Daylilies forum: Fertilizing schedule

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Name: James
South Bend, IN (Zone 5b)
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JWWC
Mar 3, 2013 6:56 PM CST
I did a bit of a search and did not see this topic covered. I was wondering what schedule people use for fertilizing?

Mainly, do you fertilize with higher doses at certain intervals or with a more dilute application constantly?
Name: Fred Manning
Lillian Alabama

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spunky1
Mar 4, 2013 4:56 AM CST
Fertilizing depends on where your located, what I do in the deep south may not work for you. I fertilize my seedlings a lot different than I do the display and hybridizing area. In the display and hybridizing areas they get 18-4-8 slow release(180 day) when planted in September, they also get alfalfa and chicken litter under the plant when planting, they are then side dressed with all three. During all twelve months I will foliar feed with 20-5-10 every two weeks.They get watered every other day which is more important than any fertilizer.
Name: bb
north of boston on the coast
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lilylady
Mar 4, 2013 5:38 AM CST
I don't fertilize.

Sandy soil north of Boston

Lots of compost when planting. LOTS!

Topdressing every 3 years in the fall once the daylilies are cut back. I use about 2 inches and rotate what beds get it.
Name: Cynthia (Cindy)
Melvindale, Mi (Zone 5b)
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Hemlady
Mar 4, 2013 7:26 AM CST
I usually only fertilize once, in the spring. I use a slow release fertilizer like Osmocote and also apply some Milorganite.
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Name: Doris&David Bishop
Cartersville, Ga. (Zone 7b)
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Casshigh
Mar 4, 2013 11:03 AM CST
Maybe Doris will comment about how and when she fertilizes. She does most of the fertilizing, spreading preemergent, and spraying. I guess she does most of all the work, come to think of it! I know that she uses a combination of Nutricote slow release fertilizer (we were so excited 10 days ago to get 10 bags of Nutricote from the only supplier nearby), alfalfa, epsom salts, horsey manure, Milorganite, and I'm sure something I am leaving out. I bought some water soluble fertilizer and used it a few times in July and August on some plants. I HOPE to do that more this summer. As a matter of fact, I am planning on marketing a new daylily fertilizer that combines all of those ingredients in one handy package. It will be like growing daylilies on STEROIDS! I have come up with a product name that is sure to make everyone want...






Hem-A-Roids!

Okay, I was just joking. But, I'd bet you could sell something like that.
David
"Anything worth doing is worth overdoing"~~~David Bishop
http://daylilyfans.com/bishop/
[Last edited by Casshigh - Mar 5, 2013 5:21 AM (+)]
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Name: Kim W
Md (Zone 6a)
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kimkats
Mar 4, 2013 12:08 PM CST
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Name: James
South Bend, IN (Zone 5b)
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JWWC
Mar 4, 2013 1:54 PM CST
Very interesting to see the differences. In the past I have been putting down time release pellets and Milorganite in the spring and occasionally (when I have time and remember) using water soluble fertilizers over the course of the season. This year I am going to put down Milorganite, alfalfa and a pre-emergent in the spring and use a more dilute solution of liquid fertilizer over the course of the season.

David the Hem-A-Roids sounds like quite the product! Sticking tongue out
Name: Rita
North Shore, Long Island, NY
Zone 6B
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Newyorkrita
Mar 4, 2013 6:30 PM CST
I put down a bagged fertilizer in the spring using either Plant Tone or Flower Tone. I prefer the Flower Tone. All the daylilies get fertilzer thrown around the plants. Then I try to also put out some alfalfa each spring but if I don't get to it I don't worry about it.

Each summer after bloom season winds down the daylilies look slightly ragged and I fertilize all the daylily beds with Neptunes Liquid Seaweed fertilizer. Or use the seaweed fish blend. It gives them a nice summer pick me up.

I know many peopple do fertilize in the fall but I don't.
Name: Cynthia (Cindy)
Melvindale, Mi (Zone 5b)
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Hemlady
Mar 5, 2013 7:10 AM CST
I am going to try alfalfa pellets this spring, if I can find some. They are not readily available here.
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Name: Teresa
South central KY (Zone 6b)
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bluegrassmom
Mar 5, 2013 7:29 AM CST
Is that the same as the horse feed alfalfa pellets, Cindy? I have seen those at Rural King and was wondering.

I use a product like Blk Cow around mine in Spring and then I like to water with the MGrow thingy that attach to the hose.

