20

A few months ago I called my local nursery to ask if they carried ammonium sulfate. He said "Oh, you want aluminum sulfate to acidify the soil for blueberries." I cringed in horror that this advice is being dispensed so regularly. Is aluminum a nutrient or do plants use aluminum in any way? Aluminum is not known to be a nutrient for plant growth in any ...


18

My first step in your situation would be a soil test. The UC Extension service doesn't perform soil testing, but this pdf has a list of labs in northern and central California. The results of this test will tell you in what ways your soil is deficient. You don't specifically mention what you're growing, but it sounds like vegetables. One thing that makes ...


14

The sooner you get it in the ground the better (unless your ground is currently frozen or soon will be). The more sun it gets the better (IMHO). At the moment you have a small tree, but when selecting an appropriate place to plant the tree take into account its final full grown size. Measure from the bottom of the plastic wrap to the top of the soil. That is ...


14

I wouldn't use the compost anywhere I was going to grow food or walk barefoot, or where children might play. The primary dangers of cat feces would be: Toxoplasma gondii Fecal Coliforms Roundworm (Toxocara cati or related species), which can cause visceral larva migrans aka Toxocariasis, the symptoms of which sound unpleasant. Even though you say you're ...


14

The three numbers should represent N-P-K: N for Nitrogen - helps produce more chlorophyll – makes the leaves/lawn look greener P for Phosphorus - promotes root development K for Potassium - helps with winterizing, and drought resistance. Have fun gardening!


14

Eggshells Eggshells can be used uncomposted and relatively mess-free. These provide calcium to plants. As you use eggs, keep the shells in a gallon ziplock bag in your freezer (so they don't stink). Crush the shells as you go along so you can store more in the bag. When the bag is really full, spread the shells on a cookie sheet and bake on low heat (160F ...


13

The short answer is "fertilize when the plants need it". For a longer answer, here are some guidelines that I follow: (I know I sound like a broken record) Get a soil test done. This will tell you what your soil does and does not have. A good test lab will give you advice on what amounts of fertilizer to add. If you use organic growing practices, the lab ...


11

Digging in the composted manure is a good start - especially as it is free. The legumes (peas and beans) will help a bit too. I would also start to compost if you are not doing so already, and you can then dig that in in future years. Compost (especially the make-yourself kind) is mainly organic matter which will break down over time. Therefore it won't ...


10

This is the advice given by the Royal Horticultural Society: Training Single fence This system is ideal for summer-fruiting raspberries in a small garden. Drive 2.5m (8ft) long and 75mm (3in) diameter posts into the ground to a depth of 75cm (30in) at 5m (15ft) intervals. Stretch 12 gauge (3.5mm) galvanized wire between the posts at 60cm ...


10

Frequency depends on how "fast" the fertilizer is. If it's slow to break down, you don't need to apply it very often, and it's less likely to burn (from too much nitrogen at one time) - so unless you're trying to grow giant pumpkins or something, slow is better, IMHO. Even with slow fertilizer you can apply it more often than you are. Whether you need to ...


10

The label for this product does not recommend applying grass seed until four weeks after the last application. Once this waiting period is up buy or acquire: a big bag of grass seed suitable for the light and soil in your lawn enough compost or top soil to cover the sparse areas to a depth of 1/4" to 1/2" Then Use a rake to open up the soil. Apply grass ...


10

Actually it's a simple question and I'll give you a simple answer too ;-) With "water soluble" they mean, "able to dilute with water before applying". In the soil, every fertilizer is probably soluble with water, but fertilizer is not depending on water to be taken up by the roots. Water is for distribution of nutrients like fertilizer and aeration of the ...


10

Dry leaves should be shredded first as otherwise they might form an impenetrable mat in your compost pile. If you don't have a shredder, it's easiest to just collect a pile of leaves and run the lawn mower over it a few times. This provides the "browns" or high carbon material for your pile. Composting uses bacteria to break down the organic material. ...


10

Yes, you can use it, in lesser quantities. About the second question: the reason why we have not 33-34-33: These number are the percent of weight of N,P, and K. For example, N is a gas, so we need some molecules which includes N (it is impossible to have a solid 100, 0, 0 fertilizer) . Such molecules could include C, H, O, S, (and maybe other atoms). So ...


9

I make French Press coffee every morning. I have gardens just outside of the back door near the kitchen. I rinse the grounds directly into the gardens. The grounds gradually decay. There is no unpleasant odor or problem.


