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Richard 04-15-2010 07:24 PM

Water Soluble Banana Fuel Dosages
 
Several of you have purchased water-soluble Banana Fuel for fruiting bananas from one of the growing number of suppliers. Here I'm referring to the blueish crystals with one of these formulas: 15-5-30, 15-10-30 Urea Free, and 20-5-30.

The amount to use to obtain good results depends on your growing environment. We can narrow this down a lot if we only consider feeding during the "active growing season" in full sun (or significant artificial light). Here are my recommendations, based largely on the critical amount of potassium needed for vigorous fruit production and the root volume in each situation:

BANANA FUEL DOSAGES DURING ACTIVE GROWTH SEASONS:
Very Young Plants, TC's: 1/4 teaspoon per gallon of water every watering.
Young Plant in 2 gallon pot: 2 tablespoons per month.
Plant (not juvenile) in 10 to 20 gallon pot: 1/4 cup per month.
Plant in ground with significant root space: 3/4 cup per month.
Hydroponics @ 150 ppm K: 1 Tbs per 6.5 gallons of water.

buckeye5755 04-15-2010 08:18 PM

Re: Water Soluble Banana Fuel Dosages
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Richard (Post 125982)

BANANA FUEL DOSAGES DURING ACTIVE GROWTH SEASONS:
Very Young Plants, TC's: 1/4 teaspoon per gallon of water every watering.
Young Plant in 2 gallon pot: 2 tablespoons per month.
Plant (not juvenile) in 10 to 20 gallon pot: 1/4 cup per month.
Plant in ground with significant root space: 3/4 cup per month.
Hydroponics @ 150 ppm K: 1 Tbs per 6.5 gallons of water.


When your stating 1/4 to 3/4 cup a month examples, how much would go in each gallon of water in order to not make it too concentrated? I usually fertilize once a week in good weather.

Richard 04-15-2010 09:07 PM

Re: Water Soluble Banana Fuel Dosages
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by buckeye5755 (Post 125984)
When your stating 1/4 to 3/4 cup a month examples, how much would go in each gallon of water in order to not make it too concentrated? I usually fertilize once a week in good weather.

Solubility is not a problem, any of these dosages will easily dissolve in a gallon of water or less. If you are watering a plant in a pot, then ideally use enough water to dampen the soil but not drain out bottom of the pot. Be sure to dissolve in water before applying because otherwise you will loose a significant amount of the nitrogen to the atmosphere.

For a plant in the ground, I use a 5-gallon bucket so I can cover the entire root area.

Abnshrek 04-15-2010 09:15 PM

Re: Water Soluble Banana Fuel Dosages
 
That's the bonus plan :^) My Dwarf orinoco is growing like weed. All the rest are up out of the ground.. :^)

saltydad 04-16-2010 04:40 PM

Re: Water Soluble Banana Fuel Dosages
 
Do you have a recommendation for the GroMore, or just follow the instructions on the bag, as I have been doing?

jeffreyp 04-16-2010 08:29 PM

Re: Water Soluble Banana Fuel Dosages
 
I've put an entire packet (12 oz?) of miracle grow on an established banana corm with some really good results.

Richard 04-16-2010 08:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by saltydad (Post 126054)
Do you have a recommendation for the GroMore, or just follow the instructions on the bag, as I have been doing?

Those are recommendations for these formulas, regardless of the supplier:
15-5-30, 15-10-30 Urea Free, and 20-5-30.

All of the above are 30% potash. I believe you have 28-8-18? In that case I recommend following the instructions I attached to the bag.

Quote:

Originally Posted by jeffreyp (Post 126079)
I've put an entire packet (12 oz?) of miracle grow on an established banana corm with some really good results.

Was it a fruiting banana variety, and what was the N-P-K of the Miracle Grow?

Abnshrek 04-16-2010 08:43 PM

Re: Water Soluble Banana Fuel Dosages
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by jeffreyp (Post 126079)
I've put an entire packet (12 oz?) of miracle grow on an established banana corm with some really good results.

mine is 8 onces do they make different sizes..?

For the same price of 5Lbs of miricle grow; I can get 25 lbs from richard... that's a no brainer :^)

saltydad 04-17-2010 12:06 AM

Re: Water Soluble Banana Fuel Dosages
 
Thanks Richard, will do. Can't wait until I can get these bad boys into the ground!

