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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 07-04-2009, 09:45 PM   #61 (permalink)
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Default Re: "Organic" Fertillizer

If you want to do something "earth friendly", then get involved with habitat restoration at a national or state park / preserve.

If you want to garden, go right ahead! But stop buying into the marketing hype that there are earth-friendly approaches. You might provide food for some local and many imported wild species, but in the process slay 100's more native species (e.g., beetles) and introduce unusual nutrients into the waterways.

Take heed of Winston Churchill's observation: Man shapes buildings and then buildings shape man.
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Old 07-05-2009, 01:24 AM   #62 (permalink)
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Default Re: "Organic" Fertillizer

I understand your comments Richard and agree with you. No matter what we do, as long as we are doing things to please ourselves, that is who we are benefiting...ourselves. Not that it makes us terrible people..we just have to do things in moderation and with respect for our surroundings.

Organic...non-organic...just different results if you ask me. I've heard that some scientific studies suggest that using organic fertilizers is better because the ground will naturally sustain the trees in the long run. The studies do not, however, suggest that we are ingesting what we feed the trees. That is like saying we are eating cow manure because we till it into the soil.

I personally use compost for my veggies and man made fertilizers for my fruit trees. Why? It's simple. It's cheap for me to make a small amount of compost to feed my veggies. It is not cheap for me to make 100's of lbs of compost to feed my 18 fruit trees. Each tree is a different size, so some need more/less fertilizer more/less often. It's a matter of economics for me.

I can tell you right now. The peppers in my yard taste no different than the ones sold at the grocery store.My peppers are generally not as large and uniform as the ones at the grocery, but again, the flavor is identical. I think that If there is any difference in taste, it is in the mind of the taster. One feels a great sense of achievement producing their own produce, so that attributes to the "tastes better" phenomenon.

As for my fruits, they are better than the ones at the grocer.. not because of what I feed them, but because I am lucky enough to have varieties that aren't available on a commercial scale... much like the heirloom tomatoes I grow.
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Old 07-05-2009, 05:22 AM   #63 (permalink)
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Default Re: "Organic" Fertillizer

Mario,

Those are pretty much my sentiments. I would caution you about the word "organic":

Quote:
Originally Posted by supermario View Post
I've heard that some scientific studies suggest that using organic fertilizers is better because the ground will naturally sustain the trees in the long run.
"Organic" has no legally binding meaning and thus any scientific study would be more specific about what kind of organic they are talking about. In particular, "certified organic" has to do with the effects on the local environment and does not prohibit synthetic fertilizers -- unless of course they have an adverse effect. It is a common misconception that "certified organic" means "non-synthetic". Potassium Citrate is an example of a compound made by ionic chemistry which is perfectly acceptable for USDA "certified organic" growing.

Another bizarre misconception (perpetrated by seed sellers) is the meaning of "heirloom". This word does have a legally binding meaning. Any seeds sold as heirloom must be (1) off-patent, and (2) reproduce true to form. So as it turns out, nearly all tomato seeds sold on the market today meet the definition of heirloom, including most of A. Burpee's hybrids and several GMO strains from universities as well.
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Old 07-05-2009, 06:03 PM   #64 (permalink)
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Default Re: "Organic" Fertillizer

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Just my two cents, but I believe that the long term view of improving the efficiency of our production means that we practice natural, poison-free growing. The answer is using natural mulch, not feeding the soil salt and other chemical ingredients in fertilizers that are not organic, and not using any pesticides. Many non-organic ingredients kill earthworms and other beneficial soil life, and prevent the plant from growing naturally at its best; hence, I use only organic fertilizer and as a result have an abundance of beneficial activity in my soil. By mulching and improving the soil, we can grow better plants that are better able to resist attacks and produce much better fruit. I also know that I will not be ingesting deadly chemicals to the extent that others who choose to eat non-organically produced produce will, and as a bonus, the flavor of the organic produce is much better every time. Case in point is my local competitor who sells his nice looking, chemically treated produce for less than I do. At the end of a typical day he has to dump rotting produce whereas I have nearly sold out my inventory of organic, tasty, not so perfect looking produce to repeat customers.
Applying only organic material to soil would be a disaster for the environment. Since plants will be limited by one nutrient, enormous amounts of organic material may be needed to meet the demands of one nutrient while applying excessive amounts of other nutrients. You must also ask yourself, where are we going to get all of this organic material from? Destroy all life on earth? Shipping highly concentrated fertilizer is much more efficient.

