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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 08-20-2010, 10:00 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Trying out a new fertilizer

I got some fertilizer at Lowe's. It has some kind of soil activator and humic acid in it. I'm trying out on my banana plants to see if they respond better. It has equal amounts of Nitrogen and Potassium and I was wondering if this is alright or if anyone else had any luck with this type of fertilizer


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Old 08-21-2010, 12:14 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Trying out a new fertilizer

The N-P-K profile of that fertilizer could be paraphrased "medium-high-medium". Fruiting banana plants prefer "medium-low-high", such as a professional pit fruit tree fertilizer. Ornamental non-fruiting banana plants prefer "high-low-medium", much like citrus.
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Old 08-21-2010, 09:05 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Trying out a new fertilizer

Ok. I'm using it on an ornamental banana but I did give my orinoco a little. Most of the fertilizers I saw had a high Nitrogen which I guess is good for the ornamental bananas like you said. But I got confused and thought that bananas needed high phosphorus but I forgot it was potassium. I add coffee grounds whenever I can. Would this make up for the medium amount of Nitrogen? Thanks for clarifying the N-P-K values with me.
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Old 08-21-2010, 10:01 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Trying out a new fertilizer

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Originally Posted by Willow87 View Post
I add coffee grounds whenever I can. Would this make up for the medium amount of Nitrogen?
In terms of dried coffee grounds, you will need 4 times as much by weight for each amount of the 6-12-6 you add. You will also need a potash supplement.

Anyone adding coffee grounds to planting soil should check the pH often with an inexpensive pH probe. The best place to add coffee grounds is to a compost pile or a greenery recycling can for the city.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Willow87 View Post
Most of the fertilizers I saw had a high Nitrogen which I guess is good for the ornamental bananas like you said.
Actually, it is not what I said -- you are overlooking the potash content. For ornamental bananas you would like a relative N-P-K that is High-Low-Medium. Any complete fertilizers with N-P-K close to these would be great for ornamental bananas:
5-1-3
9-3-6
20-10-15
28-8-18
30-10-20
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Old 08-21-2010, 11:10 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Trying out a new fertilizer

I guess I should start looking at coffee stores to collect more. The water and soil here is very alkaline. I guess I need to find a pH kit. I always throw out some coffee grounds around other parts of my garden because the soil is clay and alot of it is horrible for growing things. I mainly got this fertilizer because it was on sale and it had humic acid and soil activator in it and I wanted a healthy root system for my plants, and the soil activator helps out the microorganisms and helps with with clay or sandy soils. The fertilizer products in Lowes aren't very diverse. Its mainly scotts, miracle gro and some off brands and none had high potassium in the. I got that one because it had the highest amount that I saw.
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Old 08-21-2010, 11:53 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Trying out a new fertilizer

Quote:
Originally Posted by Willow87 View Post
I guess I should start looking at coffee stores to collect more. The water and soil here is very alkaline. I guess I need to find a pH kit. I always throw out some coffee grounds around other parts of my garden because the soil is clay and alot of it is horrible for growing things. I mainly got this fertilizer because it was on sale and it had humic acid and soil activator in it and I wanted a healthy root system for my plants, and the soil activator helps out the microorganisms and helps with with clay or sandy soils. The fertilizer products in Lowes aren't very diverse. Its mainly scotts, miracle gro and some off brands and none had high potassium in the. I got that one because it had the highest amount that I saw.
Fertilizers with high proportions of phosphates can kill micro-organisms, and so will too much acidity.

