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Name: Kevin Langley
London UK
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AmberLeaf
Aug 29, 2016 2:20 PM CST
Hi there

I'm very interested in Fruit trees and tropical plants.

So far I have one Pineapple plant, 3 small wild Orange trees and 2 Banana plants. I'm also planning on growing some Golden Virginia Tobacco seeds, Date Palm Tree seeds and Black Bamboo seeds as well as Giant Bamboo seeds.

I'm new to fertilizers and knowing what compost to use, is there a fertilizer that I can use for all of those plants or do I have to use different types of fertilizer for each plant?

What is the best fertilizers to use for these plants?

Also whats the best types of compost to use on the seeds mentioned above and whats the best compost to use when re-potting banana plants?

Many thanks
[Last edited by AmberLeaf - Aug 29, 2016 2:23 PM (+)]
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Name: Porkpal
Richmond, TX
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Keeper of Poultry Farmer Roses Raises cows
Garden Ideas: Level 2 Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
porkpal
Aug 29, 2016 4:52 PM CST
If you apply compost generously, you may find that you don't need any other fertilizers.
Porkpal
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
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dyzzypyxxy
Aug 29, 2016 5:54 PM CST
Hi and welcome, AmberLeaf. If you could tell us where you are, it will help us to advise you better. Please fill in your profile with your city/state/country - it's the little person icon in the upper left blue sidebar.

Citrus have a very specific fertilizer blend, so you would need to buy that for your citrus trees. But that fertilizer should also be fine for your other plants as well.

I don't think there's enough compost around for you to use it exclusively, especially if you are in the deep South (as it sounds like you are) where we get heavy rains for months in the summer. It leaches nutrients out of the soil very quickly when you get a couple of inches of rain per hour. Bananas specifically are very heavy feeders and can benefit from generous, consistent nutrient supply. They also need a ton of water which leaches the nutrients even when it's not pouring rain.

As far as the "kind" of compost, just about any compost you can get in large quantities will be fine - the more the better. As long as it's fully composted, it's reduced to basic plant fibers no matter what it was to begin with.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Kevin Langley
London UK
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AmberLeaf
Aug 30, 2016 5:24 AM CST
Hi thanks for your responses. I'm based in London UK, I shall go fill in my profile shortly.

Also I just wanted to add. My 3 wild Orange trees I have, I grew from pips from store bought oranges there about 5 years old now but they have always stayed small at around half a foot so I think there possibly lacking in nutrition as I feel they should be at least 4 foot by now I will get some citrus feed for them however I did mix in some plant food a few days ago so I'm just wondering if I added some citrus feed as well would that be over feeding them? Whats the most recommend citrus feed?

Many thanks.
[Last edited by AmberLeaf - Aug 30, 2016 5:36 AM (+)]
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Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
Herbs Orchids Birds Garden Ideas: Level 2 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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dyzzypyxxy
Aug 30, 2016 9:08 AM CST
Here, we feed our citrus trees every 3 months. Yes, you'd probably burn the leaves if you added citrus fert right now after you've already put in some other plant food. Wait a month or so. You're right, a 5yr. old citrus plant should be 3 to 4ft. tall by now. How about posting a picture? They need bright sun, warmth and lots of water with good drainage, as well as regular, specific plant food. Also, a tree you grow from a seed will not give you the same type of oranges that you got the seed from. Oranges are always grafted. So what you get if you do eventually grow it to bearing size might be really small, sour oranges.

You're growing a lot of tropical stuff, over there in the UK. Are you growing them in a greenhouse? Do you have some supplemental lighting for winter?
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Kevin Langley
London UK
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AmberLeaf
Aug 30, 2016 10:10 AM CST
I'll wait a month before I feed them citrus feed in that case. I've taken a picture, hopefully it will upload... as there so small I have 3 in one large pot but I will be separating them once they get a bit bigger. I grow most of my plants in a conservatory which is also central heated during the winter months with plenty of sun light. The summer has been pretty good this year so a lot of my plants I've put outside and are all are in large pots. I don't mind if these don't grow fruit it would just be nice if they could grow a bit bigger. I'm also planing on buying one of those dwarf Orange plants that grow full sized oranges as well.
Thumb of 2016-08-30/AmberLeaf/c0f8db

Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
Herbs Orchids Birds Garden Ideas: Level 2 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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dyzzypyxxy
Aug 30, 2016 10:35 AM CST
Those oranges could be outside in the summertime, too btw. They look pretty good, nice color and big leaves. But is that hard water deposit, the white spots on the leaves? This could be what's holding them back on you - if the pH of your water is too high the plants can't make use of the nutrients as readily.

