All Things Gardening forum: I hope SOMEONE CAN TELL ME how long it takes for ammonia to

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crittergarden
Feb 18, 2013 10:00 AM CST
I hope SOMEONE CAN TELL ME how long it takes for ammonia to degrade so the space can be replanted after using ammonia as a weed killer.

I have lots of generalities, but can't find any answers!
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Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
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I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
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RickCorey
Feb 18, 2013 2:30 PM CST
I would have thought that the first substantial rain, or heavy watering, would wash that soluble ammonia away "very quickly". If you're in a hurry, water it down repeatedly and waste the nitrogen.

If you can still smell ammonia, it's too soon. Cover with plastic overnight to concentrate the fumes.

You might transplant out some hardened seedlings without watering much, and see if they look burnt in two days.

Or if you don't want to make a Science Project of it, sow 1/3 of your seeds as soon as it might be safe. If none come up, water again and wait longer before planting the rest.

More useless generalities:

Nitrogen can be actually toxic to roots in high concentrations: really toxic, not "be afraid of all chemicals" toxic.

If the soil is "live" and warm, microbes will digest that ammonia "really fast", as long as you didn't scorch the soil life with "too much ammonia".

Ammonia is also volatile. It will tend to evaporate faster if you fork the soil up and leave the surface rough, and turn it every few days.

But what is "really fast" ?

How many flushes does it take to remove whatever amount you sprayed?

Will evaporation remove "enough"?

If it were me, I would give the microbes 3-7 days to consume as much ammonia as they can. Then flush once per day until I couldn't smell much or any under a cloch or plastic film that had concentrated the fumes overnight.

Then flush at least one more time. I respect nitrogen or ammonia's ability to "burn" root hairs.

Less wasteful would be something like let it sit a few days, water medium-heavy, then test-sow some cheap seed like fall rye or whatever you have lots of, that sprouts fast, and might be as sensitive as what you WANT to plant.. If the test seed looks very happy a week later, consider it safe because that extra week means you now have even lower levels than did NOT harm seed roots.



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crittergarden
Feb 18, 2013 2:37 PM CST
Oh Rick, Rick, Rick.......
Hilarious!
SHOW ME YOUR CRITTERS! I have a critter page over at Cubits. http://cubits.org/crittergarden/thread/view/73275/
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member
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RickCorey
Feb 18, 2013 5:17 PM CST
I think I said one other time that I always have OPINIONS, but not always USEFUL opinions or CORRECT opinions.

Shrug!

Good luck!
Name: Ginger
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gingin
Feb 18, 2013 6:44 PM CST
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Name: Margaret
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mcash70
Feb 18, 2013 7:27 PM CST
RickCorey said:I think I said one other time that I always have OPINIONS, but not always USEFUL opinions or CORRECT opinions.

Shrug!

Good luck!


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Surprisingly GREEN Pittsburgh (Zone 6a)
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crittergarden
Feb 19, 2013 4:18 AM CST
I know, Rick.
That answer was just SO YOU that I had to Hilarious!
SHOW ME YOUR CRITTERS! I have a critter page over at Cubits. http://cubits.org/crittergarden/thread/view/73275/
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member
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RickCorey
Feb 19, 2013 2:16 PM CST
- - That answer was just SO YOU

I agree I tip my hat to you. I agree Welcome! I agree

But, gee ...

I didn't go into science fiction scenarios with mind-controlled goats taught to eat only weed! Or genetically engineered slugs and voles, or robotic, burrowing, root-pulling automatons.

But now that I know it is IVY, and how tough IVY is ... it hardly matters how long the ammonia persists. The ivy will probably be there long after the ammonia washes away or is digested by microbes and taken up by roots.

With luck any lingering ammonia will stimulate something else more than it stimulates the ivy, and something else will displace SOME of the ivy.

From what I read, ivy is tough to get rid of. I have some English Ivy in one spot, so I just pull it off the trees periodically, uproot it as often as I have energy, and don't expect anything else to grow there. Ditto with horsetail. If it ever decides to stop coming back, I'll cheer.

