Godless in the garden


Godless in the garden

Welcome to gardeners, growers of veggies, fruits, flowers, and trees, backyard hen enthusiasts, worm farmers, & composters!

Location: Planet Earth
Members: 180
Latest Activity: 2 hours ago

Welcome to Eden!

If you like to dig in the dirt, grow flowers, putter around the yard, dig in the kitchen garden, raise backyard hens, or just like daydreaming about the garden, this is the place.

Many topics have been discussed in the archive.  Revive a topic by adding your 2¢ or start a new topic.

Everyone likes photos of the garden, so if you like to share photos of your prize dahlia, your favorite hen, or your first tomato, go right ahead!

Comment Wall


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Comment by Joan Denoo on December 12, 2012 at 10:29pm

Sentiant, I really like the articles you recommended to Amer. I had  not seen them before. 

Comment by Joan Denoo on December 12, 2012 at 10:25pm

Amer, I like the way you observe plants and let them "talk" to you. I  just watch plants and when I see a bit of yellowing between veins I get out my trusted books and figure out what they try to tell me. 

My favorite source is Gardens Alive and you can get some hints there. They usually have good photos of disease and pests so you don't have to make a trip to the County Extension Service. I don't go to hardware stores or nurseries because they will sell chemical compounds that can cause you more problems than you had to start with. Chemicals can kill your beneficials as well as what you target. Once you get an idea of the what is causing the problem, you can search the internet for more information or sources of natural products. 

Pest control:


Disease control:


Another way to hunt down diagnostics of pests or diseases is to Google and then go to "Images"

"plant beneficial fungus"


"plant disease fungus"


Oh dear! these are long address. 

"plant beneficial insects"


"Plant insects pests"


If you have trouble finding how to do this just let me know. 

Comment by Joan Denoo on December 12, 2012 at 1:24pm
Comment by amer chohan on December 12, 2012 at 9:40am

Most of cacti love low PH range from 5 to 6.

Last winter I was given a small amount of Humic acid powder mixture by a friend who was cultivating tomatoes on commercial bases. Mixture had wonderful effect on his crops(I vitnessed it). I applied it on my plants. Effect was amazing in the bignenging. But after three times some of plants started giving a red colour. I stopped immidiatly.

Cacti in our conditions break their winter dormancy in mid febreruary. But those red ones carried red color and dormancy long into summer growing period. So their last year growth was negligible. I don't know if their redishness was because of chemical overdose, wrong time of appliance or very high levels of acidity? So this time I want to be sure before doing anything silly. 

Comment by Daniel W on December 11, 2012 at 8:50pm

You are all teaching me a lot.

Comment by Joan Denoo on December 11, 2012 at 8:21pm
Spud, that is exactly what I thought, desert soils would be alkaline. It feels good to correct an assumption. Thanks.
Comment by Idaho Spud on December 11, 2012 at 4:45pm

My first thought was wrong also, but my first google reference agrees with Joan's.  It's  http://ralph.cs.cf.ac.uk/cacti/Cactus%20and%20Alkalinity.pdf

It starts by saying:  We often hear references to desert soil being alkaline. Maybe this is because there are so many alkali dry lakes in the desert, the assumption is that desert soils must also be alkaline. Cacti in their natural habitat get their water directly from rain. These plants normally grow on a minimum of soil in rocky areas. Many appear to come out of cracks in the rock. The pH of rain is acidic due to the carbon dioxide from the atmosphere dissolving in the rain water. It is this water that the cacti prefer. 


Comment by Daniel W on December 11, 2012 at 2:52pm


All I can say to that would be via googling on it, so your guess is as good as mine.

Humic acid is part of what is in humus, which is one of the important parts of compost.  I use lots of compost in all of my gardening, but I have not used purified humic acid.

All I can think of is to follow the label instructions.  I don't think it will hurt anything, but I'm not familiar with it.

This is from one web site:  

Humic acids - the fraction of humic substances that is not soluble in water under acidic conditions (pH < 2) but is soluble at higher pH values. They can be extracted from soil by various reagents and which is insoluble in dilute acid. Humic acids are the major extractable component of soil humic substances. They are dark brown to black in color.

I don't know that humic acid would acidify soil so much as bring it closer to the middle.  It buffers the soil.  It would take a chemist to explain that.  also info here.

Hope that's a little helpful!

Comment by Joan Denoo on December 11, 2012 at 1:55pm

Amer, I don't grow cactus but Dallas and Sentient Biped do. Perhaps they can give you some clues about when and how much to give. My guess, just on principle, is that cactus do not require acidic fertilizer. Oh Boy! I could be very wrong on cactus culture so don't trust my word. Much as I would like to speak with some knowledge.

What I am going to do now is Google "cactus culture", or "cactus management". 

The Cultivation Page about growing cacti & other succulent plants

Oh! I was wrong! Jeez! I really love it when I find out I am wrong and have a more accurate bit of knowledge. This article states, "Most cacti and succulent plants prefer a slightly acidic compost (pH6). If in doubt, this is the best choice for most species, but also avoid watering with strongly alkaline tap water. Simple, affordable pH meters are sold in many garden centres."

This article is really full of information and easy to access specific information. 


CACTUS CULTURE FOR AMATEURS  This is an old publication from England, but it is chuck full of information instructing Brits on how to grow cactus. "as in the case of almost every one of our cultivated plants, it is important to the cultivator to know something of the conditions which Nature has provided for Cactuses in those lands where they are native."

CACTUS  This is a modern cactus cultivation article. 

Well, this should get you started, and with a nice conversation with Sentient Biped or Dallas, you should be well launched. 





Comment by Joan Denoo on December 11, 2012 at 1:28pm

If the plants are dormant, you should honor that dormancy. They get their yearly rest and then come forth with full vigor during their growing season. Withhold fertilizer, except in very dilute amounts, until March or April. 
Soil is easily burned, either by heat or chemicals. If you notice ground under a campfire it is usually burned to clay and that is often what is found in archeology digs: burned soil. All living organisms are killed including plant life, seeds and roots, worms, fungus and any organic life. 

To burn with chemicals is to put too strong a dose of commonly used garden products on organic material (living material). Nitrogen is a most often seen. Have you ever noticed a lawn that has had fertilizer spread over the grass, and some grasses die? That is a chemical burn. Any acidic or alkaline fertilize has the capacity to burn leaves and roots if too much is applied. 


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