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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 03-27-2011, 07:54 AM   #21 (permalink)
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Default Re: Earth Worm Castings

I think a couple of my dragon fruit have roots on them. I brought them inside since this week its going to be cool here
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Old 05-14-2011, 10:05 PM   #22 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Earth Worm Castings

I got a few dragon fruit cuttings from someone here on the board when I went to pick up bananas from him :-) This made me want more so now I have purchased 3 different varieties two cuttings each off of ebay and will put them in some soil to root soon!
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Old 05-14-2011, 10:13 PM   #23 (permalink)
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Default Re: Earth Worm Castings

Thats great Kat, the 2 varieties I have are American Beauty and Natural Mystic. Dragon fruit is a very interesting plant and I like how fast it grows. I was admiring your yard pictures also. You have a very beautiful and lush yard. I wish I could plant my dragon fruit in the ground but it freezes here in winter so I have them all in containers. I have to build some trellises once they start getting bigger
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Old 05-15-2011, 05:17 PM   #24 (permalink)
 
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Thats great Kat, the 2 varieties I have are American Beauty and Natural Mystic. Dragon fruit is a very interesting plant and I like how fast it grows. I was admiring your yard pictures also. You have a very beautiful and lush yard. I wish I could plant my dragon fruit in the ground but it freezes here in winter so I have them all in containers. I have to build some trellises once they start getting bigger
The ones I got were just labeled pink, red, and white LOL so who knows what kinds they are. I actually am in the same zone that you are! I haven't grown dragonfruit before so I'm not sure how they will fare here. I was thinking I'll root them put them in the ground and before the first freeze take some cuttings to bring indoors. So, since the post is titled earth worm castings, do you worm farm? I just got some more today and now have approx 8,000 in my worm bed (mini worm farm) but I haven't been able to harvest castings yet as I've just had them a few weeks and my bed is pretty big (3ftx3ft) which is why I got more today. I did buy 3lbs of earthworm castings, but the lady told me there were probably casings in there so i put the castings in a box and then pushed them to half of box and put bedding and food in other half and now I have baby worms over there. I want to use my castings that I bought but I'm not sure how I want to! I am thinking I might make worm casting tea since I don't have that many right now and foiliar feed everything.
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Old 05-16-2011, 07:19 PM   #25 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Earth Worm Castings

Hi it's Cecil from Australia!
Love you Lot you are real down to earth type of people,and you all seem to appreciate life in the garden.
Over here i don't get as much cold as your-selves however i can get a frost sometimes and that can happen any time now as we are coming into winter.
I am testing a new product that is supposed to stop frost,on my dragon fruit and bananas,i will keep you posted on the results.
So far i have five hundred dragon fruit planted White Red Yellow Pink only a few Purple.

Look just keep growing you lot.

Cheers Cecil.
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Old 05-16-2011, 07:34 PM   #26 (permalink)
 
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Hi it's Cecil from Australia!
Love you Lot you are real down to earth type of people,and you all seem to appreciate life in the garden.
Over here i don't get as much cold as your-selves however i can get a frost sometimes and that can happen any time now as we are coming into winter.
I am testing a new product that is supposed to stop frost,on my dragon fruit and bananas,i will keep you posted on the results.
So far i have five hundred dragon fruit planted White Red Yellow Pink only a few Purple.

Look just keep growing you lot.

Cheers Cecil.

