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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 12-30-2008, 02:26 PM   #1 (permalink)
 
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Default Fert's

I am hoping Richard will pop in on this one.

I have been using Mega Gro - Algoflash on everything (Expect Bananas) this last year and had really good resoults when mixing with some worm tea. Does anyone know anything that might compare to this stuff before I order more? It is an 6-6-6 Organic well rounded no burn Booster.

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Old 12-30-2008, 03:08 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Useful.
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Old 12-30-2008, 03:09 PM   #3 (permalink)
 
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Check out the pot of Alocasia at the bottom of that page !!!!! I have a pot like that and some dormant EE's that I must put together now.
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Old 12-30-2008, 03:14 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Fert's

Quote:
Originally Posted by Worm_Farmer View Post
I have been using Mega Gro - Argoflash on everything (Expect Bananas) this last year and had really good resoults when mixing with some worm tea. Does anyone know anything that might compare to this stuff before I order more? It is an 6-6-6 Organic well rounded no burn Booster.
Vegetable Gardening * Indoor Gardening * Flower Gardening *Fertilizer and Plant Food
Thanks
You are getting good results because the plants are receiving nitrogen, a moderate amount of phosphorus, and potash -- plus, the worm tea contains micronutrients.

Now about worm castings and worm tea: the best of worlds would be if the worms were fed composted fruits, vegetables, and horse or sheep manure. If you are putting steer or cow manure into the worms' food chain, then you are getting higher concentrations of unwanted minerals which in the long run can degrade your plants. If any of the fruit or vegetable material is store-bought non-certified-organic material, then you might also have plant hormones in your worm castings that could cause your plants to have shorter stems, larger leafs, and less fruit development. This is especially true of commercially produced ornamental flowers, including poinsettias. Also, you are better off giving your plants worm castings than worm tea, because the tea is missing some ingredients that will break down and attract beneficial bacteria.

As for your general purpose triple-six fertilizer, I think you can do better, and probably for less money. Here is what I have written for the horticultural society: PTP_2008_12_Fertilize_II

For a few more details on micronutrients, see: Micronutrients

And since you are focusing on things labeled "organic", you should understand that the word alone is completely unregulated. Read this to find out what the label might mean on various products: PTP_2008_09_Organic
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Old 12-30-2008, 03:18 PM   #5 (permalink)
 
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I have had REALLY good luck with most of their products. The MegaGro spray is a MUST!! I have been told I could just use liquid sea weed vs MegaGro spray but I have had such great lucky with MegaGro that I dont want to try anything else in fear I might not get the same amount of growth. The Spray has made my Angel's trumpet go crazy. When it was in a pot the spray made the plant make TONS of roots fast. Now that it is in the ground I can spray it and the next day see growth. But not all plants respond to the spray, some want a high mix, some want a weaker mix. But without any doubt if you spray a flowering plant it will start to flower early. When made the Milk weed develope flower buds two days after misting the leafs.
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Old 12-30-2008, 03:40 PM   #6 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard View Post
You are getting good results because the plants are receiving nitrogen, a moderate amount of phosphorus, and potash -- plus, the worm tea contains micronutrients.

Now about worm castings and worm tea: the best of worlds would be if the worms were fed composted fruits, vegetables, and horse or sheep manure. If you are putting steer or cow manure into the worms' food chain, then you are getting higher concentrations of unwanted minerals which in the long run can degrade your plants. If any of the fruit or vegetable material is store-bought non-certified-organic material, then you might also have plant hormones in your worm castings that could cause your plants to have shorter stems, larger leafs, and less fruit development. This is especially true of commercially produced ornamental flowers, including poinsettias. Also, you are better off giving your plants worm castings than worm tea, because the tea is missing some ingredients that will break down and attract beneficial bacteria.

As for your general purpose triple-six fertilizer, I think you can do better, and probably for less money. Here is what I have written for the horticultural society: PTP_2008_12_Fertilize_II

For a few more details on micronutrients, see: Micronutrients

And since you are focusing on things labeled "organic", you should understand that the word alone is completely unregulated. Read this to find out what the label might mean on various products: PTP_2008_09_Organic
On a side note: While the castings "attract" bacteria, The act of making tea actually proliferates the bacteria (and fungi) to tremendous populations. These ,in turn, will feed on the material (such as castings) in your soil, and each other, breaking all the components down into usable plant food.
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Old 12-30-2008, 03:41 PM   #7 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard View Post
You are getting good results because the plants are receiving nitrogen, a moderate amount of phosphorus, and potash -- plus, the worm tea contains micronutrients.

