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View Full Version : "GreenSand" ... what is it ?, Where do you get it ...?


SpaceAge
January 27th, 2010, 06:59 PM
For over a year I've heard about GreenSand™ ...???

What is it , what does it do , why do I want it , and where in the world do you get it ...? :confused:

southern_gardener
January 27th, 2010, 07:05 PM
its from my understanding a type of fossilized rock. very easily crushed. i do know its very high in potassium

SpaceAge
January 27th, 2010, 07:48 PM
Greensand is sand or sediment that consists largely of dark greenish grains of glauconite, usually mixed with clay or sand. There are three main places that mine greensand in the U.S., they are Texas, New Jersey and Arkansas. It is a natural mineral that opens up tight soil and binds the loose soil. Greensand is mainly potash and hydrated silicate of iron. It has been used for decades and contains other trace minerals. Greensand can be used as a fertilizer and soil conditioner, a mulch or top dressing. It slow releasesnutrients and loosens soils. Greensand will not burn plants. It is safe to handle, ordorless and can be applied anytime of year.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~

well I found THIS so far

FritzDaKat
January 27th, 2010, 08:09 PM
Are ya' looking to do some metal casting? Usually what's used for mold making but in all practical sense it's not as specific for that purpose as to makeup only qualities it has for holding form and eing able to release the steam when the liquid iron or whatever is poured in.

reubenT
January 27th, 2010, 08:18 PM
I make my own greensand, mix ordinary silica sand from a quarry with 10% bentonite clay, run it through a mueller to get it mixed really well and it works fine. Oops! er-uh........ that's foundry greensand for making forms to pour molten metal into. Called greensand because it's not been baked.
Yah I do a little foundry work in the shop sometimes, but anyway. Yah, the organic gardening kind of greensand is a good potasium fertilizer.
Just for example.
Organic NPK mix can be made of;

nitrogen source; blood meal
cottonseed meal
soybean meal
chicken excrement
fish extract
etc

phosphate source; soft rock phosphate (best)
bone meal
pig poop
etc

potasium source; greensand
wood ash
sawdust (nitrogen robber)
etc

Train
January 27th, 2010, 10:25 PM
For over a year I've heard about GreenSand™ ...???

What is it , what does it do , why do I want it , and where in the world do you get it ...? :confused:

Ya Dan
Green sand is crushed granite.
It can be found in most organic
nurseries, some normal nurseries
and of course on line.
Green sand is a source of Potash
that stays in the soil.
Train

Maternut
January 28th, 2010, 11:42 AM
Greensand is an olive-green coloured sandstone rock which is commonly found in narrow bands, particularly associated with bands of chalk and clay worldwide; it has been deposited in marine environments at various times during Earth history, such as during the Jurassic and Cretaceous periods.

Greensand and granite dust are 2 different things.
Granite dust is a by product of mining and polishing granite.

izitmidnight
January 30th, 2010, 09:44 AM
Would a mixture of greensand and kelp be good to put in the hole when transplanting tomatoes this spring?

MargieMaples
January 30th, 2010, 02:39 PM
I know of an organic bug/ pest killer. It's made from crushed fossil shells. Diatomaceous Earth. It is a powder. You sprinkle it on your plants. Be careful not to breathe it in! It will get into your lungs, and shred them to bits!

LuvsToPlant
January 30th, 2010, 06:18 PM
ReubenT and Train
hit it on the spot....
a source of Potassium (Potash)which is quick acting
and can be used quickly if you have a deficency.
A deficency in Potassium will show in the leaves.
The older bottom leaves will show first, grey-green leaves that
will show mottling or signs of yellowing.
They turn brown later, and appear to be scorched.
It can also show up as a bronze color with curling of the leaves.
It will show up more often in the later part of the season.
The fruit will will be small.
Another excellent source for quick acting is a spray of Fish Emulsion.


Potassium is one of the three componets in a fertilizer

redneckplanter
January 31st, 2010, 09:23 AM
so if i want to apply some to my 50 by 60 mega ammended leaf and hay compost area?
how much?
till it in?
or as i am suspecting a certain gorilla to tell me hole by hole?smiles.....

