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1 2nd November 20:35
jhultman
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Posts: 1
Default Best way to increase Nitrogen quickly. (large)


Prompted by poor size on the tomatoes...

I bought a soil test kit and found that PH is 6.5 7.0 = Generally Acceptable.

P and K were high but N is depleted. Which explains the poor fruit sizes?

My romas are the size of a large marble, tomatillos too.
Other tomato varieties size are less than expected...

This is the first time this ground had been set up as a bed. Previously is
sat covered with plastic and tan bark for ten + years. In preparing this 160
square ft. bed I started with
about 3 cubic yards of compost added and rototilled in. Put some lime in the
soil and tilled that in with the compost...

Without having to resort to chemical fertilizers, what would be a good
way to increase N so the remaining growth cycle of the vegetables will
benefit? Reading up on it I find info that says to add 28 - 30 oz of N
fertilizer per 100 sq. feet. But what I'm not sure about is if the granular
stuff in the box at the garden center is most beneficial.

Any suggestions appreciated.

Thanks,

Jeff
San Jose, Calif.
z 8.
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2 2nd November 20:35
dwight sipler
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Posts: 1
Default Best way to increase Nitrogen quickly. (fertilizer)


First of all, the home soil test kits are notoriously inaccurate in the
nitrogen determination. The most accurate is probably the pH test.

Second, you don't necessarily want to boost the nitrogen to your
tomatoes too much. You will get lots of leaf growth and little fruiting.

The best thing to do is to send a soil sample to your local extension
service with a cover letter telling them what you are trying to grow.
They will be able to make specific recommendations for fertilizer. Call
your local extension agent to find an address for their test lab. A soil
test should cost around $10-15 for the basics. They will tell you how to
take the sample and dry it (no point in shipping water at postal rates).
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3 2nd November 20:41
salty thumb
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Posts: 1
Default Best way to increase Nitrogen quickly. (flower)


I'm sort of fuzzy on this, but legumes (peanuts?) and some other plants
have root nodules that harbor nitrogen fixing bateria. I've seen other
seed packets (snow peas?) that say you can also innoculate with nitrogen
fixing bacteria (available at "better" stores, never seen it myself). So
if you're in long term, think about companion planting one of those or
use something similar as a cover crop. Beans also come to mind, but like
I said, I'm hazy.

(I also agree with Dwight Sipler - from what I've read, adding too much N
will make the foliage lusher at the expense of fruiting. But if the test
is accurate and you are N deficient then it shouldn't hurt to raise the
balance.)

Do you know if there are any residual pesticides/chemicals in the plot?
"Covered with plastic and tan bark" makes it sound like it was either a
well kept flower bed or a wood pile.

- Salty
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4 2nd November 20:41
newsuser
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Posts: 1
Default Best way to increase Nitrogen quickly. (organic)


My understanding is that N will always show low on soil tests. Plants use
lots of it and what's left over eventually leaches out of the root zone (and
possibly into the groundwater). Others are correct about taking care not to
add too much nitrogen to tomatoes or you'll get lots of green and little
fruit.

You can add nitrogen back to the soil by fixation or fertilization. Legumes
take atmospheric nitrogen from air in the soil and convert it to a form
plants can use. That might not help you right now though. You can use
organic fertilizers like fish emulsion or fresh manure if you don't want to
go with a processed fertilizer. Best suggestion is to contact an extension
agent for advice since they are familiar with your climate and soils.
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5 2nd November 20:42
penny morgan
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Posts: 1
Default Best way to increase Nitrogen quickly. (carolina)


If it were me, I would side dress the plants with composted manure and dried
blood meal (both organic and nitrogen sources). I would also mulch with
dried grass clippings. That would definitely kick start them. As always, I
also recommend using fish emulsion to help plants get back on track.

Penny
Zone 7b - North Carolina
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6 2nd November 21:04
paghat
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Posts: 1
Default Best way to increase Nitrogen quickly. (fertilizer)


Stinky, stinky, stinky fishy lawns & gardens, & me without a clothespin
for my nose! Would the kelp alternative also do it in a vegetarian manner?

I fertilize much less than most folks but I also remove less (not growing
much in the way of harvested veggies, don't discard lawn clippings or
leaves). Some heavy bloomers I spot-fertilize about half as often as often
recommended, & many shrubs & trees get an annual slow-release fertilizing
in their vicnity, maybe not even always that. Everything does fine even
so. Now & then something blooms less than it might've if I'd slathered it
in fertilizer, though one rarely knows proof-positive why something blooms
a lot one year & less another year.

In some cases a nitrogen-starved soil is not all that much improved by
adding a lot of nitrogen per se, some of which literally evaporates, much
else rinses through, before doing a darned thing. And poor nitrogen levels
can be the result of other factors than amount of nitrogen added. The
health of a garden's nitrogen-fixing anaerobic & cyano bacteria is the #1
reason organic gardeners need to fertilize less than gardeners who use
chemicals. Kill the healthful bacteria, you'll never add enough nitrogen
to make up for the loss.

