This Will Go Down on Your Permanent Record, Part II

It’s Just a Habit: part two in a series of notes for POD 2011

We may be grasping for a leg of hope here, but nutrient deficiencies were a rather large bane of the little blue deck’s 2010 existence. Which seems a bit ironic, really, because this was the year POD went all-organic. Like Dylan in reverse.

Fancy soils were purchased, bags of worm poop were made into teas, stinky seaweed and fish emulsion fertilizers were religiously applied, and  wee bags of frighteningly expensive organic fertilizer (also stinky) were sprinkled.  And what happened? Tomatoes died, beans fell down dead, and peppers rotted.

So what’s a container gardener to do? Experiment! How, you ask?
1) Buy a pH tester and test the darn soil.

  • Tomatoes: slightly acidic 6.2-6.8
  • Greens and Beans: ditto, 6.0-6.5
  • Peppers: 5.5-6.0
  • Cucumbers, Melons, Parsnips, Carrots: 6.0-6.8

2) Be like Noah and plant two of everything. One in lovely organic soils, treated with organic remedies, and fertilized with smelly organic stuff. And the other in old-fashioned time-release fertilized soil, bathed in bright pink MiracleGro, and treated with chemical bug killers.

So what do you think? Tell me honestly.

[10/14/10 Note to Self: Head up to Fairmount Organic Recycling Center next year for free compost. Thanks, Domestic Efforts!]


Good Greensgrow Growers

So, POD hasn’t been entirely happy with the whole alternating weeks of fish emulsion/worm casting tea fertilizing routine. All sorts of secondary deficiencies have been cropping up in POD’s ever-suffering tomatoes. Like magnesium (helped by the addition of epsom salts) and calcium (maybe, or maybe not helped by egg shells) deficiencies, and who knows what else.

A desperate plea was recently lodged with a charmingly hairy farmer guy at Greensgrow. He was incredibly helpful. He suggested this stuff:

Garden tone fertilizerHere’s hoping it works.