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Old July 11, 2018   #46
IronPete
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Ginger I have a question (or 11) about your post on 1 teaspoon calcium nitrate and 1/3 teaspoon epsom salts weekly... is that per plant? Mixed with how much water? What are the epsom salts for?

I have been learning more about fertilizers in my containers but still have problems understanding it all. One year I used 20-20-20 blue stuff. My plants were 15' tall but never flowered. Now I start with 10-15-10 but have moved to15-15-30. But what is the difference between that and say 18-18-21 (I have a Miracle Grow with that mix) or say my Shultz 4-5-8???

I am still confused but the plants look great. We have a short season so not much room for error. Our last frost this year was June 15th...

Any help is appreciated. Most of my toms are in 5 gallon pails (19 litres here... metric always sound so much bigger, lol!). My peppers are in 9" pots.

Thanks, Pete in PEI Canada ��
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Old July 11, 2018   #47
ginger2778
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Originally Posted by IronPete View Post
Ginger I have a question (or 11) about your post on 1 teaspoon calcium nitrate and 1/3 teaspoon epsom salts weekly... is that per plant? Mixed with how much water? What are the epsom salts for?

I have been learning more about fertilizers in my containers but still have problems understanding it all. One year I used 20-20-20 blue stuff. My plants were 15' tall but never flowered. Now I start with 10-15-10 but have moved to15-15-30. But what is the difference between that and say 18-18-21 (I have a Miracle Grow with that mix) or say my Shultz 4-5-8???

I am still confused but the plants look great. We have a short season so not much room for error. Our last frost this year was June 15th...

Any help is appreciated. Most of my toms are in 5 gallon pails (19 litres here... metric always sound so much bigger, lol!). My peppers are in 9" pots.

Thanks, Pete in PEI Canada ��
That is per earthbox, with 2 plants snd a 3 gallon reservoir.
I think you need to learn about what role N, what role P, and what role K play in a plant's development, flowering, and root formation. You want a low nitrogen once it starts flowering, a slightly higher phosphorus, and about twice as high Potassium as Nitrogen. 4-6-8 for example.
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Old July 12, 2018   #48
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Now I start with 10-15-10 but have moved to15-15-30. But what is the difference between that and say 18-18-21 (I have a Miracle Grow with that mix) or say my Shultz 4-5-8???
The 15-15-30 sounds pretty good once the fruit have formed. Differences are concentration, obviously, and ratios, but also what microelements and how much and in what form (crucial in no-soil), the type of nitrogen and ratio (NO3-NH4), and other elements that are not mentioned (like how much is in sulfate form?, sulfur is never mentioned even though it is there for sure).
Organics have all sorts of microelements and also a good amount of calcium (especially chicken), but it's never mentioned how much.
Calcium is important depending on your watering water and if you don't add it it will be problematic for taste first.
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Old July 18, 2018   #49
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I have been using some processed chicken poop, earthworm castings and Neptune Fish and Seaweed liquid fertilizer on my tomato plants at a rented plot in a Chicago suberb. I have some tomatoes and flowers at the top of the plants. I have been fertilizing every two weeks or so up to this point, switching products. Somebody said I need to lighten up on the nitrogen at this point. Should I switch to a product like Tomato Tone, and, if so, how often should I fertilize? Signed, Baffled and Very Humbly Yours.
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Old October 4, 2018   #50
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Not to mention the Tones have higher arsenic & heavy metals than many water soluble non-organics, some over 20x as much, regardless of how minute the amounts are.
I really consider this a misrepresentation of the data. Particularly when you imply the amounts, though minute, should still be concerning and then show the scary face.
The arsenic level in Plantex 10-52-10 : 1 part per million (agr.wa.gov)
The arsenic level In Espoma Garden Tone: 3 parts per million (agr.wa.gov)
Cadium is considered more of a concern than arsenic in fertilizers according to agr.wa.gov:
(
https://agr.wa.gov/pestfert/Publications/docs/2002MetalsUptakeStudy.pdf)

The cadium level in Plantex 10-52-10: .63 ppm
The cadium level in Espoma Garden tone: <1.000
The “<” symbol indicates that the metal was not found at or above the minimum detection limit. So cadium level is higher in Plantex.
Cobalt, mercury, molybdenum, nickel, and lead are also not detected above the minimum detection in GardenTone but these metals are found in Plantex!!! (just trying to show how information can be misleading and misinterpreted--the scary face
doesn't belong at all as there are not significant levels of metals in either Plantex or GardenTone!
So it is perfectly safe to use either.
You could look up many many fertilizers ( particularly those with micronutrients or rock based phosphorus or recycled waste) and see varying PARTS PER MILLION levels of heavy metals but they are still considered safe to use. Rate of application and plant uptake also plays a role. Government regulation though not popular at least monitors some of these fertilizer concerns. (at least it does in the state of Washington)
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Last edited by MsCowpea; October 4, 2018 at 06:12 PM.
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Old October 4, 2018   #51
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DocBrock,
I did a little experiment several years back. Tomatoes in organically fertilized earthbox tasted WAY BETTER than tomatoes in a synthetically fertilized earthbox. The difference wasn’t subtle but very pronounced and easy to detect in a blind taste test.

I was surprised as I had accepted conventional wisdom for decades that a plant doesn’t know if you use synthetic or organic fertilizer. This may be true but the implication was also that flavor or taste is not impacted but I actually no longer believe this to be true. (At least in my self watering containers using the inputs that I used. In hydroponics they make a great effort to use the ideal amounts of nutrients to hopefully produce a good tasting but high yielding product.)

Over a long season the fertilizer in an earthbox does peter out so I understand the popularity of supplementing with ‘the snack’ (calcium nitrate).
That combined with an organic fertilizer (like a TomatoTone) would seem to be combining the best of both worlds. I Haven’t tried ‘snack’ yet. Like you I would still like to find the ideal liquid organic fertilizer to supplement earthboxes and other containers so I am once again experimenting with different inputs this season. Will let you know if anything stands out.
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