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 Post subject: Medina Soil Activator
PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2013 10:54 am 
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Location: Corpus Christi,TEXAS
I have an opportunity to pick up a couple gallons of this at a very cheap price and wonder if it is acceptable for organic program: analysis is magnesium .50%, iron .10%, zinc .05%, it is supposed to help with soil compaction.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2013 5:48 pm 
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Medina has some pretty good products.

Hastagro web site:

Medina Soil Activator Gallon

The original biological activator for the soil, called "Yogurt for the Soil" by natural gardening experts, stimulates beneficial organisms in the soil. You'll notice a healthier, stronger root system because it actually loosens and balances the soil. It's excellent for revitalizing tired, overworked lawns and gardens. Medina Soil Activator can be used with most fertilizers, herbicides or pesticides, or in conjunction with natural soil building practices. It is excellent for compost piles, and derived from a complex bio-catalyst process. It's also fortified with essential micronutrients. It stimulates, strengthens and multiplies the soil's indigenous microbes and bacteria, and also:

Converts nutrients into usable food for the plant
Balances the soil micro flora
Balances soil pH
Balances soil structure
Reduces salt accumulations
Reduces chemical buildups
Promotes root growth
Reduces soil compaction

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2013 9:41 am 
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Thanks for the quick reply, I will be spraying my yard today.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2013 10:23 pm 
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For those of you who have not already sprayed, Medina Soil Activator is a chemical. It is not organic. I believe the chemical is magnesium chloride, the same chemical used in the north to "salt" roadways and remove snow and the same chemical used in the desert southwest to hold down dust on dirt roads. It works for dust control because magnesium chloride has an affinity for moisture. Basically it makes the soil slightly gooey because all the night time dew is retained in the soil. Another thing I do not like about adding magnesium to the soil (unless called for by a good soil test) is that magnesium salts can make a regular soil act like clay with respect to water permeation. If the salts accumulate in a layer, then you have an impermeable layer just as if it were clay.

If you have hard soil, another approach has been taken by the gurus on another forum. They tried all the expensive soil conditioners for effectiveness and found that they all worked to soften the soil. Then they analyzed the ingredients. One product costs $70 per gallon but it worked great. One of the gurus is an amateur soap maker and immediately recognized the ingredients of that product as the same ingredients in shampoo. Thus the experimentation began. He used the same raw materials that go into shampoo. I used shampoo itself. I used generic baby shampoo from Walmart but any cheap, clear shampoo will work. The results showed that both worked. The results also showed that after the test was over he still had a garage full of chemicals and I had an empty shampoo bottle. Plus he was out about $30 and I was out a dollar. The minimal application rate that seems to work is 3 ounces per 1,000 square feet applied with any amount of water. He tested his at 16 ounces per 1,000 square feet with no problems. If you spray the shampoo on and then water with an inch of irrigation it really works well. Then repeat in 3 weeks. Many of the members on that other forum tried the shampoo or raw materials approach, and all reported excellent results after two applications. The more times you repeat the deeper the softness will go. One of the members had a limb fall from his tree, and it imbedded itself 27 inches deep into his lawn.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2013 12:05 am 
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Amazing how much the Soil Activator label can say without saying it isn't organic. I know Hasta Gro is one of the less offensive of the not-completely organic liquid fertlizers, but I thought the products with the name "Medina" were in the organic line. Live and learn.

How does that product compare with putting Epsom salt in the garden (dissolved in water)? I've heard people swear by it for various crops (tomatoes?) and the roses.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 10, 2013 10:42 pm 
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Here is a picture of what mag chloride does to soil.

Image

You can see the line of demarcation where the truck started spraying the road. The picture was taken on a bright, sunny day near the California desert. It had not rained and the area had been sprayed a week earlier. The difference was the mag. This shows the ability of the chemical to absorb moisture out of the air and hold it in the soil.

Epsom salts is magnesium sulfate. I've never heard of it being used to stabilize dust, but it has the same affinity for water.

I am similarly not a fan of Medina Hasta Gro. It is nothing but chemicals. I don't see how Howard and Bob Webster in San Antonio continue promoting it. The only organic hint in Hasta Gro is the urea. Now if the urea is derived from feed lots, then okay; but if it is created out of natural gas, then it is technically not approved for use in an organic program. In addition the Hasta Gro label says to apply 8 ounces of product per 1,000 square feet with a hose end sprayer set at 1 ounce per gallon. And then it says not to drench the soil. Well, that much water drenches the soil. Another problem is the total amount of fertilizer applied with each spray. A gallon weighs 10 pounds and covers 18,000 square feet. That is an app rate of 0.5 pounds per 1,000 square feet. Real organic fertilizers go on at a rate of 20-40 pounds per 1,000 square feet. Only chemicals can fertilize at such low rates. To me an organic fertilizer should consist of ground up grains and animal parts. And the grains and animal parts should be relatively fast release (3 weeks) not like feather meal.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 15, 2013 9:49 am 
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I am not a fan of Hasta Gro for organic gardeners either. I think it's a great product for chemical users that are trying to move toward a better program. A small amount of urea added to the Garrett Juice formula would accomplish the same thing and I know some people who are using this technique. I wouldn't but it's certainly better than salt synthetic fertilizers.


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