LuvsToPlant
January 31st, 2010, 11:45 AM
Just for fertilizing, and not for a deficency.
It is suggested 15 lbs (equal to 4 coffee cans full) for every 100 sq. feet.

mudhill
February 1st, 2010, 05:27 PM
i use greensand in my rabbit compost and fine lime mixed with alfalfa hay,while still under my hutches.
i used the last of it in the fall spread or layered on my raised bed and dug it in with manure from pigeons,,rabbits and chickens.
i did not buy any last spring because the price was way up on it.

this year it is $24.85 per 50lbs.

i will buy some this spring .
i have heard that it also helps hold miosture in soil,,,with raised beds and no well i need all the help i can get.
i plan on putting a hand full in each planting hole'
this green sand is so fine it is nothing like the creek sand that i am use too.
i tryed to desolve some in a bucket of water and it got pretty green,,but my ducks and dogs drank it dry.
so i said the heck with it. they must have liked the taste as they drank it before the clear bucket next to it.
p.s.
i bought it at morgan county seeds out side of versailles mo.

mudhill
February 6th, 2010, 12:38 AM
i have a gardening buddy tell me this fall that it would be cheaper for me to buy my veggies,since i try all kinds of different amendments in my garden.
i ask him if he price those sorry looking vegatables?
i told him that a little goes a long ways and you don't have to add some things every year,as it breaks down a little at a time.
you only get out of any thing if you put some thing in to it.
Larry

Train
February 6th, 2010, 06:43 PM
Ya
Dan,I went thought this long explanation when I first saw this thread in hopes of giving you a helping hand but somehow it never made it except for the first paragraph.
I really don't feel like doing it again but hate leaving you hanging too so I will say a few words here and clue you where to go and learn more.
I'll try to shed some light on this.
[IMG]http://i314.photobucket.com/albums/ll405/Da_First_Stringer/Music-Dance.gif
There are many descriptions and explanations of what green sand is as it is used for molding casting and even cooling and as many uses there are there equally as many types.
Further there are many types of green sand sold for the Vegetable garden as a potassium supplement.
Here is one type and one place to take your money.http://www2.yardiac.com/long.asp?item_id=1381
Mine is crushed granite. I buy mine through a landscape designer who is a friend of mine and she gets it from an organic nursery as she too is friendly to the environment.
Now, I sincerely hope that clears up any mystery and gets you going.
Train

SpaceAge
February 6th, 2010, 07:06 PM
Ya
Dan,I went thought this long explanation when I first saw this thread in hopes of giving you a helping hand but somehow it never made it except for the first paragraph.
I really don't feel like doing it again but hate leaving you hanging too so I will say a few words here and clue you where to go and learn more.
I'll try to shed some light on this.
[IMG]http://i314.photobucket.com/albums/ll405/Da_First_Stringer/Music-Dance.gif
There are many descriptions and explanations of what green sand is as it is used for molding casting and even cooling and as many uses there are there equally as many types.
Further there are many types of green sand sold for the Vegetable garden as a potassium supplement.
Here is one type and one place to take your money.http://www2.yardiac.com/long.asp?item_id=1381
Mine is crushed granite. I buy mine through a landscape designer who is a friend of mine and she gets it from an organic nursery as she too is friendly to the environment.
Now, I sincerely hope that clears up any mystery and gets you going.
Train
~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Thanks Train ...
Well I'd like to find some before April 1st plant-out ... but I guess I'll have to wait for a trip to "The BIG CITY" , Phoenix or Tucson ... nobody here locally has a clue what I'm talking about ... ??? :rolleyes:

ultralitefarmer
February 6th, 2010, 10:21 PM
SpaceAge given your location you should use the obvious source of potash in you area instead of buying green sand. wood ash.

klorentz
February 6th, 2010, 10:43 PM
I did not know Espoma had Green Sand. There is an Espoma dealer not to far from me. Glad ya posted that link Train.

Kevin

Emerald
February 7th, 2010, 09:42 PM
I did not know Espoma had Green Sand. There is an Espoma dealer not to far from me. Glad ya posted that link Train.

Kevin

Kevin, there are a couple of places in Grand Rapids that carry the full line of Espoma products, you can PM me if your local stores don't carry it, and I will get the addresses for you..

SpaceAge
February 7th, 2010, 10:27 PM
SpaceAge given your location you should use the obvious source of potash in you area instead of buying green sand. wood ash.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Oh heavens no ... LOL ! :confused:

Im in AZ , very Alkaline soil ... last thing I wanna do is boost my PH with wood ash !

That would be like adding LIME ! :eek:

Cheffie
February 9th, 2010, 09:14 PM
Yay- I live in Arkansas!!! I have very clay-ey soil and am adding two new beds this year-sounds like it would help with drainage. But what about potassium overload being bad? I think I remember reading something about that. Or maybe I am thinking of too much nitrogen=lots of green leafy veggie plants but not much fruit because of all the energy put into the foliage.

