Fertilizer

Discussion in 'Citrus' started by gwenn, Dec 19, 2006.

  1. gwenn

    gwenn Active Member

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    Hi,

    I've readen on differents Treads that citrus needs 5 1 3 ratio fertilizer.

    Millet in one of the thread suggests (and he's not the only one) the osmocote 18 6 12.

    I live in Canada and i can't find this fertilizer, i found though, a miracle grow 19 6 12, that i guess is pretty close, but before i buy it i would like to know if it's as good as the Osmocote or good enough.

    If any of you who live in Canada knows where to find osmocote 18 6 12, please let me know, or if you know the name of a fertilizer close to the ratio idealistic for citrus that i could find here, i wouls appreciate.

    Thanks in advance.

    Gwenn

    PS: i live in Ottawa if for any reasons it was changing something.
     
  2. jimmyq

    jimmyq Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    I have had osmocote in those numbers before but at the commercial level package, 50 pounds and it was fairly expensive.
     
  3. leapfrog

    leapfrog Active Member 10 Years

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    Gwenn: I'm in Canada and the closest thing I can find is 24-8-16 (3-1-2) I used it last summer and my Meyer Lemon is doing very well. It's the standard All Purpose Miracle Gro that you can but 'most anywhere.
     
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2006
  4. jimmyq

    jimmyq Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    one major difference, miracle gro is a water soluble fertilizer, osmocote is polymer coated time release granules. But that being said, if anyone comes in to the garden center and asks me what to use on their citrus, I will almost always reach for the miracle gro (used to be the 15-30-15 was the general purpose) as it has a nice range of micro nutrients as well as the macro nutrients.
     
  5. gwenn

    gwenn Active Member

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    Thanks for the answer.

    Do you think the miracle grow 24-8-16 is better than the 19-6-12?
    The one i saw was a granules slow release.
     
  6. leapfrog

    leapfrog Active Member 10 Years

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    I'll bow to people like Millet, who are much more knowledgeable than I. If 18-6-12 (5-1-3) is the most effective, then 19-6-12 would be closer to the best ratio than 24-8-16 and should give better results. All I know is that 24-8-16 has worked for me.

    My orange and my lemon trees have both produced large healthy fruit crops this year, and the colour of the leaves is excellent. I've only had citrus plants for about a year, one in ground and the other in a pot. I haven't tried anything else, so I don't have any alternative experiences to relate. I suppose it's even possible that I would have achieved the same results if I hadn't used any fertilizer.
     
  7. skeeterbug

    skeeterbug Active Member

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    As Jimmyq said the major difference between miracle grow and Osmocote is that Osmocote is slow release and needs to be added only once every 3 or 4 months. Miracle grow needs to be added more often. You can add Ammonium sulfate with the 24-8-16 to makeup the missing N-- to 100 g of 24-8-16 add 80 g of Ammonium sulfate-- that would make a total of 40 g of N.

    Skeet
     
  8. gwenn

    gwenn Active Member

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    Thanks.

    The miracle grow 19 6 12 is a granula fomula and it's written on the sticker that it's a slow release fertilizer.
    Does it mean it's the same kind as the osmocote or is it just advertizing and the osmocote is still a lot better?
     
  9. skeeterbug

    skeeterbug Active Member

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    I'm not certain, but I think there are some slow release fertilizers from Miracle Grow-- They are better know for their soluble fertilizers and are newcomers to the slow release formulas-- Osmocote started with it and are better know for it.

