Newbie wanting to use osmocote +

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11
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5
Location
Boise, Idaho
USDA Zone
7a
#1
Hi all,

I'm new around these parts and new to bonsai. I have a bunch of osmocote + that I use to make root tabs for my planted aquariums and was wondering about using it for bonsai. Is this an appropriate food for bonsai? I'm also keen to keep the soil surface clear of the pellets so I was thinking about making little sachets of osmocote out of women's nylons and zip ties so I could remove them when I wanted to display my trees. Thoughts on this? Looking forward to hearing from you.
 

sorce

Nonsense Rascal
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Location
Berwyn, Il
USDA Zone
6.2
#3
I'm anti Osmocote.
Pros pros don't use it.

"Grow out pros"...maybe...define Professional.
Define grow out!

Never used Osmocote particularly...
But little round capsules are little round capsules to me ...they all suck....balls!

If a possum blows a hot fart across your nylon sacks....it may prove disastrous ..
As "time- released" is impossible to engineer into those balls.
The coating is "eroded"...
We water everyday...
Calculating the time of "erosion" is as likely as that possum fart.

I do believe they engineer electronics to break after a certain time...
Like...
3 days after the warranty runs out!

Welcome to Crazy!

I'd send you a ginseng cutting but you can grab one at Wal-Mart, and I'm way overcommited currently.

Sorce
 
Messages
11
Likes
5
Location
Boise, Idaho
USDA Zone
7a
#4
Hey thanks for responding! So the vibe I'm getting is that osmocote/similar aren't well favored. Does anyone have any recommendations? Or other opinions,

thanks all
 
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383
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265
Location
Nashville TN
USDA Zone
7a
#5
I have it in all of mine, and alternate soluble miracle grow/organic fertilizers every couple of weeks on top of that. I adopted this strategy from an amalgamation of insights gained from members here. So far, I’ve seen no ill results from using it..

I believe Sorce is right about taking into consideration the time of it breaking down. With near daily watering, it does vanish a hell of a lot faster than my house plants that hold it forever. Yet, I have applied more of it to trees than do with house plants.

All that said, the three mentioned fertilizer types are the only ones I’ve ever used on trees...I’m down with trying the fish, but want to use the supplies I have first
 
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723
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773
Location
Alameda, CA
USDA Zone
10a
#6
I use inorganic substrates and mostly chemical fertilizers, and keep some Osmocote on top to make sure at least some nitrogen is always available. I don't rely on it as the sole fertilizer, and I don't know that it's been helpful. I doesn't seem to have hurt anything.
 
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270
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240
Location
Western NC
USDA Zone
7a
#7
I put Osmocote on a number of my trees this year but now regret it. I feel that since it can last 4-6 months I lose control over how much NPK the plants get as well as other nutrients. I am now switching over to an organic 5-5-5 from Ecoscraps and applying it abuot once a month. One warning, avoid the Epsoma ferts unless you like the smell of chicken crap. Their stuff is bagged in Harrisonburg VA, the chicken and turkey capitol of VA. If you have ever been in a dirty chicken coop you know what I mean.
 
Messages
59
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26
Location
Seattle
USDA Zone
8b
#8
I like to experiment and make different mix, please be aware I am a newbie so don't take all for granted. Fertilizing all depend on the objectives you want to achieve me personally I am focusing on grow and not on refine so I fertilize hard and so far with good results. I been using Osmocote, Miracle Grow soluble the general purpose and the Tomato plant one I have also introduced the Fish fertilizer lately. I use a tea spoon of slow release fertilizer every month during the growing season plus every week a different soluble one let's say one week the fish fertilizer and the other week the Miracle Grow.
 
Messages
11
Likes
5
Location
Boise, Idaho
USDA Zone
7a
#9
Hey all, thanks for the replies. So I am thinking that at a minimum attempting to try some alternative ferts would be a good place to start, outside of crumby little balls. So I have heard some votes for Miracle Grow, a vote for Ecoscraps. Anyone one have strong opinions on a good easy to apply beginner fert? Thanks for your help!
 

cmeg1

Masterpiece
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Location
Southeast Pennsylvania USA
USDA Zone
7a
#10
If its outdoors you could try Earthjuice Grow and Bloom.
I always liked it with every watering.If you have a local hydro store to save shipping
 
Messages
310
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48
Location
SE-OH USA
USDA Zone
6-A
#11
After a ten year run of having trees ravaged (by voles) in wither storage, when using organic fertilizers. I switched over to osmocote. I will grant it does not work as well as organics do, but you have to have a live tree before that distinction amounts to a piss-hole in the snow.

If your trees get torn up, you'll switch too.
 

M. Frary

Bonsai Godzilla
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Location
Mio Michigan
USDA Zone
4
#13
After a ten year run of having trees ravaged (by voles) in wither storage, when using organic fertilizers.
It isn't the fertilizer voles are after.
They're after your bark and buds.
I get vile activity unless I lock the trees down in fort knox.
I've never used anything organic on or in my trees.
 
Messages
11
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5
Location
Boise, Idaho
USDA Zone
7a
#14
Okay then, with economics playing a role in decision making, I’m considering trying miracle grow. Any dosing recommendations? Or strong contrary opinions?
 

coh

Masterpiece
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Location
Rochester, NY
USDA Zone
6
#15
I've used osmocote in trees in nursery containers. I generally won't use it on trees in bonsai pots/soil for a number of reasons - but mainly because you have no control over how quickly/how much of the fertilizer is being released. If I use one of the powdered fertilizers I know exactly what is going into the system.

Now, that said, I do use tea bags with organic fertilizer on some of my trees. Same type of problem there, you don't really know how much fertilizer is getting released but it should be a much smaller/safer amount. For some trees that I want more growth on (ficus that have been defoliated as an example), I may add a bit of osmocote to the tea bag. That way it stays contained and I can easily remove it if I feel the need to do so. I would never add something like osmocote directly to the mixed bonsai soil.
 

M. Frary

Bonsai Godzilla
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Location
Mio Michigan
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4
#16
Okay then, with economics playing a role in decision making, I’m considering trying miracle grow. Any dosing recommendations? Or strong contrary opinions?
Some people use it at low doses frequently.
I'm in the strong dose like 5 times the amount prescribed once a week camp.
Miracle grow gives the tree everything it needs.
 
Messages
27
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18
Location
NYC
USDA Zone
7b
#17
Can’t speak for anyone else but tried it and had poor results.
Same for me, I used it from spring 2017 until spring 2018 on my tropical and deciduous and the effects were underwhelming. It also doesn't reliably last 6 months as advertised.
 
Messages
270
Likes
240
Location
Western NC
USDA Zone
7a
#18
One option you have is to use either teabags or plastic baskets. That way when you decide to switch to something else you can easily remove the Osmocote. If you use a dry fert broadcast on the surface you have to water it in regularly or rake it down under the surface if you use drip irrigation as I do. If it isn’t raining on a regular basis I just get out he waternig can and give it a good sprinkle.
 

0soyoung

Masterpiece
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Location
Anacortes, WA
USDA Zone
8b
#20
I have all my trees in Turface MVP.
I 'only' Osmocote-Plus (exception is occasional use of general purpose chem fert. when I'm in a pinch). I apply it at the rate of one-quarter to one-half teaspoon per pot-gallon of substrate twice a year.
I think my trees, in general, are quite healthy, but maybe it is just my lyin' eyes.
I do know that you don't want to put shit in Turface.