Anyone?

lorna-organic
February 9th, 2010, 09:15 PM
Yea, that is excess nitrogen which can create bushy plants without much fruit, Cheffie.

Cheffie
February 9th, 2010, 09:46 PM
What about too much potassium, is that harmful?

lorna-organic
February 9th, 2010, 09:48 PM
I don't know, but I suspect it might burn plant roots.

RoboFarmer
February 9th, 2010, 09:54 PM
For over a year I've heard about GreenSand™ ...???

What is it , what does it do , why do I want it , and where in the world do you get it ...? :confused:

Its main function is to provide an increased surface area for beneficial bacteria to latch onto to grow which helps facilitate the nutrient uptake. I applied it in my garden area years ago(it is suppose to be a one time application) and found no increased benefit. not to say it did not per its function, but i saw no major improvements.

My garden responds best to bat guano applications, both mexican and indonesian. one is high in nitrogen and the other in phosphorous. i always have to look at the label to remember which is which. high N in early stage and high P in flowering period.

Green Sand is not very expensive as I remember and I saw no negative affects....not even PH changes

lorna-organic
February 9th, 2010, 09:55 PM
I just did a search. I couldn't find much about excess potassium except that it ties up copper, preventing plants from being able to take in copper.

RoboFarmer
February 9th, 2010, 10:08 PM
I just did a search. I couldn't find much about excess potassium except that it ties up copper, preventing plants from being able to take in copper.

one year i put all my wood ashes(potash) from the fireplace into the compost and subsequently added it to my garden in spring. it radically changed the ph of my soil and took a whole year to balance out with the addition of sulfur. worst ever year i had

greensand good, wood ashes bad

Cheffie
February 10th, 2010, 12:03 AM
Thanks Lorna & Robo!- I will go with "greensand good" (until I have a chance to dig through my Master Gardener stuff;))

lorna-organic
February 10th, 2010, 07:02 AM
When I was searching on excess potassium, I came across several comments regarding an excess of anything creating an imbalance in the soil which could take awhile to work out on its own. It seems that excess of any one nutritional component is likely to bind something else, preventing the plants from being able to utilize whatever has been bound.

SpaceAge
February 10th, 2010, 05:30 PM
one year i put all my wood ashes(potash) from the fireplace into the compost and subsequently added it to my garden in spring. it radically changed the ph of my soil and took a whole year to balance out with the addition of sulfur. worst ever year i had