Worm_Farmer 04-17-2010 10:30 PM

Re: Water Soluble Banana Fuel Dosages
 
I have been mixing the Banana Fuel with the Grow More Soil Builder. So far so good, I really like using products that contain Humic Acid.

I have been mixing one heaping table spoon of banana fuel and a cap full of soil builder to one gallon of water once every 10 days or so right now. In summer I up it to once a week. Is this mix ok? Should I be mixing the two like this?

Forgot to say, I only mix the Humic Acid product at a min of once every 3 months. Thats why it last so long, or maybe I am using it wrong?

Abnshrek 04-17-2010 10:34 PM

Re: Water Soluble Banana Fuel Dosages
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Worm_Farmer (Post 126152)
I have been mixing the Banana Fuel with the "Grow More Soil Builder". So far so good, I really like using products that contain Humic Acid.

What's the Soil Builder do?

Richard 04-18-2010 02:53 AM

Re: Water Soluble Banana Fuel Dosages
 
The Soil Builder product adds complex carbon acids to the soil, and also contains a faint dose of N-P-K. It is buffered, and hence mixing a small dose of it with another buffered fertilizer such as Banana Fuel should not cause any precipitates. Worm Farmer, a cap-full of Soil Builder every few months for your potted plant(s) seems appropriate. A little bit does go a very long way.

For people with a lot of potted plants or a larger property, the quarts and gallons of 12% Humic Acid concentrate are more cost effective. Here are the application guidelines:
For 2-3 times per year maintenance applications on garden or crop soils, set sprayer to 1/4 teaspoon per gallon and wet soil to approximately 1/4 inch depth. For carbon-deficient soils, apply a maximum of 1/2 Tablespoon per 100 square feet or 3 quarts per acre as a soil drench diluted at least 1:50 with water and usually 1:128 to acheive the desired coverage of approximately 1/4 inch saturation depth. For example, a hand-pump sprayer with 1/2 gallon of water and 1/2 Tablespoon of Grow More 12% Humic Acid is sufficient for a 10' by 10' (100 square foot) area of carbon-deficient soil. Afterwards, a twice- or thrice-yearly maintenance application applied for 2 to 3 years will correct native deficiencies in most soils.

Abnshrek 04-18-2010 11:22 PM

Re: Water Soluble Banana Fuel Dosages
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Richard (Post 126160)
The Soil Builder product adds complex carbon acids to the soil, and also contains a faint dose of N-P-K. It is buffered, and hence mixing a small dose of it with another buffered fertilizer such as Banana Fuel should not cause any precipitates.

Thanks Richard I think I'll have to do that in a couple weeks when I can get back around. Appreciate the info. I'll probably get it in next week :^)

sandy0225 04-22-2010 06:19 AM

Re: Water Soluble Banana Fuel Dosages
 
Think of banana growing as like being graded on a "curve" in school.
That kind of shape in your mind as a graph. It starts out small, then has a high point in the middle and then gradually tapers off again. Like a capitol letter "D" lying on it's side, kind of.
That's what you do with the watering and the fertilizer both with bananas in cooler climates.
As the weather warms, ramp up your watering and fertilizer amounts. Start gradually increasing their fertilizer from winter lows of 100 ppm every other time to 200 ppm, then 300 ppm. You can go up to 400 ppm in mid summer, provided you're also keeping them well hydrated. Then as the days shorten and weather cools, do the same only in reverse. Start tapering off the water and the fertilizer, back down to 200 ppm by early fall (right before the leaves fall) and as low as 100 ppm every other watering in winter.

saltydad 04-22-2010 10:14 AM

Re: Water Soluble Banana Fuel Dosages
 
I've been cutting off my fertilizing in August of my Basjoo and my palms as they stay outside and I want to limit tender new growth with the upcoming cooler weather. Should I continue longer before stopping?

Richard 04-22-2010 10:31 AM

Re: Water Soluble Banana Fuel Dosages
 
Sandy, I think that is great advice. For my customers growing outdoors, I recommend feeding only during the growing season.