What product are you trying? That's ALOT of dragonfruit! How much area are you growing it on.
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Old 05-17-2011, 01:00 PM   #27 (permalink)
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Default Re: Earth Worm Castings

Hi Kat and Cecil. I'm new to dragon fruit too. I have been reading alot on dragon fruit, and I do know that they definitely wont take the frost or freezes here. When mine get bigger I may try growing a few cuttings in the ground just to see the results. The American Beauty has magenta flesh and the Natural Mystic has red flesh, both are also self fertile. I wish I did have a worm fram, I just buy my castings from a feed store. My mom has a phobia or worms so even if I did have room for one, I couldnt have it lol. I think its so cool that you have a mini worm farm. I never thought about making a tea from earth worm castings, thats a really good idea. Cecil I'm definitely curious about the product you are using.
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Old 05-17-2011, 03:40 PM   #28 (permalink)
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Default Re: Earth Worm Castings

Worm Castings have two categories of use in horticulture:
  1. Soil Conditioner. (a) to inoculate a soil mix destined for pots or planter beds. You really don't need more than a cup per cubic foot. (b) Applied 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick on the soil surface of a planter bed or orchard, under a 3 to 5 inch thick layer of mulch (1/2 to 1 inch diameter variety). If the surface of the ground freezes during your winter, then apply once per year in the spring - or at least every other year. If the ground does not freeze during your winter, then every 5 to 7 years is sufficient provided you maintain a thick layer of mulch.
  2. Fertilizer. Well, its better than no fertilizer at all, but it is not a very economical choice in terms of volume, labor, or cost. Mainly worm casting are an unbalanced source of micronutrients -- which cause the "greenup" you see after application. (a) When worm castings are moist (not soggy or dry) then the levels of major nutrients is about 1/4 to 1/2 % each. You'll need about 25 pounds of worm castings per plant per year to deliver a significant impact of major nutrients on the fruiting banana plant, and about 300 lbs / plant / year to reach the plants' capacity. (b) Worm tea contains less micronutrients and less total nutrients than the castings. If you are going to make it then it should be over night and it should never be in a warm container more than 30 minutes because the nitrogen will leave. After 18 hours the beneficial micro-organisms in the tea will be dead. Foliar application (spraying on leaves) is not recommended for many parts of the world because the solution provides an environment for mildew and other fungi to grow.
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Old 05-17-2011, 07:08 PM   #29 (permalink)
 
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Worm Castings have two categories of use in horticulture:
  1. Soil Conditioner. (a) to inoculate a soil mix destined for pots or planter beds. You really don't need more than a cup per cubic foot. (b) Applied 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick on the soil surface of a planter bed or orchard, under a 3 to 5 inch thick layer of mulch (1/2 to 1 inch diameter variety). If the surface of the ground freezes during your winter, then apply once per year in the spring - or at least every other year. If the ground does not freeze during your winter, then every 5 to 7 years is sufficient provided you maintain a thick layer of mulch.
  2. Fertilizer. Well, its better than no fertilizer at all, but it is not a very economical choice in terms of volume, labor, or cost. Mainly worm casting are an unbalanced source of micronutrients -- which cause the "greenup" you see after application. (a) When worm castings are moist (not soggy or dry) then the levels of major nutrients is about 1/4 to 1/2 % each. You'll need about 25 pounds of worm castings per plant per year to deliver a significant impact of major nutrients on the fruiting banana plant, and about 300 lbs / plant / year to reach the plants' capacity. (b) Worm tea contains less micronutrients and less total nutrients than the castings. If you are going to make it then it should be over night and it should never be in a warm container more than 30 minutes because the nitrogen will leave. After 18 hours the beneficial micro-organisms in the tea will be dead. Foliar application (spraying on leaves) is not recommended for many parts of the world because the solution provides an environment for mildew and other fungi to grow.
Very informative I appreciate it. I really thought there was more value to it than what you say. There is such a hype for it. I guess it is a great seed starter at least and as you say better than nothing and good soil conditioner LOL. As far as the worm tea, does the aeration and adding molasses make this more valuable and nutrient rich?
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Old 05-17-2011, 08:20 PM   #30 (permalink)
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I really thought there was more value to it than what you say. There is such a hype for it.
It is part of the "Gardening by here-say" movement.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dreaminofthetropics View Post
As far as the worm tea, does the aeration and adding molasses make this more valuable and nutrient rich?
The two things I've noticed about worm tea:
1. It is easier to apply than worm castings.
2. The person making it obtains a sense of accomplishment.