Name: Cynthia (Cindy)
Melvindale, Mi (Zone 5b)
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Hemlady
Mar 5, 2013 7:34 AM CST
Could be Teresa, I'm not really sure. I think I will have to check some feed stores. Maybe Tractor Supply would have some too.
Lighthouse Gardens
Name: James
South Bend, IN (Zone 5b)
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JWWC
Mar 5, 2013 9:52 AM CST
I use the horse feed alfalfa pellets. You just want to make sure it is only alfalfa and not a mix. The rabbit pellets, I believe, are the ones with added minerals and what not that you don't necessarily want to put around the plants. I bought my bag from either Tractor Supply or Rural King. It was around $10 for 40 lbs.
Name: Teresa
South central KY (Zone 6b)
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bluegrassmom
Mar 5, 2013 10:55 AM CST
Ok, thanks gosh I was just over there yesterday Sad It is a 30 mile drive. Do you dig down near the roots and bury a handful or what? Sorry to ask so many questions but I would really love to see them flourish.
Name: Rita
North Shore, Long Island, NY
Zone 6B
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Newyorkrita
Mar 5, 2013 11:06 AM CST
Yes, they are exactly the hourse feed pellets. Come in big bags that I think are 40 pounds.
Name: James
South Bend, IN (Zone 5b)
Hostas Enjoys or suffers cold winters Birds Seed Starter Annuals Region: Indiana
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JWWC
Mar 5, 2013 11:34 AM CST
I only started using alfalfa last year (I'm still relatively new to this which is why I also ask so many questions!). At the time I put it around the plants that were already established and just watered it in. The pellets break down pretty quickly.

For plants that were new last year, I would add about 1/4 to 1/2 a cup to the bottom of the hole, along with some compost and time release fertilizer if I had it around, when I planted them. This year, they are all getting it around the plants. Then, when I move (should I ever finish this dissertation which I am procrastinating writing by being on ATP Whistling ) they will get it in the holes when planted again.
Name: Doris&David Bishop
Cartersville, Ga. (Zone 7b)
Daylilies Cat Lover Clematis Region: Georgia Garden Art
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Casshigh
Mar 5, 2013 1:16 PM CST
Ok, I am going to try this again. I typed this up two times already this morning. The first time I lost it because of something I did. The second time the internet quit working. I should save every few lines with my luck so far. Rolling my eyes.

First, to respond to the latest posts about alfalfa, I just bought six 40lb. bags of alfalfa pellets from Tractor Supply for $13.99 plus tax per bag. For daylilies in the ground I spread about 1 cup of the pellets around the plant being careful to not let the pellets touch the crown. They will become soft and spread out when they get wet. When planting new daylilies, I dig the hole just a little deeper and pour the cup of alfalfa in the bottom of the hole and then pull enough soil on top to cover the alfalfa so the roots do not come in direct contact with it. I have read that the alfalfa puts off heat as it breaks down and the heat could burn the roots. Don't know but we have not had a problem doing it this way. While at Walmart I bought nine 4 lb.bags of Epsom salt in the pharmacy area. I think it was about $2.86 a bag. The daylilies like magnesium which is the Epsom salt.

David posted yesterday the different fertilizers that we use. He hauls in free composted horse manure and sometimes locates composted chicken litter. Some people have a problem with weeds/weed seeds in horse manure, but we have not had that problem. The daylilies love these organic fertilizers and we try now to always include one of these in new daylily beds or when redoing beds. The Nutricote that David mentioned is a slow release fertilizer. We use the 3-1-2 ratio and 180 day formula. Nutricote is heat and water activated. The soil temperature has to reach about 70 degrees before it will kick in, and that is late May here in Zone 7 NW GA. The Nutricote will continue to release fertilizer throughout the summer and fall. To kickstart the daylilies we start them out with the alfalfa pelllets, milorganite (iron), and Epsom salt.
I will begin putting out the fertilizers within the next couple of weeks. I would like to have all the fertilizers down before the end of March and then get the pinestraw mulch down before the daylily foliage starts growing. So far, March has been cold for us. The end of the week and this coming weekend will be warm (60's). If we continue to have these warmer temperatures, the foliage will start growing. I hope it will go back to being cold for a few more weeks. (Our local groundhog saw his shadow, so we were to have 6 more weeks of winter.) I like to get the mulch down before the foliage grows out because it takes longer to put the straw down when I have to pick up the foliage and push straw under it. We will only be putting a very light layer on, since we do not rake off the old straw instead letting it break down.

