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Old February 1, 2011   #1
Heidelberg
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Default Ironite

I recently had a thread about a plant that seemed to be suffering a micronutrient deficiency. I purchased Ironite. It says on the bag that its good for vegetables. I used it once. I saw a marked improvement and increased growth on my plants, as well as a resolution to the issues I was having. I later stumbled across an article saying that Canada and a couple of states in the US have banned the sale of Ironite because of heavy metal content. Does anyone have experience or an opinion about this? Also, are there any other suggestions on a micronutrient product I can use in the furture?
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Old February 1, 2011   #2
Stepheninky
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Here is just a few of many links about Ironite.

http://www.health.state.mn.us/divs/eh/risk/ironite.htm
http://www.watoxics.org/content/pdf/...sumerFacts.pdf
http://www.envirolaw.org/poison.html
http://www.meepi.org/files02/ironite.htm
http://phoenix.bizjournals.com/phoen...27/story4.html
http://www.calisafe.org/_disc1/00000010.htm
http://www.ocweekly.com/ink/03/36/news-pignataro.php
http://www.rense.com/politics5/waste.htm
http://www.mineralpolicy.org/media/p...11_Ironite.pdf

Iron can get bound in your soil by calcium if your soil is too Alkaline. So the first step might be to do a soil test. I have heard that using greensand will help. What greensand does is it will unbound the iron that is already there so the plants can use it.

I am using humic and fulvic acid this year. Been using it to bottom water some seedlings with as a trial and they are preforming very well. Someone else (can't remember who mentioned it in a post and that is what prompted me to give it a shot.

humic acid is based on potassium-humates, which can be applied successfully in many areas of plant production as a plant growth stimulant and soil conditioner. The origin: through extraction the potassium humates are isolated from leanardite and are dissolved in water. This produces an aqueous suspension with a high content of humic acids, potassium, iron and a large number of trace elements ready for uptake by plants. It contains 70 various trace minerals.

Fulvic Acid is the most plant-active of the Humic Acid compounds, offering physical, chemical and biological benefits. Natural buffering, chelating and extremely high ion-exchange properties make mineral elements easier for plants to absorb. This results in increased plant vitality, resistance to environmental stress and improved crop quality and yields. Basically it makes what is already in the ground more bio available to the plants.

Both are considered to be really good soil conditioners. So that might also be an option for you.
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Old February 1, 2011   #3
Heidelberg
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OK that sounds good. I have potted plants and I have kinda been experimenting with my own soils. I have been using silica and limestone sand or decomposed granite for mineral content on my newest plants. They don't seem to have the same issues. There was really no mineral base in the soil for the tomato plant in question and its doing the worst (although better since the ironite). I have some understanding of the benefits of Humic acid. I have not heard of Fulvic acid. Greensand seems interesting. I have used the ironite in small amounts already and don't plan to throw everything out the window but I will not use it again. Any ideas where I can purchase these acids or the greensand? I have seen greensand in the pet store as a reptile substrate but it is awfully expensive there.
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Old February 1, 2011   #4
Stepheninky
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Heidelberg View Post
OK that sounds good. I have potted plants and I have kinda been experimenting with my own soils. I have been using silica and limestone sand or decomposed granite for mineral content on my newest plants. They don't seem to have the same issues. There was really no mineral base in the soil for the tomato plant in question and its doing the worst (although better since the ironite). I have some understanding of the benefits of Humic acid. I have not heard of Fulvic acid. Greensand seems interesting. I have used the ironite in small amounts already and don't plan to throw everything out the window but I will not use it again. Any ideas where I can purchase these acids or the greensand? I have seen greensand in the pet store as a reptile substrate but it is awfully expensive there.
Unless you are buying in bulk the cheapest places are ebay and amazon. Just do a search for it. I get mine in powered form and just mix it with water. A little goes a long way. one teaspoon will treat 2 gallons. The water will look like compost tea when mixed.
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Old February 3, 2011   #5
dice
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Nursery or greenhouse supply businesses would be a source
of greensand. It is heavy enough that shipping it would raise
the price quite a bit. Down To Earth markets it in 50 pound bags.

Granite dust is a good source of minerals. Another is Planters II,
but it is difficult to find in quantity. Here is one place where you
can buy more than a few pounds of it:
http://www.highcountrygardens.com/catalog/product/99715

I keep a gallon of Fertall on hand for quick adjustment of iron
deficiencies and so on, because it is chelated and can be
absorbed through foliage:
http://www.groworganic.com/fertall-l...-5-gallon.html
(No magnesium there, but that is easily supplied with epsom
salt if the soil is deficient in magnesium.)

When I checked, I did not see gallon size bottles of Fertall in
Peaceful Valley's online catalog, but I have bought that size
before, and in fact I have a gallon of Fertall MB, a gallon of
Fertall Iron, and a gallon of Fertall Calcium, all partly used.
Perhaps the manufacturer has discontinued the retail gallon
jugs or that vendor is simply not carrying them anymore.

One does not find the Fertall liquid chelates much in online
catalogs, but they are commonly available from farm supply
businesses in agricultural areas.

Humic Acid you can find all over:
http://www.hydroponics.net/i/133773
http://www.groworganic.com/humax-gallon.html
http://www.planetnatural.com/site/humic-acid.html
http://www.planetnatural.com/site/ro...ent-amber.html
http://www.ghorganics.com/HumAcid.html
http://homeharvest.com/humicacids.htm
(The fancier the name, the higher the price. Most hydroponic
stores probably have half a dozen or more different brands
on the shelf.)

My understanding is that leonardite derived humic acid
concentrates are usually 15-30% fulvic acid, but you can
buy that refined directly, too:
http://www.hydroponics.net/i/133771

From my reading, humic acid basically does all of its work in the
soil, chelating nutrients and making them more available to
plant roots. Fulvic acid does that, too, but it also has metabolic
functions in the plant, and it makes a more useful mineral
chelating agent for foliar feeding.

Overview on humus:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Humus
A longish, detailed blog entry on humic and fulvic acids
in soil and plant metabolism:
http://humusandcarbon.blogspot.com/

Other rich sources of trace minerals for plants:

Fish meal or fish emulsion
Kelp meal or liquid kelp extracts
Molasses
Alfalfa
Comfrey
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Last edited by dice; February 3, 2011 at 04:15 PM. Reason: the the, clarity, etc
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