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Dangers of Organic Gardening

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Look what can happen when organics go totally nuts and backfire.
Ironically the hero is an inorganic ally.
Join Professor Ray in the VoodooGarden Laboratory as he diagnoses a tricky problem and finds the solution.

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All things are Possible in the VoodooGarden!


Gary Pilarchik says:

Really good video. I am by no means 100% organic. I practice using what is
needed in a sensible way. A lot of time I go with organic products. I
think you demonstrated a great way to have a preference, problems solve but
use what is needed. The point is to have a flourishing garden/plants. Not
watch things die out and get frustrated. Life deals enough of that.
Excellent approach.

scott Foss says:

My first thought was what is the common denominator here and water came
into my head first. Bad soil was my second thought. Wouldn’t hurt to get
your water tested also RAY. 

kimianne123 says:

Hey Ray–My thoughts are its the water. Its the common denominator with all
the plants. New growth with any fertilizer especially chemical looks great
for awhile. Your outside plants get the same water but its heavily
supplemented by rain which if I remember you got a ton of last Summer which
could dilute the chemicals. I noticed the leaves on your Bird of Paradise
are still curled. I’ve had one for many years and when they curl it
generally means Shut off the Water I’ve had enough same with my orange and
lemon trees. Being in Co my tropicals spend the summer outside and winter
in. Anyway I’d have the water tested-you’ve done this for a long time and
the only thing new is the water. Good Luck :)

ahabtheplant says:

If it was me, I would still get your ground water tested for that herbicide.
Your neighbor is probably growing Round Up Ready GMO crops.Google that.
Round Up isn’t good for people.

Michael says:

Hey Ray just wanted to let you know that epsom salt is in fact a salt. It
is not your typical table salt (sodium chloride) but it is in the same
family of ionic compounds as all other salts.

Tina Fisher says:

i have fifty million thousand christmas catalogs you could have for your
indoor compost bucket.

Blake Kirby says:

Whoa, that was a close one! 🙂 I’m glad you have zoomed in on the possible
problem and applied the much needed band-aid! We wouldn’t want the
VooDooGarden to suffer needlessly. When it’s time to pull the IV I’m sure
your plants will be in good shape. 

VoodooGarden says:

Finding the cure for the VoodooGarden

Tim Robinson says:

Morning Ray, just as a tip. A product called “Pure Protein” Is great for
nitrogen, fish hydrolysate . And “Insect Frass” is a great all purpose
2-2-2 fertilizer. Both dry and have a long shelf life.

Stanley Loper says:

I enjoyed it. My wife really loves Miracle Grow from past gardening we’ve
both done. And as a short term solution it is good. I plan to do as much
as possible organically, but I’m not above using some synthetic if it turns
out to be the best solution to a given problem. Of course your neighbor
uses GMOs because that is what the big companies are pushing and the system
your neighbor uses does maximize production, and his profit. So he uses
the GMOs and the synthetic fertilizer and pesticide because they do that.
But it comes at a price,as we all know.

The synthetic fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides are known to get into
the ground water. So using the well water could be part of the problem. I
would wonder, though, if fertilizing would’ve really helped the problem if
the problem were an herbicide. The Miracle could’ve provided something the
plants all needed but your organic fertilizer didn’t have because of
chemical breakdown or whatever. I’m glad you saved your plants. I lost
the Pepper plant I brought in out of the cold. I’m amazed my parsley and
onions are doing okay with me just covering them with a sheet when t dips
below freezing. My housemates can’t remember what variety those onions
are. They are one of the bunching varieties and look like the pictures of
Tokyo Longs I see on the net. We’ve had them growing in a window box on
the ground for nearly three years now.


Great share. I do have some house plants and a pepper plant that looks like
that. I don’t know what happened to it and it almost died. The pepper plant
went from four stalks, to one. Now the leaves are curling up, so I’m going
to try epsom salt. My question is about the indoor compost. Can it be just
leaves, paper and coffee grounds, or do i need to have food scraps too? I’m
concerned about odor and bad mold. And does the lid stay on, or off the
container it’s in?

