I know much about nothing.
So with that caveat, the ammonia comments made me wonder.
From, Secrets of Companion Planting (1975):
"The steps in the nitrogen cycle can be traced in the growth and
use of clover:
(1) Atmospheric nitrogen is changed into proteins by the action
of nitrogen fixing bacteria growing in nodules on the clover
(2) After plowing under, the clover proteins become changed
into ammonia by ammoninfying bacteria.
(3) Ammonia is then changed into nitrates by nitrifying bacteria.
(4) Both ammonia and nitrates are used by other plants to form
There is another page in the book that indicates that stinging
nettle is good and helps other plants and that the stems of
stinging nettle contain ammonia and carbon which is useful.
Specifically it mentions stinging nettle is great for tomatoes
and mint. And more specifically it's good to use against slugs,
snails and lice during wet seasons. I was reading another
thread indicating that someone had some problems with a
wet season, I'll have to go and find the thread.
"Nettle ... slows fermentation, keeps fruit mold free and thus
enables it to keep better. Fruit packed in nettle hay ripen
more quickly. Stinging nettle is helpful to stimulate fermenta-
tion in compost or manure piles, according to British author
M.E. Bruce, who advises making a curshed nettle solution."
It also mentions nettle plants well with spinach, lettuce and
horseradish. It improves the health or horses and cattle.
Powdered nettle helps hens lay more eggs.
It mentions a caveat about having to wear gloves because
the fine hair on the nettle leaves and stems contain formic
acid. The juice of the plant is used to releave nettle rash.
Thanks for the great stuff! All the stuff I've posted I have
no personal knowledge of and it is being relayed as related
by the book mentioned. I thought it worked well in with
the comments about ammonia. Remember to keep chlorine
and ammonia separate... DO NOT MIX those two things.
Very poisonous gas is created. I don't know the specifics.
So be careful with Clorox or any chlorinated product in
combination with ammonia.
Post replies to newsgroup.
: "clc" wrote:
: So, Marilyn, just curious... what in the world ever made you
: try these to begin with? And, how did you get *brave* enough
: to try these??? Cheryl
I can't lie about these things Cheryl.. I came across this really
old book. It was actually moldy and in the shed behind my house
in a box of Joyces stuff. It was household tips and such. I started
peeling the pages apart and was reading some of the things
written in it, and there were these neat tips on assorted things.
The parts concerning gardening were intriquing to me, so I easily
ripped out the pages that were already coming out of the book (it
was a really old book, over 70/80 years old, but totally shot due
to the molds working on the stitching, the inks and such. There
were whole sections on sewing tips that were glued together.
But gardening tips were too tempting. So I decided to try them.
Apparently these are tried and true household tips that women
had used in times of desperation when there was no such thing
as a garden center, Lowes, Home Depot or whatever. There
were dime stores and general stores, but from the sounds of the
tips, these were things that women tried because things were too
dear to just let die or throw away.
These were the times when a woman darned a sock because
there was a hole, not go to the store and buy another pair.
I was curious about the castor oil.
The smell was like a memory slap in the face. But the hint said
a few drops added to the soil, and I thought, what the heck.
I'd love to know what the chemical (that is harsh and expurgative
to us) is that gives nutrients to the plants.
My mom always saved the boiled egg water and used it for
her georgous African violets.
The tea for a weekly tonic for anemic ferns was easier. I drink
about a half gallon of tea or more a day. I knew about using
tea to wipe furniture down (unsweetened). They (the ferns)
seem to be happier about it. Whether it's the tea or just the
extra watering is still debatable.
The ammonia is yet to be done, but after sharing that tip with
another garden friend, she tried it and said it was incredible.
So Dollar store here I come to get a bottle of ammonia to use
just for the plants.
How about this one? A teaspoon of household detergent to
one quart of water will revive wilting cut flowers. It's either
the potassium in the detergents or that the weakened solution
of soap that removes the scum on the bottoms of the stems.
Short stemmed flowers stay fresher longer if placed in a bowl
of well watered sand.
Or rose bushes will reward you with good, clear blooms if you
dose each bush periodically with one ounce of Epsom salts
Or relocating wasps if you place a few moth balls in an open
container near their nests. And stamp a few moth balls into the
ground around flower beds and vegetable beds and dogs will
give them a wide berth... and moth balls sprinkled near tomato
plants and other fruits will keep the squirrels and rabbits away.
Place coffee grounds in the runs of moles to eleviate them
from the area. Green sage or black pepper placed in the haunts
of ants and that will drive them away (I tried this on the piss
ants and damn if it didn't work)
A teaspoon of sugar, yes, SUGAR added to soapy lather will
remove gardening stains from your hands.
and the best one yet... an extendable curtain rod being a perfect
support for all plants. As the plant grows, lengthen the rod.<g>
while this sounds like it might not be too good for the thiner
rods, I was thinking though... there are extendable rods for
shower curtains and livingroom curtains that are larger, and
dang, that might just work!
I love gardening tips. That's just one of the reasons I enjoy
Horticulture magazine and Fine Gardening. Their 100th issue
had the best tips of the last 100 issues and it was awesome.