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Rock, Herbs, azomite, kelp, crack-corn for flower & disease resistance

July 16, 2016

Re-post the info. I posted in the other thread, which got too long:

Molasses contain too much iron, at 20%, which pushes down Manganese. I prefer a BALANCED nutrient like whole-grain crack corn:

Crack-corn is cheap, sold at feed store for $3 for a 5 lb. bag, or $13 for a HUGE bag that lasted over a year. Good stuff to fertilizer roses in alkaline clay. Cracked corn is acidic at pH 4, birds like to eat that, plus it neutralizes my alkaline tap-water at pH 9.


NPK of corn meal is 1.6 / 0.65 / 0.4 .... that's better than horse manure NPK of 0.44 / 0.17 / 0.35. Whole-grain corn's minerals profile is impressive, with 53% magnesium, 25% iron, 35% phosphorus, 14% potassium, 40% manganese, plus anti-fungal agents of 37% selenium, 24% copper, and 26% zinc.

I'm looking into herbs to supply trace elements, since chemical-fertilizer have so little trace elements (like 0.05 mg copper and 0.05 manganese and 0.06 zinc). Kelp has all trace elements, but too salty for hot & dry weather.

Basil has 6 mg of zinc and 3 mg of copper (versus only 1 mg of copper in mint). I can eat the entire cup of Thai basil, but mint is hard to eat .. too strong. For herbs highest in copper, see below:


Zinc is the strongest anti-fungal, next is copper. Blooming require trace-elements, besides potassium and phosphorus. Lentils is also high in zinc, copper, potassium, iron. But lentils is more expensive than cracked corn.

Below link show rosemary, parsley, and sage as high in zinc:


Other herbs like chervil are high in zinc at 9 mg:


Manganese is needed second after iron in rose-tissue analysis. Manganese is important for root-elongation & flowering. Below link shows herbs highest in manganese, with dried spearmint at 11 mg, ground cloves at 30 mg ... I got this huge container of ground clove for only $2 from Mexican store & worked great to keep deer and bunnies off my roses.

Ground ginger has 27 mg manganese, plus cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice are also high in manganese:


Below is a bouquet fertilized with crack corn in hot & dry summer to lower my high pH tap-water at 9. I would use sulfate of potash/gypsum together with crack-corn to make the blooms larger. Blooms are a bit smaller.

Comments (20)

  • strawchicago

    Re-post from 2015 to organize info. in one place:

    "I read in Gardenguides.com today about what nutrients are soluble: nitrogen (10 mobility), potassium (3 mobility), and phosphorus (1 mobility). However, the trace elements: calcium, magnesium, zinc, copper, manganese, etc .. STAY PUT WHERE APPLIED.

    That's why the trace elements are chelated with sulfate to help with dissolving in water. Copper sulfate is a fungicide. Zinc, manganese, and iron are added to fertilizer in sulfate form (100% water soluble). Azomite contains up to 70 trace elements, but best diluted in acidic rain water 1 Tbs. per 2-gallon.

    Most tap water are very alkaline to prevent corrosion in pipes. For minerals to dissolve in water, an acid is needed, either through chelating with sulfate, or rain water (pH 5.6), or some used lemon would do (1/2 used lemon is enough to bring 2 gallons of tap down to pH of rain water).

    I am a strong believer in using fertilizer AS SOLUBLE. I tested various granular fertilizers: either they burn roots, or when I dig up, they haven't dissolve yet.

    Early spring with tons of rain I used Lily Miller fertilizer which has acid (sulfur) added to chicken manure plus extra zinc, manganese, boron, and iron. My roses & fruit trees were blooming lots.

    The addition of zinc is a MUST for phosphorus to work in blooming. An excerpt from below site: "In order for the plant to be able to take up Phosphorus(P), there must be available Zinc(Zn) in the soil. When the plant is unable to find any Zinc(Zn), it will stop taking up Phosphorus(P)."

    It's good to know this about Azomite, "Researcher reported statistically significant increases in the tomato fruit for five trace elements concentrations. Those elements included copper, potassium, magnesium, sodium, and manganese."