You should clean the leaves off so the deposits don't clog the stoma and they also block the light getting to the leaves. Then, from now on when you water, add a few drops of vinegar to it first. The amount is about a tablespoon of plain, white vinegar per gallon. Citrus plants shouldn't be let to dry out. They like regular moisture as long as there is good drainage.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Christie
43016 (Zone 6b)
Plays in the water.
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cwhitt
Aug 30, 2016 10:49 AM CST
I don't know if this is helpful of not, but I sometimes will plant the entire pot into the ground for the summertime. Then lift the entire pot back out to take indoors for the cold season. It seems to work fairly well for me, and no transplant shock. I can't say enough about using compost - make as much compost as you can. Also, if you are a coffee or tea drinker, put your coffee/tea grounds on your compost pile also. Also any banana peels and egg shells. I keep a container in the kitchen to put vegetable waste in, then empty all of that onto my compost pile.
Our destiny in life is to discover our gift. Our purpose in life is to give it away.
Name: Porkpal
Richmond, TX
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Keeper of Poultry Farmer Roses Raises cows
Garden Ideas: Level 2 Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
porkpal
Aug 30, 2016 10:52 AM CST
The graft on which a citrus tree was grown will in no way affect the fruit of its offspring, however cross-pollination might, but that would be unlikely with a commercially grown orange. It will be interesting to see what your little tress ultimately produce! Our citrus trees (which, of course, live outside) get nothing but compost/manure and seem to thrive. Your project sounds like fun.
Porkpal
Name: Kevin Langley
London UK
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AmberLeaf
Aug 30, 2016 2:06 PM CST
Thats very useful info thanks for that Thumbs up I knew something was up but couldn't quite figure it out. The pH in my water is very high that makes sense as I grew some seeds a few months back that sprouted but never took growth. I'll shall buy some plain white vinegar tomorrow I think that could be the answer to my plant growth problems, I'll also clean of the leaves too.

I have a few other projects going on as well I bought some pineapples today to see if I can grow some more pineapple plants, I cut the top of one, peeled off the bottom leaves to find some small roots so I put that pineapple top in some water along with a few other pineapple tops. Thats how I grew my current pineapple plant.

I'm also doing an experiment with some cumin seeds which I have in a zip locked bag in wet tissue I mixed with a tiny bit of hydrogen peroxide in with the water as I find that helps to sprout seeds. Hopefully I should have some more new plants on the way.

I'll be sure to mix the water with a bit of white vinegar each time I water my plants.

I've just started a compost bin which I'll throw all my vegetable waste in, egg shells fruit peels and fish bones etc etc

I'll be bringing in all my plants back in mid September just before it starts getting cold. I was a bit worried with putting the orange trees outside as I feared that insects might eat the leaves I think I'll wait until they get bigger before I put them outside.
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member
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RickCorey
Aug 30, 2016 5:52 PM CST
AmberLeaf said: ...
Also whats the best types of compost to use on the seeds mentioned above and whats the best compost to use when re-potting banana plants?

Many thanks


Hi AmberLeaf! Welcome to NGA!

I don't know anything about growing trees and tropical plants, but I would like to ask you a question. When you say "compost" and "seeds" in the same sentence, is that a different meaning than the "compost" in a "compost heap"?

I start seeds in a fairly-sterile soilless mix with lots of shredded conifer bark. I think the other ingredients are things like peat moss, coconut coir and Perlite. I've seen the word "compost" used by British gardeners to mean a"finely-divided but airy seed-starting mix".

My compost HEAP is rotting vegetable matter plus paper and sometimes shredded wood.

On your side of the Atlantic Puddle, do you start seeds in "soilless mixes", or in that "black gold" that we shovel out from under heaps of rotting vegetation and kitchen scraps?
Name: Kevin Langley
London UK
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AmberLeaf
Aug 31, 2016 9:09 AM CST
I'm not quite sure what you mean lol but compost over hear is decayed organic material but I guess you could throw in some seeds if there old or no good or something.

I went out to the store today I couldn't find any plain white vinegar I went in several stores hunting for it but alls they had was malt white vinegar I'm not sure if thats the same thing? so I got that instead I also bought some lemons so I'll cut one up and add it to the water.

