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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 June 12, 2015   #1
zeroma
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Default want organic Fertilizer advise

I'm looking to replace the usual synthetic balanced 10-10-10 for a 5-10-10 in an organic mix/blend my own.

Oh, and in a powder granular dry preparation so we can side dress our plants when they start to blossom. We have a major water pressure problem and mixing a liquid and using hand held sprinkling cans is a real time pig.

We did have a powdered fish fertilizer at one point but the bag go beat up so it was dumped into a bucket. I have not idea what the NPK of it is anymore. or the brand name.

Any comments appreciated

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Old June 12, 2015   #2
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I have some advice.
Contrary to popular belief I feel you would be better off using Plant Tone it is 5-3-3.
You need more nitrogen than you do the others as the plant uses more of it.
This is my first year using it and it has done wonders.

The other is a question.
Are you sure it isn't a flow problem and not pressure with your water.
And are you on a well?

I would be happy to help you with this.
Put a gauge on your faucet and see what the pressure is with the water turned off.
This is called static pressure.

Worth
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Old June 12, 2015   #3
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Thanks Worth1.

I was following the advise of what to use for a side dressing for veggies when they just begin the flowering stages to get the best fruit production.

And yes, it is a pressure problem - not on well - the Civil engineers used the wrong size pipe when they installed the faucet at the air base garden. We are working on getting it corrected but it is 'fun' dealing with the Federal Government sometimes. Work orders are requested and now we wait and haul water! but thanks for the offered help. I'll pass your advise along to our people though.

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Old June 12, 2015   #4
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If it helps at all, I have some Menhaden fish meal, the label of which reads 7-3-1. I was advised to use some Cal-Mag with it and that is 0-0-22 (I put a tablespoon of fish meal and half a tablespoon of Cal-Mag in the planting hole).

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Old June 14, 2015   #5
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Originally Posted by zeroma View Post
Thanks Worth1.

I was following the advise of what to use for a side dressing for veggies when they just begin the flowering stages to get the best fruit production.

And yes, it is a pressure problem - not on well - the Civil engineers used the wrong size pipe when they installed the faucet at the air base garden. We are working on getting it corrected but it is 'fun' dealing with the Federal Government sometimes. Work orders are requested and now we wait and haul water! but thanks for the offered help. I'll pass your advise along to our people though.

Zeroma
You can increase water pressure by changing the diameter of your hose. Doing so will give you more head pressure. I only know this because I was troubleshooting a pressure problem in an aero rig I was building and I learned about the Bernoulli's equation.

Here's a good professor explaining it.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GdkKkOqnqvw

The gist of it is that you lose pressure with elevation and you lose pressure with a smaller diameter of pipe.

You can also lose pressure through friction also if you have too many elbows in your pipe. Elbows do a lot to reduce flow. Either way, you can improve it significantly by increasing the diameter.
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Old June 14, 2015   #6
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I am super duper interested in this question as well.
I'm learning by using synthetic 10-10-10, there will be a salt buildup in my containers over time that I won't be able to flush out. So it would be in my interest to use an organic so I'm not rendering my potting mix unusable after a couple of season.

Worth, plant-tone eh? I tried gardentone before and it did very little... meaning I got the feeling it wasn't robust enough...

Also, if I only water using a sub-irrigated method, I wonder if the potting mix will be as 'laden' with salt as if people were top watering...
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Old June 14, 2015   #7
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You can increase water pressure by changing the diameter of your hose. Doing so will give you more head pressure. I only know this because I was troubleshooting a pressure problem in an aero rig I was building and I learned about the Bernoulli's equation.

Here's a good professor explaining it.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GdkKkOqnqvw

The gist of it is that you lose pressure with elevation and you lose pressure with a smaller diameter of pipe.

You can also lose pressure through friction also if you have too many elbows in your pipe. Elbows do a lot to reduce flow. Either way, you can improve it significantly by increasing the diameter.
Hydro you kind of have your terminology mixed up.
Head pressure is pressure created by elevation.
In other words for every 10 feet of elevation you will get an increase of around 4.3 psi.
You cannot get more static pressure from a larger hose what you do get is less friction loss.
Smaller pipe and fittings as you said cause friction loss all fittings have what they call a K factor.
What this does is cause friction loss reducing what the they call residual pressure and gallons per minute.
But once the flow is turned off the static pressure will always be the same.
Velocity in pipe is what causes this friction loss.
The higher the velocity the more friction loss.

But everything you said is true the bigger the diameter the better off you are
except for a few things that you may install in your system.

I asked the question here and was told the folks that put in the water lines used too small pipe at the garden.
If that is a very long run of pipe there is little anyone can do about it except the folks that put it in.

