liquid fertilizers?

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Here is my recipe, as much in foliar as in soils, in fact I spray everywhere once a week (except in July), with an alternation between marine minerals and hydrolyzate:

  • 80 ml of compost tea concentrate (EM activated)
  • 150 ml of marine minerals
  • 20 ml liquid kelp
  • 5 ml of powdered Humic Acids
  • 250 ml of fish hydrolyzate
  • 80 ml molasses
  • 15 liters of water

I also use dry manure from soldier fly larvae, once a month, between 1 and 3 tablespoons on the surface.

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Thanks for the detailed breakdown. I like the idea of adding in some foliar feeding and a bit of solid feed here and there. Are you using all inorganic substrates as well?

In my region, plant growth begins in mid-May until the end of August / beginning of September, which is very short. I find it very ineffective to just rely on fertilizers like Biogold. Indeed, a whole series of organisms must transform these fertilizers and make them available for the tree. These too long, so a mix between foliar and soil application saves time.
My classic blend contains 5% pine bark / coconut bark.

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Funnily enough, a similar discussion is happening in many places and languages right now.

In my region, plant growth can start anywhere between February and April depending on the year and will end between October and November. This year is an outlier with summer-like temperatures and limited rain since late February.

For my trees that are still in development, I’m using both solid and liquid fertilizers.
Maruta tamahi
Cheap liquid organic
Liquid mineral
Humic acid
Fish/kelp hydrolysate

I did try humic/fish/kelp as a foliar feed but I was less than happy with the results. I may try again at some point in the future, possibly just the fish/kelp.

In the past, when I was using stinkier solid organics, I would also throw a pinch of a soil amendment to neutralize the smell (powdered humic acid and basalt meal). I no longer need to neutralize the smell, so I’m simply alternating rain water and tap water to give the trees some calcium.

As I haven’t assembled my compost brewer yet, I haven’t started compost tea application but that’s going to happen before next year.

oh and @Shany is also in the discussion in another language :wink:

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I also have an issue with pests (foxes) and solid organic fertiliser. So I use liquid organic instead, where I essentially just steep the same solid pellets in bottles of rainwater for a week prior to use and then dilute the concentrate accordingly. I follow Biogold’s directions on the back of the packet for this method.

Another reason I prefer liquid is that to keep the solid fertiliser damp enough for them to break down (in my south-facing garden) would mean watering my trees more than they required, I think.

In the growing season I alternate weeks:

Week 1: “Liquified” Biogold (or similar), as described above + VitaLink liquid Fulvic acid

Week 2: Fish hydrolysate + Seaweed + Liquid Humic acid

Sometimes I add Liquid Mycorrhizae and occasionally Chempak Trace Elements, since I water with rainwater or RO.

Interesting. Hopefully this is the more interesting thread.

Ralph, I like the idea of just liquifying the biogold. I was pretty happy with the growth it produced overall, just not the bugs that were attracted to it.

Hello @Shany,

a question on your dosage. Are these the recommended dosages of the respective application for a weekly usage or did you deviate from those for your “formula”?

Thank you

Hello Antelion
The dosage for traditional culture is 15 liters per 1000 square feet once a month. For weekly use, it is recommended to divide the concentrations by four. However, bonsai soil retains much less nutrients, so I don’t dilute it. Each week it is 7 liters of foliar and 7 liters of soil. My trees are under cultivation so I want it to grow strong.

I started this routine at the end of last summer. The spring growth is remarkable, especially on my oaks.

I know that liquid kelp is very rich in auxin and I am curious to do a little experiment. I think of using it alone in foliar application, on the base branches and weaker to see if it encourages their growth.

I thought it was cytokinin which seaweed provided/promoted (and the associated growth habits), no?

@Shany have you noticed any benefits of the molasses?

Interesting! liquid kelp also contains a lot of this hormone, I will test on some trees to see if it influences growth.

There are two advantages to using molasses. First, as a foliar, the fertilizer sticks better to the leaves. Second, you’re going to laugh, but the scent of molasses hides the other scents. It floats in the air a sweet sweet fragrance for 2 days after spreading.

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