Now about worm castings and worm tea: the best of worlds would be if the worms were fed composted fruits, vegetables, and horse or sheep manure. If you are putting steer or cow manure into the worms' food chain, then you are getting higher concentrations of unwanted minerals which in the long run can degrade your plants. If any of the fruit or vegetable material is store-bought non-certified-organic material, then you might also have plant hormones in your worm castings that could cause your plants to have shorter stems, larger leafs, and less fruit development. This is especially true of commercially produced ornamental flowers, including poinsettias. Also, you are better off giving your plants worm castings than worm tea, because the tea is missing some ingredients that will break down and attract beneficial bacteria.

As for your general purpose triple-six fertilizer, I think you can do better, and probably for less money. Here is what I have written for the horticultural society: PTP_2008_12_Fertilize_II

For a few more details on micronutrients, see: Micronutrients

And since you are focusing on things labeled "organic", you should understand that the word alone is completely unregulated. Read this to find out what the label might mean on various products: PTP_2008_09_Organic

Well, I get the Worm tea faster then I get the worm castings. I currently am not getting more then a few gallons of worm castings ever few months. I have expanded to a 2nd farm now, and want to upgrade this summer to a much larger system and add a door on the bottom to have harvesting quick and easy. Right now I mix 1 - 2 handfuls of worm castings into my potting soil before planting. I mostly use it on Flowers, and veggies. As my population grows I will start to get more and more. Once I get to a good point EVERYTHING will get a heavy dose of freash castings a few times a year. I mostly feed them Cardboard, paper products around the house, Coffee grounds, tea bags, Kitchen scraps, old spend veggie plant leafs, grass, Banana leafs and peals. Almost anything and everything I get them. I do not really give them too much manure. I once gave them some Pig poo from out Pot bell and they killed it in just a few days. I also watched them kill a pumpkin which was pretty cool. I am about to get a large shipment of Horse manure that I plan on feeding them a little bit of and starting a large horse manure compost pile to mix into potting soil also. I plan on mixing the horse manure with a bail of hay. The worms are truly amazing! Best pet ever, they dont smell, they dont want to be held, you dont clean up after them, and they pay you back with Pure Black GOLD! And all the ask for is some food and a place to safe place to stay. Because of the castings I harvest I end up putting baby worms in the potting soil, once the plant is moved they are adults in the pot. Now my yard has worms all over it when you dig into the ground.

WORM power FTW!

But my Tropical plants do not seem to like the Worm Dirt to much. When applied to surface or pot the Bananas look like the burn a little bit. But on my veggies, It is pure goodness!
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Old 12-30-2008, 03:54 PM   #8 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Fert's

Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard View Post
You are getting good results because the plants are receiving nitrogen, a moderate amount of phosphorus, and potash -- plus, the worm tea contains micronutrients.

Now about worm castings and worm tea: the best of worlds would be if the worms were fed composted fruits, vegetables, and horse or sheep manure. If you are putting steer or cow manure into the worms' food chain, then you are getting higher concentrations of unwanted minerals which in the long run can degrade your plants. If any of the fruit or vegetable material is store-bought non-certified-organic material, then you might also have plant hormones in your worm castings that could cause your plants to have shorter stems, larger leafs, and less fruit development. This is especially true of commercially produced ornamental flowers, including poinsettias. Also, you are better off giving your plants worm castings than worm tea, because the tea is missing some ingredients that will break down and attract beneficial bacteria.

As for your general purpose triple-six fertilizer, I think you can do better, and probably for less money. Here is what I have written for the horticultural society: PTP_2008_12_Fertilize_II

For a few more details on micronutrients, see: Micronutrients

And since you are focusing on things labeled "organic", you should understand that the word alone is completely unregulated. Read this to find out what the label might mean on various products: PTP_2008_09_Organic

Thanks for this info, I love this break down of Organic gardening. Lots of info I had no clue about. I have book marked this link.
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Old 12-30-2008, 03:56 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Hey Worm_Farmer !

You are talking about the Algoflash general purpose 1 Liter product? What is the net weight printed on the bottle?

Thanks!
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Old 12-30-2008, 04:00 PM   #10 (permalink)
 
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Here's a question that I've pondered for some time: On a television program, this company was gathering food scraps from restaurant dumpsters to feed their worms. The scraps contained all types of bread, veggies,noodles and even meats. I thought these things would contain a lot of salts and produce a potentially toxic product for plants. Can these things be fed to worms to produce usable castings?
If so, there are bakery outlets here where hog farmers get truck loads of stale bread, I could certainly feed some worms with that.
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Old 12-30-2008, 04:09 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
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On a side note: While the castings "attract" bacteria, The act of making tea actually proliferates the bacteria (and fungi) to tremendous populations. These ,in turn, will feed on the material (such as castings) in your soil, and each other, breaking all the components down into usable plant food.
What I'm referring to is the flem and minerals in the worm castings. When you make tea, at least 1/2 of it is left behind. Using castings to make a soil mix or putting them directly on the soil under a layer of mulch delivers more of what you're after to the environment.

