Fertilizer options

Once upon a time it was possible to buy ammonium nitrate based fertilizers pretty easily. Today it is all but impossible, at least in the quantities and with the ease of access that the average gardener needs. Consolidation in the agricultural retail space and mergers of suppliers has reduce the choices of brands to very few and all are now urea based.

Larry Davis’ work with calcium nitrate sparked me to look at that as an option. It turns out that in the not so distant past calcium nitrate was commonplace, and it offers some advantages over both urea and ammonium nitrate fertilizers.

I have found a brand of calcium nitrate fertilizer (Yara) that my local supplier can obtain but I have not yet found a compound formulation like Peters or Miracle Gro (Scotts) that provides all the other elements plants need. Does anyone know of such a product?

Don, I have just been to the ‘Yara’ site and found some very interesting info from it. Your a wealth of knowledge and I thank you for passsing it on.

15-5-15 Cal-mag (available from Scott’s) contains calcium nitrate and a high overall percentage of nitrate vs ammoniacal nitrogen. Not sure what percentage calcium nitrate, however.

Woodburn Fertilizer, Inc. has or had Calcium Nitrate, 15.5%N. Newer marketer private owners. Last year bagged fert. was 50#, this year 20#. Hard to find info on them this year. The best deal for fert. is 1000# bags but what a hassel now days and what a mark-up. 100# feeds about 100 roses, so that is about $100 and what about all the seedlings. Liquid is even more costly. Neil

What about using a hydroponic fertilizer? I am using one now with decent results. A friend gave me some (large) samples and assured me that urea was not used in hydroponics. I really could find very little about what is the nitrogen make up but most hydroponic nitrogen sources are potassium nitrate or calcium nitrate, and if results are of any consequence, the stuff works. The particular brand I am using is Ionic Growth Technology, and I probably use it a bit on the lean side. Initially I used it every other week (and every other time) with Daniels Plant Food, for which the N composition includes 3.70% ammoniacal-N (A-N), 1.90% nitrate-N, 3.65% urea-N and 0.75% organic-N for a total of 81% of the N in the reduced forms of ammonium, urea and organic N. That does well but the Ionic seems to work better. Daniels is used by the bedding plant industry.

A big duh—blame it on having been Monday. The label of the Ionic medium clearly states that the source of their nutrients are: Calcium nitrate, potassium nitrate, phosphoric acid, nitric acid, potassium sulfate, and ammonium nitrate. They also have a “nutrient boost” that contains only mono potassium phosphate and potassium hydroxide. Why I couldn’t find the third column on the round bottle? Must of been Monday.

…at least there is no urea


Woodburn Fertilizer also has nursury mixes like 10-20-20 w/minors, 15-15-15 w/minors and many others. 1-888-253-3255 I may even give them a buzz.

This could be an option. Skip to the bottom for results.Fish & Water - Alabama Cooperative Extension System

http://www.backyardaquaponics.com/component/content/article/4/47-information-and-links.html A lot of info here and now I’m almost getting hooked since I have two 1000gal. tanks going to waste. I’ll need to read more to see if there is something like a water bug of some sort that would work instead of fish. Neil