A happy Sunday to all on this beautiful day.
How does Neptunes Harvest Fish and Seaweed fertilizer for roses, vegetables and flowers compare to other organic fertilizers like the dry ones I've been using from GardensAlive
Thanks in advance for all and any help and advice
Nepyunes Harvest Fish & Seaweed
A happy Sunday to all on this beautiful day.
A liquid fertilizer gets to the plant faster than the granular ones. It depends how quickly you need to fertilize. I used to use Gardens Alive products but have switched to other brands. I like Neptune's Harvest. The plants seem to respond quickly after I feed them with it.
I hear good things about Neptune's harvest will probably give them a try. Seems like if I order directly from Netptune's Harvest I'll get the best price.
Can't figure out how to change the misspelling of Neptune's in title.
You might find Amazon.com offers lower prices from one of their resellers. Prices at Neptune's Harvest direct seem very high. Shipping costs are always the determining factor. Good luck in yur search.
A liquid fertilizer gets to the plant faster than the granular ones.
Not necessarily true. Granular fertilizers that are soluble in water are available for uptake as soon as they are mixed with water - so immediately, while fertilizers like fish and seaweed emulsion are molecular suspensions and must have their hydrocarbon chains cleaved by soil biota before their nutrients are available for uptake. If fertilizer was plant food, we could say a plant's diet consists of salts. It's only when large molecules are broken down into ionic form that plants can utilize the elemental nutrients.
Plants don't care if their nutrients come from dead fish, compost, or a hose-end sprayer filled with MG - what's important to the plant is that all nutrients are in the soil in a form that makes them available for uptake.
Thanks, Al, for the clarification. The Neptune's Harvest I use is not an "emulsion" so I assume is easier to absorb than the emulsion? I also agree that granular fertilizer dissolved in water will work just as well. But if you just put the granular around the plant you need to wait for rain or water it in really well. I was always under the impression that spraying the leaves and the soil would get the nutrients to the plant faster. In any case I use all the methods plus amending the soil well with compost and rabbit manure so try to cover all my bases!!
Often, foliar feeding can mask serious nutritional deficiencies, especially when the deficiency involves the less mobile nutrients, like B or Ca, for example.
The most efficient pathway (for nutrients) into the plant in nearly all cases id via the root system. If you DO see improvement after foliar fertilization, you have to wonder about your primary supplementation plan; that, because an improvement after foliar fertilization is a strong indicator that one or more of the nutrients supplied is n/a in the soil solution.
Getting back to the masking issue. If a nutrient is in short supply, the living parts of entire plant suffer. Foliar feeding may only locally alleviate that deficiency. Let's say your plant is limited by a deficiency of sulfur, copper, iron, manganese, molybdenum, or zinc. All of these nutrients are marginally mobile in the plant, so application might relieve deficiency symptoms in plant parts contacted by nutrients, but probably not in parts that aren't. If you think you have an iron deficiency because leaves are chlorotic, you might foliarly apply an Fe chelate. It might turn leaves green (even if the chlorosis was caused by another deficiency, thereby masking that deficiency) but might not do anything to alleviate a deficiency in root or stem tissues. Now we're back to the roots as the primary pathway and insurance that even the very immobile nutrients (Ca, B) get into the nutrient stream.
Compost is good for the soil because it helps to create an environment that facilitates the mineralization of certain nutrients, but it has very little nutritional value.
Thanks I'm certainly learning a lot from you pros
Was going to try Neptunes Harvest but money is very tight this year
I'll use up my gardens alive fertilizer first
It's perennial fertilizer but hopefully it will help my veggies
That was a great lesson, Al. I guess I will stick to feeding the roots, which I do most of the time because I am always concerned about too much moisture on the leaves of the tomatoes. We have not had a nice rain all summer, just downpours which don't last long. We really could use a nice gentle soaking rain. After the downpours the ground seems to dry up more quickly. Even with the Neptune's Harvest I do not foliar feed. I water the roots.
I can understand your concern with the cost of Neptune's Harvest. It has really gone up in price in the last few years. The only good thing is that it requires only 1 tbs per gallon so a bottle goes a long way. At this point your perennial fertilizer should work but check the numbers. You may need to buy some bone meal, which is not that expensive, to increase the phosphorus or middle number. Your tomatoes should not need a lot of nitrogen at this point.
Okay I bit the bullet and ordered the Neptune's Harvest gallon.
I have a lot of squash, pumpkins and cukes in my garden.
For these I'll do both foliar and root feeding since it's a whole lot easier to spray the whole thing.
