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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 05-15-2009, 07:42 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Finding fertilizer

Most of what I read here suggests a high K (potassium) ferilizer, like 15-5-30, or 20-5-30 for bananas. It is very difficult to find anything like this in places like HD, or Lowes. Everything they have is "general purpose", or lawn food (high N - nitrogen) I remember, over the years having been in some farm stores, in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, of a company called Agway. The way I remember it, these places would mix up the fertilizer, in any formula you wanted. So, I Googled the name, and found a location about 15 miles from here. However, when I got there, I found it was not a company store, but a regular garden center that happened to sell some Agway products. They did no mixing, and the best I could do was to get some 0-0-60, and I'll have to do a little mixing myself. (I probably could have gotten it right here, at a local garden center) Then I read something about using a "bloom booster", and that the 15-5-30 is a good bloom booster. The only "bloom booster" I've seen are high P (phosphorus), something like 0-50-0. This is pretty much the opposite of what is recommended above, and, certainly, 15-5-30 wold not qualify as a bloom booster.
Sounds like people are guessing. Can someone, who's not guessing, clear up the confusion?
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Old 05-15-2009, 08:22 AM   #2 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Finding fertilizer

Quote:
Sounds like people are guessing. Can someone, who's not guessing, clear up the confusion?
I completely agree, I have been reluctant to try the 15-5-30 because the pictures of 'those' recieving that fert don't look any better than mine by comparison---and I have been using only slow release ratio of 4-2-4 x 3 every 3 months.

I desperately need a water saluable fertiler and fast because my nanners (like the ones i have seen in members gallery) are suffering from calcium dificiency and high pH. I thought about trying Grow-more from Richard because it is water saluable, but I am concerned about the salt content with a non-liquid fert. and having to add K-Mag also? I have too many products to mix as it is.

Salt may not be a problem for most growers, but ground salt must be leaching into the reclaimed sprinkler water. So the salt is a serious issue that needs not be compounded by additional fertilizer salts. I have since stopped using all of my palm/citrus fertilizers for this reason. Now my bananas get nothing until someone answers your question John.
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Old 05-15-2009, 10:44 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Finding fertilizer

last year I mixed the MG tomato and the regular MG 2:1 and they did great. This year I am ordering some "Banana Fert" off the internet to try.
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Old 05-15-2009, 11:25 AM   #4 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Finding fertilizer

After massive amounts of digging and dirt under my finger nails, I managed to uncover this shtuff,

**Important, before I release my secrets, we must find out if Urea-free nitrogen will even be at all beneficial, or simply a waste of money(see acrticle below). Anyway here is the only store I can find that sells any of the M.S.U.-formulated products. These fertilizers are specifically for orchids, but the ratios mirror Richard's hypothesis
Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard. An ideal ratio would be 16-1-24.
Here is a snipet of an article relating to the MSU formulas
Quote:
In general, it is the decrease in excess nitrogen that is responsible for more abundant blooming. Since water quality is so important to the way plants utilize nutrients, the researchers at MSU have developed two formulas—one for mineral-rich, or hard, water such as most well water (19-4-23), and a second for relatively pure water such as RO (13-3-15). --- In general it is best to use fertilizers formulated with ammoniac or nitrate sources of nitrogen rather than urea, which does not break down as readily under normal orchid-growing conditions and can be washed out of a pot before it becomes available to the plant. The Gardener's Guide to Growing Orchids
They appear affordable and are available in larger or smaller amounts, but I don't know what S/H charges are.



1. MSU-type Fertilizer for Pure Water - 5 lb 13-3-15-8Ca-2Mg
Product Listing - MSU-type Fertilizer for Pure Water - 5 lb

2. MSU-type Fertilizer for Well Water - 5 lb 19-4-23
Product Listing - MSU-type Fertilizer for Well Water - 5 lb

And here is the link for S/H information: The Policy Page* Home


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Old 05-15-2009, 02:10 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Finding fertilizer

This is interesting but, from what I can see, it's too expensive. I only paid about six bucks and change for 5# of the 0-0-60. I've been in the nursery business for many years, and I don't like to pay retail. I've got several 20# bags of 19-6-12 that I got from a grower supply place. I only paid $20.00 or less for the 20 pounds. Once I decide what the optimum formula is, I'm sure I can mix up a very close approximation, with what I have here. For instance, if the 15-5-30 is good, that's a ratio of 3 parts nitrogen to 1 part phosphorous to 6 parts potassium. With the 20# bags, I'm just about two thirds there: N=19, P=6 - close enough to a 3 to 1 ratio. All I have to do is get the K=12 up to K=36, by adding some of the 0-0-60. If I need to do differently, I can adjust. I have the bloom booster (0-50-0), and some high N (N=30) stuff, where the P & K are both in single digits.
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Old 05-15-2009, 03:39 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Finding fertilizer

I got stuff from wellspring called "banana fuel" - perfect for nanas. It's 15-5-30 & it says Tropical Delights on bag. And yes, it works very well & you only need 1/2 to 1 tsp per gal.
To get salts out of soil in pots, flush the pot every 3-4 months with water...about 2-3 times the volume.
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Old 05-15-2009, 10:50 PM   #7 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Finding fertilizer

Quote:
Originally Posted by Patty in Wisc View Post
I got stuff from wellspring called "banana fuel" - perfect for nanas. It's 15-5-30 & it says Tropical Delights on bag. And yes, it works very well & you only need 1/2 to 1 tsp per gal.
To get salts out of soil in pots, flush the pot every 3-4 months with water...about 2-3 times the volume.
Patty, thank you for the advice about the salt. Unfortunately my nanner hasn't been pot-manageable for better than 9ft now. Still, I think salt is the likely culprit because the leaves are peeling away from the psuedostem while they are still green. I figure that its either the reclaimed water or the granular ferts I have been applying.

Quote:
This is interesting but, from what I can see, it's too expensive. I only paid about six bucks and change for 5# of the 0-0-60. I've been in the nursery business for many years, and I don't like to pay retail. I've got several 20# bags of 19-6-12 that I got from a grower supply place.
John, as far as the product I mentioned, I have not tried it, its something I found online earlier while looking for a good foliar spray. I think 20.00 for 900 gallons would be expensive for a crop, but a plant or two should last a really long time. What really interests me is that it does not have N- from Urea. I don't know if that is beneficial for bananas or not but it is something much different than all the modified palm/citrus/turf fertilizers relabeled for growing bananas.

I have found numerous ferts that match the 16-1-24 ratio much closer, but they are always either not sold at retail or not sold in the US.

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Old 05-17-2009, 04:53 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Finding fertilizer

Thanks for all the suggestions. I believe, with all the different formulas I have on hand, I can probably get to whatever numbers I want with a little mixing, although last year, I kind of used whatever I had and they did fine. (10-10-10, or 20-20-20,or the 19-6-12)

I am hoping to fine tune this, so I can do even better this year.
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Old 05-19-2009, 11:38 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Finding fertilizer

My guess is that the high P fertilizers is to help phosphorus come available to the plant. Not much P is needed but most of it gets locked up in the soil. It is also immobile in the soil. The best way to get it absorbed by the plant is to apply it by banding.

It won't make much difference unless your soil has inadequate amounts of available phosphorus.
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