Shannon Reis says:

Good stuff. Don’t discount herbicide contamination. Glyphosate can easily
affect the micro-biome of potted plants and prevent the breakdown of
organic fertilizer. It may also sequester key mineral from the microbes. It
might be good to troubleshoot with an alternate water source, as well.

Teresa H says:

Glad to see my envelope is going to a good cause. Ray, please have your
water tested if you haven’t already. You are so important to your friends,
and we would hate it if you got sick. Hopefully your indoor plants will
bounce back and be their green, lush selves again. God Bless and take care.

Harold Wong says:

It could still be the water or the paint. The poison in the ground water
may not be from what the farmer sprayed recently but from years on past.
The water might be killing the biology thus not “digesting” your organic
fertilizer. The Miracle Grow is just bypassing the biology and as you say,
an I.V. for the plant. Try growing some quick growing plants such as
radishes to see how they do with different water and fertilizer combination
while using virgin soil and current soil.

basic gardening says:

My Youtube channel’s name was organic gardening. But then I realised that I
am not a organic gardener, and I don’t want to be limited to just organic.
I prefer organic, but at the end of the day, I have to think what is the
best for my plants. So now I am Basic gardening and thinking of changing

Dave Casey says:

If you think it might be your well water, when it starts to warm up and
stop snowing, you might want to consider harvesting some rain water. Get
some of those blue water barrels and connect them up to your downspouts on
the gutters and try that water in the Voodoo Garden.

Jason Tucker says:

Lots of good info Ray. Once you find a new source for a good organic
fertilizer that you can use indoors, please let us know what it is 😀 

Billdo O'Reilly says:

Sorry about your garden, good trouble shooting! Try some diluted urine on a
couple of the less sensitive plants, about one whiz per gallon. You’re
peeing out the miracle gro all the time. 

Larry342516 says:

I hope that you have figured it out Ray. So many variables to eliminate,
and it’s all guess work. Someone said it maybe a root fungus , and that is
very possible specially growing plants in a basement. The warmth of the
room, and the bright lights sure could promote fungus growth. As they said,
be careful using the parts of your plants in a compost tea, and feeding it
back to them. It is hard to believe that your organic fertilizer went bad
not saying it didn’t. You talked about the farmers, and your water. I
diffidently would get my well water checked, and should be checked at least
once a year for your own health safety. Here is hoping you found the
problem. Take care.

Nathaniel Gregg says:

Salt doesn’t just mean table salt. In chemistry, “salt” is usually a
combination of a alkali metal and a halogen.

Table salt is Sodium Chloride. Sodium is the alkali metal and Chlorine is
the halogen.

I know those words are technical and sound scary, but they are really
simple concepts. A halogen is an atom that only needs one electron to be
happy, and a alkali metal is an atom that wants desperately to get rid of
one electron. So, whenever these two guys meet, they swap one electron.
Since electrons have a negative charge, and the center of atoms are
positive, they want to cancel their charges by having equal numbers of
protons, the positive stuff in the middle, and electrons, the negative
stuff that orbits the center. When they trade electrons, that balance is
off, so they have a charge. Because of this charge, they are attracted to
atoms of the opposite charge. Since the atoms had to be close to swap that
electron, and they have opposite charges since one has too many electron
and the other has too few, these atoms snap together. This kind of bond is
called ionic, since atoms with a charge are called ions.

Epsom salt is a complex salt. It is made from sulfide (which is a
polyatomic [more than one atom] ion) and magnesium.

