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Banana Plant Soil, Additives, and Fertilizer This forum is an area where you may discuss the soil to grow banana plants in, as well as soil additives such as teas, composts, manures, fertilizers and related topics.


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Old 11-11-2009, 05:33 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default dirt

it seems like I spend alot of money on dirt. I know that some of you guys must use ten times more than I do,there has got to be a better way than what I am doing (miracle grow potting soil) was looking for opinions on this. Thanks
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Old 11-11-2009, 06:19 PM   #2 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: dirt

You need to find a local nursery supply house you get better stuff cheaper than miracle gro but you have to buy it in bigger sizes... like 3.8 cubic foot bails...

If you want to really save some money and have some room on your property you can have a nursery supply house mix up soil however you want it and deliver a whole truck load. That is what I will be doing this spring...
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Old 11-11-2009, 08:12 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: dirt

If you have some small space for a compost pile you could pile uup all your yard waste, kitchen scraps......old crab shells..etc and in a while you'll have some of the best stuff available. I'd amend it with some perlite or other materials...bark chips, sand for drainage and you ve got some great potting soil.
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Old 11-11-2009, 08:40 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: dirt

I'm with Bob. We don't buy anything in bags like that. Also, no dirt in the mix! We use peat moss, perlite, compost, rotted horse manure, with a wetting agent (Aqua Grow), moisture retaining crystals, and time release fertilizer.
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Old 11-11-2009, 08:51 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: dirt

I second the last 3 motions on Dirt :^)
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Old 11-11-2009, 09:27 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: dirt

Quote:
Originally Posted by fishoifc View Post
it seems like I spend alot of money on dirt. I know that some of you guys must use ten times more than I do,there has got to be a better way than what I am doing (miracle grow potting soil) was looking for opinions on this. Thanks
Are you using the soil for pots or in the ground? If you are using it for potting, try to find Pro-Mix BX or Fafard Growing Mix #2 bails. Ace Hardware sells Pro-Mix bails where I live. The only bad thing about it is the fact that you have to wet the medium before use.

Like already mentioned, if you use your own compost, you must mix in with other media (vermiculite, perlite etc.).

If you are using it to amend outdoor soil, just use compost. Local farms may have extra manure they may want to give away. For adding soil outdoors, you probably won't have much luck finding anything cheap and high quality.
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Old 11-12-2009, 10:53 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: dirt

It depends on what you are growing, but I often use straight compost (made from grass clippings, leaves, pine straw, kitchen scraps) for bananas and container veggies. For some small plants, I do use a layer of commercial potting soil on the surface. For citrus in containers, I use pine bark chunks with a little potting soil==about 4:1.
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Old 11-12-2009, 02:41 PM   #8 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: dirt

What I have been doing is buying a few of the large bags of Premier Pro-Mix BX
with Mycorise and mixing it with stuff from my compost pile and some black kow. I also have a trash can full of vermiculite and another one full of peat moss and I mix that in too depending on what I am using it for. Soon as my worm farm gets finished I will be using that as well.
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Old 11-12-2009, 08:06 PM   #9 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: dirt

To be honest I have been reusing my old dirt and mixing it with new dirt, compost, Worm Castings, Perlite, and Azomite. I also started a dirt pile out back that I mix Horse manure and compost in and also let my yard clippings lay and die.

But a local nursery is a good option.
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Old 11-12-2009, 09:08 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: dirt

When I make soil for myself I currently use:

2 buckets fine-grained humic compost (cooked and sifted greenery waste).
1 bucket Perlite (or Scoria -- for 20+ gallon tubs and long-term plantings).
1 bucket Horticultural Sand (this is 1/8 to 1/4 inch grain size).
1 bucket Sphagnum Peat Moss.
1 bucket Worm Castings.