    My best blooms (both in quality and quantity) were obtained through cocoa mulch, high in potassium, and many trace elements such as zinc, copper, manganese, iron. Below is a bouquet of roses fertilized with cocoa mulch, see the many ruffles:

    Here is a link that might be useful: Zinc and plant growth

  • strawchicago

    Re-post info. from 2015: Jim and I tested Brewer's yeast this past summer. Brewer's yeast is high in potassium, with 50% daily value for copper. I tested that on stingy Eglantyne, stingy Jude the Obscure, and they gave me more blooms.

    Brewer's yeast at pH 4 worked on pale own-root that can't secret acid to counteract my tap-water at pH 9. But B. yeast induced blackspots during rainy season (rain is already acidic at pH 5.6) .. when the pH drops below 5, fungal diseases break out.

    My experiment with Rice bran was a disaster, leading to more black spots, thanks to its high in phosphorus. See Gardenguides site, which explains zinc deficiency as the result of high phosphorus.

    Keep in mind that the strongest ANTI-FUNGAL element is zinc, next is copper, and last is calcium and selenium. Both zinc and copper have strong ANTI-FUNGAL properties.

    An excerpt from below link "Addition of large quantities of phosphorus fertilizer potentially decrease crop
    yield, farm profits, and water quality
    . The purpose of this study is to
    determine the impact of excess phosphorus on the availability of zinc, iron,
    manganese, and copper
    to potatoes, wheat, and maize and to develop management
    strategies to prevent and/or correct this malady. "


    Another study showed how high phosphorus make less zinc available, thus LESS flowering. I tested high chemical phosphorus in pots .. roses broke out in blackspots plus stingy in blooms.

    I tested high phosphorus cow manure .. roses broke out in blackspots .. and my tomatoes were REALLY STINGY last year with cow manure (high in quick lime & phosphorus).

    " Pot experiments, using Zn65 were conducted on maize (Ganga-5) with different treatment combinations of phosphorus and zinc in sand and soil culture for two consecutive years (1972 and 1973). The deficiency of zinc was induced and a significant reduction in yield was recorded at a high level of P application."


  • strawchicago

    The ratio of nutrients is important. Re-post what U. of CA found in rose-tissue: http://www.ipm.ucdavis.edu/PMG/PESTNOTES/pn7465.html

    For low-ratios, it would be 3 Nitrogen, 2 Potassium, and 0.2 Phosphorus, plus 1 Calcium and 0.25 magnesium. For ppm it would be 50 iron, 30 manganese, 30 boron, 15 zinc, and 5 copper.

    So magnesium is needed in 1/8 the amount of potassium, and 1/4 the amount of calcium. Phosphorus is needed in 1/10 of potassium.

    Brewer's yeast, pH around 4, high in copper (50%) and potassium, would ensure healthy leaves & more buds. From below link, copper deficiency is: "young leaves may show various deformities including puckering, missing sections of blade and irregular holes.

    - the upper surface of young unexpanded leaves may have a silvery appearance.

    Occurs in calcareous (alkaline) soils, acidic sandy soils, organic (peaty) soils


    **** From Straw: I saw these huge ORGANIC fertilizer tablets for blooming made with Brewer's yeast at local Menards. Didn't buy since it contains the cheap potassium chloride (salt index of 120).

    Found a link for nutritional analysis of brewer's yeast, decent copper. Both copper and zinc are essential for flowering, besides potassium & phosphorus:



    Below is from Twin Lab's Brewer's yeast nutritional analysis:

    Vitamin A 0.0 %Vitamin B-12 2.1 %Vitamin B-6 1.9 % Calcium 0.4 %Copper 1.6 %Folate 3.8 %Iron 0.5 %Magnesium 0.5 %Manganese 0.4 %Niacin 1.7 %Pantothenic Acid 0.3 %Phosphorus 1.4 %Riboflavin 2.6 %Selenium 0.0 %Thiamin 5.8 %Zinc 0.5 %

  • strawchicago

    NPK of molasses is 3-1-5, but that varies with the brand, see link below.

