Looking For Dyna-Gro All-Pro 7-7-7 Replacement

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Steve Johnson
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Re: Looking For Dyna-Gro All-Pro 7-7-7 Replacement

Post by Steve Johnson »

ohugal wrote: Sat Aug 13, 2022 8:14 amI can start an experiment with 5% white vinegar. Don't you need a lot more to receive similar results?
First of all, here's my approach to acidification (more info than you probably want! :lol: ):

https://www.cactiguide.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=43525

When you read my presentation, this will be the first response you see:
Aloinopsis wrote: Tue Sep 10, 2019 11:09 amYou can also use pH test strips designed for aquarium use, culinary use, or medical use (such as for measuring urine pH, common in urologists' offices). I've used the aquarium and medical ones over the years with excellent results. They're just as accurate as a pH meter, easier to handle, and biodegradable so you can just put them in the compost. There's nothing wrong with a pH meter, but it's not the only or best way to measure water's pH.
Not the only way, but contrary to what Aloinopsis said, a pH meter like the Milwaukee Instruments pH 600 is the most accurate.

Okay, back to your question -- there were years when I would have to use 2 or 2.5 tsp. of white vinegar to get a pH of about 5.5 per gallon of my watering solution. The tap water here in L.A. isn't as hard as it used to be, so I'm finding that 1 tsp. vinegar per gallon of water plus fert gives me a final pH of about 5.8. (I could add a little bit more to hit the target of 5.5, but I don't think we need to be all that strict about it.) If you have confidence in using pH test strips, that's fine -- the point is to make sure that you get an accurate reading of the pH in your tap water before you determine how much acidifier you'll need. Unless the tap water in Antwerp is incredibly hard, I can't imagine that you would need more than 2 or 3 tsp. of white vinegar per gallon. If that's not sufficient, citric acid is easily available online. Always, always, always test the final pH of your acidified watering solution -- if it's below your target range, dump it out and reduce the amount of acidifier so that you're not over-acidifying your plants.
ohugal wrote: Sat Aug 13, 2022 8:14 am I can store a stock solution of potassium sulfate in the basement. It's dark most of the time and the temperature doesn't fluctuate as hard as in the rest of the house. I have a scale with is 0,1 gram accurate. In this case I could use distilled water. How much of the stock solution do you add to the nutrient solution? Just to be sure I calculate correctly, you are working with US gallons, correct?
That's right -- US gallons. Just to give you some perspective here -- being an apartment-dweller myself, all I have is 12 square feet of outdoor growing space with a total of 68 cacti (mostly smaller species, although some of them aren't so small anymore!). 1 gallon of Potassium sulfate stock solution lasts me for the better part of a growing season, adding 5 fluid ounces of stock solution per gallon of watering solution. Remember that I grow the vast majority of my cacti in a soil-less 60% pumice/40% granite gravel mix, so it's an essentially hydroponic approach which requires fertilizing every time I water. If you're growing your cacti in a mix containing soil, you won't need to fertilize as often. Should that be the case, also remember that ferts lower the pH -- for the times when you water your cacti without fert, you'll need to adjust the amount of acidifier accordingly.

One more thing about the Potassium sulfate...

My calculations for creating a 1-gallon stock solution and amount of stock solution going into a gallon of watering solution are specific to NPK 7-7-7 diluted at the rate of 1/2 tsp. per gallon for watering. If members use different NPK values and/or dilution rates, they'll need to come up with different calculations. In case anyone needs help with that, let me know.
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jerrytheplater
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Re: Looking For Dyna-Gro All-Pro 7-7-7 Replacement

Post by jerrytheplater »

ohugal wrote: Sat Aug 13, 2022 8:14 am To acidify I use a product called JBL pH-Minus (https://www.jbl.de/?mod=products&func=d ... en&id=2325). I reported on my findings with it here: viewtopic.php?t=43525&start=45. It says it contains oak extract and is phosphate free. The safety data sheet mentions sulphuric acid. I use it because it is compact and I thought, if it's safe for fish it must be for plants. I did not observe any cloudiness when mixing it with water.

