Monday, June 04, 2007

Correct measurements for constant feed solution

The instructions for using the Weekly Feed mix as a "continuous feed" or "dilute fertilizer solution" mixed with water are in several places, including (but not limited to)Let's Grow Tomatoes - 1981, Gardening By The Foot - 1993, and The Mittleider Gardening Course - most recently published in 1999.

Those of you lucky enough to have the Mittleider Gardening Library CD can simply type in either of those phrases and find every place that subject is discussed in any of the books. Easy, huh!For the rest of you (until you get the Gardening Library :-))

I'll mention some of the basics.In Let's Grow Tomatoes, on page 49 Jacob recommended 8 ounces of Weekly Feed for a 25 gallon barrel, and 16 ounces for a 50 gallon barrel.In gardening By The Foot, on page 76, Jacob recommended using 1 ounce of Weekly Feed in 3 gallons of water.In the Mittleider Gardening Course, on page 183, Jacob also recommends using 1 ounce of Weekly Feed in 3 gallons of water.I don't remember where it might be in the books, but while working with jacob on several projects we have used 16 ounces of Weekly Feed in a 55 gallon drum, which is a bit less than the 1 ounce per 3 gallons of water.

Therefore, I recommend you use one of the following - depending on the size container you're using:1 ounce in 3 gallons of water, or8 ounces in 25 gallons of water, or10 ounces for 30 gallons of water, or16 ounces for 50-55 gallons of water.Always be CERTAIN that you have adequate drainage in your pots or flats. Failure to provide proper drainage will cause the fertilizers to accumulate, since the water will be eliminated mainly by evaporation, and you will can burn and even kill your small plants because of the salinity.Just this spring we saw 65,000 tomato seedlings dying from this very thing, until we rescued them by improving the drainage and flushing the salts out.Jim Kennard

P. S. Forgive Jacob for not always having the exact ratios in these things. The different books were written over the course of more than 20 years, and he continually experimented and changed as he saw the need.

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