    Best is Wholesome Organic Molasses, highest at 20% potassium (730 mg), 15% iron, 15% calcium, 0 sodium, and 10% B6. It's thicker than Plantation Molasses 17%(600 mg) of potassium, 20% calcium, and 10 mg of sodium.

    Alkaline red-lava-rock (pH 8.2) is almost perfect to fulfill the low-ratios in rose-tissue analysis: 3 Nitrogen, 2 Potassium, and 0.2 Phosphorus, plus 1 Calcium and 0.25 magnesium. For ppm it would be 50 iron, 30 manganese, 30 boron, 15 zinc, and 5 copper.

    But red-lava is too low in manganese .. that can be solved with ground clove, ground ginger, ground pumpkin spice (all are high in manganese).

    Jay-Jay in the Netherlands grows roses from seed, and he posted pics. of seedlings 100% healthy in soil with some red-lava-dust. Vintage Garden rose nursery used to top their roses with crushed-red-lava for iron & boron (most deficient in alkaline CA). Red-lava-sand is sold cheap. I used red-lava-rock since it's cheapest and I have rain-barrels to soak rocks in. Red-lava is fantastic to induce flowering, but the pH is too alkaline at 8.2 which need rain-water to break down.

    Red Lava rock is high in potassium & boron & iron & zinc & copper. See below:

    Nitrate Nitrogen.................................4.0 p.p.m.
    Phosphorus........................................6.0 p.p.m.
    Potassium.........................................59.0 p.p.m.
    Zinc.........................................................6 p.p.m.
    Iron..................................................10.0+ p.p.m.
    Copper...............................................5.5+ p.p.m.
    Magnesium.......................................2.0+ p.p.m.
    Boron.................................................10.0 p.p.m.
    Sulfate.................................................7.0 p.p.m.
    Organic Material...........................................5%
    PH.........................................................8.2 Units
    Calcium..................................1.3 Meq/100 gm*
    Manganese...........................0.6 Meq/100 gm*
    Sodium...................................0.1 Meq/100 gm*
    Cation Exchange Capacity..3.2 Meq/100 gm*

    Here is a link that might be useful: Nutrients composition of lava rock

  • strawchicago

    For Anna: I got curious about the clustering leaves & blind shoot with black tip (terminal bud necrosis) .. that happened to me when I used too much molasses on 2 roses I pots. Molasses has 20% iron, too much iron drive down both manganese and boron.

    My conclusion for blind shoot is Boron deficiency rather than Manganese deficiency, after I checked with better sites.

    Chicken manure has decent boron. Boron deficiency is common in alkaline soil & alkaline water. One fruit-orchard owner got a soil test, supplied needed boron, and witnessed a big jump in fruit-production.

    I didn't fertilize my peach tree, and most years it was really stingy in fruits. Then I used Lily Miller with acid & chicken-manure, and got the most peaches in over a decade. Just a tiny bit of boron can make a big difference in flowering.

    Tap water is high in calcium & plus high pH that will induce boron deficiency (cluster of leaves, but black tip, and no blooms).

    Cheap source of boron is prune at 27 mg and raisins at 25 .. never try that before !! But I tested manganese via ground clove today, will report result later.

    Boron is needed at equal amount to manganese in rose-tissue analysis. For low requirement in ppm it would be 50 iron, 30 manganese, 30 boron, 15 zinc, and 5 copper.


    Α. Whole plant is affected, starting from the older leaves.
    - Nitrogen
    - Phosphorus
    - Molybdenum

    Β. Symptoms restricted to the older leaves:
    - Potassium
    - Magnesium
    - Chloride

    Γ. Symptoms restricted to the newer leaves:
    - Calcium
    - Sulphur
    - Iron
    - Zinc
    - Boron
    - Manganese
    - Copper

    Boron Deficiency:

    Caused by:
    - High pH.
    - Increased Nitrogen, Calcium and Potassium levels.
    - Soil low in organic matter.
    - Dryness.
    - Easily washed away in sandy soils.

    - Young leaves become irregularly shaped, thicker (especially around their tip) and dark green.
    - Extensive stem necrosis.

