Wednesday, May 20, 2009
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
Soil Mix & Ratios - Fertilizers to use and How Much
Author: Jim Kennard
Q. I think what I need to know is, 1) what do I put in the soil mix and 2) proportions, as well as 3) what fertilizer to use and 4) proportions to mix in soil, plus 5) how much to feed weekly.
A. The fertilizer formula is on the website in the Learn section, under Fertilizers. When it's mixed accurately, using the materials we recommend, the NPK ratio is 13-8-13 in the finished Weekly Feed Mix.
For small gardens we suggest people use 16-16-16, if they can't get the individual ingredients, and add the Micro-nutrients from the Foundation, along with Epsom Salt, in the prescribed amounts. If 16-16-16 is not available we recommend 13-13-13, and in extremitties we suggest 10-10-10.
You must NOT forget to include the Pre-Plant mix in your preparations. Buy lime, magnesium sulfate, and boron, and mix them in the ratio of 80-4-1. Then apply as prescribed, along with Weekly Feed, and mix into the soil before planting.
If you're growing in containers we recommend clean materials, such as sawdust, peat moss, perlite, etc. mixed in any combination with sand. The sand should be between 25 and 35% by volume. Other materials you can use with the sand include ground pine needles, coconut husks, or rice hulls. We do NOT recommend compost, manure, or DIRT.
If you are growing in a 18"-wide soil-bed or Grow-Box, as we teach, demonstrate, and recommend, you should use one ounce per running foot of Pre-Plant mix one time, and 1/2 ounce of Weekly Feed per running foot each week until 3 weeks before harvest for single crop plants, and until 8 weeks before you expect to end your harvest for everbearing crops.
Those amounts translate to 2/3rds of an ounce (4 teaspoons) of Pre-Plant and 1/3rd of an ounce (2 teaspoons) of Weekly Feed per cubic foot of soil.