    Skeet
     
  10. Millet

    Millet Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    19-6-12 and 18-6-12 numerically look to be very similar, and one would wonder why a manufacture would make two formulations that are very nearly identical. However, there is a big difference between the two formulations. 18-6-12 is a completely slow release fertilizer, excellent for use for seeding, and rooting. 19-6-12 is a hybrid fertilizer, partially slow release and partially quick release. When first applied a portion of 19-6-12 is quickly released (similar to water soluble fertilizers), then the balance of the formulation is a traditional slow release fertilizer. In both formulations the rate of nutrient release is based on temperature, and NOT on the amount of water. I have never found a slow release fertilizer with a 5-1-3 ratio. I blend the 18-6-12 directly into my seedling medium and also in the rooting medium. Lastly, 15-30-15 is a formulation that would not be good to use on citrus. Merry Christmas - Millet
     
  11. gwenn

    gwenn Active Member

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    Thanks millet.

    Considering that i can't find the 18 6 12 here in canada, do you think the miracle grow 19 6 12, that i can find here, is the closest or should i stay with the 30 10 10 i already have?
     
  12. Millet

    Millet Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    I can only answer for myself. Of the two choices that you have, I would go with the 19-6-12. However, I do know people who fertilize with 30-10-10 and have nice looking trees. No matter what formulation one uses, citrus will always absorb nutrients in a 5-1-3 ratio. The nutrients that the tree does not utilize will build up in the soil, unless the container is leached from time to time. - Millet
     
  13. Chuck White

    Chuck White Active Member

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    Some thoughts to add to the above mix: Although Osmocote is a polymer coated, slow release fertilizer, it has an unstated temperature problem. I use it myself, but generally in pots that will be in full or part shade, because when the soil reaches much above 85 degrees F., it tends to dump its' load of fertilizer. Osmocote, as I have been given to understand, releases nutrients on temperature change, and not if, or when, it gets wet. If you read the label on most fert. bags(and how many of us really bother?) if the stuff is labeled 'slow release', it really means 'water insoluable' (or vice versa). This doesn't mean that water won't dissolve it, it just means that it takes longer to do it. The disolving types of fertilizer are available as soon as it is mixed, and can be used in lighter quantities, more frequently. Thinking about it, I guess you would have more hassle but better control using soluable fertilizers. A matter of choice, I guess.
     
  14. Millet

    Millet Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    It is true that Osmocote's nutrient release is temperature controlled and not water controlled. However, Osmocote does not "dump its load", so to speak. Actually it is a very good thing that Osmocote's nutrient release is temperature controlled, instead of being solely water controlled. Yesterday, I purchased a 50-lb. bag of Osmocote 17-6-12 with minors. The bag says: at temperatures at or below 65F the nutrient release is over 3 months, at 80F the nutrient release is 2 months and at temperatures at or above 900F the nutrient release is 1 to 2 months. Plants require less fertilizer when growing in low temperatures, such as during the fall and winter, but they require more fertilizer in Spring when the days are longer and the temperature is higher, and still more nutrition during the warmer summer months. By being temperature controlled, Osmocote can provide the proper nutrients at the proper time. - Millet
     
  15. gwenn

    gwenn Active Member

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    Thanks for all this anwers!

    Do you know if the fertilizer have any influence on the growing of the fruit. Because I have a plant ( I don't know the name of the species, but it produces little bitter oranges, there was tons on it when I Bought it last year).

    Right now I have a lot of flowers but I am wondering if it gonna give any fruits. Does it take anything special to give fruit? ( I say that because I had some flowers during the winter but never any fruits)
    Does the fertilizer, do anything about that? Do I need another plant to give some pollen?
     
  16. mr.shep

    mr.shep Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    A few things we have to be mindful of is that
    what applies for fertilizing Citrus may not
    apply for other plants. What may apply for
    indoor container Citrus may not apply for
    outdoor container Citrus. What may apply
    for outdoor container Citrus with some
    native soil in the potting soil mix may not
    apply for outdoor container Citrus sans
    any native soil in the potting mix. What
    may apply for indoor container Citrus
    may not apply for greenhouse grown
    container Citrus and what may apply
    for container grown greenhouse Citrus
    may not apply for in ground greenhouse
    Citrus.