    - Terminal bud necrosis.

    - Affected root growth.
    - Decreased flower and seed production.
    - Short internodes.
    - Witches' broom.

    Below is a pic. of boron deficiency in strawberry leaves: irregular shaped and thicker around the tip of leaves, plus no flowering.

    Below is a pic. of manganese, it's rampant in maple trees in my alkaline soil pH 8:

  • strawchicago

    Excerpt from below link:


    "Chicken manure that comes from cage layers. It's dried and pelletized and put into a granule. The analysis is 4-3-2 and 11% Calcium --Chicken manure provides a good form of natural boron and a lot of trace minerals as well."


    Boron deficiency symptoms:

    Limited budding, bud break, distorted shoot growth, short internodes, increased branching, flower buds falling and inhibition of fruit and seeds development. Boron adsorbed to soil particles, such as clay minerals, iron or aluminum oxides and organic matter."


    Boron deficiency

    • Symptoms: Stunted growth and tip dieback on lettuce, brown cracks in celery

    Cause: Soil shortages are rare, but this nutrient can be less available to plant roots in alkaline conditions. Remedy: Soil application rates for borax are: 35g per 20 sq m (1 oz per 20 sq yd). Mix well with a large quantity of light sand before spreading so that the chemical is evenly distributed." https://www.rhs.org.uk/advice/profile?pid=456

  • strawchicago

    Above is a bouquet of Evelyn (peachy pink), La reine (dark-pink), and cluster of Comte de Chambord, big light bloom is Betty White. This bouquet was fertilized with red-lava-rock and pea-gravel. Very long-lasting in the vase, 4 days when picked as fully-opened. Pic. taken July 17 in hot weather with 90% humidity. It rained last night.

  • Anna

    I am impressed, healthy roses. zero black spots or a mildew.

    strawchicago thanked Anna
  • strawchicago

    I'm out of my cheap clove (high in manganese), so I'll use fresh mint leaves .. more balanced nutrients with 7% iron, 6% manganese, 1% zinc, and 1% copper, 1% potassium 2% calcium, 2% magnesium. I'm testing PUREED fresh mint leaves on the pale leaves, will report the result later.


    Brewer's yeast, pH around 4, high in copper (50%) and potassium. From below link, copper deficiency is: "young leaves may show various deformities including puckering, missing sections of blade and irregular holes.

    - the upper surface of young unexpanded leaves may have a silvery appearance. occurs in calcareous (alkaline) soils, acidic sandy soils, organic (peaty) soils


    Found a link for nutritional analysis of brewer's yeast: balanced ratio of phosphorus, calcium, and iron. Very acidic at pH 4.



    Below is from Twin Lab's Brewer's yeast nutritional analysis:

    Vitamin A 0.0 %Vitamin B-12 2.1 %Vitamin B-6 1.9 %Vitamin C 0.0 %Vitamin D 0.0 %Vitamin E 0.0 %Calcium 0.4 %Copper 1.6 %Folate 3.8 %Iron 0.5 %Magnesium 0.5 %Manganese 0.4 %Niacin 1.7 %Pantothenic Acid 0.3 %Phosphorus 1.4 %Riboflavin 2.6 %Selenium 0.0 %Thiamin 5.8 %Zinc 0.5 %

    From eHow on using Brewer's yeast to induce blooms on roses: "A mixture of brewer's yeast and water applied to rosebush roots encourages bud formation. To force buds to grow, mix 3 tbsp. yeast with 10 liters of water. To maintain blooms throughout the season, use 2-4 tbsp. yeast in 2 gallons of water and apply as soon as the bushes begin to bloom.

    Read more : http://www.ehow.com/info_8581544_positive-uses-yeast-garden.html

    Found a government abstract link on how brewer's yeast break down phytate phosphorus and make it more available. Farmers add phosphorus to livestock feed.


    Here's from livestrong.com " One ounce of brewer's yeast typically contains 80 calories, with 11 g protein, 10.9 g carbohydrate, 1.1 g dietary fiber, 0.3 g fat, 537 mg potassium, 497 mg phosphorus, 60 mg calcium, 34 mg sodium, 10.7 mg niacin, 4.9 mg iron, 4.4 mg thiamine, 1.2 mg riboflavin and 110 mcg chromium."


