Discussion in 'THE CROTON SOCIETY' started by Moose, May 11, 2013.
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Rains are coming. Got all my fertilizer down. The Moose method
Moose, what is in the back left bucket? got 3 bags from afec that need to go down soon and want know if you have something special thanks Kip
Kip - that is K-Mag (22% Potassium Sulfate / 11% Magnesium Sulfate). I finished up a half bag (25 lbs.) and spread another 50 lb bag. Got it from AFEC now known as Diamond Fertilizer. I think its about $17.00 per bag. The palms love it, it seems that the crotons do too.
Too the right is Palm Landscape Special (12/4/12 plus minors). I get that from Diamond Fertilizer as well. 75 lbs. of that was sprinkled around the palms. Its the same product that Jeff has on pallets for sale at the Searle Brothers Extravaganza. I don't remember the price but its around what Jeff sells it for. He must get a bulk pricing - well worth picking up at his sale when you factor in the price of gas. I incorporate looking around the nurseries down south to justify expending the gas costs. I've been using this palm special for 19 years. It has performed very well for me and I have never used any other. I know Jeff uses it too in his garden. Since he has one of the best palm collections in South Florida - well nothing more needs to be said.
The bottom fertilzer is a new product I am trying. The fertilizer I was using before for my crotons was a 7-4-5 for Acid Loving Plants. Since Diamond acquired AFEC, this product was phased out. I am a little disappointed that Diamond is consolidating its fertilizer product line. It is my personal feeling that AFEC produced fertilizer condusive to South Florida soils, not encountered in most of the other areas around the state.
I threw away the analysis to the new product, so my memory may be off. I think it had a 12-2-6 formula. I was told this was their "replacement" formula. It does contain an activated sewer sludge like the old formula. For some reason crotons like poop. I think it had a 4% total sulfur component - so it should be providing acidity that crotons also prefer. The new product also contains @ 4-5% of controlled release Nitrogen. The old product was around 2%. I think this may be a viable substitute. I am set in my ways - I like to use what I have had success with before - wish they had the old stuff. Won't know if the new stuff has proven itself until Sept. after a full growing season. I put down 100 lbs. of the new stuff and finished up the last ten lbs. of the old stuff.
Another thing Diamond changed was there Palm Special for Containers. I have been using that for my containerized crotons. It has performed very well for me. It was a bit pricey, but well worth it in my opinion. Less expensive than Nutricote though. The drawback is that it is a 90 day formula - so two reapplications are needed per growing season. They no longer call it a "Palm Special for Containers" but have kept the Atlanticote name. The old formula was 12-4-12. The new formula is 12-6-8. It contains 5.88 % controlled release Nitrogen and 2.72 % of controlled release Potassium. I guess that may be a good thing. Not sure why they raised the Phosphorus level?
Moose, I couldn't agree with you more about timing for fertilizing. I do my best to stick to April and October for granulars (Sigma Ag 6-2-6 with mycorhizals, Azomite trace minerals, and worm castings blended with coral calcium) and use lots of liquid fertilizers in between, like fish emulsion, kelp extract, and stabilized microbial innoculants. The combination of all of these has provided spectacular results for all of my plant material, whether it is palms, fruits and vegetables, and ornamentals. I can't speak for turf, because I just don't work with it. Most of the products I use are OMRI listed organic, or are somehow much kinder environmentally. The downside for me is the difficulty in purchasing, where I have to get serious bulk shipped from all over the country to make freight costs seem worth the expense. But I know that I am putting down great product and my clients love it too. I can get this product for anyone interested in trying something different. Send me a PM for further details.
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