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Vegetable Gardening: Spilled the fertilizer

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Forum: Vegetable GardeningReplies: 31, Views: 185
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LiseP
San Antonio, TX
(Zone 8b)

April 17, 2013
7:37 AM

Post #9487112

My poor beans. The wind blew over my jug of fertilizer (liquid concentrate, lid popped) and spilled a bunch right in front of the beans. Luckily there wasn't too much left in the jug -- but way more than enough! It's fish-smelling organic stuff. I realize now that I should have mopped it up with paper towels but I tried to hose it down my brick walkway to a place I didn't care about (a mulched walkway), but of course it over-ran the sidewalk some and straight into my beans. It just caught the end of the row, but now I have a vivid example of what too much fertilizer will do and how very fast. The end of the row is looking very sick.

The other run-off went into some tomatoes, but they are in a very deep raised bed, so I'm hoping that whatever gets absorbed into the bottom of the bed will have dissipated some by the time it reaches the roots, which should still be several inches above where the fertilizer landed. But if they keel over I will know why.

I don't think there's much way to undo this. Darn.

HoneybeeNC

HoneybeeNC
Charlotte, NC
(Zone 7b)

April 17, 2013
8:46 AM

Post #9487203

A sympathetic virtual hug coming your way. :)
1lisac
Liberty Hill, TX
(Zone 8a)

April 17, 2013
6:52 PM

Post #9487925

When did this happen? How long did it take for the beans to show symptoms? Have you tried to drench the soil around the beans to get the fertilizer diluted? I'm so sorry it seems like it's always something.

Solace

Solace
Monte Vista, CO
(Zone 4a)

April 17, 2013
7:24 PM

Post #9487957

I agree with Lisa. Soak those puppies with plain water. If your soil there is sandy, that will help with the percolation. If not, you could possible dig out the soil soaked with fertilizer and replace it...or dig up the beans and relocate them.
eweed
Everson, WA
(Zone 8a)

April 17, 2013
11:33 PM

Post #9488101

That's gardening
LiseP
San Antonio, TX
(Zone 8b)

April 18, 2013
7:59 PM

Post #9489150

Thanks all. And my beans have perked back up! I did do a lot of watering, and then it rained last night and -- all is well! I'm a happy gardener! Maybe I'll even be able to report a wonderful growth spurt on that end of the row, lol. We'll see.

RickCorey_WA

RickCorey_WA
Everett, WA
(Zone 8a)

April 19, 2013
4:56 PM

Post #9490031

It suggests a way to tell whether you would benefit from more fertilizer or less.

Pick two spots with the same vege4table b ut widely separated.
Mark the spoits with string or stakes.
Give one spot 2-3 times as much fertilizer for 2-3 weeks.
Don't give the other spot ANY fertilizer.

Take "before" pictures of both spots and of the normal plants.
It would be nice if the stakes had such big text it was readab le in the photos.
Take similar pictures from similar angles at similar times of day for 3-5 weeks.

If something is markedly better, do that for the whole garden or for all of that vegetable.

Otherwise, give the whole garden the least fertilizer that looks "about the same".
It's easier to recover from too little fertilizer, than too much!

I learned that from someone who wondered if he was using enough lime on his lawn.
He used his lime spreader to write in big block letters on his lawn.
Yup, that spring and summer, you could see the word " L I M E " in darker-green grass.


LiseP
San Antonio, TX
(Zone 8b)

April 20, 2013
5:14 PM

Post #9491151

Love your idea Rick. I seem to recall you are always doing one experiment or another. I have been wondering for awhile if my soil is fertile enough. I tend to water with about 1/2 strength or maybe 1/4 strength organic fertilizer about every other or every third time that I water. Historically my tomatoes and beans have always looked pretty good, but a lot of other stuff turns out small (peppers, strawberries, beets, onions) but I'm never sure if it's the water or the fertilizer. I should conduct a lot more experiments. Over time, I think it's a great idea. Thanks for that thought.
1lisac
Liberty Hill, TX
(Zone 8a)

April 20, 2013
10:58 PM

Post #9491471

This year I'm going to blame everything on the weather!

