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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 08-22-2009, 08:51 PM   #61 (permalink)
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Default Re: Oil and Water.(Conventional vs. Organic)

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The truth is if organic fertilizers like cottonseed meal were as cheap as available and as effective I would use them--I don't have anything against them, but I would have to drive 50 mile to get such materials in addition to the fact that they cost more and work more slowly. The most effective organic material I get is my neighbors grass clippings--once composted it is about as good as manure.
Exactly my point. I applaud anyone willing to try and grow things without adding a single thing to their soil, but in reality we all need something. We can pay an arm and a leg for what is "sexy" at the moment...or we can go with what is economic while still taking quality into consideration(only because nowadays we have many options to choose from AND lots of good sources for information)

As for the info momoese posted... I think I summed it up about right. Sure I dumbed it down, but in essence, it seems as though mismanagement of nutrients is the main problem in that example.
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Old 08-22-2009, 09:21 PM   #62 (permalink)
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So SBL, let me be clear here. You are trying to tell me and everyone else that at some point we are going to have to apply chemical fert in order to grow our gardens? If that's really what your trying to say which I think it is I have one word for you, hogwash! My garden is as nice as anyone else's and produces as much fruit with zero point zero chemical fert added, never have and never will. My garden is all natural and organic with no synthentic or chemical fert, pesticides, or herbicides. The organic garden where some of my pups came from has been organic for 30 some years, it looks and grows awesome with no chemical or synthentic anything added. They use fish scraps and plant matter, that's all!

If faced with driving 50 miles and paying double for organic material to feed my garden that's exactly what I would do! As a matter of fact I just did not long ago to aquire some composted chicken manure from organic chickens.
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Old 08-22-2009, 09:24 PM   #63 (permalink)
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My garden is as nice as anyone else's and produces as much fruit with zero point zero chemical fert added, never have and never will. My garden is all natural and organic with no synthentic or chemical fert, pesticides, or herbicides
What fruit trees/veggie plants do you grow?
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Old 08-22-2009, 09:33 PM   #64 (permalink)
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What fruit trees/veggie plants do you grow?
Not just fruit and veggies, ornamentals as well. My garden is a chemical free happy place and the birds, bees, earthworms, good and bad insects all aggree!
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Old 08-22-2009, 09:44 PM   #65 (permalink)
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Not just fruit and veggies, ornamentals as well. My garden is a chemical free happy place and the birds, bees, earthworms, good and bad insects all aggree!
Sounds great. Can you please specify the plants that you grow?

The reason I ask is because I have several different types of fruit trees. I also grow veggies and have a few ornamentals. I have mangos, sapodillas, bananas, jaboticabas, atemoya, avocado, lime, orange, fig, cacao, black pepper, papaya, and I also grow veggies according to season. The ornamentals I have are purple queen, birds of paradise, hibiscus, and another tree I don't know the name of. If you can give me recommendations for all, that are also cost friendly of course, I would appreciate it.

All of the above mentioned trees have their own set of requirements. How could I possibly meet all of those different trees needs by organic means without spending an arm and a leg? You mention you don't mind driving 50 miles and spending twice as much.. but some people don't have the option. I personally can afford it, but prefer to spend my extra money on travel and entertainment...most other things, I can best be described as "camino con los codos".. Lorax should be able to translate.
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Old 08-22-2009, 09:50 PM   #66 (permalink)
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Not just fruit and veggies, ornamentals as well. My garden is a chemical free ...
No it isn't. The materials you apply all contain chemical fertilizers, about 2% per pound.
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Old 08-22-2009, 09:54 PM   #67 (permalink)
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Come to think of it, the requirements for each of my trees are according to my specific area. So, logic dictates that one would need something far different in another part of the country as opposed to here in Miami, FL. There is no one solution no matter what your beliefs.