greensand good, wood ashes bad

~~~~~~~~~~~~

Yeah Vegas / Phoenix / Tucson , are NOT places for Lime or Ash ...

2 weeks ago I tilled the surface

2 weeks from now i'll broadcast 50 # Pelletized Sulphur and I get a 50# bag of commercial 15-15-15 ... That gets watered in place for 2 weeks

last week of March all rows are formed for irrigation flow


at the time of planting 04-01 each hole gets a tsp of Gypsum , a TBSP of manure , & 2 TBSP of Commercial Forest Mulch , this is hit with a 1" spade bit on a Drill Motor just before the plantling is extracted from the Gro-Tubes ... , rows are side-dressed with a thin manure layer and watered with a light concentration of water soluable plant food ( Miracle Gro Bloom Booster * for those of you in Organo-Land )
by week # 2 all rows have wood chipper pathways layed and ditches have been formed , the Farm is ready for Irrigation the rest of the year.


* http://www.acehardware.com/product/index.jsp?productId=1369719&CAWELAID=109335958

dreaded Plant Vitamin link ... :eek:

lorna-organic
February 10th, 2010, 06:19 PM
Why do you use the gypsum in the garden, Dan? I've only used it to neutralize the smell of dog urine, when the dogs get to favoring one spot too much and it gets stinky.

SpaceAge
February 10th, 2010, 06:30 PM
In the East where it rains every day folks use lime , in the SW we use Gypsum for several reasons.

The Alkaline soil is a barrier to water penetration and high salt content in both soil and local water sources is probmematic. In Phoenix we used tripple the amount we have been using here. Gypsum allows for more water penetration , less clumping of soils and allows more leaching of salts as well.

lorna-organic
February 10th, 2010, 06:48 PM
Thanks for the info. Is your soil more sand, or clay?

Train
February 10th, 2010, 06:50 PM
What about too much potassium, is that harmful?

Ya
No Cheffie
This stuff is needed for stout plant growth
increased blooms and better fruit.
Anyway, you know how to test for that
now.
I wouldn't worry, just make sure it's
in there.
Train

gixxerific
February 10th, 2010, 10:33 PM
Are you guy's just adding nutrients to just add them? Have you tested your soil. An imbalance could become big problems.:o

SpaceAge
February 10th, 2010, 11:05 PM
Thanks for the info. Is your soil more sand, or clay?

Ha , Thats' actually hard to answer ... see if this is confusing enough for you

If you harrow the field with a set of disks , it is like powder silty fine sand.

If you get it wet it is like slippery clay that you make pots out of.

If the wet slippery clay that was once fine silty sand hardens up it is like concrete !

I don't know if you followed my Tomatoe disaster threads in the Spring of last year , but I ended up at The U of A Agriculture dept with fully grown Tomatoe plants that were turning yellow and curling leaves , locals said oh it's a leaf mite from the Cotton Fields , or Oh it's a blight , nothing you can do ... so I'm like well I've just got done planting 500 of these Heirloom suckers and I am NOT gonna lose them all to some stupid thing that I can not control ... !!! :eek:

anyhow long story longer , I have very salty soil and very salty water supply ...

so , I think about all of my growing experiences and Greenhouse magic stuff , and it hits me .. bingo , I went out back with a lil ole red wagon and a 1$ razor knife from Ace Hardware , and I stripped all of my Tomatoes all the way up to the top sets of leaves ( well except the Patio Hybrids ) ... & while this looked goofy at first , it is what literally saved the crops ... less leaves = less water needed . this meant less salts delivered and I think it stimulated the roots to grow and finally the leaves went nuts as well , but that transition period from plantling to "teen-ager" plant is where the Alkaline soil thingie came into play ... This year I will be ahead of the curve as the Sulphur pellets will be in advance of planting instead of after the problem is ID'd ... ... anyhow sorry to bore you with my local challenges , but I will be WAYYY better prepared this year for the stuff I was hit with last year ...

now to deal with all 3 Squash bugs in advance ! ... hmmm ! :rolleyes:

lorna-organic
February 11th, 2010, 07:06 AM
I have sandy soil for the first few inches, then it becomes a light clay. Yes, I followed your tomato adventure last year.

I've tried the powdered yellow garden sulphur a couple of times. It sure takes a long time to break down!

SpaceAge
February 11th, 2010, 09:59 AM
I have sandy soil for the first few inches, then it becomes a light clay. Yes, I followed your tomato adventure last year.

I've tried the powdered yellow garden sulphur a couple of times. It sure takes a long time to break down!

The "pellets" , more like a miniature cookie shape smooth disc ... are really quick ... The commercial place for big Farms sells the dreaded soil amendment stuff at a very good rate , the powder is bad news because animals will eat it & die.

Train
February 11th, 2010, 02:12 PM
Ya
MMtomatoes has found an interesting
flic on you tube and I knew it was for you.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WzsyaXPVNKs
You can thank MM for that.
It confirms my comments.
Train

Train
February 11th, 2010, 02:23 PM
Are you guy's just adding nutrients to just add them? Have you tested your soil. An imbalance could become big problems.:o

Ya
Funny funny post.
Look at your question, then at your signature.
http://i314.photobucket.com/albums/ll405/Da_First_Stringer/GTRAIN.jpg
