Subject: Can I use your products too often and hurt my plants?

Date: March 21, 1997

Dear SWF:

I purchased your Liquid Seaweed/Fish fertilizer at the end of last season.  I was very happy with the results.  I always enjoy planning my garden during the winter months, its seems to make them go by quicker.  I was re-reading your label and noted that you recommended applying the seaweed/fish once every three to four weeks.  Being impatient, I was wondering if I could fertilize every week with your product without harming my garden?

Ricky R.

Thanks for the good words about our product.  All plants are different and have different nutritional needs.  To further complicate things, all plants have different nutritional needs depending on the particular stage of growth.  Set within this varied landscape, we have to put recommendations on the label.  Based on some general nutritional needs coupled with the nutrient content of our products we come up with some general use recommendations.  For the Seaweed/Fish fertilizer 3-2-2 (3% Nitrogen, 2% Phosphorous, 2% Potassium) we recommend mixing at the rate of 3 Tablespoons (Tbsp.) per gallon of water.  We recommend using this solution every three to four weeks, or at key growth phases of the plant.  These key growth phases would include prebud, budding, flowering, fruit set, pre-harvest and other specific times unique to your plant.  Environmental factors also play a role in the schedule.  Temperature, water, and pests all affect a plant’s nutritional needs.

We quickly caveat that these are general recommendations.   We sell to many growers who know a lot more about their particular plant than we would ever know.  We encourage them to experiment with the products and the use schedule.  They do and are typically very pleased with the results.  In that they grow for a living they never call back and tell us how they have incorporated our products into their growing program and at what frequencies.  It remains their “trade secret.”   We have gotten some of these experts to share their secrets and have included this information in our “Ask The Expert” section.

In any case, back to your original question.  All of our products meet the organic standards.  Typically an organic fertilizer will not burn plants which would be the typical problem with over-fertilizing.  However, depending on your plant, over fertilizing could manifest itself in different ways, including excessive vegetative growth, weakened bud set, and .  You should not see these problems with our products.  I typically water my plants and gardens every Sunday morning.  I always use either Seaweed/Fish, or sometimes just the Liquid Seaweed Plant Food.  I cut back on the recommend dose by half and my plants look great and are very productive.

These products are highly effective, but the point is not to make regular pumpkins grow into the giant competitive pumpkins.  Too much of a good thing is almost always a bad thing.  We should be providing reasonable levels of all of the nutrients, macro and micro, to allow for the optimum growth, flowering, and fruiting by the plant.  We want the nicest, reddest, juiciest, sweetest tomato the plant can grow.  And we want as many as the plant can produce.  Our use recommendations represent a minimum “across the board” program of fertilization.  Again, just like the commercial grower, you probably know more about your specific plants than I do and I would encourage you to experiment with the various products, dilutions, and application rates.  As always we would enjoy hearing about your adventures in growing.

Thanks again for your interest!

SWF

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