Vegetables and Fruit forum: Your favorite veggie fertilizer?

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Name: Rita
North Shore, Long Island, NY
Zone 6B
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Newyorkrita
Aug 7, 2012 1:08 PM CST
This year I am alternating using ALGOFLASH and SUPERBLOOM on my tomatoes. Would use them on pepper plants also if the slugs hadn't killed those already this spring. On my cucumbers I am using my old favorite which is NEPTUNES Liquid Seaweed and Fish Fertilizer. Have used the Neptune products for years in my gardens but the ALGOFLASH and SUPERBLOOM are new for me as I just tried those this year. Still my tomato harvest has been just fabulous, fabulous this year but then so have the cucumbers. Green Grin! nodding
Name: Dave Whitinger
Jacksonville, Texas (Zone 8b)
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dave
Aug 7, 2012 1:31 PM CST

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Just a lot of compost for me but I think if I had to I would use a 13-13-13 fertilizer from the feed store. A lot of people around here use that with good results. The downside to it is that it is a synthetic fertilizer which, of course, carries with it some downsides.
Name: Rita
North Shore, Long Island, NY
Zone 6B
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Newyorkrita
Aug 7, 2012 1:41 PM CST
I don't have anything against synthetic fertilizers even though I do prefer organic when possible. But to me anything that gives you good results is just fine.

I put out lots of compost on the tomato beds which is great but by this time of year those tomato plants are taller than I am and they need the additional fertilizer. Of course with tomatoes one has to be careful not to give too much nitrogen or you end up with whopping size plants that don't bloom and set fruit. Not what one wants to accomplish. Rolling my eyes.
Name: Paul
Allen Park, MI (Zone 6a)
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paulgrow
Aug 7, 2012 1:46 PM CST
I like Wonder-Gro, it's a 13-13-13 like Dave mentioned above, it also contains sulfur which I think helps my tomato plants. I apply once in the spring. During spring prep I till in compost and top dress with it during the growing season.
Gardening is cheaper than therapy and you get tomatoes. ~Author Unknown
Name: Rita
North Shore, Long Island, NY
Zone 6B
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Newyorkrita
Aug 7, 2012 2:16 PM CST
One year I got compost by the truck instead of the bagged compost I usually use. Had so much I had it piled a foot high on top of the beds. Planted my tomatoes directly in that compost. It was the best year ever for tomatoes and I didn't use any extra fertilizer that year.
Name: tabby
denver, colorado zone 5
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tabby
Aug 7, 2012 2:26 PM CST
I just plant the tomatoes directly in year old horse manure and they do very well. I'm currently getting up the energy to slice a bunch of ripe tomatoes up for the dehydrator.
Name: Rita
North Shore, Long Island, NY
Zone 6B
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Newyorkrita
Aug 7, 2012 2:29 PM CST
Ha, no horse manure here. Have to make do with compost. Even have to actually buy the compost.
Name: tabby
denver, colorado zone 5
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tabby
Aug 7, 2012 3:49 PM CST
Bummer. My neighbors beg me to take it. Recently I contacted the alpaca farm just 1/4 mile away and now they are giving me free alpaca manure which is better digested than horse.
Name: Rita
North Shore, Long Island, NY
Zone 6B
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Newyorkrita
Aug 7, 2012 4:00 PM CST
Well, there are stables and even people with backyard horses around Long Island. But fresh manure. I certainly have no place to let it age and certainly don't want the stink. Plus I would have to load it and bring it home. At my age of 65, no thanks.
Name: tabby
denver, colorado zone 5
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tabby
Aug 7, 2012 4:29 PM CST
Yeah, if I had a city lot, I wouldn't do it.
But I've got an acre and the back area is just fine for storing a huge pile of manure. Oddly enough, it doesn't smell very long. Only a few days. Probably because it's so dry here. When it dries, it's rather light. It eventually turns into this nice peaty light stuff with just an earthy smell.
Now goat manure is waaaayyy too stinky. I won't do that again.

I'm so glad I'm not the one shoveling it. I have way too many physical problems, but my husband and daughter are good at it. Plus the neighbors help since they'd have to pay to have it hauled away if we didn't take it. One set of neighbors are these nice twenty-somethings that are quite good at shoveling. Smiling

So, each year I plant my tomatoes and peppers in raised beds filled with pure manure. Sometimes I remember to put in some calcium to prevent blossom end rot, but I forgot this year and the tomatoes are fine. The general veggie bed gets a huge layer of aged manure tilled in every year. You should see my broccoli!
Name: Rita
North Shore, Long Island, NY
Zone 6B
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Newyorkrita
Aug 7, 2012 4:34 PM CST
Big Grin Thumbs up
Name: Paul
Allen Park, MI (Zone 6a)
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paulgrow
Aug 8, 2012 7:11 AM CST
Several years ago we had a circus come to our local civic arena. I stopped by and asked them if I could have the elephant dung.
I put it on my tomatoes and they did fantastic.

