29 April 2016

garden stuff

I feel like I am out of practice with gardening stuff. I keep estimating wrong, how much cold my seedlings can withstand, or forgetting to take note of the night chill, or starting them too early... Lost another basil seedling, so now I only have two of those!
These plants are still going in and out of the house- mint, boston fern, pepper plant and two small jades just for the heck of it. I stopped putting the echeveria out during the day- the two in the front planted area around my mailbox don't look good. And I learned that actually they do better in part shade- so I think the evening chill plus full sun most of the day wasn't good for them. The two I'm keeping in now look better. So does the geranium, I quit taking that one out yet as well. It was too early. You can see the lower leaves of the mint have some yellowing- I think that was from a day that was too cold for it, as well.
My sage suffered some more leaf wilt, looks like cold damage? I've brought it in to keep on the windowsill longer. The nasturtium that got damping off is dead, but I shored up soil against the fallen tomato seedling and that one recovered- I can't even tell which one it is now.
Tomatoes have another problem, though. A lot of their leaves have purplish undersides. Reading a book Garden Secrets it mentioned how to correct tomatoes with purple undersides, and I thought: wait, mine have that! I hadn't realized it was a deficiency. I went and looked at my seedlings again, sure enough.
But I applied the wrong remedy. I couldn't find the page that mentioned it (this book is great but a bit poorly indexed). I thought it had said phosphate deficiency and one way to correct is with wood ashes. I've got lots of that. I stirred some ashes into a few cups of water and poured the gray liquid over their soil. Later looked it up again and realized I'd done the wrong thing. They need bone meal. Oops. I'm a bit surprised they're lacking something, as I thought the potting soil I have is pretty stuffed with fertilizers. Maybe tomatoes need more phosphate than other plants generally do?

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