fertilizer

shohin kid

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Hi everyone,
I was just wondering what types of fertilizers you all use on your trees, fertilizing is something I don't really know about in regards to bonsai. I have made my own cakes before using miracle grow organic blood and bone meal, fish emulsion, and water. I was wondering some things that you all might use, thanks,

shohin kid
 

meushi

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Pelletized cow dung as a base fertilizer for all my trees, stacked on every 3 weeks, and chemical at full strength every 2 weeks throughout the entire growing season.
 

waltr1

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I rotate between chemical fertilized (Peters 20-20-20), Holly Tone and Neptune's Harvest (seaweed & fish emulsion). One is applied every 10-14 days from early April through the beginning of October.
 

shohin kid

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I think I am going to try fish emulsion and/or seaweed emulsion, should I use the strength that the bottle recommends or use half strength?
Shohin kid
 

cquinn

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I think I am going to try fish emulsion and/or seaweed emulsion, should I use the strength that the bottle recommends or use half strength?
Shohin kid

What the bottle recommends is fine. What kind of soil componets do you have. In the really free draining stuff most people are using today you'll need to fertilize every week.
 

Glider

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Pelletized cow dung as a base fertilizer for all my trees, stacked on every 3 weeks, and chemical at full strength every 2 weeks throughout the entire growing season.
This is pretty much exactly my regimen; biogold as a base all season (stacked on every 2 months) with chemical ferilizer (alternating normal miracle gro with miracle gro for azaleas) 1/2 strength every week throughout the growing season, mixed in a dilution of Maxicrop seaweed extract (Maxicrop with Iron for the azaleas).

When any tree reaches the refinement stage (i.e. just working for ramification and leaf reduction), then it'll be biogold only with maxicrop for mineral suppliment.
 

meushi

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Yeah I used to use biogold for all the trees too, but the price was getting a bit high. I have switched to cow pellets and didn't see any difference justifying the price gap at this stage of culture.

I might switch back to biogold for trees that are in the refinement phase, probably.
 

shohin kid

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does biogold or any other fertilizers you all use attract fleas or other pests?
 

Glider

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Yeah I used to use biogold for all the trees too, but the price was getting a bit high. I have switched to cow pellets and didn't see any difference justifying the price gap at this stage of culture.

I might switch back to biogold for trees that are in the refinement phase, probably.
The lack of difference is probably because you use chemical fertilizers as well. I do the same so I don't see a difference either, in terms of what it does for the trees. I used to use fairly standard and cheap rapeseed cakes, but I found the squirrels and (annoyingly) my cat really liked the stuff and would take it off the pots and eat it. I get the biogold from the same place (so it's easy) and buy the 5kg bags (£36) which last a couple of years.

I like how it lasts and it does have a few advantages over other commmercial stuff, when used alone, but as I suppliment with chemical feeds same as you, that's moot at this stage in the game. The real advantage for me at the moment is that neither the squirrels nor the cats (or flies or maggots or anything else) are interested in it at all.

does biogold or any other fertilizers you all use attract fleas or other pests?
Biogold doesn't. Green Dream is reported not to either, but I haven't tried that myself. Other stuff I've used attracts squirrels (and cats) and flies.
 

shohin kid

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Thanks for the help everyone,
Is there a good place on the internet to purchase biogold?

Shohin Kid
 

Glider

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I always buy mine when I'm at the nursery anyway. You could try Kaizen Bonsai mart, but they're based in the UK and are a bit expensive (IMO). Their 5kg bags are listed at £53.95 compared to the £36 I paid three weeks ago at Windybank Bonsai (who don't sell online). Plus, you'd have shipping (I'm guessing you're in the US).
 

meushi

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I used to use fairly standard and cheap rapeseed cakes, but I found the squirrels and (annoyingly) my cat really liked the stuff and would take it off the pots and eat it.
Were you using the cakes straight like that or did you use them the Japanese way (crush, add water and ferment in a closed container for a couple of months)?
 

Glider

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Nah, I'm a lazy sod. I used them straight from the bag.

If I had the will to be messing about crushing, fermenting and so-on for a few months, I'd have got the basic ingredients and made my own cakes. There's an animal food store at Crews Hill (there's a large concentration of nurseries there too), and I could get crushed rape meal, millet, fish meal, blood & bone and all the other funky stuff for baking DIY fertilizer cakes, but, as I say, I'm a lazy sod.

If I'm going to get obsessive, I like it to be when working on the trees themselves. The universal application of bio-gold, supplimented with chemical fertilizers according to specific needs of each tree seems to work very well and is easy enough to be worth the extra few quid :)

I'm that lazy though, I'm really looking forward to the time when the trees are advanced enough to only need the bio-gold and maxicrop (all that stirring of miracle gro...SO tiring) :D
 

meushi

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Yeah, actually for some trees they use fermented rapeseed cake mixed with bone meal. Being a lazy sod as well, I use a cheap balanced organic that leaves a lot of humus. That increases water retention for the few dry weeks and it gets flushed out when the real rain comes back. ;)
 

Glider

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That sounds like an advantage over bio-gold, which eventually just disapears altogether and does very little for water retention. Does the residual humus interfere with drainage at all, say, in the winter when it's most important (surely it must build up over time in the topsoil?)
 

meushi

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From what I observed, it totally breaks down in 6 to 9 weeks (depending on the water and sun) after being laid down. Once totally broken down, it gets flushed at the first heavy rain... leaving mostly/only the inorganic content. At about £6 per 25Kg bag, I do feed a lot of it to all my outside plants during the entire growing season ;)

The only downside is the smell that would not be really "neighbour friendly" in the city, but that can be kept under control by the addition of basalt meal (or better yet, FulHumin from Neudorff: basalt meal and humic acid mix). The smell will go away (or you'll get used to it) over the course of a few days anyways.
 

Mortalis

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Hey guys my fertilizer routine is a little different than most of you.

1.Hydroponic fertilizer any brand with every watering
2.Liquid seaweed with every watering
3.A silica supliment any brand. with every watering
4.Mycorrhizal Inoculant once a month
5.Cal-mag supliment once a month

Reasons for the above.
1.Hydro fertilizers contain 100% nitrate nitrogen and immediately available to the tree. Ammonia and urea nitrogen in traditional fertilizer must be broken down into nitrate by bacteria before the tree can use it. Urea salts can build up in the soil even with organic fertilizer.

2.Liquid seaweed has loads of good trace elements,hormones immediately available to the tree.

3.Silica is a conditionally essential nutrient to plants. Your trees wont suffer from not having it but it strengthens every part of the tree increases drought tolerance and disease resistance.

4.Mycorrhizal Inoculant is live beneficial fungi if you grow bonsai most likely you are aware of this fungi. I give this to my trees to increase root mass and it works. I have to repot my ficus twice a year since I started using it.

5. Cal-mag supplementation makes up for the fact that most fertilizers including organics are low in available calcium and magnesium.
 
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