Question regarding FP and dolomite,gypsum etc...

howelbama(7 NJ)August 6, 2011


This question is primarily aimed at tapla ;) but any insight would be nice. Also, I apologize if it has been covered previously.

When growing in 5-1-1 or gritty mix, are the calcium and Mg supplements such as, dolomite and or gypsum/Epsom, required in the mix if you are using a micro complete fertilizer such as FP?

Are any fruit or vegetable plants known to be accumulators of metals such as Mg or selenium?

If so, which way would be safer for growing edibles; FP (or similar) and no supplements in the mix, or supplements in the mix with Miracle grow or similar lacking ca and mg for fert?

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For the 5-1-1, you need the lime to bring the pH up. For the gritty, if using FP 9-3-6, you don't need the gypsum or epsom salts. As for what's better for veggies, it's a horse a piece, same same. I use 5-1-1 mix with MG outside for my veggies because they need too much water, and FP is too expensive. I like to save my FP for my indoor plants and bonsai trees. The whole "safer" issue is subjective, because no matter the type of fertilizer, the plants still use the nutrients the same. To them, there is no difference, as long as the nutrients are there. Some organic gardeners may argue that, but that is just their ideals kicking in.


    Bookmark   August 7, 2011 at 11:02AM
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howelbama(7 NJ)


Thanks for the feedback. I agree on the safer issue regarding organic vs synthetic.. It's my understanding too that a lot of the organic supplements and herbicide/pesticides are just as if not more dangerous than some synthetics.

Most fertilizers are mineral organic anyway, my main concern is with plants that may be known to accumulate heavy metals and not release them. Are any traditional veggie garden edibles known to do this? If so, are the micro nutrients such as magnesium or selenium (which I hear is known to be high in organic ferts often) safe to use ? If they are overdone could eating the tomatoes, watermelons, etc..., be harmful?

    Bookmark   August 7, 2011 at 4:25PM
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Unless you are gardening on an industrial wasteland, I wouldn't worry about your veggies being toxic. Most plants only absorb what they need for elements, and largely leave the other stuff in the ground. Anything unnecessary for a plant's developement usually stays in the roots, with a very small amount in stems and leaves. Even these amounts are very minimal, and of no concern. Fruits rarely contain anything toxic. This topic arrises alot concerning treated lumber and the chemicals used in it leaching into your vegetables.

As for fertilizers, synthetic or organic, they aren't packed with heavy metals. They basically contain the same things that are in soil. As far as I am aware, Miracle Grow has been tested and does NOT contain any toxic metals. I don't know which side of the isle you're on, but you have to remember that the left wing environmentalist groups will lie through their teeth to bring down the companies/products/ideas that they oppose. The organic topics can sure stir up some anger, which I've seen em masse on these forums.

Anyway, I'm not on any one side or another, because I believe in the freedom to make our own choices. For me, I have no problem using synthetic fertilizer, especially with container gardening, because organic container gardening isn't very effective. Again, some will violently argue that statement. Now, on the other hand, I prefer not to use pesticides unless I absolutley have to. I like to keep my insect control limited to pyrethrin, which is a safe insecticide, and even that I limit. Pyrethrin can be used right up until harvest, which is a major plus.

By the way, magnesium is a very necessary element in plant growth. Overdoing them won't make your plants toxic, it will just throw everything out of balance in your container growing media. Al knows the science with this type of stuff, and will beable to enlighten you on it. All in all, there is no worry about growing toxic vegetables, especially in containers. Any veggies that are toxic, are most likely known to be when grown, especially in asian countries, where they water with industrial waste water or raw sewage. Unless you intend to do anything like that, rest assured that you aren't going to get poisoned by the fertilizer you choose.


    Bookmark   August 7, 2011 at 7:48PM
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