Tuesday, November 18, 2008

How much Micro nutrients do I need?

Q. If I grow in 4 ' X 4' raised beds, each micro elements pouch -
mixed in recommended ratio to make x weekly formula - will be enough
for how many feedings of a 4' x 4' square raised bed?

A. Each Micro-Nutrient package contains two packets of 8 ounces,
which when mixed with NPK and Epsom Salt will make 23 1/2# of Weekly
Feed fertilizer. Therefore the $13.95 package ends up being 47# of WF.

The Weekly Feed is used as follows: One half (1/2) ounce per running
foot of soil-bed or container between 2 rows of plants (or one row if
you're growing vertically).

Each feeding of a 4' X 4' box therefore requires 4 ounces (8
tablespoons) , so you should have over 90 feedings of one 4' X 4' box.

In a 4'-wide container (we call them Grow-Boxes) you should plant
small and medium-size plants in 4 rows - two near the outside edges of
the box and two 12" inside of that. This leaves almost 2' in the
middle of the box as an "aisle".

Unless you are planting small plants like lettuce, carrots, onions,
etc., you should leave the center 2' empty, as larger plants need that
space to grow and receive adequate light.

For large plants that you should grow vertically, such as
indeterminate tomatoes, cucumbers, pole beans, eggplant, melons, etc.
you should grow only 2 rows of plants - near the outside edges of the box.

When planting only 2 rows of plants you still feed WF at 1/2 ounce per
running foot.

Since leaf lettuce only needs 3 or 4 feedings per crop, and you can
probably grow at least 3 crops per growing season, you can see that
one bag of fertilizer will last a long time, if you only use it for
one box.

Tomatoes would need to be fed more, as ever-bearing plants should be
fed until 8 weeks before the first expected frost. You also cut off
the growing tips at that time, so they mature the fruit they already
have, rather than wasting energy on creating new fruit that won't mature.

Jim Kennard

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