Q & A
Welcome to the Planet Natural Garden Forum! Whether you’re new to gardening or have been at it for some time, here you can search existing messages for answers to your questions or post a new message for others to reply to. If this is your first visit, please read over our forum instructions carefully before posting. Enjoy!
Forum Replies Created
Here’s a copy of the MSDS for Black Gold Potting Soil, the name you are looking for is ” Black Gold Natural & Organic Plus Fertilizer”. Hope this helps!
This is correct, both dragonflies and anoles are natural predators of ladybugs. As it is not a closed ecosystem, ladybugs may very well evade their predators. As they are sold in such large quantities, the ladybug army should make a dent in the whitefly population before they are able to be predated. Ladybugs reproduce relatively quickly, and it’s possible you may get a second generation of insatiable larvae for your garden. There are a couple steps you can take to help make sure your ladybug are successful.
1. Apply insecticides before releasing your ladybugs. Applying a short lived organic pesticide can help to knock back the pest population, and give the ladybugs a better chance at controlling or eradicating the whiteflies.
2. Release your ladybugs in the morning or evening. Midday heat can exhaust your tired ladybugs, allow them to acclimate to the environment before being thrown into the frenzy.
3. Water plants before releasing. Your ladybugs will be thirsty after their long hibernation. Watering before release allows them to drink up any water droplets that may be left on plant foliage.
4. Provide food. Ladybugs are voracious predators. If there is no food around it’s likely they’ll fly off and find some. Release on a large infestation to keep the maximum ladybug population in your yard.
These tips should help your ladybug population thrive! If you’re still worried about predators, consider buying whitefly parasites instead. These tiny wasps specialize in parasitizing whiteflies, and may fare a little better than the ladybugs. Good luck!
- This reply was modified 2 years, 5 months ago by mhonnold.
Restore the Earth All Purpose Cleaner and BioKleen All Purpose Cleaner are safe to use on sealed granite and marble. Unsealed granite and marble may eventually show wear. It is recommended to do a “spot test” in an inconspicuous area to see how the material responds to the cleaner before applying it to the whole counter.
Happy New Year!
Tomato blight is easily controlled by environmental factors. Keeping a clean, sterile growing environment is essential to prevention.
1. Eliminate infected plant material. This is key to preventing future infestations. Any infected plant material or soil must be removed and either sterilized or destroyed. One diseased leaf or root left to overwinter in the soil may cause disease problems the following year. Do not compost the infected plant material, as compost does not get hot enough to kill the blight spores. If no green waste collection is available, burning the material is recommended.
2. Sanitize your grow space. After ridding yourself of infected material, a deep cleaning of the space is a must. All planters and pots should be thoroughly disinfected. If indoors, make sure to clean and sort of filters, vents, and light fixtures you may have.
3. Keep plant foliage dry. Once you’ve disinfected your space, its important to practice proper blight prevention techniques. Always water below the plant and refrain from getting any water on plant leaves. Make sure your plants have ample space to prevent crowding and prune your plants to remove any leaves that may be touching the soil. Keep in mind, spores must be released into a water film before they are able to penetrate plant tissue. By reducing or eliminating moisture from plant leaves, you will effectively stop the blight’s ability to sicken your plants. Decreasing relatively humidity will also help in creating an inhospitable environment for blight. A dehumidifier has potential to work wonders.
4. Avoid overwatering. Excessively wet soil can prolong an outbreak of blight. Allow soil to dry as much as possible before watering. When you do water, make sure to water thoroughly without saturating your plants. Good drainage is key, 10-20 percent of the total water added should be coming out of the bottle of the pot or planter. A thick layer of straw or even plastic mulch will help create a buffer between a wet soil and foliage that must be kept dry. Mulching is key to a cleaner grow space and keeping plants off the soil if overwatering does occur.
5. Develop a crop rotation. Crop rotation is key to preventing future blight infestations. Fours years is a good number to shoot for. Only solanaceae plants are affected by early and late blight. By avoiding plants in the nightshade family (potatoes, eggplant, pepper or tomatoes) you can help curb the diseases’ lifecycle. Stick to the cucurbitaceae, brassicaceae, maize, legumes and amaranthacea families of vegetables for at least three growing seasons. The longer you can avoid planting solanaceae vegetables, the better off you are likely to be.
Blight infestations can be tricky, picking ripe or almost ripe vegetables early can sometimes be the only way to salvage a severely blighted garden. Regular use of fungicide spray can be helpful if applied at the recommended rate on a weekly or bi-weekly basis. Remove any infected leaves or material immediately and dispose of it to prevent spread of the disease. Healthy plants will fare better in the face of an infestation, proper care and fertilization is key. Good luck!!
- This reply was modified 2 years, 5 months ago by mhonnold.
Nuke Em can be used as both a foliar spray and a root drench in aquaponic systems. To use as a foliar spray, use as directed by the product packaging. To use the product as a root drench, a bit more labor is involved. You’ll have to temporarily remove the fish from the circulatory system, and do a full system flush before re-introducing the fish. Follow these steps to rid yourself of root aphids.