If I understand correctly, my soil should be similar to sbl's(judging by his comments)...just not the climate. I doubt our soil is the same as in say...southern California

Last edited by supermario : 08-22-2009 at 09:58 PM. Reason: adding the soil comment...sorry for my ignorance
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Old 08-22-2009, 09:59 PM   #68 (permalink)
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No it isn't. The materials you apply all contain chemical fertilizers, about 2% per pound.
Splitting hairs Richard.
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Old 08-22-2009, 10:21 PM   #69 (permalink)
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Default Re: Oil and Water.(Conventional vs. Organic)

Mitchell,
You have every right to be proud of your garden and fruit production -- I have been envious of your fruit on more than one occasion. But to say your garden is chemical free propagates a lot of misunderstanding. It furthers the marketing goals of those who wish to cast "chemical" as a negative term. Fact is, we would all be in bad shape without the chemical oxygen.

The worm castings in your garden are about 1% nitrates, 0.5% phosphates, and 0.5% potash, plus about another 0.1% minors and micros by weight. These chemical salts are manufactured for you by your wild and untamed worms!

Beer is every bit as synthetic as water soluble fertilizers -- it even contains a surfactant. If you use beer to control slugs and snails in your garden then you are using a synthetic pesticide.
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Old 08-22-2009, 10:25 PM   #70 (permalink)
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I grow mostly desert bananas, canna, ginger, tanglad, Ti, heliconia, plumeria, blueberry, strawberry, mango, citrus, babaco, passion fruit, tomato, lettuce, bamboo, palm, night blooming jasmine, hot peppers, giant bird of paradise, geranium, many types of succulents, aloe, agave, lawn for the dogs to play, weeds (they like it here too), many herbs, pineapples, kangaroo paw, yucca, puya, and soon kei apple. I'm sure I missed a bunch of things but you get the point. The acid loving plants receive some coffee grounds, otherwise they all find what they need from the soil. No problems with insects, they eat and get eaten by others, and few holes in my lettuce doesn't scare me.

I'm perfectly happy with the results and as the saying goes, if it aint broke don't fix it.
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Old 08-22-2009, 10:37 PM   #71 (permalink)
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I grow mostly desert bananas, canna, ginger, tanglad, Ti, heliconia, plumeria, blueberry, strawberry, mango, citrus, babaco, passion fruit, tomato, lettuce, bamboo, palm, night blooming jasmine, hot peppers, giant bird of paradise, geranium, many types of succulents, aloe, agave, lawn for the dogs to play, weeds (they like it here too), many herbs, pineapples, kangaroo paw, yucca, puya, and soon kei apple. I'm sure I missed a bunch of things but you get the point. The acid loving plants receive some coffee grounds, otherwise they all find what they need from the soil. No problems with insects, they eat and get eaten by others, and few holes in my lettuce doesn't scare me.

I'm perfectly happy with the results and as the saying goes, if it aint broke don't fix it.
Excellent! Now, it seems your working with excellent soil to begin with. I live in South Florida. Mother Nature designed for this area to be a swampland. Man decided to make canals and drain all the water...then level any uneven soil with rocks and build the house we suburbian Miamians live on. In some spots in my yard, I need a jack hammer to dig more than a few inches!

I've found Pepsi cans from the 70's, wooden fence posts, chain fence posts, orange construction netting, glass beer bottles, shoes, milk jugs, roof tiles and other construction materials, a leather glove, a sock, rope, and a ton of small budweiser beer cans in my yard while digging holes for my trees and veggie garden.

My point is that "organic" practices have best results in places with rich soil to begin with. What about those in nutrient defficient soils? Jaboticaba is native to Brazil while Figs are from the Mediterranean, yet they are both growing in my yard. The Jaboticaba has far more nutrient needs here than most figs for obvious reasons.

So, how could I meet the nutrient demand for my different trees without resorting to a convenient, cheap fertilizer?

