Foliage Pro...crystals?

zippelkSeptember 7, 2010

Anybody ever try to talk to the DynaGro people about offering FP in crystalline form? since a lot of us have to get it through the mail, it seems crazy to ship all that water when we could just be moving small amounts of crystals. I know I saw (in my marathon reading of the archives) that a DG rep posted in this forum, even offered 10% off to anyone mentioning this forum when they purchase. So they are aware of us container gardeners and that we are fans of their product...maybe they would listen to a call for crystals? Who was that who brought them to the forum...was it Meyer Mike?

cheers

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penfold2(4b, MN)

It may be worth a try, but I wouldn't hold my breath. If you want something now, there's the MSU fertilizer which comes in a granular form. It has a reasonably similar ratio of nutrients and includes plenty of calcium and magnesium.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2010 at 2:22PM
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crm2431(7 -Tahlequah)

Penfold

What is the MSU fertilizer?

Charlie

    Bookmark   September 7, 2010 at 6:34PM
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penfold2(4b, MN)

It's a fertilizer formulated by growers at Michigan State University for their own collection. It's now sold at several online stores. You can find it by googling MSU fertilizer. There's a formula for rain/RO water and another for well water. Most people use the rain/RO version.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2010 at 8:01PM
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calistoga_al

A fertilizer that recommends a dilution rate of a teaspoon per gallon of water can not have water as a major component. However I will agree that shipping a liquid is more difficult than a dry mix. My first gallon of FP did not make it through the UPS and was returned to the shipper leaking from a puncture. Al

    Bookmark   September 8, 2010 at 9:19AM
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cebury(9)

After reading the OP, I was going to ask the same question: How much water is there with such a concentrated formula of a max dosage of 1tsp/gal? But I've paid the shipping on it myself, so I feel ya. Trying to get my local hydroponic stores to carry it since they carry a whole line of the Dyna Grow stuff, including Pro-Tekt. It's just too new and assuming not popular enough yet to be in their supplier catalogs.

Anyone else used the MSU fert?

    Bookmark   September 9, 2010 at 5:57AM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

If I were a shop-owner, invested in selling gimmicky fertilizers,
the last thing I'd want to do would be to put a product on my shelves that
would render all the others obsolete.

Josh

    Bookmark   September 9, 2010 at 9:48AM
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cebury(9)

LOL.

However, being able to render them obsolete is different than actually doing so. It looks like all the other gimmicky items when placed on the shelf next to highly colorful and even sexed-up provocative labeling like "Wet Betty".

    Bookmark   September 11, 2010 at 8:35AM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

There are quite a few specialty growers in my area.
I've visited many stores, and the folks who offer the most resistance (in my informal survey),
are those peddling Fox Farm, VF-11, and Neptune's Harvest products.

Josh

    Bookmark   September 11, 2010 at 10:49AM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

I recently had someone jump squarely on my case because I dared offer anything disparaging about VF-11 - practically ALL water & no real indication of what's in it other than the NPK %s of 0.15 - 0.85 - 0.55 (note the position of the decimal point). It's no wonder ".... you cannot overdo it".

Al

    Bookmark   September 11, 2010 at 11:46AM
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cebury(9)

VF-11 is a gimmick. Just don't say nothing bad about my miracle product Superthrive and we'll be fine ;-)

    Bookmark   September 12, 2010 at 8:03AM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

Arghhh! I'm assuming that was a TiC reply. ;o)

I've actually done some experimenting with loose controls in place using Superjive & have found it helpful in stimulating the formation of new roots, but of no use for anything, including as a 'tonic', beyond that singular saving grace. As always, YMMV.

Something I wrote about VF-11:

I'll gently disagree with the VF-11 recommendation on this basis: The guaranteed analysis of the primary macro-nutrients (NPK) in Eleanor's is: 0.15 - 0.85 - 0.55 This is less than 1% of ANY of the majors. 1/8 of 1% N, 7/8 of 1% P, 1/2 of 1% K. This is EXTREMELY low in fertility. Since I cannot find the rest of the analysis, I'm going to guess the rest of the nutrients are probably nonexistent, or nearly so.

I haven't used this potion (VF-11), but then, you don't need to ride the bus to know what makes the wheels go round & round. Forgive me for being somewhat skeptical or even cynical, but when vague claims are made like: "... and mildew is eliminated because VF-11 changes the pH and creates a condition where mildew can not grow. Once again, isn't it amazing?" I wonder why there isn't something specific in the claim. Changes the pH of what? Soil? Cellular pH? Leaf surface pH - for how long? Hmmm

I also wonder at: "VF-11 builds so much strength and health that plant cells 'harden' and 'seal in' the amino acids which aphids feed on. You have merely eliminated their food supply. And you have done it without the use of poisonous systemic or pesticides. Pretty nice...huh?" Don't aphids feed on sap. How does this product make the sap unavailable to aphids? Does it somehow make cells so hard that they cannot be penetrated and dry up all the intra-cellular plant water/sap? Should I/we be saying GMAB here? There's more, but you get the drift.

I wouldn't say that this product has no benefit, as it may very well have some, but I am of the general feeling there is almost surely no panacean value to products like Superthrive or this elixir, and it's a good bet it's not the magic potion some may think it to be. I don't trust advertising that is known to be false and this alone is enough to fuel the skepticism in me.

