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DukeBoxer

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Does anyone here use organic fertilizer? I have been using Neptunes Organic fish and seaweed for almost all the years I have been growing orchids, but only during the summer when the plants are outside. I think it's better to use that than salt based ferts in the summer. I feel like I am able to get at least 3 months of complete salt leaching with the rains and still be able to feed the plants. What does everyone else think?

One more thing, I am thinking about continuing the organic approach with all my phrags throughout the year since they don't really like salt based ferts (all the phrags I have are besseae hybrids except my penns creek cascade seedlings)
 

Candace

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I have some seaweed extract, I don't remember the brand off-hand, that I use once in a while. Sometimes I use it as a fertilizer and sometimes as a foliar feed. Can't say one product makes a difference for me as I typically use MSU for R.O. and once in a while rotate in one of my other fertilizers(from my vast collection).

I don't like how the seaweed/kelp fertilizers stink! And if I grew indoors, I would never use it.
 

gonewild

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Have you tested the EC (salt content, ppm, tds) of the organic fertilizer you use? You might be surprised at how much salt is in organic fertilizer. Wouldn't you expect seaweed to come with some sodium content? (bad salt for plants)

It is a little inaccurate to assume phrags don't like salt based fertilizers. Mine thrive on fertilizer "salts". Phrags are known to be salt sensitive but that does not necessarily refer to the nutrient "salts" in fertilizers. The salts they are sensitive to may in fact be high in organic fertilizers.

I have a bottle of Growmore Seaweed Extract that I have never used. Your post caused me to go test it. I mixed 1 oz per gallon of RO water. The mixture tests at 990 ppm. that is probably double the salt content of what is recommended on the label of MSU fertilizer.

Don't assume organic fertilizers are salt free.
 

Candace

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Thanks, Lance I believe that's the same Seaweed extract I've got and have used before. Yikes, that's a high reading. Luckily, I've only used like a capful of it per gallon.
 

DukeBoxer

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Oh wow, see what assuming does...I'm gonna go check my fertilizer when I go home. Thanks!
 

Heather

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Hmm, it is kinda a no-brainer, seeing as it's from the ocean. I have fish fertilizer (I don't think there is seaweed in it though) but I never use it cause it STINKS and attracts all the neighborhood cats.
 

gonewild

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Hmm, it is kinda a no-brainer, seeing as it's from the ocean. I have fish fertilizer (I don't think there is seaweed in it though) but I never use it cause it STINKS and attracts all the neighborhood cats.
Years ago when we used to produce Fluffy Ruffle fern liners for foliage plant growers we had the best ferns around. Nobody could figure out why they were so lush and green. We used to buy blood meal buy the ton and apply several spoonfuls as a top dressing on the plants. Blood meal is really great as a fertilizer but after we applied it the entire greenhouse range smelled like a oven full of roast beef. Had every dog in the neighborhood sleeping in front of the exhaust fans. :clap:
 

DukeBoxer

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Well I guess I'm not going to believe everything I hear anymore...I was told a long time ago that organic fertilizers were 100 times better to use for plants than any salt based fertilizer. I think that might have been for plants that are grown in soil, to nourish the microbes in the soil and not kill them. On saturday I will test the ppm in the organic fertilizer mix and let you all know what it is. I think you may have just changed my yearly summer fertilizing regimen. Thank you for all the info! Thats why I love this forum!
 