There is a member here that was told that 3/4 pipe over 1000 feet long was what they needed to their house.
They have 55 psi static pressure but no flow due to the extremely long run of 3/4.

I just want to add that the only reason people put smaller pipe in a house water system, irrigation or fire protection system is to save money.
For the most part very little money.


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Old June 14, 2015   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by luigiwu View Post
I am super duper interested in this question as well.
I'm learning by using synthetic 10-10-10, there will be a salt buildup in my containers over time that I won't be able to flush out. So it would be in my interest to use an organic so I'm not rendering my potting mix unusable after a couple of season.

Worth, plant-tone eh? I tried gardentone before and it did very little... meaning I got the feeling it wasn't robust enough...

Also, if I only water using a sub-irrigated method, I wonder if the potting mix will be as 'laden' with salt as if people were top watering...
You would think you could flush out the salts in a container.
I have also found I can get away with using more of the plant tone than I could with 13-13-13.

I have no idea how much of anything I use I just spread it and see what happens.
If it doesn't burn and it starts to do good I stop there.
I would guess I just eyeball it.

Worth
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Old June 14, 2015   #9
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this might be worth a try ...... Gaia 4-4-4 works for me - bought their 10kg bag this year....

https://www.westcoastseeds.com/artic...tilizer-blend/

Mix big batches of this organic fertilizer blend because most of the raw ingredients are only available in bulk sizes.
4 parts seed meal (i.e. flax or cottonseed)
1 part rock phosphate OR 1/2 part bone meal
1 part lime
1/2 part kelp meal
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Old June 14, 2015   #10
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I called it head pressure because I was talking with someone at work about how I never knew this and he said "yeah, you get more head pressure from that". That's why the terminology is wrong but the physics is right. I learned the physics from a college lecture on youtube and I learned the terminology from my boss. I looked up the term head pressure and it is exactly what you're describing.

When you're saying pressure increases with elevation I think we're talking about 2 different things. I'm talking the elevation impact on pressure (Bernouli's equation). Higher elevation makes less pressure in that case.

Regardless, increasing the diameter of a pipe does increase pressure. It also reduces friction. That's why I linked the video on Bernouli's equation. It's counterintuitive but very helpful. In this case I think it will help. I can tell you that over a short run of pipe it sputters a bit while it's filling the larger diameter pipe but then you absolutely get more pressure. According to the Bernouli equation this occurs because velocity decreases and when velocity decreases pressure increases.

If I understand the equation right, the length of a run at any diameter is not relevant to pressure beyond friction loss.
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Old June 14, 2015   #11
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I called it head pressure because I was talking with someone at work about how I never knew this and he said "yeah, you get more head pressure from that". That's why the terminology is wrong but the physics is right. I learned the physics from a college lecture on youtube and I learned the terminology from my boss. I looked up the term head pressure and it is exactly what you're describing.

When you're saying pressure increases with elevation I think we're talking about 2 different things. I'm talking the elevation impact on pressure (Bernouli's equation). Higher elevation makes less pressure in that case.

Regardless, increasing the diameter of a pipe does increase pressure. It also reduces friction. That's why I linked the video on Bernouli's equation. It's counterintuitive but very helpful. In this case I think it will help. I can tell you that over a short run of pipe it sputters a bit while it's filling the larger diameter pipe but then you absolutely get more pressure. According to the Bernouli equation this occurs because velocity decreases and when velocity decreases pressure increases.

If I understand the equation right, the length of a run at any diameter is not relevant to pressure beyond friction loss.
You are correct.

The guy kind of rattled along with the video and didn't explain all of it.
When I say static pressure I mean water at a stand still.
Where elevation comes in handy is to increase pressure.

Lets sat we have a water tower 200 feet in the air.
That would be 20 X 4.33 = 86.6 psi at the house right next the the tower.

Then if the elevation dropped another 100 feet you would have to add another 43.3 psi which would equal 129.9 psi
If you then went back up a hill 200 feet you would have to subtract 86.6 which would = 43.3 psi.
If the hoiuse with 43.3 psi was on one side a hill 50 feet high and another one on the other side of the hill at the same elevation then you would lose nothing due to what they call the siphon effect.

The city water people have to put lift pumps and pressure reducing valves all over a hilly town to try and keep the pressure at at least 30 psi and no more than 70 psi for the most part.

Then they have to calculate the amount of water flow so they dont get friction loss from all of the water being used.