One confusion I see for novices is how we use the term "ppm" (parts per million). Traditionally in professional circles we are referring to the ppm of Nitrogen, and in some cases the ppm of another mineral. However, I've discovered that hydroponic stores are now selling and promoting "ppm meters" which measure total dissolved solids -- not individual minerals etc. In addition there are hydroponic fertilizer products with ppm dosages on the label for total ppm.

For example:
10-10-10 water-soluble mineral fertilizer at 1200 total ppm = 120 ppm Nitrogen.
15-10-30 water-soluble mineral fertilizer at 100 ppm Nitrogen = 666 total ppm.

The situation is more complicated when a fertilizer product contains other soluble material such as kelp extract. One product I've seen offered recommends dosages of 4000 (total) ppm. This does not mean 4000 ppm Nitrogen! When measured with professional equipment, we find it is delivering 60 ppm N.

venturabananas 08-23-2010 12:16 PM

Re: Water Soluble Banana Fuel Dosages
 
I haven't seen what I really want to know from this thread yet: what is a safe (or better yet, optimal) concentration of Banana Fuel to apply? Aside from the small plants (1/4 tsp / gallon at every watering), Richard's recommendations don't give mixing (concentration) guidelines. I might be able to dissolve 3/4 cup into 1 gallon of water, but I'm guessing that might be bad -- possibly a toxic concentration that damages the roots. Sandy's suggestions in ppm make more sense to me, being a biologist, but they still aren't simple mixing instructions.

Should I just use the standard Miracle Grow instructions (1 tablespoon per gallon) and apply this concentration until I hit the recommended amount of Banana Fuel per month? For example, then, I might apply 1 gallon of this mix every other week to a small plant in a 2 gallon pot.

What is the best approach?

Thanks,
Mark

Richard 08-23-2010 12:28 PM

Re: Water Soluble Banana Fuel Dosages
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by venturabananas (Post 139361)
I haven't seen what I really want to know from this thread yet: what is a safe (or better yet, optimal) concentration of Banana Fuel to apply? Aside from the small plants (1/4 tsp / gallon at every watering), Richard's recommendations don't give mixing (concentration) guidelines.

That's because for larger plants, it is the amount of fertilizer that matters -- not the amount of water. Use enough water to deliver the stated amount to the roots.

If you have a fertigation system, then use 5 pounds of 20-5-30 per fruiting banana plant per year over the course of the growing season in your year.

venturabananas 08-23-2010 12:44 PM

Re: Water Soluble Banana Fuel Dosages
 
Richard,

Thanks for the quick reply. I understand the logic that what is important is the amount of nutrients delivered, but by and large, any chemical (nutrient) delivered at high enough concentrations becomes toxic. I want to avoid any possible toxic effects.

I don't have a fancy fertigation system -- it's just me and a watering can applying a soil drench. I just want to know what concentration of Banana Fuel in my little old watering can would be best -- i.e., not too strong. From what I can tell, overfertilizing is generally more risky than underfertilizing.

For example, how does this sound for a 4' tall (p-stem) plant in the ground?
Apply soil drench weekly, 3 gallons of 1 tbsp/gal Banana Fuel. That would deliver 12 tablespoons per month, which equals 3/4 cup -- the amount you suggest.

Thanks,
Mark

Richard 08-23-2010 01:06 PM

Re: Water Soluble Banana Fuel Dosages
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by venturabananas (Post 139364)
Richard,

Thanks for the quick reply. I understand the logic that what is important is the amount of nutrients delivered, but by and large, any chemical (nutrient) delivered at high enough concentrations becomes toxic. I want to avoid any possible toxic effects.

Toxicity comes with quantity, not with concentration. A non-juvenile plant easily has the capacity to process 1 lb of 20-5-30 in a single dosage -- provided you are delivering it to majority of the root system and not to a single point.

Quote:

Originally Posted by venturabananas (Post 139364)
For example, how does this sound for a 4' tall (p-stem) plant in the ground?
Apply soil drench weekly, 3 gallons of 1 tbsp/gal Banana Fuel. That would deliver 12 tablespoons per month, which equals 3/4 cup -- the amount you suggest.

Thanks,
Mark

I think you are working way too hard. It will take the plant about 3 weeks to entirely process any application of 20-5-30. Once per month is plenty frequent enough for hand application of plants in the ground.


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