One thing additional: The claim that "you cannot overdo", means there could only be extremely minute (almost immeasurable or nonexistent) amounts of any micro-nutrients in it because micro-nutrient overdose produces toxicity at very low levels and over-doing would reveal readily visible symptoms quickly.

Like I said, I wouldn't argue that it has no value, but I do know that I would invest in a good, known source of micro-nutrients and an appropriate fertilizer before I'd trust plant vitality to a product labeled with so many unsubstantiated claims.

Al

    Bookmark   September 12, 2010 at 10:03AM
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redshirtcat(6a MO StL)

Is there still any interest in a powder/prill form of a 9-3-6 fertilizer?

If so then this is a real possibility. The formula would have to be slightly different from FP in terms of the building blocks. They use phosphoric acid as an ingredient to push the pH down and help keep things in solution. This means that people would have to be willing to deal with a pretty strong acid (not dangerous if you do it right, but someone would likely not pay attention and get burned).

There are ways around this and I could put together some numbers and a pure powder form that should have the exact same analysis - the pH might be slightly different but in principle it should be possible to make a mix that would weigh about 1 kg (~2.2lbs) and contain everything you would need to mix it into a gallon of distilled water. This should be easy to ship but I'd have to check into the legalities of doing so.

There would also be no color (the phosphoric acid they use is green and they might also add a liquid dye).

The 60$ a gallon local price has put me on a path to making my own. I'm making my first batch tomorrow. I will start out with an exact copy and see if I did the math correctly - and I might move away from their formula for reasons that I posted in Al's "Fertilizer Program for Containerized Plants III" thread.

If someone would like to look over my post there and let me know what you think that would be great. I asked Al what he thought in there and in email but didn't get a response. I'm thinking about tinkering with both the NPK formula and the micros to meet what I believe he is saying would be the ideal formula. Take a look.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2011 at 2:10AM
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alexander3_gw(6 Pennsylvania)

>The formula would have to be slightly different from FP in terms of the building
>blocks. They use phosphoric acid as an ingredient to push the pH down and >help keep things in solution. This means that people would have to be willing >to deal with a pretty strong acid (not dangerous if you do it right, but someone >would likely not pay attention and get burned).

Maybe I'm not following you here, but at home, people wouldn't have to push the pH down to get things into solution, because they would presumably not be making the concentrate, but the final concentration for use on plants, right?

Alex

    Bookmark   July 9, 2011 at 9:29AM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Foliage Pro is in the supplier catalogues now.

If a local shop carries any Dyna Grow products, they do have access to Foliage Pro.
I went through the catalogue with the guy at the shop, found it, ordered it. $20 a gallon.

Josh

    Bookmark   July 9, 2011 at 12:19PM
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redshirtcat(6a MO StL)

Hey Josh,

I used to get mine for 26$ a gallon locally. The distributor in the area stopped carrying it for that price because they said they couldn't get it for anywhere near that from Dyna-Gro anymore. When I called Dyna-Gro they said that the -wholesale- rate was above $26 now and that I shouldn't expect to find it near the old price anywhere unless it was in an old catalogue. I was basically told I couldn't get that price even at 55 gallon rates.

That's why I got angry enough to go this new route. I can see exactly what it costs to replicate and I can see that they are ripping us off (and that's with me buying the ingredients retail). I had no bone to pick with DynaGro when I could get it for 26$ a gallon but I think they're just taking advantage of their good buzz/pr now and trying to capitalize by raising the price since competition isn't stopping them.

Just in case my experiment doesn't work out - where are you still finding it for 20$ a gallon?

    Bookmark   July 9, 2011 at 3:01PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Well that sounds crappy...
Hopefully the price won't be higher when I refill.
I'm buying it at a grow shop, 530 Grow, something like that.
I can also purchase it at Yamasaki nursery a little further in town.

Josh

    Bookmark   July 9, 2011 at 5:36PM
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redshirtcat(6a MO StL)

Oh alexander, sorry, I didn't see your post.

That isn't what I had in mind, no. You would have to mix the dry ingredients together into 1 gallon of distilled water. This would give you a solution that mimics Foliage Pro. The way around using phosphoric acid would involve using a dry acidic powder in lieu of the phosphoric acid and then pushing up the levels of other phosphate-containing ingredients. That way no one would have to work with dangerous acids.

One could, of course, mix it as you suggest into a final watering solution but then you'd have to either make a huge batch. If you use FP at a rate 1/4 tsp per gallon then you'd be mixing up a batch of 3072 gallons of solution, etc.

I just made a batch of this today and I believe I have the formula correct. My pH and EC levels check out compared to FP. The only problem is that I need a purer source of ammonium nitrate - the source I used doesn't fully dissolve in water. I'll keep looking (and raising red flags all over the state, eyeroll).

But basically I made a 9-3-6 fertilizer today with Ca and Mg in solution and the same micros that FP contains. I'm going to send a sample to JR Peter's lab for testing to verify before I use it. The only difference between what I made and FP is that they add a dye to theirs and mine is more clear. I also have small quantities of undissolved AN so I might have a very slightly lower N number until I find a better source of that particular chemical. I could also up the amount of the source I'm using and then just filter the solution but that's an annoying step for anyone else to have to perform.

Or dynagro could just sell it at a fair price, eyeroll.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2011 at 10:06PM
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