5-1-1 CRF + Foliage Pro dosage

hairmetal4ever(Z7 MD)June 6, 2014

I have been growing some plants in 5-1-1 using Al's recipe, using the amt of CRF suggested in the recipe, and then watering every time I water with Foliage Pro at the "maintenance" strength of 1/4 tsp per gallon. The only time they don't get the FP w/a watering is if it rains, since they're outdoor containers.

Is this "correct"? Or do I need a higher amount of the FP? So far everything looks great.

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edweather(Zone 5a/b Central NY)

Sounds like you are right on track. If you think your plants look a bit too light green, you can increase the FP. That strategy works well with tomato plants.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2014 at 4:45PM
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hairmetal4ever(Z7 MD)

They all look about as dark green as their particular species (I have quite a few) typically could.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2014 at 4:48PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

If it ain't broke, no need to fix it ;-)

However....if you want to do a test application on a particular plant or plants, I'd be interested to see the results. Out of curiosity, what plants are you growing? With my peppers and citrus, I'm going full Osmocote and full-strength Foliage Pro....but for my other plants, such as maples and conifers, I'm using more of a maintenance dose on top of the Osmocote.

Josh

    Bookmark   June 6, 2014 at 5:17PM
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hairmetal4ever(Z7 MD)

Ironically, I do have some maples and conifers. Also some oaks (for eventual transplant in-ground, of course).

I also have beans, basil, and some cacti. I have others but that covers the stuff in 5-1-1.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2014 at 5:36PM
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Ohiofem(6a Ohio)

With my summer plants outdoors, I follow a practice similar to what Josh described, fertilizing at full strength. But the plants I grow are different from the ones you mentioned, hairmetal4ever. I grow about a dozen different fruiting vegetables and as many flowering annuals, most of which benefit from generous fertilization. So I plant them in 5-1-1 with a tablespoon per gallon of CRF and start fertilizing with 1 teaspoon per gallon of Foliagepro 9-3-6 or MiracleGro 24-8-16 once a week within 2-4 weeks of planting out. I also grow a lot of flowering clivias and plumerias in gritty mix, and fertilize them generously as well. I am more stingy on fertilizing herbs and foliage houseplants that I summer outdoors, following a practice like yours.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2014 at 8:45PM
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hairmetal4ever(Z7 MD)

I use Al's recipe of 1/4 cup for the small batch (which I think works out to 1 tbsp per gallon, more or less) for the CRF.

Other than wasting some FP if it doesn't produce more growth - is there harm in trying full-strength? Meaning - would that be enough to "burn" anything, presuming I water enough to flush excess salts each time I water?

    Bookmark   June 6, 2014 at 11:42PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

I don't think it will burn the plants....from what I recall, full-strength Foliage Pro is 114 ppm (parts per million) Nitrogen, whereas many folks fertilize at 200 ppm or higher.

I have used higher doses of Foliage Pro on Citrus and peppers, and even fertilized a Jade plant with the Citrus strength solution. The Jade didn't burn at all, but it grew incredibly lush and huge.

Josh

    Bookmark   June 7, 2014 at 9:57AM
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seysonn(8a WA/HZ 1)

I am doing more like Ed's way with containers : Just water potted matoes and peppes with 1/4 strength every time. In the ground is different.

You have to learn to read your plants lips. This is especially true about Nitrogen. Pale green :need more ; Dark green means they have had too much. Then certain varieties of peppers and tomatoes have slightly different foliage if terms of color. You will learn that by experience as you grow several varieties side by side.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2014 at 7:52AM
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Jay Part Shade (Zone 10B, S21, Los Angeles)

Hey guys, just picked up my first gallon of FP. I grow only fruiting trees (citrus, avocado, guava, fig, etc.) and a couple random succulents.

Am I right in thinking that full strength (1tsp/gal) is the ticket for fruiting trees and veggies? And then 1/4 for everything else?

I have all my trees in fabric bags that dry out really quickly and, in this weather, I'm watering once every two days. Is full strength still the way to go or will that be overdoing it?

    Bookmark   June 10, 2014 at 7:09PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Jay,
as often as you're watering now, I would apply 1/2 strength twice a week. If the plants show signs of yellowing, increase the dose.

Josh

    Bookmark   June 10, 2014 at 9:29PM
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JerryVentura

I must have misread the FP label, ive been giving my citrus a Tbs per gal once or twice a week this past year, oops. Although it might explain why the first year was just ok and this last year ive started getting lots of foliage and kumquats.

Anyone add CRF after the plants have been established? I was thinking of adding for the growing season.

Jerry

    Bookmark   June 11, 2014 at 9:07PM
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Ohiofem(6a Ohio)

Most packages of CRF I've seen give directions for adding it to already potted plants by "scratching" it into the top layer of your mix. In the second year of growing plants in the same mix, or with already potted plants I don't plan to repot right way, I add the CRF to the top of the container and lightly mix it in. So I don't see why there would be a problem adding it after the fact.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2014 at 1:12AM
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JerryVentura

Thanks Ohio, i think I'll pick me up some and try it. It would be nice knowing if i was gone for a few days I could have someone just water and not have to worry about explaining how to fertilize.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2014 at 1:38AM
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Jay Part Shade (Zone 10B, S21, Los Angeles)

What's the logic to using both CRF and liquid? Is something provided by the CRF that Dyna-Gro isn't offering or vice versa?

