JPIXI
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Goodies for Roses

I have recently tried alfa alfafla tea, and my roses seem to react very positively to it. However, I have doubts...

1-I read that I must add in Epsom salt, can I replace by sea salt instead?

2-Some articles say that suger should be added to the alfafla tea to promote good bacterias?

Cheers!

grandpasrose
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Yes Alfalfa is excellent for your roses, I have used it for years in "Rose Tea"!

DON"T USE SEA SALT INSTEAD OF EPSOM SALT!!!!! :shock:
Epsom salts is not a true salt, but really Magnesium Sulfate (I have no idea why they call it salt). If you use sea salt you will destroy your roses!!!!! :cry:

Dry alfalfa is a good slow-release source of nitrogen, but since you will be "digesting" it by letting it ferment in water, the resulting tea is a soluable, fast-acting nitrogen source.
Also, by making alfalfa (or manure) tea, you don't have to worry about weed seeds sprouting from the fertilizer.
In addition to nitrogen, alfalfa supplies enzymes and trace elements that are not present in chemical nitrogen fertilizers.

Alfalfa includes:
Triacontanol (growth stimulant)
Vitamin A (high concentration)
Thiamine
Riboflavin
Pantothenic Acid
Niacin
Pyridoxine
Choline
Bentaine
Folic Acid
co-enzymes
Crude proteins
Amino acids: Tryptophan, Aspartic Acid, Threonine, Serine, Glutamic Acid, Proline, Glycine, Alanine, Cystine, Valine, Methionine, Isoleucine, leucine, Tyrosine, Phenylalanine, Histidine, Lysine, Arginine

Minerals (contained in dry alfalfa): Nitrogen, Potassium, Phosphorus, Calcium, Magnesium, Sulphur, Manganese, Iron, Boron, Copper, Zinc.

In a full size garbage bin (20 gallons) add 16 cups of alfalfa pellets or alfalfa meal. (4 cups to every 5 gallons water)

Add 1 - 2 cups of Epsom salts (or one quarter to half a cup to 5 gallons)
Add 1 cup fish emulsion.
Fill with water, put on a tight lid. Let stand for one to two weeks until it bubbles with fermentation. Your nose will tell you that it's ready.

Apply alfalfa tea once per month in the spring and summer. You can reduce or eliminate the Epsom salts in later batches.

Stop applying it in the fall, when you want the plants to start hardening off for the winter.

Scoop off the liquid with a bucket and pour a gallon of tea per rose around the base; more for large climbers, less for potted roses and minis.

When you are left with a thick goop of alfalfa in the garbage bin, you can either add half a barrell more water, stir and add the slurry to your roses as well, or add the alfalfa dregs into your compost pile.

I have used this recipe for a few years now, and my roses do wonderfully. You can also add some kelp, bone meal, compost or manure to your tea if you would like - roses like them all! :D

Hope this answers your questions, and eases your doubts! :wink:
VAL(Grandpa's Rose)[/b]
VAL (Grandpa's Rose)

JPIXI
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So grateful for your reply MOD!

I used eggshell powder to feed my roses too.

As for Fish Emission, I still do not know how to DIY at home, any idea?

Long live Bio gardening!!

grandpasrose
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Hear, Hear!! :D

Yes ground eggshells are great, and I also cut up all my banana peels (we have about one a day) and throw them right on - they love it.

I am assuming DIY is Do It Yourself (just a little behind on the lingo).
No I have never made my own fish emulsion, although my father goes fishing alot, and when he has finished cleaning his fish, he brings the remains over to my house and I bury them under my roses - they love that too!!!
Enjoy your Roses, and stop and smell them too! :wink:
VAL (Grandpa's Rose)
VAL (Grandpa's Rose)

JPIXI
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Thanks a bunch MOD!!

grandpasrose
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Not a problem - anytime! :wink:
VAL (Grandpa's Rose)
VAL (Grandpa's Rose)

JPIXI
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Hi MOD,

Where do you get your Epsom salt? I went to the drug store, pharmacy they only have small paper bag of 30g each. I need bigger quantity I think.

Cheers!

grandpasrose
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Have you tried at your supermarket? I am not sure if any of the "box" stores like walmart would carry it. If you have a Co-Op (farming etc.) outlet, they may have it. If not, ask your pharmacy to get it in for you in a larger quantity. They should be able to do this. :wink:
VAL (Grandpa's Rose)
VAL (Grandpa's Rose)

The Helpful Gardener
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If I remember JPIXI lives in France, so Walmart is out... :lol:

Chemist's supply houses or a hypermart might have it in larger quantity...

