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Fwd: Foliar Fertilizing???


   From my own experience, I would tend to agree with what the expert has 
told you.  In my experience, gardeners using "quick feed" solutions seem to 
experience more problems with pests and disease --- an abundance of new, 
tender growth (especially at the wrong time of year) makes the plants ripe 
for any type of invader.

   My garden is completely "organic" --- in other words, I do not use any 
chemical fertilizer or pesticide --- and the only feeding my plants receive 
is a top dress of composted manure in late winter.  If you feed soil borne 
organisms, they in turn will feed your plants --- the plants will grow at a 
normal rate and "everybody" stays happy and healthy.  I have never 
experienced the disease and pest problems which so many are gritting their 
teeth over this year (of course, now that I've said that, everything will be 
dead or eaten to the ground tomorrow!).

   Light foliar feeding with seaweed/kelp extract properly diluted is fine at 
any time during the growing season.  Other potions, I'm not so sure, but 
they're probably fine, too.

   I would tend to agree with Butch and Jim Dixon that double digging and 
adding every amendment under the sun is not worth the pain or the expense --- 
especially in heavy clay soils --- but I do go a step beyond Butch's method.  
When establishing a new bed or expanding an existing one, I do break up our 
lovely Virginia red clay and mix in a healthy dose of composted manure and/or 
Clay Cutter (a terrific pine bark fines product).  Nothing back-breaking, 
just break up the ground a bit with a perennial fork and pour the amendments 
on top --- the earthworms will be thrilled and will take care of the rest in 
relatively short order.  (Carolyn -- if you and Ed saw the plants outside the 
back gate, you might be surprized to learn that 90% of those hostas just came 
out of the TC lab within the past year.)

   Butch is also absolutely right that you need to mix other plants into your 
hosta beds --- as a good number of our ancestors discovered the hard way, if 
you plant nothing but potatoes year after year after year ... you're in for 
major league woes!!!

   Gee ... I think I must have a little too much time on my hands this 
morning ...

Sandie Markland 
Lorton, Virginia 
Zone 7

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