Each bucket is 5 gallons and I use a clean cement mixer to mix it. The end cost is about $2 per cubic foot.
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Old 11-12-2009, 09:40 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: dirt

Ok I think I got some good Ideas, I dont have a compost pile I should have one by now, plenty of horses around here. I may be able to get all the things you mentioned Richard thats a good lookin recipe. Thanks for the help.
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Old 11-12-2009, 09:58 PM   #12 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: dirt

Make sure you let the horse manure compost before using...

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Originally Posted by fishoifc View Post
Ok I think I got some good Ideas, I dont have a compost pile I should have one by now, plenty of horses around here. I may be able to get all the things you mentioned Richard thats a good lookin recipe. Thanks for the help.
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Old 11-15-2009, 01:47 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Default Re: dirt

I still have a chance to get some free horse manure by Mike's house for the garden there. If we spread it out now & then till it in in spring, will that work? Thanks
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Old 11-15-2009, 08:00 AM   #14 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: dirt

Maybe this will help answer your question...

Quote:
A Guide to Composting Horse Manure

A Guide to Composting Horse Manure

by Jessica Paige, WSU Cooperative Extension, Whatcom County

If you've been stockpiling your manure in a single pile for as long as you can remember, you may have found that if you dig into the middle of the pile, you'll find something that resembles dirt more than it does manure. If this is the case, at least some of your manure has already gone through the decomposition, or composting, process. Manure that has been left uncovered in large, spread out piles will eventually compost. However, this version of composting often creates unpleasant odors because there is not enough air reaching the inside of the pile. These piles also rarely reach high enough temperatures to kill parasites, fly larvae, weed seeds, and pathogens. The following information on composting will help you learn how to compost all of your manure, instead of what's just in the middle, speed up the process dramatically, and help heat manure up to temperatures that will kill parasites, fly larvae, weed seeds, and pathogens.
The Benefits of Composting
Horse Health

Reduce flies. A well-managed compost pile will reach temperatures high enough to kill fly eggs and larvae in manure. By reducing the amount of uncomposted manure you have, you'll also reduce breeding grounds for flies.

Kill parasites and pathogens. The high temperatures achieved through composting also kill worms and pathogens (organisms such as bacteria, viruses, fungi, and protozoa that are capable of producing an infection or disease). This is especially important if you are spreading your manure in the same fields your horses graze in or on vegetable gardens.

Convenience and Aesthetics

Reduce odors. A well-managed compost pile will be free of the odors often associated with an uncomposted manure pile.

Cut your pile in half. Composting reduces bulk and has 40 to 60 percent less volume and weight than uncomposted manure. That means you can reduce the amount of your manure pile by about 50 percent by composting!

Kill weed seeds. The high temperatures achieved through composting will kill most weed seeds.

Improve marketability. Compost is much more marketable than uncomposted manure and is often used by topsoil companies, landscapers, nurseries, and organic farmers. You may be able to sell your compost and actually make money out of that mountain of manure!

Even out grazing patterns. Horses grazing in pastures spread with composted manure (instead of fresh manure) are more likely to graze normally and are less likely to restrict grazing to areas with the thinnest application rates.

Healthy Soil

Improve aeration and water retention. Adding compost to soil builds good soil structure and texture, increasing the amount of air that can infiltrate and the amount of water it can hold. Adding compost to heavy clay soil loosens the packed soil by opening up pore spaces that, like little tunnels, carry air and water down into the soil. Sandy soils, which tend to let water drain away too rapidly, are also improved with the addition of compost. The fine particles are united into larger ones that can hold a greater amount of water-100 pounds of compost can hold about 195 pounds of water! By increasing the soil's moisture-holding capacity, compost also helps control erosion that would otherwise wash topsoil away.