This is where the pipe size comes in.
I have 50 psi with 10 gpm flow at my house at the water faucet outside.
The reason for this is the morons put over 100 feet of 3/4 copper line to my house.
At the meter it is 23 gpm.
When I put my sprinkler system in I ran a main 1 1/2 line to my house to feed my system.
At no place in my system is the pipe under 1 inch.

Then I got the information on the sprinkler heads I was going to use and found out what the psi drop was and the gpm it took at 30 psi and designed it around those perimeters and backed off a head.
With the pipe size I used I didn't even have to calculate pipe size or fittings.

The whole neighborhood was watching me do this and I didn't want to make a fool out of myself.
I ran around 1000 feet of pipe in my yard and dug all of the trenches by myself.
I fought a root and a rock every foot of the way.
I calculated in my head I would have 30 to 35 psi pressure with 2 zones running and that is exactly what I have.

And I still have great water pressure in my house with it running.

Worth
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Old June 14, 2015   #12
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Zeroma sorry for the babble about water pressure but you may get something out of it too.

As for the fertilizer I use I have been using a product called Ladybug liquid fertilizer as a spray on and the plant tone to just toss on the soil.
The ladybug johns recipe is 3-1.5-2.
It seems to be all the rage with the garden hippies here in Austin.
This is my first year using nothing but organic fertilizers and I love it so far.

Worth
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Old June 16, 2015   #13
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I've had excellent results with the three more known "tones" - Tomato, Garden and Plant.. used individually of course.. But I usually use them at half strength and add some compost, castings, kelp meal and finally greensand (excellent for improving soil structure) for the added K.. With the water pressure issues aside, don't write off the wonderful benefits of intermittent compost tea drenches and foliar sprays .. Welcome to the wonderful world of organics.. Leave the salts for the tomatoes!
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Old June 16, 2015   #14
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I've had excellent results with the three more known "tones" - Tomato, Garden and Plant.. used individually of course.. But I usually use them at half strength and add some compost, castings, kelp meal and finally greensand (excellent for improving soil structure) for the added K.. With the water pressure issues aside, don't write off the wonderful benefits of intermittent compost tea drenches and foliar sprays .. Welcome to the wonderful world of organics.. Leave the salts for the tomatoes!
Nothing wrong with that.

I've never fertilized any of my outdoor plants and I've had great years. I had really good results until the tree in the back yard completely shaded my garden and I moved everything to the front yard (2014). I had to rebuild the soil there. It had been tilled so it was compacted with no life in it and it simply couldn't sustain plants. That took 1 year to fix.

The absolute best soil amendment I have found is leaf compost. I've taken starving plants in hard clay, plopped down some leaf compost around them and they perk right up. Comfrey leaves also help a lot when a plant is in the veg phase.

I am going to add horse manure for the first time because I found a source for it and I have a spot where I put wood chips below grade so it's really nitrogen deficient. It's much easier for me to get leaf compost and there are a lot more good things in leaf compost.

I agree completely on compost teas. My worm farm was a big part of my success. My mother in law talked me into moving it to the basement and all my worms died, so I'm rebuilding that now. My plants are getting devoured by bugs this year and I think the lack of vermicompost tea is the reason.
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Old June 17, 2015   #15
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Nothing wrong with that.

I've never fertilized any of my outdoor plants and I've had great years. I had really good results until the tree in the back yard completely shaded my garden and I moved everything to the front yard (2014). I had to rebuild the soil there. It had been tilled so it was compacted with no life in it and it simply couldn't sustain plants. That took 1 year to fix.

The absolute best soil amendment I have found is leaf compost. I've taken starving plants in hard clay, plopped down some leaf compost around them and they perk right up. Comfrey leaves also help a lot when a plant is in the veg phase.

I am going to add horse manure for the first time because I found a source for it and I have a spot where I put wood chips below grade so it's really nitrogen deficient. It's much easier for me to get leaf compost and there are a lot more good things in leaf compost.

I agree completely on compost teas. My worm farm was a big part of my success. My mother in law talked me into moving it to the basement and all my worms died, so I'm rebuilding that now. My plants are getting devoured by bugs this year and I think the lack of vermicompost tea is the reason.
Yea I use a lot of leaf mulch myself, but I shred and blend it with grass clippings to promote bacterial dominance in the soil (veggies prefer nitrates rather than ammonium)..

Ya know, I've been reading about Russian Comfrey (Bocking 14 cultivar) and I've been mulling over whether or not to plant some.. I just need to find an acceptable spot in the yard because I know that once you plant it, it's there for good lol..

I occasionally throw some castings in when brewing a tea to further increase diversity, but haven't gotten into vermicomposting just yet.. in time I'm sure I will.. To the great discomfort of the Mrs of course lol . .
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