Back to fertilizers, I recommend having your soil tested if you have not done this or a long time ago. We had 10 areas tested last spring through our local extension office (different beds can have different readings) and got back some surprising results. There are soil testers that can be bought online that are low cost and supposed to be fairly reliable. We bought one last May that will test the Nitrogen-Phosphorus-Potassium and ph. I will use it to keep a close watch on the readings in each daylily bed, especially the ph. We had never had our soil tested until last March. We learned that our ph was low which I suspected. Our daylilies no longer were the size that they once were. I knew that we were giving them the proper fertilizers and water and, therefore, the fans should have been increasing in size instead of getting smaller. I knew the answer had to be in the soil, and it was. We had to add dolomitic lime to all our daylily beds to bring the ph up. Our soil is naturally acidic here, plus we use lots of pinebark fines amendments in the daylily beds. The ideal ph range for daylilies is 6.2-6.8. If the ph is too high or too low, the daylily roots cannot take up the minerals that we have put in the soil through our fertilizers. Step One is make sure your ph level is correct before adding any fertilizers. Only a soil test can really tell you what is in the soil and what and how much needs to be added. Otherwise, we are blindly adding fertilizers that the daylilies may not need, and this is a waste of good money (could be spent on more daylilies Big Grin ) A second revelation from the test results showed that our potassium levels were low despite adding potassium each spring. A third revelation showed that our calcium levels were off the chart. We added a well three Novembers ago for the sole purpose of watering the daylilies. We live on a limestone base so that explains the high calcium levels. I did some research online and learned that high calcium levels MAY deplete potassium. Apparently, this is what happened here. Now we anticipate needing to add additional potassium each spring. I want to add Potassium Nitrate to our fertilization regiment and spray the foliage starting in late April and maybe again in June. This will give the daylilies additional potassium and extra nitrogen that the daylilies like. David sprayed a liquid fertilizer a few time last summer and fall thanks to our Tink (Michele). We want to start this in April and spray every couple of weeks. David will probably do this. We have so many daylily beds that we will have to pick the beds to spray with the liquid fertilizer. I want to stress the importance of WATER. Water is more important than any fertilizer. Here is a link to an article that Dan Trimmer wrote about fertilization that I consider very helpful. http://www.ctdaylily.com/trimmer_fertilizing.html

I will probably buy Milorganite tomorrow when I will have the truck. Last year it cost less than $15 for a 36 lb. bag at Lowe's and Home Depot. I use a 1/2 to 1 cup for each daylily in the ground and apply it the same way as the alfalfa pellets to old and new plantings. Tink revealed to us last summer that it is not good to apply Milorganite to the top of daylilies in pots during the summer. I agree. I have done it during the early spring when it was still cool with no problems but lost some during the hot summer that I added it to the soil surface of the daylily in a pot.

I hope I did not leave anything out from my two previous typings. Probably did but maybe nothing too vital. Big Grin

Doris
"Anything worth doing is worth overdoing"~~~David Bishop
http://daylilyfans.com/bishop/
Name: James
South Bend, IN (Zone 5b)
Hostas Enjoys or suffers cold winters Birds Seed Starter Annuals Region: Indiana
Region: United States of America Dog Lover Daylilies Container Gardener Plant and/or Seed Trader
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JWWC
Mar 5, 2013 2:29 PM CST
Thank you for the thorough response! I have a sneaking suspicion that the end of one bed closest to a spruce tree is more acidic than other parts but I haven't had it tested, I have just noticed that DLs in that part don't seem to thrive as well.
Name: Doris&David Bishop
Cartersville, Ga. (Zone 7b)
Daylilies Cat Lover Clematis Region: Georgia Garden Art
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Casshigh
Mar 5, 2013 2:44 PM CST
It could be a water or sun issue, too.
"Anything worth doing is worth overdoing"~~~David Bishop
http://daylilyfans.com/bishop/
Name: Teresa
South central KY (Zone 6b)
Consider the lilies of the field
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bluegrassmom
Mar 5, 2013 5:00 PM CST
Doris, thanks for persevering thru the loss of your post twice, lots of good info.

T
[Last edited by bluegrassmom - Mar 5, 2013 5:31 PM (+)]
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Name: Doris&David Bishop
Cartersville, Ga. (Zone 7b)
Daylilies Cat Lover Clematis Region: Georgia Garden Art
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Casshigh
Mar 5, 2013 5:19 PM CST
Thanks, Teresa.
"Anything worth doing is worth overdoing"~~~David Bishop
http://daylilyfans.com/bishop/

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