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Old May 6, 2013   #61
eatmoreyeah
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Originally Posted by Urbanfarmer View Post
Charles......as a manufacturer, our directions for use are always ballpark. We can't know the specifics of someone's rootzone or water situation, so we err on the side of caution.

This reply is in reference to your containers, to help you dial-in your feeding frequency. If you notice on the backside description (upper RH block), it says TTF is designed as a "continuous feed" nutrient for containers. I want to qualify that.

This is true if your container mix is inert, that is.....a soilless medium without any existing NPK in it. When using this kind of medium, you can use TTF continuously as long as you overwater each time by 10-15%. In this situation you are essentially practicing "manual hydroponics", so that is where our fertilizers will really shine, because they originated as "continuous feed" hydroponic formulas.

However, if you have added nutrients/compost/manure/etc to your mix, that means there is a varying degree of NPK already in the rootzone. In this situation we recommend feeding every 2nd or 3rd watering. Watch your plants. Ultimately you have to let your eyes tell you when to give them a "shot".

In soil, the general rule is feed every 3rd watering, but this is negotiable. It is difficult to over-fertilize with our nutrients, so you can get away with "pushing" your soil plants with 2-3 shots in a row. But then back off to pure water for 2-3 waterings.

We find that this is the best way to figure out the right frequency: "push" with multiple "shots", and then back off. You'll see a very clear response inside of 5-7 days.

We call this method "riding the wave", especially in hydroponics and container gardening. This means......we "push", find that sweet spot, and then keep them on that edge. This is how we maximize performance. Tomato plants like being "driven". They are like thoroughbreds.....give them the juice, and they will run.

Feel free to call anytime if you have a question. Much appreciated......
Thanks for the heads up. I forgot to mention that I was only going to fertilizer the container tomatoes today. They're in 10 gallon grow bags and have Metro Mix as the potting medium. They are all setting fruit and should have some ripe tomatoes possibly for Mother's Day. So they need the extra boost. I also water then well and especially well the last few days considering the amount of sunshine and strong winds wicking moisture away.

Like a few of the other posters in this thread I was looking for a soluble fertilizer with micro/macro nutrients and trace minerals to supplement not only my tomatoes but other crops as well. I too mulch heavily and with growing so many tomatoes it's very convenient to be able to feed them with a soil drench.
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Old May 6, 2013   #62
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I ordered a quart from your site and will give it a shot!
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Old May 7, 2013   #63
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Is there a recommended dose for tomatoes that are at the seedling stage, say 6 to 8 inches tall. I want to fertilize them now. Plan on planting out later in the month. I would guess I am not to use full strength, but just how strong??? Thanks!
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Old May 7, 2013   #64
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Is there a recommended dose for tomatoes that are at the seedling stage, say 6 to 8 inches tall. I want to fertilize them now. Plan on planting out later in the month. I would guess I am not to use full strength, but just how strong??? Thanks!
Hi.....at this stage, feed every watering at 1/2 tbls per gallon of water. If you slip and it ends up being 75% of full-strength, don't worry. We have fed seedlings even full strength with no problems.

Full strength=1 tbls/gallon. All Purpose Veg would be a better choice prior to fruit set because of the higher N, but Texas Tomato will work almost as well in the early stage.

Best regards,
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Old May 7, 2013   #65
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Thanks much!
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Old May 7, 2013   #66
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Ordered the TTF and Citrus formulas today, along with ph Down. Excited to use up my five or six old fertilizer ingredients and try this one. Thanks for all the information.
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Old May 18, 2013   #67
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The fertilizer is doing a great job in encouraging fruit set. Some of my plants have been in the garden for two months now and are 6 ft tall and loaded with fruit. They are all grafted plants with various rootstock and a mix of scions. I am keeping them pruned to between 2 and 5 stems depending on the plant and the space it has. Only my Akers West Virginia has refused to set a single fruit. I don't know what is going on with that plant. The first blossoms only showed up three feet off the ground and they all dropped so I'm waiting to see if the next blossom trusses will set.