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Eric Muehlbauer

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I use fish emulsion (outdoors only...it reeks) for my container grown vegetables and cymbidiums, along with about 1-1.5 tspns vodka (makes the veggies sweeter, but only when the sun is intense). I once tried fertilizing my Vanda's with fish emulsion, got very little growth. It is really best in soil based media, where bacteria can break down the amino acids, ammonia, and presumably urea. (My cymbidiums are in cocopeat, which is more like soil.). I find MSU to be my best orchid fertilizer, as have many others on this list. But if you are going to grow veggies in pots, then fish emulsion is the way to go.....Take care, Eric
 

dave b

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Unstead of plain ol Pro-Mix, i use a high quality potting medium in my paph and terrestrial mixes (also have a bit in my gongora and stanhopea). I think its the Fox Farm planting mix. Contains peat, forest humus, earthworm castings, bat guano, microbes, and other stuff. I add it into a bark, charcoal, perlite mix. Havent used it long enough to give real feedback, just what i use.
 

gonewild

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Plants don't care where the nutrients come from or how they get there as long as they are there when needed. The benefit of "Organic" growing is a political opinion not a fact of life. :poke:

Organic fertilizers have always been good because they are a good source of micro nutrients. For a long time there were no good sources for these minor plant nutrients but now they are readily available in commercial non organic fertilizer mixes.
 
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Eric Muehlbauer

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While I definitely agree that plants don't care where their nutrients come from, and, as I've posted, I'm very happy with the results of MSU on my orchids, I have to admit that there is a clear taste difference between vegetables that get organic fertilizers and those getting inorganic. In ground is natural, they get organic like it or not...but my container grown vegetables- specifically peppers- have a much better taste when grown with organic fertilizers. A dynagro pepper does not taste anyway near as good as a fish emulsion pepper! Although alcohol helps...anyone remember Jerry's Gro? The methanol stuff? My paphs despised it, phrags liked it, some other orchids liked it, but it definitely made for tastier peppers. Maybe not as good as fermented fish guts, but the best I've ever tasted from a synthetic fertilizer....Take care, Eric
 

gonewild

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While I definitely agree that plants don't care where their nutrients come from, and, as I've posted, I'm very happy with the results of MSU on my orchids, I have to admit that there is a clear taste difference between vegetables that get organic fertilizers and those getting inorganic. In ground is natural, they get organic like it or not...but my container grown vegetables- specifically peppers- have a much better taste when grown with organic fertilizers. A dynagro pepper does not taste anyway near as good as a fish emulsion pepper! Although alcohol helps...anyone remember Jerry's Gro? The methanol stuff? My paphs despised it, phrags liked it, some other orchids liked it, but it definitely made for tastier peppers. Maybe not as good as fermented fish guts, but the best I've ever tasted from a synthetic fertilizer....Take care, Eric
Eric, I'm curious if you have tried growing your vegetables on a diet of MSU?
I don't doubt organic vegetables taste better. Ugly vegetables in rural Peru taste 1000 times better than anything grown here and for the most part Peruvian farmers don't even know what fertilizer is much less are they able to purchase it.
 
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Eric Muehlbauer

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Haven't tried MSU....maybe I'll try it next year, as an experiment....but I've been very happy with fish emulsion. Actually, I think my basil gets MSU sometimes, but its just basil...it'll taste good no matter what. However, long ago I discovered that veggies grown in ground taste better than veggies grown in pots. However, I have to rely on pots for many of my vegetables...peppers always rot in the ground, and radishes taste like dirt and get full of maggots...and at this point, my vegetable garden doesn't get enough sun to grow anything other than greens, so I need container on my deck, where they can get sun. Take care, Eric
 

gonewild

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I wonder what is responsible for better taste in veggies?
What biological factor changes taste and what causes the flavor to change with soil and fertilizer type?
 
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Eric Muehlbauer

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Yes Eric! Its the vodka! But there is no question that soil influences the flavor of what is grown in it, beyond explanations that we are aware of. Just look at wine...the whole concept of "terroir"...the taste that the soil imparts to the wine. Different vineyards, in the same region, using the same wine making methods, can have very different wines, depending on how soil characteristics differ. Take care, Eric
 

likespaphs

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...Ugly vegetables in rural Peru taste 1000 times better than anything grown here and for the most part Peruvian farmers don't even know what fertilizer is much less are they able to purchase it.
but don't they use manure on the fields?
 

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