Worm tea is used by industry in very controlled conditions involving aeration to grow certain beneficial strains of bacteria. Despite the claims of sellers of aeration pumps, most people are not going to accomplish this in their backyard.

Some plants respond well to wood sugars (e.g., molasses) as part of an overall nutrition plan. Wood sugars are also used to chelate nutrients in liquid fertilizers and supplements. Typically though we use ligno-sulfate instead of grocery store molasses because:
1. The grocery store variety is missing essential oils (higher sugar content).
2. The grocery store variety costs much more per pound.
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Old 05-18-2011, 11:15 AM   #31 (permalink)
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Default Re: Earth Worm Castings

Thanks so much for the info Richard. I always thought that Earthworm castings were one of the best fertilizers because i seemed to hear so many good things about it.
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Old 12-19-2012, 11:35 PM   #32 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Earth Worm Castings

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Very informative I appreciate it. I really thought there was more value to it than what you say. There is such a hype for it. I guess it is a great seed starter at least and as you say better than nothing and good soil conditioner LOL. As far as the worm tea, does the aeration and adding molasses make this more valuable and nutrient rich?
I don't think I would listen to what that poster said. Worm castings are the best organic fertilizer on the planet. They are full of tons of nutrients and growth stimulators. They actually increase the nutrients of everything that they eat. It's ridiculous to say that worm castings aren't full of nutrients like Richard said. Worm castings are as balanced a fertilizer as there is.


Source... Owner of Hamilton Organics, LLC ... A worm farm. Also an avid gardener.

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Old 12-19-2012, 11:44 PM   #33 (permalink)
 
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Thanks so much for the info Richard. I always thought that Earthworm castings were one of the best fertilizers because i seemed to hear so many good things about it.
Worm castings are the best organic fertilizer on the planet. They are full of macro and micro nutrients that are readily available to the plants. They also help retain moisture and have many microorganisms that help break down the organic matter already in the soil for the plants to absorb. Don't listen to anyone that tells you otherwise about Worm Castings. You can't go wrong with them. I'm no expert on banana plants, but there's no doubt that worm castings are completely balanced for a fertilizer.
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Old 12-19-2012, 11:47 PM   #34 (permalink)
 
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It is part of the "Gardening by here-say" movement.



The two things I've noticed about worm tea:
1. It is easier to apply than worm castings.
2. The person making it obtains a sense of accomplishment.

Worm tea is used by industry in very controlled conditions involving aeration to grow certain beneficial strains of bacteria. Despite the claims of sellers of aeration pumps, most people are not going to accomplish this in their backyard.

Some plants respond well to wood sugars (e.g., molasses) as part of an overall nutrition plan. Wood sugars are also used to chelate nutrients in liquid fertilizers and supplements. Typically though we use ligno-sulfate instead of grocery store molasses because:
1. The grocery store variety is missing essential oils (higher sugar content).
2. The grocery store variety costs much more per pound.
The molasses is used to feed the microorganisms, not the plants. Much like making Bokashi.
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Old 12-20-2012, 03:20 AM   #35 (permalink)
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Worm castings are the best organic fertilizer on the planet. They are full of macro and micro nutrients that are readily available to the plants. They also help retain moisture and have many microorganisms that help break down the organic matter already in the soil for the plants to absorb. Don't listen to anyone that tells you otherwise about Worm Castings. You can't go wrong with them. I'm no expert on banana plants, but there's no doubt that worm castings are completely balanced for a fertilizer.