I am still having a problem on some of my plants, both tomatoes and peppers, showing an iron deficiency. The tomatoes have only gotten the Texas Tomato Food and the peppers the Vegetable Food. I have noticed this deficiency in some of my seedlings that are in two different types of potting soil one being Miracle Grow and the other Fafards. Since it is also showing up in the seedlings could it be a case of the fertilizer being a little lite on iron? I have only used your vegetable fertilizer on them since potting up. I did not add any liming to either potting soil and this showed up on both tomatoes and peppers just as they were getting to the size to be transplanted. The foliar application of iron seems to take care of the problem on seedlings but for some reason is not as effective on the large plants in the garden possibly because my garden soil ph is a bit high. I got tired of fighting it and just this morning added a soil drench to my garden plants of a chelated iron supplement giving the ones with the more noticeable problem a bigger dose and just a little bit to the rest. I will know in a few days if this helps or hurts.

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Old May 18, 2013   #68
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Do you have a picture of this deficiency? It should be in the newest growing shoot. Iron deficiency is something I've seen once or twice a long time ago. There is more than enough chelated iron in all of our formulas. My hunch is there is something else going on.

What is your soil ph? It almost sounds like you have an over-abundance of one, or even 2, elements in your soil that is interfering with the uptake of iron. Or the ph is locking it out.

My concern would be: it's likely there is already enough iron, but it is inaccessible. By adding more, instead of finding out why, you might build up too much iron in your soil, which could lead to inhibiting the uptake of something else.

Do you have recent soil and water analyses that you can send me?
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Old May 19, 2013   #69
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I applied the drench very early yesterday morning and also applied a good foliar spray to the affected plants. They should look better by this morning if it is iron deficiency. I'll check when it is light out and try to get a few pics.

Don't get me wrong I am super happy with the results from using your fertilizers. I have never had fruit set on my tomatoes this good overall. I'm still pinching my blossoms on my peppers so they don't make while too small. My peppers were late going into the garden this year. My citrus trees in containers are doing fantastic and my satsuma is loaded along with one of my peach trees that hasn't made a peach in years and years. I have already recommended your fertilizers to dozens of people because I am so happy with the results so far.

I don't have my last soil sample but I can remember basically what it said from a couple of years ago taken before planting for spring. It said my ph was too high and recommended not adding any liming products especially dolomite since it said I was high in Mag. It also said my garden was very high in P but normal in K and low in N. Talked to a guy at the lab and he said not to add any more cow manure as it would lead to increasing the P levels and he recommended low P fertilizer or no P fertilizer for a while. The only fertilizer I have used for the past two years is cottonseed meal which is very acidic, alfalfa meal, some molasses, a small amount of chicken manure, homemade compost and a low P high N and K formula of soluble fertilizer and some calcium nitrate for side dressing. I don't think my soil is too out of balance because my earthworm population is huge. I feel guilty when I till the beds because I chop up so many of them with my little Mantis but within a few weeks the soil is teeming with them so I guess the tilling isn't doing the population much harm.

I didn't get a soil sample for the last couple of years because I wanted to see how much it came down from using the cottonseed meal and no liming products and give the time for the P levels to drop from plant uptake. I meant to get a soil sample this year but somehow forgot in my grafting frenzy this winter and early spring. I'm certain my PH is considerably lower because I have much healthier plants with only a couple showing iron deficiency at all and only then on a couple of tomatoes and peppers. Everything is much greener than in the garden 3 years ago. Our postman of 30 years came around to check out my garden and see if he could get some tomato seedlings yesterday and he was amazed at how good my garden looked this year and asked what I had done different.

The worst iron deficiency has shown up in the seedlings in potting soil and not in my garden where it is minor and only on a few plants. The reason I applied the iron supplement was because a few years ago I didn't and it went from bad to worse on a few plants and resulted in them losing their new growth which got so pale it eventually died on some of my tomatoes and I had to replace them. This has happened before on seedlings in potting soil for me and the only thing that stops it is an iron supplement but if it is not applied soon enough it can become irreversible. I lost nearly a whole tray of plants one time to this and I don't want that to happen again. Maybe I have just gotten some bad potting soil but I always buy the top professional grades even if I have to pay more at a nursery. I never had this problem in my potted plants when I could get Jungle Grow Professional; but it has been unavailable around here for a couple of years.