  • Khalid Waleed (zone 9b Isb)

    Straw: It's good to know that cloves are sold cheap in your area. They are quite expensive in Islamabad. Lucky you...

    strawchicago thanked Khalid Waleed (zone 9b Isb)
  • strawchicago

    Info. about herbs to fertilize: Mint pureed wilted my cut-Pink-Peace bloom immediately .. must be from the salicylic acid (good for rooting, but lousy for cut-blooms).I tested fresh mint soaked in rain-water for my 10 roses in pots, no harm was done.

    I chopped up some mint with a garden's shear, threw into a 32-gallon garbage can filled with water, cover and let it soak for 2 days .. I saw some whitish stuff coming out of the water, it smelled OK and I watered roses with that .. my 10 own-roots bought end of June are sprouting fat buds (less than 4 hours of sun). Strike it rich has many yellow blooms.

    I did the same with alfalfa pellets (3 to 4 cups per large garbage can), put some water in, and cover with a garbage-lid for 2 to 3 days, and the water got REALLY SOUR and stinky, since I used acidic rain-water, but if I had used tap-water (pH near 9), the fermented greens would be less acidic.

    Some of the alfalfa tea got on my legs .. and it felt icky (too sour).. I wanted to wash my skin immediately .. and should had given that to rock-hard clay, rather than wilted my roses.

    Alfalfa pellets is great to top roses with, but stinky if made into sour tea. I like the fermented mint tea better: smell better, and roses had better foliage. I did alfalfa-tea 4 times with a large garbage can .. didn't see any improvement, except darker-green leaves .. then the leaves got thin & wilted with the too sour alfalfa-tea, some broke out in blackspots.

    Later on I did mint-tea 4 times for roses. This time I put alkaline-red-lava rocks to neutralize any acid given off by fermented mint. The first 3 times I soaked overnight, and the 4th time I soaked 2 days until I saw whitish stuff coming out of the leaves (probiotics or beneficial bacteria). The 4th time was best in prompting root-growth and buds in roses in pots.

    I would had soaked it 4 days if I had used alkaline tap water, but I used rain-water and I didn't want to soak it further, it would be too sour and induce blackspots.

    I got into making pickled veggies in the winter, and some recipe said to put a tiny bit of probiotics above a cup of yogurt so the veggies get sour faster. Perhaps putting a bit of the whey-water above a yogurt cup into a garbage can of tap-water & mint leaves would make it sour faster.

    Too sour made the leaves darker, but much thinner & prone to wilting in hot sun, plus prone to fungal infestation. Why I had better result with mint tea?

    Mint is high in copper, and copper is a strong anti-fungal agent, same with zinc. None of my roses break out in blackspots with the mint-water, but they suffered with the sour-alfalfa-tea. Two other people reported their roses breaking out in blackspots with acidic alfalfa tea.

    I put some alfalfa pellets (pH 5.8) into a vase and it wilted cut-blooms immediately, same with sour-vitamin C tablets. But sour stuff is good for rock-hard clay at pH near 8 and for own-root roses which are too young to secret acid.

    Munstead Wood refused to grow for 2 months until I put some gypsum (17% sulfur) on top. I don't like using too much gypsum since it has salt, plus too much calcium drive down potassium & boron (necessary for blooming). Own-root roses are really wimpy and don't secrete acid at first .. but once they get older (2nd year) their leaves get darker with better acid-phosphatase.


    In 100g of peppermint, it has lots of B-vitamins, vitamin A at 141%, vitamin C at 53% (necessary for plants' growth), 12% potassium, 24% calcium, 36% copper, 63% iron, 20% magnesium, 51% manganese, and 10% zinc.

    Re-post what U. of CA found in rose-tissue: http://www.ipm.ucdavis.edu/PMG/PESTNOTES/pn7465.html

    For low-ratios, it would be 3 Nitrogen, 2 Potassium, and 0.2 Phosphorus, plus 1 Calcium and 0.25 magnesium. For ppm it would be 50 iron, 30 manganese, 30 boron, 15 zinc, and 5 copper.

