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Main Banana Discussion This is where we discuss our banana collections; tips on growing bananas, tips on harvesting bananas, sharing our banana photos and stories.


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Old 07-14-2008, 06:29 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default fert going bad?

i have a question about fertalizer that has sat in water for a year in a bucket, the bag was open and the fert got soaked, so i thought i would use it up on plants in the yard, i did and it seems everything the fert was put on from trees to nana plants to cactus all have deformitys and or burning of leafs and this was about 2 months ago and some still have signs of it, any ideas? this was chemical fert by the way....
thanks for your ideas.....
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Old 07-14-2008, 10:02 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: fert going bad?

Classic case of over-fertilizing: deformities (too much nitrogen) and burning leaves (too much phosphorus and/or urea nitrate). To immediately correct the soil, use liquid gypsum. If not available, use the slower acting gypsum powder: spread 4 cups around each full size plant in the ground, mixing it in the mulch or top 1/2 inch of soil with a rake, and water it in. For a plant in a 15 gallon pot, use 1/4 cup.
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Old 07-14-2008, 11:19 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: fert going bad?

thanks Richard but would the effects go on that long?
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Old 07-14-2008, 11:24 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: fert going bad?

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thanks Richard but would the effects go on that long?
Yes.
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Old 07-14-2008, 04:28 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: fert going bad?

Speaking of gypsum, I just planted a Basjoo in the ground, along with a couple of cannas at my son's house. The soil had a heavy clay content, so I poured about a pound of granular (gravel sized) organic gypsum into the bottom of the holes before putting the plants int the ground and filling with compost. Any other suggestions, or have I done ok? I remember reading that gypsum helps break up the clay soils somewhat.
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Old 07-14-2008, 05:59 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: fert going bad?

Straight gypsum is alkaline. It will help with percolation in clay if you mix the two (or let Liquid Gypsum soak in), but you need Humic acids (weak carbonic acids) to unbind the strong ionic bonds in clay chemistry and release minerals for plants to use.
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Old 07-14-2008, 09:01 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: fert going bad?

Richard, thanks much for the advice. What would you suggest to augment what I have already done? Carbonic acids, like soda water?
Or is there something better and less expensive to use to release the minerals and break the ionic bonds in the clay?
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Old 07-14-2008, 09:30 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: fert going bad?

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Richard, thanks much for the advice. What would you suggest to augment what I have already done? Carbonic acids, like soda water?
Or is there something better and less expensive to use to release the minerals and break the ionic bonds in the clay?
Soda water does not contain any carbonic acid. Instead, you are looking for a liquid or granular soil conditioner (sometimes labeled fertilizer with soil conditioner) that contains humus or humic acid. If your local agricultural supplier carries Kellogg's Nitrohumus -- then you can mix this in either: with the clay, sand, pea gravel, gypsum, and ground coir as you amend the soil, or mix it in with your mulch after the fact.
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Old 07-15-2008, 01:38 AM   #9 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: fert going bad?

I really don't mean to step on any toes, really I don't, but...

Quote:
Soda water does not contain any carbonic acid.
Actually it does. Water(H2O) plus Carbon Dioxide(CO2) equals H2CO3 equals Carbonic Acid. However not all of the Cabon Dioxide molecules in soda water combine with all of the water molecules so you still have some water, some carbon dioxide and a small amount of carbonic acid in soda water. The bad news is that there are usually lots of added salts (sodium chloride) in soda water to improve the taste and you would not want to add that much undesirable salt (not all salts are undesirable. Gypsum is a salt) to the soil to get enough carbonic acid to do the job. You would be creating more of a problem than a solution.

Quote:
Straight gypsum is alkaline.
If it is indeed gypsum it should not be alkaline it should be neutral. Gypsum works in a similar fashion as baking powder. Baking powder has three main components:
Sodium bicarbonate = alkaline (also known as a base)
Dry cream of tartar = acidic
A filler, usually corn starch

The mixture is inactive when dry but when you mix in water the dry acid and dry base go into solution and start reacting to produce carbon dioxide bubbles.

