PAT2H Horticultural Consulting Services-Rydal, Georgia, 2009
More than 25% of growers surveyed in 2007 reported managing fertility as the biggest challenge in organic production of ornamental crops, second only to pest management (Burnett and Stack, 2009)1. Therefore, Suståne® 8-4-4, an all natural fertilizer made from aerobically composted turkey litter was evaluated for use on Rudbeckia Goldsturm. The trial followed plant performance over 135 days and compared Suståne 8-4-4 (45 day) to two industry-leading controlled release fertilizers, a 13-13-13 (T70) and a 14-14-14 (3-4 mo.). Each fertilizer was incorporated at a rate of 0.85 pounds of nitrogen per cubic yard; at 55 days after planting a top dress application equivalent to 0.425 pounds of nitrogen per cubic yard of 8-4-4 was applied to supplement the nutrient source. The potting medium was a 50:40:10 mix (by volume) of pine bark, peat and perlite.