For the past couple weeks i have been wondering about something on and off. I don't know if many people know the relationship between calcium and magnesium . Especially in the human body, and makes me wonder if they do in ginseng. In the body if you ingest or eat to much calcium rich food you get an imbalance between the calcium and magnesium . Calcium is needed for strong bones and teeth and nerve function , muscle contraction etc.But with out the magnesium to dissolve the calcium it is bad for you it can cause muscle spasms , pain , anxiety , and if a lot builds up over time it leads to a heart attack . But with magnesium added to the calcium to dissolve it you have a winning combo. So if you have high blood pressure check out magnesium and do some research but any way. Why does ginseng require so much calcium I know is more like a bush than a vegetable plant and has to produce a root so it would need some calcium . But what if it really doesn't need all the calcium and just needs more magnesium to dissolve the calcium so it can work . Like with your body if you have weak bones the doc tells you to take a calcium supplement , but with out the magnesium the calcium wont make the bones any harder it will just build up in bad places. Like if you put calcium in a plain glass of water it just stays there but when you add magnesium it dissolves the calcium into the water. Idk it is kind of hard to explain maybe someone can hone in to what im trying to say . Any reply is welcome . Interested to see what others think .
The research I'm aware of suggests that the calcium to magnesium ratio for healthy wild ginseng should be about 10:1. Based on this, I think you might be on the right path. I've done some experimenting by adding gypsum in otherwise very good natural ginseng habitat and experienced negative results in the beds where gypsum was added but not in the control beds.
Yes i have also read just about everywhere I look that ginseng requires a lot of calcium to thrive and grow correctly. But I have also read that the gypsum when applied caused some people slow root growth so i am stumped. But we as humans are also recommended to have a high intake in calcium to and most people suffer from it because of the lack of magnesium. But what i am unsure of is if calcium and magnesium work in the soil as it does in our bodies. I would think so. If that is the case maybe it doesn't need all the calcium we think it does and just needs magnesium to dissolve the calcium that is already there . Wonder what epsom salts would do to ginseng plants instead of the calcium ? I would try it on mine but I want to wait till they get a little bigger mine are only about a inch tall as of now . Thanks for the reply though this topic is very interesting to me Just wish I had a for sure answer.
Also with our diets back in the day we used to be advised to eat a lot of calcium rich foods to for strong bones etc and the ratio usually was like 3 calcium to 1 magnesium . But in tune doctors who actually care about people are now saying it is best to have 1 to 1 .
No, not a very scientific experiment at all. But I did have the presence of mind to keep some beds out as a control, which showed me it was not the environmental conditions that caused the issue that year.
I would think if this interests you, you could put in a couple raised beds in the backyard and keep and eye on them. Treat one bed and not the other. This way they would be exactly the same with the exception of the treatment. Dig a few from each bed after the first year, second year, etc. and carefully and accurately record your results. This is the kind of stuff that can get you a research grant on a small scale.
Early each spring, (Feb or Early March) before tops are up, I put some gypsum, epson salt and greensand on my seed producing bed. A good dose of Gypsum and small amounts of epson salt, and greensand.
I never really considered the Calcium/Magnesium combination ratio's, but it has been working pretty good. They sure seem to be happy and doing well, producing lots of berries.
I have been using organic fertilizers on my garden stuff forever (early 90's anyway). In my garden I use different combinations of Gypsum, Bone Meal, Blood Meal, Epson Salt and GreenSand depending on the crop and what they need.
Tomatoes need more Bone Meal, and less Blood Meal.
Greens and Sweet Corn, you can go heavier on the Blood Meal (Nitrogen).
Other than those organic fertilizers I do make and use my own compost.
Greensand Contains about 3% total potash, along with iron, magnesium, silica and as many as 30 other trace minerals. May also be used to loosen heavy soils.
Idk if you still have the plants or beds you added the calcium to , but I would add a magnesium /water solution just spray it on , using epsom salts ie. magnesium sulfate. It may help if they haven't already returned to good standings. And as far as trying them in different beds in the back yard I am already growing one batch in a raised bed. I started them as seeds in one of those 100 cell green house starter trays. I did this because I wasn't sure if ginseng grew in my area and wanted to try them in a place i could keep an eye on .
But I think what you are saying is a good idea just to see the effects of the magnesium to the plants . Btw the ginseng plants did grow that i started from the trays and transplanted needless to say when I saw them first popping through I was like a little kid on Christmas morning haha. And as far as a research grant I have no idea how that works or anything about it really .
You are correct (from sandy rock or sediment) that was once on the ocean floor.
I first heard about it back in the mid 90's... while watching a TV program on Organic Gardening. They said that trace minerals are beneficial for improving the flavor of tomatoes. I just love tomatoes.. and if I can add a supplement that makes them taste better, all the better !
Below is some info I found on Greensand online... and a link to wikipedia that gives some good details.
There are various sources for it, some in the USA (like New Jersey) and others overseas.
We get this question everyday and never grow weary answering it. The reason is simple we love Greensand. If you have never used the product (or never heard of it) Greensand is a mineral called glauconite, which is found on the ocean floor and mined for use as an organic fertilizer and soil conditioner. Greensand supplies marine potash, silica, iron oxide, magnesia, lime, phosphoric acid, and 22 trace minerals. Greensand works great on Southern “hard as a rock” clay soil this spring, to help improve its texture, and enrich the nutrient content of my soil without using chemicals. Greensand is one of the oldest and most generally useful tools in the organic gardening tool box. Greensand has been used since the eighteenth century as a soil amendment and slow-releasing fertilizer (0-0-3). It is one of the best certified organic sources of potassium. It comes from sandy rock or sediment containing a high percentage of the mineral glauconite (greenish-black to blue-green). It contains potash, magnesium, iron, silica and can contain as many as 30 other trace minerals. The recommended usage is to broadcast 50 to 100 lbs. per 1,000 square feet. It improves plant health in general and is also be used to loosen heavy, clay soils. It will also improve the moisture retention of sandy soils. Greensand is OMRI listed for organic use.