gardenerscardiff.co.uk

For the Best Gardeners in the Cardiff Area

   Feb 27

Your Questions About Gardening

Nancy asks…

Japanese Lace leaf maple. Need a home made organic mix fertilizer?

Location – Pacific north west. Sea/tac area. Full sun, planted last year. Trunk aprox. 2 and 1/2 in. thick 4 ft. tall, 3 and 1/2 ft spread. In good soil not just dirt.
Need a time tested home made mix of bone meal, blood meal, wood ash,epson salts etc. and when,how much and how often.

GardenersCardiff answers:

Here’s a recipe for a basic organic fertilizer…Keep in mind that gypsum doesn’t change soil PH, but lime does:
Recipe (mix uniformly): 4 parts seed meal ¼ part ordinary agricultural lime, best finely ground ¼ part gypsum (or double the agricultural lime) ½ part dolomitic lime, 1 part bone meal, rock phosphate or high-phosphate guano ½ to 1 part kelp meal (or 1 part basalt dust)

http://www.motherearthliving.com/issues/motherearthliving/organic_gardening/How-to-Make-Easy-Homemade-Organic-Fertilizer_416-1.html

Japanese Maples use low ratios of nitrogen combined with higher levels of phosphorus for optimal root and branch development In their natural habitat,

Here’s a Forum discussion of the ingredients of “Fox Farm Japanese Maple Fertilizer” : feather meal, bone meal, sulfate of potash magnesia, cottonseed meal, bat guano, rock phosphate, kelp meal, and gypsum. It also contains 19 species of Mycorrhizae and Bacillus and Humic acid for faster facilitation of nutrient uptake.
Feather meal is generally 11-0-0 or 12-0-0
Bone Meal 3-15-0 (Fish bone meal 3-18-0), also a calcium source
Bat guano 10-3-1
Cottonseed Meal 5-2-1 and a natural acidifier
sul-po-mag is supplying sulfur, potassium and magnesium
gypsum is supplying calcium
rock phosphate is supplying phosphorus
kelp meal is also a source of potash as well as supplying an array of trace elements, vitamins, hormones and growth stimulants

“For the purpose of young maples in a pot (small or unestablished rootsystems), if we use a proven soil mix, we can leave our plant in a pot for a season and fertilize the second year and subsequent years until repotting again. More mature maples, 5-7 years old, with at least soil 1gal root systems, we can repot and fertilize lightly the frist year or wait until the second year. It would be ideal to see out maples in at least 5 gallon cans before we fertilize, but using a light application before then is sometimes o.k. If we have visual appearance to back us up. Fertilizing early in the plants’ life to push more growth is also an option, but that will not be best for the long term survial. For plants in the ground, after the 3rd year we can start to fertilize some in the spring, but there are other plans that work well.”

“One of the great benefits of going organic with respect to fertilization is that the components of blended fertilizers are substanially organic matter in content and not too far removed from applying a soil amendment or form of compost. They tend not to leach and encourage the populations of soil organisms in much the same way compost does. I would tend to be more concerned regarding appropriate pH levels as opposed to nutrient levels but would be hardpressed to consider the occasional application of an organic Japanese maple fertilizer inappropriate or unnecessary. While I tend not to fertilize established trees in the ground as they seldom require it and they do get topdressed regularly with compost, I do fertilize containerized plants on a consistent basis.”

http://forums.gardenweb.com/forums/load/maple/msg0310464615320.html

This site gives a recipe for making fertilizer pellets which includes …3 parts Hempseed meal or Rapeseed meal/Linseed Meal/Soybean Meal; 2 parts garden lime (alkaline – omit for satsuki azalea etc);2 parts blood, fish & bone (nitrogen, iron and phosphorus);1 part sea weed, poultry pellets, humus; …among other things:

http://www.actionvideo.freeserve.co.uk/organic.htm

Personally, if you are growing your Japanese Maple outdoors, it seems easier to just make sure your soil has the appropriate PH level, & has enough organic compost mixed into your soil to not only fertilize, but also support soil organisms which will continue to work throughout the growing season. Also apply bone meal to the compost when planting trees to help them establish a healthy root system faster. Make sure plants are watered consistently. “The phosphorous in bone meal is released slowly as the soil water dissolves it so it can be taken up by the plant’s roots. This provides a steady level of nutrients throughout the season.”

http://www.vitasoil.com/bone%20main.htm

If you want to give your young plants a boost, Here’s a liquid organic fertilizer recipe: In a metal bucket and add compost to 1/3 full and top off with water. Stir and let sit for about 4 days, stirring once in a while. Strain any solids out.
Add water to the strained liquid until it reaches the shade of ‘weak tea’.

Http://www.momsorganichouse.com/about-homemade-fertilizer/

Good Luck! Hope this is helpful.

Joseph asks…

Does anyone know how to make tomatoes grow?