  • strawchicago

    Khalid: with regard to your question about making compost tea when the rain stops .. that's what I do in hot & dry weather. California folks with alkaline-tap water report excellent result with acidic & fermented alfalfa tea in lowering their alkaline & high pH tap-water.

    Since I use acidic rain-water in making "herb-tea", I put alkaline-minerals to make it less acidic. I throw some pea-gravel, limestone, or red-lava-rock so the decayed herbs help break down the hard-minerals.

    2 tablespoon of fresh peppermint has 5% manganese, 3% copper, 6% iron, and 3% vitamin C. Mint wilted my cut-blooms instantly in the vase with its salicylic acid, which is used in rooting .. I tested too much mint with cut-blooms, like 1/2 cup for a vase.

    Cut blooms last longer in the vase with alkaline-tap-water, but plants need acid to break down the minerals in soil in less-rain period.


    Nature likes a balance (neutral pH) .. some roses' roots, esp. the ones grafted on Centifolia or Dr.Huey can secret acid well .. so I aim for neutral-pH solution by putting acidic & decayed herbs with an alkaline & hard mineral.

    Watering with acidic fermented solution is great for pale roses, but dark-green leaves roses hate that stuff. Dark-green leaves roses need more minerals, so I make the tea more alkaline with minerals (dolomitic lime, red-lava or pea-gravel's dissolution).

    Making "souring herb" tea is like making Kimchi for roses, filled with beneficial bacteria, I throw a handful of chopped fresh mint in water, cover it, and let it ferment for a few days. No need to stir.

    There no mold nor foul odor in my 2-days fermented mint tea, perhaps due its high antifungal agents of zinc, copper & trace elements. The leaching out of vitamin C and vitamin B definitely helps with plants' growth.

    Info. on Kimchi: It is a storehouse of a range of vitamins such as vitamin A, vitamin B1, vitamin B2 and vitamin C. rich in essential amino acids and minerals such as iron, calcium, selenium. plus probiotics: lactobacillus bacteria

    With mint tea I let it soak in a large garbage can (covered), throw some rocks in there to neutralize the acid .. I let it soak for 2 to 3 days until I see whitish filaments (beneficial bacteria) coming out of the decayed mint. See some pics. below of plants perk-up with mint-tea:

    Madame Isaac Pereire as tiny own-root, almost died in soaking wet-clay, so I moved to the hill. It refused to grow, until I gave it mint-tea. Own-roots are wimpy and haven't secret acid yet, so "souring" herb tea helps. Pic. taken July 27, in humid & rainy weather. Leaves with holes are the old leaves from poor-drainage clay.

    Same with Souvenir du President Lincoln as a tiny own-root, moved recently to up-hill refused to grow until I gave it mint-tea. It's 100% healthy, pic. taken July 27 in hot & humid weather:

    Below is my 3rd Comte de Chambord (grafted on multiflora), I moved it recently, lost all leaves, refused to grow until I gave it slightly fermented mint tea. It's right below a rain-spout dumping tons of water, but it's 100% clean, sprouting 4 buds:

  • strawchicago

    Above is Strike it Rich received from Roses Unlimited as tiny own-root end of June. Picture taken July 27, one month growth, It has 4 buds, which I broke one when I transferred from pot to ground. Fertilized with mint tea for fast growth and antifungal agents. It's 100% clean in rainy & humid weather.

  • vaporvac

    Finally something to do with my rampant lemon balm! I'm going to try this soon.

    strawchicago thanked vaporvac
  • strawchicago

    Vaporvac: I had just trim my lemon balm and threw into a garbage can filled with rain-water. We got tons of rain yesterday, and they went beserk. Lemon balm has the same major nutrients as mint, plus special anti-viral and anti-bacterial trace elements. I looked up trace elements in lemon-balm, here's an excerpt from below link:

    " The results indicate that the production of volatile oil main compounds from M. officinalis is correlated with the concentrations of Na, Co, Rb, Cd, Cs, La, Sm and Hf."


