S.T.E.M. - soluble trace element mix
I have been reading about some of the interesting soils described here by Al and others, and am excited to try some of them this spring. I think it's really great that you guys are willing to share your time and expertise to help others become more proficient gardeners.
My question regards the value of S.T.E.M. as micronutrient source in a potting mix. I am focused on the first word, soluble. If I incorporate a Tbsp of S.T.E.M. into 3 gal pine bark etc., I would expect that it would get washed away pretty quickly and not function as a long-term source of micros. The product sheet from Peters that I came across describes its use in fertilization, rather than as a medium-term ingredient in a soil mix. When I first read the recipe for the 5-1-1 mix, I was unfamiliar with S.T.E.M. and I assumed that it would function as a slow-release source of nutrients. What is the anticipated lifespan of S.T.E.M. in the soil? Would it not be better then to use Dyna-Grow FP or something where the micros would be applied consistently, rather than relying on CRF and S.T.E.M. where the micros may get washed away relatively quickly? Or is the feast-and-starve routine sufficient for micronutrient application? Is there an alternative to S.T.E.M. for soil incorporation that might be more effective and long-lasting?
Sorry to bombard you with questions about this - I'm trying to assemble my ingredients now, and I'm trying to decide whether to use CRF/S.T.E.M. or stick with FP application. I would imagine this has been discussed here before but my search did not turn anything up.