Fertilizer types


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I don't know if this is the appropriate section for this or if it should go in water chemistry. But I thought this would make an interesting discussion topic.

I much prefer the plant fertilizer spikes to pond tabs. In the two years that the pond has been going, I've only used the spikes, with no problems whatsoever. Water has stayed clear and plants have done great.

Webb's was out of the spikes when I ordered, so I thought I'd try the tabs. I poked a hole in the planting medium in my pots - kitty litter. I shoved the tab way down into the litter, then immediately covered it up, squished the hole shut, and put a rock on top for good measure.

Within a couple days, I've got a bunch of algae. I really think the plastic spikes do a better job of containing the nutrients and controlling the release to the roots. The algae growth could be coincidental, but I don't think so. It's not a big deal. It will balance back out eventually, but next year, I'm definitely ordering a bunch of extra spikes. Has anyone else had this experience?
 
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I haven't had that experience but I like the spikes better. This year I bought the tabs and because I didn't have kitty litter I put them in dirt. Big mistake as all the dirt floated away into the pond along with all my tabs. I found some spikes from last year and took the tops off and filled them with osmocote fertilizer. I read somewhere that this is what was in the spikes to begin with. I was so late in getting things started (mid June) that I can't say it worked as well but I can't say that it didn't either. The good part is that it only cost a few cents to fill the tubes. I'm going to try it again next year.
 
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@mgmine - are these refillable spikes something you purchased? I'm intrigued... can you share a link?

@bagsmom - I had a bunch of tabs to use up, so that's what I'm using this year. I haven't had the same experience with algae, but I do find them more difficult to shove down in the pot as the plant grows and the roots get really dense. The tab seems to fall apart under too much pressure.
 
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@mgmine -- I love that idea! I wonder if there is anything in the regular old osmocote that would harm the fish?
 
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@Lisak1 -- the spikes come prefilled and of course, the assumption is that you buy more when they are used up. But they do have a cap on the top, so refilling is possible, in theory!
They are the Laguna Once-A-Year plant fertilizer spikes.
 
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Thanks for posting your tab experience, it matches mine now that you brought it up. I had nearly perfect water before I got in the pond and put tabs in all my water lilies and pickerel rush. Since then I have micro algae flourishing. I ordered the plant stakes from Laguna today.
 
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addy1

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@mgmine -- I love that idea! I wonder if there is anything in the regular old osmocote that would harm the fish?
I have been using osmocote for 9 ish years now, my fish are still alive, last time I looked today.
 

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Interesting @bagsmom . I've always used the fertilizer tabs and felt I was getting algae blooms after I fertilized my water lilies. I will try the Laguna plant spikes!
 
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I threw out a bunch of my spikes too, darn it! I will know better next time!
 
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Love the idea of reusing the spikes ad they'd be easy to push in the pot. I had a bunch of tabs left over from trying lotus, so used them in the pond and noticed my lilies barely bloomed. I wadded Osamacote into paper towel and shoved them in and they began to bloom.
 

addy1

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. I wadded Osamacote into paper towel and shoved them in and they began to bloom.
One reason I put the osmocote in the bottom of the pot in the fall. They bloom the entire summer with no help from me. One less thing to mess with. This year they have never stopped.
 
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One reason I put the osmocote in the bottom of the pot in the fall. They bloom the entire summer with no help from me. One less thing to mess with. This year they have never stopped.
I followed the Osmocote/oil pan method for my water lilies and they did great until just recently where the leaves are much smaller and fewer blooms. Wondering if I did not put enough Osmocote in the pans or is this just the naturel slow down for the end of the summer.
 

addy1

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Mine start slowing down in September, I usually groom for winter in october. Depends on if we have a hot fall or cold. By Nov they are all groomed and fed, moved deep for the winter.
 
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Mine start slowing down in September, I usually groom for winter in october. Depends on if we have a hot fall or cold. By Nov they are all groomed and fed, moved deep for the winter.
Good to know. Since this is my first winter please explain what “ groomed and feed” means. Does this also apply to pickerel rush? I have three pots of them and they are huge. Starting to worry about what I need to change for this winter. I am in 7b but have had winter weather more like zone 6.
 
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addy1

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Groom = cut all the stems, leaves off the tuber. I do leave the tiny leaves and stems, i.e. the ones just growing.
Feed = I lift the plant and litter, pour around 1/4 cup of osmocote in the pan, put the lily back down. Some need added litter, so I will pour some on the top of the plant.

I do nothing for the pickerel rush. The only plants in my pond fed are the lilies. Everything else only gets groomed dead stuff cut off, lily leaves removed, lotus dead stuff removed. In the spring I take a rake to the bog, remove all the stuff dead from the winter.
 
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I have lillys in a 28" pond with pea gravel in the bottom and water feed below the gravel like a bog filter . I was hoping the lillys would grow like crazy, it has been only runnng around 2 months and the lillys are doing ok but no flowers. I was thinking of fertilizing them next spring but am concerned that the water feed will just flush out the fertilizer into the pond. I have read some use tomato fertilizer spikes.
 
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addy1

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The osmocote is a time feed, little pellets, quite often I still find some still there when I groom for the next year. I don't think it dissolves that fast. Wrap it in a paper towel, keeps it contained. I used to do that with my lotus. Years ago, now they just get dirty water from the pond and they bloom like crazy.
 
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