Dyna-Gro Pro 9-3-6 - How Much to Use?

paul_30068(7)August 19, 2012

On the bottle of Dyna-Gro Pro 9-3-6 there are recommended dilution ratios and I see similar ratios in posts on this website. For example for production (like growing vegetables) use 1 tsp per gallon of water once per week.

OK, so I fill a one gallon watering can with rain water and I add 1 tsp of Dyna-Gro Pro 9-3-6 to obtain "enhanced water". I wish to use this enhanced water once per week.

BUT HOW MUCH DO I USE FOR A GIVEN PLANT AND CONTAINER? The recommended ratio of liquid fertilizer to water I understand but it is not clear how much of that mix to use for a given situation.

So for example if I have a 2.5" tall eggplant in an 18" pot filled with Al's 5-1-1 soil recipe how do I apply the enhanced water? Do I water the plant with plain rain water first and then add some amount of the enhanced water? Or do I apply only the enhanced water until about 10-15% of the container's volume worth of enhanced water drains out of the bottom? The latter seems like it would waste fertilizer but perhaps that is the answer and I am making this harder than it needs to be.

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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Hey, Paul!

Good question. I pre-water my containers first, then I slowly add the fertilizer solution
until I see water exiting the bottom. The fertilizer solution will displace/replace some
of that pre-water in the mix, so I'm not actually wasting as much as might seem. But I also
lightly post-water my containers to rinse the lower leaves and to push the fertilizer solution
out of the very top layer of mix (where there are no roots).

Many folks collect the effluent and then use that on other plants, such as trees in containers.


    Bookmark   August 19, 2012 at 12:06PM
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I do what Josh does. I also fertilize right after a good rain storm. I tend to waste, so a water everything heavily with my fertilizer solution.


    Bookmark   August 19, 2012 at 1:16PM
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Thank you, Josh and Mike.

What do you do to make the mixing process more efficient? I am going one gallon at a time and this requires frequent stops and starts. I am considering using a siphon mixer... the Gilmour 362 Professional No Pre-Mix Sprayer to be exact.

Here is a link that might be useful: Gilmour 362 Professional No Pre-Mix Sprayer

    Bookmark   August 19, 2012 at 2:06PM
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Correction to original post: My eggplant is 2.5' -- feet not inches.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2012 at 2:08PM
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edweather(Zone 5a/b Central NY)

It also depends on how often I have to water. My containers are outside in the summer and dry out almost every day, so I am watering constantly.......therefore, I am more comfortable using the FP at 1/4 strength at every watering. But if I only needed to water once per week, the 1 teaspoon per gallon would be better. And yes, per-watering is probably better, but most of the time I just use the fertilized solution.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2012 at 2:09PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

I use a 2-gallon container, which helps a bit.
On fertilizing day, I make a batch for my peppers; then I make a second batch for my Citrus;
then I make a third batch for my conifers, maples, et cetera. If there's a little left at the end,
I add more water to dilute it and then I splash some on my succulents.

My sister fills a 5-gallon waterjug, and draws from that.


    Bookmark   August 19, 2012 at 3:24PM
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I do almost exactly what greenman does.. pre-water everything, then go back and give each one enough fertilized water such that I see a little come out of the bottom. Using 5-gallon buckets to premix is really convenient. I use a little bulb-primed siphon to move the mix from the bucket to my 1.5 gallon watering can. The bucket never really moves.

There have been some threads by people on this board who use the Gilmour mixer, as well as more expensive devices. I use a Dramm siphon-mixer occasionally to acidify my irrigation water and add molasses, fish emulsion, or liquid seaweed to my in ground plants. I think you'll find that the accuracy isn't all that great, which is okay for some applications. It also greatly throttles down your water pressure, which really annoys me for some reason. It would make me uncomfortable to use it for water soluble salt fertilizers on containerized plants though.. there's not as much room for error.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2012 at 12:28PM
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Sorry if I'm being a bit dense about this, but getting it wrong could kill plants and cost $, right? Per the above, I understand using "1 tsp (of FP straight out of the bottle) per gallon of water once per week." However, due to our dry, hot conditions, I water daily. I see the comment about "using the FP at 1/4 strength at every watering." Does that mean 1/4 tsp (of FP straight out of the bottle) per gal when watering daily?

Additionally, I'd like to continue to use drip irrigation for my containers (consider it insurance). Could I simply continue that as a "pre-soak" prior to hand watering with the correct FP dose?

Thanks for all the great info on this forum.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2014 at 1:42PM
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Oxboy555(Las Vegas)

"Does that mean 1/4 tsp (of FP straight out of the bottle) per gal when watering daily?"

That's too much fert for any potted plant in any potting mix. It will end up being either overkill or just wasteful.