- Turn off the main light source. When using as a root drench make sure to turn off the main lighting. Supplemental lighting is okay, but less is more in order to prevent sunburn.
- Remove the fish and drain the aquaponics system. You’ll have to drain the entire system and allow the plants to drip free of nutrients. By doing this you prevent your fish from being exposed to contaminated water.
- Assemble the root drench solution. Take a five gallon bucket and fill with diluted Nuke Em at standard strength. Adjust the pH of the nuke em solution to the target pH of the aquaponic system.
- Apply solution to plants. Take each plant individually and submerge long enough for all growing media to be saturated. Pull the plant out, let the root ball and medium drain, and place back into the hydro system.
- Flush, and refill. Run RO water thru the system and drain the water once again before turning the lights back on. After flushing, refill with fish and new water.
Hey Susan! A simple jump start T5 set up sounds like the perfect fit for your friend. With the addition of the germination station, she’ll be able to germinate seed, grow sprouts, and flowers too. Just add dirt, seeds, and water! Find both products here.
A T5 system would fit your needs perfectly. I would recommend the 2ft system with either 4 or 8 bulbs. Both will fit within the 3.5′ x 3.5′ area perfectly. Find them here! https://www.planetnatural.com/product/t5-fluorescent-grow-light/
Unfortunately we don’t sell any item specifically formulated to create nutrient jelly. I would recommend trying Thrive Alive B1 Green, I do not know proper amounts or what heating may do to it. It is a great general purpose fertilizer and is derived from three different types of kelp. Something else you could try, use solely the jelly to propagate seeds, and add the nutrients to your watering regime. A daily watering schedule consisting of feed-water-feed-water or feed-water-feed with the “feed” day being a weak nutrient solution and the “water” day using solely water would be much easier than trying to find a product to add to your jelly.
Find Thrive Alive B1 Here: https://www.planetnatural.com/product/thrive-alive-b-1-green/
Keep in mind that a soilless media such as coco, perlite, peat, or vermiculite lack the nutrients(or amendments) that would naturally be included in the soil. Because of this, plants grown in this type of media will have to be fed often in order to compensate for the lack of available nutrients. Weaker is always better than stronger when it comes to the amount of fertilizer you are adding. You can always add more, it’s impossible to remove what has already been added. Weakly and often is best with coco feeding and finding a schedule that works for you is key. Making sure you have a supply of micronutrients, beneficial fungi/bacteria, as well as a calcium/magnesium supplement is key beyond the grow and bloom formulas. For heavy feeders I would suggest starting with a Feed-Feed-Water or Feed-Feed-Feed-Water. For seedlings and young transplants you could experiment with a feed-water-feed-water schedule. Good Luck!
I’ve had the most success with using environmental controls to combat spider mites. Keep in mind that mites love hot and dry temperatures. Mite reproduction seriously slows down at about 52 degrees F. At 48 degrees, it just about stops all together. If you can bring it down to 40-42, you’ll successfully “freeze” a majority of your mite population.
Fifty is thought to be the minimum for most cannabis plants. Keep in mind, this is gonna be incredibly variety dependent. Indicas generally tolerate lower temperatures better than sativas. Plants with high-altitude or mountainous origins will be a bit more hardy than a variety hailing from a humid sea level climate. Pay attention to your plants and where they come from. Look for signs of stress and plants beginning to turn purple. Only you will be able to know what your temperature limit is for the plants you are growing.
Once you’ve knocked the mites back with temperature, spray down your plants with high pressured water. This water stream will knock mites off the plant and make the environment too wet for spider mites to thrive. After hitting them with the water spray, allow plants to dry before hitting them with Flying Skull “Nuke Em” insecticide to kill the remaining mites. Beyond this, a once weekly rotation of SNS 217 Mite Control -> Mite-X (or substitute a pyretherin based insecticide) -> Nuke Em should keep them under control for the remainder of the season.
After harvest, be sure to remove any and all bit of plant material that is remaining. A serious scrub down and disinfecting of your grow room will help to prevent future infestations. The room should be as sterile as possible to maximize results.
For hydroponic production, seedlings should be treated at a ratio of 2g/1000 sq ft two or three days before they are transplanted into the hydro system. After transplanting, apply mycostop once every 4-6 weeks. If plant pathogens are present in irrigation water at the time of transplant, begin mycostop treatment one to two weeks after transplanting.
After initial treatment, apply mycostop at a rate of 5mg per plant. After two treatments at the 5mg rate, increase to 10mg for a third application.
There are a couple ways to apply mycostop. One of the easiest would involve a drip system feeding exact amounts to individual plants. If a recirculating system is used, calculate the quantity needed for the number of plants. Mix the calculated amount of mycostop into your primary reservoir tank. To help mycostop get established in the root system, reduce the volume of water in the system to the minimum possible, and deliver mycostop constantly for at least 8 hours. After this 8 hour time period has passed, bring the water back up to normal.
