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An old rusty nail

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  • An old rusty nail

    When I was a young boy and was helping my Dad I used to go and collect manure from a nearby field and this was used to make adle (a liquid feed) which was used for feeding the garden in those days there were no liquid feeds which you could readily buy over the counter, but when setting it up I was always told to add an old rusty nail to the pot which I think added some minirals to the feed, I have mentioned this before but just wonder how many people add a rusty nail to their liquid feeds, things have changed over the last 30 years since I was a boy you can easily purchase all types of additions with which to feed your plants but it's still good to make your own
    it may be a struggle to reach the top, but once your over the hill your problems start.

    Member of the Nutters Club but I think I am just there to make up the numbers

  • #2
    I've never heard of adding a rusty nail.
    Living around the wet and windy scottish border, otherwise known as 'no man's land' .

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    • #3
      It might work if you are leaving your homemade liquid feed to ferment for a long time, as this creates an acidic solution, which will gradually dissolve some of the iron.
      If the liquid it is in is not acidic, though, then it won't work at all. Iron oxide is not at all water soluble.

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      • #4
        There is plenty of old nails in the soil on my allotment so I would not bother adding iron to feed.

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        • #5
          I have a vague recollection of my Grandfather saving rusty nails to put into the ground around his Hydrangea shrub to keep it blue.
          Last edited by peanut; 08-07-2020, 02:36 PM.
          Always aim for the best result possible not the best possible result

          Forever indebted to Potstubsdustbins

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          • #6
            Originally posted by peanut View Post
            I have a vague recollection of my Grandfather saving rusty nails to put into the ground his Hydrangea shrub to keep it blue.
            My Dad used to do that, claimed it changed the colour from pink to blue (or visa versa, can't remember )
            Last edited by Mr Bones; 08-07-2020, 07:05 AM. Reason: spello

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            • #7
              Mr Pots remembers folks on the allotment when he was a kid putting nails in hessian bags and hanging that in the feeds. He says it wasn't added to every one just some.

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              • #8
                I’ve found large nails in the soil & taken them out,maybe years ago they were put there & that’s why the soils so good & I come along & ruined it When you put rusty nails into the water you can see the brown rust particles in the water,I watched a video to help revive a wilted plant,I wonder if it really works or if it was the water that revived the plant?

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Jungle Jane View Post
                  I’ve found large nails in the soil & taken them out,maybe years ago they were put there & that’s why the soils so good & I come along & ruined it When you put rusty nails into the water you can see the brown rust particles in the water,I watched a video to help revive a wilted plant,I wonder if it really works or if it was the water that revived the plant?
                  It doesn't work.
                  Even if the rust goes into suspension in the water, iron oxide does not actually dissolve in water, and so plants cannot absorb it.
                  Nails in the soil also won't work unless the soil is acidic (the acid rendering the iron to a form which is actually water soluble).

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                  • #10
                    My Dad had a leek trench on a slope with a heap of rusty iron at the top followed by a heap of manure. His logic was that the manure juice ran through the scrap iron into the leek trench,
                    My Majesty made for him a garden anew in order
                    to present to him vegetables and all beautiful flowers.- Offerings of Thutmose III to Amon-Ra (1500 BCE)

                    Diversify & prosper


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                    • #11
                      I know that nowadays there is a lot of science put into plant feeds things might grow quicker, bigger, stronger and cheaper but I wonder if all the scietific input has come at a cost, as far as I know growmore is still one of the better chemical feeds for veg which I believe was developed for the war effort so that veg would bulk up and the chemistry imput has increased since then but with all the choice of feeds we still have lost a lot of mineral content in our food so I think there is still a lot to be said about the old fashioned methods for feeding your veg
                      it may be a struggle to reach the top, but once your over the hill your problems start.

                      Member of the Nutters Club but I think I am just there to make up the numbers

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                      • #12
                        Rary, nothing wrong with any of the old fashioned methods.
                        People are too quick to move on to the quick fix.
                        My father, and grandfather used all the old methods and produced great crops.

                        And when your back stops aching,
                        And your hands begin to harden.
                        You will find yourself a partner,
                        In the glory of the garden.

                        Rudyard Kipling.sigpic

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                        • #13
                          Our soil is full of red clay with plenty of iron in it.
                          The soil has also had a lot of wood ash with nails in it added over the years.
                          Remember the days when soot was used for all sorts of things including getting rid of slugs?

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Plot70 View Post
                            Remember the days when soot was used for all sorts of things including getting rid of slugs?
                            That was also the days before it was widely known that coal soot concentrates heavy metals...

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                            • #15
                              I think it depended on what mine the coal came from.
                              Some of the imported coal after British mines closed produces radioactive soot too.

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