Rusty Nails

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Rusty Nails

Postby Glen8 » Thu Mar 01, 2007 4:50 am

Hi all

I've heard that burying rusty nails can help supply iron to plants.
I've also heard that this is not true and that plants cannot take up iron in this form.
Are there any experts here who can say yay or nay on this apparent urban myth?
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Postby The Estate » Thu Mar 01, 2007 7:38 am

The only rusty nale I know about is a drink :roll: :roll:
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Postby gardenlen » Thu Mar 01, 2007 8:43 am

g'day glen,

i have heard they recommned nailing a copper nail into mango trees to help prevent whatever it si they get wrong with them. but that would be the action of the sap i would guess?

now as for nails or any rustable metal when it rusts away doesn't it then become part of the soil structure so then could the micro-organisms and even the worms convert it into an element that plants can absorb?

plants do absorb elements and some more than otehrs ie.,. potatoes especially can absorb heavy metals from the soil, so if all that can happen then why not with iron/tin?

and with tomato's the ardent grower will likely say bury a banana skin or banana under each plant when you plant them out so they get the potassium, that is a quiet common practise. but we all know tomato plants can't eat any part of the banana hey?

everything good or bad that we feed the soil with gets converted to feed the plants with.

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Postby Pam » Thu Mar 01, 2007 8:51 am

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Postby Mister Wisteria » Thu Mar 01, 2007 9:20 am

Don't know whether this is any help. When I was a kid we had a very large lemon tree in the back yard which was always loaded with fruit for most of the year. My Grandpop used to nail very large nails into its trunk and bury jam tine etc under the tree. Me and my mates were encourage to go and pee on the tree as was dad and his mates which we all did. All I know is we had great lemons. In later years I aquired a place that had a very sick and small Meyer lemon in the back yard. I proceeded to do the same as my Grandpop did (fed it as well) and it flourished. In later years Kevin Heinz from "Sow What" fame showed it on TV Show as excellent specimen of a Meyer lemon in suburbian conditions. It was always loaded with fruit. Maybe its all a "Urban Myth", wouldn't know.
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Postby taffyman » Thu Mar 01, 2007 10:22 pm

Speaking from my own experience here in QLD, I put in four beautiful Hibiscus. They were only about 20cm high but they would throw the most magnificent flowers the size of a dinner plate (only one at a time), but they wouldn't grow and the leaves were always covered in spots and sickly yellow looking. Someone some time ago suggested a handful of rusty nails but I had forgotton all about it, then I was telling one of my Bonsai friends about them. He is a fully qualified Horticulturalist and he said they were suffering a lack of iron. He suggested using Iron Chelates but said it was much cheaper and more effective if I shoved a bit of steel rod or a handful of rusty nails into the ground around them - it would last longer than the chelates. I had some bits of rusty concrete reinforcing rod so stuck one piece in the ground on either side of each of them fairly close to the trunks. Within two weeks the leaves had turned a nice dark shiny green and they had new shoots all over them. On top of that, even though they are still quite small (but growing at least) they are now throwing three to four flowers every few weeks.
The first pic shows the leaves at their best before the iron rods were put in, the second shows one of them about three weeks after the rods and the third is a close-up of the flower on the first one. To me, that second photo speaks for itself in regards to the rusty iron rods.
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Postby midgin » Fri Mar 02, 2007 5:40 am

Thanks Taffy, I love to hear real-life experiences such as yours. I must save that bit of info to the memory bank. :wink:
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Postby Mister Wisteria » Fri Mar 02, 2007 11:37 am

Nice pic's Taffyman, at least half the "Myth" may be correct.
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