Over-use of coffee grounds are a leading cause of plant death, right after over-watering. Also, coffee grounds contain a number of compounds you might not want to add to your soil -- or have in your food for that matter. To test your soil pH, use an inexpensive magnetometer type like this one:

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Old 08-21-2010, 03:32 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Trying out a new fertilizer

oh ok i didnt know that. Thanks for informing me. I need to look for one of those pH meters.
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Old 08-21-2010, 03:48 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Trying out a new fertilizer

Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard View Post
Over-use of coffee grounds are a leading cause of plant death, right after over-watering. Also, coffee grounds contain a number of compounds you might not want to add to your soil -- or have in your food for that matter. ]
Do you have a link for these stats? Thanks in advance.
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Old 08-21-2010, 04:41 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Trying out a new fertilizer

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Do you have a link for these stats? Thanks in advance.
For the homeowner issues of over-watering and over-application of coffee grounds, I am relying on my own experiences and those of other retail nursery professionals here in the San Diego Horticultural Society. Basically, when a novice gardener brings a dead plant in the front door: 'heads' its over watering, 'tails' its overwatering, and if the flipped coin first lands on an edge its too much coffee grounds.

The lab reports of coffee grounds (and numerous other compost inputs) that I have seen were in relation to the manufacture of compost from alternative materials. Scary stuff. This is one reason I get my compost from a facility that participates in outside testing once every six months. I've never seen an online report for coffee grounds with the full elemental details.
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Old 09-12-2010, 10:55 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Trying out a new fertilizer

Eh, using coffee grounds IN the soil? I've been spreading used coffee grounds around the base of a palm tree to try to get rid of the oyster scale. I've read about this working for cycads. I even attempted it with a banana plant last year but I never noticed a difference. But that shouldn't screw anything up should it? Top dressing instead of in the soil?

I have yet to notice a difference on the palm or any other palms I've done it to (the scale that is - maybe it has died off but it's difficult to tell).

Maybe that should be another thread. I can't remember but I may have even started one.

Anyway, I've been using only Miracle Gro this year - I just never got around to getting any time release water activated granular for my own yard. As with some of my other plants, because of the severe freeze we had in January it's been quite difficult to tell if things are doing well or not as a whole mainly because it's the shady part of the yard. The sunny part of the yard everything has exploded.
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Old 09-12-2010, 11:21 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: Trying out a new fertilizer

I'm starting to use coffee grounds in and on top of the soil. I heard that it makes the soil ph more acidic. The water here in Texas and soil is very alkaline and I did a soil test and my soil has a pH of 7.5-8. I'm just using coffee grounds just for a little added nitrogen in between fertilizing.
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Old 11-01-2010, 06:43 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: Trying out a new fertilizer

if you feel a need to change the ph of your water, test it and see how it really is first. PH changing without knowing the numbers can mess up a lot of things in a plant. If you need to lower the ph from what it normally is out of the tap, add white vinegar to your watering water until the ph is more in range. Add your fertilizer too before you test the ph though. fertilizers can also change the ph of your water. If you have a swimming pool, you can probably even use the kit from it to get a rough number.
Phosphorus can cause plant stretch in low light conditions. we use 20-10-20 during dark weather on most plants in the greenhouse. some use 15-0-15.
On the plus side, when setting plants out in a garden, a fertilizer with a high phos is a great starter fertilizer. So it would be a great fertilizer to give plants right before planting them outdoors in the garden for the summer. typical starter fertilizers are 8-45-14, higher in phos.
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Old 11-01-2010, 08:34 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Default Re: Trying out a new fertilizer

Thanks Sandy. I did one pH test before with the water and it was 7.5. On the fertilizer bottle it said that its great for transplants so when I plant my plants in the ground next year I'll definitely add some. I have been using a little white vinegar when watering my plants indoors now. Thanks again Sandy

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Old 11-01-2010, 05:22 PM   #14 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Trying out a new fertilizer

Richard won't mention it, but you can purchase excellent banana fertilizers from him, as well as ferts for other plants, as I have. He can be contacted at http://www.PlantsThatProduce.com.

Sandy also sells nana fert at her web sitehttp://northerntropics.samsbiz.com/.

Always like to use banana.org members as much as possible. These are top quality folks.
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Old 11-01-2010, 06:12 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Default Re: Trying out a new fertilizer

Thanks Howard, I checked out Richard's website and he has some great products. Right now I have some Sul-Po-Mag fertilizer to make up for the low potash. But I may get some of the fertilizer from Richard or Sandy next year, that way I wouldnt need to use 2 different types of fertilizer.
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