9

There are people experimenting with biochar. Not the same as terra preta, but also a way to sequester carbon in the soil, and you can potentially capture and use the syngas. I don't use biochar, but I'm interested in its uses and have been doing some research for some time. It does appear to have beneficial effects on plants grown in soil amended with ...


9

Summary (or, "But I didn't sign up for the organic chemistry lecture!"): The numbers are the amounts of major plant nutrients. Get a "balanced" (numbers that are close to each other) fertilizer, preferably "with micronutrients". Read the label. Mix and apply as directed. Liquid Growth Indoor Plant 4-12-9 Food; All Purpose Liquid Concentrate Plant ...


9

Bone meal, like most phosphorous sources, is not mobile in the soil. A plant has to grow towards it to use it. I assume you are not going to dig up your garlic in order to add bone meal or bulb care at the roots. I actually never fertilize my garlic but what it could use in the spring is nitrogen for leaf growth. Nitrogen can be applied as a side ...


9

In one word, no. Dog urine contains high concentrations of nitrogen and salts. The concentrations are sufficient to burn grass roots. Tree roots near the surface are only slightly woodier and just as subject to burn. For mature trees they can probably deal with the root burn in localized areas. A freshly planted tree might have a harder time depending on ...


9

Bone meal does not help your plants. This is a myth that is found so extensively you would think it had been propagated from seed. From Linda Chalker-Scott of Washington State University Bone meal supplies high levels of phosphorus and calcium, elements that are rarely limiting in non-agricultural soils. Phosphorus, from bone meal or other ...


9

Water the pots thoroughly with distilled water. Most distillation processes remove the dissolved elements in water. As this water flows through the soil that is saturated with fertilizer ions it will attract and remove them. Of course you are still left with a stressed plant with leaf burn. Success is not guaranteed....


9

You don't need any fertiliser at all to start with - the clue is in the word 'starter'. You're only meant to germinate the seeds, then wait till they have 2/3 sets of leaves (one cotyledon pair and one true leaves), at which point you move them into individual pots containing probably seed and cutting compost - then move them up into potting compost in ...


9

An important thing that many people miss is that if a cover crop produces fruit and seed (beans in your case) it is no longer a cover crop or green manure, but a crop, which depletes the soil rather than rebuilding it. That is, all the nitrogen a legume has put into the soil during the growth stage, is consumed by the plant during the fruiting stage. So if ...


9

You're going to be dripping partially treated effluent onto the ground near some fruit trees. The main concern is splash back of pathogenic bacteria onto some edible fruit. Though this risk is less when the fruit is in a tree, there is still some risk especially if someone picks fruit off the ground to consume. It's clearly more of a risk with vegetables ...


9

We get 30 litres of coffee grounds once a month from the local deli. We're on a list of people who take the stuff to stop it going into landfill. It just goes straight into our compost pile. Newly cooked grounds are sterile enough so can be used for growing some mushrooms, and they don't then get competition from other fungi. Some people use coffee ...


8

See especially the third bullet of yoda's answer on the linked question. Adding coffee grounds (high nitrogen) will help balance out your mixture (i.e. leaves which are high carbon). In your situation, you might consider "holding" the autumn leaves in a dry area (bin, bags, etc. -- esp. if you can shred them first), and when you add grounds to the pile ...


8

First, I have not personally used charcoal as a soil amendment. Where and in what form would you be getting the charcoal? Charcoal is highly alkaline, therefore unless a soil test report states you need to raise the alkalinity of your soil (and by what recommended amount), I would not add in such a highly alkaline amendment, doing so could very well have a ...


8

I do not have any experience with putting used cat litter in a compost pile, but from your very! specific stated details I would say it would be safe (at least I would do it) and a good thing to put on your compost pile (plenty of nitrogen to help the cooking process). You will want to balance out all that nitrogen with plenty of brown matter in your post ...


8

The usual recommendation I see for faeces and urine is not to put it on the compost due to the possibility of disease. Urine might also be a bit concentrated. From a disease point of view you should be okay if it gets hot enough. For the question of concentration, then you can use small quantities and dilute. You say your litter is based on recycled paper (...


8

Below are a few quotes from this answer I posted here on SE. Hopefully you find them of some benefit: Seeing as my lawnmower is a mulching mowing, I leave all the grass clippings on the lawn (free, natural fertilizer), except with first cut and last cut of the season. I collect up those cuttings and dispose of them via a community yard waste pile. ...


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