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Author Topic: Dolomite Substitutes & is 12-12-12 OK?  (Read 9970 times)
jwilson7020
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« on: November 06, 2010, 08:47:22 AM »

I've got 10 EarthBoxes with my in Saudi Arabia, along with soil, a supply of 12-12-12 fertilizer, but no Dolomite to be had anywhere! Tongue

I'm a novice gardener. I have access to an expert, but he's not familiar with the "EarthBox Formula." He's trying to help me find what I need locally, but alas we are at a dead end. Huh? I'd like to just order the stuff from EarthBox, but I'm concerned that they may not be able to ship it through to me.

(1) Are there any suitable Dolomite substitutes not already listed on the EarthBox website that will help me broaden my search?

(2) Is 12-12-12 fertilizer OK for the average crop of veggies? The instructions call for anything between a 5-5-5 and 15-15-15. The only thing my expert can find to fit the bill is 12-12-12.

Any of you EarthBoxers have some sage wisdom so I can get planting? Roll Eyes

Thank you! Grin
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wiserp
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Posts: 70

SE Wisconsin - Zone 5a


« Reply #1 on: November 06, 2010, 10:24:47 AM »

Just from my limited experience, the 12 nitrogen number may be a bit high except for leaf veggies. I used a 10-10-10 on Peppers and Tomatoes one season and had beautiful leafy plants, but very low numbers(5 or less) in the way of actual Peppers and Tomatoes to harvest per plant. Now I use a 6-7-7 fertilizer on the Peps and Toms with the same results as stated on the EarthBox website(so many I had to give some away). Also, this season I used the same 10-10-10 fertilizer on Swiss Chard and had great results. If I remember correctly(big if), you can do a search on the forum for Dolomite and you should come up with some posts that may help. Happy EB Growing!
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Rockdawg
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« Reply #2 on: November 06, 2010, 03:42:11 PM »

Hey J,
     I don't know about overseas, but one of the best places for local information is the local nursery. Even commercial only nurseries or often willing to help.
Rockdawg
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cushman350
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« Reply #3 on: November 06, 2010, 05:29:44 PM »

Calcium hydroxide ( hydrated lime, builders lime, slack lime, cal, or pickling lime).  Epsomite is the natural analogue of "Epsom salt". (Epsomite is a hydrous magnesium sulfate mineral with formula MgSO4·7H2O)

Could you mix a source of lime + Epsom salt and maybe Calcium Nitrate and get by without actual dolomite?
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PaulB
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Posts: 1258

Southeast New Mexico, zone 7


« Reply #4 on: November 07, 2010, 01:10:59 AM »

I used the 12-12-12 fertilizer in all of my earthboxes with great success.  See the thread "My Garden Update" in the My Earthbox section to see photos of the results.  I did use a pelletized dolomite, well mixed in with the wet potting mix, which set a few days before adding the fertilizer and planting the boxes.  The fert was added just before planting.

I will be using the same fertilizer next year.
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Southeast New Mexico, zone 7
tag
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Posts: 1960


Fleming Island, Fl. Zone 8


« Reply #5 on: November 07, 2010, 07:38:37 AM »

If you are concerned about your 12-12-12 fertilizer you could always use less. Woudn't 1 cup of 12-12-12 equal 2 cups of  6-6-6?
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gardendoc
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Ocean Springs, MS Zone 9a


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« Reply #6 on: November 07, 2010, 10:49:44 AM »

His eyes open.........Yes, that has been the point I have been making for a while now. 
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movrshakr
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Zone 10a- near Cape Canaveral


« Reply #7 on: November 07, 2010, 03:00:35 PM »

Will one cup of 6-6-6 be "used up" faster than one cup of 12-12-12?
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gardendoc
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Ocean Springs, MS Zone 9a


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« Reply #8 on: November 07, 2010, 03:44:11 PM »

Will one cup of 6-6-6 be "used up" faster than one cup of 12-12-12?

There are only half the nutrients.  Would 1/2 cup 12-12-12 be used up faster than 1 cup 12-12-12?
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movrshakr
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Zone 10a- near Cape Canaveral


« Reply #9 on: November 07, 2010, 06:02:40 PM »

I don't know.  That's why I asked. Will one cup of 6-6-6 be "used up" faster than one cup of 12-12-12?
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cushman350
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« Reply #10 on: November 07, 2010, 06:13:04 PM »

I've got 10 EarthBoxes with my in Saudi Arabia, along with soil, a supply of 12-12-12 fertilizer, but no Dolomite to be had anywhere! Tongue
I'm a novice gardener. I have access to an expert, but he's not familiar with the "EarthBox Formula." He's trying to help me find what I need locally, but alas we are at a dead end. Huh? I'd like to just order the stuff from EarthBox, but I'm concerned that they may not be able to ship it through to me.

