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Fertiliser Usage


 
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Blowin
Rank attained: Orchard owner


Joined: 20 Aug 2008
Posts: 678
Location: Drimoleague, Co Cork

PostPosted: Mon Jun 28, 2010 12:54 pm    Post subject: Fertiliser Usage Reply with quote

On the recommendation of my local gardening guru, the postman, I've bought a 40kg sack of 10-10-20 fertiliser from the local Co-op plus a bag of Agri-lime to act as general 'encouragement' for my vegetables.

The lime I've used before and I just throw handfuls fairly uniformly over the plot but, having got the 10-10-20 home, I realised I hadn't a clue how much to apply.

Can anyone suggest a suitable quantity per square metre?

Secondly, in my ignorance I imagined the stuff would dissolve in water - otherwise how do plants absorb it? - so I experimented with a handful in a 5 litre water container, half full of water, shaken vigorously. The water did get cloudy but most of it was still in its original form as a sort of gravel in the bottom of the container. How does it work?

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michael brenock
Rank attained: Chlorophyll for blood


Joined: 12 Aug 2008
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 28, 2010 6:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

each granule of 10 10 20 is similar to every other granule. There is an inert material usually sand or gravel which has the plant food or nutrients material added to it . The granules are dissolved in the soil water and as granules are more easily spread evenly than a solution then it is better to add to the soil and mix up the whole lot. The general rate for vegetable crops is about 3 ozs per square yard id dung or compost is being added. Use up to 5 ozs per square yard without dung or compost. Lime is normally given to soils that have a low pH (below 5.5) especially if brassicas (cabbages or swedes) are being grown, for potatoes too much lime gives scabby potatoes and low lime or acid soil gives clean skinned potatoes. Peas and beans also need lime as well as lettuce. Hydrated or builders lime can be used but it does not last as long as ground limestone.
michael brenock horticultural advisor (retired)

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Blowin
Rank attained: Orchard owner


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Location: Drimoleague, Co Cork

PostPosted: Thu Jul 01, 2010 1:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very many thanks, Michael. That's exactly what I needed.
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sequoiamike
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Location: Cloyne, Co. Cork

PostPosted: Sat Sep 18, 2010 8:14 pm    Post subject: Applying Fertiliser Reply with quote

Continuing on the line of practical queries - I will be applying a high phosphorus fertiliser to shrub/tree areas this month. A granular fertiliser. I have a layer of bark mulch on the ground. Can the fertiliser be applied on top of this or should I move the bark mulch away, apply the granules then cover back up? Thanks for any experienced insight.
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michael brenock
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 18, 2010 9:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

there is no straight answer to this question. The fertiliser will eventually work it's way down to the roots of the shrubs but it will take some time, possibly several years. By scraping back the bark and then shaking in the granules they are put nearer to the roots where they are needed. This would mean moving the soil every year and bringing up weed seeds, thereby defeating the purpose of the mulch. Put on the fertiliser on top of the bark and let it work its own way down. As you mention it is a high Phosphate fertiliser are you sure the soil is deficient in Phosphates or is it because you suspect a deficiency because it is not flowering? by putting on tree bark mulch there will be a shortage of Nitrogen created and this will affect the growth of the shrub sometimes beneficially.
michael brenock horticultural advisor (retired)
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sequoiamike
Rank attained: Hazel Tree
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Location: Cloyne, Co. Cork

PostPosted: Tue Sep 28, 2010 11:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Michael,

The plants have been installed in some pretty poor builders soil (subgrade material). I've been adding a bit of compost as it becomes available, but the shrubs still struggle. I wanted to feed the roots this winter to give next years growth something more to work off of - thus the Phosphate rich fertiliser because I didn't want to promote leaf growth coming up to the cold months. So, do you think it's a bit of a foolish investment? I'm not sure what else to do with poor soil that is already in place?? Any suggestions?
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michael brenock
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 29, 2010 4:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think what is really needed in your case is plenty compost. The plants require food but they also require good textured and structured soil where they can get moisture without being waterlogged and food that is available not oversupplied and not scarce. it is hard to remedy a situation where the soil was of poor quality starting off by adding to the top but it helps. So add fertiliser and also add some well rotted conmpost.
michael brenock horticultural advisor (retired)
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