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Info:Fertilizer - Bananas Wiki

Worm Castings (Vermicompost): 0.5-0.5-0.5. Worm castings are an excellent addition to any soil mix because they put low dosages of phosphate in the root zone. The worm flem present in the castings is also a food source for mycchorizae and other organisms beneficial to plants. However, agricultural studies (with control groups) in San Diego county have shown that worm castings applied to the soil surface are no better and far more expensive than composted mulch. Further, surface application of worm castings provides an environment for the growth of noxious weeds. Up to two hundred pounds of dried worm castings per year are needed to meet the full requirements of a single banana plant.
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Old 12-20-2012, 03:37 AM   #36 (permalink)
 
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Info:Fertilizer - Bananas Wiki

Worm Castings (Vermicompost): 0.5-0.5-0.5. Worm castings are an excellent addition to any soil mix because they put low dosages of phosphate in the root zone. The worm flem present in the castings is also a food source for mycchorizae and other organisms beneficial to plants. However, agricultural studies (with control groups) in San Diego county have shown that worm castings applied to the soil surface are no better and far more expensive than composted mulch. Further, surface application of worm castings provides an environment for the growth of noxious weeds. Up to two hundred pounds of dried worm castings per year are needed to meet the full requirements of a single banana plant.
Links would be nice. What you are saying makes absolutely no sense. There's much more nutrients in worm castings than in mulch. I've used both and plants definitely enjoy worm castings on the surface more than mulch. Obviously digging it into the root zone will help more. People who talk down on castings have no idea what they're talking about IMO. First hand experience and LOTS of research has proven the benefits of worm castings. I have access to a lot of them with over 100,000 red wigglers and 50,000 European Nightcrawlers. I also have 12 rose bushes that thrive with castings in AZ clay soil. My soil is being amended nicely from the microbes in the castings that work their way into the ground and transform all the nutrients into readily available plant food. Plus the castings have a "mucus" that acts like a slow release fertilizer. Everything the worms eat gets magnified through their digestion process and is readily available to plants. I feed my worms Fruits/veggies, composted horse manure, newspaper, cardboard, micronized Azomite rock dust, crushed egg shells, straw, etc... I challenge anyone to show me a better organic fertilizer than what I have and will even supply a sample of my castings to be tested for a small fee.
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Old 12-20-2012, 03:42 AM   #37 (permalink)
 
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Info:Fertilizer - Bananas Wiki

Worm Castings (Vermicompost): 0.5-0.5-0.5. Worm castings are an excellent addition to any soil mix because they put low dosages of phosphate in the root zone. The worm flem present in the castings is also a food source for mycchorizae and other organisms beneficial to plants. However, agricultural studies (with control groups) in San Diego county have shown that worm castings applied to the soil surface are no better and far more expensive than composted mulch. Further, surface application of worm castings provides an environment for the growth of noxious weeds. Up to two hundred pounds of dried worm castings per year are needed to meet the full requirements of a single banana plant.
By the way...if you allow worm castings to dry out, you lose all of the microbes. They need moisture to survive. And saying "up to 200 LBs" is ridiculous. That could be 1 LB or 50 LBs or 200 LBs. weeds grow because its a great medium for them to grow in with all the great properties of the castings. That's why you use a weed barrier. Weeds will grow in any soil, but especially nutrient rich soils.
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Old 12-20-2012, 04:56 AM   #38 (permalink)
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What you are saying makes absolutely no sense.

Everything the worms eat gets magnified through their digestion.

I have and will even supply a sample of my castings to be tested for a small fee.
It seems as though you have an agenda, which is fine.

I like the idea of magnification through subtraction.

Some of us here grow bananas and banana crops remove nutrients from the

soil at a N-P-K rate of 4.4-1-16.2

Banana Fruit contents Dry Wt. N-P-K 28-4-57, Ca-Mg-S 1-5-5

Banana Leaf contents Dry Wt. N-P-K 37-3-44, Ca-Mg-S 9-4-3

FYI - No one is saying worm castings are bad.
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Old 12-20-2012, 09:59 AM   #39 (permalink)
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Default Re: Earth Worm Castings

I made some worm castings when I was getting my bachelor's. Did some research with it as well. It didn't work any better than black kow did in Gainesville.
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Old 12-20-2012, 10:11 AM   #40 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Earth Worm Castings

Worm Farm Details - Worm Suppliers - Find Worms.com - Find Your Compositing Worms Today
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