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funfool 05-14-2013 06:34 PM

any opinion on fish stink, bone meal
I use the Alaska fish fertilizer and bone meal.
Last year was the first time in many years trying gardening. I had some problems with some tomato plants looking stressed and not doing so well. After applying the two ingredients, they really picked up and did well.

now my question is, How young plants can be or how soon after transplanting nursery bought vegetables before applying?
I have some plants that have been established for a month, some transplanted last weekend, some seeds that were planted and just now have first set of leafs, some seeds that have not germinated yet.
Can they be to young?

oh'mike 05-14-2013 08:30 PM

Fish emulsion is mild---my guess is your will be fine if you use a rather diluted mix on the younger plants-----

I'm not the worlds best gardener----it's been a long time since I used fish emulsion--but I never saw harm to any fresh transplants--

Seattle2k 05-14-2013 11:00 PM

You'll be fine. I've applied Alaska fish emulsion at first sprout and once per week after. I don't think you'd have any problems incorporating those fertilizers even prior to germination.

Top-dressing your garden with a good, organic compost will help in the long term. Even better, if you can incorporate it into the soil prior to planting.

user1007 05-15-2013 11:32 AM

Raised orchids for fun and they thrived with dilluted fish emulsion and were not especially tolerant of stronger commercial food. Once applied, I do not remember smelling it though. Make sure you do not have poor draining soil giving off the odor.

I agree adding organic material is a good thing. Do remember it will take nitrogen otherwise available for the plants to break down itself though. You may have to up your nitrogen amounts, especially with more "raw" organic material additions.

Remember the NPK ratio when shopping for plant food. This is the three digit number on all fertilizers representing the percentage of key plant ingredients in the bag or bottle---nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium. Things like organic fish and bone meal usually have fairly low numbers. When in doubt, you can always cut the application rate and apply more frequently to tender sprouted plants. The main thing is to be sure you wash fertilizers off exposed shoots and leaves.

And I will harp about a soil test again. You can add fertilizers until the cows come home but if the soil cannot metabolize it or the plants cannot take it up because the Ph is wacked for their needs, you are wasting your money. In fact adding some organics, like manure, may do more harm than good if it tosses Ph out of balance and steals too much nitrogen to decompose.

Seattle2k 05-15-2013 06:23 PM

I know bark and woodchips pull nitrogen out, due to the bacteria acting to break it down requires it. Mulch will pull less out.

COMPLETELY-COMPOSTED material WILL NOT pull nitrogen out of the soil!

funfool 05-15-2013 07:26 PM

My soil natural soil here is terrible, I have a small garden. Last year it was 5'x8', this year is 5'x30'.
What I have done is dug down 12"-16" and forked it, I then added lots of peat moss and forked some more. Then added mushroom compost and forked it, then added 6" of garden soil from the big box store and forked some more.
I am literally 8" above the original soil level and it does well. Last year in the tiny garden, 3 tomato plants were 7' tall.
And last year for my birthday, I bought a $30 drip irrigation starter kit, best $30 I ever spent.
So my soil is good for now, and am constantly working on it as time goes by.

And as others have said, it is pretty mild at 5-1-1
I do not know what it is about the stuff. Last year mid season my tomatoes were looking pretty stressed. I was told about the fish fertilizer and bone meal and they came out of it and started doing great again.
I highly suggest the two items, I was just curios at what point to start using them.
And have some pepper plants that were looking bad from recent transplant, couple look pretty rough but rode through some frost.
I treated the whole garden last night, I doubt will be any harm now.

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