Not sure if this is the right forum to post this but when digging up a planter hole in the yard I came across a fairly large and unusual "mustard" colored deposit with a sandy texture. The hole is where the lawn used to be which is a layer of topsoil sitting atop of what normally is adobe clay. Normally when I find something odd I just dig it up and throw the dirt away, but in this case the deposit is faily large. The sand I'm not worried about, but the mustard color I am. Does anyone know what it might be? I want to make sure I don't plant something in a dead zone that's going to kill it. Picture is attached that kind of shows the mustard colored sand in the deep part of the hole. Thanks!
I'd use baking soda not baking powder I think it's cheaper too. I used baking soda when I had tropical fish to make the water more alkaline - the same thing that makes hydrangea blue (or is it pink for alkaline and blue for acid, I thought). And sulfur will make it acid (used everywhere for bluberries which need very acid soil).
Hydrangeas turn blue in acidic soil. Therefore sulfur based fertilizer is the source for this. Bicarb (soda, baking power) is a neutralizer of acids and leads to neutral PH. It will not help acidic soils change color of hydrangeas. You need to alkalize the soil to achieve this. Wood ash will do this in acidic soils. BE CAREFULL on how much! It is a salt that will really hurt or kill if used too much. I actually use it to kill grass and weeds in my neutral soil. There are cultivars of hydrangeas that tend to be pink in neutral soil.
I am sure from reading these above posts that Soferdig knows much more than I do.
I got the tropical fish advice from a web site of experienced tropical fish keepers - As well as I can recall, the advice to get my well water from Ph of 7.2 (yes, after 48 hrs of standing to let the CO2 bubble out) to 7.5 or 7.6 was some mix of BiCarb plus epsom salt. I don't recall the mix. I established it in a 30 gal container by trial and error and testing after I put in something like one level tablespoon of BiCarb and a part of a 1/4th teaspoon. I checked fish tank Ph quite often and before I changed fish water I checked my replacement water and got Ph of 7.5 reliably.
Maybe the BiCarb neutralizes the acid left in the water by bubbling of CO2 up to the top and the little bit of epsom salt raised the Ph? I am always curious about why things work but chemistry was not my strong suit in college.
It is simple combination of the below:
NaHCO3 is mainly prepared by the Solvay process, which is the reaction of calcium carbonate, sodium chloride, ammonia, and carbon dioxide in water. It is produced on the scale of about 100,000 tonnes/year (as of 2001).
NaHCO3 may be obtained by the reaction of carbon dioxide with an aqueous solution of sodium hydroxide. The initial reaction produces sodium carbonate:
CO2 + 2 NaOH → Na2CO3 + H2O
Further addition of carbon dioxide produces sodium bicarbonate, which at sufficiently high concentration will precipitate out of solution:
Na2CO3 + CO2 + H2O → 2 NaHCO3
Commercial quantities of baking soda are also produced by a similar method: soda ash, mined in the form of the ore trona, is dissolved in water and treated with carbon dioxide. Sodium bicarbonate precipitates as a solid from this method:
Na2CO3 + CO2 + H2O → 2 NaHCO3
It works like this:
Sodium bicarbonate reacts with acetic acid (found in vinegar) and presents a simple and showy demonstration of a chemical reaction. The products of the ensuing two-stage reaction are sodium acetate, water, and carbon dioxide:
NaHCO3 + CH3COOH → CH3COONa + H2O + CO2(g)
Sodium bicarbonate reacts with bases such as sodium hydroxide to form carbonates:
NaHCO3 + NaOH → Na2CO3 + H2O
Both of these reactions form a "neutral" PH that allows the water to move up (with acids) and down (with bases) to create a neutral PH = 7
Magnesium is used for other purposes, primarily for the lime in the water.
Magnesium sulfate heptahydrate is also used to maintain the magnesium concentration in marine aquaria which contain large amounts of stony corals as it is slowly depleted in their calcification process. In a magnesium-deficient marine aquarium calcium and alkalinity concentrations are very difficult to control because not enough magnesium is present to stabilize these ions in the saltwater and prevent their spontaneous precipitation into calcium carbonate = Lime.
You certainly snowed me - It was 1956 when I took (engineering grade) of general chemistry at Univ of FL. My roommate was a pre-dental student and he was always taking inorganic and organic chemistry - I stayed away from it. I'm sure what you demonstrated above would have been clear to me then but I just don't seem to remember it now. (I graduated in electrical engineering and never saw a chem class again). Thanks anyhow.
In a very rude TV show called "Drawn Together", they showed how a math test problem looked to two different ethnic groups.
To one ethnic group (I forget which, maybe Anglos), it looked like a blurry, writhing mass of incomprehenisble and threatening symbols.
To the Asian student ... it looked like "7".
>> due to using it all of my life.
In this case it's not ability, just how recently the knowledge was crammed into our heads, or how recently it was used. I did skim over the Solvay process. Looking back, I needn't have feared it, but I thought you might be getting into something like the Haber–Bosch process. (BTW - almost NOTHING is more complicated than photosythesis, yet leaves and algae manage that very well, thank you very much.)
But I looked for a while to find the "H+" or "hydronium meaning "acid" ... it took a while to find "acetic acid" which admittedly is a better way to say it outside of a chemistry class.