Now there are folks (one here locally) who make something like a tea from castings and then add nutrients which do cause tremendous populations to be generated. However, once the population is near peak you have 16 to 32 hours to apply it before they all die. The application here is eradication of pine and eucalyptus beetles.
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Old 12-30-2008, 04:19 PM   #12 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
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Here's a question that I've pondered for some time: On a television program, this company was gathering food scraps from restaurant dumpsters to feed their worms. The scraps contained all types of bread, veggies,noodles and even meats. I thought these things would contain a lot of salts and produce a potentially toxic product for plants. Can these things be fed to worms to produce usable castings?
If so, there are bakery outlets here where hog farmers get truck loads of stale bread, I could certainly feed some worms with that.
Yes, I feed mine stale or moldy bread. You just have to break it up, I rip it with my hands no big deal. I have found that Bagels are just way to thick and turn into a big clump which takes the worms a long time to break down. But keep in mind, you can not just feed the worms one type of food. With only bread will start to run and try to escape looking for food, or they will die off.

restaurant scraps work good, you just have to be a little picky about what they give you. You do not want anything that has been cooked already as it will contain butter, salt and other spices. Salt will dry your worms out and they will die. Meat is a no, no for worms and so is dairy, and acidic foods like cirtus and onions. How ever in moderation you can give them some just have to be careful that there is not to much vs worm population. I have a restaurant where I use to work many years ago, and the Kitchen manager gives me the outer leafs from their lettuce that they would normally toss, and I also grab any peppers or tomatoes that have gone bad. And they always have a large bin of pre mixed salad which has a holding time of 12 hours. Once this happens they have to toss it. I will take it when I can, and when I have space. Most common problem with worms is over feeding them. If there is more food then what they can eat you can created a bad habit for them. If you open your worm bin and it smells like anything other then dirt, or musty air you might have a problem. But as population grows you can throw more and more in there at once.
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Old 12-30-2008, 04:19 PM   #13 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
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Hey Worm_Farmer !

You are talking about the Algoflash general purpose 1 Liter product? What is the net weight printed on the bottle?

Thanks!
I will check once I get home tonight.
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Old 12-30-2008, 04:28 PM   #14 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
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What I'm referring to is the flem and minerals in the worm castings. When you make tea, at least 1/2 of it is left behind. Using castings to make a soil mix or putting them directly on the soil under a layer of mulch delivers more of what you're after to the environment.
I am not talking about worm tea that is sun brewed from worm castings. I have a two layer system, the 2nd layer or bin is where the worms live, and have holes drilled in the bottom of it. The tea I am using is just the liquid that drips from the top bin down to the bottom bin. This liquid appears to be tan in color. Sometimes when I pull the liquid there is also lots of black clumps down there that I also mix into the tea I harvest. When I throw in something like a half a head of expired lettuce I will be able to harvest a good amount of this worm tea as the worms break the lettuce down and the access water drips through all the castings making this rich run off / tea.
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Old 12-30-2008, 04:36 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Well I hope you understand that I like the worm tea -- its a free source of micronutrients and other beneficials, but the castings themselves are even better. On the subject of worm food, one worm farmer I know brings 5-gallon buckets to vegetable vendors at Farmers Markets, and then goes home with a truckload of green scraps.
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Old 12-30-2008, 04:40 PM   #16 (permalink)
 
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I thought you meant aerated tea, Wormfarmer. Do you make any aerated stuff as well?
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Old 12-30-2008, 05:55 PM   #17 (permalink)
 
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I thought you meant aerated tea, Wormfarmer. Do you make any aerated stuff as well?
I have not had the chance to make aerated tea yet. It takes a good amount of castings to make this tea. Right now I do not have an access amount of castings to make this type of tea right now. I will try it once day, but right now the castings are treated like gold. I do not give any way yet, and I use all the I make and wish I had more. I do want to experiment with the aerated tea and misting the leafs of plants. I have read that doing this is very healthy and fights different disease's that may be eating at my plants. I really cant wait till I get to the point where I can grow some veggies in nothing but castings. I have been told this would a waste of castings, but What the heck if I have plenty to go around why not? Next year I am really hoping to get my setup a big jump and start producing my own castings by the LB. I would really like to see myself harvesting at least a 3 gallon pot once a month, if not more. Once I get to this point I plan on sharing with EVERYONE! I know. I also cant wait till I get to a point where I can spare worms and give people worm systems that are already working so they can start worm farming them self's. Right now I am unsure about my worm population I stated with 1 lb last year. I have expanded to two systems, once is REALLY active the other is a little newer and has more babies then adults so in about 45 - 60 days they should be adults and that bin will be crazy and I will have to start a new one or expand to a larger system.


