4/11/2019 – This feeding was inspired by the Hooker Formula and other variations. The first application went well and we will tweak the set up for next time. We plan to re-feed sooner than Hooker as we ended up putting on less than planned. As of 5/8/2019, there is a great improvement in leaf color and there are many blooms. Several clumps look pale even though they are between very dark green clumps.
After planning for several months: a 3-pt hitch platform was ready; a 35-gallon food-grade barrel has been bought; a 3/4″ application hose and fittings were bought and, we had the recipe developed here. We fed about 20 gallons to all the daylilies, roses, “new” wood ferns and other plants in all beds in less that one hour.
For 20 gallons
- 1-1/3 cup Miracle Grow (Crystals)
- 1-1/3 cup liquid iron – used Ferti-lome Chelated Liquid Iron with Other Micronutrients. Copper 0.05%; Iron 3.25%; Soluble Manganese 0.15%; Zinc 0.16%
- 1-1/3 cup fish emulsion
- 20 gallons of water
Pour the ingredients into a bucket then added water forcefully. Poured that stinky solution into the barrel’s bung via a funnel held reluctantly by Mary. Next time mix it in a watering can and pour directly into the barrel.
As the solution was applied it seemed like it came out of the 3/4″ hose too quickly (a quart in 3 seconds) and did not allow time for a consistent application. Some of the small clumps where they should get only 1-2 seconds only got it on one side and various amounts.
Given the number of plants the 20 gallons should not have been enough …but we put something on every plant. Therefore, some did not get enough. The number of plants fed were:
- Daylily Clumps – 81 of which 33% were large clumps
- Roses – 19
- Hydrangeas – 7
- Blue Plumbagos – 5 of which 2 were large and three small
Before the next feeding:
- Add chocks to the second 4×4
- Add a strap or something to keep the bottom of the barrel against the hitch frame and on the higher support to be sure it drains.
- Adjust the top link so that at higher levels the platform and barrel still tilt toward the rear drain.
- Measure 20 & 25 gallons and mark barrel
- Get 1/2″ ID tubing to try as the 3/4″ let it run out too fast and often all the material was on one side of the clump.
- Rig a pinch value at the bottom of the wand to shut off the flow.