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Old 08-22-2009, 10:59 PM   #72 (permalink)
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Excellent! Now, it seems your working with excellent soil to begin with.
Yes, the L.A. basin is about 4,000 to 9,000 feet thick alluvial fan of excellent minerals. There are pockets of bad news though, for example not far from Mitchell's house are the La Brea Tar Pits.
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Old 08-22-2009, 11:29 PM   #73 (permalink)
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Mitchell,
You have every right to be proud of your garden and fruit production -- I have been envious of your fruit on more than one occasion. But to say your garden is chemical free propagates a lot of misunderstanding. It furthers the marketing goals of those who wish to cast "chemical" as a negative term. Fact is, we would all be in bad shape without the chemical oxygen.

The worm castings in your garden are about 1% nitrates, 0.5% phosphates, and 0.5% potash, plus about another 0.1% minors and micros by weight. These chemical salts are manufactured for you by your wild and untamed worms!

Beer is every bit as synthetic as water soluble fertilizers -- it even contains a surfactant. If you use beer to control slugs and snails in your garden then you are using a synthetic pesticide.
The slugs climb in the can and die. Nothing is added to the soil, so how is that affecting the plants or the soil for that matter?

My point is that I do my best to keep it free of toxic chemicals and anything synthetic and the results have been satisfactory.

BTW, I'll take the Oxygen, you can have the Dioxin.
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Old 08-22-2009, 11:39 PM   #74 (permalink)
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The slugs climb in the can and die. Nothing is added to the soil, so how is that affecting the plants or the soil for that matter?
Nobody said it was. Nobody is suggesting that you change how you garden. It is the negative light you have cast on all chemicals and all synthetics that has been disturbing to me and others.

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... and the results have been satisfactory.
I think the results have been great!
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Old 08-23-2009, 12:00 AM   #75 (permalink)
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Excellent! Now, it seems your working with excellent soil to begin with. I live in South Florida. Mother Nature designed for this area to be a swampland. Man decided to make canals and drain all the water...then level any uneven soil with rocks and build the house we suburbian Miamians live on. In some spots in my yard, I need a jack hammer to dig more than a few inches!

I've found Pepsi cans from the 70's, wooden fence posts, chain fence posts, orange construction netting, glass beer bottles, shoes, milk jugs, roof tiles and other construction materials, a leather glove, a sock, rope, and a ton of small budweiser beer cans in my yard while digging holes for my trees and veggie garden.

My point is that "organic" practices have best results in places with rich soil to begin with. What about those in nutrient defficient soils? Jaboticaba is native to Brazil while Figs are from the Mediterranean, yet they are both growing in my yard. The Jaboticaba has far more nutrient needs here than most figs for obvious reasons.

So, how could I meet the nutrient demand for my different trees without resorting to a convenient, cheap fertilizer?
Our soil is hard packed clay with undesirable debris from years back as well. It has to be wet to dig........well it used to be that way before years of amending and mulching. Now it's soft, dark and easy to dig. When I plant I go deep and mix my new stuff 50/50 with the exsisting soil after removing the large concrete bits, bricks, glass, wooden fence posts, childrens toys, etc. Maybe not the mess you have but still plenty of unwanted crap in there. If you had a pot and wanted to grow your fig in an organic soil mix what would you do, the same thing you'd do in your planting beds, just on a smaller scale. For the beds you have to import large amounts of organic matter and blend it with the existing soil. If not you'll have to use the chemical ferts or something else.

One of the things I like about growing organic the way I do is that I never have to break out a calculator to avoid burning the plants with chemical ferts. I could grow bananas right in my compost pile just fine, and if I spill a whole 5 gallon bucket of compost tea on a plant no biggie!
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Old 08-23-2009, 12:04 AM   #76 (permalink)
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One of the things I like about growing organic the way I do is that I never have to break out a calculator to avoid burning the plants with chemical ferts.
I avoid a calculator by following directions on the package.
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Old 08-23-2009, 12:09 AM   #77 (permalink)
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Nobody said it was. Nobody is suggesting that you change how you garden.