I need to find an elephant to buy and keep in the garage,
Gardening is cheaper than therapy and you get tomatoes. ~Author Unknown
Name: Tom
Southern Wisconsin (Zone 5b)
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tveguy3
Aug 8, 2012 8:42 AM CST
I have lots of horse compost. I keep some for 3 to 4 years before I use it. Since I use wood shavings, I want it to break down, as I understand that wood can hold the Nitrogen. I just put a bunch of it on and till it in. When I'm not too lazy, I like to do it the fall, but that doesn't always happen. I have some chicken manure too, that works really well, but don't have enough of that. I never use any commercial fertilizers on my veggies. I heat with wood, so I've been putting the wood ashes on the garden too, but now I'm hearing that it might not be a good idea. I was told years ago that I should put down a layer of wood ashes to keep cut worms out. I used to do that, but I haven't had trouble with then without doing that, so I don't any more.
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Name: Rita
North Shore, Long Island, NY
Zone 6B
Charter ATP Member Seed Starter Tomato Heads I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Vegetable Grower Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge)
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Newyorkrita
Aug 8, 2012 9:49 AM CST
Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing Paul, somehow I think the neighbors might object! Hilarious! Hilarious!

Tom, I know that wood chips can take a very long time to break down.
Name: Paul
Utah (Zone 5b)
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Paul2032
Aug 8, 2012 11:18 AM CST
Tom I believe wood ashes increase alkalinity. We are already alkaline here so I've been advised not to use them. If your soil is on the acid side they would probably be OK.
Paul Smith Pleasant Grove, Utah
Name: Rita
North Shore, Long Island, NY
Zone 6B
Charter ATP Member Seed Starter Tomato Heads I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Vegetable Grower Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge)
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Newyorkrita
Aug 27, 2012 5:18 PM CST
I think it is time for SUPERBLOOM on my tomatoes again soon as I am not seeing a lot of blooms lately.
Name: Gunny Mike Tomlinson
Yuma, AZ Elev. 100' +/- 5' (Zone 10a)
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Gunny
Apr 13, 2013 12:15 PM CST
How long until your horse manure is considered well aged or rotted enough to be used? I am new to all of this that is one reason for asking. I used to work for horse feed now its the other end product that I get, lol but seriously, I have one of those never ending supplies, some is spread out to dry up and some is hot composted with old hay or bad hay that can't be fed. There is no grain during the hot season in the feed so mostly its just grass hay. The cool season its alfalfa hay. Grain when feed is primarily oats and some bran. Wife founded a nonprofit for special needs kids and uses horses, etc. in her program. So the leavings arrive on a weekly basis. I might as well come out of retirement again and found a local manure movers union. Here I thought gardening for food would be easy. In the last three months have lost about four pant sizes, not that I had any to spare before. Anyway, would like to hear any advice about how long before the manure is considered good to use if it hasn't been composted. Thanks in advance.
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Name: Arlene
Grantville, GA (Zone 8a)
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abhege
Apr 13, 2013 12:33 PM CST
We let ours sit in a big pile about a year, at least six months. But when we get it it has already been sitting in a hot pile composting. If you can let one pile sit while you're using another it will work out.
Name: Michele Roth
N.E. Indiana - Zone 5b
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chelle
Apr 13, 2013 4:34 PM CST
I think most horse manure is typically light in the nitrogen department so it can be used fairly fresh if necessary. I'll still only use fresher stuff first thing in the season on non-edibles or late fruiting edibles...just to be on the safe side. Smiling Here, low and quick-growing crops like lettuce, kale, radish and spinach, to name a few, get only the well-aged manure. Splashing on edibles isn't such a great thing, of course, so if using fresher horse product I always try to bury it.

If you can dig into the center of your pile and not smell the bite of ammonia, I'd say it's pretty much good to go. Three to six months maybe during the wet heat of spring and summer, and up to a year if the pile is started in the cold months. You can speed up the process by wetting the pile occasionally during long, hot, dry spells. However, since horse manure isn't very high in a lot of nutrients, err on the dry side to start off with or you run the risk of washing all the goodies out before it gets to your plants.
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Name: Arlene
Grantville, GA (Zone 8a)
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abhege
Apr 13, 2013 5:47 PM CST
I agree

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