A mix of both organic and non-organic fertilizers provides for the best crop production. Ammonium, nitrate, copper, magnesium etc. are the same no matter where they came from. The same amount of nutrients will be needed in each case. Pure organic material will need at least 20x the amount in weight, mess up the pH, lock up copper, and of course is not available.

Pesticides are good and bad. When properly managed, they greatly improve the production of crops while having a minimal effect on the environment. Most chemical companies are working on genetically modifying crops in order to give plants resistance to pests instead of spending a countless time breeding plants (and changing not one gene but countless others) to acquire disease resistance.

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Mario,
It is a common misconception that "certified organic" means "non-synthetic".
Exactly, the fertilizer used on certified organic is almost always the same as anything else you may find at the store. Most people don't realize that our crop production is only at the current level due to synthetic processes such as Haber-Bosch (N).
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Old 07-05-2009, 09:09 PM   #65 (permalink)
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Default Re: "Organic" Fertillizer

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the fertilizer used on certified organic is almost always the same as anything else you may find at the store.
This was true in many states -- especially the east coast, until earlier this year with the passing of the omnibus agriculture bill. Previously, states could choose to adopt standards for "certified organic" but most did not. Now all states are subject to enforcing the new Federal standard which is very close to the definition we had here in the state of California.

Both the old California standard and the new Federal standard are based on the definition that "certified organic farming" involves methods that "do not significantly impact the local environment". Note that this definition says nothing about whether the materials are synthetic or not.

The new Federal standard is implemented by a formulary list. To be "certified organic", you must only use methods and materials that are on the approved list. It turns out that many natural and synthetic forms of nitrogen can and do have a significant local effect. A "certified organic" farmer has few choices for nitrogen sources. Otherwise, Turtile is right on the money. For example, nutrients extracted from mineral salts by ionic chemistry and then suspended in human-made citric acid are permitted. Several synthetic pesticides are permitted as well, for example: synthetic pyrethrins.

Personally I have no objections to the Federal standard except for the limitation on nitrogen sources. I could understand limiting the amount that is applied but perhaps that is difficult to implement. Basically, blood meal with a 12% nitrogen content is no different in impact of total nitrogen than a nitrate compound extracted from minerals in 12% concentration (of total nitrogen). Chemically, they are identical. In fact, the blood meal contains some worrisome secondary compounds whereas the nitrogen salt has none.

Note: growers should not confuse the prior California State standards with the private "organic" standards organization CCOF.
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Old 08-10-2009, 03:45 PM   #66 (permalink)
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Default Re: "Organic" Fertillizer

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Applying only organic material to soil would be a disaster for the environment. Since plants will be limited by one nutrient, enormous amounts of organic material may be needed to meet the demands of one nutrient while applying excessive amounts of other nutrients. You must also ask yourself, where are we going to get all of this organic material from? Destroy all life on earth? Shipping highly concentrated fertilizer is much more efficient.

A mix of both organic and non-organic fertilizers provides for the best crop production. Ammonium, nitrate, copper, magnesium etc. are the same no matter where they came from. The same amount of nutrients will be needed in each case. Pure organic material will need at least 20x the amount in weight, mess up the pH, lock up copper, and of course is not available.

Pesticides are good and bad. When properly managed, they greatly improve the production of crops while having a minimal effect on the environment. Most chemical companies are working on genetically modifying crops in order to give plants resistance to pests instead of spending a countless time breeding plants (and changing not one gene but countless others) to acquire disease resistance.