(1) Are there any suitable Dolomite substitutes not already listed on the EarthBox website that will help me broaden my search?(2) Is 12-12-12 fertilizer OK for the average crop of veggies? The instructions call for anything between a 5-5-5 and 15-15-15. The only thing my expert can find to fit the bill is 12-12-12.

Any of you EarthBoxers have some sage wisdom so I can get planting? Roll Eyes

Thank you! Grin

Doc,

How about addressing the dolomite substitution #(1) challenge of being in Saudi Arabia. There are alternative stategies of "liming" aren't there? I thought you mentioned that experiment a couple years ago?  Huh?
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cushman350
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« Reply #11 on: November 07, 2010, 06:15:11 PM »

His eyes open.........Yes, that has been the point I have been making for a while now. 

I love it. Cool
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tag
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Fleming Island, Fl. Zone 8


« Reply #12 on: November 07, 2010, 06:23:06 PM »

I googled dolomite lime substitutes and found this intresting information on an "Alternative" gardening site [Hense the need stealth Grin]. I'm posting it here to stimulate the lime conversation and am not suggesting the info is correct.


Dolomite Lime- What is it???

It’s a rock, a mineral. Pulverized Dolomite Lime is pure white- like flour- same color and consistency but heavier. Very powdery rock dust. Even this very finest lime takes some time to break down. Any effective liming material will be finely ground. This is important because the rate at which lime raises pH increases with the fineness of the particles. Plus, lime affects only the small volume of soil surrounding each lime particle. A given volume of lime contains more particles if it is finely ground and thus affects more soil than coarser limestone.

If you have organic fertilizer in your soil, you need Pulverized Dolomite Lime. Most fertilizers almost always change the pH of the growing media lower (more acidic). Dolomite Lime stimulates the decomposition of this organic matter. Also, rain water is often acidic. A bag of Pulverized Dolomite Lime will take care of Cal/Mag issues and pH problems yet a 40 pound bag of it is often less than 5 bucks. It should be first on you list of soil amendments! Get the big bag! That sucker is heavy, yeah! You will need 2 Tablespoons per gallon of soil. 1 cup for 8 gallons of soil- if my math is correct… It goes fast at that rate!

It’s best to apply lime 6 months before you intend to plant in the soil for best results. I like to apply it to my soil when there is snow on the ground as it camouflages the application and lets the lime more evenly ‘melt’ into the soil- I come back in the spring and turn the soil over well. Dolomite Lime should be refreshed every year at the recommended rate.

Dolomite Lime will contain both Calcium and Magnesium in an approximate 2:1 ratio. It may also be referred to as Garden Lime. When in doubt of identification, check for the presence of Magnesium in this approximate ratio.

Pulverized Dolomite Lime is most often found in the Lawn section by the grass seed. I’ve bought mine from Ace Hardware stores for the last three years called Soil Doctor Pulverized Garden Lime. I get two bags and thank the owner for stocking it. It’s a very common lawn and garden additive so no paranoia or suspicion is created. I chuck it on my lawn, in the garden, and in, around, and under the wild rose bushes in the patch. Brands like Whitney’s, Scott’s, James River, and Lily Miller can also be used as long as it is Pulverized Dolomite Lime. Wiggle Worm website also carries Garden Lime.


Avoid the following if possible:

Hydrated Lime- Lacks Magnesium. Handling hydrated lime is hazardous. Also called Slaked lime, Quick lime, Pickling Lime, it is best avoided unless you are in the advanced class… Invokes a sudden pH change and may create further toxic conditions…

Pelletized Lime- For years, I used pelletized Espoma Garden Lime in the cute green 5 pound bag. Back then, I also used baby food jars to store my Blueberry nuggets. The more lime and lime containing products I discovered and used, the larger and larger the storage jars became… I hope to move up to the half gallon jar very soon.
What I discovered with Pelletized Lime is the ‘pellet’ isn’t actually lime- it’s clay… Or worse, polymer. These pellets are then rolled in dolomite lime and baked hard. It’s easier to handle and spreads great. Quality of pelletized lime varies tremendously.
Even when crushed, I often wonder how much actual ‘lime’ I’m getting in a cup of Pelletized Lime. I feel the same way about ‘Prilled Lime’.
Additionally, Pelletized Lime difficult to crush and comes out a dull grey or khaki color whereas Pulverized Dolomite Lime is pure white and will disappear into the soil blending in completely when mixed well. Get the Pulverized Dolomite Lime- it’s worth the effort finding this additive.