Quote:
Well I hope you understand that I like the worm tea -- its a free source of micronutrients and other beneficials, but the castings themselves are even better. On the subject of worm food, one worm farmer I know brings 5-gallon buckets to vegetable vendors at Farmers Markets, and then goes home with a truckload of green scraps.
I understand and completely agree with you. Just the thing is I get more run off / tea then castings right now. When I harvest castings I am pulling about 3 - 4 gallons of black gold at a time.

You know I never thought about trying the farmers market, it would be a better source of good food waste. With restaurant I still have to look through what the give him. Sometimes I find wax covered paper, or already cooked items. Once they gave me a large portion of burned rice which was not using able.


On another note I am been experimenting with a new way to do my raised beds. I am making them out of cinder blocks, digging a trench 3 - 4" and burring the blocks. I then fill the holes in the blocks with compost material creating a lot of little compost piles around my bed. I then put a layer of soil on top of the plant matter I want to compost down. I have also stated planting strawberry plants in these holes also. By the end of this year I will be able to tell you how well this actually worked, and if I think it works well I plan on making a lot more raised beds like this one.
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Old 12-30-2008, 10:40 PM   #18 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Fert's

Quote:
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Hey Worm_Farmer !

You are talking about the Algoflash general purpose 1 Liter product? What is the net weight printed on the bottle?

Thanks!
Net Weight:
1220g
43oz

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Edit: I just noticed how much cheaper it is on their website. Algoflash- Making your plants grow, has just been simplified.

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Old 12-31-2008, 01:44 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Thanks, that is a great photo of the label. The nitrogen content is about 1/2 Urea-based, so definitely keep this product away from orchids, bromeliads, hydroponics, and other soil-less situations. It has a good composition of minerals but nothing you won't find in a standard agricultural product.

O.K., so the Algoflash General Purpose "6-6-6" 5-liter bottle is $40 for about 13.5 lbs of net product. This bottle contains (6% x 13.5 lbs) 0.81 lbs net of Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Potassium (each). That works out to (40 / 0.81) $49.38 per net lb of Nitrogen or Potassium, take your pick. Either way, this is an extremely overpriced fertilizer.

Looking closely at the label, I could offer a product with the very same contents. Here would be my costs:
  • 5-liter plastic bottle, cap, and seal: $1.50
  • Fancy labels on both sides of bottle: $0.50
  • 4 lbs of acid-forming 20-20-20 with micronutrients: $4.50
  • 4 liters of distilled water: $0.50
  • Production line (fill and seal) fee: $1.00
  • Transporting materials and bottles to/from production line: $0.30
Total cost: $8.30. Now even with added advertising and labor costs, it seems that $40 is way out of line.

But I never will offer such a product. Although 6-6-6 is a good general purpose formula, with little effort you can do better and often for less money.
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Old 12-31-2008, 02:18 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Default Re: Fert's

Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard View Post
Thanks, that is a great photo of the label. The nitrogen content is about 1/2 Urea-based, so definitely keep this product away from orchids, bromeliads, hydroponics, and other soil-less situations. It has a good composition of minerals but nothing you won't find in a standard agricultural product.

O.K., so the Algoflash General Purpose "6-6-6" 5-liter bottle is $40 for about 13.5 lbs of net product. This bottle contains (6% x 13.5 lbs) 0.81 lbs net of Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Potassium (each). That works out to (40 / 0.81) $49.38 per net lb of Nitrogen or Potassium, take your pick. Either way, this is an extremely overpriced fertilizer.

Looking closely at the label, I could offer a product with the very same contents. Here would be my costs:
  • 5-liter plastic bottle, cap, and seal: $1.50
  • Fancy labels on both sides of bottle: $0.50
  • 4 lbs of acid-forming 20-20-20 with micronutrients: $4.50
  • 4 liters of distilled water: $0.50
  • Production line (fill and seal) fee: $1.00
  • Transporting materials and bottles to/from production line: $0.30
Total cost: $8.30. Now even with added advertising and labor costs, it seems that $40 is way out of line.

But I never will offer such a product. Although 6-6-6 is a good general purpose formula, with little effort you can do better and often for less money.
Nice job Richard, that's what I pay you for...lol! It makes so much sense when you break it down for us like that. I will just get my fertilizer from you and not worry about it. Just set-up a fertilization program for my potted bananas and I am good to go. Oh, and I also have those pitayas, babco, puya, Madagascar Palm, EE's, Joey Palm and some other tropical ferns and palms.
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