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A garden is only as good as the ground that it's planted in. Discussion forum for the many ways to improve the soil where we plant our gardens.

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Old March 30, 2016   #61
Worth1
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Originally Posted by sjamesNorway View Post
I wonder if somebody could explain to me why "compost isn't a fertilizer"? I'd like to know where all the nutrients from all that vegetable-matter are going. When a whole years waste becomes maybe 4 square feet of finished compost, there must be an accumulation of nutrients.

Steve
I hope you read the link Pure Harvest put up it explains some of it but not all or at least the part I read.

Plus I am not a big fan of hot composting.
In another video I think PureHarvest put up it talks about this too.
I have been doing what that guy said to do for years at least for me as common sense.
When I buy plants for my place I first look the plant up and see what its natural habitat is.
If I can duplicate it I will buy it if not I more than likely wont.
Oddly enough caladiums grow very well here as my soil is very much like the soils it grows in, in south America naturally I just have to add water.
I can assure you they dont need well drained soil like the adds say.
This is just a catch word that people dont understand what they have for soil.
Then there is the difference between holding water and retaining water.
Sand will hold water and keep it from evaporating.
Clay soils can retain more water but do a poor job of holding it to keep it from evaporating.

The other day I had a good talk with a woman about compost.
She is always asking how i get my plants to do so well,
I tell her I fertilize them.
She says well I do too.
With what as I already knew.
I put compost on top of the containers.
I tell her compost isn't fertilizer.
That isn't what the Master Gardener I know is telling me.

Well I dont know what to say but she ios wrong or you are not getting all of the information she is giving you.
What do you mean?
Is she saying composted chicken manure or composted leaves table scraps and leaves.
Just compost.
Well then do some research on line at university websites or other good places.
Because if you want to know how I am doing this just fertilize that is all you need.
She like so many other people go out and buy potting soil more than likely the cheapest they can get add compost and more or less sit back and wait for nothing to happen depending on the plant.




Quote:
Originally Posted by PureHarvest View Post
I looked at the link and I have but one thing to say.
The part about the planting hole.
So many places say to do exactly what the folks in the link say not to do.

The so called 20 dollar hole for the 10 dollar plant.
I dont agree with this.

I am not going to go out and dig a darn hole 3 times the size of the plant, put the plant in and fill it with expensive soil unless the soil is really really bad.
If that is the case then I am not going to put a plant that cant live in that soil.
In my opinion and that of other accredited folks all you are doing is digging a big container.
If the tree cant live in the soil you have then dont plant the tree.
I have what you would call semi well drained soil.
It doesn't hold water over night and all the next day like some places do.
I can dig a hole and the water will drain away in and hour or so at the very most even after the ground is soaked.
Since I am on the tree planting thing I also dont follow the instructions and put up guy wires to hold the tree up.
All this does is make a skinny trunk.
But is done on larger trees when transplanting until they can establish a root system.
When we did this we would come back about a year later and take the supports down.

Worth
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Old March 30, 2016   #62
PureHarvest
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You mean this guy's take on leaves and compost?:

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=n9OhxKlrWwc

Nature doesn't build alternating layers of green and brown or turn piles.
It just layers things over time to keep the ground covered/protected year-round.
The worms and microbes take care of the rest.

Last edited by PureHarvest; March 30, 2016 at 02:52 PM.
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Old March 30, 2016   #63
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And right on regarding tree staking and doing the super big and amended planting hole.
I always told customers they were, in effect, creating a container in the earth.
I will say that I like to throw a few big handfuls of leaf compost onto the soil pile that I will backfill into the hole for shrubs and perennials.
I feel like it is a chance to inoculate the area with microbes and a some foodstuffs for them and the native microbes to feed and grow off of.
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Old April 30, 2016   #64
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Originally Posted by My Foot Smells View Post
Nice articles and like the organic application of the meal. Will use on my azalea bushes as well, they have been in need. Always pretty motivated as season begins, but then the heat gets me. Thanks for the advice, cheers to a good year - now if the weather will cooperate.

Got the plant tone for 45.00 for 50# w/ free ship, no tax through jet.com w/ a 15% coupon. That should get me through the year.
What time of year do you feed your azaleas?
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Old April 30, 2016   #65
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If I may, I would tell you to feed shrubs and perennials right before their active growth stage, i.e. Spring. And then at 1/2 the rate for spring in early fall.
For example, if my azalea blooms in late April I'd be feeding it in March so it has time to get into the soil from rain and have time for microbes and chemistry to do the work of making the nutrients available. I pretty much feed all my shrubs and perennials in March which is also when I cut them all back (unless it is a spring blooming shrub) while they are still dormant or without new growth yet. Other examples would be roses, crape myrtles, spiraea, abelia, hydrangea paniculata etc.
If you are not using organic based ferts, you might put it on a little later because it is immediately soluble and could be gone before the plant can use it all.
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Old May 3, 2016   #66
My Foot Smells
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Yes, I fed them in march with the csm and some fresh compost. they were just budding out. however, I think that "juiced" them or something, as the flowering stage was very short before they fell off or maybe it was the weather. flowers barely made it through the masters. however, they are lush and green with lots of new growth and more full than previous years.

but that has me thinking might be better to fert in summer or fall after blooming.

when is the best time? IDK.
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Old May 3, 2016   #67
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Originally Posted by Worth1 View Post
I hope you read the link Pure Harvest put up it explains some of it but not all or at least the part I read.