If in vanilla 5-1-1, you do not need to water daily no matter where you live. I live in Las Vegas and only water every 3-4 days tops for 'thirsty non-desert' plants (camellias, azaleas, citrus, etc) outdoors in 5-1-1. If you are watering daily, you need to move your pots out of the sun in the afternoon or stagger the waterings so some oxygen can get into the root zone. 5-1-1 holds more water than people think. Hell, gritty holds more too, although gritty will likely be more forgiving with the overwatering.

If potted in peat pudding, you may be watering daily (still not recommended for established plants), but you would add your liquid fert even less frequently than in 5-1-1. Every 2-4 weeks depending on the plant type.

This post was edited by Oxboy555 on Wed, Jul 16, 14 at 20:03

    Bookmark   July 16, 2014 at 7:49PM
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I have to disagree about 5-1-1 holding up to watering only every 3-4 days "no matter where you live". I gave up on 5-1-1 in part because I did not have the time to water at least every other day. I'm in Atlanta (zip code 30068 to be more precise) and 3 days of solid Hot-lanta summer days and no watering really hurt my tomatoes and cukes with the 5-1-1 mix in use. I now do a mix of peat moss, perlite, and soil that I revitalize seasonally with compost from my compost tumbler and worm castings from my worm farm. I'm getting consistently good results, spending less on soil, and resting easy that I can take off for a weekend and not come back to a sad scene in my container garden.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2014 at 12:12PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

How large were your containers, Paul?
That's the other element, and the gardener is responsible for choosing the appropriate container volume. I have peppers in half-gallon pots, for example, which do require watering every other day - but I also have peppers in #5 nursery containers that can go 2 days in 100F+ California weather. I also have a tomato in a #15 nursery container that easily goes 3 - 4 days.


    Bookmark   July 21, 2014 at 1:02PM
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Plenty big - 2' x 3' x 18" totes in pairs along the 3' side and on raised tables built with 4'x4', 2'x4', and 2'x2' treated lumber. Having full sun all day long and lots of airflow on all sides and underneath each container contributes to the need for extra water. There are veggies that I grow that are OK going a few days between watering (arugula, kale, eggplant, etc.) but I find my tomatoes and cucumbers are thirsty and do best with no more than 2 days maximum between watering in Atlanta July and August. This keeps the tomatoes and cukes rolling in on a daily basis. When I take a long weekend I water heavy right before I depart as best possible and hit it when I return. If it's going to be more than 3 days then I trade rain water for city water on timers, and sometimes I get someone to look in on the garden and harvest.

I gave 5-1-1 side by side experimentation with what I use now, and I got better and less expensive results and kept gardening a joy and not a chore by sticking with a more traditional mix that I fluff up and boost seasonally. I only grow veggies and herbs. I don't have any experience or interest in anything else for my container garden.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2014 at 3:02PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

All gardening is local, as they say....
A lot of folks use those totes, even down in Stockton (a very hot zone 9), California, and they're not watering that often. Plus, our humidity is between 10 and 20 percent a fair amount of the Summer, and you'd think that would dry container mixes even faster.

Do you shade the containers?


    Bookmark   July 21, 2014 at 3:27PM
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hairmetal4ever(Z7 MD)

I think it depends how tightly rooted the plants are.

My tree seedlings in 1 Gal pots in 5-1-1 are good for several days, but they've only begun rooting out into the larger pots (they were in air-pruning cells before).

I'd imagine as the roots get more dense they'll need more water - my Basil needed water daily (they've since bolted and been tossed) once the roots filled the pot in the same exact mix.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2014 at 3:47PM
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You said it, gardening is local. A lifelong experiment, too!

I do not shade the containers. One could argue that my garden gets too much sun. I could add some shading but I am quite happy with my results without it, and I have HOA complaints to consider if my shading is not attractive since I am currently the HOA president and my container garden is in a front yard patio area. As it stands everything looks like a nice green garden, and I get compliments for how it looks.

One thing I did not mention is that I start my tomatoes in December under lights indoors to set out after last frost, April or May. They often have green tomato fruits at that time. They are pretty large and produce a nice yield.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2014 at 3:52PM
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Loveplants2 8b Virginia Beach, Virginia

Paul... That could be a problem if you are the HOA president!!! ;-). Sounds like you have it under control...

I water like josh. ;-)

My containers are large and small and I water the same. When I fertilize , I water once to moisten or like mike ..after it rains. Then I use 1/2 dosage. If I haven't been able to fertigate as well as I like. I will moisten again. Then go full strength knowing it will be a few weeks before I can do it again.

I can't fertilize all of the time due to work issues, but it doesn't take much time to add a little to the water.. So when I'm ready to really feed.. I water, then feed well...

I also don't like to fertilize when the temps get over 85 degrees..

Hope this helps.


    Bookmark   July 22, 2014 at 11:10AM
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