@JTP: I hope you have nice retirement!

The help is very much appreciated. Thanks!
The oak extract will not harm your plants. It may even chelate some of your fertilizers. Tannins will leach out of fallen oak leaves even with rain water. Granted, there is not a lot of rain in the deserts, but they will still be present. Citric acid will also chelate fertilizers. I have to go back and read your link to the report on the soil acidifier you are using.

Thanks for your well wishes!!

The cloudiness would be noticed, if any, after adding phosphates to calcium containing water.

Small RO units are sold for aquarium use. Just know they waste a lot of water. A lot of salt water aquarium keepers will have RO units. Around here in the US, aquarium stores will sell RO water, but I don't know the cost. I've gotten all of the DI water I need free from work. I'm hoping I can continue to get it. The water recycling system there makes DI water for reuse. I usually take 30-40 gallons at a time. That is made in three minutes.
Jerry Smith
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45 inches (114 cm) rain equivalent per year, approx. evenly spread per month
2012 USDA Hardiness Zone 6b: -5F to OF (-20C to -18C) min.
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ohugal
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Re: Looking For Dyna-Gro All-Pro 7-7-7 Replacement

Post by ohugal »

I've been following the topics on fertilization and substrates on the forum for a while now. I started using a soilless mixture since last year and with that also came the issue on how to fertilize plants. Since my knowledge on the topic is very limited I followed a lot of the advice given on the forum. I'm quite happy now there is a backed up alternative to Dyna-Gro which is more easily available to me. I use a mixture of 4 parts grit and 6 part pumice, lava, zeolite and flugsand. My cacti seem to do pretty well, but the fertilization regime was not yet figured out, until now. For certain species such a Pereskia and Selenicereus I add 10 to 20% organic matter.

I should update my avatar, because now I grow them in a south-west oriented room in our new house. In the winter I'm able to let the room cool down and not turn on the heating (unless needed). They will basically get a winter's rest and thus the quest for flowers begins! :D

I've tested my tap water's pH quite recently (because of the new house) and also came to the right pH level (pH 5,5). To stall the fertilization issue I added some Osmocote granular fertilizer for cacti and succulents into the top layer of the soil. As soon as I have the Flora Bloom and Flora Micro I can test the levels on those mixtures.

I didn't know the term 'chelate' until now, but is it a good thing or something you wish to avoid?
According to the label, JBL pH Minus is phosfate free.
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Steve Johnson
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Re: Looking For Dyna-Gro All-Pro 7-7-7 Replacement

Post by Steve Johnson »

ohugal wrote: Sun Aug 14, 2022 5:44 pmI didn't know the term 'chelate' until now, but is it a good thing or something you wish to avoid?
While I do know the term, I didn't know what it means regarding plant life -- Wikipedia to the rescue:

"Fertilizers

"Metal chelate compounds are common components of fertilizers to provide micronutrients. These micronutrients (manganese, iron, zinc, copper) are required for the health of the plants. Most fertilizers contain phosphate salts that, in the absence of chelating agents, typically convert these metal ions into insoluble solids that are of no nutritional value to the plants. EDTA is the typical chelating agent that keeps these metal ions in a soluble form."

The ferts of today are light years ahead of where they were when I started my first cactus collection at the tender age of 12 way back in 1970, and what we have now is a major blessing. With our current knowledge, let's take advantage of it! :D
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OWgave
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Re: Looking For Dyna-Gro All-Pro 7-7-7 Replacement

Post by OWgave »

I use a garden hose sprayer that mixes concentrated liquid fertilizer with the water at a set ratio i.e. 4 tsp per gallon. Since I can’t mix Floramicro and Florabloom in their concentrated form, would spraying FM first and immediately spraying FB after have the same benefits to the plants? When I had Dyna-Gro All-Pro 7-7-7, it was fill and fire away.

