Question about fertilizers.

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I've got burn questions about fertilizers.
I've got a lot of old liquid fish mixes and micro nutrients , From my hydroponics . I used them last year in my outdoor soil garden . The bottles of fish mix say they wont burn. One is 5-1-1 and the Alaska starter fish mix is 2-1-1 . I know they are only 100 % ground fish mixed with water , It looks like syrup and stinks. Last year my garden did very good on it. I put about a half a shot glass with about 2 gallons of water and hand water the plants. Maybe three times for the summer. My soil was N deficient.
Just so you know .It wont burn. No matter what. Or how much.
What's the reason some fertilizers wont burn,. Is it just because its dead fish. Or natural or something. And if it wont burn, Why isn't non burning fertilizers available in the big stores.
What else could be used as non burning fertilizers?
Thanks
Diesel.
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wrote:

Fertiliser burn is caused by high concentrations of soluble salts, typically this is nitrogen salts because they are found in most fertilisers and they are very soluble but you could get the same from say potassium salts.
The burning is not specifically related to natural versus synthetic, you can burn plants easily with manure straight from the chicken which is about as natural as you can get. The reason that it is common with synthetic, store bought, fertilisers is that they are highly concentrated having little or no fibre or water (unlike natural fertilisers) and they are mostly or entirely soluble, so it is very easy to over dose.
If you want a no-burn fertiliser get a horse. On the other hand pay close attention to the content of whatever you are applying and don't exceed the recommended rate of application. If your soil is very deficient it will be less risky to apply several small doses several weeks apart through the growing season rather than one big one.
David
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The dehydrating effects of salts (chemical fertilizers) are well known and not restricted to fertilizer salts. It is also for this reason best to avoid chemferts, because salts have a deleterious effect on soil organisms and ecology. Regardless of what Wikipedia says, fertilizer burn with organic fertilizers comes from the pH raising effects of ammonia, which is released as the proteins in the organic material breaks down. (I was able to quite handily fry some potted plants with alfalfa [lucerne] meal quiet easily, no salts necessary.)
Chicken and rabbit manure can be toxic to plants, as can alfalfa meal, or fish emulsion, if not added according to directions. Concentration is everything.
Manure Chicken Diary cow Horse Steer Rabbit N 1.1 .257 .70 .70 2.4 P .80 .15 .30 .30 1.4 K .50 .25 .60 .40 .60
Manure Sheep Alfalfa Fish Emulsion N .70 3 5 P .30 1 1 K .90 2 1

--
- Billy

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wrote:

How do you know this?
which is released as the proteins in the organic material

How do you know there are no salts in lucerne meal? Did you actually measure the pH?
Why is this pH effect not seen when liming?

Agreed.
David
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You can smell the ammonia. Ammonia will only do one thing to an aqueous solution, and that is to turn it basic.
Plants cannot excrete ammonia and levels exceeding those that can be incorporated are toxic. <http://www.inchem.org/documents/hsg/hsg/hsg037.htm
Ammonia Toxicity -- Although ammonia is a source of plant nitrogen, high concentrations are phytotoxic. <http://whatcom.wsu.edu/ag/compost/Compost_Damage.htm
You are proposing that although the salt in alfalfa is insufficient to kill the alfalfa, there is sufficient salt in the alfalfa to kill other plants? In my clay soil, if alfalfa was high in salt there should have been reduced yields from my garden, since our garden is always dressed with alfalfa. <http://www.ext.colostate.edu/pubs/livestk/01615.html
I don't see the problem.
I realize that some alfalfa is sold with salt supplements, but that isn't what I buy.

No salt? I doubt there is any plant with "no salt".

No idea. Liming? Is that hanging out with Brits?

Are you suggesting that there is too much salt in chook poo, and that is why it can burn plants?

I suspect that, while fresh, horse manure may produce ammonia toxicity, if spread too thickly.

--
- Billy

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It's bleedingly obvious that he's not saying that. Your strawman is silly.
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Fran, Booby, first David said that the cause of fertilizer burning was concentrated salts. Then he asks me,"How do you know there are no salts in lucerne meal?" The ONLY cause of fertilizer burn that David addressed was salt (any freakin' kind of salt). To what do you ascribe the ability of chook poo to burn plants? Hmmmm?
G'day.
--
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Yes he said that (amongst other things).
Then he asks me,"How do you know there are no salts

Yes he also asked you that too.
The ONLY cause of fertilizer burn that David addressed

Sigh. I don't know and I don't care either. I've never yet burned any plant with chicken poop, and that is whether I've taken a pile of it straight from under the night perch or just used yard scrapings.
And I'll bet David or you haven't burned plants with chook poop either.
My beef was about the introduction of the strawman when it is obvious that David was talking about concentrations of manure. It is because we understand concentrations that we haven't burned anything despite decades of gardening. Strawmen are becoming a bete noir with me as seemingly they are becoming the new vogue all over usenet - I'm beginning to think the origin of it must result from infected water or some viral disease.
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This I found to be clever and, simultaneously, a sinister attempt at miss direction as I wasted time trying to look-up salt contents of plants, instead of working in the garden. (Why is David so un-American? Oh, right, he's from over the rain-bow ;O) Anyway, what's a boot to the groin among us gardeners?

