Monday, September 24, 2012

Corn cob seedling mix

Here I mixed some various amendments with compost to see which worked best for starting squash and cucumber seeds.
Tried several amendments, leaves, wood chips, wood chunks, wood wafers, corn cob slices, b
The best was compost and corn cob slices.
2nd best was compost and wood chunks or a wood wafer.
These and others are shown in this video.

All these seedlings were planted in the ground. After 2 weeks, the corn cob one is still doing the best with the wood chunk and wood wafer ones still doing second best.
None of the transplants wilted. It has not been hot, less than 80 degrees.

Tree roots in garden

Large redwood trees send extensive root mats into my garden

Rather than fighting these roots, or trying to set up barriers blocking them, I'm trying to use them to add organic matter every year into the garden.  I dig a trench between the tree and garden, cut the roots and refill the trench with dirt.  Will add a drip line to then lead the roots back into the garden, so that I'll know where to cut them again next year.  This could add a great deal of organic matter to the garden each year. Only unknown is how far down I'll need to dig a trench to be sure all the roots are cut.

If anyone knows an easy way to cut tree roots about 3' deep, please post.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Transplanting Wilt Free Update

Here's an update on my trials to transplant large squash and cucumbers on hot sunny afternoons without shade, without wilt and without shock.

Plus some ideas on how to improve this for next year

This sheet shows an idea to try next hot season.  It is discussed at the end of the video.

Worm hole roots

Just for fun here are some pictures of bean roots growing through worm-holes.
They looked like miniatures of the roots growing in gopher tunnels. 

I dug up two bean plants, one doing great, one dying, to see the difference.
The dying bean plant had wet, saturated soil.
The good bean plant, had very dry soil.
Classic mistake, over-watering bean plants.

In the dry soil I was able to get good pictures since the dirt that didn't crumble or compress.

Eggplant stump & branch pot comparison

Well I couldn't resist digging up my eggplant stumppot.  It was doing so well, I just had to see what was going on in the roots.

Here is a slideshow showing what I found and also how it compared to the other eggplant in a branchpot.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Pepper Containers

This year I planted 4 pepper-plant tubs with different soil mixes.

In this video they are compared and dug up to see what can be learned from the roots, to improve future container plantings.

Interestingly these trials have led to the conclusion to put rotted wood at the top of the container (not in the bottom), just like nature does it in the forest, with rotted logs on top of the ground.

Based on this and other root excavations, here are some ideas for future soil arrangements I plan to test next. Will try to test with lettuce over fall, but might have to wait until next spring.