OWgave
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Re: Looking For Dyna-Gro All-Pro 7-7-7 Replacement

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OWgave wrote: Mon Aug 22, 2022 4:57 am I use a garden hose sprayer that mixes concentrated liquid fertilizer with the water at a set ratio i.e. 4 tsp per gallon. Since I can’t mix Floramicro and Florabloom in their concentrated form, would spraying FM first and immediately spraying FB after have the same benefits to the plants? When I had Dyna-Gro All-Pro 7-7-7, it was fill and fire away.
Unfortunately I can't give you a good answer because I've never watered cacti with a garden hose sprayer.
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Re: Looking For Dyna-Gro All-Pro 7-7-7 Replacement

Post by jerrytheplater »

I also don't use a garden hose sprayer, but I would not have a problem with watering/fertilizing twice using the FM and FB separately.

Question on fertilizer rate: is 4 tsp per gallon the lowest setting you can use? That is a very concentrated dose of fertilizer. It is almost 8 times as much as the rate we came up with when mixing in gallons. You'll be in the 400 ppm range for Nitrogen. That is very high and I'd think you will stand a chance of burning your plants. But... you have been using this sprayer for a while now and obviously it is working for you. Maybe I'm missing something.
Jerry Smith
Bloomingdale, NJ
45 inches (114 cm) rain equivalent per year, approx. evenly spread per month
2012 USDA Hardiness Zone 6b: -5F to OF (-20C to -18C) min.
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Re: Looking For Dyna-Gro All-Pro 7-7-7 Replacement

Post by OWgave »

jerrytheplater wrote: Mon Aug 22, 2022 1:31 pm I also don't use a garden hose sprayer, but I would not have a problem with watering/fertilizing twice using the FM and FB separately.

Question on fertilizer rate: is 4 tsp per gallon the lowest setting you can use? That is a very concentrated dose of fertilizer. It is almost 8 times as much as the rate we came up with when mixing in gallons. You'll be in the 400 ppm range for Nitrogen. That is very high and I'd think you will stand a chance of burning your plants. But... you have been using this sprayer for a while now and obviously it is working for you. Maybe I'm missing something.
The lowest ratio my sprayer can goes is 1tsp per gallon. Would that be more beneficial with this General Hydroponics mixture?

OWgave
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Re: Looking For Dyna-Gro All-Pro 7-7-7 Replacement

Post by jerrytheplater »

I don't want to give you the wrong advice, so let me think out loud here.

You said you've been using the Dyna-Gro 7-7-7 with this sprayer and it has been working for you. I assume you've been doing this for a long time and not just once so far. Correct? This is important for me to understand. If you've been doing it for years and you are getting great growth, then my fears are wrong. And since the dosage I calculated for the General Hydroponics products is equal to the Dyna-Gro as far as concentrations of the major nutrients (N especially), you can treat the two products (Dyna-Gro and General Hydroponics) as equivalent. That would mean you would use your same settings on the hose end sprayer. That is hard for me to understand.

If your sprayer is using 4 tsp per gallon of water, doesn't it suck up the fertilizer quickly? Assume your hose flows at 4 gallons per minute. That means your hose end sprayer will use 16 tsp of fertilizer in one minute of use. Are you seeing anything close to that? When I use my hose to water my cacti, I drench them and spill water all around the pots, not just in them like I would with my watering can.
Jerry Smith
Bloomingdale, NJ
45 inches (114 cm) rain equivalent per year, approx. evenly spread per month
2012 USDA Hardiness Zone 6b: -5F to OF (-20C to -18C) min.
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Re: Looking For Dyna-Gro All-Pro 7-7-7 Replacement

Post by jerrytheplater »

Ah, but wait. I just thought a bit more. Your hose won't be free flowing, it won't be unrestricted like mine when I water with the fan rose. Your sprayer will restrict the hose flow a lot more than mine when I water my pots with the hose. You won't be using anywhere near 4 gallons per minute.
Jerry Smith
Bloomingdale, NJ
45 inches (114 cm) rain equivalent per year, approx. evenly spread per month
2012 USDA Hardiness Zone 6b: -5F to OF (-20C to -18C) min.
OWgave
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Re: Looking For Dyna-Gro All-Pro 7-7-7 Replacement

Post by OWgave »

Hello Jerry-

When I used Dyna-Gro All-Pro 7-7-7, my sprayer is set at 1tsp per gallon. I have been using the DGAP 777 for less than a year and the plants seem to be doing fine with it.

