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urea ferts, lowering pH

This is a discussion on urea ferts, lowering pH within the General Orchid Culture forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; been doing a little reading this morning, came across some info about urea as an ...

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  1. #1
    peteMc's Avatar
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    Default urea ferts, lowering pH

    been doing a little reading this morning, came across some info about urea as an N source in ferts. seems there is some debate about it, studies, urea-free as a sales pitch, etc.

    i've noticed here that the fish emulsion ferts are in demand.

    anyone feel like giving their views?

    since i'm someone who is prone to over-nuturing, and i've read that it's harder to over-fertilize with the fish emulsion or seaweed ferts, i'll probably go with those - but that's because of me, not the urea content.

    also, somewhat related; would the source of acid to create a low pH make any difference? say, diluted cider vinegar or diluted formic acid....

    just curious

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    Here are my 2 cents.

    I have grown for 14 years. I helped at an orchid nursery for 10.

    Here is what I have been told

    Urea needs to be broken down into a useable form of nitrogen. This is done by bacteria that typically needs soil to live. So, it goes from urea to ammonia then to nitrite and then nitrate(I may have gotten the order wrong) Nitrate nitrogen can instantly be used by plants.

    The arguement for urea free is that the plant has the higher concentrate of nitrate nitrogen that can be used right away.

    Supposedly, urea will stay in the medium and "turn" it quicker because of the build up of fert that needs to be broken down.

    But, some say urea will hurt the plants. I have never seen that happen. I personally believe the urea form is pretty much useless to the plant.

    Now, I only use a high nitrogen fertilizer once or twice a year anyway. Also, I use it in combo with a high magnesium fertilizer as well as some other trace elements which help the plant use the nitrogen more effeciently.

    The problems with using a high nitrogen fertilizer is that it can make plants grow "leggy" and flower less as well as having a lower flower count.

    OK, I am not a scientist and this is all just from what I have heard, read and seen as well as what I could remember. I do know a lady that never fertilizes and waters all her collection with lake water which has enough nutrients to make her collection grow and bloom wonderfully.

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    thanks Persistence.

    i tried Alaska's today, the deodorized version. My apt. smells bad

    think I'll stick to the low-N seaweed fert......

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    I use whatever is cheap or on sale. Fish fert, dyna grow, seaweed extract, epsom salts, chelated iron, calcium, miracle grow......... Isn't variety the spice of life?

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    lol, sure is. i've already made the investment, so I'll stay with it.....with the size of my collection, it's going to last for a while, no problem. i have a friend who can use the fish fert outdoors......

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    Ki_in_NoVa is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by peteMc
    since i'm someone who is prone to over-nuturing, and i've read that it's harder to over-fertilize with the fish emulsion or seaweed ferts, i'll probably go with those - but that's because of me, not the urea content.

    . . .

    My apt. smells bad
    LOL you learn quickly why it's hard to over-fertilize with fish emulsion. (Btw, I just found out that bees love the stuff - used it on the balc and I couldn't go out there for a while.)

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    Quote Originally Posted by peteMc
    thanks Persistence.


    i tried Alaska's today, the deodorized version. My apt. smells bad

    think I'll stick to the low-N seaweed fert......
    LOL, it stinks really bad doesn't it? I'd hate to smell the undeoderized version.

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    Quote Originally Posted by OrchidTraci
    LOL, it stinks really bad doesn't it? I'd hate to smell the undeoderized version.
    Oh you guys are really just making me want to *RUN* out and get some of this right this second! Mmmmm tasty fisshhhhessss!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by peteMc
    lol, sure is. i've already made the investment, so I'll stay with it.....with the size of my collection, it's going to last for a while, no problem. i have a friend who can use the fish fert outdoors......
    If you have any trees , bushes, anything green outside, you can use it for. I have ised it for my new weeping cherry trees and some new shrubs and they are loving it, stink and all lol.

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    hehe. I've got two fans running out of my place now...it's not bad as long as I don't get too close to the baskets.

    fortunately, they get watering about every other day, so I'll be flushing it out soon.

    not so fortunately, all I've got outside is concrete and asphault....but it's turning into a jungle in here

    p

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