Plus I am not a big fan of hot composting.
In another video I think PureHarvest put up it talks about this too.
I have been doing what that guy said to do for years at least for me as common sense.
When I buy plants for my place I first look the plant up and see what its natural habitat is.
If I can duplicate it I will buy it if not I more than likely wont.
Oddly enough caladiums grow very well here as my soil is very much like the soils it grows in, in south America naturally I just have to add water.
I can assure you they dont need well drained soil like the adds say.
This is just a catch word that people dont understand what they have for soil.
Then there is the difference between holding water and retaining water.
Sand will hold water and keep it from evaporating.
Clay soils can retain more water but do a poor job of holding it to keep it from evaporating.

The other day I had a good talk with a woman about compost.
She is always asking how i get my plants to do so well,
I tell her I fertilize them.
She says well I do too.
With what as I already knew.
I put compost on top of the containers.
I tell her compost isn't fertilizer.
That isn't what the Master Gardener I know is telling me.

Well I dont know what to say but she ios wrong or you are not getting all of the information she is giving you.
What do you mean?
Is she saying composted chicken manure or composted leaves table scraps and leaves.
Just compost.
Well then do some research on line at university websites or other good places.
Because if you want to know how I am doing this just fertilize that is all you need.
She like so many other people go out and buy potting soil more than likely the cheapest they can get add compost and more or less sit back and wait for nothing to happen depending on the plant.






I looked at the link and I have but one thing to say.
The part about the planting hole.
So many places say to do exactly what the folks in the link say not to do.

The so called 20 dollar hole for the 10 dollar plant.
I dont agree with this.

I am not going to go out and dig a darn hole 3 times the size of the plant, put the plant in and fill it with expensive soil unless the soil is really really bad.
If that is the case then I am not going to put a plant that cant live in that soil.
In my opinion and that of other accredited folks all you are doing is digging a big container.
If the tree cant live in the soil you have then dont plant the tree.
I have what you would call semi well drained soil.
It doesn't hold water over night and all the next day like some places do.
I can dig a hole and the water will drain away in and hour or so at the very most even after the ground is soaked.
Since I am on the tree planting thing I also dont follow the instructions and put up guy wires to hold the tree up.
All this does is make a skinny trunk.
But is done on larger trees when transplanting until they can establish a root system.
When we did this we would come back about a year later and take the supports down.

Worth
I'm a big proponent for hot composting, more so for making my compost teas.. The problem that some people don't realize is as mentioned, compost is NOT a fertilizer.. It's simply an excellent source of inoculated organic matter; good for increasing cation exchange capacity, water holding capacity, improving soil texture and structure etc.. Of course NPK's vary (I throw A LOT of kitchen waste in mine - banana peels, lettuce, spinach, broccoli, watermelon, asparagus, onions etc), so it's hard to compare a compost made of strictly clippings and leaves, to one made with highly nutritious scraps; still, not a fertilizer. To expect nutrient requirements to be met with compost is unrealistic, and slightly ignorant lol (on the part of the "master gardener").

Just wanted to weigh in on the CSM myself.. I personally avoid it due to the pesticide residues and genetic modification.. Here's a quote from "Teaming with Nutrients," an excellent book backed by Elaine Ingram (the pioneer of the soil food web): "The downside to cottonseed meal is that cotton growers usually use tremendous amounts of pesticides, and these residues can be found in this fertilizer product. Therefore, it is best not to use cottonseed meal on vegetables and fruit crops. There is also the issue of cotton being a genetically modified organism (GMO). This is one crop that may be glyphosate-ready and would not be considered organic."

I'm going with soybean meal this year as my N source; I slightly tweaked a homemade recipe from "Teaming with Nutrients":
4 parts soybean meal
1 part kelp meal
3/4 part bone meal
1/3 part dolomitic lime
1/3 part calcitic lime
1/3 part sul-po-mag
Few teaspoons Azomite

I should mention that soybeans are another genetically modified crop, but I was able to locate an organic, GMO free source.. We're all going to use what we find best for our particular situation, but there's no reason not to consider every fact available to us on our journey. I've recently done a few comparisons under the microscope between pure and mineral salt (synthetic fertilizer) adulterated compost teas. The resulting osmotic shock is a sight to see, as >90% of the life come to a hault within 5 minutes or so.. I'll make a thread with the videos soon. It has finally arrived, a wonderful season to all!!
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Old May 3, 2016   #68
Tracydr
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PureHarvest View Post
If I may, I would tell you to feed shrubs and perennials right before their active growth stage, i.e. Spring. And then at 1/2 the rate for spring in early fall.
For example, if my azalea blooms in late April I'd be feeding it in March so it has time to get into the soil from rain and have time for microbes and chemistry to do the work of making the nutrients available. I pretty much feed all my shrubs and perennials in March which is also when I cut them all back (unless it is a spring blooming shrub) while they are still dormant or without new growth yet. Other examples would be roses, crape myrtles, spiraea, abelia, hydrangea paniculata etc.
If you are not using organic based ferts, you might put it on a little later because it is immediately soluble and could be gone before the plant can use it all.
Thanks! I have some hungry azaleas,crepe myrtles,camellias and tons of other blooming shrubs. Hundreds,probably! I'm pretty sure they haven't been fed since the late 1980s when the original owners of my place moved.
I will take a day to fertilize everyone soon, after my garden gets planted.
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