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13 votes

Are there any benefits from leaving dead leaves in the soil around a plant?

Leaves are good compost if they are shredded. If left as is on garden beds or lawns they tend to clump and can smother the smaller perennials. To do my fall clean up I put a bagger on the mower and ...
kevinskio's user avatar
  • 60.1k
8 votes

Is fertilizing a zero-sum endeavor?

You are missing the fact that air is just as vital as an "external input" as light and water. Plants process carbon dioxide from the air directly, and specialist bacteria also convert nitrogen to ...
alephzero's user avatar
  • 11.4k
7 votes

Developing new soil for gardening

There's no particular reason to think the nutrient level would be high - the only way to know is to do a soil test - contact your local agricultural extension office and get a soil test kit, follow ...
Ecnerwal's user avatar
  • 24.9k
7 votes

How to grow a tree on steroids?

Interesting question. There are definitely ways to speed up growth, like fine-tuning soil for optimal growth. For example taking the time to test soil and amend it with any deficient macro- or micro-...
cr0's user avatar
  • 1,975
7 votes
Accepted

Is fertilizing a zero-sum endeavor?

Check out the Wikipedia plant nutrition article. Plants take carbon, oxygen and hydrogen from the atmosphere, the remainder from the soil. (There are exceptions - some plants can make use of ...
Peter4075's user avatar
  • 3,977
6 votes

Are there any benefits from leaving dead leaves in the soil around a plant?

Leaving dead leaves on top of grass for too long can actually kill your grass. The grass needs the rays from the sun to give it strength and to help it grow. You could take the leaves and put it in ...
JonH's user avatar
  • 3,455
6 votes

Is it true that having only one fruit per vine makes it taste better?

I suspect that MOST of the cost is that this is a hassle/extra-labor item for the farmer (buying special boxes to put watermelons into, putting the boxes on the melons, etc.), rather than anything ...
Ecnerwal's user avatar
  • 24.9k
6 votes

Are there any benefits from leaving dead leaves in the soil around a plant?

Dead leaves are definitely a good source of nutrients to your plants. You can try and crush or shred them and then mix it with the soil. If you leave it as is, too many leaves may accumulate around ...
JStorage's user avatar
  • 7,984
6 votes

Developing new soil for gardening

If you are gardening for fun not for profit, its not that important to focus that much on "PH". Your land is unique. You can't come up with the perfect solution the first year. It will take time ...
J. Chomel's user avatar
  • 3,740
6 votes
Accepted

Soil nutrient replacement, bamboo question

Wow, a runaway bamboo forest, must be nice! No soil can be ruined except by being covered with asphalt or concrete or 'landscape fabric' and dumping biocides on it...nutrients or rather chemicals for ...
stormy's user avatar
  • 40.5k
6 votes

Venus fly trap plant closes its trap but won't digest

The plant evolved to eat live insects and spiders, and not dead ones. So you have to trick it by making it think it's caught live bait... To feed a dead bug to your plant, first drop it into the ...
Graham Chiu's user avatar
  • 23.4k
5 votes
Accepted

Should I use epsom salt foliage spray on giant sunflowers?

You're unlikely to notice any big difference from this treatment. It would be more useful as a soil treatment. For consistent giant sunflowers, soil and light are the most important things to get ...
J. Musser's user avatar
  • 51.8k
5 votes

Why is my pecan tree only producing tiny fruits?

I had this same problem in zone 7 USA. I checked with the local agriculture guy and he said it was probably due to zinc deficiency. He advised applying zinc and 10-10-10 fertilizer in February. I did ...
Harvey Miles's user avatar
5 votes

How to grow a tree on steroids?

Your question implies an existing tree. But have you considered getting a new tree? Paulownia tomentosa (Empress Tree) is one of the fastest-growing trees on the planet, rivalling Normandy Poplar. It ...
Jan Steinman's user avatar
  • 1,139
4 votes
Accepted

New Sod Installation - TLC

If you've had this sod 'installed', that would strongly suggest you paid someone to install it. That someone should be able to tell you precisely what preparation of the soil they made beforehand, ...
Bamboo's user avatar
  • 134k
4 votes
Accepted

Approximately how rich is the soil that's permanent-black dirt?

