Latest posts by fidgetbones

Are they any good?

Posted: 27/08/2016 at 12:43

Rock dust is very fine waste from scottish quarries, granite or volcanic  basalt.

The theory goes that is is a good source of lots of micronutrients. The amount a plant can grow is limited by the nutrient level., not just NPK. Adding comfrey water adds micronutrients, the comfrey drags it up from the subsoil. It will be limited by the subsoil content.  Rock is not soluble  and plants cannot absorb it, so I initially thought it would be a total waste of time. Where it has been added to sandy soil in the wheat belts of Australia, it made absolutely no difference. No worms, no humus.

Where it is used as part of a humus rich environment with lots of worms, the plants grow larger and stronger.

 Erosion of rock releases the contents into a soluble for, whether by being scraped by a glacier or silt from a river on a flood plain. Some of the most fertile soils in the world are  flood plains and the sides of volcanoes.

 Soils that have been grown on for 100 s of years have lost a lot of their micronutrients, and the nutrient values in our foods is less now than 100 years ago.I ordered a tonne bag to remineralise the veg plot, and with lots of FYM, turn  sandy free draining soil ( my side) and heavy clay and shale(next door) into productive soil. That was three years ago, and I have found a big difference . Even flowers grown in the veg plot for the house look better, stronger stems on the sweet peas. I should point out that my side has seen 22 years of added mushroom compost, FYM  and BFB, but it is a very free draining sand, and soon loses nutrients. Next doors clay has not had anything added in all the time I have been here, before I got my  wellies on it.

If you want to try it, I think it is worms along with the humus that are essential. Being worked by the worms releases the nutrients in some way, into a soluble form. ( Acid and enzymes in the worm gut???)If your compost bins are on concrete, I would mix the dust in with the compost when you use it for mulch on the soil, or dig it in. The worms will then mix it. If you have no worms I do not think you will see much difference.There are a few  sites for more information.

 The Seer centre in Scotland

Remin rock dust

and an American site

Maybe we could do an experiment for people with allotments. Treat half of each patch with rock dust, and half exactly the same other stuff but no rock dust. No quick fixes, but after a couple of years a big difference.

 I should add that it is not like a straight fertiliser. I found better effects in the second year. Again, after the worms have worked it into a soluble form. Only at molecular level can nutrients be absorbed by the plant roots.

Are they any good?

Posted: 27/08/2016 at 11:04

Last week when I was hosing down a dry load that had been steaming for two weeks , my friend who has been staying with us said I was doing my witchcraft. I accidentally caught her with the hosepipe as I turned round. "Who are you calling a witch?"

Are they any good?

Posted: 27/08/2016 at 10:59

If I can be bothered to move my self today, I am going to empty the rotol into the top of the tardis.  That frees some space for the contents of a builders bag into the rotol.  Last turn also gets some rock dust mixed in, for the worms to work. It won't get used until next spring. The load I used this year seems to be supercharged. The Salvia Amistad are five foot tall from cuttings. The only difference this year is the compost when planting out used had rock dust mixed in it for the final worm working/maturing phase.

I was using rock dust only on the veg patch, mixed with FYM. It gave good results. I think it works best after worms work it with a source of organic matter. I had a bucketfull left over which I mixed in the compost heap when I filled it last Autumn.

The new apple trees will get some with their mulch this year.

All muck and magic.

comfrey and fertilizer

Posted: 27/08/2016 at 10:19

Any ideas of nutrient content?

Comfrey has a high potash content, good for flowers and fruit.

Nettle has a high nitrogen content, good for green leafy veg and brassicas.

Wedding flowers planning

Posted: 27/08/2016 at 10:12

Dried delphinium petals make lovely  biodegradable confetti.

Charity shops have  vases for one or two pounds each.  Jam jars of sweet peas on each table are lovely.

 Because of the vagaries of the weather, for a specific date you have to plant a series of the same flowers to stagger the harvest dates. Last year I planted gladioli in April May and June 1st, to get cut flowers for October 10th. It meant I had excess gladioli, cutting from July all the way through to October.

This year I promised sweet peas for someone for mid July. Previous five years, it would have been a no brainer. This year, we made it, but it was a close run thing because of the cold wet May and June we had.

Wedding flowers planning

Posted: 27/08/2016 at 10:04

A few questions.

Where  and when is the wedding? Colour scheme.?

Do you need table decorations, bouquets, buttonholes, hair decorations for flower girls or what?

I can't get any connection out of that link

The book people have a number of books on wedding flowers.

Are they any good?

Posted: 27/08/2016 at 09:54

With daleks, I lift the whole thing off like a jelly mould, and then throw it back in to the empty one. That way if it is a bit dry you can wet it as you go. If it is wet and soggy , I mix in some dry stuff.

 It does mean that you need a bit of space for the composting area.


Posted: 26/08/2016 at 22:34

Is it a hot lips? hotlips larger plants are hardy here in the East Midlands. A rooted cutting may not be. I would give it some protection the first winter if you can.


Posted: 26/08/2016 at 22:32

It depends on what salvias they are. Some are hardier than others.  Rooted cuttings I would keep in a cold frame over winter to give them some protection, even if they are the hardy type. Cuttings of Amistad would need to be kept frost free.

Identify this plant/fruit/nut

Posted: 26/08/2016 at 17:20

Definitely a wisteria.

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