Ask a Question forum→Nutrients in soil and meter

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Syracuse ny
MitchWE
Jun 2, 2020 4:36 PM CST
No matter what I do my ten dollar nutrient meter says I have not enough nutrients... is it the meter or I am doing something wrong? I water with miracle grow attached to hose ? I tries fish emulsion one year with ok results. I am at a lose .. please help
Name: Baja
Baja California (Zone 11b)
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Baja_Costero
Jun 2, 2020 4:42 PM CST
Don't use a meter to tell you when and how much nutrients to add. Are your plants in containers? What kind of plants are they? Is the soil reasonably fresh? You may want to skip the feeding entirely. Disconnect the miracle grow from the hose and try watering without any nutrients while you assess the situation. With more information we might be able to give you some general guidelines.

Welcome!
Name: Big Bill
Livonia, Michigan (Zone 6a)
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BigBill
Jun 2, 2020 4:49 PM CST
Meters for nutrients, meters for moisture, they are worthless in my opinion. How can you reasonably expect a $10 retail meter to be accurate enough to give you a good evaluation of nutrients in your soil? That's silly.
What did it cost to make a $10.00 meter, .75 cents of parts and $2.00 worth of labor?
What you need to do is gain experience, get down in the dirt, you need to talk to your plants. They are talking to you. Their overall appearance, fruit production, flower production and growth rate will tell you so much more about your plants then a ten dollar meter.

I used Miracle Grow on the end of a house for 35 years on Long Island with fabulous results. Here in Michigan, I am using Jacks Water Soluble fertilizer for 2 years.
I fertilize once in mid April, once in early June and again in late July or early August, that's it. I water everything first in my beds and then again with fertilizer. 20-20-20 is what I use, 1 tbs per gallon.
Rodney Wilcox Jones, my idol!
Businessman, Orchid grower, hybridizer, lived to 107!
[Last edited by BigBill - Jun 2, 2020 4:51 PM (+)]
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Syracuse ny
MitchWE
Jun 2, 2020 5:55 PM CST
Baja_Costero said:Don't use a meter to tell you when and how much nutrients to add. Are your plants in containers? What kind of plants are they? Is the soil reasonably fresh? You may want to skip the feeding entirely. Disconnect the miracle grow from the hose and try watering without any nutrients while you assess the situation. With more information we might be able to give you some general guidelines.

Welcome!


Two plants "tomato" plants are container plants and seem to be doing well. The others are planted in the ground my "garden" and they are broccoli, kale, Swiss chard, green red and yellow bell peppers, romaine lettuce, eggplant, zucchini, cucumbers and Italian beans. I have had minimal results the past two years and prior was doing well. I thought I rotated enough but maybe not
Name: Baja
Baja California (Zone 11b)
Cactus and Succulents Seed Starter Foliage Fan Xeriscape Container Gardener Hummingbirder
Native Plants and Wildflowers Garden Photography Region: Mexico Plant Identifier Forum moderator Plant Database Moderator
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Baja_Costero
Jun 2, 2020 6:10 PM CST
If the containerized tomatoes are in fresh soil (like new out of the bag) and it was relatively decent to start with, then you don't need to feed them. I have zero experience with landscape vegetables so I will leave that to others. Generally it will help to mix some fresh organic matter (compost) into the soil every year, and that should make it unnecessary to add nutrients from a bottle, but others can speak better about the specific needs of the plants in your garden.
Name: Big Bill
Livonia, Michigan (Zone 6a)
American Orchid Society Judge
Region: United States of America Critters Allowed Growing under artificial light Echinacea Hostas Region: Michigan
Butterflies Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Orchids Cat Lover Birds Bee Lover
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BigBill
Jun 2, 2020 6:17 PM CST
I really doubt whether or not your garden is depleting the soil to the point where you are in need of crop rotation.
But, if you are concerned, rotate them, grow leafy greens for 3 years in a row then move them to the area where eggplants, beans and zucchini grew. And put the eggplant and stuff where the leafy greens were.
Fish emulsion that I am familiar with is like 3-1-1. To me, that would barely noticeable unless you are using by the pounds or gallons!!
If you want to give your garden beds a boost, get yourself bags of aged cow manure. The fresh stuff can burn plants. Put it down according to what is found on the side of the bag. Work it down into the soil 3-6" deep. Then you'll see things improve. I swear plants love it when they think that a cow is pooping on them.
It maybe a little fragrant but boy will things grow!!!! Any good nursery or Home Depot and Lowe's will carry aged manure.
Rodney Wilcox Jones, my idol!
Businessman, Orchid grower, hybridizer, lived to 107!
[Last edited by BigBill - Jun 2, 2020 6:20 PM (+)]
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Syracuse ny
MitchWE
Jun 3, 2020 4:43 PM CST
Thank you everyone

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