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Author Topic: Bulb Log 17-01-07  (Read 22743 times)

Ian Y

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Re: Bulb Log 17-01-07
« Reply #30 on: January 19, 2007, 08:31:53 PM »
Chris,
I do not like to use tomato fertiliser because although it is high in potash it also has quite a lot of nitrogen in as well and that is bad for the bulbs at the later stages of growth.
If you continue to use the tomato fertiliser you would not want to add the potash as you could over feed them and as you point out that is not desirable either.

David I have never had the set like concrete problem. If you sprinkle the potash over the surface, and not dump it in one pile, then water it in well with a flood most of it will be taken down. There is often a trace of it remains on the gravel and every time I water some more will wash down.
Ian Young, Aberdeen North East Scotland   - 
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snowdropman

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Re: Bulb Log 17-01-07
« Reply #31 on: January 19, 2007, 09:01:39 PM »
Ian - thanks very much for this - sounds like it is a straight choice between tomato fertiliser or potash, after the flowering stage - from everything you have said in the bulb log it sounds as if the better choice is potash - I will try it
Chris Sanham
West Sussex, UK

Diane Whitehead

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Re: Bulb Log 17-01-07
« Reply #32 on: January 20, 2007, 06:16:03 AM »
I have just read the logs that Maggi recommended regarding your fertilization
program.  You state each time that you use sulphate of potash, but in one of
the logs you show a picture of the packet which says potassium oxide.  Where
does the sulphur come in?

I went to our local garden centre today and saw a packet of potassium sulphate
labelled 0-0-53.  Is this the strength that you use?

I'm not sure whether one can harm the plants with an overdose, so I haven't
bought it yet.
« Last Edit: January 20, 2007, 06:20:09 AM by Diane Whitehead »
Diane Whitehead        Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
cool mediterranean climate  warm dry summers, mild wet winters  70 cm rain,   sandy soil

Ian Y

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Re: Bulb Log 17-01-07
« Reply #33 on: January 20, 2007, 09:44:22 AM »
Good point Anne, I am guilty of using the old fashioned term 'potash' which as a young gardener was always called 'sulphate of potash'. 
I have used the phrase 'sulphate of potash' in a similar way to how we tend to call all vacum cleaners 'hoovers' in pre dyson days.

I wll try and change and be more correct it is potassium that the bulbs require and I do not think it matters if it is an oxide or a sulphate. The box I pictured was an oxide but I have also used potassium sulphate.
Potassium is much less likely to chemically burn or damage plants than nitrogen based fertilisers are.
I have only once had a reaction which was almost certainly caused by an overdose. That was when I was experimenting and I added a sprinkling in my usual way to some newly germinated fritillaria seedlings, there were only about a month old. The seedling leaves yellowed and curled up at the tips and that was because the young root had most likely been damaged by the chemical.
However I have never had any problems when adding potassium to any mature bulb and I now wait until much later in the season, when the roots have toughened up, before I give first year seedlings a reduced dose of potassium.

I will show in detail again when and how I feed with potash in the appropriate bulb logs.
Ian Young, Aberdeen North East Scotland   - 
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snowdropman

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Re: Bulb Log 17-01-07
« Reply #34 on: January 21, 2007, 12:05:55 PM »
Valentin Wijnen has some very interesting observations to make about Potash, over on the 'Galanthus January 2007' topic, & would appreciate some comment.

(NOTE to Moderator - is it possible to switch his post over to this thread - I know that was his intention, but he had some problems when posting)
Chris Sanham
West Sussex, UK

Maggi Young

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Re: Bulb Log 17-01-07
« Reply #35 on: January 21, 2007, 12:13:01 PM »
I have copied Valentin's post  from the Galanthus thread and repeat it here:


Valentin Wijnen

    Re: Galanthus January 2007
Reply #144 on: Today at 09:25:00 AM Quote Modify Remove Split Topic 

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Last week I have been following the issue on feeding plants with potash. I do want to go further in this matter, discussing the essence on it. I am looking forward to see some reactions on this post...