HoneybeeNC

HoneybeeNC
Charlotte, NC
(Zone 7b)

April 21, 2013
8:45 AM

Post #9491818

Quoting:This year I'm going to blame everything on the weather


I'm going to blame it on the squirrels. They are the only pest that persistently destroy the figs, persimmons, pears, and tomatoes!
1lisac
Liberty Hill, TX
(Zone 8a)

April 21, 2013
9:10 PM

Post #9492640

That's so strange I see squirrels but they leave my garden alone. You can also blame the voles. Lol

HoneybeeNC

HoneybeeNC
Charlotte, NC
(Zone 7b)

April 22, 2013
7:13 AM

Post #9492975

Lisa - the voles do damage underground crops in my garden, but not to the extent that the squirrels do damage above ground.

Maybe you have a different kind of squirrel? Ours are Eastern Grey Squirrels, and they are everywhere.

Thumbnail by HoneybeeNC
Click the image for an enlarged view.

1lisac
Liberty Hill, TX
(Zone 8a)

April 22, 2013
10:33 AM

Post #9493194

I think, bc I live so rural, the squirrels have enough to keep them busy, that's all I can figure anyway.

RickCorey_WA

RickCorey_WA
Everett, WA
(Zone 8a)

April 22, 2013
11:07 AM

Post #9493218

Thanks, Lise. I know the conventional answer is "pay for soil tests", but I think that works better if you have a fairly uniform batch of soil.

In my case, every tiny bed has totally different soil becuase they zstrated with raw cvlay, then eac h was amended with whatever I had at the moment. Then I grew different things in each bed, and amended and fertilized differently in each bed.

>> tomatoes and beans have always looked pretty good,
>> but a lot of other stuff turns out small (peppers, strawberries, beets, onions)

Maybe someone more experienced can see a pattern , like the second group needs different pH or drainage or need for specific nutrients. I always thought that tomatoes were "heavy feeders".

One thing I tried once was to get some SOLUBLE ferttilizers with extra iron, or Mg, or what-have-you, and spray 5 plants with one thing, and 5 different plants with something else, looking for one batch to jump up and say "THAT was what I needed"!

It seems harder to test for excessive am ounts of some nutrient built upo in the soil.

HoneybeeNC

HoneybeeNC
Charlotte, NC
(Zone 7b)

April 23, 2013
8:07 AM

Post #9494301

Rick - my "made-up" soil is like yours. Every area is different depending upon what I threw on it at the time. Impossible for accurate soil testing.

Sometimes when I sow a row of seeds, a small group will not come up. I wonder if it was because of birds, voles, or (shrug) whatever. We get enough to eat, and that's what matters to me.

My soil is loaded with earthworms, all kinds of creepy-crawlies, and microscopic organisms.
eweed
Everson, WA
(Zone 8a)

April 23, 2013
9:02 AM

Post #9494353

Honeybee I have had crows get all my corn seed. For a while as the sprout grows the corn seed is almost whole. The lousy crow just went down the rows pulling up the corn and eating the seed. Over the years several crows have passed over the rainbow bridge. I can't do that anymore another school was built directly behind my garden. Oh goodness I I use to shoot clay pigeons here and the Calvary would come if I dared shoot here now.

Progress Baah pfttt that's just a word used to describe someone doing something at your expense humbug. Best get back to the subject before the thread police come lol

Solace

Solace
Monte Vista, CO
(Zone 4a)

April 23, 2013
12:24 PM

Post #9494545

Post below...

This message was edited Apr 23, 2013 7:32 PM

Solace

Solace
Monte Vista, CO
(Zone 4a)

April 23, 2013
12:25 PM

Post #9494548

eweed, just throw some hay mulch after you plant and the corn will find its way up through an inch or two of loose straw and by then, they'll be stronger. I have a cat that eats corn leaves. Cecil B is banned from the seedling area.

HoneybeeNC

HoneybeeNC
Charlotte, NC
(Zone 7b)

April 23, 2013
12:50 PM

Post #9494577

eweed - row covers should be able to protect your corn from crows until it is tall enough to fend for itself.

RickCorey_WA

RickCorey_WA
Everett, WA
(Zone 8a)

April 23, 2013
6:04 PM

Post #9494977

eweed said:

Progress Baah pfttt that's just a word used to describe someone doing something at your expense humbug.