    Bookmark   June 12, 2014 at 10:25AM
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JerryVentura

My reason would be as a back-up, plus i guess you could look at it another way. I dont eat the exact same thing everyday and i mix it up for my animals also. Could be covering your bases just in case somethings lacking in one.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2014 at 10:43AM
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Ohiofem(6a Ohio)

My reasoning is that I have so many plants that I can't keep up with fertigating them all on an appropriate schedule. I have almost 100 vegetable, flower and house plant containers outside in 5-1-1 or gritty mix now. In the month of June, it usually rains a lot here in the Ohio Valley, and with the CRF in the pots, I don't have to lug around gallon jugs of fertilizer water. It takes me almost 90 minutes to water everything with a hose. Imagine how long it takes to fertigate. And, I do have a full-time job and a family as well. The truth is, I probably need an intervention!

Starting toward the end of June, I begin fertilizing with a soluble fertilizer once a week.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2014 at 12:39PM
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Jay Part Shade (Zone 10B, S21, Los Angeles)

Thanks Ohiofem and Jerry, that makes a lot of sense. I know your pain about having to lug around jugs of water. If you haven't seen it yet, I slapped together a cheap fertigator to help with that exact problem.

Here is a link that might be useful: Cheap Fertigator

    Bookmark   June 12, 2014 at 1:24PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Jerry, I've used up to a tablespoon of Foliage Pro when I really needed to kick my Citrus into gear....after a bad sunburn. I bet your plants look great at that dose! Meyer lemons certainly don't mind higher strength FP.

Jay, exactly what Jen and Jerry mentioned: I like the convenience and the overlap, in case I miss a week, or if I'm watering more often than usual. Adding a CRF to containers is no problem. I prefer to use a 3-4 month slow-release and just apply it multiple times a season.

Josh

    Bookmark   June 12, 2014 at 2:18PM
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Jay Part Shade (Zone 10B, S21, Los Angeles)

Hey Josh, thanks for the info. Do you know if the 9-3-6 is the ratio for the full 1tsp dose? I've always wondered how they come up with these numbers. Why not 18-6-12 for a 2tsp? Or 3-1-2? Is it just marketing or is there some other reason why they have the numbers the way they do?

    Bookmark   June 12, 2014 at 9:36PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

The *ratio* should be the same, regardless of the strength of the dose. The numbers, if I recall correctly, are expressing the percentage of the NPK per pound of the fertilizer.

Josh

    Bookmark   June 12, 2014 at 11:38PM
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rooftopbklyn

The numbers represent percentage by mass (similar to but not quite weight).

Higher numbers mean something is more concentrated. Different types of fertilizer (component ingredients, manufacturing methods, form (liquid/powder), etc) stabilize at different concentrations, which is why there is a such a big range.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2014 at 3:26PM
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the_yard_guy(6A)

Ohiofem,

Just saw the recent posts on this thread. So you think you need some sort of "gardening intervention"? Ha, I doubt it.

You are correct that having both a full-time job and a family places significant limits on free time, but the great thing is that you have come up with a system of fertilizing that helps minimize your time and effort. By using the Osmocote/Dynamite CRF you no longer have to carry those heavy water/fertilizer containers all over your yard.

We all have to do what works for us. As Al has said in various posts we all have to balance what works for us as growers and what works best for our plants. It's always a balancing act between the two.

TYG

    Bookmark   June 15, 2014 at 7:46AM
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hairmetal4ever(Z7 MD)

About a third of my watering has been from rain - it seems this spring/summer we are getting about a good 1" + soaking of rain every 6-10 days - this works out about perfectly for plants in-ground (the nonirrigated lawns here are nice and green), but for containers, it really means just a good flushing, as it's a lot of water at once, but they still dry out in between decent rains.

How long does a "4 month" or "9 month" CRF (osmocote plus, Dynamite, etc) REALLY last in a 5-1-1 container with summer heat?

    Bookmark   June 20, 2014 at 2:21PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Well, I use a 4-month Osmocote, and I expect it to be mostly depleted in 2.5 months.

Josh

    Bookmark   June 20, 2014 at 2:25PM
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the_yard_guy(6A)

This question came up in a different thread recently. My best guess, and it's only an educated guess, is that when used outdoors in summer heat and with frequent rains and waterings most CRF products would give you about two-thirds of what is stated on the label. Seems like the heat and water would deplete the CRF faster with outdoor plants as opposed to indoor plants.

When I make a soil mix I plan on a 4-month CRF lasting about 3 months at the most, and a 6 month lasting about 4-5 months.

TYG

    Bookmark   June 20, 2014 at 5:33PM
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terratoma(7a)

Great information.
I know this post concerns the 5-1-1 mix, but does the information apply equally well when using the gritty mix?
I've been fertilizing my Japanese maples in containers with Foliage Pro; 3/8 tsp. per gallon of water three times a week. I supplement this with occasional waterings (no Foliage Pro) as needed.
Should I be using a CRF like Osmocote in addition to the Foliage Pro? If so, how do you calculate how much to use? (Base it on the size of the container, quantity of gritty mix in the container, etc. ?)
Given that the Osmocote releases nutrients over a 4 month period, would it be inadvisable to use it this late?
Thanks for your help.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2014 at 9:01AM
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