Fertilizer recipes

September 4, 2009

Categories: Fertilizing, Growing Daffodils, Planting, Soil

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I’ve been trying to straighten some files and I came across something in papers of Delia’s that I thought daffnet members might find interesting. 
She had a typed recipe for Phil Phillip’s Planting Fertilizer and a hand written recipe for Foliar Feeding after bloom. 
I can’t vouch for either one personally, but they sure sound like they’d make a daffodil sit up and behave. 
Phil Phillip’s Planting Fertilizer
1 50 lb bag of green sand
1 50 lb bag of Dolomite lime
1 25 lb triple phosphate, or 1 50 lb bag double superphosphate
1 lb powdered sulfur
1 lb sulfate of iron
1 lb borax
1 lb zinc sulfate
1/2 lb manganese of sulfate
2 lb Epsom Salts
Tip first three items out on a strong plastic sheet or similar about 5 ft. square or larger.  Spread well over the sheet and mix evenly.  Then spread the other ingredients evenly over the mix except the manganese sulfate, which you dissolve in about 1/2 gal. hot water about 140 F or thereabouts and sprinkle it evenly over the mix, rake it in and then pull the sheet by the corners so the mix tumbles itself and mixes well.  Do this several times.  Leave overnight and then pull again until all lumps are broken.  The mix can then be bagged and used when required.  Use 2/3 cup mix for each row (4feet long) of bulbs working it in well below planting level. 

Foliar Feeding Daffodils
To 1 gallon of water add:
2 tablespoons variegated violet (Peters)
1 tablespoon Epsom salts
1 tablespoon Diazanon or Dursban
1 teaspoon liquid seaweed
1 teaspoon dishwashing detergent
1 teaspoon liquid iron
1 teaspoon trace elements (Peters)
Spray to wet all sides of foliage.  Do not spray within 4 hours of rain.
Spray every 7-10 days after flowering until senescence begins (in the foliage, not the person)
If a trace element mix is available this may be added every other time at rate of 1 teaspoon per gallon.
Fill to just above the line on green sprayer
* Virginia P’s recipe incl. 1 “measure” sulphate of potash. 
Chriss Rainey

5 responses to “Fertilizer recipes”

  1. Melissa Reading says:

    Since I didn’t recognize what "Variegated Violet (Peters) might be,  I resorted to Google, and quickly found that it is a 5-50-17 formulation with a great variety of trace minerals.  It can be found on the Wisconsin state database of fertilizers made from mineral waste.  The following link has the complete analysis.


     Good old Google.

    At 06:01 PM 9/4/2009, you wrote:

    variegated violet (Peters)


  2. Joanna Lloyd Tilghman says:
    Remember that checking your soil before applying any fertilizer is always a good thing.  For instance, on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, there is an abundance of phosphorus which is a major pollutant of the Chesapeake Bay caused by runoff.  Soil samples are always appropriate and should be done every 3 to 5 years.  Our water supply is too important to cause more damage from over fertilization.  The Chesapeake Bay, right in the middle of some prime daffodil growing areas, is 64,000 square miles and has a tremendous watershed attached. Be careful with applications.


  3. Keith Kridler says:

    Keith Kridler Mt. Pleasant, Texas Nearly perfect weather for July and August plant growth!

    Phil Phillip’s Planting Fertilizer
    1 50 lb bag of green sand
    1 50 lb bag of Dolomite lime
    1 25 lb triple phosphate, or 1 50 lb bag double superphosphate
    1 lb powdered sulfur
    1 lb sulfate of iron
    1 lb borax
    1 lb zinc sulfate
    1/2 lb manganese of sulfate
    2 lb Epsom Salts

    The above fertilizer recipe REALLY looks like it provides most of the Micro and Macro nutrients!
    Green Sand contains trace elements.
    Dolomite Lime will neutralize the acid fertilizers and sulfur in this mix and add Magnesium to this fertilizer blend.
    Triple Phosphate is about 46% phosphorus, super phosphate is about 21% phosphorus.
    Sulfur is essential for plants and by dry weight MOST plants contain 2<7% sulfur or more than 2 pounds of sulfur are found in 100 pounds of dried leaves or more in compost.
    Sulfate of Iron will contain Iron and MORE sulfur.
    Borax gives you more Boron and probably more Phosphorus.
    Zinc Sulfate gives you Zinc and MORE Sulfur.
    Manganese Sulfate gives you Manganese and MORE Sulfur.
    Epsom Salts give you MORE Magnesium and MORE Sulfur.
    As far as the Chesapeake Bay Phosphorus problem MOST of this is actually coming out of the sewer plants, septic tanks and lawns as Tens of MILLIONS of people and their pets live along the rivers dumping into the bay. Annapolis has banned the sale of ANY lawn fertilizers with Phosphorus in them as of Jan. of 2009 to help cut out some of phosphorus in the Bay.
    Phosphorus is still in all of our soaps, especially dish washers and laundry detergents still contain about 10% by weight. SO if we capture all of our waste water from our “grey water” sewer pipes and apply this to our lawns and daffodils we will have PLENTY of phosphorus.
    To give you an idea of the Phosphorus amounts in soaps check out the below copy paste and don’t forget each touch less car wash dumps a gallon or more of soap on your car….
    By 1959 essentially all laundry detergents in the U.S. contained between 30 – 50% phosphate builders, or about 7 – 12% phosphorus gross dry weight (Vollenweider 1968). In 1967 detergents averaged about 9.4% phosphorus, and in 1969 “enzyme pre-soak” detergents ranged from 15% to 17% phosphorus (Turk et al. 1972). By 1983 well over 2 million tons of phosphorus was used annually in the US for detergents alone (Wetzel 1983). Since one pound of phosphorus can grow 700 pounds of algae (Beeton 1971), the damage caused by excessive phosphorus inputs was tremendous.
    ANYWAY get that soil sample sent in as it would appear that Phil Phillips had ALKALINE or at LEAST a neutral soil that he was TRYING to make his daffodil beds MORE acidic! Does anyone know for sure what PH Phil’s soil was? For MY area with a PH of 4.5<5.3 I would NOT be adding sulfur or using as much of the Sulfate type fertilizers!
    Daffodil plants have a VERY primitive root system that REALLY NEED to have the nutrients already well down in the soil BELOW the bulbs by the TIME they come out of dormancy in the fall and begin to grow new roots for the season.
    Now I PERSONALLY would NOT wait till the bulbs are blooming to begin liquid fertilizing them as by that time the whole root system has matured for the season. I REALLY like the idea of using a diluted “constant feed” fertilizer applications on my plants.
    Think about fertilizing plants and compare this to humans taking multi vitamins. Do YOU eat 365 “daily” vitamin pills on Jan. 1 or do you eat “one a day” to constant feed your body?
    Don’t forget that plants actually use the sunlight and convert THIS into producing MOST of what the growing plant actually needs. Without the correct amount of sunshine PERFECT soil nutrients and perfect amounts of water will still produce pitiful plant growth. KK

  4. Bill and Barbara Rash says:

    Thanks Keith,  I keep telling this to my customers and it falls on deaf ears.  I will forward this to them also.  B Rash

  5. David Liedlich says:

    Of interest, I recently saw a program on television about the Chesapeake Bay’s excess nutrient problems.  Agricultural runoff is considered to be a majot factor.  The Eastern Shore of Maryland has many chicken farms, many working as contractors for Purdue Chicken.  Chicken waste runoff to the Chesapeake Bay is a major problem, according to the program that I saw.

    Dave Liedlich