Re: [gardeners] hi nitro

Allen and Judy Merten (
Wed, 07 Apr 1999 23:42:52 -0500

Hi Byron,
    Actually I have acidic soil. I have to be careful not to use too much
potassium or phosphorous. I use a potassium/phosphorous fertilizer at planting
time for root development. Later I use either 10-10-10 or 13-13-13 on plants
like tomatos, peppers, squash, i.e. on plants that I am trying to get "fruit"
from. The high nitrogen goes on plants that I am trying to grow for leafy
vegetables, like cole crops, onions, etc. The exception to this is watermelons.
They require a high nitrogen fertilizer like 21-0-0. The more and larger leaves
on onions = larger bulb. Each leaf makes its own ring in the onion bulb. The
larger leaf makes a larger ring. The same thing is true on cabbage, the more
and larger leaf growth will make a larger head of cabbage.
    The recommendations that I follow come from my County Extension Agent
specific for the soils in my county and from a book called Texas Gardening
Vegetables, by Dr. Sam Cotner, BS in Agronomy, MS and Ph.D. in horticulture
from Texas A& M University. Dr. Sam is head of the Department of Horticultural
Sciences at Texas A&M. He was the state vegetable specialist with the Texas
Agricultural Extension Service.
    Following the advice from my  County Agent and Dr. Sam my yields are higher
than average. For example last year we planted a little less than 20 lbs of
(red) Lasoda potato seed pieces. The yield exceeded 500 lbs of large to medium
potatos. The G-90 bicolor sweet corn averaged 5 ears per stalk, usually 3 fully
developed and 2 nubbin ears the year before last. Last year with the drought
the corn production went down to 2 ears per plant. Six Jalapeno Grande plants
yielded 2 lbs of peppers twice a week. 70 odd tomato plants of different
varieties yielded 20 gallons of tomatos daily. The 12 Sweet 100 Cherry tomatos
produced 5 to 8 gallons daily. My 1015Y onions were slightly smaller than a
    The advice that is found in gardening magazines usually is for areas too
far north of me to use here. Very few consider the heat of Texas' springs and
summers. I for instance cannot use newspapers for mulch. It is not recommended
by the Extension Service for acidic soil. The articles I read did not mention
this. I try to have more specific information. There are vast differences from
east to west as well as north to south in Texas. In south east Texas not far
from George in Louisiana, rainfall averages 60 inches per year, wet years maybe
as high as 80. I am in central Texas, southeastern corner, 250 miles inland
from Gulf of Mexico. We average 35 inches of rain. My lowest temps are in the
teens but average in the low 20's. In southeast Texas they seldom get colder
than 25, most years not much below 32.
    Any how that's my gardening philosophy in a nutshell. I follow the advice
of the County Extension Service and apply what I have learned and observed from
my grandparents and my dad, and my own experiences. Successful gardening can be
really site specific.
    Happy Gardening,
    Bastrop Co., SE Central Tx.
    Zone 8

Byron.Bromley wrote:

> Allen,  You must have an alkaline soil.
> In my 50 years of gardening
> I have made the following fertilizing MISTAKES
> Commerical Fertilizers                   Fresh Manure
> Miricale Gro  15-30-15                   Cow
> Tomato Gro   18-18-21                   Horse
> Miricale Acid  30-10-10                   Chicken
> Rapid Grow    23-19-17                   Turkey
> Rapid Grow    20-20-20                   Mink
> Osmocote      14-14-14                   Pig
> With all of the above had almost identical results
> Roots also looked like root-knot nematode problem
> Veggie              Plant growth                            Yeild
>               Should be          was                    with
> without
> Parsnips Tops 16 in           24in              1/2 in dia     4 1/2 dia
>                                                            4-6 in long
> 20-24 in long
> Carrotts     tops 12-14        18-24           1/2 - 3/4 dia    2 - 2 1/2
>                                                             3-5 in long
> 8 to 10in
> Beets        tops about 12   16 to20          golf ball        4-5 in dia
> Onions       12-16in           16-24 in          golf ball        4-6in dia
> Peas         2 - 3 ft              4-6 ft              3 or 4 pods
> 18-24 pods
> Cauliflower  24 in tall         36-48            3-3 1/2 curd      8 to 12
> Broccoli same as Cauliflower
> Pole Beans   6-8ft             14-16ft           6-10/plant
> 30-50/plant
> Green Bell   24 in             48-60 in              6 ave           16-24
>                                                              Golf ball
>  3-5 in pods
> Winter Squash                                       1 to 1 1/2lb      3-5
> lb
> Tomatoes     4-5ft             6-8ft                 golf balls      1 to 1
> 1/2lb
> Learned above before I started growing hot peppers
> Grew all of the above for about 5 years using 5-10-10 or 5-20-20
> results were about the same as with well composted manure.
> I can not recall a major difference.
> .
> Byron