On this liquid fertilizer: It certainly makes us questioning, isn't it? In fact it is quite logic that too much nitrogen will damage the bulb. Nitrogen makes the leafs go longer, provides lush growth of leafs but does not stimulate bold plants. Biologically speaking, a bulb is only a modified stem. I provided last year an organic K-fertilizer. Indeed, like we could read in the bulb logs (or the replies on the sgrc), this organic thing causes white strings on the soil. On the other side, I do not think that this would harm the bulbs. Mycelia  ( plural of mycelium as we call these white strings) are in fact the underground growth of fungi. The mushrooms are only the fruit of this plants. These mycelia  do provide  (combined together with micro-organisms) essential nutrition for the plants. I read already some different times that snowdrops are living together with mycorrhiza. It is a symbiosis to set it in scientific terms. Although, I have never seen it to be proven for Galanthus. It would be very important to know this for sure as it should explain why quite some snowdrops that are transplanted in the green, die down. Probably, in those cases there's no possible mycorrhiza due to a different pH, no material originating from the place where the bulb was dug out.
There is on this K- (potash) - thing another small problem. With us, it is not easy to find pure K-fertilzer (the white powder that is mentioned in the bulb log. It seems to be for professionals...The formula of it would be K2 SO4. No garden centre in the neighbourhood provides it.....
 
 
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Valentin Wijnen, Hoeselt NE part of Belgium
Margaret Young in Aberdeen, North East Scotland Zone 7 -ish!

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Maggi Young

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Re: Bulb Log 17-01-07
« Reply #36 on: January 21, 2007, 12:17:14 PM »
Hi, Valentin, Maggi here.  Ian will reply to you later, but meantime I can tell you that the "potash" we use is bought from a garden centre, available to the general public. It is strange that you do not have such available to you in Belgium, I cannot imagine why this is.
Margaret Young in Aberdeen, North East Scotland Zone 7 -ish!

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Ian Y

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Re: Bulb Log 17-01-07
« Reply #37 on: January 21, 2007, 01:59:19 PM »
Valentin, you make some very good points regarding symbiotic relationships between the bulb, fungi and possibly bacteria as well.
All these factors help to break down both the mineral and organic content of the soils making the essential nutrients available to the bulbs and other plants.
Anything we can do to increase this fungal and bacterial activity in our gardens will benefit the plants.
I would love to have a better understanding of this complex relationship and like you I would welcome any comments or observations on this matter.

It is not so easy to establish this kind of organic relationship when growing bulbs in pots that are repotted each year and this is why I use the chemical way.

Your comment regarding Gallanthus being moved in the green and dying back is also a good point that I had not thought of and may indeed be a contributory factor.

I have never agreed with the advice that moving any bulb in the green, i.e., when it is in full growth, is best for the bulb with the exception of some trilliums.
I think that this is a myth that has been spread mostly by the early commercial growers of gallanthus who found it much easier to find lift and split the clumps of snowdrops when they were growing rather than when they are dormant and have disappeared underground.
I do agree and often do lift and divide bulbs when they are in flower because that is the easy time for me to find and separate them out and if they are treated very carefully they usually grow on perfectly well.
The good thing about sending out Gallanthus in the green is that everyone, the growers, the commercial agents and the gardeners are all encouraged to get them back into the soil as quickly as possible and that is what they need. They will not tolerate being stored dry in warm air for a prolonged period.

Back to the potash, Potassium, K, it is easily available in the UK at all Garden centres and super stores, perhaps because it is a traditional thing in the UK and has always been used in vegetable and fruit gardens.
Ian Young, Aberdeen North East Scotland   - 
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Valentin Wijnen

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Re: Bulb Log 17-01-07
« Reply #38 on: January 21, 2007, 02:40:54 PM »
Ian, thanks for sharing your experience in this matter. I do want to go further. I think that moving Galanthus in (y)our own garden by dividing them up and spreading them, does restrict the risks. A possible explanation is that you lift (with the clump of bulbs that you move) also some soil. In it are lots of mycelia, bacteria and also some matter that could buffer against the circumstances at the new place where you replant the snowdrops. This way, much of the original circumstances of the soil is 'copied'. These mycelia can grow on fast when you've got almost the same pH at the new place.  Only, when a bulb or a clump of Galanthus is out of the soil for quite some time, these mycelia die down, thus creating a minor situation for the bulb to re-establish.  On the other hand, it could help that the growers provide some original 'crumbles' of soil together with cocopeat or some moss containing moisture.
Valentin Wijnen, 'Grakes Heredij',
www.grakesheredij.be
Hoeselt, NE part of Belgium

