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Avatar for Jared91
May 8, 2020 12:33 PM CST

Im growing in 5 gallon buckets this year some cucumbers, broccoli, roma tomatoes, carrots and lettuce. Ive already blended some miracle gro potting mix with a few buckets of nice black compost from my leave piles. Just wondering what else i can do t better the soil for thw different plants so they individually grow better? Ive heard people says egg shells in the tomato soil exc also is there a general fertilizer ill be able to use on all these veggies?
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May 8, 2020 2:13 PM CST
Name: Doug
Texas (Zone 8b)
People talk about eggshells as a means to add calcium to soil. Tomato blossom end rot is caused by poor calcium transport through the plant, but actually has almost nothing to do with the amount of calcium in the soil. To add to the mythology, eggshells don't really add calcium to soil. They add, well, eggshells. Eggshells are rocks that come out of chickens. Until the eggshells dissolve (which they won't for many years) they don't provide any plant-usable calcium. Eggshells and tomato gardening is one of the more blatant pieces of gardening mythology.

Potting mix and compost are good for soil structure, but include virtually no fertilizer. You absolutely need fertilizer. Your plants will die in just potting soil and compost. MiracleGro fertilizer, properly mixed and applied, will do the trick. The stuff is soluble, so will leach out as you water. You'll have to fertilize regularly. Compost doesn't really replace fertilizer. It has some nutrients, but in VERY slow-release form.
Last edited by DougL May 8, 2020 2:14 PM Icon for preview
Avatar for Deeby
May 8, 2020 5:16 PM CST
Name: Deborah
Southern California (Zone 10a)
Rabbit Keeper
Doug, what about rabbit poop? With three pet rabs I have an unlimited supply. I toss a few poops in my pots. Do I need Miracle Gro?
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May 8, 2020 5:26 PM CST
Name: Dillard Haley
Augusta Georgia (Zone 8a)
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level
The NPK of rabbit manure is : N-2.4 P-1.4 K- . 60. An animal manures go it is is pretty rich in nutrients.
Avatar for Deeby
May 8, 2020 6:14 PM CST
Name: Deborah
Southern California (Zone 10a)
Rabbit Keeper
Great! Thanks!
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May 8, 2020 6:55 PM CST
Name: Doug
Texas (Zone 8b)
It is of some interest that rabbit poop doesn't need to be composted, as does all other manure. Not quite sure how it manages to do that, but it may be that rabbits don't produce a lot of urine, and so the urea content of the poop perhaps is low. It's the urea that breaks down rapidly into ammonia, and can burn plants. It is a "cold" manure, rather than a "hot" one. But again, the nutrients are released slowly, so you don't get that NPK immediately. Many plants would rather have "right now" fertilizer.
Avatar for Jared91
May 9, 2020 2:12 PM CST

DougL said:People talk about eggshells as a means to add calcium to soil. Tomato blossom end rot is caused by poor calcium transport through the plant, but actually has almost nothing to do with the amount of calcium in the soil. To add to the mythology, eggshells don't really add calcium to soil. They add, well, eggshells. Eggshells are rocks that come out of chickens. Until the eggshells dissolve (which they won't for many years) they don't provide any plant-usable calcium. Eggshells and tomato gardening is one of the more blatant pieces of gardening mythology.

Potting mix and compost are good for soil structure, but include virtually no fertilizer. You absolutely need fertilizer. Your plants will die in just potting soil and compost. MiracleGro fertilizer, properly mixed and applied, will do the trick. The stuff is soluble, so will leach out as you water. You'll have to fertilize regularly. Compost doesn't really replace fertilizer. It has some nutrients, but in VERY slow-release form.


I use to use fish fertilizer which seemed to work ok on all my other vegetables but my tomatoes still ended up with blossom end rot
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May 9, 2020 6:55 PM CST
Name: Doug
Texas (Zone 8b)
Many would say that, in container gardening, organic ferts don't work well, because the microbes that are necessary to digest them don't naturally exist in containers. Not quite sure why that would be, but container gardening usually equals chemical fertilizers. That being said, you can be sure that people selling organic ferts say they will work.
Last edited by DougL May 9, 2020 6:59 PM Icon for preview
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