15 April 2016

a few notes

I've found that brown paper pots hold up a lot better than newspaper ones. Maybe I didn't have enough layers with the newspaper. The bottoms are disintegrating, especially those holding tomato seedlings- which seem to demand more water. So I have another repurposing use for plastic food containers- I cut apart the little plastic ventilated boxes that held strawberries and blueberries from the grocery store and use them as support bases for the tomato pots. The gaps let excess water still drain away, and I hope will hold them up until time for planting. I will save more paper bags and wrappings this year, so next year don't have to make so many newspaper pots.

Speaking of those, I've noticed that in the second tray of sown basil, only the sweet basil seed I bought has sprouted. The saved seed from both thai (purple) basil and sweet basil failed. So I think I will toss those packets, if they're not viable. I've only got one seedling in my last tomato tray- a cherry tomato. No italian tomatoes. But I think that failure was from not keeping the tray warm enough. I'm going to try again for more cherry tomatoes (they will be late ones!)
I have three nice cucumber seedlings, which forgot to mention weeks ago when they sprouted.
I have regularly been weeding and watering plants in the garden plots, but they don't look well. Up-close inspection the color is slightly yellowed, sickly. Are they diseased, or unhealthy due to lack of nutrients? I know in the two newer plots I put unfinished compost in, so maybe not all the neccessaries are accessible to the plants yet. I don't like buying soil if I don't need to. The stores nearby, where my husband always offers to pick up bags of soil or manure/compost for me, seem to mostly offer MG stuff, which I am starting to really dislike. It smells chemical, like gasoline. Why should the odor of soil remind me of gasoline? I want to get the dirt on my hands, not feel leery of it. Regardless, he brought a huge bag of that stuff home, which is so stuffed with fertilizers they put delaying agents in it- some kind of coating that causes slow-release (maybe that's the smell) and it's supposed to feed plants for three months.

I'd rather feed my plants with homemade compost and nutrients from the fish tank and worm bin. But I have this now, so I spread it around all my veggies in the garden plots. It does look tidy, nice and dark. I'll keep an eye on them to see if health improves. And wash my hands.

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