Tree Fern Food, feeding

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DiCasS
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Re: Tree Fern Food, feeding

Post by DiCasS » Wed Apr 28, 2010 8:13 pm

I think lots of people water into the crown, well probably most people, I'm probably the only one here who doesn't :lol: It's just something I never automatically do, but a drop must get into the top from hose spray.

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Dave Brown
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Re: Tree Fern Food, feeding

Post by Dave Brown » Wed Apr 28, 2010 8:57 pm

I always water into the crown as it is a natural vessel. I've been pouring 10 litres at a time from a bucket over the last week or so with my warmed water, and they really seem to appreciate it.

I presume the non feeding is to encourage rooting into the surrounding soil, but at the same time they need to be growing well to root :wink:

Here are my 2 existing Dicksonia antarctica today
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Re: Tree Fern Food, feeding

Post by dave2166 » Wed Apr 28, 2010 9:19 pm

mine have gone crazy this week, and are now just ready to burst forth, just as we are due a cold spell icon_scratch icon_scratch

i feed mine with HSK too, and use banana skins stuffed in the crown too during summer

i tend to feed when i remember , maybe once or twice a month or so, never used chick pellets though,

i do swear by FB&B though, and use slow release ericaeous pellets


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Bob
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Re: Tree Fern Food, feeding

Post by Bob » Wed Apr 28, 2010 10:09 pm

Found the link, under the heading 'Maintenance'

http://www.forestferns.co.uk/D.antarticaguide.htm

The concern seems to be crown watering in cold weather, not sure if thats applicable at the moment, how cold is 'cold' :?

Gotta get me one of them swimming pools Dave. :)


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Re: Tree Fern Food, feeding

Post by dino » Wed Apr 28, 2010 10:12 pm

As I said, lots of conflicting advice!


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Re: Tree Fern Food, feeding

Post by metalhammer » Thu Apr 29, 2010 7:47 am

Never feed mine & rarely ever water the trunks,still get 5-6 foot long fronds though.No little guy in the wild chucking chicken shallot pellets at them or stood there with a hose.It is far more important to have a fertile moisture retentive soil,than keep on watering the trunks.Despite what the stupid garden programmes say about tree ferns not making roots,THEY DO.I grow mine in large pots,these are 5-6' trunked ones.Last year,I thought I'll move them around to change my planting scheme,when I started to move the pot,the soil started to move.Most of my tree ferns are stood on concrete that has developed a 2-3" thick layer of leaf mould over the years,there was great thick skanes of roots coming out of the drainage holes,this particular pot has 15 half inch drainage holes,I drilled them.Others that are planted in the ground have just as big root masses,you can't plant anything colse to them because the soil is solid with root.All these were just trunks I bought over the years.




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Re: Tree Fern Food, feeding

Post by redsquirrel » Thu Apr 29, 2010 8:14 am

remember this? stood in a ceramic pot to stop it blowing over.no chance to get out of the plastic one so cut the lot off
i used hsk in the past but decided to contact chempak for a cheaper alternative.they recommended no2 which is what my potted Dicksonia antarctica get now
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Re: Tree Fern Food, feeding

Post by Dave Brown » Thu Apr 29, 2010 10:11 am

Just a couple of points. Although thyere is no-one chucking chicken pellets at Dicksonia antarctica in the wild, I've never heard of anyone chucking any feed at wild plants..... but many do grow better with some. Think of nanas, Collies and Alocasia.

My understanding was that Dicksonia antarctica grow in temperate rain forest conditions and the crowns collected leaf litter, so a constant supply of leaf mold nutrients every time it rains :wink:

That Dicksonia antarctica definately wanted to get out Darren :lol:
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Re: Tree Fern Food, feeding

Post by Adam D » Thu Apr 29, 2010 10:24 am

Dave Brown wrote: My understanding was that Dicksonia antarctica grow in temperate rain forest conditions and the crowns collected leaf litter, so a constant supply of leaf mold nutrients every time it rains :wink:
That was what I was thinking as well Dave.

They grow really big in perfect growing conditions.

Hardly any of us can emulate those conditions in the UK and therefore they need a helping hand in the hand of supplements, i.e. fertiliser.


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Re: Tree Fern Food, feeding

Post by metalhammer » Thu Apr 29, 2010 10:57 am

All you need to do is create a fertile growing medium in the first place & look after that.The plant will take what it needs.





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Re: Tree Fern Food, feeding

Post by Dave Brown » Thu Apr 29, 2010 11:39 am

metalhammer wrote:All you need to do is create a fertile growing medium in the first place & look after that.The plant will take what it needs.

metalhammer.
mh, you're making an assumption that it gets all it's nutrients from terrestial roots. The fact that they can flush when chopped off at the base suggest that they are not totally reliant on them. I'll still put a couple of chicken pellets in the crown as it works for me :wink:
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Adam D
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Re: Tree Fern Food, feeding

Post by Adam D » Thu Apr 29, 2010 11:42 am

How many is a couple Dave?

Just literally two pellets?


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Re: Tree Fern Food, feeding

Post by simon » Thu Apr 29, 2010 12:28 pm

There seems to be a trend here that the the people who feed well also water well, so there is no suggestion from this little poll that it is the feed that is giving the results rather than just the water.

I have metioned before that Steve Pope, who was an extremely experienced fern grower on UKOasis, was quite insistant that tree ferns were not able to metabolise large amounts of fertiliser and were better off with a good mulch of organic matter around the roots. Having said that, he did advocate the use of a single poo pellet slowly disolving in each crown. There is a big difference between slowly decomposing leaf litter in the crown and a gallon of miracle grow once a week. Fair enough if people want to use it but it they could well be just pooring it away if the fern can't use it. Presumably the HSK has a suitably low concentration of nutrients to suit the purpose if it is specifically formulated for tree ferns.


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Re: Tree Fern Food, feeding

Post by Nick » Thu Apr 29, 2010 12:53 pm

This is a very interesting topic, and most enjoyable reading as well, I have Miracle Grow but only ever used it the once myself, I do water into the grown when I water the garden, I like the chic poo pellet idea, what could be easier than dropping one or two into the crowns every couple of weeks or so, my near on 7 ft Dicksonia antarctica has water from the hose and watering can when ever it's dry or very sunny as it's in full sun as it's so tall,it seems more porous than my 2ft trunked Dicksonia antarctica, why I don't know, it almost looks as if it's been and had it's trunk cleaned up by someone, I have not got any chic poo pellets at the moment as T-Rex used what I had left up, but will see how both do this year, Simon said my new Dicksonia antarctica had very long fronds of 10ft, his words not mine, so will have to see what the new ones grow like for me, my 2ft'er is rompping away now all the rollers are coming up out the crown just like yours Dave icon_cheers

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Re: Tree Fern Food, feeding

Post by davidjonesUK » Thu Apr 29, 2010 1:24 pm

mine havent even look like as if there about the burst all i can see it a load of fluff and when i feel down only one knuckle how will i know if it alive or dead plus my stupid sister knocked the ball on the trunk and bits came off which i no is its roots :cry:
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