How to use Urban Farm Fertilizers
Hose-end sprayer, watering can, drip irrigation, foliar feeding, and hydroponics…… Urban Farm Fertilizer’s proprietary formulas can be used in any delivery system, making them the easiest to use for the backyard gardener.
Watering can: simply shake for a few seconds and then pour out 1 tablespoon per gallon of water. Stir for a few seconds and you have a 100% complete, balanced, and potent nutrient. Feed nutrient every 3rd or 4th watering in containers and soil. Water enough to get a thorough drench.
Typically, we use one tablespoon/gallon as a guide. If you are growing in containers you can use it every other time you water as long as you overwater by 10-15%, meaning, some water comes out the bottom of the pot. This is important to keep the rootzone balanced. In this case only use a level tablespoon/gallon. Feeding like this in containers will produce astounding results.
On the other hand, you can also feed once-a-week. In this case you can use a generous, or heaping tablespoon/gallon for excellent results as well.
Hose-end sprayer: shake first, then use a 3:1 ratio (3 parts water, 1 part nutrient) in any sprayer and set the dial for 2-3oz. In the typical 32oz canister, this means 8oz nutrient with 24oz water. Agitate and fertilize! Since this method usually means you are foliar-feeding at the same time, don’t apply in direct sun. Early mornings are best, while plants are cool and in the shade. It’s possible to go up to 3oz on the dial, but only do so after observing the response at the lower setting.
Drip irrigation: an extremely effective way to irrigate larger gardens is with drip irrigation coming from a stand-alone tank, such as a 55gal drum or rain barrel. Power the system with a submersible pump hooked to your lines. A light-duty pond pump with a GPH above 250 will do. Application rate is 1/2 fl oz (or 1 tbls) per gallon. In soil feed every 3rd or 4th watering. In containers with soilless potting mix, you can feed every other watering. This is dynamite! And it makes watering numerous plants that much easier. Read about a simple drip irrigation setup below.
Foliar Feeding: be careful with this. Foliar-feeding is useful to correct nutrient deficiencies, but it can also lead to mold and mildew in the South. Also, you have to time it just right so the sun doesn’t get on your plants right away and burn them. This is true with any foliar application. We recommend half-strength for foliar-feeding. Truth is: if you are using Urban Farm Fertilizers there won’t be any nutrient deficiencies, and therefore foliar feeding is unnecessary. The best nutrient delivery is in the rootzone.
Hydroponics: this is where it all began for Urban Farm Fertilizers. Our liquid fertilizers are always hydroponic-grade, and then we adapt them for soil and container use. In hydroponics, maintain any of our formulas at 1.6 mS/cm (1600 uS/cm) (800ppm if converting with a 0.5 conversion factor) for seedlings and 2.0-2.4 mS/cm (2200 uS/cm) (1100 ppm if converting) for the rest of the season. Keep ph in the 5.5-6.4 range. Change your nutrient according to the size of your system, the size of your plants, and the time of year. Nutrient concentrations are apart from the natural EC/ppm of your tap water.
Example: your tap water is 0.4 mS/cm (or 400 uS/cm, depending on your scale). Add that to the 2.2 EC and you have 2.6. This is the total you should run at.
Drip irrigation made easy: For large areas, set up an automated drip system to keep your garden watered.
There are many drip lines and/or emitters to choose from, so take your pick and lay them out in rows running close to the stems of your plants. (we have tried nearly all……we like drip tape the best) Tie all of your lines together in a header that is supplied by one line from your tap water source. Somewhere in this line install a plastic Y-valve, with the “Y” end toward the faucet. Make sure this valve has twin shutoffs. One side of the “Y” is connected to your house water, and the other side goes to a 55 gal drum or rain barrel that will serve as the nutrient reservoir. The line from the “Y” valve gets plumbed into a medium-duty submersible pump inside this barrel.
Put a timer with an actuated valve on the line going to your house water (or right on the tap). Set this to water as often as you think your garden needs watering. Make sure the “Y” valve is “open” to the house water side.
Mix 1/2 oz Urban Farm Fertilizers All-Purpose Vegetable or Texas Tomato Food for each gallon in your reservoir. Once a week or so (frequency depends on a number of factors), manually turn off your tap and open the side of the “Y” valve going to your reservoir. Turn on your pump and you will send nutrient down to the drip line, feeding your plants. You can feed more or less frequently, depending on how your plants respond. When done, reverse the setup and you will be back on auto-watering.
Our nutrients settle out very quickly because they are extremely concentrated. After purchasing, shake for 1 minute to be sure all the good stuff is back in solution. It should look like a medium chocolate milk. Because we squeeze most of the air out of the bottle before sealing, agitation can be difficult. It’s a good idea to pour 1/3 into an open container, which creates a large air space in the bottle. Then put the cap back on and shake vigorously. Then pour the rest of the contents back into the bottle. After some has been used and the bottle isn’t so full, it becomes easy to shake the bottle and get a well mixed solution. During regular use, such as 1-2 times/week, only shake for 10-20 seconds.
Calcium is nearly as fundamental to vegetables and flowers as nitrogen. Most folks don’t know this. Professional growers do. Look on the back of your current fertilizer.