Foxfarm fertilizer discussion

Discussion in 'Maples' started by PoorOwner, May 27, 2006.

  1. PoorOwner

    PoorOwner Active Member 10 Years

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    I have been looking for a fertilizer for Japanese maples. It is hard to find a fertilizer that has low nitrogen out there. I was considering using osomote rhododendron food but end up getting the foxfarm fertilizer instead.

    I have scanned the label and hopefully the experts will chime in about whether this is a good fertilizer for Japanese maples or not.

    My property is small enough that I grow my maples in akaline condition (i.e. soil close to concrete pavement or patio). The acidifier is welcome in my case.

    I have applied to my maples in the ground only. My potted JMs are young and I don't want to push them until they have a bigger root system.

    The chart tells you to use quite a lot of it and the 4 lb box does not last long if applied per directions.
     

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  2. schusch

    schusch Active Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    I am using it this year for my maples that are in a container and are 5 or more years old. I added it at a quarter to half strength when I repotted, and, so far, the results have been really good. (My soil is better, too, so I can't say this is due to the fertilizer. I use a pine bark-clay pellets-coco/wood (for moisture retention) mix.) No leaf burn, good growth.

    If I can refer you to the 'other' maple forum, here is a discussion that gives you good info on what the components in it do
    http://forums.gardenweb.com/forums/load/maple/msg0310464615320.html

    As I said: so far, so good. But may be it's too early in the season to really tell. What should I look out for during the rest of the season to determine its worth?
     
  3. Gomero

    Gomero Well-Known Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    Hi Schusch,
    did you get the Foxfarm product in Europe?

    Gomero
     
  4. jimmyq

    jimmyq Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    doesnt look like it, the measurements are in imperial (cups to feet) if it was from most of europe it would be metric.
     
  5. schusch

    schusch Active Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    Hi Gomero, no I had it sent from the US. Not entirely an economical approach, but I thought it worth finding out what works and what doesn't - especially since they say they developed it with JMs in mind. Any thoughts about what I should look out for the rest of the season to evaluate the relative worth of the product?
    All best,
    schusch
     
  6. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    What nutrients to add and how much always depends on what your particular soil (or potting medium) is made up of, as well as what minerals are in your irrigation water. So, how a particular product works for someone else may perhaps be almost completely irrelevant to your situation, the only common ground being that you are both growing Japanese maples.
     
  7. schusch

    schusch Active Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    Hi, Ron B-
    point well taken. I am hoping to see over time what works best for my situation here. Since this was 'designed with maples in mind' (they seem to have thought about what those needs could be - I saw a slow release fertilizer here in Europe that also claimed it was good for JM, but its nitrogen was at 15 over a period of 9 months ...) it seems worth trying, and compare. We'll see. All I can say for starters is that at 1/2 or quarter strength it didn't instantly burn up the leaves, so PoorOwner, it could be safe to try, bearing in mind the different climate, etc.
     
  8. Shishi

    Shishi Active Member

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    I have purchased a box of the FoxFarms JM fertilizer and plan to try out one application at half strength on my container maples this season as I just repotted them.

    When is the best time to apply it? Before bud break or after bud break?

    Thanks for any comments or suggestions.
     
  9. schusch

    schusch Active Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    Hi, Shishi.

    Normally you want to fertilize once the leaves are all out, after bud break - if fertilization is necessary. Organic fertilizer takes longer to be available to the plant - so you could conceivably mix some in earlier, but in your case (see your thread about potting soil), your mix probably already has enough nutrients to get the spring summer started.
    Check out the threads talking about fall fertilization. Also discussions about micronutrients. Also about the negative effects of too much fertilizer.
    Schusch
     
  10. Shishi

    Shishi Active Member

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    Thanks Schusch.

    When I buy a plant from a nursery, there are tiny green colored fertilizer pellets on the soil, do you know what that is and if that is good for the JMs or just a generic a"all-purpose" fertilizer that the growers just sprinkle on?

    Thanks!
     
  11. Galt

    Galt Active Member

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    I tried this product widespread last year on a majority of our potted maples. I did not care for it. I applied about the package rate and worked into the potting soil with a hand cultivator. Watered well, etc. and then applied a second time in the same season.

    While it takes practice to learn how to use a fertilizer, I found this product to be ineffective and unreliable. I did get some very late season growth on a few plants that was inexcess of what I wanted and that was after two applications and an entire growing season. While it does take some time for organic fertilizers to breakdown or become available, this one just doesn't do the trick for me. Most maples had little or no enhanced growth that could be attributed to the product. Many maples had abnormal leaf colors, and forms that might be attributable to the fertilizer.

    I bought a case and have used most of it, but I have taken to putting it in the landscape and in some landscape plantings to hopeufully take advantage of some of the beneficial fungi and other organisms. A nice package, but I can't stand by the results. I got a good price on the case, but at the package price I would advise looking elsewhere.

    I was using one cup or better on plants twice in a season if I remember the measuring. One can't forget the smell!
     
  12. schusch

    schusch Active Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    Hi Galt-

    my initial assessment of the product was good - I remember giving my impressions of it in this thread in June or so. This was because there was no leaf burn, and a very good growth in the spring - BUT: I now think this response could have a lot to do with the (different) fertilizer applied the previous season. After the initial growth I had very little additional growth, but the trees looked good, no abnormal colors.
    So the lack of additional growth after spring was disappointing.
    May be someone else was using the product, and can give their impressions?
     

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