Silicone-rich potting mix: I haven't tried it yet

tired_of_digging(z10)September 19, 2013

I�ve read about silicon�s role in biology, a thing that is normally ignored by most gardeners, as it seems to take some part in biology, and not only geology. It was found that Silicone has a positive impact on bone health
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2658806/

Although Silicone is abundant and is present as Silicone dioxide (SiO2) in the form of sand, adding sand to your meal won't do any good. We would normally eat plants containing silicone, or eat animals which consume these plants.

It has a positive effect on plant health, reducing susceptibility to biotic (pests, diseases) stress as well as abiotic stress (mineral imbalance, mineral distribution, harmful UV rays) as shown here
http://www2.fiu.edu/~chusb001/GiantEquisetum/Silicon_and_Plant_Health.html

This has prompted me to think how to make a silicone-rich potting soil, or a bio-silicone additive. There are two plants I know about which are rich in silicone: Horsetail (e.g. Equisetum arvense) having as much as 10% silicone and bamboo. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Equisetum_arvense

Has anyone tried to make potting soil from these plants? If we take composted bamboo chips instead of composted wood chips, or we use the same process of turning sphagnum moss into peat soil, but use horsetail instead, we should get silicone-rich potting soil. If silicone content is too high, we may just use it as additive for peat soil.

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MiniChopper4Me

I think I just read somewhere else on here that Si is a component of ProTeKt. You'll find tapla's post talking about it on the provided link below

Here is a link that might be useful: Tapla's comment on Pro-TeKt Si content

    Bookmark   September 19, 2013 at 1:55PM
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tired_of_digging(z10)

Yes, definitely answers my question.
As for the Pro-tekt: The Dyna Gro is marketed in my country, but not ProTekt specifically.
Bamboo cultivation is not a common practice here, though I have seen it grown in the city of Aqaba, in Jordan, right across the border. (Yes, in the hot desert).

As for the potting mix, we use bamboo skewers for barbecue, and it is fairly simple to take some bamboo sticks, cover them with potting soil, keep it moist and let them decay slowly. (They become brittle). The process may take some time to complete, and by spring I will have it ready for planting. I will plant grasses (which are known to take-up silicone) in this mix alongside a control mix with no bamboo chips, for comparison.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2013 at 3:42PM
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gregbradley(Upland, CA USDA 9b Sunset 19)

You mean Silicon, which is an element.

NOT Silicone, which are a variety of man made polymers.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2013 at 4:41PM
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tired_of_digging(z10)

Equisetum and Bamboo species incorporate the element silicon in their tissues. (Yes, now I see that the added 'e' has created some confusion) What MiniChopper4Me has posted me is the link to the answer. The fertilizer is not available in my area, so I must use a biological source of silicon to make-up for it.

There are two ways:

The slow way: Add chipped bamboo or equisetum to my potting soil. From my experience, peat moss will allow bamboo skewers to degrade and become brittle.

The fast way: Burn the silicon source and add it as silicon "ash".

I still have to experiment and find the right one for me.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2013 at 1:12PM
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