Scott

grandpasrose
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What - Walmart isn't everywhere?!?!?! :lol:
Actually, I had no idea where JPIXI is from as there is nothing on the profile to indicate. You must have an incredible memory Scott to remember these things about everyone!
Sorry JPIXI for assuming you were in the States- I should be more aware of it because I am Canadian and we get left out of alot of things too! :roll:
I guess my note is very North American oriented. I apologize.
Scott is right - and if you still can't find it, as I said before, go back to the pharmacy you found the smaller package in and request a larger order. :wink:
VAL (Grandpa's Rose)
VAL (Grandpa's Rose)

JPIXI
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Hi HG, MOD,

Thanks for both your advices and attentions.

I indeed had just moved to France, this country is surprisingly lack of organic gardening knowledge. Out of 18 florists I spoke to, none heard of Neem oil, Epsom Salt and Alfalfa treatment. They are total aliens to french gardener.

I resolve the aflafla source by replace with chincilla's alfalfa dry pallet. Cost me less and they are real fresh (green) than those ridiculous expensive dry alfalfa sold in petshop. I smashed them and disolve them in water.

I am still sourcing Epsom salt though....I am at a myserable stage :?

In supermarket, they only sell Biocarbonate Sodium, which I beleive is baking soda, NOT epsom salt. I can only use as pest and fungus control?

If anyone has better idea pls rescue me ok, thanks a bunch

Jpixi

grandpasrose
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Bonjour!!
Epsom salts are magnesium sulfate. So maybe ask for it by that name.
Also, they have been referred to at time as "bitter salts" But remember, it is not a salt, so don't replace it with any type of salt or sodium!!!
Otherwise, you may end up ordering some on line.
You did well with the alfalfa though. I have heard of people using the pet pellets when they couldn't find the other.
I really wish you luck - let us know! :wink:
VAL (Grandpa's Rose)
VAL (Grandpa's Rose)

JPIXI
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Bonjour Mod!

I tried the alfalfa tea today, shall update you with the outcome in weeks to come of the difference in my roses growth. To be honest, I am novice in gardening. Had learnt a lot from this forum in past 2 weeks than 3 decades of my life.

Merci beaucoup mon ami!

The Helpful Gardener
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Good luck with the magnesium sulphate, mon frer...

Scott

grandpasrose
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Bienvenue, mon nouveau jardineire!!!
Let us know.......... :wink:
VAL
VAL (Grandpa's Rose)

opabinia51
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Waited a bit to long to long to look at this post but, just wanted to correct something that Grandpasrose said near the top. Magnesium Sulphate is actually a salt. A salt is just simply the result of an acid-base reaction. Therefore, the reaction to give Magnesium sulphate would most likely have been Magnesium Hydroxide plus Sulphuric Acid to yield Magnesium Sulphate and water. (A salt and water)

Anyway, that is why Magnesium Sulphate is called a salt. :wink:

grandpasrose
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I apologize Opa - you are correct, Magnesium Sulphate (epsom salts) is considered a "salt of magnesium". :o
However, this does not mean that it can be traded back and forth with other true salts - sea salt, etc. True salt will poison the soil in the quantity that epsom salts are used, and any plant will die. :cry:
It can be very confusing the way things get named!! :wink:
VAL
VAL (Grandpa's Rose)

JPIXI
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Dear VAL,

After trying the alfalfa tea, my roses are obviously stronger. There are much more new shoots, and it seems the alfalfa promotes flowering too.

From the leaf , deep green and larger leaf, I can tell the roses are more resistance to diseases.

I suggest everyone to give alfalfa a try, maybe not over supply with it, attention.

Cheers!

The Helpful Gardener
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Excellent JPIXI!

Glad to hear the organic stuff is working for you (I'd no doubt, but it's nice to hear the first hand success stories all the same :D )

Scott

grandpasrose
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That is so wonderful JPIXI!!
I am so glad that it has worked for you and you're getting results.
Enjoy your roses! Bonsoir mon nouveau jardineire! :wink:
VAL
VAL (Grandpa's Rose)

JPIXI
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Hello VAL and Scott,

You guys are great advisers, without your motivation and guidance I wont have saved my roses that I inherited from the last owner.

I have just purchased a larger quantity of epsom salt throught internet. 50kg..(option 25kg/50kg with same transport fee)for only 15euros, well transport fee is double(30 euros) anyway. For those who live in French region, I susgest you go by search engine with" vente epsomite" or you will probably never find anything promising to solve your search in another decade.