Gypsum (calcium sulfate) is also composed of both an acid and a base of equal strength so that it is utimately neutral and will not change soil pH. The calcium is a base and the sulfur is an acid. When gypsum gets wet it gets active.

Adding additional sulfuric acids to the soil can be benificial if your soil already has a high lime content though. In soil with a high free lime (calcium carbonate CaCO3) content, sulfuric acid coming into contact with the lime (calcium carbonate) will react producing water (H2O), carbon dioxide (CO2) and calcium sulfate (gypsum CaSO4). No increase in hydrogen ion concentration occurs in this reaction, consequently no change in soil pH occurs. In this case you are creating gypsum within the soil. If you do not have enough lime in the soil and add enough sulphur to overcome the buffering capacity of the available lime content then there will be a decrease in soil pH. But in soils with a very high free lime content you can just add sulphur (up to six tons per acre for each percentage point of free lime content) instead of adding gypsum.
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Old 07-15-2008, 02:00 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: fert going bad?

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I really don't mean to step on any toes, really I don't, but...
It is true that soda water is a carbonic acid, but not the agricultural variety. These are humic acids, a complex of carbonic acids.

It is also true that agricultural gypsum (particularly liquid) is usually CaO + a buffer. However, I have encountered folks who in an effort to save money obtain rock gypsum from the California desert and wow, the pH of their soil rises immediately.

So I agree with Tracy, but also encourage you to treat your soil as described below.
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Old 07-15-2008, 02:42 AM   #11 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: fert going bad?

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...Or is there something better and less expensive to use to release the minerals and break the ionic bonds in the clay?
The sulfur in the gypsum will release the minerals, and if your soil is high in free lime content and is alkaline you can add additional sulfur to further release the minerals.
One of the better and less expensive ways to break the ionic bonds is with humic acids and the least expensive and most effective way I know of to do that is with manure, lots of it, the real stuff in course natural form, 100% full strength straight from a farm or stable, composted for atleast 6 months. Also garden compost, home made with lots of course materials (leaves, stems, clippings, etc) are excellent sources of humic acids and the microflora needed to make this work. Don't waste your time and money on expensive seltzer for your dirt.
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Old 07-15-2008, 02:51 AM   #12 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: fert going bad?

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I have encountered folks who in an effort to save money obtain rock gypsum from the California desert and wow, the pH of their soil rises immediately.
Ahhh, so they aren't getting pure gypsum then. It likely contains lots and lots of free calcium not yet combined with sulphur.


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... but also encourage you to treat your soil as described below
Me too.
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Old 07-15-2008, 02:51 AM   #13 (permalink)
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...
Don't waste your time and money on expensive seltzer for your dirt.
We can buy the concentrate cheaply here in southern CA. It's not available in your area?
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Old 07-15-2008, 03:22 AM   #14 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: fert going bad?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chironex View Post
Speaking of gypsum, I just planted a Basjoo in the ground, along with a couple of cannas at my son's house. The soil had a heavy clay content, so I poured about a pound of granular (gravel sized) organic gypsum into the bottom of the holes before putting the plants int the ground and filling with compost. Any other suggestions, or have I done ok? I remember reading that gypsum helps break up the clay soils somewhat.
If you have any gypsum left over it would be good to go ahead and spread it around the rest of the soil further out from the plants. Treat the entire area not just the planting hole. Gypsum works but not quickly. It will take 6 months or more for any improvement and may take 2 or 3 years or more for good improvement. Treat it at least once a year when you're using granular gypsum. If the area between the planting holes is lawn grass then it would be a good idea to run a lawn aerator over the area first before applying the gypsum, and put gypsum granules into the holes the aerator makes. If the area is not lawn grass and is just garden soil and/or mulch then just incorporate the gypsum into the soil or mulch. This will be more effective than putting gypsum only in the bottom of the planting holes
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Old 07-15-2008, 03:43 AM   #15 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: fert going bad?

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We can buy the concentrate cheaply here in southern CA. It's not available in your area?
LOL. It might be. I haven't looked. But being the make it myself from scratch kinda nut that I am, I would likely just throw together a CO2 generator and make it myself even if it cost more.
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