I limit my ambition to someday reducing the area these have taken over:


Weed #1: maybe Ranunculus / Buttercup = = = = = = =
Weed #2 probably Cardamine / Hairy Bittercress, Common Bittercress, Snapweed, Shotweed

Thumb of 2013-02-19/RickCorey/90ffe8 Thumb of 2013-02-19/RickCorey/836dd9



Weed #3 is ??? = = = = = = #4 looks like Purslane, maybe Golden Purslane (Portulaca sativa)

Thumb of 2013-02-19/RickCorey/277d63 Thumb of 2013-02-19/RickCorey/1b59fc


Someone told me what this one was, but I forget the name. Wild, Spiny Lettuce?

Thumb of 2013-02-19/RickCorey/81c8cd Thumb of 2013-02-19/RickCorey/222f0f
[Last edited by RickCorey - Feb 19, 2013 2:18 PM (+)]
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Name: Jennifer
48036 MI (Zone 6b)
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jvdubb
Feb 19, 2013 2:29 PM CST
Rick you have horsetail too? Last year was my first experience with it. Never had it at any of my other houses. I just kept plucking it, I went out EVERYDAY spring and early summer plucking any I saw. By fall I didn't see so much of it coming up. That is in my flower beds. Its all in the lawn. Sadly I had to accept it will be with me forever. At least I came to realize there are worse weeds.
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member
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RickCorey
Feb 19, 2013 2:44 PM CST
Hi Jennifer

>> Rick you have horsetail too?

Sadly, yes. A neighbor claimed that plucking or digging horsetail only encouraged it, by stimulating the roots. I don't know, I just know it seems here to stay. Fortunately, it is kind of pretty!

One source claimed that it liked low-nutrient, compacted, acid soil. If the soil is good enough, desirable plants will out-grow it. It SAID that., I won't know until some of my soil is actually GOOD!

"The only permanent way to rid a garden of horsetails is relatively simple, but takes time and
effort. You must improve the drainage, raise the pH, and increase your soil’s fertility."

Allegedly they like this kind of soil:
"soil that's acidic (low pH), low in oxygen (minute air pockets), and very low in nutrients. Moist or boggy soil provides all three conditions, but in many cases dry soil is also acidic, compacted and lean."

"CONTROLLING HORSETAIL"
Gardens West magazine, April 2004. [url=www.gardenswest.com]www.gardenswest.com[/url]
http://www.gardenswest.com/qry/page.taf?id=30&_function=atcl...

So far, I make more beds, in preference to really good soil. Some day, with enough compost and bark, I'll have both.

Name: Jennifer
48036 MI (Zone 6b)
Cottage Gardener Houseplants Spiders! Heucheras Frogs and Toads Dahlias
Hummingbirder Sedums Winter Sowing Peonies Region: Michigan Garden Ideas: Level 2
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jvdubb
Feb 19, 2013 5:18 PM CST
I did read that digging stimulates it that is why I just pluck the tops now. Hopefully I will eventually starve the mothers. Also I am trying to stop the spore production, so I am fastidious about getting rid of every bit I can find every day during the growing season. Mine does grow in wet compacted clay. Removing all the thick mulch the previous owners put down did help to slow it down. It will be interesting to see how things turn out as the soil becomes more ammended
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member
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RickCorey
Feb 19, 2013 5:59 PM CST
>> Removing all the thick mulch the previous owners put down did help to slow it down.

Smart! If mulch is thick, it should prob ably also be very coarse, to let air in.

That same link said about Horsetail:
"Covering with bark mulch
While it appears to work temporarily, the horsetails will soon re-appear stronger than ever. A deep covering of bark mulch aggravates the problem (and may help create it in the first place) by providing a moist, airless, acidic "wet blanket" with no nutrient value."

Oh, great! I just remembered that the guy who moved in next door, where my horsetail is invading FROM, laid down heavy black plastic AND fine bark mulch. I guess anyplace that wasn't infested before, is, by now!

Surprisingly GREEN Pittsburgh (Zone 6a)
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crittergarden
Feb 20, 2013 3:34 PM CST
Weed #1: maybe Ranunculus / Buttercup = = = = = = =

I have some of that. I let it do its thing on one area and smother it when it spreads where I don't want it.

"Someone told me what this one was, but I forget the name. Wild, Spiny Lettuce?" I've never known its name but I get it here too. I can pull it early in the season when the ground is soggy. Later in the season, I smother it.

And that's what I'd do with any horsetail I didn't want where it is too.
SHOW ME YOUR CRITTERS! I have a critter page over at Cubits. http://cubits.org/crittergarden/thread/view/73275/

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