Joakim B

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Re: Bulb Log 17-01-07
« Reply #39 on: January 21, 2007, 03:06:29 PM »
Any soil containing organic matter contains mycels and only if onee is using a lot of stronger soluble fertilizers there might be a loss. The inorganic composts used for cypripedium might be free from mycels but otherwise I think it is every where.
By having extreemly thin "roots" they make "thinks available" when they brake down organic ferilizers/materials. Having a bit of "old mycel" to put to the new soil is most likely not effective since there is most likely already something that is established and the little new one from different environment will have a hard time to establish and the plants that is potted will use the new mycel. I do not think that it needs to be a special mycel just any will due.
That is also the point that Malmgren has regarding terrestial orchids. They do not need special mycel as adults but will use what they find in "good garden soil".

I think there are scientific papers about the huge amount of mycel there is in forrest soil and a garden soil that gets a lot of compost and other organic fertilizers will most likely have that as well.

Having soil around the plants makes a "physical barrier" against drying out and hence harm to the finer roots.

I do not think we use pure potasium in Sweden either but some of the organic fertilizers have a lot of that.
I also presume that there is a lot of potassium in the ashes from the fire place. If one has not used wood that have been impregnated this can be used. I do not now the composition of wood ash compared to potash but that can be found if one is interested.
We add woodash to plants. I can not show any extreemly well growing plants as a proof of the effectness but is used quite a lot here in Sweden and Portugal.

Kind regards
Joakim
Potting in Lund in Southern Sweden and Coimbra in the middle of Portugal as well as a hill side in central Hungary

Luc Gilgemyn

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Re: Bulb Log 17-01-07
« Reply #40 on: January 21, 2007, 05:49:07 PM »
Hi Valentin and everybody else of course.

To resume to the potash discussion I can add that being a dedicated follower of the bulb log - I went on a search last year to find potash and the closest I came was buying "Patentkali" from Osmo that contains 30 % of K2O and 10 % of MgO - both soluble in water.
I fed some to virtually all of my bulbs (no snowdrops alas) following Ians instruction and therefore waiting until the flowers had gone.  It's still early days yet, but from what I could detect so far on Narcissus and Crocus, flowering seems to be much better.  I hope to be posting some pix later on.
I keep my fingers crossed  ;)
Luc Gilgemyn
Harelbeke - Belgium

Thomas Huber

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Re: Bulb Log 17-01-07
« Reply #41 on: January 22, 2007, 07:42:25 AM »
Luc, why don't you use Patentkali for Snowdrops  ???
Thomas Huber, Neustadt - Germany (230m)

Hans J

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Re: Bulb Log 17-01-07
« Reply #42 on: January 22, 2007, 02:13:34 PM »
Hi Ian ,

Sorry - but I must again warm up this point .
We have here in Germany ( Thomas you can it cofirm ) not the possibility to buy "Sulfat of Potash ) -but today I have found may be a other possibilty - in markets for the farmers they sell here Patentkali ( or Thomas-Mehl ) -this fertilizer has a formula :30 % KO , 10 % MgO , 17 % Sulfat - Ian- do you think we can use this for our bulbplants too ? -it is not a powder -this are little pearls. I have looked on your pics from bulb log - on your package of Sulfat ... is only visible : 46% KO= 38,2 K - there is nothing written about MgO or  Sulfat.
Any advices are welcome

Thank you
Hans
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Luc Gilgemyn

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Re: Bulb Log 17-01-07
« Reply #43 on: January 22, 2007, 03:31:25 PM »
Hi Thomas !

There's no secret about that : I don't grow any snowdrops so far.....
 ;)
But so far I'm quite happy with the patentkali on all other bulbs.
 :)

Luc Gilgemyn
Harelbeke - Belgium

Maggi Young

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Re: Bulb Log 17-01-07
« Reply #44 on: January 22, 2007, 03:32:54 PM »
Great answer  to Thomas, there, Luc! ;) ;D ;D
Margaret Young in Aberdeen, North East Scotland Zone 7 -ish!

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