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Re: Looking For Dyna-Gro All-Pro 7-7-7 Replacement

Post by Steve Johnson »

OWgave wrote: Tue Aug 23, 2022 1:23 am Hello Jerry-

When I used Dyna-Gro All-Pro 7-7-7, my sprayer is set at 1tsp per gallon. I have been using the DGAP 777 for less than a year and the plants seem to be doing fine with it.

OWgave
Just to review...

I grow the vast majority of my cacti in a soil-less 60% pumice/40% granite gravel mix, so I may be the only member on the forum taking an essentially hydroponic approach with his plants. That means I have to fertilize every time I water them in the growing season. If your mix contains soil, the soil's CEC means that when you water, you won't need to fertilize nearly as often because nutrient salts that weren't taken up by the roots the first time will be released back to the roots with subsequent waterings. If you can tell me about what you have in your mix (proportion of each ingredient is helpful) and how often you're fertilizing, I may be able to help you determine if you could have a problem with long-term effects of persistent over-fertilization. 1 tsp. per gallon is double the amount recommended for cacti and succulents -- the reason why I'd like to do some "fact finding" with you here.
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Re: Looking For Dyna-Gro All-Pro 7-7-7 Replacement

Post by OWgave »

Hello Steve-

My agaves are all in air-pots and in 100% LECA/hydroton. Air-pots to avoid being root bound and LECA/hydroton to avoid root rot. So i’d say my agaves are in a quick draining soil-less, nutrient free container, which i water once or twice a week depending on how hot the weather is. I will fertilize them after every other watering just to prevent any salt build up.

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Re: Looking For Dyna-Gro All-Pro 7-7-7 Replacement

Post by Steve Johnson »

OWgave wrote: Tue Aug 23, 2022 5:19 am Hello Steve-

My agaves are all in air-pots and in 100% LECA/hydroton. Air-pots to avoid being root bound and LECA/hydroton to avoid root rot. So i’d say my agaves are in a quick draining soil-less, nutrient free container, which i water once or twice a week depending on how hot the weather is. I will fertilize them after every other watering just to prevent any salt build up.

OWgave
Okay, looks like you have it right...
jerrytheplater wrote: Mon Aug 22, 2022 1:31 pm I also don't use a garden hose sprayer, but I would not have a problem with watering/fertilizing twice using the FM and FB separately.
...and Jerry effectively answered the only concern I would've had in your application of the FM and FB.
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Re: Looking For Dyna-Gro All-Pro 7-7-7 Replacement

Post by OWgave »

Steve Johnson wrote: Tue Aug 23, 2022 6:09 am
OWgave wrote: Tue Aug 23, 2022 5:19 am Hello Steve-

My agaves are all in air-pots and in 100% LECA/hydroton. Air-pots to avoid being root bound and LECA/hydroton to avoid root rot. So i’d say my agaves are in a quick draining soil-less, nutrient free container, which i water once or twice a week depending on how hot the weather is. I will fertilize them after every other watering just to prevent any salt build up.

OWgave
Okay, looks like you have it right...
jerrytheplater wrote: Mon Aug 22, 2022 1:31 pm I also don't use a garden hose sprayer, but I would not have a problem with watering/fertilizing twice using the FM and FB separately.
...and Jerry effectively answered the only concern I would've had in your application of the FM and FB.

WHEW 😅…. looks like my agaves will be having a Floramicro, Florabloom cocktail 🍸 to replace the now discontinued DGAP 7-7-7. Thanks to Steve and Jerry.

Good Growing Everyone.

OWgave
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