Other balances are also required. An expensive chemical nitrogen
fertilizer might be WAY more intense than say, oh, free spent coffee
grounds from Starbuck's "gifts to gardeners" program, but the
carbon/nitrogen ratio of the grounds is so correct, & the slow release, &
the healthful nitrogen-fixing bacterial action as the spent grounds decay,
& its moisture-holding capacity, so that in fact a soil enriched with
those coffeegrounds could end up being more quickly a better soil. So too
a corn gluten fertilizer, slow release good nitrogen balance, less
nitrogen lost to the atmosphere or wash-through (with proper bacterial
health in the soil). It's not only the nitrogen percentage in the natural
fertilizer that nitrogenizes the soil, but the protein content (of corn
gluten or coffee grounds or alfalfa) that converts to nitrogen only as fed
upon by healthful bacteria which fixes still more nitrogen from out of the
very atmosphere.

Or, an area heavily seeded with red clover for a couple seasons, then
plowed & planted, will have better nitrogen-fix than if it were done by
chemical fertilizer methods.

I think a lot of the methods that consider the health of the bacteria,
rather than the amount of nitrogen in a fertilizer liquid or powder or
granual, might not be as reliable where crops are harvested or grass
clippings carted away, which also remove nutrients galore so that
bacterial action can't keep up. But for a flower garden with very little
harvested out of it; where one uses a mulching lawn mower, & permits
fallen leaves to decay as a natural surface mulch rather than swept away;
& with a healthy worm population churning the ground naturally -- then
healthy bacterial action is going to keep a pretty good nitrogen balance
going even with much artificial feeding, or a feeding of corn gluten or
other natural but slower-release fertilizer (even just sawdust!) the
nitrogen strength of which is weak except when enhanced by bacteria.

There are natural nitrogen cycles, & without any fertilizing at all,
nitrogen levels will lower & rise on their own in a balanced garden. It's
doubtlessly easier to maintain that balance when the goal isn't to harvest
food, but many a produce grower also manages with entirely organic
methods.

-paghat the ratgirl

--
"Of what are you afraid, my child?" inquired the kindly teacher.
"Oh, sir! The flowers, they are wild," replied the timid creature.
-from Peter Newell's "Wild Flowers"
See the Garden of Paghat the Ratgirl: http://www.paghat.com/
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7 2nd November 21:05
paghat
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Posts: 1
Default Best way to increase Nitrogen quickly. (flowers)


Never heard of that, but it's actually quite fascinating, as indeed it
includes many of the same rendering-plant gross-out garbagy ingredients
that are elsetimes used as fertilizers, except a half-peg higher in the
chain so not quite as leached of nutrients as would be fish or bonemeal
for gardens. And not inconceibably better as a fertilizer than as a
dogfood.

-paghat the ratgirl

--
"Of what are you afraid, my child?" inquired the kindly teacher.
"Oh, sir! The flowers, they are wild," replied the timid creature.
-from Peter Newell's "Wild Flowers"
See the Garden of Paghat the Ratgirl: http://www.paghat.com/
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8 2nd November 21:17
marley1372
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Posts: 1
Default Best way to increase Nitrogen quickly. (water)


Home soil test kits are crap. The reason that the Nitrogen reading is low is
because Nitrogen dosent occur naturally in the soil like Phosporus and
Potassium. It is water soluble, so any Nitrogen you put into the soil is
easily washed away with when it rains or when you water. To put it simply, the
easiest way to "increase nitrogen quickly" is to fertilize the plants.

toad
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9 2nd November 21:18
j. lane
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Posts: 1
Default Best way to increase Nitrogen quickly.


Hi jhultman,
suggest adding some cow or horse manure. Also the weather has been damned
hot and may be stressing your plants out.
--
Jayel
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10 2nd November 21:43
mike stevenson
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Posts: 1
Default Best way to increase Nitrogen quickly. (watering)


On the lines of improving soil quality, as opposed to just chemically
fertilizing, you may wanna consider what I use. A product called Fertile
Earth Vegatable Formula contains a patented substance the company called
BioNatra, which is sopposed to be something like a bacteria food, as opposed
to simple plant food. It does not actually contain bacteria, but rather
contains substances that promote the growth of helpful soil bacterias,
fungi, and nematoads (sorta like the plakton of the dirt). It's natural and
organic. If combined with good amounts of dead plant matter on the bed you
are preparing it can make a significant boost on the soil fertility and
lowers the need for fertilizers. It is a liquid material that must be
diluted in water, and then can be sprayed using a mixer hose attachment
(don't use cheap ones they REALLY ****, ie. Wal-mart, Miracle-Gro brands),
or mixed in a watering can and poured right on the surface. I use this stuff
and I love it, You should check it out the website of the company if you are
at all interested, the stuff is non-toxic, lasts a long time (3 years in
proper storage) and is pretty cheap. The BioNatra product is so powerful in
high concentrations they use it at septic treatment plants to jump start
bacterial filtration processes. To some of you this might sound disgusting,
but if you understand soil bacterial makeup the way that Paghat seems to,
you'll understand how benificial a product like this can be...

http://www.fertile-earth.com

BTW I am not in any way affliated with the company, I've just done alot of
reading on thier products, and am a very satisfied customer. Check out thier
sections dealing with soil nutrients and fertility. They explain alot about
the effects of trace minerals in the soil that most chemical fertilizers
don't contain.
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