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Mitchell,
Beer is every bit as synthetic as water soluble fertilizers -- it even contains a surfactant. If you use beer to control slugs and snails in your garden then you are using a synthetic pesticide.
If the synthetic (beer) product does not touch the plants or soil then am I really using it in the garden. I think not. I could have an open container of Roundup in the middle of my yard but that does not constitute usage. No application = no usage.
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Old 08-23-2009, 01:30 AM   #78 (permalink)
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If the synthetic (beer) product does not touch the plants or soil then am I really using it in the garden. I think not.
That would be alchohol abuse, apply to the gardener only as directed.
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Old 08-23-2009, 07:58 AM   #79 (permalink)
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Lagniappe,
A low dose for feeding beneficials is irrelevant. The reason is, people applying chems are not focused on the soil food web, but feeding the plant, the exact reason the chemicals, directly available to the plant, are used.
This is again the first rule, being broken.
If your soil food web is correct, there would be no need for the application of a directly available nutrient.
These quick fixes are always at the expense of something else.

One of the things I recently researched was that low doses of chemical nutrients are more beneficial to the "bad" microbiology rather than the "good". (Hence the reason problems appear and require something else to fix it, in conventional ag.) There is that distinction and when we start to talk about microbes, we want the good guys. E Coli is a good example of microbiology I personally would rather avoid.
First off i don't want you to think in any way I'm against Organic farming.
But i live in a wash area were the soil is 80% gypsum and 15% calcium with 5% non specific micro nutrients. I have done every thing in my power to provide a complex and beneficial organic life to my soil. In the end its poor soil to keep much of any thing in place long enough to benefit the plants. So i must resort to additions to my practices which is what we should be talking about "practices Not Additives". Its in how you use your tools that makes the biggest difference to how your soil reacts to thees chemicals. there all the same more of less if they are pure. i understand the out rage to the commercial farm industries Practices of using 10 times the Fertilizers. Most home gardeners don't fall in to that kind of meager mismanagement of soil resources.

Ultimately if one looks a farm practices in the last 10 year you would see that farmers are moving away from some of the bad ways and on to new more innovative management. I understand that they have a long way to go before one could in any stretch of the imagination call them sustainable. but I'm sure with time they will move to better ways. Besides ultimately they will have to change! we simply do not have the remaining resources to maintain these damaging and wasteful farming strategies.

I don't want to change the subject. but what we need to be focusing on is how are we going to feed the Peoples of this world on organic Techniques. i don't see at this point how that will be possible. i believe one of the meager reasons we have moved forward technically and culturally is that was have not had to struggle to feed are selves. what if that changes? what then? how will we care for are plaint if its vary life is being sucked away by massive over population. i don't care what subject you are talking about in are modern life its aways comes back to this one topic "Over Population" this is the stresser, the catalyst if you were for many of bad things that have happened war famine plague they all come back to this!
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Old 08-23-2009, 08:22 AM   #80 (permalink)
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Default Re: Oil and Water.(Conventional vs. Organic)

Clay soil is very rich in minerals and retains nutrients much better than our sand, This sandy soil is almost the same as pure sandbox sand--no color, no minerals and no capacity to retain nutrients. Organic material aded to the soil, --say 3-4 inches of compost is gone in a yr due to our heat humidity and rainfall--over 5ft on a dry yr and almost 7 ft in some years. It is difficult to maintain a balance of any kind with that kind of leaching. I do not have to worry about burning--I have to add a small amount frequently. I use about 5 pounds a yr of trace mineral mix containing a wide variety of chemical salts, of Iron, Copper, Zinc, Boron, Magnesium, Manganese, and Sulfur. I have a compost pile that is about 4 x 4 x 8 ft--I go through that entire pile in about 6 months adding 2-3 wheelbarrow loads a week.

BTW, I grow tomatoes (no blossom end rot), peppers, eggplant, beans, peas, okra, lettuce, onions, cabbage, broccoli, herbs (dill, thyme, basil, cilantro), snow peas, turnips, kale, mustard greens, and ginger all in an area about 25 x 30 ft. As for fruit trees, I have 7 citrus trees, bananas, peaches, pineapples, pears, pecans, avocados, and figs. Ornamentals--too many to mention.

Edit:I forgot about my blueberries.

Last edited by sbl : 08-23-2009 at 09:57 AM.
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