Exactly, the fertilizer used on certified organic is almost always the same as anything else you may find at the store. Most people don't realize that our crop production is only at the current level due to synthetic processes such as Haber-Bosch (N).
I strongly suggest to you some reading at Soil Foodweb, Inc.
or the book "Teaming With Microbes" by Jeff Lowenfels.
I can not begin to address the misunderstandings in what you posted.
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Old 08-10-2009, 04:35 PM   #67 (permalink)
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Default Re: "Organic" Fertillizer

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Applying only organic material to soil would be a disaster for the environment. Since plants will be limited by one nutrient, enormous amounts of organic material may be needed to meet the demands of one nutrient while applying excessive amounts of other nutrients. You must also ask yourself, where are we going to get all of this organic material from? Destroy all life on earth? Shipping highly concentrated fertilizer is much more efficient.

A mix of both organic and non-organic fertilizers provides for the best crop production. Ammonium, nitrate, copper, magnesium etc. are the same no matter where they came from. The same amount of nutrients will be needed in each case. Pure organic material will need at least 20x the amount in weight, mess up the pH, lock up copper, and of course is not available.

Pesticides are good and bad. When properly managed, they greatly improve the production of crops while having a minimal effect on the environment. Most chemical companies are working on genetically modifying crops in order to give plants resistance to pests instead of spending a countless time breeding plants (and changing not one gene but countless others) to acquire disease resistance.



Exactly, the fertilizer used on certified organic is almost always the same as anything else you may find at the store. Most people don't realize that our crop production is only at the current level due to synthetic processes such as Haber-Bosch (N).
I agree whole heartily--the best is a mix of organic and non-organic fertilizers. Organic materials greatly improve soil conditions, but it would be impossible to maintain food production necessary to feed our population with organic only methods. Sewage is far more toxic than "chemical" fertilizers with heavy metals, hormones, and all kinds of toxins, even animal waste is often loaded with hormones, anti-biotics, and salts. I love my compost pile--it makes my garden soil much more productive, but without additional N my garden would be far less productive--what is wrong with N fertilizer that is made from air with a little natural gas and electricity?

As for pesticides, nature makes chemicals that are far more toxic than anything that man has ever made--botulin, afflatoxin, ricin just to name a few. The worst things that man made were persistient pesticide--but most modern pesticides are far less persistient than DDT. There are many good pesticides with low toxicity and short half-lives both man made and natural.
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Old 08-10-2009, 06:33 PM   #68 (permalink)
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Default Re: "Organic" Fertillizer

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I strongly suggest to you some reading at Soil Foodweb, Inc.
or the book "Teaming With Microbes" by Jeff Lowenfels.
I can not begin to address the misunderstandings in what you posted.
Please explain what any of that has to do with what I wrote and how it contradicts what I said.

Point out one thing that I've misunderstood.
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Old 08-10-2009, 09:53 PM   #69 (permalink)
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Default Re: "Organic" Fertillizer

Ok..?
I pick...."Applying only organic material to soil would be a disaster for the environment."

Yea, that one.
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Old 08-10-2009, 10:43 PM   #70 (permalink)
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Ok..?
I pick...."Applying only organic material to soil would be a disaster for the environment."

Yea, that one.
Where are you going to get all of this organic material from? How are you going to provide the right amount of elements without applying 10x the amount of some other nutrient causing harm to the environment? Why would you ship around something that weighs around 20x the amount? How would you correct the pH?
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Old 08-11-2009, 12:11 AM   #71 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: "Organic" Fertillizer

What ever happened to just watering it every so often; to throwing a carp or a fish head under some roots or focusing more intensively over a smaller area then spreading yourself thin?

I say this constantly; learn to grow different food! Get plants that are completely self-reliant like tree crops, perennial vegetables, and fruit shrubs. Things that with enough intercropping and time will completely grow up fruitfully and healthy.

I live in old orchard country; acres of old abandoned trees fruiting every year produce bountiful harvests ('cept the crazy branch growth caused by pruning is a problem getting them). Brambles of black berries taking over the creeks in the spring, summer, and fall; Oak trees decades old producing more and more as time goes by; doing just fine without people.

Why not tap into those resources ?

