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Inorganic fertilizers.


 
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kindredspirit
Rank attained: Chlorophyll for blood


Joined: 10 Nov 2008
Posts: 2125
Location: Mid-west.

PostPosted: Sat Apr 24, 2010 7:30 pm    Post subject: Inorganic fertilizers. Reply with quote

My soil in the back garden is mostly subsoil with some old horse manure added and the leaves on some of my trees, shrubs and bamboos are very yellow.

I, not being an expert gardener, put this down to some sort of mineral defficiency and, as I've no room in the garden now to get in a trailerload of horse or cattle manure (which I prefer) from a nearby farm, I hoofed it off to the farmers' co-op to get some bags of artificial fertilizer.

I picked up 18-6-12. Did I do right or wrong?

Could someone explain the real life applications of the 10-10-20s and all the other three figure variations that are on the market? I've looked on the internet and did a search here but couldn't find a table of the relevant applications for all these combinations.

I must say, it's an awful lot easier to whiz a trowelful of this stuff through the air onto the base of a plant rather than horsing barrowloads of manure around the garden!

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James Kilkelly
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Joined: 30 May 2006
Posts: 2151
Location: West of Ireland

PostPosted: Tue Apr 27, 2010 12:03 pm    Post subject: Re: Inorganic fertilizers. Reply with quote

Quote:
My soil in the back garden is mostly subsoil with some old horse manure added and the leaves on some of my trees, shrubs and bamboos are very yellow.


There are types of yellowing caused by by a lack of different minerals.
Nitrogen and/or iron being the most common i come across.
See here......... Yellow leaves on plants, causes and cures.
Read this and assess wheather you have a nitrogen or iron deficiency, and then take the remedy steps for either as outlined in the piece.

Quote:
I picked up 18-6-12. Did I do right or wrong?

If the issue is lack of nitrogen, then yes this may address it temporarily.
18-6-12 is used on grassland so is high in leaf growing and greening nitrogen.
These artificial fertilisers are quick acting but tend to was away after a while.
Hard to beat well rotted compost/farm-yard-manure for long term slow release.
Even an application of fish-blood and bone would be an option.
Fish blood and bone is a balanced plant food used to boost all-around fertility through its introduction of the 3 major plant nutrients, nitrogen 5, phosphorus 5, and potassium 6.5 (approximate balance).
So it is a 5-5-6.5 in a longer term release than 18-6-12.

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Quote:

Could someone explain the real life applications of the 10-10-20s and all the other three figure variations that are on the market? I've looked on the internet and did a search here but couldn't find a table of the relevant applications for all these combinations.


Good article on the subject here.......... Understanding Fertilizer Numbers - N-P- K

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kindredspirit
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 27, 2010 1:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks very much, James, for your very informative reply.

As the "soil" is heavy yellow clay, it could well be an iron defficiency, so I'll try some sulphate of iron as well.

I'll eventually work out a way of getting more manure into my garden. I think I'll ask a farmer to put some into those 1 ton bags that stones come in and then get him to bring it around here on his front loading forks. I've no room for a tractor to dump a trailerload of manure anywhere in the garden now without damaging overhanging branches or planted shrubs and perrenials.

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michael brenock
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 27, 2010 9:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

the first figure refers to the Nitrogen (N) percentage. The second figure is for Phosphorus (P) and the last one is Potassium (K).
In UK the second figure refers to Phosphorus pentoxide (P2O5) and the third figure refers to Potash (K2O).
Yellowing in general especially at this time of year is more likely caused by Nitrogen shortage. Applying artificial fertilisers makes these nutrients readily available to plants wheres animal manures have to be broken down by bacteria to become available to plants.
michael brenock horticultural advisor (retired)
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