There are several, more general definitions of salts. Things that form
crystals and dissolve in water works just as well.

roseclipper says:

“Danger, Ray Browning! Danger!”….Love the Robot replica by the pineapple

Lee Ann Steinmetz says:

This is a very informative video, Ray. Thanks for posting it! I also want
to apologize for sending the wrong size envelope to the seed giveaway
contest. “Regular size envelope” did not compute correctly in my brain! 😛
I hope you can use the stamps.

leann lewis says:

Miracle Grow is aptly named, would you agree? I’d like to know, did this
problem begin before or after painting the room? I’ve dealt with
emergencies like this myself.
Plus if it was from the water why did your outside crops flourish? Here’s
my unsolicited suggestion for you: plant a thick fence of tightly growing
evergreens around your property now. It will pay off in the long run for
filtering out unwanted chemicals both in soil & airborne.
I love your channels. Best of luck.

Randy Arena says:

Yeah… I thought chlorosis, spider mites… and now I think magnesium
deficiency… which BTW is due to temperatures of one part of the plant:
the roots… Why? Because magnesium only travels through the plant at 51 or
greater degrees F and stops at less than 51 degrees F… Worm casting looks
like a good thing… 7 is a nice pH… inverse hydrogen concentration.
Your soil could also be a bit compacted from the recent move. I like
miracle grow too… but not too much… worms don’t like it… and I grow
worms too and harvest the worm compost… Have you ever used Coir? One ten
pound block creates a wheel barrow of good tilth soil… You can get that
herbicide out of the water table by using a natural flocculant like Moringa
Oleifera… seeds… into the well if you have one… or put your water
through a reverse osmosis or actually distilling them. Also they make
certain five stage water purifiers that work as well… So I see now that
the movie has gotten into 16 or so minutes… the miracle grow works
fine… a wonderful decypher method you’ve used. I use only organic
compost, rock dust, worm castings, Coconut Coir, and Dr Earth potting soil
made with mychoriza, kelp, and many other things… they feed my family
about 20 to 25% of our food we eat every day… Great detective work!

chris fry says:

Is rainwater ok for indoor plants Ray? Nice fig tree!!

Eric Wright says:

Hi Ray! I had a random thought. Is it possible that painting the voodoo
room caused some issues? I know that paint continues to “gas off”/dry for
weeks after it is applied but I don’t know if plants would be negatively
effected by that. I was just trying to think of things that could have
caused such widespread damage. Anyway, I just thought I would mention it.
I’m glad the issue seems to be resolved. Take care – Eric

Sue Miller says:

Ray is this the first time you had a voodoo garden in the basement.? 

DynamicDarren says:

Ray, have you thought about sending a sample of your potting soil off to
your local extension office; they might be able to tell you what nutrient
you are missing. That way you’ll be able to better plan the chemical
composition of your organic fertilizer.

Also, as you mentioned, compost tea is very dilute. It may be a fun
experiment but from a practical perspective you may be better off buying an
organic fertilizer with a known NPK to address your babies issues.

t dub says:

Ray: did you test the well water to see if it have herbicide? 

Dave S. in W.V. says:

Hey Ray, did you trim the leaves off the banana? I let mine drop on their
own but its not real attractive. Just wondered if it would hurt the plant
or not. 

OrganicGardening987 says:

Oh and also, Good Luck! I know for sure with your magic touch everything
will be back to normal :)

Alexander Lemberg says:

The definition of a salt: a metal and a non-metal compound (ionic
compound). Magnesium sulphate (MgSO4) is a salt 🙂 which contains the metal
Mg and sulphate which is a chemical compound of sulfur and oxygen. The
ionic salt-form dissolves often in water, and the same with the chelated
iron, which also is sort-of-a-salt containing iron in its ionic form (water
soluble iron).

ElPistolero06 says:

Hey Ray, I hope you all are having a great year so far (aside from your
plant problems). I’m glad you seem to have figured out the problem. I was
missing the VG BUT I’m glad you made this video. You say that the problem
affected all your plants in there, does that mean your Sago Palm also got
visited by “The Grim Reaper”? I haven’t seen it & you haven’t mentioned it
in your videos for a while so I decided to ask, lol. Yes, I’m the “donor”
of the Sago Palm that you have. I sent you the Sago Palm seed. I hope to
see a new video soon. Till then, Take Care!!! ~Pete~

Tell Rascal I said HI!!!