It can be pretty rich, but color isn't really an indicator. The super dark color comes from an unusually high carbon content, which itself is good, but not enough to sustain forever. If you use this ...
Escoce's user avatar
  • 6,436
4 votes
Accepted

Why are the leaves of my peach trees turning yellow?

I'm not 100% sure there's no other problem, but your watering regime is insufficient - young woody plants require probably around 5-8 gallons of water a week each if the weather is hot and dry. It's ...
Bamboo's user avatar
  • 134k
4 votes

Citrus tree deficiency or toxicity

Trees planted in pots are much more constrained by the care that you provide them than trees planted in the earth as the latter have much greater access to symbiotic assistance from a larger variety ...
Graham Chiu's user avatar
  • 23.4k
4 votes

Bring pachysandra back to life

It's dead. Go into the area of live pachysandra. Dig some up, plant it where the dead pachysandra was growing, water as needed, await results. Dig small sections in separated spots so as not to ...
Ecnerwal's user avatar
  • 24.9k
4 votes
Accepted

Is it good to add probiotics to your fermented plant juice?

In Australia, a company “Neutrog” manufactures a bacterial solution concentrate called “GoGo Juice”. It is marketed as a “probiotic for soil and plants”. I use it all the time with another product ...
andrewbuilder's user avatar
4 votes

Venus fly trap plant closes its trap but won't digest

Venus flytraps “digest” their prey differently than you may expect - the fly and it’s chitin carapace will not dissolve completely, but remain seemingly unchanged when the trap opens again. If you ...
Stephie's user avatar
  • 16.6k
4 votes

How to grow a tree on steroids?

No, you can't make a tree grow in a turbo charged fashion - each type of tree has its own genetic code that dictates how fast it will grow. The only thing you can do is ensure the tree you grow has ...
Bamboo's user avatar
  • 134k
3 votes

Should I use epsom salt foliage spray on giant sunflowers?

I use foliar sprays extensively. I have found there are certain garden varieties which do not do well when sprayed with Epsom salt. Among these are Sage, and most succulents. I suspect the Sage fuzzy ...
herb guy's user avatar
  • 556
3 votes
Accepted

What is the correct ratios for Epsom Salt and Gypsum solutions?

Magnesium makes up about 10% of the mass of Epsom salt (magnesium sulfate heptahydrate). so 1 gram per liter is about 100 ppm magnesium. Plants will take that with no problem. Most commercial ...
Wayfaring Stranger's user avatar
3 votes

How do you make the nutrient solution for a hydroponic system from solid compound NPK fertilizer?

Plants require 14 essential elements, and it sounds like you're only going to provide nitrogen, potassium, phosphorus, calcium, magnesium and sulphur. You also need to dissolve the constituents with ...
Graham Chiu's user avatar
  • 23.4k
3 votes

Laying new topsoil, what if anything to mix in for worms or to kickstart healthy ecosystem?

Pity you didn't ask before all this work. To remove the top layer of soil beneath that concrete is just sad. But people commonly do this anyway. Purchasing topsoil the composition is never an exact ...
stormy's user avatar
  • 40.5k
3 votes

Laying new topsoil, what if anything to mix in for worms or to kickstart healthy ecosystem?

I recall your question a few weeks back about changing levels in your garden - seems like you've gone ahead and had most of the work done professionally, as suggested. With regard to replacement soil, ...
Bamboo's user avatar
  • 134k
3 votes

Can I ignore soil pH and just give blueberries chelated iron?

The crux is that its not just about the amount of iron in the soil. It has to be in a form that the plants can absorb. Plants mainly acquire Fe from the rhizosphere. Although Fe is one of the ...
max's user avatar
  • 509
3 votes

Can I ignore soil pH and just give blueberries chelated iron?

You could apply a foliar spray of chelated iron once or twice a season, but that's not fixing the problem which is the soil pH is not allowing the plant to access the nutrients in the correct ...
Graham Chiu's user avatar
  • 23.4k
3 votes

Can apple scab be treated with comfrey or other biodynamic accumulators?

Good hygiene is your best cure: clear fallen fruit, leaves and pruning and incinerate (composting them just means you'll end up ultimately spreading the spores around your garden when you spread the ...
George of all trades's user avatar

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