If you have been to the beach than you have seen what my soil consists of. White sand.
I planted approx 300+ Holley trees last year this time, they were very small plants, not liners but close, I dug the hole in the sand large enough for the #1 pot that they were in, placed them in the ground, formed a mulch ring and top dressed with pasteurized cow manure.
A large number of them have grown a pretty good amount, easily doubling and tripling in size so the tallest might be 18 inches, quite a few of them have grown enough to say that did grow Ok and then there are the ones that dont appear to have done much of anything.
I removed one of these yesterday only to see that the roots hadnt done squat.
None of these trees are looking great, they look good after I water them but by this time next week they will look again tired and dilapidated.
I talked with my favorite nursery and he sold me 3 bags of this Harrell's | 17-5-17 Water Soluble
I was dead set on not using a fertilizer on my property for any of my plants but at this point I need to either do something or give up and Im not a quitter.
According to my guy he said I could use this fertilizer on all of my trees including fruit and it would give them all the boost they all need to get well rooted in.
He said that in time after a root system had formed I most likely would be able to stop using the fertilizer as the Nellie R Stevens Holly plants are extremely adaptable and will eventually find some organic matter in this sand I must call my soil.
Rocks, clay, silt I can grow in ok. Sand in central Florida is a challenge. Nematodes are a big enemy of plant roots…sand doesn’t hold soluable nutrients much beyond the next rain…it’s a challenge growing traditional crops in sand.
At this point I have nothing to lose and dont see any other options. My taller trees are doing fine I.E sycamore, Shumard Oak, Ash and fruit trees, Im guessing that its this way because they have a larger root footprint to start out with.
Strange thing though is my Mulberries, I have 3 larger trees and they are still doing poorly?
Mulberries I thought were dummy proof but giving me a hard time.
Yes sometimes palms and other trees are stabalized there with wires on 3 sides because the sand does not allow them to hold up in some of the strong storms. I think organic fertilizer like cow manure is a great idea there. One word of caution is trees can get top heavy with fruit in sand so they may require staking. More manure makes them grow more which may mean more reinforcement is needed as the lush foliage is heavier. Blueberries are a great crop there that needs no staking. To hold water mulch them heavy.
Because of your sandy soil I would apply the fertilizer at half the recommended rate and then apply again at half rate two or three weeks later.
This sounds like a great idea. Mike told me that it was a slow release and they tell people that its good for 6 months but in reality its good for 9 months.
Would you say this sounds plausible and would you apply half now and the other half in 4 months or would you apply it even more frequently cause you wanted these trees to get some root growth going? Thanks
If you are going to use water soluble N why not run with something like Osmocote that will assure gradual release in sandy soils at a rate trees can utilize it without leaching. Meanwhile, you can start mulching your trees to gradually build up an organic top layer that will also slowly release N and also keep a lot more available water along with a buffer. You could even use a top dressing of compost to speed things up.
I know nothing about osmocote but I have heard the word before. I will do some googling on it tonight after work and see what I can learn.
Thanks for giving me that suggestion. I hope that osmocote is more environmentally friendly than the stuff I am fixin to use
I also would like to learn more about malorganite
If you want to use Osmocote, look for Osmocote Plus, it contains other essential (in small amounts) micronutrients plants need. I don’t use regular Osmocote anymore.
The main green issue about N is that synthetic requires burning natural gas to take it out of the atmosphere. Organic N is the same chemical as synth and can pollute if it releases faster than it is absorbed, which does happen after forest fires in the natural world. It probably happens when people get too crazy about very high OM in their gardening soil.
If it’s too much money you could also use a cheaper formulation. Lesco makes a lawn fertilizer that is almost all sulphur coated urea that is much less expensive. You just have to read the label and see how much is water soluble.
Florikan also makes a good product.
It is water soluble with directions for use in a irrigation injector according to the description you posted. If used with an irrigation system every time you water a small amount is added to the water over the growing season. I think that is what “slow release” means. How will you using it? If you are just going to sprinkle it on the ground and water it in it will not be slow release and the next time you water some if it will be washed deep into you sandy soil. Waiting 4 months till the next application is not a good solution. All the fertilizer will be long gone before then. If it were me I would do half and half in May and repeat in June and July or use a different product like Osmocote as @alan suggested.