Fertilizer 13-13-13 usage questions

This year I have the following plants/trees grown on my backyard:
* Asian Pears * Banana trees * Persimmon trees * Some tropical vegetables
Due to lack of gardening expertise, I have been using the general purpose fertilizer 13-13-13 for ALL of the above listed plants. I am living in Dallas, TX area (zone 8) . Am I doing the right thing? perhaps, can some of you experts comment on the above?
Thanks,
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On 9 Oct 2006 10:56:58 -0700, jimmy snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

Not really. You have a wealth of excellent nurseries in N. Dallas. You have North Haven Gardens, Rhodes, and others. Check those out. You are using very high nitrogen for fruits and vegetables. You are probably also using synthetic fertilizer. The inventor of this fertilizer, Leibig, on his death bed said he was so sorry...nuff said.
Get yourself some really good quality fertilizer. Ladybug Brand, Bradfield, Greensense...go check out www.nhg.com
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On 9 Oct 2006 10:56:58 -0700, jimmy snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

Maybe, maybe not. Take a few soil sample and have them analyzed. That will tell you what kind of fertilizer is best for your yard. Adding compost improves just about any soil condition, plus adds organic matter to your yard. Realize that different plants have slightly different needs (light, soil, water,fertilizers, and pH).
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No real way to tell except with a soil test. Texas has a good lab at A&M: http://soiltesting.tamu.edu/webpages/forms.html (click on Urban Soil).
Kay
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jimmy snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

General purpose fertilizer is a myth, much like one-size-fits-all.
Without knowing what your soil is lacking, 13 is just a random number, and it doesn't make it any less random just because they picked it for all three components. Also, those three components are only a slice of the many things soil needs to be a healthy growing medium.
If you're going to just use one "general purpose" thing without having any knowledge of what the soil already has, and what it's lacking, use compost instead of a random synthetic fertilizer blend. Otherwise get your soil tested so you can tell us what it needs.
--
Warren H.

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This sounds more difficult that I thought. I was hoping that I can simply get a fertilizer at my local homedepot or Lowes. What about stuffs like Miracle pro? Do I have to go through the same exercise as what you suggested --- have soil tested?
Warren wrote:

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jimmy snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

So how do you know what nutrients your soil needs unless you have it tested?
Think about your own needs. Would you take a cholesterol lowering drug without knowing if you have high cholesterol? Would you inject insulin if you didn't know if you have diabetes, or if you did, but didn't know what your blood glucose level was? Would you take a laxative if you weren't constipated?
You need to know what the soil, and the plants growing in it need. You might be able to diagnose possible problems by observation, but you still need to test to understand what the real needs are.
Fertilizers and other chemicals are to your garden what drugs are to your body. And just as many people don't need drugs, many lawns and gardens don't need any of the chemicals that line the aisles at the home improvement big boxes. If you just start applying those chemicals -- including fertilizers -- there's a long-shot you might just happen to get just the right stuff. More likely than that is you might just waste money on extra chemicals that can be washed away. At worst, you'll screw things up -- possibly pretty bad.
In other words, chemicals -- including fertilizers -- are intended for problem correction. Their use is not the default.
If you want to provide nutrients to your soil and plants, use compost. Don't prescribe extra chemicals without a proper diagnosis as to whether they're needed at all.
Of course this isn't what everyone believes. There are people who never go to the doctor, never have any tests done, have no idea what their bodies need, yet they'll spend half their paychecks on over the counter drugs and "nutritional supplements." So if there are people out there who swear the only way they can stay alive is to dump random chemicals into their bodies, it's not surprising that there are also people out there who advocate dumping random chemicals on your lawn and garden. And don't forget that there are plenty of people out there who make a living selling you these extra chemicals.
You want difficult? Dump random chemicals, and waste money on unnecessary synthetic fertilizers for a few years, and then see how difficult it can be to correct the problems caused by using the wrong stuff for so long. Getting your soil tested, and reacting judiciously from the beginning is far easier. Perhaps it is easier to blindly toss things in your cart at Lowes today, just as it's easy to fill your basket down at Walgreens. But wouldn't it be easier -- and less expensive -- in the long run to find out what you really need to do instead of wasting money on guesses that could be very, very wrong?
--
Warren H.

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On 10 Oct 2006 08:09:59 -0700, jimmy snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

Yes, have the soil tested. The results will tell you exactly what kind(s) of fertilizers and amendments your soil needs. Lab tests can be expensive, but there are home test kits you can purchase at a reasonable cost. Or, contact your cooperative extension service.
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Okay, you can. Lowe's sells Ladybug Brand, also several other brands of certified organic fertilizer. Follow label directions
On 10 Oct 2006 08:09:59 -0700, jimmy snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

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On 9 Oct 2006 10:56:58 -0700, jimmy snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

http://texasextension.tamu.edu /
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