How much fertilizer to use?

OaxacaDavidOctober 3, 2012

I'm just starting a container garden here in Oaxaca, at 6000 ft altitude and at the end of the rainy season. My compost pile has just been started, so I have to use chemical fertilizers until I have compost. I bought a bag labeled 15-8-20 but I have no idea how much I am supposed to apply to each container (ceramic pots from 12" to 36" wide and deep, and some homemade wood containers) nor how often I should apply. Can someone give me some advise? Thanks.

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nil13(z21 L.A., CA (Mt. Washington))

I'm going to assume you are talking about controlled release fertilizer. Different fertilizers have different release periods. It should say on the bag how often to reapply, probably 3 months if I had to guess. For containers, I use 1 pound of nitrogen per cubic yard of potting soil which works out to about 2.2 grams of nitrogen per gallon of potting soil. The numbers 15-8-20 refer to percentage of nitrogen-P2O5-K2O. So a 100 pound bag of that fertilizer will contain 15 pounds of nitrogen.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2012 at 11:42AM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Is this a slow release product? The reason I ask is that SRF products I 've seen have directions on the label for container application...even those in 40 or 50 pound bags. I have seen turf grass fertilizers with similar ratios, however. Most granulated fertilizers meant for outdoor broadcasting would have directions pertaining to field use....per 100 linear feet, or acre (for example) .

I'm just curious, David...any fertilizer can be extrapolated to fit a specific need.

By the way, of all the places I'd like to visit, Oaxaca might be at the top. I knew a great Plantsman who had been asked by your state to do some plant collecting...he visited a couple of times. The pictures he shared were incredible, as were his stories of the people. He sure did go on and on and on about the local foods. He brought me back some chocolate. :-) I even enrolled in a Spanish class at the local college....the instructor emphasized Mexican Spanish. (Couldn't finish, darn it.)

Lucky you is all I have to say!

    Bookmark   October 4, 2012 at 6:14PM
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