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Rob in VT 03-05-2004 11:33 AM

Which Fertilizer?
I have some questions regarding fertilizer.

The first has to do with clovers. What type (such as 10-10-10) should be applied and in what quantities per acre? I have read the first number should be zero as legumes are a "nitrogen fixers". Is it best to apply in the spring, fall, or anytime?

Secondly, what type should be applied to crab apple trees? Are the fertilizer "spikes" any better than loose fertilizer?

And finally, what type should be applied to conifers, specifically white pines?

Thanks for the information. This forum is really a great place to exchange information :D. I know I have learned a lot here and I'm sure many appreciate all the replies!

osiris 03-05-2004 12:17 PM

RE: Which Fertilizer?
Rob, Regarding your clover question it's best to get that answer from a soil sample. It will only cost about 10 bucks and will ba back with in 2 weeks about the same amount of time it will take to kill your weeds. Generally, 10-10-10 is ok if you are planting clover that is mixed with other plants suck as chickory if you need to generalize. However, anyone will reccoment a soil sample.

As far as your fruit trees are concerned if they are baring fruit you can go with a low nitrogen mix like a 0-10-15. However, if they are old and need some pruning and have less than adequate fruit production I would use something in the 10-10-10 range or 15-15-15.

I don't know the answer to your pine question, sorry.


1sagittarius 03-05-2004 05:48 PM

RE: Which Fertilizer?
Yes, legumes like clovers can afix nitrogen in the root noduals from the air, but will first use the nitrogen in the soil. Legumes can only afix nitrogen if the correct ribizom(sp) bacteria is in the soil. This bacteria is usually applied with the seed as a inoculant. White clovers, red clovers, alfalfa, soybeans, birdsfoot trefoil each use a different innoculant.

If you did a soil test with recommendations for 2 ton clover yield, the recommend application of fertilizer might be 0 nitrogen, 30 phosphorus, and 100 lbs Potasium per acre. 10-10-10 will never get you anywhere close to what you need for legumes, which are heavy Potassium users. Unlike Nitrogen (N), Phosphorus (P) and Potassium (K) are not water soluable and really need to be mixed into the soil.

Your best source is usually farmers feed mills, most will have a legume mix like a 4-12-43, or maybe a 10-20-26. Many mills have the ability to mix you a blend for a fee. Some also have Potassium as a 0-0-60. You may even be able to find what you need at garden centers. You really need to have a soil test done, and apply what you can find locally in ammounts that get close to the soil test recommendations.

Fertilizer spikes would be good for any tree as broadcasting on the surface would mostly go to feed grass and weeds. Conifers, white pines usually would not need a fertilizer, moderate ammounts would not hurt.

Rob in VT 03-05-2004 07:42 PM

RE: Which Fertilizer?
One of my plots I established last spring. It is BioLogic Clover Plus which consists of New Zealand Red and White clover and Chicory. The plot seems to be doing fine, but I wondered if I could increase the production by fertilizing. I didn't have a soil test done on this plot, but did add lime to the soil.

The other plot I plan on putting in this year (1.3 acres) I did have a soil test done. The pH is 5.2 and it recommended 3.5 tons of lime to bring it up to 6.2. The other recommendations are as follows:

30lbs of Nitrogen per acre
120lbs of Phosphate per acre
140lbs of Potash per acre
20lbs of Magnesium per acres

What does this translate in to for fertilizer (3-12-14, etc.)?

Russ otten 03-05-2004 08:52 PM

RE: Which Fertilizer?
Your best bet is to take this test report with you to your Coop or farm supply and see what combinations they may have to come up with what you need. There are many combinations of fertilizer but not all stores carry all of them. the magnesium will not be in the bag mixes and you will need to get this in a separate supplement. My closest guess is about 8 bags of a 5-20-30 mix plus the Magnesium. The nitrogen seems the least problem, so you may have to lean toward the rest of the nutrients.
Good luck.


farm hunter 03-05-2004 09:15 PM

RE: Which Fertilizer?
When you get the soil test back, its usually cheapest to apply fertilizers in Non-Mixed form (Like 0-0-60) potash - like 1sagittarius suggested. Keep in mind that 100 lbs of 0-0-60 would equal 60 lbs of Potassium (K). Likewise - you can get other mixes like 7-52-0 MAP, Etc. A mix can run you 20-30% more on cost (generally speaking).

lunchbucket 03-06-2004 10:14 AM

RE: Which Fertilizer?
Do soil samples and follow the advise as close as possible.Anything else is guess work. A shame to waste so much elbow grease when a few dollars will do away with the guess work. We also suggest using organic fertilizers when possible. We are anticapating a back last from some of the green people..

Wooddust 03-07-2004 05:55 AM

RE: Which Fertilizer?

100 pounds of 0-0-60 has 60 pounds of K
100 pounds of 0-46-0 has 46 pounds of P
Nitrogen fertilizers vary based on the source of the N...example Ammonium Nitrate is lower % N than Urea.

A fertilizer dealer will mix/blend the materials so that you get the right balance based on your order. To try to do your plot in a bagged pre determined mix like 12-12-12 is impossible and maintain the right balance.

texasaggiebowhunter 03-25-2004 11:16 AM

RE: Which Fertilizer?
Topdress and do what your recommendation says.

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