Let me know if you have any other questions,
I found this on your WSE75 sulfur burner/evaporator page:
The WSE75 is the NEW sulfur evaporator. The most important part of the WSE75 is the patented IR heating element type SSV. The WSE75 offers the following advantages:
• SAFE: Operating temperature of the heating element stays under the inflammability of Sulfur.;
• EFFECTIVE: Because of the high rate of evaporation, it is very effective in the use of Sulfur and less time is needed for evaporation
The key here is that it DOES NOT burn the sulfur, it just evaporates it. Like evaporating liquid water to water vapor, there is no molecular change to the sulfur. Elemental sulfur powder is the same chemical as sulfur vapor. Given this, the sulfur burner (evaporator!) can be used in organic production. Wahoo!
Met-52 will not harm your chipmunks, in fact it might help protect them from getting lymes disease as well! As Met-52 is only active for 5-7 days, it may be best to reapply every 5-10 days for best results. Keep in mind, Met-52 only attacks beetle larvae, as the exoskeleton of many insects are too hard for the fungus to penetrate.
Nematodes, nematodes, nematodes! Considering the nematode family constitutes one of the most abundant animal life on this planet, it should come to no surprise that nematode infestations are common. For fighting root knot nematodes with beneficial nematodes, the best time to apply the beneficials would be about 10-14 days before transplanting anything into the soil. Many of the recommendations for chemical nematode control involve organophosphates or carbamates (both effect nerve impulse transmission) and specialized equipment. I would recommend utilizing an integrates pest management approach instead of chemicals. Utilizing host plants which do not support nematode life, crop rotation, and choosing nematode resistant varieties are all steps you can take to rid yourself of those buggers once and for all.
Although root knot nematodes have a wide range of hosts, there are some crops that can help control the nematode population. Sudangrass and marigolds for instance, release chemicals into the soil that are toxic to nematodes, so they can be used as a cover crop. They can be grown outside of the regular growing season or instead of the tomatoes for a season. Perhaps a tomato -> marigold -> tomato -> sudangrass OR tomato -> marigold -> sudangrass -> tomato rotation would be ideal to combat the issue. This has an obvious setback since you won’t be producing tomatoes continuously, however with the implementation of other IPM practices you will drop your root knot nematode population to a manageable level.
Nematode resistant varieties recommend by Clemson University include:
Slicing: Better Boy, Celebrity, Park’s Whooper, Goliath
Paste: Classica, Viva Italia,
Cherry: Small Fry, Sweet Million
Check your local seed catalog for other resistant tomato varieties as well.
There are also a couple species of fungi in the Arthrobotrys order that has developed ways to prey on nematodes. These “nematophagous fungi” have two ways of capturing the microscopic worms. They can create structures with an adhesive that sticks to the nematodes and they can create noose-like structures that holds the nematode in place while the mycelium penetrates the nematode’s cuticle and devours the insides. (There are some sweet electronmicroscope pictures of that in this paper: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/21501203.2011.562559?needAccess=true&😉
Good luck with your nematodes!
- This reply was modified 2 years, 9 months ago by mhonnold.
I found the video at the bottom of the Rose Gardening Guru page to be quite helpful in my rose growing endevors! Keep in mind, there are a wide variety of species that will tolerate, or even enjoy cold weather. Choosing a variety to fit your climate will help to ease the headaches of learning to grow a new plant. I used a USDA hardiness zone map and compared my zone to an heirloom rose link (link no longer available) and discovered what type would fit my climate. Roses have a bushing growth habit, meaning you’ll need pretty big pots in order for them to achieve their full potential. The size of the pot will depend upon the type of rose. Check out this handy dandy list here https://www.heirloomroses.com/info/care/how-to/rose-container-gardening/
Good luck with your roses!
- This reply was modified 2 years, 3 months ago by E. Vinje.
Sounds like you’ve got a pretty big project on your hands! Is all the waste compostable material? Things like meat, milk, bones, grease, cheese, oil and fat must avoid the compost pile, or you risk contamination and attracting unwanted scavengers. It sounds like you’ve got lots of nitrogen-heavy additions ready for your pile, what about carbon additions? For a healthy heap, a C:N ratio of 25-30:1 must be met. Any more or less and the pile will slow down or stop decomposition completely. Dried leaves, straw, even paper make great carbon additions to balance out the nitrogen from the veggies. This may be your biggest hurdle to jump, working with your school recycling program or a local farm may create a beneficial relationship for both parties.
The composting process may slow down a little in the winter, however, a healthy microbial culture in your pile will help to keep it up to temperature. I would suggest bins for collection, and a large concrete surface to house anywhere from 1-4 piles, depending on how big of a project you’d like to turn this into. It might be best to start smaller, while leaving space to grow the program. Collecting food waste and transporting it is gonna be the most labor intensive part, creating the pile and turning it is easy if you have access to a skidsteer. The compost you are creating is not a growing medium that can be planted directly into. It is more of a soil amendment, used to add organic matter and healthy microbes to your already existing soil.
One pile will take anywhere from 6 months – 1 year to decompose into a usable product. Keep this in mind when planning your pile layout. How much compost is produced depends on how much input you have. 45-90 gallons is quite a variable range, I would suggest looking at monthly averages rather than daily. It might give you a better idea of how much carbon will have to be procured in order to achieve a proper ratio for decomposition.
Hope this helps!