So, what's your spring kick-in-the-pants formula

bluegirl_gwFebruary 3, 2013

I just threw ~1/4c Epson salts & ~ 1/2c of granular iron supplement to each plant. Have a barrel of alfalfa pellets fermenting & plan to distribute 1 gallon each starting this week.

Closer to last freeze date, plan to distribute some high Nirogen stuff.

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Perfect timing on your post! I was just thinking about my spring plan of attack.

I picked this recipe up a while ago on GW and am going to give it a whirl this spring.

32 gallon garbage can
12 c. of powdered alfalfa
3/4 full of H2O
1/2 c. chelated iron
2 c. epsom salts
Sit for five days (or, until really stinky)

I'm not quite clear on whether this is applied at the same time as a basic fertilizer. When should I apply this concoction? How much per plant - are we talking a cup or a pitcher's worth? When do I use the fish emulsion? I really want to boost the blooms this year, but not sure about timing, layering of applications and quantity.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2013 at 9:58AM
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For my newly planted roses I will (on 3/1) start with 1/4 c. granulated fertilizer, and 2 Tbls. each iron, epson salts and aluminum sulfate. Wash it down with 1 Tbls. B vitamin supplement in a gallon of water. I figure just to double everything for the established ones. Sound good?

    Bookmark   February 3, 2013 at 10:47AM
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donaldvancouver(cool wet z8)

Two inches of compost. Tried it last year and the vigour was amazing. Simple and easy.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2013 at 10:57AM
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seil zone 6b MI

In the early spring, usually the beginning of April right after I prune, I'll put down a cup of a good slow release fertilizer and a 1/2 cup of Epsom Salts (half those amounts for minis) around each plant and scratch it in and then water with some SuperThrive. After that it's usually liquid foliar fertilizers and fish emulsion about every two weeks through the rest of the season. I have occasionally added some more Epsom Salts in late July early August before but I don't always and don't know that it makes much difference.

I can't bring myself to do the alfalfa tea because of the smell, lol! The fish is bad enough.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2013 at 10:57AM
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Also, considering Milorganite, but don't quite know where that would get worked in.

All this's like a gardener's BREAKING BAD. :)

    Bookmark   February 3, 2013 at 12:26PM
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cecily(7 VA)

Just Hollytone.

I thought of using milorganite this year also to annoy the deer herd that grazes in our culdesac but milorganite gives me the heebie jeebies. If anyone has had success with it as a deer deterrent, I'd love to hear about your experiences.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2013 at 2:39PM
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After pruning and cleaning up all the old mulch, I put a layer of well rotted manure as a top dressing to the drip line. This forms a weed barrier crust that I cover with regular wood mulch. It breaks down into the soil as the season progresses. I follow this wih an twice a season application of alfalfa tea ( Epsom, seaweed and fish emulsion, etc ) Bayer drench once a month. Miracle Grow, Jacks, Dr. Earth, Mills, etc. are the once a weekers. I know I probably over do it but I have great results. Feed them something once a week. Even if I use half strength. osmocote never worked for me.....

    Bookmark   February 3, 2013 at 2:43PM
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jim1961 Zone 6a Central Pa.

After first flush I lightly scratch in Dr Earth Life
fertilizer and some Dr earth Alfala meal...
Then repeat in two months and that's it for the season.
I do not have that many roses though.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2013 at 6:27PM
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Re. various formulas folks have posted, I'm gonna try a mix of cottonseed meal, soybean meal, ammonium nitrate (21-0-0)& alfalfa at about a cup per rose when we get closer to our last average freeze date of Mar 30.

I think organics are slow acting enough to start now. I need some good basal breaks but don't want to pop them with too much fast-acting nitrogen just yet.

Also plan to rake in some inoculated clover seed mix I got last fall when it was too late to sow.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2013 at 11:03PM
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nippstress - zone 5 Nebraska

I use different formulas for my well-established roses than for my new plantings. Well established roses get a handful or so of basic 10-10-10 fertilizer, some Ironite for a fast boost, and a cottage cheese container of alfalfa under the mulch. New plantings just get the alfalfa mixed into their planting soil (plus composted manure and cotton burr compost to lighten up the soil) with water crystals to get them past the dry spells and occasional weak strength fish emulsion or something of the sort when I get around to it. I plant a large percentage of bands in the spring and I'm cautious about burning them with too much food when they're babies.


This post was edited by Nippstress on Mon, Feb 4, 13 at 14:54

    Bookmark   February 3, 2013 at 11:11PM
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It's time now for me to do my late winter mulching - about 2-3 inches of manure -composted or not (whichever is closer at the time) mixed with hay, and cover the beds and around but not touching the rose canes. Then I plan to repeat last years chemical fertilizer which I was super happy with. I used Vigoro 12-6-10, and I probably used about 1/2 to 3/4 cup around each rose. Then repeated in June. I re-mulch with manure as often as I physically can / find time for - usually a few times a year. My dirt is sand, so everything sifts through really fast.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2013 at 12:42AM
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Tuggy3(9b NorCal)

With established roses a couple cups of alfalfa pellets per bush and usually about a cup of one of the organic rose fertilizers. In March I'll add a layer of compost either homemade or bags of Bumper Crop spread about 2" deep. By April it's getting hot so new mulch every year is a must. Since the soil is rocky and very fast draining I will fertilize a small amount about a month later-fishmeal, liquid fish, whatever I have around. Using fertilizers like 16-16-16 even in small amounts produced fast tip growth that burned in the sun. Also all that very quick new growth seemed to attract more aphids. I try not to push my roses because they have to get through a lot of 100 degree days. Mary

    Bookmark   February 4, 2013 at 1:43AM
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kstrong(10 So Cal)

Anything that is cheap and has soluble nitrogen in it, as soon as the soil is warm enough.

Roses are pigs -- they really don't care what, specificaly, you give them, as long as it is enough and regularly fed.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2013 at 12:39PM
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