Supply nutrients. When fresh manure is spread on a field, about 50 percent of the nitrogen is in a highly soluble form and will be washed out by rain when it is spread on a pasture. In compost, however, 95 to 97 percent of nitrogen has been converted to a much more stable form and will be slowly released, allowing plants to use it over a longer period of time. Compost doles out nutrients slowly when plants are small and at greater rates as soil temperatures warm up and the major growth period begins. (Soil microorganisms that release the nutrients from compost work harder as temperatures increase.) The benefits of adding compost will also last for more than one season. Composted manure releases about 50 percent of its nutrients in the first season and a decreasing percentage in the following years. This means that with constant additions of compost, the reserves of plant nutrients in the soil are being built up to the point where, for several seasons, little fertilizer of any kind may be needed.

Bacteria, earthworms, and pH. Compost also supports essential soil bacteria; feeds earthworms and allows them to multiply; and gradually changes soil pH levels that are either too low (acidic) or too high (alkaline).

The Environment

Protect water quality. Because the composting process converts nitrogen into a less soluble form, it is less likely to be washed out of manure and into ground water and surface water. Excessive amounts of nitrate in drinking water can cause health problems such as blue baby syndrome and may be linked to cancer and birth defects. Recent samplings of wells in northern Whatcom County have found nitrate levels above the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's safe drinking water standards.

Protect fish and shellfish. When rain falls on soil rich with compost, raindrops seep into it. When rain falls on packed soil rain runs off the surface, creating erosion and carrying soil particles to nearby waterways. Sediment can smother trout and salmon eggs and make water cloudy, making it more difficult for fish to find insects to eat. Raw manure also contains fecal coliform bacteria which is commonly used to measure contamination of water from human or animal waste. The coliform bacteria may not necessarily produce disease, but can indicate the presence of other bacteria that may cause infections, hepatitis, and other illnesses. When coliform bacteria is found in the water around shellfish growing areas, it often leads to shellfish bed closures. Composting kills most of these coliform bacteria as well as viruses and parasites that may be a concern to human health.

Conserve our natural resources. Using compost instead of chemical fertilizers can reduce our use of non-renewable resources like natural gas. Approximately two percent of the natural gas consumed in the United States goes into the manufacturing of nitrogen fertilizer.
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Old 11-15-2009, 02:28 PM   #15 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: dirt

I found a Bushel Stop store or a local nusery may have some potting soil.
It cost $25.00 to $30.00 per yard already mixed with perlite and ready to go.
The worms love it and leave their casings in return for a good home.
We compost too, but I just use that for top dressing.
After several years of dumping and re-potting I have some of the best soil in the neighborhood.
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Old 11-15-2009, 02:38 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Quote:
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I found a Bushel Stop store or a local nusery may have some potting soil.
It cost $25.00 to $30.00 per yard already mixed with perlite and ready to go.
The worms love it and leave their casings in return for a good home.
We compost too, but I just use that for top dressing.
After several years of dumping and re-potting I have some of the best soil in the neighborhood.
That's a good price per cubic yard of mixed soil.

With regard to top-dressing soil -- studies done by UC Davis Farm Extension have shown that top dressing with compost is no better and sometimes worse than top dressing with 3-4 inches of 1-inch diameter mulch. However, when the compost is put down as a soil finisher and then covered with mulch -- this is the best situation.
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Old 11-17-2009, 04:13 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Default Re: dirt

anyone tried this stuff kinda allot of money
Roots Grow Supply Happy Frog Soil (46/pallet)
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Old 11-17-2009, 04:44 PM   #18 (permalink)
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anyone tried this stuff kinda allot of money
Roots Grow Supply Happy Frog Soil (46/pallet)
I could not figure out what quantity you would receive for $24.95. I sent them an email.
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Old 11-17-2009, 08:04 PM   #19 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: dirt

Happy Frog Potting Soil, 2 cubic feet (51.4 dry qts)
$18.99 new - Amazon.com
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Old 11-17-2009, 09:13 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Happy Frog Potting Soil, 2 cubic feet (51.4 dry qts)
$18.99 new - Amazon.com
Thanks, the email I sent to "RootsGrow" bounced. Anyway, the frog fertilizer appears low in minerals. In Fresno there are a lot of Ag supply stores. You can do better for a lot less money.
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