Thursday, March 19, 2009

The Good, Bad & the Ugly

Half of the tomato seedlings look good. The other half, which had 2 weeks w/o lighting, look ugly. I have ordered another set of seeds from totally tomatoes which should be here next week. This should give the seedlings about a 4 week head start beyond those seeds that would normally be planted after all danger of frost has past. If you are a farmer fred fan you would know April 28th well. Only time will tell how these new seedlings will perform.

Thanks garry for the the cool website and seeds I'll get the next set started the right way.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Tea -- not the drinkin' kind

So, among a few other supplies I also picked up earth worm castings to make tea to help add some good stuff for the seedlings and a few other plants around the house. After talking with the shaggy greefire dude -- yes dude is the best noun I can think of right now -- I was conviced that my former unmentionable methods of concocting poo tea had room for improvement.

new method

  • 1 small bag of poo <-- your choice but I prefer earthworm castings for several reasons including the fact that they have a fairly simple digestive system and add much to the soil. Plus castings just seem less icky, which is a big plus when making tea in a project room in the house.
  • 1 5Gallon bucket
  • Aquarium air pump with air stone for diffusion
  • water filled up to w/in a few inches from the top of the bucket
  • molassas for sugar content to help bactria do what they do best make more bacteria
  • TIME: 1 day -- that's enough to get the bacterial content up w/o mass murdering the little suckers

Okay so I will say this, I was wasting too much time.

But don't believe my ramblings

Compost Tea as Easy as 1,2,3

Mellow Yellow Has Always Been Bad

Whether it's yellow people or yellow plants it is never a good thing. Right now the seedlings are suffering from a yellowing which started around March 4th (img_2478ed.jpg). Tomato seedlings can suffer from yellowing for several reasons such as: excessive watering, inadaquate water, malnutrition -- typically a lack of Nitrogen or other micronutrients. Since I water regularly -- once a week -- I thought that this might be underwatering but after a week there was no response. So I stopped by GreenFire for some advice. A shabby, knowledgable young guy guided me to a new product. Earthjuice Microblast is packed with micronutrients and magic good stuff for plants. 

Tomato Diseases -- unhelpful for this symptom but a good link

Tomato Casual -- new favorite tomato site

Helpful Gardner -- What??? Online advice, how cool is that?

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Sacramento Zoo -- Garden Thing

So I went to the Sacramento zoo yesterday (3/7/2009) to check out the Blooming Crazy plant festival and sale when I met this guy working a lavender stand with his grandson, which I thought was pretty cool. Being a herb enthusiast but not really knowing much, I asked him what the difference was between English and French lavender. This one question sparked a 20 minute conversation that filled my head with dreams of lavender fields. I plan on visiting his lavender fields in April when my niece comes to visit to see the peak of the Spanish lavender bloom. Maybe, just maybe, I'll be able to join the lavender 101 class!

The Lavender Farm in Lincoln, California

Psst --> wife <-- lavender is edible ;-)

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Good Garden Stores

There are a few good gardening supply stores in Sacramento. Of these, GreenFire is one of the more specialized stores that deals primarily in hydroponic supplies. This store is one of the few places in town that you can buy everything from earthworm casting to guano, peat pots, meters, lights in various spectrums and sizes (watts), and much much more. Like a good hydroponics supply store, GreenFire has a good amount of supplies in a small facility.

Personal favorite Cocoa bean hulls -- but I love everything coffee related.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Urea is evil! EVIL!!!

Apparently urea or ammonium (NH4) is not good for indoor seedlings due to the cummulative effect that can occur. The ideal seedling fertilizer has a 2:1:2 (N:P:K) ratio. Nitrogen should be in the nitrate (NO3) form. Fertilizer should be applied once a week to seedlings that have their true leaves. I am still going to wait until they have their 2nd set of true leaves. 

-- and yes I watch too much Spongebob Squarepants!


Jeorgensen, Kenneth. (December 4th, 2003). Choosing Seedling Fertilizers.

Janne, E. E., Roberts, R. E. (February 2001). Texas A&M University. Timely Tips on Starting Seedlings at Home.