Daylilies forum: Which fertilizer for spring?

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Name: Sabrina
Italy, Brescia (Zone 8b)
Love daylilies and making candles!
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cybersix
Feb 29, 2016 4:06 PM CST
I know spring is not around the corner, but I want to find a good fertilizer for my garden soil (never really fertilized it).
I only have daylilies. There are 3 y.o. DLs and I want to prepare a little bed for my seedlings in place of a spot where there is sedum.
Since I'm in Italy I can't find the brands you mention, but what should I look for? NPK in what percentages? Other things? I was thinking of something to mix or spread over the soil since I don't plan to move the adult DLs.
Many thanks!
Sabrina, North Italy
My blog: http://hemerocallisblog.com
Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
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sooby
Mar 1, 2016 5:40 AM CST
You could go for a ratio of 3-1-2 or thereabouts, that's a kind of general use ratio (that's ratio not analysis, so that would mean an analysis something like 6-2-4, 15-5-10 etc..). Consider also that you can provide the same amount of nutrients with 3-1-2, 6-2-4 or 30-10-20 by just changing the amount applied, so the analysis isn't the only consideration.

This is a kind of "generic" answer without knowing your soil or its natural nutrient content. If you don't find it too expensive, I would go with slow release fertilizer so that you don't need to keep applying it. If you can it would be better to get a soil test because then you can match your fertilizer analysis to that and hopefully avoid applying too much of one thing and too little of another. Do you have any kind of ministry of agriculture there that provides information to gardeners and does soil testing? They would be more familiar with your local conditions and soils.
Name: Sabrina
Italy, Brescia (Zone 8b)
Love daylilies and making candles!
Daylilies Cat Lover Region: Europe Garden Photography Garden Ideas: Level 1
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cybersix
Mar 1, 2016 6:45 AM CST
Thanks Sue! I can't have any soil testing done for now because it's a bit expensive here (I don't know there) and require a lot of soil I don't even have LOL!
I'd like to use a slow release fertilizer. I'm writing down a list of things I need then in the next days I'll go to the garden center, I'd like to buy some ladybug friendly plant too (something small to keep in pots).

What about horse or cow manure? I'm starting to see it in every place I go, even in the little market down the street! Thank You!
Sabrina, North Italy
My blog: http://hemerocallisblog.com
Athens, Ohio (Zone 6a)
mantisOH
Mar 1, 2016 4:10 PM CST
If the horse or cow manure is well rotted, it can be used for top dressing. But I don't use it in the spring. One year that I used it, I had a lot of leaf streak disease, which I blame on the manure.

dasha
Mar 2, 2016 12:18 PM CST
I use this http://www.homedepot.com/p/32-oz-Concentrate-Jungle-Flora-Or... for my garden.
Name: Glen Ingram
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Gleni
Mar 2, 2016 3:15 PM CST
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DAVIDRETALLICK
Mar 2, 2016 9:19 PM CST
How about mushroom compost, can you make your own compost as well. Great for improving soil condition, a little fertilizer value.
Name: Becky
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beckygardener
Mar 2, 2016 11:22 PM CST
Welcome dasha! Where are you located?

I've never tried Jungle Flora. Might give it a try!
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Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
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sooby
Mar 3, 2016 6:15 AM CST
Welcome, Dasha Welcome! Jungle Flora, according to the specs on the web site, has zero N-P-K, just FWIW if someone is looking for major nutrients in a fertilizer. The OP, Sabrina, also has problems with higher soil pH so the pH of an amendment like compost could be an issue depending on the compost, some can actually raise soil pH. I don't know if they'd put the pH of the compost on the bag there in Italy.
Name: Sabrina
Italy, Brescia (Zone 8b)
Love daylilies and making candles!
Daylilies Cat Lover Region: Europe Garden Photography Garden Ideas: Level 1
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cybersix
Mar 3, 2016 9:36 AM CST
Sue the PH after testing seems neutral. I have two rhododendrons growing and I know they like low PH.
Thanks for suggestions everyone.
I never bought any solid fertilizer so i don't know if the PH value is on the bag, for liquid fertilizers I guess PH value is changed when you mix it with water. I wanted to make a comfy house for my DLs, especially for the new seedlings I'm going to plant in the ground. The DLs which have go a little dormant are growing fast and healthy, for now.
Sabrina, North Italy
My blog: http://hemerocallisblog.com
Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
Daylilies Birds Enjoys or suffers cold winters Native Plants and Wildflowers Butterflies Annuals
Region: Canadian Keeps Horses Dog Lover Plant Identifier Garden Sages
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sooby
Mar 3, 2016 9:56 AM CST
For a fertilizer to change the pH it would depend on the components. Some can change it downwards and some upwards or no effect (would depend on the amount as well). Some daylilies find a neutral pH too high and you've had interveinal chlorosis on the newer leaves which suggests either iron or manganese deficiency. I've had micronutrient problems with mine at 6.8. A range of 5.5 to 6.5 was recommended by someone who did some formal research on daylily nutrition although it would also depend on other factors. Some daylily cultivars seem to need more acidity than others. Rhododendrons can also vary, while most need a distinctly acidic soil there are some that will tolerate a higher pH. I don't know which ones you have there but we have a couple of rhodos here that grow and flower on a soil that is barely on the acidic side of neutral.