Won't it leave meadows for grains and grazing; maybe grow a few bananas for personal or occasional market use but not a plantation. Get acid loving, drought tolerant/resistant, self fertilizing, native, and/or frost tolerant resistant plants which will feed generations with limited input and great output.

Three sisters in the hot dry infertile Arizona desert has does just fine for centuries; no need for compost, fish meal, or seaweed emulsion. Good ole' nitrogen fixing beans and an active amount of microbes and fungi working with the roots and soil to create some of the best produce ever (or so I've heard from a good friend who lived in the Southwest for some time)
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Old 08-11-2009, 12:17 AM   #72 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: "Organic" Fertillizer

I'm seeing 'real growth' in my bananas now that I've ignored them for three years. It seems that they all want to bloom too.
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Old 08-11-2009, 12:56 AM   #73 (permalink)
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Get acid loving, drought tolerant/resistant, self fertilizing, native, and/or frost tolerant resistant plants which will feed generations with limited input and great output.
In my locality, acid-loving plants left to the elements will perish and the native plants are fruitless, in fact somewhat toxic to mammals. However, on my half-acre I grow a few hundred varieties of edible plants for myself and hundreds more in containers for my nursery business. I use less water per month than the each of my neighbors and utilize responsible water-soluble fertilizers to boost production for my family use. The county department of Agriculture was here today on a quarterly inspection and have decided my property is a wildlife refuge.

"Organic" is a religion. If you want to talk about responsible gardening you'll need to be more specific with your terminology: http://www.plantsthatproduce.com/col...09_Organic.htm
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Old 08-11-2009, 01:47 AM   #74 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: "Organic" Fertillizer

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In my locality, acid-loving plants left to the elements will perish and the native plants are fruitless, in fact somewhat toxic to mammals. However, on my half-acre I grow a few hundred varieties of edible plants for myself and hundreds more in containers for my nursery business. I use less water per month than the each of my neighbors and utilize responsible water-soluble fertilizers to boost production for my family use. The county department of Agriculture was here today on a quarterly inspection and have decided my property is a wildlife refuge.

"Organic" is a religion. If you want to talk about responsible gardening you'll need to be more specific with your terminology: http://www.plantsthatproduce.com/col...09_Organic.htm

The acid-loving part was just something to say instead of buying mineral powders to the soil which in some cases is needed. But Oak, Pine, blackberry many tropicals, etc... love acidic or slightly acidic soils.

I am abit more localized in my growing beliefs since I do not want to fertilize with anything farther than 50 miles away. Though for me is relatively easy I have rivers, marshes, lakes, oceans, forests, pasture and savanna to comb for fertilizer if need be.

So I wouldn't be focusing my mineral need on one place and with alittle management thousands of people could get the fertilizers needed outside of intercropping and simply throwing plant waste in piles around or near what ever plant your growing.

I personally don't like Organic; to broad even those other types of organic seem to broad. I just believe in using the growing materials around you to utilize.
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Old 08-11-2009, 10:36 AM   #75 (permalink)
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Lee, you are fortunate that your environment supports the plants you mentioned. They would perish here without amendments and constant attention to pH.

I am also localized in my approach ... the Grow More factory is within an hour drive from here
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Old 08-11-2009, 01:25 PM   #76 (permalink)
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Every answer to these questions can be found by taking the advice that was already given... im just saying. Read up.
Key topics- microbes, soil food web, nutrient cycling...
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Old 08-11-2009, 02:03 PM   #77 (permalink)
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Every answer to these questions can be found by taking the advice that was already given... im just saying. Read up.
Key topics- microbes, soil food web, nutrient cycling...
Matt, there are no perpetual motion machines. Instead there is conservation of matter, conservation of energy, and entropy. You appear to be a victim of lifestyle marketing.
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Old 08-11-2009, 03:29 PM   #78 (permalink)
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Ah, personal attacks.
That ALL you got?
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Old 08-11-2009, 04:57 PM   #79 (permalink)
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You appear to be a victim of lifestyle marketing.
LOL never heard that one before... makes perfect sense though.
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Old 08-11-2009, 05:33 PM   #80 (permalink)
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