My banana plants have got some new growth they seem to be growing pretty fast Smiling



Name: Porkpal
Richmond, TX
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Keeper of Poultry Farmer Roses Raises cows
Garden Ideas: Level 2 Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
porkpal
Aug 31, 2016 9:17 AM CST
Decayed organic matter sounds like a good definition of compost to me.

Lemons should work fine and pose less risk of excess acidity.
Porkpal
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
Herbs Orchids Birds Garden Ideas: Level 2 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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dyzzypyxxy
Aug 31, 2016 11:00 AM CST
True, but lemons could get awfully expensive to acidify your water on an ongoing basis. You can use any type of vinegar - I've been using some red wine vinegar lately that I got from my brother when he sold his condo. Hey, it was free! But I do buy the cheapest vinegar I can get my hands on which is "white distilled vinegar" here for correcting the pH of my water.

If the water truly is the problem - and it could be - it might be a great idea for you to buy a test kit - aquarium and pet stores have small ones for people who have fish tanks. Then you can correct the pH of your water to nearly neutral (pH of 7) accurately every time you water your plants.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
Daylilies Birds Enjoys or suffers cold winters Native Plants and Wildflowers Butterflies Annuals
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sooby
Aug 31, 2016 11:21 AM CST
Rick said " I've seen the word "compost" used by British gardeners to mean a"finely-divided but airy seed-starting mix"."

In the UK there are two types of "compost". One is what comes from a compost heap and the other is various potting mixes (John Innes mixtures for example). So it does get confusing. Alan Titchmarsh, a UK gardening expert, suggested calling the former garden compost and the latter potting compost in a newspaper article on the subject.

There are different John Innes composts for different purposes, expained here:

http://www.gardeningdata.co.uk/soil/john_innes/john_innes.ph...

I remember I used to use these when I lived in the UK a looong time ago.
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member
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RickCorey
Aug 31, 2016 2:35 PM CST
Thanks, Sue! Now I recall it being called something like "Innes Compost #9".

I'm glad to hear that it is one word used as a name for two different kinds of things. I've always heard that "seed-starting stuff" should be as nearly sterile as possible, but also read that Brits started seeds in "compost", which I always thought of as "compost-heap-compost", the least sterile thing imaginable.

But now that I've looked it up, I have a NEW concern to keep me awake nights. The Innes "compost" mixes for seed-starting, rooting cuttings, pricking out, potting up and container plants are all based on LOAM! Also very far from sterile!

...

OK, now I see: "sterilized loam". Now I can sleep again.

"Loam plus peat and sand". I wonder what they'll switch to as peat becomes more expensive, and then unavailable?
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member
Image
RickCorey
Aug 31, 2016 2:54 PM CST
Kevin, Sue straightened me out about "compost vs. compost".

AmberLeaf said:... plain white vinegar ... malt white vinegar I'm not sure if thats the same thing?


I agree with Elaine: since they all have vinegar (dilute acetic acid), they will all acidify things.

1.
"Distilled white vinegar" is made from distilled ethyl alcohol, which is then fermented. So it is almost chemically pure.

2.
I see that "white vinegar" can also be made "by diluting acetic acid", which begs the question: "How did they make the acetic acid in the first place?"

3.
"Malt white vinegar" is made by malting barley kernels (to turn starch into sugar), then fermenting the sugar into beer, and then letting the fermentation continue until vinegar is produced. I assume that they then distill it to get the vinegar out of the mash.

The only difference, aside from flavor and tiny amounts of non-vinegar fermentation products, would be the strength of the vinegar. Most "kitchen" vinegar is somewhere around 5% acetic acid and 95% water, with flavors etc probably making up much less than 1%. Maybe less than 0.1%.

If malt vinegar was, say, 4%, you might have to use an extra fifth as much to get the same strength as 5% vinegar.

(Edited "99%" to "95%")
[Last edited by RickCorey - Aug 31, 2016 3:28 PM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #1258830 (17)
Name: Porkpal
Richmond, TX
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Keeper of Poultry Farmer Roses Raises cows
Garden Ideas: Level 2 Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
porkpal
Aug 31, 2016 3:24 PM CST
5% acid + 99% water = 104%......?
Porkpal
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member
Image
RickCorey
Aug 31, 2016 3:29 PM CST
porkpal said:5% acid + 99% water = 104%......?


True!

I edited the post to "95%".

Name: Porkpal
Richmond, TX
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Keeper of Poultry Farmer Roses Raises cows
Garden Ideas: Level 2 Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
porkpal
Aug 31, 2016 4:24 PM CST
Excellent!
Porkpal

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