    This will be the 1st time I test lemon-balm by itself .. previous time it was a combo with peppermint.

    These are antifungal trace elements, listed in the order of most potent: Silver, Mercury, Copper, Cadmium, Chromium, Nickel, Lead, Cobalt, Zinc, Iron, and lastly calcium.

    So Lemon Balm has antifungal copper & zinc & iron like the mint-family, plus Cobalt and Cadmium (next-strongest anti-fungal agent after copper).

  • strawchicago

    My soil at pH 8 has rampant manganese deficiency. Just bought a cheap $1 big bottle of Oregano herb .. too stinky to use for cooking, so I'll test that on pale roses. this herb has so many vitamins, plus trace-elements with copper at 105% and zinc at 40%, and manganese at 203%.


    Calcium 1576 mg 158% Copper 0.943 mg 105%

    Iron44 mg 550% Magnesium270 mg 67.5%

    Manganese 4.667 mg 203% Zinc4.43 mg 40%

    For herbs highest in zinc, it's thyme, basil (both at 6 mg), and chervil (9 mg) zinc.

  • vaporvac

    That's great info! LB is a member of the mint family so it's not surprising it shares many of the same characteristics, but great that it has some additional elements. I use all my other mint for cooking and only use LB for teas. I have so much of it I was going to pull it out, but now I have a use for it. Yeah! Please report back on your experiment.

    I'll have to try some oregano, as well. They always have cheap spices at Big Lots. :)

    strawchicago thanked vaporvac
  • strawchicago

    Vaporvac: I bought Heirloom and Sundowner cheap-grafted-on-Dr.Huey early summer. Heirloom was sold for $4 at Walmart. Both have bad reputation of blackspot fest. I was about to return Sundowner to the store since the stick refused to sprout leaves.

    More than a week ago I gave Sundower a big pitcher of pureed-fresh-mint. Now it's twice taller than Heirloom .. both have buds, but Sundowner is twice taller.

    Yesterday July 30 I sprinkled dried-oregano on three roses grafted on Dr.Huey. I'm after deeper-colors bloom, and copper is known to deepen the blooms' color.

    I'm annoyed that Sundowner still has crinkled leaves (copper deficiency), will try super-high-copper Brewer's Yeast (pH 4) next. It's fun to buy $4 cheap-grafted-roses and experiment with that. Dr. Huey-rootstock is tough, he can take my experiments.

    I am more cautious with tiny own-roots .. they are much wimpier.

    Yesterday July 30 I put the entire bottle of $1 Italian Spice (majoram, basil, thyme, oregano) on Pink Peace (grafted-on-Dr.Huey). My Pink Peace as own-root was much healthier than this grafted Pink Peace. But the own-root didn't survive my zone 5a winter.

    Will post pics. later, it takes at least one-week to show the result. In my many experiments, acid like Brewer's yeast, gypsum, sulfate of potash show the result IMMEDIATELY: wilting or burning.

    The extreme-alkalinity like dolomitic lime (pH 9), quick lime (pH over 10) shows the result immediately: pale leaves within a few days, but trace-elements take much longer to show the result. Will wait until Sundower open its blooms to see if the color deepen (with copper) compared to the 1st-flush.

  • strawchicago

    Above dark-green leaves but bunched up (zinc & boron deficiency) are old leaves of William Morris obtained from nursery. The pale leaves are early July growth (fertilized with molasses & sulfate of potash).

    See below for pic. of NEW growth of William Morris, fertilized with mint & rocks, also with gypsum & red-lava-rock, using an acid (gypsum or mint) to unlock the nutrients in red-lava and pea-gravel. I like the new shiny & glossy leaves.

  • strawchicago

    I dumped lots of dried oregano on Sundowner (previously had copper deficiency with crinkled leaves) .. leaves are OK, but still have blackspots on lowest leaves. My next step is to test fertilizing with garlic chives soaked in rain-water. Garlic chives is high in potassium & antioxidant vitamin A, and a strong anti-fungal agent.


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