Bill
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Old May 19, 2013   #70
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I am having really great results with this so far. I've been using Texas Vegetable Food on my tomato seedlings, with plans to switch to Texas Tomato Food when fruits start to set (which, judging by the progress I'm seeing so far, maybe won't be that far away). I'm perhaps not the best to judge though since I am a relative newcomer to tomato growing -- my first tomato plant was last year and I didn't use any fertilizer on it at all.

All of my tomato plants look really great, just green, healthy and vigorous. But maybe the best example of the results I'm seeing is that when I transplanted them out, my tomato seedlings were fairly small. I am also growing a seedling that a friend gave me, which was three times taller and bigger than my seedlings. But in just two weeks, my other seedlings have almost caught up with my friend's.

I also am already seeing flowers in three of my 15 plants, which seems quite early and vigorous considering they're just two weeks out from transplanting. I'm very happy so far.

I do have Tomatotone scratched into the soil though, and am also using part compost. My soil is a mix of potting soil, compost (leaf clippings), peat moss and vermiculite, with Tomatotone scratched in.

Given that I have compost and another feeding agent, I've been drenching with TVF about every three waterings.

Last edited by KathyDC; May 19, 2013 at 10:17 AM.
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Old May 19, 2013   #71
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My plants looked better this morning so I think I'm right about the iron deficiency. Here are some pics I took.

The first three pictures are seedlings in cups with potting soil showing some of the worst iron deficiency.

The next two pictures are from the worst iron deficient plant in my garden.

The last is a pepper in the garden with very mild iron deficiency I had a picture of one that was much worse but the photo was so blurry it was useless.

Every one of these plants looked worse day before yesterday. The young pepper plants improved the quickest and show the least yellowing now and I think most of the yellowing will be gone in a day or two. If not I will give the few that haven't improved enough another mild dose of iron supplement.

Bill
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Old May 19, 2013   #72
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Oh yeah, I may have to order more before too long. Even though I am using the tree fertilizer at about 2 tsps per gallon I am still using it up very fast because I am using it on my roses, peaches, citrus and all of my wife's flowering plants and ferns with great results. I also shared a gallon of the Texas Tomato Food with a friend who is a big tomato grower and he is liking the results with his plants. So with all the plants I have now and the ones going into the ground in the next few weeks I will run out of the TTF before too long unless the fusarium kicks in and gets rid of a lot of my grafted plants. Usually by this time of the year half my plants are starting to die so even though I didn't plant my usual 50 plants in March followed by 20 in April and 20 in May and so on, I still have more large plants in good shape than most years. Right now the Vegetable Food is holding out the best since I'm only using it on seedlings, peppers, cucumbers and squash now. I've got a feeling it will go really fast in the fall and winter when I'm growing brocolli, Brussel sprouts, cabbage, onions, carrots, cauliflower and lettuce.

I've got another couple of questions. At what temperature does the living part of the fertilizer start dying? I'm asking about both heat and cold. How long is it at its most potent when kept at room temperature? Would it be helpful if you are keeping a container for an extended period to feed the bacteria in it with something like a dab of molasses once in a while?

Bill
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Old May 22, 2013   #73
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ordered a 1/2 gal of tomato and qt of flowers.
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Old May 22, 2013   #74
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I just ordered 1 qt of Texas tomato and 1 qt veggie. Looking forward to trying it out. Sounds like folks are getting good results. Plus I like supporting Texas small business!
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Old May 23, 2013   #75
eatmoreyeah
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I've got a quick question. I'm using the Texas Tomato formula fertilizer. I'm using it, in a dial hose end sprayer. According to the recommendations; 8 oz fertilizer to 24 oz water and set the dial to 2 1/2 oz. When I'm feeding my container tomatoes (10 gallon grow bags- filled with Metro Mix potting medium) how much should I be watering each container with the hose end sprayer? I wanted to add that the potting medium is first watered with just water so the medium is wet before application.

Thanks,
Charles
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