Heheh
Do you have any inclination of the nutrient value of gumbo clay?
Look, when you add the amendments I recommend in the doses
recommended all your doing is ensuring a minimal amount of
absolutely necessary NPK.
Most soils are somewhat depleted of these.
Another way to put that is most soils can benefit by their
inclusion.
One step further would be to state that most soils are somewhat
deficient in Phosphorous.
So a little green sand is always a good idea.
Sure, getting your soil tested is never a bad idea but
I should mention that the only thing I have ever tasted for is PH.
That is vital.
What grows well at 6.5 does poorly at 7.0 etc sot testing there
is essential for me.
Train

gixxerific
February 11th, 2010, 09:13 PM
About my sig it means to feed the soil not the plant. When the soil is healthy so will the plant.

Could you tell me what the make up of clay is.

There is usually quite a bit of phosphorus in soils but a lot of it is insoluble and unavailable to plants with out bacterial involvement.

TXDirtDog
February 12th, 2010, 12:28 AM
Ok guys, great thread for me-very informative. I have the clay gumbo soil that I am trying to amend. Green sand runs $20 plus per bag. with a quick search for crushed granite, seems price is about $20 plus per sq. ft., gypsum is about $8/40 lb. bag. My question is: Does gypsum useage potentially result in a mineral imbalance? I like the idea that greensand and crushed granite would be neutral for imbalances, but don't like the price for the area I would be working (sorry, I'm cheap).
Any shared knowledge on this would be greatly appreciated. (This all said as my soil sample is still drying before shipment to A&M for testing).

Btw, Train, watched your video on potting up tomato seedlings. WOW. Reminded me of Doctor delivering our kiddos. Deft hands, kinda flopping them around, but sure movements of someone who has done that once or twice before. This seen about 30 minutes after snipping 2 seedlings per potting to ensure that the roots weren't disturbed on the remaining seedling. As Homer S. would say DOH!

gixxerific
February 12th, 2010, 08:28 AM
I would suggest compost over lime. Lime is a short lived band-aid that will leach out and possible get locked up. With pH test showing that more calcium is needed even thought it is already there. Just not in a soluble form. Compost (organic matter) will do much more in the long run for your soil. The organics will break up the tiny particles of the clay and it will stay that way. This whole liming thing that millions of people do is really not needed.

Go ahead and add Gypsum this year but add organic matter as well and keep adding organic matter that will do your soil better. We need to think more biology that chemical here. Think about the old growth forest, the amazingly huge Redwoods,
who fertilized them, not man. Nature did and they are doing great well at least until man came in and starting cutting them down.

go ahead a flame away:(

TXDirtDog
February 12th, 2010, 09:36 AM
I would suggest compost over lime. Lime is a short lived band-aid that will leach out and possible get locked up. With pH test showing that more calcium is needed even thought it is already there. Just not in a soluble form. Compost (organic matter) will do much more in the long run for your soil. The organics will break up the tiny particles of the clay and it will stay that way. This whole liming thing that millions of people do is really not needed.

Go ahead and add Gypsum this year but add organic matter as well and keep adding organic matter that will do your soil better. We need to think more biology that chemical here. Think about the old growth forest, the amazingly huge Redwoods,
who fertilized them, not man. Nature did and they are doing great well at least until man came in and starting cutting them down.

go ahead a flame away:(


Gixxerific,

I should have mentioned that I have been adding compost for the last 3 years. More each year as I learn more and am able to find other sources for compost fodder (Don't have a lot of leaf producing trees). This fall, was time-constrained and did not get a chance to be a leaf raider, so compost pile is nowhere near large enough for decent amending (will use as I transplant seedlings into the garden as opposed to broadcasting and tilling in). As I said, I have my soil sample drying for testing. When I was pulling the plugs, I was very disheartened to see how short of a section looked like ok soil and how quickly it changed to pure clay.
I am looking for a quck-fix for this year only. Knowing that I don't have enough compost and not sufficient time to make more before planting, I have a layer of dried banana leaves laying on the rows for the leaf mold, (shredded with mower first) and will till in before planting. I know I will have to add nitrogen which will get tied up with leaf decomposition. I am tired of spending too much money on buying compost which most times seems to be of poor quality, and creating more compost in ongoing years will fix that, but it doesn't help me this spring.

Hmm, gypsum will tie up calcium? This I must ponder:eek:. I have had some issue with blossom end rot the last 2 years (Have never added gypsum or greensand or granite before). Have added crushed oyster shells past fall for the long-term calcium, and add all the eggshells I can get my hands on to the compost pile for shorter term calcium and for the chitin eaters to help with the nematodes.


