Ask a Question forum: ashes of the deceased

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New York
stugots2
Jul 19, 2017 3:05 PM CST
Long story short, recent death in the family (that I for one am taking extremely hard)

His garden was EVERYTHING to him, and while its now gone, I'd like to re create it.

Which brings me to my question, is there like a "super duper soil" or grower that would allow plants of ALL types (kind of like a one size fits all) to grow even with Ashes in the planter?

I am no where near a green thumb what so ever but this is something that is very important to me.

Thank you in advance for all the help
Name: Elaine
Sarasota, Fl
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
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dyzzypyxxy
Jul 19, 2017 3:44 PM CST
Hi and welcome. So sorry for your loss. Am I understanding that you want to put his ashes in a planter and then grow something in perpetuity in that planter? Or you also said you want to "recreate" his garden.

The ashes of one person are rather a lot for one planter, or any one plant even if the planter is large. I think you'd need to distribute the ashes into the soil of several large planters for this to be successful. Either that, or it's fairly common to actually plant something like a large rose bush in the ground and use the ashes to amend the soil in a large area around that one plant. Or you could just bury the container with the ashes in it, in one of the planters?

In any case, the plants you want will be those similar to what he had planted in his garden. Do you have pictures of his garden, by any chance? If you don't know what the plants are but have pictures, could you scan them and post them here for us to identify for you? Was there any special kind of plant that he really loved? That would be my choice.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
New York
stugots2
Jul 19, 2017 3:55 PM CST
it will be spread over many planters.

Honestly I don't know what was in the garden and so far no luck on pics.

Tomato plants and roses so far is all I know.

Do you know of anything I can mix into the soil in each planter that will "overpower" the ashes?
Name: Elaine
Sarasota, Fl
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
Herbs Orchids Birds Garden Ideas: Level 2 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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dyzzypyxxy
Jul 19, 2017 4:01 PM CST
Well, the plants will use the potash up eventually, but when you first put them in, ashes are fairly alkaline. So you'll want to start with an acidic soil mix which most potting soil generally is. Generally, fertilizing with ammonium sulphate tends to acidify soil as well, so that might be the best thing to try at first.

But if you can mix the ashes really well throughout the potting mix in several large planters, that should "dilute" the effect pretty well, I would think. By a large planter, I'm talking about something the size of a half barrel or so, btw.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
My dogs love me; some people don't.
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greene
Jul 19, 2017 4:05 PM CST
Whew!
That is a good question and one that I had asked myself.

The cremains of my DDLXH (Dear Departed Late X-Husband) are still sitting in a cardboard box in the spare room. Here is what I found when researching using cremains in the garden.
(Not good for the soil; not good for the plants unless mixed properly with the correct materials.)

http://www.letyourlovegrow.com...

On the same site find this:
http://www.letyourlovegrow.com...
then follow down to Purchase Kit and end up here:

http://www.letyourlovegrow.com...

I am not telling you to spend money or buy what they are selling, but at least you can learn how best to mix the cremains so they will not harm the environment; what to mix with the cremains so the plants will thrive and you will create a successful memorial garden.

Hope this helps. Here, have a hug. Group hug Thumbs up
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Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
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Weedwhacker
Jul 19, 2017 7:14 PM CST
Welcome to NGA, @stugots2 .

Group hug from me, too.
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New York
stugots2
Jul 20, 2017 4:50 AM CST
wow some really great advice here.

Thank you so much, I'm doing some good, quality research now.

sorry for the dumb question but will something like miracle grow work in a case like there where it will "grow anything"
Name: Elaine
Sarasota, Fl
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
Herbs Orchids Birds Garden Ideas: Level 2 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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dyzzypyxxy
Jul 20, 2017 8:58 AM CST
Well . . using MiracleGro soluble fertilizer in large containers is a bit of a problem because, sure it will "grow anything" but you have to use it consistently every couple of weeks through the growing season. If you go away and miss an application your plants will be stressed. If it rains heavily the day after you fertilize, it's washed through and gone, again stressing your plants until the next time you feed them. A good quality pelleted, timed release fertilizer will do a much better job for your plants and save you a lot of work as well, for about the same money. Something that says "feeds for 3 (or 4 or 6) months" on the label. In New York, the 3 to 4 month version should carry your plants through your growing season. The pellets are coated to release the fertilizer at a steady rate, sort of like pills you take that last for 12 hours.

The MiracleGro potting soil that they advertise on TV just has the fertilizer already added to the potting soil. It's expensive and just about the same as regular potting soil (many other brands also have some fertilizer added). The first year your plants are in the containers, it will feed them but read the label to find out for how long. If you leave the plants in the same containers for years, which it sort of sounds like you're planning, you'll still have to feed the plants at the beginning of the growing season each year.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
New York
stugots2
Jul 20, 2017 9:37 AM CST
FANTASTIC info!!!!

Thank you so so much, I'm going to get started on it this weekend.

Correct me if im wrong but there is something I can put in to attract butterflies correct? I remember reading that in my journey and for the life of me can not remember where.

Also I want to thank each and every one of you for helping out a very NON green thumb person here, as this is very important to me on so many levels.
Name: Elaine
Sarasota, Fl
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
Herbs Orchids Birds Garden Ideas: Level 2 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Image
dyzzypyxxy
Jul 20, 2017 12:02 PM CST
Yes, when you go shopping for plants, first do NOT buy plants at Home Depot, Lowe's, Wal-Mart etc. Go to a real plant nursery. They will have knowledgeable people, and if you tell them you want butterfly plants they will sell you the right ones for your area.

Maybe if you shop in the area where your deceased friend lived, you can find the nursery where he used to shop? If you mention him to the older staff they might even know what plants he liked, too.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
My dogs love me; some people don't.
Deer Bookworm Keeper of Poultry Vermiculture Garden Ideas: Master Level Region: Georgia
Plant Identifier Rabbit Keeper Composter Garden Sages Native Plants and Wildflowers Herbs
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greene
Jul 20, 2017 5:02 PM CST
Not knowing your location except for 'New York' I cannot suggest any plants, but if you take a drive (or a walk) around the area where you live - bring a camera! - you will see which plants are growing big and healthy in your climate.

You don't need the know the names of the plants you see, just take a few clear photos and post them either here on this thread to keep the conversation all in one place, or on the Plant ID Forum and ask for an identification.

Once you have the name of the plants you like you can make posts on your local FreeCycle, or your local CraigsList and ask for free plants; people won't mind sharing plants if they don't have to pack and pay postage.

We can then offer advice about how best to mix the soil and grow the plants. Thumbs up
You will not be alone in the garden; you have about 50 thousand new gardening friends. Group hug
Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~"Leaf of Faith"

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