NOW IS THE TIME
By Eunice Messner
I was just reading in the latest issue of Organic Gardening. One article warned that cow manure may contain E.coli, which is difficult to kill by home composting methods. If used on soil, there is a four month waiting period before safe harvesting can occur. Now we've heard Dr. Partida claim steer manure was much more effective than E-Z green chicken manure.
According to analysis, chicken has twice the nitrogen and phosphate (and the same amount of potassium) as steer and far less salts. He had previously told me, that in his testing, he used 3-6 bags of E-Z Green per tree and only two scoops of steer (I don't know how big his scoops were).
Frank James found large amounts of E-Z Green were not growth promoting but toxic. I have used only 1/3 of a bag applied twice a year and then covered it with compost or mulch. But, I also foliar sprayed the trees with kelp and fish emulsion at the new leaf stage. (Exception: avocados do not absorb nitrogen through their leaves). According to what I've read, foliar spraying alone is not sufficient, there must also be a soil application which could be more kelp and fish. Rabbit manure would be a good substitute for chicken manure but I've never heard of it being available by the ton. Horse manure is excellent too if you can handle bulk products.
Many years ago I bought a "Weed Free" steer manure. Regardless of the claim, an abundance of weeds always came up.
And so it seems that what we have is a DILEMMA. What do we use as a fertilizer?
I stopped at Orange County Farm Supply to get some info on in-line fertilization. They now have a small lawn and garden unit called E Z Flow Injection System. It can be attached to a hose or adaptations can be made for a drip system. (See Phil, he will help you set it up.) Cost to CRFG members is $83.00
An organic product that could be used in this system is "Neptune's Harvest" a combination of hydrolyzed fish and seaweed, supplying vitamins, amino acids, minerals, enzymes and growth hormones. It has been highly screened
so flow should not be a problem if used at half strength. One gallon is $29.33. Another product, new this year, is a liquid fertilizer from Dr. Earth. It has maybe ten different organics, including humic acid. Itıs $32.76 per gallon.
I have hundreds of Cal Fuyu fruits ready to pick but unfortunately they are barely 2" wide and full of seeds. Some of the male blossoms must have been hidden from view. Previously, the fruit has always been nice sized. And there was never a need for thinning. One hundred plus feet away from the Fuyu were my Giant Fuyu and Hachiya, also with seeds for the first time. Bob Wenski said he too had seedy Hachiya fruit this year. For drying I prefer to use Hachiyas as they are thin skinned and easily sliced in their firm stage. Their astringency is overcome in the drying process. If I had the choice of which trees to plant again, I would choose Jiro instead of the Cal Fuyu (aka.Gosho?) that has male blossoms.