Thank you very much for your comments. I has given me something to think about.:)

gixxerific
February 12th, 2010, 05:55 PM
Google gypsum and clay soils there are plenty of articles. A lot of scientist, professors say it is almost detrimental to do while some say it's okay. you make the decision.

Here is one
http://www.puyallup.wsu.edu/~linda%20chalker-scott/Horticultural%20Myths_files/Myths/Gypsum.pdf

You have a PM :EDIT: well I was going to send you some very good info but your private messaging isn't set up if you are interested pm me or email me by right clicking on my name.

Train
February 12th, 2010, 08:39 PM
Ya
TXDirtDog.
Welcome aboard.
Nice to meet another neighbor.
I wonder how far south?
I am going to do this thing
back to front this time for
reasons of my own.
.
Soil Mix!
What do you do when your soil is so
bad you know you can't grow in it?
You replace it.
Not with store bought junk.
So what is the best kind to use
as a replacement?
What kind is the kind you mix yourself.
Nothing else will do.
Buying that store bought stuff will
leave you very disappointed.
Most of that stuff is just shredded up Xmas
trees and sand with a few chemicals
thrown in.
If you have a garden cart, wheelbarrow
or a nice sized tub you can mix your
own in fine fashion.
I start everything in small containers
the re-pot as needed until they reach a size
where they can safely be transplanted
to the patch.
To do this I first mix a potting soil that
I have confidence in.
One I know will work.
Here is a framework that you can adjust
to suit your specific needs.
What I mean by that is if your soil is
heavy clay you can get by with few
adjustments to the framework I will post
here for you. If however it is sandy and
loose then certain changes are in order.
I take 6 well rounded shovels of the
worst soil I have in the yard.
Thrown into the mixing tub I then break
it up to a soil like consistency.
I then throw 2 shovels of compost into
the mix well rounded or what ever you use
for a measurement.
I should say part rather than shovels so
2 parts compost.
1 part well rotted manure or rabbit or alpaca.
all mixed well then a pinch of bone meal
blood meal and green sand is added and
more is far worse than less.
Perlite is added, 1-2 cups for the size
make up with rounded shovels.
Beyond that use you own sense of what
should be, can always add more.
At least4cups of stringy type sphagnum
moss rounds out the mix.
Moss to retain moisture and avoid spoil
compaction and perlite to avoid compaction.
Now you have the best soil mix that
money cannot buy. Not available.
I recommend a work station be set up
preferably in the shade.
A bench or table, your additives close at hand
and your in business.
Take a radio with you and your drink.
Wear gloves unless your a Gorilla like me
whose hands no one cares about what
they look like.
I hope you try this out for yourself
as I think it will give you great satisfaction
as it does me.
Check your ph. If your unsure I can help guide you
there as well.
Never add anything to adjust the soils PH
until you know what the Ph is now.
Now, I really cannot tell you how much to
buy of anything because I quit doing that.
You absolutely must go there yourself and
see and feel the stuff your buying or you re
going to get fleeced but good.
Also, you do not have to replace the entire
patch with soil. Just take it one hole at a time.
Dig the hole 3 times the size of the root ball
going into the hole, remove it.
Replace it with the mix and your done.
One hole at a time.
Your yearly approach to this in the same manner
is eventually going to catch up with the patch
and the improvement will be obvious.
.
Now we have a basis for a discussion.
You may have noticed the absence of all
PH adjusting additives, (Lime and Gypsum).
After you ascertain the PH level where you
intend to plant you adjust the PH level is
it becomes necessary.
Our goal at this time is to create a nutriive
and friable soil to grow in.
Following the above guideline covers everything.
You have worked the soil in a mixing tub and
so at once it is friable.
That compost you added is minuscule so huge
stacks are not required and the manure adds
nutritive value as well as biological activity.
The Crushed granite is potassium which is
needed for strong healthy plants and good
healthy fruit and large production.
You already know about phosphorous and
nitrogen.
A rabbit will give you all the manure you require
using this method but to start you can look
around for some well rotted manure to ge by with.
This works and works well.
Now rather than trying to repair the entire patch
all at once you pay attention to each hole so
that is is now one hole at a time.
You have everything else under control.
Now you can enjoy planting.
One other thought. Well two.
Firstly raised beds.
If you are not already using them I strongly
recommend doing so.
Secondly, drip irrigation.
Even a bare bones kit will pay itself off in
one season.Your plants get the water they
need when they need it and only the plants.
Not the entire yard drive and street.
Plants get the soaking required and the
difference in plant acceptance and growth
is staggering.
So,what else can we talk about?
Heheh
http://i314.photobucket.com/albums/ll405/Da_First_Stringer/Sickofbeans.gif
Train

TXDirtDog
February 12th, 2010, 10:33 PM
Hello Train,

"Ya
TXDirtDog.
Welcome aboard.
Nice to meet another neighbor.
I wonder how far south?"

Thank you for the welcome. About 1/2 way to the Beach.


"I start everything in small containers
