[NAFEX] Organic Silica Source(Tips for greenhouse)

vrana nokal at seznam.cz
Sat May 5 10:28:34 EDT 2007


OK, boron, but if you will give a bit more of it than recomended amount, so
your plants will stop growing and fruiting.Be carefull,  Jan
----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Mark & Helen Angermayer" <hangermayer at isp.com>
To: "North American Fruit Explorers" <nafex at lists.ibiblio.org>
Sent: Saturday, May 05, 2007 4:21 PM
Subject: Re: [NAFEX] Organic Silica Source(Tips for greenhouse)


> Hi Kenneth,
>
> After looking into it, I've determined laundry borax is the same thing as
> agricultural borax which has a number of uses.  Used in forges to take the
> hardness out of steel, used as an aid to laundry detergent, or as a
> fertilizer.  20 mule borax is penta borate with 11% actual boron.  The
> highest general recommendation for boron I've heard is 2ppm (tomatoes may
> have a higher recommendation, you could check on that).  Sooooo, here is
my
> calculation:
>
> A foot/acre of soil weighs about 3.5 million lbs (depending on the type of
> soil). Since there are 43560 sqft in an acre, 3.5 mil/ 43560 gives 80 lbs.
> per sqft.  I wouldn't expect the root zone of maters to go much beyond 8
> inches deep so the top 8 inches would weigh 80 lbs. X .667 = 53 lbs.  I
> would expect the roots would extend laterally to cover an area of about 3
X
> 3  or roughly 10 sqft.  So 53 lbs X 10 sqft. = 530 lbs. of soil in each
> plant's root zone. At 2ppm that would calculate to 530/0.000002 = 0.00106
> lbs. per plant.  Since your boron source is 11%, that would calculate to
> 0.00106 lbs. / 11% =  0.00964 lbs. of 20 mule borax per plant.  Here is
> where it may get dicey, the conversion of weight to volume.  There are 32
> tablespoons per fluid pound.  I'm going to guess borax weighs half as much
> as water per volume.  So let's say there are 64 tablespoons per pound of
> borax.  That would mean you would need 0.00964 lbs X 64 tablespoons per
> pound =  0.62 tablespoons per plant (a more manageable number).  At three
> teaspoons per tablespoon, that would come to 1.85 teaspoons of borax per
> plant.  If you watered approximately 20 gallons per plant over the season,
> you would mix it at 0.0925 teaspoons per gallon, or a little less than 1/8
> of a teaspoon per gallon of water.  I hope all my calculations are
correct.
> Maybe someone out there can double check 'em.  Lastly, it all assumes
there
> is zero boron in your soil as a starting point.
>
> Gotta go, with all the rain, the ants have found their way in.  We are
being
> over-run with them.
>
> Mark
> Kansas
>
> ----- Original Message ----- 
> From: "K Q" <kumquat at operamail.com>
> To: <nafex at lists.ibiblio.org>
> Sent: Thursday, May 03, 2007 10:34 AM
> Subject: Re: [NAFEX] Organic Silica Source(Tips for greenhouse)
>
>
> > Dylan,
> >
> > Can you speculate a little for me? If I wanted to hand water my 'maters
> say once every week or two with trace amounts of boron derived from Twenty
> Mule team washing borax, How would I go about it? Dissolve a cup of Borax
in
> 5 gallons of water, then only use a cup of that stock solution per 2
gallon
> watering can?
> >
> > Perhaps I should do a titration study with something fast growing like
> radish. Find out just what levels are toxic in my conditions.
> >
> > I realize this mineral is potent and would like some idea of how weak to
> make it. We get 40 inches of rain per year, and I am sure significant
> amounts have been washed beyond the rootzone of most vegetables in the
> millenia that have gone before.
> >
> > Kenneth
> >
> >
> >
> > > Date: Wed, 2 May 2007 12:37:54 -0400
> > > From: "Dylan Ford" <dford at suffolk.lib.ny.us>
> > > Subject: [NAFEX] Organic Silica Source(Tips for greenhouse)
> > > To: "North American Fruit Explorers" <nafex at lists.ibiblio.org>
> > > Message-ID: <004101c78cd8$b8d61190$826ec344 at dylanwmvi3setm>
