Prepping Pots

Soooooo close. So close. The tomato and cucumber seedlings are itching to be planted, but the Philadelphia overnight lows for the next week or so appear to be in the upper 40s. This may be going out on a limb here, but that’s just too nippy for POD’s tomatoes. Not only that, but today’s gusts of up to 25 mph put a damper on plans for a day-long hardening session. Grrr.

Instead of despairing, pots (most of them) have been prepped.  What does that mean, you ask? Well, they’ve been washed with soapy water, rinsed well, and their drainage holes have been inspected. A 2-3″ layer of Styrofoam drainage nuggets were placed in the bottom of each container (ask your office computer geek to save the nasty stuff for you — they always seem to have a stockpile somewhere) and then the yummy-smelling, full-of-promise dirt was dumped in.

Alas, to the long-suffering husband’s dismay, we’re about 2 cubic feet and one 14-lb bag of Organic Mechanic (blast those stupid tiny bags) shy of a full deck.

Pots On Deck
Pots On Deck
Drainage Holes
Drainage Holes
Evil Styrofoam
Evil Styrofoam
Organic Mechanic Dirt
Dirt

(Next year, POD will require 8 cubic feet of dirt.)

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6 thoughts on “Prepping Pots

  1. Thank you for the reply, but I am going HA HA! Because you are wishing you had planted the Sakata Sweets, and I am wishing that I had planted your Minnesota Midgets! Well, I will keep notes on the Sakata as best as I can, and maybe you can make use of my piffly information mext year.

    Is it too late to plant Minnesota Midgets, do you think?

      1. I live in eastern Washington state–the dry, sagebrushy part, not the mountains-and-pines part. But judging from your ‘runty radishes’ post, we have the same exasperating weather. In either spring or fall, it can get deceptively hot during the day, then change its mind and go down to nearly freezing. Although I think we’re past that danger, this year. I plunked some cucumbers and melons into temporary pots and set them out, and they seem to be growing well enough. You know how touchy they are, when it comes to cold.

      2. Cucumbers certainly are picky. I’ve decided to hold off planting mine until next weekend. I’m hoping the overnight lows will be more like 60 than 50. My cucumbers are well started and will have to be transplanted carefully. I just started my melons in peat pots last weekend — I plan on sticking them in the ground as soon as I have 2 true leaves.

  2. Hello!
    I think you mentioned earlier that you would be growing Sakata Sweet melons this year. I’m curious, how have they been behaving so far? I planted mine at the same time as my cucumber and cantaloupe, using the same lights and starter mix, but the cucumbers are four inches across now and the Sakata still only have one or two tiny true leaves, no bigger than an aspirin.

    I’m just curious whether you also found them to be slow-growing. If you have not, and haven’t heard of them being that way, then I need to find out what I did wrong!

    You can look at the seedlings (as well as some other junk) here:
    http://rather-crassly.livejournal.com/14291.html#cutid1

    Any ideas? I’m thinking that they might need a heat mat, but that’s just a wild guess!

    Thanks in advance for your time and trouble, Diana

    1. Thanks for the comment! You know, I did say that I was going to try a new melon this year and I’m embarrassed to report that I’ve started my Minnesota Midgets again. I was all excited about Kiwano melons until I tasted them (ew) and then I thought “Ooooh, Tigger Melons! So cute!” until I read about their “bland” flavor. So, I’ve got the MN midgets in the peat pots and I just started a few Charentais seeds as well. Now, however, I’m sorry that I didn’t follow my own careful advice about potential melons varieties and sorry that I’m not growing Sakata Sweets so we could compare notes.

      Generally, melons only need a few true leaves before you need to transplant them. They definitely like it warm (around 75-85, or so, I believe) so a heat mat probably can’t hurt. In fact, I just started mine because I don’t plan on taking them outside into our zone 7 climate until we’re well into May.

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