the re-pot as needed until they reach a size
where they can safely be transplanted
to the patch."

Currently am using peat pellets and potting up into 3" peat pots using Miracle-Gro Organic Choice Garden Soil in bottom of pot, placing seedling (still in the pellet starter) on top of that and filling in around seedling with more sterile starting mix. Just started using weak fish emulsion as a fertilizer today as started seeing some yellowing of true leaves on larger starts. Some, I am going to have to pot up into cut-out bottoms of milk jugs, as looks like will be under the grow lights a while longer with the weather we are having.

"What I mean by that is if your soil is
heavy clay you can get by with few
adjustments to the framework I will post
here for you."

It is heavy gumbo clay. While taking soil samples I was very disappointed at how truly short was the decent looking section of the plugs before it became pure clay.


"I take 6 well rounded shovels of the
worst soil I have in the yard.
Thrown into the mixing tub I then break
it up to a soil like consistency.
I then throw 2 shovels of compost into
the mix well rounded or what ever you use
for a measurement.
I should say part rather than shovels so
2 parts compost.
1 part well rotted manure or rabbit or alpaca.
all mixed well then a pinch of bone meal
blood meal and green sand is added and
more is far worse than less.
Perlite is added, 1-2 cups for the size
make up with rounded shovels.
Beyond that use you own sense of what
should be, can always add more.
At least4cups of stringy type sphagnum
moss rounds out the mix.
Moss to retain moisture and avoid spoil
compaction and perlite to avoid compaction.
Now you have the best soil mix that
money cannot buy. Not available.

Sounds like the result would be very friable. It would definately make my limited compost stretch. Initial costs would be a little higher for the various "ingredients", but looks like the ingredients would cover a lot of garden.

"Perlite is added, 1-2 cups for the size
make up with rounded shovels"

If I understand this correctly, 1-2 cups of perlite per shovelful of the mixed ingredients.

"At least4cups of stringy type sphagnum
moss rounds out the mix."

If I understand this correctly, at least 4 cups of stringy sphagnum moss over the entire containerful of mix.

"I recommend a work station be set up
preferably in the shade.
A bench or table, your additives close at hand
and your in business.
Take a radio with you and your drink."

Frankly, have never even thought of setting up a relaxing outside garden working area. Usually end up working to point of having to go inside for refreshment & rest before tackling it again. Hmmmm...
Although if not careful would have to change my name to "The Tipsy Gardener"

"Wear gloves unless your a Gorilla like me
whose hands no one cares about what
they look like."

Usually start out wearing gloves, and unless the slimy paste of gumbo is wet or if am working with metal/wire, end up taking them off for better dexterity and tactile enjoyment.

"Check your ph. If your unsure I can help guide you
there as well."

Thank you, but have used store bought testers showing neutral PH, and unless I am mistaken, A&M will tell me accurate PH with my soil test which I will be sending out Monday.

"Never add anything to adjust the soils PH
until you know what the Ph is now."

Thank you, that is the reason I originally asked about gypsum. I wasn't sure if it would bind any nutrients. I didn't think about its ability to change PH.

"Also, you do not have to replace the entire
patch with soil. Just take it one hole at a time.
Dig the hole 3 times the size of the root ball
going into the hole, remove it.
Replace it with the mix and your done.
One hole at a time.
Your yearly approach to this in the same manner
is eventually going to catch up with the patch
and the improvement will be obvious."

Have not really given thought to the "just fix the hole you are using" method before. Have always thought in terms of fixing the row (or garden). This is how it was done when I was young in my parents garden. I think my world just tilted a little. Bear with me while I recover my equilibrium.

"A rabbit will give you all the manure you require
using this method but to start you can look
around for some well rotted manure to ge by with.
This works and works well."

Am familiar with the wonders of manure. Never thought about the rabbit. Kids would love it, dog would not. Would have to look into a Fort Knox style cage to keep dog out.

"One other thought. Well two.
Firstly raised beds.
If you are not already using them I strongly
recommend doing so."

Only tried one several years back to add a third row to my original two (original intent was to avoid breaking ground and save the back). I laid black plastic on bottom to kill off the weed grass that I have a problem with. I don't know the name, but it grows very long runners and has a fairly deep root mass. I then broke the very small bank buying compost, manure, garden soil and top soil to fill. I had some pretty decent plants until the mid summer heat baked everything in the bed. It was apparently not deep enough for our scorching summer. Then only thing that grew there the following spring was the weed grass that ran runners all under the plastic and up the wooden sides of the bed. It took a lot of tilling and picking out bits and pieces of hardened cracking plastic before I made this a viable row. Kinda soured me on raised beds up til now. (BTW I have no tree cover in garden area. That's why for this spring I am busily building arch trellises with the thought that the viners will give some relief to the maters and other ground-bound types throught the summer...but that is a discussion for another day.)