Don't you just love a good conspiracy? ;O) Although I must admit some confusion as to the strawman (C'est qui?). David addressed the burning abilities of chemical fertilizers (they're salts), but he didn't speak to organic fertilizers. I tried to fill the gap by questioning the salt content of organic fertilizers, and riposting with the phytotoxic effects of ammonia.
Sadly, I have burned plants with chook-poo, but not for some great time now as I've become frugal in my application of it (18lb/100sq.ft.). I've also managed to burn plants (squash) with coffee grounds :O(any salts should have been long gone), go figure. I've since restricted the use of fresh coffee grounds to potatoes and blue berries.
Always nice chatting you up. Here's hoping that your bte noirs don't become nuits blanches ;O)
--
- Billy

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wrote:

True but you are yet to establish that is going to be a problem.

That does not say that ammonia is toxic to plants, it's a human hazard assessment.

That does say that excess ammonia is toxic to plants. It may be so but I would like to see some more authoritative comment on the subject.

No I am not saying that and I don't know why your alfalfa causes burning.
In my clay soil, if alfalfa was high in salt there should have

Before you were saying it is the rise in pH that is the problem that's why I asked what the pH was. I didn't say there was no salt. Silly Billy.
Why are you interchanging "salts" with "salt". Salt is somewhat ambiguous depending on the context, I was using it in the technical sense of the combination of an acid and a base, not on the common usage of sodium chloride (a specific salt).

Well your theory that plant burning is caused by ammonium hydroxide raising pH would need to account for other substances that raise pH but don't burn.

Ho ho ho.

Too many salts not sodium chloride. Ammonium hydroxide which is what you would have in chook poo is a salt. Don't you say that you are a chemist or are you just bored and trying to spin this out with some added confusion?

Your suspicion is not supported by observation in the field nor animal metabolism. The reason that most mammals don't have any significant amount of ammonia in their feces is that nitrogen compounds are removed from the blood by the kidneys to urine as urea, uric acid etc. OTOH birds don't urinate and their excess nitrogen is dumped into the cloaca along with their bowel contents, a good proportion as ammonia. This is why bird manure is 'hotter' than from mammals such as horses and cows.
Rabbits are coprophagic which apparently alters their nitrogen metabolism and somehow that increases the nitrogen in their feces. As I don't have access to such for my garden (I try to exclude the little dears) I am not inclined to delve into rabbit poop any further.
David
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My reading of it, has it referring to plants. Read 2.2 again. Show me where I am wrong.

I hope you get your wish. In the mean time phytotoxic means toxic to plants.

Be cause I can smell the ammonia from it. I should add that I don't use alfalfa meal anymore. A bale of alfalfa (lucerene) seems sufficient for the mulch, and fish emulsion for everything else. Did I mention that I only used the alfalfa meal in pots once, and after I realized its strength, radically reduced the amount that I use. I still like it but I don't feel in need of a new learning curve. I'll just stick to what I know.

Cute ;O) You asked,"How do you know there are no salts in lucerne meal"? Problem is that I never said that there were no salts in alfalfa.

The type of salt was never stated. You really are working too hard at trying to nail me to the shed.

Such as???

Whoever mentioned sodium chloride? Any salt in excess can be bad for soil ecology.

And when the urea or protein breaks down, bim-bat-a-boom, you got ammonia. Proteins are made from aminoacids, and "amino" means ammonia.

And rabbits?

Seems like a lot of shit to me ;O)
So are you saying that the toxicity of alfalfa meal is due to salt?
Have another tinny on me ;O)
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It wasn't intended to be personal, I'm sorry you took it that way.
There is enough folklore in gardening as it is, so I want to see substantiation before I accept things.
David
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Then do you mind, if I tie your kangaroo down, sport?

Seems to be a lot of that going around.

What's a little bantering between guys with dirty fingernails? You may have noticed, I enjoy bantering. It lets me practice my rhetorical dynamism from "golly gee to brimstone". It's just invectives that I find irritating and pointless.
I never did get your take on why organic fertilizers can burn plants. Are the salts in organic fertilizers really that high, or do you you have a different yarn for organics? ;O)
--
- Billy

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Billy wrote:

sure it wasn't a fungal attack?
what kind of plants and how old were they?
a fungal attack could look like chemical burn if you caught it only after it was done.
adding alfalfa to a potted plant would be asking for trouble.
adding it in measured quantities to a worm bin would be a wonderful thing. taking the results of the worm bin and adding that to a potted plant would likely be a much better result (in moderation as the plant's nature also is important -- some plants don't need much or any fertilizers).
...
songbird
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Why? :O)
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Its not very deficient. All I wanted to know is why this stuff dont burn. And why isnt it commonly used. Because it jump starts whatever I use it on. bigtime.
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wrote:

1) It isn't very concentrated in soluble salts to start with 2) You are applying it in VERY dilute solution

Availability, marketing, fashion, ignorance,............

Not knowing the composition of this mix I am guessing but it may contain beneficial trace elements. OTOH maybe your observation is subject to confirmation bias. There is a lot of it around.
David
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My guess is that it stinks.

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If you add it "neat", it will burn your plants. Dilution is the important factor. Conventional wisdom has it that if something is good, more must be better . . . . NOT. The benefits from fish emulsion come from many bi-monthly feedings of your plant. Pouring a jug of it on your plant, and calling it good for the season, wouldn't be the same thing:O(
(concentration #1)(volume #1) = (concentration #2)(volume #2)
The above formula, disregarding the obvious joke, allows you to adjust the concentration, if you know the original concentration, you can figure the volume to which it needs to be diluted to arrive at a desired lower concentration. It will work with dry manures as well, if you use weight instead of volumes.
Overcast with more rain predicted for tomorrow.
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- Billy

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This truly is USDA Prime 100% Unadulterated Bull Shit!
(political propaganda snipped)
You will never get the answer to "How do you know this?" David. He has already re-framed his faux pas to "facts" he can weasel word .....so down the rabbit hole he goes, again
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