Evelyn C says:

Best of luck to you Ray. I am sure your voodoo garden recovers in no time. 

Mike Castellano says:

Which fertilizer do you usually use?

khalid Alamoodi says:

Ray, take any of the damaged plants outside and they will gradually
recover. I understand that you cant right now because they will die
freezing outside but i just want to raise this possibility.
Notice that things went wrong after you applied the new paint. Before that
things were pretty fine. My guess is that it could be the paint.
I suggest you take any of the affected plants out if this room and place it
somewhere else in the house.
I am still doubting that it is the fertilizer that cause all the damage. !!!
Another possibility is that your fertilizer got damage because of something
happen at thus room. Could the paint or could be anything else that need to
be figured out in order to avoid having the same issue popping around
Best of luck and really wish things get better.

Jesse Leonard says:

We are a bigger part of the channel now 🙂 aww. You’re welcome for the
paper, Ray

Clyde Cash says:

I discovered this channel and praxxus today. What is the difference? It’s
run by the same perosn and both are gardening related?

The Garden of Weeden says:

Hi Ray, I have a question about your composting the dead leaves from your
plants. If the fertilizer went bad, and added something bad to harm your
plants, won’t that still be in the dead leaves you’re using in your
compost? I would think it’s possible that whatever was killing your plants,
may leach into your new compost, if you use the diseased leaves?

heygeno1951 . says:

I hope you find out for sure. To me, it looked like herbicide damage too.

questioneverythin101 says:

My Iowa water is awful!! I always let my water sit for 2 days after taking
it out of any tap. In the summer I use an RV water filter on my outdoor
tap. Iowa water is awful!!!

Barry Winters says:

Thanks again for all.
1) How could you determine that it was not nematodes?
2) I am surprised that you are not a avid vermicomposter. Sure, Rascal,
cats & chickens all have their charm but nothing compared to a herd of
worms…I have 8,000 cohabiting with me in my apartment they are the best
and most useful pets I ever had.

GrannyBird Birdsong says:

How long did you give between each treatment before you decided to try
something else…days? weeks? I just need to know how long to treat my
plants before I move on to some other treatment. (BTW, I love your purple
passion plant. It reminded me of a dear friend from long ago who had one.
Sadly, we lost touch over the years, but thank you for reminding me of her
via your purple passion plant.)

melkel2010 says:

Garlic, I’m sure you’ve heard, is anti-fungal. Aquarists use a sliver of
garlic in their fish tanks to remedy suspected fungal ailments.
Fruit-tree-ists plant garlic around the base of their fruit trees to fend
off deadly fungus diseases, especially apple trees which famously have a
fungal ailment that attacks from the roots. Bee keepers use powdered garlic
to remedy foul brood, caused by fungus, better remedied by improved
ventilation. Get that garlic into an infusion to spray the leaves and stave
off fungal invasions affecting the leaves. Does it really work? I haven’t
the slightest idea. I stick to proprietaries myself, however I’ve heard
rumors there are fungi that affects the garlic. No. No one gets to be

JustOneAsbesto says:

The real problem with indoor composting is the smell.

Tracy Bruring says:

or….could it be something in your water?

Don Garr says:

I believe it could be your water like you mentioned. You need to be
filtering your water and the best is the Zero Water filter system. There
are larger ones that will do large quantities called ProPure ProOne systems
in different sizes. Look them up and then find where you can get one at the
best price. I saw one on Ebay for $279 for a 2.75 gallon capacity. You
should not be drinking or cooking with your tap water because of the
possible chemicals in your ground water. 

Dendrobates says:

why not just use the soil in your yard, what ever killed your plant might
have come from the environment around you and your soil should have
beneficial bacteria that can fight it.

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