But that reminded me of the prof who got flustered then kept getting the vowels wrong when he tried to spell "fruit fly" on the blackboard ... and finally used "Drosophila melanogaster" because that was easier for him to remember.
We had a biochem class with 6 big blackboards, 3 of which would slide up the wall so all 6 were visibke at once. That porf drew the entire biosynthetic pathway for synthesizing one of the more complicated vitamins ... FROM MEMORY. Then, in case anyone failed to notice, he went back to his desk and flipped through his notes, glancing up now and then and nodding.
Yes a mind is best if constantly used. Most of us do with the items of our interest. I rarely read fiction because non-fiction is my thrill. So any movie stars, famous people, who's who are not in my vocabulary, but the above is a constant evaluation that I use to make my alkaline soil a garden delight. I think different things than many, which limits my ability to converse, with interest, with many. Corey you are my garden "soul mate" because your mind is constantly evaluating chemistry, physics, and new evaluations of the problems we all face. No I am not bragging just telling you I live in a world of thought and not conversation. I enjoy my solitude and self, requiring the "garden" to be happy with my constant thoughts, If I watch the news I obsess about how to fix the problem all day in my mind. HOW HORRIBLE!
In a world of interaction every 15 seconds to 15 minutes we need the mind not to process all the threats, interactions, recognition, support, care, anger, frustration, ... The garden feeds none of these. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!
From my memory (engineering): Pi =3.14159265 (didn't ever use more than that so that's all I remember). Oh yeah, also, I was writing a contract one day and remembered 69897 for some reason. It really bugged me as to what it was. I tried to think of old girl friends' phone numbers and such, off and on for about 6 months.. Then finally I remembered that the logarithm (base 10) of 5 is .69897.
We used lots of digits when simulating missile trajectories on an old computer in 1969.
I just saw the movie "Pi" and wow! The number Pi has (at the time of the movie) been taken out to 15,000,000 integers and still no end. Though there is a sequence of numbers that repeat, that repetition is found in other numerical sequences in science, microbiology, and quantum physics. Art films are also my weakness.
Yes and Mr Blowhard has no capture in my interest. The world is full of different minds. Some of ours are VERY different. And yes the majority fervently watches sitcoms, and of course cop shows all similar filmed in different cities. Geeeeesh!
The guy on the doorstep is how I feel after just a few minutes of "reality TV" or shows "about" stupid lazy hoes. My brain glazes over and I collapse until I reboot.
At least we are back on-topic: brown stains of dubious ancestry and probable toxicity. Somehow 'acidity" has morphed into "assininty".
But I have learned not to take "American Idol" in vain. My DSO (whom I respect greatly in every other way) likes "American Idol" .
Since it's entertainment, or intended to be entertainment, I can't knock it or dispute it, but neither do I understand it.
I found some of the A.I. screening process "interesting", for the total outer-space insanity of some of the contestants, and one lady who became interestingly abusive when someone pointed out her complete and total lack of talent.
The title "American Idol" could have been about something interesting: say a bronze statue of some founding father that was worshipped as an idol by some political/religious fundmentalist sect like the Illuminati. Perhaps "Diminati".
Or maybe an idol of Ronald Reagan, conferring super-powers upon worshippers like the ability to balance the budget by raising taxes, to have charisma, or to be popular even withOUT balancing the bduget.
Let see Sulfur/ Or what is the soil. PH test water (distilled) 7. Then put the orange stuff in the water and let it sit for a while then PH test it again. Acidity = Sulfur, No change = Iron, Alkaline =some salt pooped by a grizzly bear.
We had a great debate amongst several water treatment operators because some of our water quality tests were "off". We scoured the area for different brands of "distilled" water and came up with about six different brands of distilled water which ranged in pH from about 6.4-8.2. We used lab grade, neutral pH deionized water as our standard. Needless to say we came up with several new standard operating procedures.
Apparently all "distilled" water is not the same.
When you treat a million+ gallons of water a day and your are jar testing samples, a little mistake can cost a lot of money and lead to less than the best water.
I have learned. Before distilled meant no metals, or h2 co3 etc. Now I know that America is failing because they can't even make a distilled product worth it's weight. (Budwiser). Thank God for Wild Turkey!
It is truly a testament to God how adaptable his plant creations are considering the mind boggeling complexity of the chemical interactions that happen in a simple garden. That said, I don't think I will ever stop finding new things to consider concerning soil ecology in my lifetime. Yet, an approach using a little of this & some of that seems to work quite well.
When we were taught how photosynthesis worked, down to the chemical level, my jaw dropped and I had trouble believing it could ever have evolved that way without divine intervention ... from a divinity with a LOT of biochmical savvy!
Then I walked outside and saw sun shining through the leaves on a tree, and knew that those leaves, without a single brain cell, were doing all that complexity and more, without even referring back to their class notes ... WOW.
This is my photosynthesis equation: Buy Plant + dig hole in mixture of a lot of work with manure, soil, and clean up + Exhale a lot while working on my garden + exhale a lot at work to pay for the equiptment, soil ammendments, plants, water, well, property, taxes,... = Oxygen.