Well said! My mind doesn't totally agree, but I SURE feel that way a lot of the time!

Since neighborhood cats like to leave me "presents" any time I make a fine or mellow seedbed, I have to put down chicken wire after sowing.

I never thought of row covers.

Gymgirl

Gymgirl
SE Houston (Hobby), TX
(Zone 9a)

April 24, 2013
8:27 AM

Post #9495563

Or, cheapy tulle purchased at your local fabric shop...drape it over a hoop, and affix with bulldog/alligator clips...
eweed
Everson, WA
(Zone 8a)

April 24, 2013
8:49 AM

Post #9495581

Linda you have me what is tulle? I know some kind of cloth. Linda is a quilter and we have tons of different materials here but I have never heard her or her or my mother use that word.

NicoleC

NicoleC
Madison, AL
(Zone 7b)

April 24, 2013
9:10 AM

Post #9495591

It's the mesh bridal netting stuff. At $2+ per yard it's more expensive than row cover but easier to get in small amounts, and if small amounts will do you can always surf the remnants and discount bin.
eweed
Everson, WA
(Zone 8a)

April 24, 2013
4:19 PM

Post #9495953

Straw is a good idea I have used maple tree leafs but on lt used straw on stuff that was transplanted. I buried my garlic bed one winter the garlic turned out great . I mulched with oat straw on to the shallots and found out they were weak growers and I had to remove the straw and replant much of the planting because a lot had gone by.

Linda now I know thanks
1lisac
Liberty Hill, TX
(Zone 8a)

April 24, 2013
8:34 PM

Post #9496262

I found tulle for 1.09 at hobby lobby but decided to by a bolt of it online for 12.99 which is 40 yards 54" wide. Oh it's purple too. The whole order plus 2-3 day shipping came to 27.00 and I can make it any length I want. Next time I think I'll go for fushia. Lol
1lisac
Liberty Hill, TX
(Zone 8a)

April 24, 2013
8:36 PM

Post #9496265

Becareful using staw it can have industrial strength herbicides on it which are the last thing you want in your garden
LiseP
San Antonio, TX
(Zone 8b)

April 26, 2013
10:56 AM

Post #9498009

1lisac -- Wow, never thought of purple tulle. I just went with white, but colored would be prettier in the garden! My white blobs in the yard look more like old garbage bags -- not so pretty!

Rick, yeah, my yard has all kinds of little micro-areas that I have amended over the past three or so years, so a soil test wouldn't tell me too much. I do have one of those meters that tells you pH, although I'm sure it's pretty crude and not that reliable. I should dig it out though.

I may have to do some experimenting on the peppers. I think I'll start a new thread for that, though. Yeah, they are looking that bad! lol

HoneybeeNC

HoneybeeNC
Charlotte, NC
(Zone 7b)

April 26, 2013
11:11 AM

Post #9498027

I've not used tulle, but I have a thought...

Would not dark colored tulle prevent enough sunlight from penetrating? Or, perhaps that's the point? It occurs to me that white tulle would allow more sunlight through.
1lisac
Liberty Hill, TX
(Zone 8a)

April 26, 2013
9:39 PM

Post #9498582

I never even thought of the sunlight factor. The fabric is so sheer I don't think it will make much difference. White reflects sun but once again it's so thin I don't think it really matters.

HoneybeeNC

HoneybeeNC
Charlotte, NC
(Zone 7b)

April 27, 2013
7:16 AM

Post #9498845

Does tulle tear easily? I'm currently using Remay, but it tears very easily and has to be replaced each year.
LiseP
San Antonio, TX
(Zone 8b)

April 27, 2013
9:06 AM

Post #9498936

Here's a view of the tulle, both close-up (left) and from a distance (right). As you can see, it's not going to block much sunlight, and I would doubt that another color would block much either. But here in Texas, a little blocking would be fine.

Thumbnail by LiseP   Thumbnail by LiseP         
Click an image for an enlarged view.

HoneybeeNC

HoneybeeNC
Charlotte, NC
(Zone 7b)

April 27, 2013
12:34 PM

Post #9499116

LiseP - thanks for the photos. From them I can see that the tulle is very lightweight, and perfect for keeping out bugs.

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