Egg Shells- Let me start of by saying that you are thinking correctly using egg shells to provide an organic source for (crystalline) calcium carbonate. If it makes you happy, throw these in to your soil after thoroughly crushing them- even still, they break down painfully slow and your special plants won’t see the benefits for years- like after the earthworms eat them and poop them out at best… If there are any earthworms that is, they like the sweet non- acidic soils- get the Lime in there! Same deal for oyster shells even if ground into the finest dust. Both lack Magnesium and it's difficult to gauge the proper amounts of egg shells to add.

Gypsum- Calcium Sulfate. Lacks Magnesium. Often used to break up clay soil- takes about three years. Are you growing in clay??? Probably not. Gypsum is plaster, right? I don’t want to add plaster to my soil then pour on the guano tea. Avoid.

Epsom Salt- Magnesium Sulfate. MgSO4 Wikipedia says Magnesium sulfate is used to correct magnesium deficiency in soil (magnesium is an essential element in the chlorophyll molecule). It is most commonly applied to potted plants, or to magnesium-hungry crops, such as potatoes, roses, tomatoes, peppers and cannabis. The advantage of magnesium sulfate over other magnesium soil amendments (such as dolomite lime) is its high solubility. I feel a very small amount- about a scant quarter teaspoon per gallon of water may be a quick fix for certain relatively rare plant aliments in an emergency. Why not avoid the whole problem by adding 2 Tablespoons of Pulverized Dolomite Lime to the gallon of soil mix before the grow?

Over Liming- Like anything in the soil mix, you can over do it. Too much perlite, too much earthworm castings, too much guano, and you’ve lost the balance in your mix. Avoid the temptation to over lime your soil mix. More is not better in this case…

Believing the Label- There are several high quality soil mixes on the market that advertise lime (or oyster shell) in the mix. Ok, that’s a great start. But how much lime? Well, it’s my experience enough to get you to the third or fourth week of flower before the plant stops flowering and crashes. That’s too long to wait and too much work to take a plant that far for nothing. Your particular strain may not require as much lime as a Cal/Mag hog strain but it won’t hurt a thing to have the pH stable. Get the Pulverized Dolomite Lime in there at the recommended rate.

Using Lime Indoors- Most indoor growers mix a batch of soil shortly before they intend to use it. Keep in mind that Pulverized Dolomite Lime takes at least 6 months to become fully effective. If you’re good at planning ahead then it’s ok- mix the soil and let it ‘cook’ or sit while it’s still slightly moist. It’s best to mix lime with your soil well before you even order the seeds! If you lack this type of foresight, you are better off using a commercial Cal/Mag preparation like Botanicare Cal/Mag Plus 2-0-0 at 3-10 ml per gallon of water depending on plant size and strain. Most nutrient solutions have some form of soluble lime already in the mix- it’s cheap and it works well- take this into consideration when adding Cal/Mag. These solutions are expensive compared to Pulverized Dolomite Lime and the nitrogen contained in them could potentially burn your plants or create a ‘harsh smoke’ if used late into flower… And they don’t do a damn thing for pH which must be monitored closely.


That’s about all you need to know about The Virtues of Dolomite Lime.
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cushman350
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« Reply #13 on: November 07, 2010, 06:42:08 PM »

No dolomite is a real "HEAD" ache. Grin Wink Cool
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gardendoc
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Ocean Springs, MS Zone 9a


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« Reply #14 on: November 07, 2010, 06:50:42 PM »

Doc,
How about addressing the dolomite substitution #(1) challenge of being in Saudi Arabia. There are alternative stategies of "liming" aren't there? I thought you mentioned that experiment a couple years ago?  Huh?

I am going to stay out of the lime discussion.  I have learned that going down that path on the forum only leads to blood and death.  
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“A government big enough to give you everything you want is a government big enough to take from you everything you have.” – Gerald Ford

Be the fountain, not the drain
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