It is almost the 3rd quarter of the summer now. This summer is like spring for us this year, cool and windy, not sure how it goes in September.

Questions:
*********
1)May I know how often and in what quantity should I feed my plants with Epsom salt?

2)Should I stop feeding them end of summer just before autumn?

3)Organic compose of carot and potatoes tops, can I still supply my plants during the cold season?

4)Is all plants suitable for epsom salt application?

Finally, I really know and see how a healthy plant looks after using epsom salt and alfalfa tea. It is not only the physic contact, but a connection between these plants and you that serenely say" Thanks to you, I am comfort and doing just alright". The sensation is genuine and direct, it feels really great, it sheds my tears all the time...

Merci, merci infinitivement... :wink:

Cheers

grandpasrose
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Bonjour JPIXI! I am so glad you are now getting the wonderful peaceful feeling of watching the results of your efforts come to bloom! It is a wonderful feeling isn't it - just to feel "I did this - amazing!"
I am also glad to hear that you finally did find a source for your epsom salts - that was sure a treasure hunt wasn't it? :roll:

In answer to your questions:

1) I mix my epsom salts 2 cups to 16 cups alfalfa to 30 gallons water. Each plant gets about a gallon. I do this probably about every three weeks or so.

2) You should not be feeding your roses any fertilizers of any type, organic or otherwise about 4 to 6 weeks before frost. This gives the roses time to wind down and stop producing new growth that will just get damaged in the winter. Of course, if fall and winter there is anything like it is here guessing when the frost will come is a little hit or miss, so use your best guess. I usually stop fertilizing around August 15.

3) Certainly keep adding composted material around your roses during the cold season as you are building up the quality of the soil. Make sure it is composted first though, or you will be depleting your soil of nitrogen. Before I cover my roses for the winter, I always mound mine with a big pile of good compost.

4) Many plants are suitable for the use of Epsom Salts. Chemically, Epsom salts is hydrated magnesium sulfate (about 10 percent magnesium and 13 percent sulfur). Magnesium is necessary for seed germination and production of chlorophyll, fruit, and nuts. Magnesium strengthens cell walls and improves plants' ability to use nitrogen, phosphorus, and sulfur.

Sulfur, is necessary for production of vitamins, amino acids (therefore protein), and enzymes. It's also what gives vegetables such as broccoli and onions their flavor.
However, plants may not show the effects of a magnesium deficiency until it's severe. Some common deficiency symptoms are yellowing of the leaves between the veins, leaf curling, stunted growth, and lack of sweetness in the fruit.

Magnesium tends to be lacking in old, weathered soils with low pH. Soils with a high pH and are high in calcium and potassium also generally have low magnesium levels. Calcium and potassium compete with magnesium for use by plant roots, and magnesium usually loses. Sometimes, a soil test will show adequate magnesium levels, yet a plant grown there is still deficient because of that competition.

So, after that whole long speel, yes, epsom salts can be beneficial to other plants as well. I use the Alfalfa/epsom salt tea on my clematis, several shrubs, lilies, tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, as well as my roses! :roll:

Keep enjoying your roses! Let me know what winter is like over there, and I can give you some pointers on winter care if you would like!!
Bonsoir! :wink:
VAL
VAL (Grandpa's Rose)

The Helpful Gardener
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Excellent work, Val!

Scott

grandpasrose
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Thanks Scott! It's so neat to work with people that are excited about the same things I am! 8)
VAL
VAL (Grandpa's Rose)

JPIXI
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Hiya VAL, Scott,

Thanks a bunch for your detail advices VAL!

I will surely follow the instructions and keep you posted with the progress.

I live in a suburb of Paris, where it is 50m near to a small forest. This forest provides my garden with shed from strong wind to my plants and amazing fresh air for me.

Autumn starts on 22nd September. Autumn last year was ok, with average temperature of 9°c to 15°c. Winter was 3°c to 6°c. It sheldom snow here, and if it snows, it wont last for more than 2hrs, with the forst disappears after 6hrs.

What I worried more is my hydrangea (Hortensia in French) I propogate them this summer, and they are grounded mid July. I wonder should I dig them out to protect them from cold as they are only about 20cm tall.

I just notice that I shouldnt put vegetables top directly to the plant, before they compost. Is there any remedy I could take? To increase the nitrogen in the soil, is there anything I could do?

My housemate is planning to get a mini pig as pet. I hope this future mini fellow can provide me with my future manure supply then.