    I am not disputing the 5-1-3 ratio under
    optimal conditions for most Citrus but
    some areas and how we want to grow
    our Citrus can require more than the ratio
    such as grown in ground in coarse sand or
    require less grown in ground in a fine silt
    loam. The water infiltration rates, water
    holding capacity, residual nutrient capability
    of our soils, humidity or lack thereof, hours
    of sunlight, how we water and how often and
    soil temperatures all become rather important
    in determining which form of fertilizer we
    should use and when to use it and for which
    form of Citrus we want to use it for. As the
    nutrient requirements for a Washington Navel
    may differ from the old form Meyer Lemon
    and it can be argued that the Improved Meyer
    Lemon differs from the old Meyer Lemon
    nutrient requirement, notwithstanding the
    rootstocks used, for trees grown outdoors
    in a container and for plants grown in ground.
    There can be an extreme diversity just in the
    rootstocks used to bud or graft our Citrus in
    how the rootstocks effectively use nutrients
    and when they can absorb and uptake them
    and when they will have some trouble.

    Someone saying they want to fertilize
    a Lemon tells me nothing. I want to
    know which Lemon, what rootstock
    does it have for feet and what is the
    composition of the potting soil for
    outdoor and for indoor container plants.
    Personally, the best root systems I've
    seen in recent years for all Citrus, right
    across the board, have one thing in
    common, they all have had native soil,
    silt or clay, in their soil mixes. The five
    and fifteen gallon trees for resale that
    have soil in their soil medium do not
    break down in their leaf color nearly
    as fast as those five and fifteen gallon
    trees have been doing that are in a
    potting soil. The worst was a growers
    soil medium of the top dress being a
    redwood compost that overlaid a
    composition of about 3/8 humus and
    5/8 fine sand. As soon as I lifted
    the plant out of the container when
    I brought it home I changed the soil
    of it immediately, knocked off much
    of the sand off of the roots and gave
    it my hand mixed potting soil which
    does have some native soil in the
    mixture. The old mix was okay
    for immediate planting but to be
    grown on as an outdoor container
    plant sent up a red flag with me.
    I've been pleased as punch with
    the Skaggs Bonanza since the soil
    transformation.

    A one to two month time release at
    90 degrees was wishful thinking for
    container grown plants for a few
    years when Osmocote first came out
    and was popular among some wholesale
    nurseries but was used more in retail
    nurseries. Some years the releases have
    been different, in that as soon as the outside
    temperatures were 95 degrees the gelatin
    caps would break open and that caused a
    lot of trouble for people with predominately
    acid loving plants back in the late 80's, early
    90's. Camellias, Gardenias, Azaleas, even
    Magnolias, palmatum type Maples and
    Dogwoods that I saw both here, elsewhere
    in California and Oregon took a real beating
    for a few years until people in nurseries
    learned how and when to apply the
    Osmocote. I like Osmocote, don't get
    me wrong on that as I've used it myself
    for Spring applied outdoor container Citrus
    in the past as a top dress hand mixed in
    with forest humus or redwood compost
    but people had to learn their chops in how
    to use this product the hard way for their
    outdoor container grown plants.

    We can get by fertilizing Citrus at temps
    above 90 but it is a mistake to use the
    time release forms, even granular forms,
    at those temperatures for a variety of other
    plants. Actually certain Citrus utilize more
    of the available nutrients when the outside
    (outside the can, not inside) temps are about
    70-95 degrees, depending on humidity and
    moisture inside the container.

    I've seen some of the polymer forms last
    for up to three years in a container, even at
    our container soil temperatures both here
    and at the misses home with the containers
    placed on both dirt and on her concrete pad.
    Even some of the polymers that were applied
    to some of the dwarf Citrus we've had come
    in from the grower to the retailer still show
    their green beads in the potting soil. So there
    has been an improvement in how long the gel
    caps last but how much effectiveness these
    three year insoluble forms have for a fertilizer
    regimen remains a mystery.

    Jim
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2007

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