I have bought an electronic soil tester. Measures PH level and Nutrient
The PH it generally shows OK around 7.
But fertility is low.
1.What should I do now with plants potted in containers? Is adding
standard 15-15-15 fertilizer enough for that?
2. When next time I prepair soil for containers. I usually mix half a
soil from the ground and half the compost I got from the dump. Should I
mix 2 parts compost to 1 part soil?, So I do not have to add fertilizer
right away after planting?
Use as much compost as you can afford. 100% is ideal.
Organic fertilizers will give you much better results. Bat guano or
rabbit droppings are about the best, but they are expensive. Cow
manure will do a fine job.
Additionally (or instead of if you have a thing about manure), dry
molasses and horticultural corn meal are good. As a bonus, the corn
meal will keep away fungus infections.
I always spray everything at least once a month with Garrett Juice.
Once a week is not too often.
This will not be very accurate as it depends on moisture content to get a
reading. Dye based indicators are much better and probably cheaper.
I believe that you have been deceived. It is simply not possible for an
electronic meter to determine fertility as a single reading. I am assuming
this is portable device with a single probe, in a laboratory it is feasible
to have one machine that would test for many substances. Even then the
amounts of each major nutrient (at least) need to be reported separately.
The matter is far too complex involving about ten major and minor nutrients,
plus issues of porosity to air and water, and the possibility of the device
being confused by substances which are either not nutrients or downright
poisons, for one figure to tell you what is going on. I would love to know
the make and model of this gear and what evidence they have for it working.
This is OK for many plants but not all. There is a signifiant proportion
that do better at more acid levels.
Depends on the real fertility of the mix and the type of plant, different
plants have different needs.
It depends on the nature of your natural soil and what you get from the
dump. If the latter is just rotted munched up vegetation trimmings it will
improve your soil's texture but may not add much in the way of nutrients.
Since David has already disabused you of the notion that the tester is
I will answer this. Probably 1/2 compost gives you enough
micronutrients that you can barely get away with it for one season. So
add 15-15-15, but then that soil will be depleted at the end of the
season. Usually, I take out one inch of soil, add one inch of compost,
one tablespoon of wood ash and one of fertilizer rich in N and P to my
houseplants, when I put them out for the summer (some years, if I am
using manure, I just give them 1 inch manure, no fertilizer). The ash
supplies most micronutrients in quantity but is also alkaline.
There are a lot of variables to picking the right fertilizer - the
type of soil, average temperature, amount of rain, how many years you
have been fertilizing the same garden, etc. I have started using the
slow release type, adding about 1/2 cup to each hole before putting in
the plants. The slow release type prevents burning the plant and feeds
over a longer period of time.
The primary purpose of adding compost is to keep the soil loose so that
air & moisture can reach the roots. If the soil is already loose,
adding more compost does not provide much benefit.
Just my two cents worth. Go for fish emulsion or seaweed extract. Just
follow the directions on the bottle. They are nearly fool proof, which I
personally find a great advantage. Make the teensiest little mistake
with chemicals, and it's "ciao baby" for your plants (they're toast).
The next time you pot, or re-pot, you might try dog or cat fur. Put in
some potting soil, place the fur on it, put your plant on top of the
fur, fill in the edges with potting soil, and your good to go. It's
solid protein (nitrogen compound) that breaks down slowly, for long,
slow, continous feeding.
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.