"Secondly, drip irrigation.
Even a bare bones kit will pay itself off in
one season.Your plants get the water they
need when they need it and only the plants.
Not the entire yard drive and street."

I was just pricing soaker hoses today, but haven't had time to price tube type setups yet (which I would think would be more efficient). I did install a 45 gal. trash can appropriately outfitted for downspout containment. Last weekend emptied and raised it on cinder blocks as had no head pressure at ground level. Now only need about 9 more and maybe can have enough water to make it through summer. (BTW are you familiar with any programs in our area that offer drums cheaply? I haven't been able to find anything on internet in this respect for less than $40/barrel. Same for inquiries of drum/barrel suppliers in this area.) I know municipalities in other area offer them for $10 or less for the purpose of converting into rainwater collection, but dad-burn it I have not been able find anything around here.

Train, I truly thank you for sharing your wisdom. Between you and Gixxerific I am looking at this preperation project in an entirely new light. I really have a lot of information to process.

gixxerific
February 13th, 2010, 07:54 PM
Experiment is the key. It will all come along though it may take time but in the end all will benefit.:D

Train, I'm definitely down with your "by the hole treatment".:)

Train
February 14th, 2010, 06:57 PM
Ya
You should know that the mix I outlined
is based on shovels so when I put it together
I throw in soil manure and compost by the
shovel.
Perlite is by cups per wheelbarrow or what
ever you use to mix in.
It is per the entire mix.
The Sphagnum I measure loosely by grabbing
a large batch with my hands.
the amendments;blood meal bone meal and
green sand are all measured in pinches.
A good steel hand trowel works very well in
breaking up clumps and hard lumps, mixing
and transferring.
Try this Nursery for green sand.
Another Place in Time
421 West 11th Street, Houston, Texas 77008
(713) 864 9717
Not sure she got mine there but I think she did.
You could pick some up on your way to the old
Cadillac bar for a rattlesnake steak and a bowl
of S.O.B. chili!
Maybe a side on the side.
Heheh
Train

gixxerific
February 14th, 2010, 09:49 PM
Come planting time I always mix up a batch of this and that in a wheelbarrow than amend the holes, rows what ever it may be. I actually had a wheelbarrow full the other day of starter mix but had to empty it into buckets to get firewood in the wheelbarrow before the snows hit.:D

C'mon spring.

TXDirtDog
February 15th, 2010, 05:29 PM
Ya
You should know that the mix I outlined
is based on shovels so when I put it together
I throw in soil manure and compost by the
shovel.
Perlite is by cups per wheelbarrow or what
ever you use to mix in.
It is per the entire mix.
The Sphagnum I measure loosely by grabbing
a large batch with my hands.
the amendments;blood meal bone meal and
green sand are all measured in pinches.
A good steel hand trowel works very well in
breaking up clumps and hard lumps, mixing
and transferring.
Try this Nursery for green sand.
Another Place in Time
421 West 11th Street, Houston, Texas 77008
(713) 864 9717
Not sure she got mine there but I think she did.
You could pick some up on your way to the old
Cadillac bar for a rattlesnake steak and a bowl
of S.O.B. chili!
Maybe a side on the side.
Heheh
Train

Thank you for the clarification Train. Also, thanks for the contact.

Man, oh man, I haven't been to the Caddy in eons. Left a note on the wall too when there with my future blushing bride. (yes she was embarrased, but I think a little pleased too:)) Tried the one on the boardwalk a few years ago, but just not the same.

Crocodile
February 16th, 2010, 09:56 AM
Irish Eyes Garden Seeds has greensand for sale @ $19 per 25 lb bag, (http://www.irisheyesgardenseeds.com/product_info.php?cPath=24_77&products_id=122) plus whatever they charge for shipping. I think that's the best price I can find so far. Did anyone find a place that's less expensive for greensand/glauconite?

jeff in ok
February 26th, 2010, 08:07 PM
silly question? how much is a pinch? like a pinch of salt? or a palm full??sounds like a great idea ill try it on several tomato plants this year!!

SpaceAge
February 26th, 2010, 10:26 PM
Irish Eyes Garden Seeds has greensand for sale @ $19 per 25 lb bag, (http://www.irisheyesgardenseeds.com/product_info.php?cPath=24_77&products_id=122) plus whatever they charge for shipping. I think that's the best price I can find so far. Did anyone find a place that's less expensive for greensand/glauconite?

I actually found some in a box , like the size of a big box of Cheerios ... kinda pricey but it is here if I decide to use it .

lorna-organic
February 27th, 2010, 01:29 AM
A pinch is like a pinch of salt, Jeff.

mudhill
February 27th, 2010, 09:31 AM
A pinch is like a pinch of salt, Jeff.

IF your gonna just put a pinch of green sand in the planting hole,,,ya might as as well spit in it instead,,for all the good that will do.
(GRIN)

jeff in ok
March 3rd, 2010, 09:06 PM
just tryin to figure out if its a regular pinch or a big handed gorilla pinch!!:D

thanks!!