> > > Content-Type: text/plain; charset="iso-8859-1"
> >
> > > > I. Silica - The Forgotten Nutrient
> > > (SNIP)
> > > >           As I understand it from reading many of his (Hugh Lovel's)
> > > postings, the farmer
> > > > must perform a delicate balancing act to get sufficient silica up
into
> his
> > > > plants, and any recklessness in this pursuit can lead to tragedy.
> > > >
> > > >           Silica is ubiquitous in the environment, but is not
> sufficiently
> > > > available to plants absent trace amounts of boron to increase its
> > > fluidity.
> > > > Boron easily rinses from soils where there is insufficient
> "sequestered
> > > > carbon" to grip it.
> > > (SNIP)
> > > >           The enlightened grower's conundrum is that naked boron,
even
> in
> > > > tiny amounts, can be toxic to the plants and also to ants and other
> > > > indispensible insects that perform vital functions in the soil, so
it
> must
> > > > be used extremely sparingly and always be applied with generous
> buffers of
> > > > protective humates such as humic or fulvic acid, or at very least
> > > > wormcasting- or compost-tea (and even added sugar), to temporarily
> bind it
> > > > up.
> > > >           Mr. Lovel further asserts that potassium silicate -  an
> > > industrial
> > > > product manufactured (with trace boron) for use in terra-cotta
glazes,
> if
> > > > mixed with soluble humate could be a valuable form of amorphous
fluid
> > > silica
> > > > for the grower, but (though it could do no harm, he maintains) is
not
> yet
> > > > permitted for agricultural use under current Organic Standards.
> He
> > > > therefore offers an alternative home-brewed solution which I tried
> with
> > > > first-rate results. Mr. Lovel writes,
> > > >
> > > >           "Here's a recipe. You can use rice hulls (not bran) or
> bamboo.
> > > > Burn these to ash. The ashes will be rich in potassium silicate.
Cook
> this
> > > > ash at the rate of 2 or 3 kilos to a 20 litre pot [of water] to make
a
> lye
> > > > solution that will be rich in potassium silicate rather than sodium.
> > > Strain
> > > > this, and while still simmering add a kilo of diatomaceous earth
that
> is
> > > as
> > > > finely ground as possible. This will be rich in amorphous fluid
> silica.
> > > Also
> > > > add a half cup of soluble boron such as disodium octaborate
> tetrahydrate,
> > > > otherwise known as Solubor. Simmer this at least twenty minutes with
> > > > stirring, and strain.
> > > >           You will have a solution that will be fairly rich in
> potassium
> > > > silicate. Add this to your earthworm leachate [or better, soluble
> humates]
> > > > at a rate of a full cup for every four litres. Water all squash,
> cukes,
> > > > zukes, capsicums, okra and anything else that may be susceptible to
> > > getting
> > > > too lush, weak, bug-bitten or diseased. For tomatoes double this
rate
> and
> > > > use two cups per four litres. These are all natural materials except
> > > > possibly Solubor, which is permissible in most organic certification
> > > > programs."
> > > >
> > > > (A Hugh Lovel cautionary note: boron creates sap pressure in plants,
> and
> > > > young seedlings do not have a large enough vascular system to handle
> the
> > > sap
> > > > pressures that are beneficial in their later growth. Get plants up
and
> > > > running before being too generous with boron.)
> > >
> > > (SNIP)
> > >
> > > >           Hugh Lovel has a great many more informed insights and
> > > considered
> > > > opinions to share with open-minded growers, some of which I "get"
and
> some
> > > > of which I don't (yet), but the silica - boron - humate trinity is
one
> > > that
> > > > added an important new preventive concept to my plant-health and
> > > protection
> > > > toolbox.
> >
> >
> > -- 
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