Awaiting your advices. Thanks!

Cheers,
Pixi

grandpasrose
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Hey JPIXI! Your winters don't sound too bad!
You could put a couple of handfuls of bloodmeal in with the vegetables you have already put on your plants. It is quite high in nitrogen and should help. Don't worry too much about it though!
When you start using the manure from your housemate's pig, you need to make sure it has been aged before putting it on any of your plants or you will burn them.

What is the variety of hydrangea you have? Some of them are hardier than others.
Keep in touch! :wink:
VAL
VAL (Grandpa's Rose)

JPIXI
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Hiya VAL,

Yap, winter here isnt too bad at all, and summer isnt killing hot too.

I have 5 very very huge Tokyo delight (Lacecap) which is about 2m tall,which must be at least a decade old. 2 new endless summer about 50cm tall which I planted them early June, of which I picked them up on the streetside, abused and abundant by their owner. 10 baby propogated endless summer at 15cm tall, I planted mid July to the ground.

Can I double check? Is throwing vegetables tops directly to dig ground to the plants the right way? Besides, can we make bloodmeal :roll: ?

Cheers,
Pixi

grandpasrose
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HI JPIXI!
Your Tokyo Delight Hydrangea is rated for Zone 5, which is for average temperatures -23c to -29c so your hydrangea should be fine there.
Endless Summer Hydrangea is rated for Zone 4, although I have seen it in Zone 3. Zone 4 is -29c to -34c, so it should be alright there as well.
I think if you are at all worried about them surviving, which by the temperatures you have given me, they should, then you could try giving them a bit of mulch around the base to give them a little extra protection.
There is a forum here for caring for hydrangeas as well where you might get some more ideas as well.

You are better off to throw your vegetable tops into a compost pile, with grass clippings, manure, leaves, crumbled egg shells, coffee and tea grounds etc. and keep turning it until you get a nice rich looking compost. This is much better than throwing things straight into the garden. If you look in the Organic Gardening Forum, you will find alot of information about composting.

Because you have already thrown some of your vegetable tops into the garden, I suggested you might add some blood meal to help it break down a little faster with out taking all the nitrogen out of your soil. Bloodmeal is a product you again purchase in a gardening centre or such. I am not sure what type of store over there would carry it. Somewhere that carries fertilizers and things.

Hope this helps! :wink:
VAL
VAL (Grandpa's Rose)

JPIXI
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Thanks a lot VAL!

I will look around and keep you posted

Cheers

grandpasrose
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Not a problem at all! That's what the forum's about. Let me know how those roses are doing! Bonsoir. :wink:
VAL
VAL (Grandpa's Rose)

kevinschoppe
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grandpasrose wrote:
1) I mix my epsom salts 2 cups to 16 cups alfalfa to 30 gallons water. Each plant gets about a gallon. I do this probably about every three weeks or so.
VAL
I got this stuff mentioned in this thread. I now mix it in while I plant, but what about putting this stuff on regular roses? I guess mix it in a water bucket and apply it to the plants or do you put it in the bead then water it?

grandpasrose
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Hey Kevin! I put this on all of my roses about every three weeks. Some people use it more often than that. I just mix it all up in the barrell that holds 30 gallons. It needs to brew for about a week, and then I water the roses from the barrell. I give each rose about one gallon each. Because I have so many roses, I always have a couple of batches of this on the go all the time!
You can put alfalfa and epsom salts in the soil around your roses and water them in. I think this is a bit slower acting though.
Great to hear you asking "normal" rose questions again, not disaster ones!! :wink:
VAL
VAL (Grandpa's Rose)

JPIXI
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Hello Val,

Can I bury directly all those fish remains and banana peels to my roses?

Cheers,
Pixi

grandpasrose
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You sure can! My partner, Ross, eats a banana every single morning, and guess where he puts his banana peel? He tosses it in the rose garden. They dry right up and you don't even notice them in a day, and the roses love them. Make sure when you bury the fish remains, that you remember where you buries them, wouldn't want to dig them up again too soon! Phew! :lol:
Actually, my grandfather used to bury fish under his roses and peonies all the time - many years ago of course, but the reason still holds true!
Feed them well and they will grow to love you, and you will grow to love them! :wink:

Val
VAL (Grandpa's Rose)

JPIXI
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Thanks Val!

I have about 4 banana peels each days, it is good to know how to use them now.

Bonne soirée,
Pixi

grandpasrose
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Never a problem Pixi !! :D

Ayez belle Pâques!

Val
VAL (Grandpa's Rose)

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