I have tried and tried to plant tomatoes in my garden, but it doesnt seem to be working. They dont ever grow to their potential size and I dont know if its because I might have weeds that is preventing them from growing or not. I pull my weeds so I dont know what else it could be.I would appreciate it if someone would give me some tips. Thanks!!
I live in Baltimore County.
I can tell it is going to be VERY hard for me to choose a best answer when the time comes. I am going to try ALL of the advice that has been given to me on here!! I’ll let you know how it goes.( If interested).
Addressed to:
icsowesmemoney( below)

LMAO!! My first thought upon reading your answer was hilarity. And then, when I read it again, I became very, very, angry. The reason why us ” stupid” peolpe get on here and ask such ” stupid” questions is because there are opinions that people on here can give us that websites DON’T offer. There is a wealth of knowledge that people on Yahoo Answers do know. I am sure that you have asked a ” dumb” question before, but someone was just too kind to point it out to you. I pity someone like you for thinking this way. You obviously have a closed mine to ways that you can learn things. Or is it because you have a ” small” mind. I can also tell that the size of your brain coincides with the size of your d***. I am sorry to have to be so rude, but you took it there, so I am just reciprocating what you dished out. I also want to tell you to lighten up in life. Things are never as hard as they seem. Although, for people like you, maybe they SHOULD be.
Addressed to:
icsowesmemoney( below)

LMAO!! My first thought upon reading your answer was hilarity. And then, when I read it again, I became very, very, angry. The reason why us ” stupid” peolpe get on here and ask such ” stupid” questions is because there are opinions that people on here can give us that websites DON’T offer. There is a wealth of knowledge that people on Yahoo Answers do know. I am sure that you have asked a ” dumb” question before, but someone was just too kind to point it out to you. I pity someone like you for thinking this way. You obviously have a closed mine to ways that you can learn things. Or is it because you have a ” small” mind. I can also tell that the size of your brain coincides with the size of your d***. I am sorry to have to be so rude, but you took it there, so I am just reciprocating what you dished out. I also want to tell you to lighten up in life. Things are never as hard as they seem. Although, for people like you, maybe they SHOULD be.
Addressed to”
icsowesmemoney
Oh, and I repeated it twice because I want you to know where I am REALLY coming from. I hope you read it ALL!! Have a good day!! :(

GardenersCardiff answers:

Here is my tried and true approach to the land of the happy Tomato Eater.

Tomato Starting Formula

This is the amount for each plant—obviously if you are planting lots of plants make a big batch and divide evenly.

1 Handful Fertilizer
1 Handful Lime
2 Hands full Peat Moss
2 Hands full Potting soil
2 Hands full “Black Cow” (or any manure compost available to you)
1 Tablespoon Epsom Salts

Before planting you should have tilled the soil thoroughly and as deep as possible. Plants don’t like hard compact soil. If possible a 2′ x 2′ hole that is 2′ deep would be ideal. They find it much easier to extend their little roots in well tilled and aerated soil. Dig out a hole in the soil about a foot deep with a spade.

This formula will give them a good start—they will need to be fertilized again about the time they start putting on the first little tomatoes. DO NOT over fertilize them, or any other plant or you will “burn” the plant and kill it.

Mix all ingredients together in a bucket and stir together thoroughly. Place in the bottom of your hole and mix gently with loose soil there. Place Tomato Plant in hole on top of this mixture and pull soil around the plant. Water thoroughly and wait for the water to soak in. Then pull more soil around plant.

As the plant grows keep pulling more soil around the bottom of the stalk and covering the lower branches that are not putting on blooms. Covering them this way will cause the plant to generate more roots–more roots equals more nutrients to the plant and a stronger healthier plant.

Watch for little holes in the leaves, that will mean little bugs are eating them. That is when I start applications of Sevin Dust. An even better choice (I am converting to this) is Diatomaceous Earth (see link below) as it is not toxic to any vertebrate (us, kids, dogs, etc.) but will kill anything with an exoskeleton (your average bug.)

As the plant grows be sure to keep it watered. (We are having a dry summer so far and I have watered gently but thoroughly every two days so far.) I like to water in the late afternoon. So the plant has a chance to soak up a good drink and the heat won’t evaporate too much of the water.

My plants were put in around Easter, they are all at least 4 feet tall and getting heavy with small to medium sized green tomatoes.

I recommend using a wire basket to support them. You can buy a roll of “hog wire” aka “welded wire” aka “welded cattle wire” at your local Lowe’s, Home Depot, etc. And cut it (with wire cutters of course) to make your baskets. This is much cheaper than buying them already made. You will want them to be 48 inches tall and cut so that they are about two and a half feet in diameter. We put them down when the plants are around 1 to 1 ½ feet tall and drive stakes into the ground at opposite sides of the basket and tie the basket to the stakes to keep it from being knocked over by creatures, me, or stormy weather. As they grow watch the branches (check every couple of days) and don’t let them hang up in the lower openings in the wire. GENTLY pull them from the inside and let them move up with the plant growth. Otherwise you will have a lot of stuff at or on the ground.

If you are going to start from seed then it is quite late in the year to try. Recommend buying plants from your local garden centers. Seed starting needs to begin 6 to 8 weeks before your expected planting date. But you should still get a crop if you go ahead and plant. Late is better than never in this case.

Ruth asks…

Can I get a bird feeder in my garden if I have this problem?

I have a 5 year old cat that has brought home birds as “presents” about 5 times before (spread over about 3 years). I wanted to get a bird feeder (home made one at the top of my 6 foot fence) but I was worried that the cat may eat the birds that came. Would my cat be able to get to the bird before it realized and flew away ?, and how could I make it safer for the birds if I were to get one.

GardenersCardiff answers:

By all means get a bird feeder but don’t for goodness sake put it on a fence giving the cat easy access to the wild birds, that’s just like offering them to the cat on a plate, unless that is you can put an obstacle in the way preventing the cat reaching them.
You would at least have a chance with a bird feeder on a pole, and a steel one at that as a cat would not be able to climb it, if not a wooden pole and again with some means of preventing it from getting to the birds.
Hope my ideas have been of some use to you, kind regards,Yorkie.

Powered by Yahoo! Answers

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>