I have to figure out my sprayer rate if that's possible now. It's a very old sprayer
Hopefully we get some nice rain tonight. I live in NJ and we're getting the same rainfall you're getting over there in sunny PA
I always appreciate tapla's comments.
I used Neptunes Harvest on potted plants for a while. The soil they were in developed a really good ' earthy'woodsy'composty' smell. So I felt I helped support good soil orgs with it. Whether that matters much in indoor plants may be debatable- (Al?)
I like it but money is tight here too. My outside things rely on compost or less expensive fert, or no fertilizer.
When growing in containers, you're actually much closer to hydroponic growing than growing in the earth. I only rarely use a fertilizer for gardens or beds, but when it comes to container growing, for me, soluble synthetics get a distinct nod.
I'm results oriented, and not encumbered by an ideology that limits my choices. My experience is, and we're speaking about supplying nutrition, the best results in containers comes when you take and maintain control over what you supply, how much you supply, and when what you supply is/becomes available. You lose that control when you start depending on highly variable population numbers of soil biota to break down your meals and emulsions into elemental forms of nutrition your plants can actually USE.
When I use something like Dyna-Gro's Foliage-Pro 9-3-6 in combination with a soil that allows me to flush accumulating salts (salts accumulate from organic sources, too) from the soils in my containers, I know what level of nutrition is in the containers, I know it's available for uptake the moment it's applied, and I know the ratio of nutrients is always going to be favorably balanced to the ratio at which the plant actually assimilates those nutrients.
There will probably be some that won't agree with that thought for ideological reasons, but again, it's difficult to dispute from a results-oriented perspective. I'll offer what I think is the best way to approach providing nutrition to containerized plants. The burden for anyone who disagrees with the approach I outlined is to either improve on what I suggest should be the objective of nutritional supplementation, or show how the objective can be better achieved by using methods other than those I outlined. This offers 2 avenues by which my contention can be refuted.
I've never seen this written by anyone but me: If you're focus is on results, I believe the goal for fertilizing containerized plants can easily be described. We should work toward ensuring that all the nutrients plants normally secure from the soil are in the soil solution at all times, in the ratio at which the plant actually uses the nutrients, and at a concentration high enough to ensure no deficiencies yet low enough to ensure the plant isn't impeded in its ability to take up water and the nutrients dissolved in water.
Very simple and straightforward, and very easy to achieve when using a soil that allows you to water correctly in combination with an appropriate synthetic soluble fertilizer.
This message was edited Oct 4, 2014 4:50 PM
Tapla - a question if you don't mind -
You mentioned a soil that allows you to flush excess salts. How do you do that? My soil is naturally high in salts. I had heard that you have to super-saturate it, basically make a shallow settling pond, let the salts rise and crust on top, then remove and discard the top. The other method that I have been using is to add low- salt organic matter, which decreases the ratio of salty soil. This takes a lot of low-salt stuff to make a difference.
And a comment -
I have been reading about straw-bale gardening, and want to try it. One of my concerns was that it seems relatively fertilizer-heavy. But if I consider the bale a container, and consider the container a hydroponic system (to misquote you) then it makes more sense.
Great information Tapla.
"Compost is good for the soil because it helps to create an environment that facilitates the mineralization of certain nutrients, but it has very little nutritional value."
True, What compost and organic matter do is feed the soil organisms and condition the soil. Perhaps the reason that any nearby tree will completely root through a mature compost pile is that the compost and Humic acid will put the soil life into overdrive which creates an abundance of available nutrients to the plant.
PollenGarden, I know of several gardeners that are combining straw-bale gardening with vermiculture. They are having great results using compost and old hay. None of these gardeners are using commercial fertilizer and have reported that their soil has greatly improved in both quality and depth.
I think I will try straw-bale gardening next year on early and late season cool-weather crops & root crops. I am a little dubious about warm season crops because straw bales are supposed to keep them warmer. Our summers are too hot here, so I need to keep them cooler not warmer!
And since Colorado is a climate of extremes, I think Spring & Fall might be too cool for "red wigglers". I suppose I could borrow a few, and compare them to native worms and no worms at all.
Straw is a great insulator. It will keep plants warmer in cool weather and cooler in warm weather. And the red wigglers will do fine if there is at least 4 to 5 inches of straw over the ground in an area the size of a bale. My relatives in Littleton CO have not had any problems loosing worms to the cold. That will happen if they get trapped above ground in a cold area (like in a bin).
Strawbale gardening is not ideal for most root crops. It works well for potatoes the second or third years because the bales have broken down nicely. But I always recommend experimenting for yorurself. The bales are great for tomatoes, eggplants and peppers. I have also used them for squas. You must add potting and/or compost when planting. I do feed the bales with fish fertilizer throughout the summer.