Earlier this spring I planted some cucumber starts in a 6’ by 3-foot plot
that apparently was overloaded with nitrogen.
After a few weeks in the sun they shriveled and died. I then dug out a “V”
section of the plot and replaced it with topsoil then
replanted some fresh starts. It looks like the new ones are starting to burn
What can be done with this section?
Will I have to wait until the rain washes away the extra nitrogen before I
can plant anything?
Thanks, I'll check into that.
Most of the soil is heavy clay, so I dug out about 7 sections for the plots.
I've heard that Gypsum can be added to break up the clay. This soil had
enough clay that a block of it could be spun on a potter's wheel.
I hope you didn't make a mistake our neighbor made one year by using a
fertilizer for lawns that contained a weed killer of some kind. It took
several plantings dying on them before it occurred to them to check the
I'm careful enough to keep the weed killer separate from the other garden
The problem I'm sure was using ammonium phosphate via
Apparently there was even more phosphate damage judging from the cracked
bark on the sunny side of the avocado tree. The melon section had too much
as well though it looks that the vines have become acclimated and have begun
(Sigh) Besides damaging your plants, the chem ferts are salts and
damage the flora and fauna of your soil. More over you are encouraging
the nitrogen consumers which will consume the organic content of your
soil leading to a loss of natural fertility (and increasing amounts of
purchased chemical fertilizers to maintain the soils present fertility)
and water retentiveness, which in turn encourages nitrates to run off
and join the local water table which which affects human health.
Human babies are extremely susceptible to acute nitrate poisoning
because of certain bacteria that may live in their digestive system
during the first few months of life. These bacteria change nitrate into
toxic nitrite (NO2). The nitrite reacts with hemoglobin (which carries
oxygen to all parts of the body) to form methemoglobin, which does not
carry oxygen. The level of oxygen being carried throughout the body
decreases in proportion to the amount of hemoglobin converted to
methemoglobin. As the oxygen level decreases, the baby is suffocated.
This condition is called methemoglobinemia.
The most obvious symptom of nitrate poisoning is a bluish color of the
skin, particularly around the eyes and mouth. This is called cyanosis. A
baby with these symptoms should be taken to an emergency medical
facility immediately. The doctor will take a blood sample to be sure the
baby is suffering from nitrate poisoning. The blood sample of an
affected baby is a chocolate brown instead of a healthy red. Nitrate
poisoning can be treated, and in most cases the baby makes a full
recovery. It is crucial, however, to deal with the problem immediately,
because without treatment a baby can die.
What can I say? You and your petroleum based fertilizers are a menace to
We don't all have access to the huge amounts of FREE organic matter you get
delivered to your garden as needed. Tell us Americans how we can get the
same deal you enjoy. Unless quite financially comfortable, most of us
cannot afford tons of compost delivered to our gardens.
Get off your soapbox.
On Tue, 29 Jul 2008 21:34:24 -0500,when reading "rec.gardens.edible",
I'm certain I caught a glimpse of "Marie Dodge"
Don't you? :-)
All Mericans, in a way I have FREE organic matter delivered every day.
My lawns still need cutting despite that we are experiencing a drought.
Trees, shrubs, flowers etc. need pruning, weeds have to be eradicated.
My letter box often contains junk mail as well as personal letters.
All my above goes into my compost bin and delivers all the compost I
will ever need.
It is possibly appropriate to advise you to adopt your own advice.
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