I wasn't suggesting a pH value would be on fertilizer bags but it may be given for compost. I don't know what the conventions or rules are there in Italy. Here to be classified as a fertilizer it must show an NPK analysis.
Name: Sabrina
Italy, Brescia (Zone 8b)
Love daylilies and making candles!
Daylilies Cat Lover Region: Europe Garden Photography Garden Ideas: Level 1
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cybersix
Mar 3, 2016 10:19 AM CST
Sorry Sue, I didn't remember about a lower PH than neutral if we talked about it before. I can't name the rods because I found them already here when we came to live in this house and I left them in their spot since they look healthy and bloom a lot. Well, one blooms wonderfully, it has green leaves and pink flowres, the other seem to struggle a bit, it doesn't grow much, never seen a flower and it has red leaves.

I have yet to find a bag of compost, I have to go in a garden center because there aren't any in common shops, and it' s a trip of about 30 minutes so I'm planning to go when the moment will be right because we're going to have rains and cold again (-1°C to 5°C)
Sabrina, North Italy
My blog: http://hemerocallisblog.com
Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
Daylilies Birds Enjoys or suffers cold winters Native Plants and Wildflowers Butterflies Annuals
Region: Canadian Keeps Horses Dog Lover Plant Identifier Garden Sages
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sooby
Mar 3, 2016 10:30 AM CST
If you're getting below freezing that may be part of your problem, especially if it is also warm some of the time. So you've decided on compost rather than fertilizer? I did find a document that said if a producer belongs to some kind of Italian compost association (I forget the name of it) the pH of their compost is required to be within the range 6 to 8.5.
Name: Sabrina
Italy, Brescia (Zone 8b)
Love daylilies and making candles!
Daylilies Cat Lover Region: Europe Garden Photography Garden Ideas: Level 1
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cybersix
Mar 3, 2016 10:33 AM CST
Oh I didn't decide yet, sorry if my posts are confusing I can't manage really well your language! I'd like to do the best thing I can given the "hard" conditions of my soil (sorry the topic is split in two thread).

I would like to buy something good quality and I guess I'll have to look on Amazon for finding something not generic use as I find in garden centers and shops.
Sabrina, North Italy
My blog: http://hemerocallisblog.com
Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
Daylilies Birds Enjoys or suffers cold winters Native Plants and Wildflowers Butterflies Annuals
Region: Canadian Keeps Horses Dog Lover Plant Identifier Garden Sages
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sooby
Mar 3, 2016 10:42 AM CST
I think you manage the language remarkably well. Thumbs up If you want to improve the "hardness" of the clay then compost is the way to go. If you want to directly increase nutrients then compost may not provide what you're looking for. But improving the soil is always going to be a good thing whether you fertilize or not and it may be enough. Clay typically is more fertile than soils that are easier to manage. Daylilies growing in soil will not die if you don't fertilize them and it is safer to under rather than over-fertilize.
Name: Sabrina
Italy, Brescia (Zone 8b)
Love daylilies and making candles!
Daylilies Cat Lover Region: Europe Garden Photography Garden Ideas: Level 1
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cybersix
Mar 3, 2016 10:50 AM CST
The soil really is alive given the numbers of different life forms living in there, I know it has its advantages. But once a plant i set it's a pain to move it or loose the soil to add something.

I would go with compost, it's something I never used so I need a compost guide for dummies Big Grin but I know it's the way to go to improve the soil. Simply it's something that scares me, just the idea of digging makes me tired!!

Sabrina, North Italy
My blog: http://hemerocallisblog.com
Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
Daylilies Birds Enjoys or suffers cold winters Native Plants and Wildflowers Butterflies Annuals
Region: Canadian Keeps Horses Dog Lover Plant Identifier Garden Sages
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sooby
Mar 3, 2016 10:56 AM CST
Don't dig, just spread about an inch of compost on the soil surface and let the worms etc. do the work. Do that every year, or when it looks depleted. Try to get a compost that doesn't have a pH higher than what you have though, preferably lower.
Name: Sabrina
Italy, Brescia (Zone 8b)
Love daylilies and making candles!
Daylilies Cat Lover Region: Europe Garden Photography Garden Ideas: Level 1
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cybersix
Mar 3, 2016 11:03 AM CST
many thanks! when should it be done? which kind of compost should I buy? Powder or pellets?
Sabrina, North Italy
My blog: http://hemerocallisblog.com
Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
Daylilies Birds Enjoys or suffers cold winters Native Plants and Wildflowers Butterflies Annuals
Region: Canadian Keeps Horses Dog Lover Plant Identifier Garden Sages
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sooby
Mar 3, 2016 11:33 AM CST
I don't remember seeing commercial compost as powder or pellets but I might be displaying my ignorance Hilarious! . Compost is decomposed plant material so the few times I've bought it here it has looked like...compost! When I've used it generally it has been from our own livestock so not purchased. Are you thinking of fertilizer, which does come in powder or granules?

You can add compost any time. I would tend to do it when the soil is a bit warmer and the worms/microorganisms are more active.
Name: Sabrina
Italy, Brescia (Zone 8b)
Love daylilies and making candles!
Daylilies Cat Lover Region: Europe Garden Photography Garden Ideas: Level 1
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cybersix
Mar 3, 2016 11:41 AM CST
I bet I'm the ignorant because I keep on thinking of fertilizer or manure LOL.
I can't compost here, so I will have to buy it!
For warmer temps I guess it's a bit early. We had two nice days with day temps around 12°C but it's going too cool down again.
Sabrina, North Italy
My blog: http://hemerocallisblog.com

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