Apr 21, 2009

Earth Day Inspiration

Earth Day is tomorrow. In celebration of this day of awareness and inspiration for the health of our planet, let's all get out and plant a tree. If you can't plant a tree how about a flower....or even a few seeds. It all helps, and it's all a step in the right direction. With the state of our economy circling the bowl, a few veggie seeds sown tomorrow to celebrate will reward you in a couple of months with a healthier planet Earth and a lower grocery bill, ....so let's all go and grow!!

Now if you want some real inspiration, read the following post that I have copied form a wonderful site called 'GardenWeb'...this young man is really on the right track. So let's all help him out and plant a pack of seeds.

April 2009
Earth Day is April 22, 2009. I want to see if 10,000 people can plant a package of some type of seeds on that one day.
Growing a plant helps a lot of ways. Some plants give us food. It feels good to grow something that you can later eat. Some plants make us feel good to look at them. They are just pretty. Plants give us oxygen. Plants help clean the air by taking CO2 from our cars and other pollutants out of the air. Plants also help stop erosion by holding soil in place.
You can help this project in two ways. First, plant a pack of seeds on April 22, 2009. It doesn’t matter what the seeds are, just plant them.
Second, would you give some seeds to a kid to plant at their home? If 200 people across the country would give out 50 packs of seeds, that would be 10,000 packs. If you are like my dad, he has more seeds than he will ever plant. He already said he would give 50 packs of seeds.
If you don’t have extra seeds, you can buy them at the various $1 stores for 10 packs for a $1. So, $5 would give you 50 packs.
What do you do with your 50 packs? Bring them to a school and give them to the office and ask them to give them out to two classrooms and ask them to take them home and plant them that day.
Ok, 10,000 packs of seeds in one day. It will probably only take 15 short minutes to put your soil in a pot, move it to the right spot and plant your seeds. If you are going to put then in the ground, it will take around 15 minutes. If 10,000 packs of seeds were planted in one day, that means we just spent 2500 hours to help our environment.
How will I know if you helped? I have two ways you can tell me. I made a folder on photobucket.com where you can upload a picture of you planting your seeds. Just tell me what kind of seeds you planted in the description. Here is the link to post a picture. http://photobucket.com/EarthDay
I have also made a discussion forum on GardenWeb.com under the round robin section. You can post a discussion on what kind of seed you planted and/or how many seeds you gave away and who you gave your seeds to. Just post a follow up to this post.
Can someone help by telling others on different boards about this project? We can do it in two days! I know we can.
Pass this email out to EVERYONE as soon as possible. I would like to know if 10,000 packs of seeds were planted in one day. Thank you.

Matt Case,
Troop 532
Hornaday Award Candidate
Old North State Council

Here is a link to the complete thread:

Apr 15, 2009

As the Tomato Grows...and other assorted green news

So far so good with the tomato trials and tribulations. The wilting has slowed to a few plants every so often, so in essence is almost done(although it pains me to write this because I don't want to jinx things....so now I am off to knock on wood). Even still, if I did jinx myself, considering the amount of over-sowing I always do, I should have enough seedlings to be happy. On another plus side at least 50% of the wilty babes are still hanging in there, and if all goes well , will recover once they go outside to harden in about 2 and a half weeks. I have also really narrowed it all down to my letting the seedlings go too dry between watering. I do try to go by the rule of thumb, water when the soil feels dry to the touch an inch or two below the surface. Well this is all well and good with a big established plant, but not such good advice with a little Styrofoam cup of baby tomato. So a little more creativity is in order. Now I am going by weight of the cup, as well as sliding the plant(soil included of course) from each cup to determine complete dryness. Another way to be certain of soil moisture is to utilise Soil Moisture Probes and Meters, but I am not that technologically inclined.

On another front, my Taro is still growing strong and has been a real pleasure to grow. Once it started to sprout there was really not much left to do other than keep it watered like any other house plant and turn it every so often to let both sides enjoy the sun.
Well there was one exception....my cats....they seem to think the Taro is their second cat box. If this was just a houseplant I would probably just laugh it off after rinsing thoroughly...but as this is a root vegetable, I really don't like the idea of the cats flavoring it for me. Plus I don't think cat urine is a flavor that will catch on. So after the second trip into the shower for Taro detoxification(and the pot is pretty heavy when the soil is damp)I decided to lock it up in the seedling room.
Now to construct a screen that will fit over the soil and convince the cats that this is not their tropical retreat....

Ah...the joys of plantdom.....

Apr 7, 2009

Tomato Seedling Update

I am having that same wilting /dying problem that I had with my tomato babes last season.

When this happened to me last year, I was sure it was the soil I used for transplanting, maybe it stayed to wet for my babies. Then someone put the bug in my ear so I was absolutely certain I had Fusarium Wilt, I proceeded to throw out all of the wilty seedlings, the leftover seeds of the wilted varieties and the soil I had used for transplanting. Then thru a veil of tears I scrubbed my entire seed room down with a stiff bleach and water solution and labeled myself a failure. about 4 weeks later I still had about 11 transplants to plant out out of my original 50 or so plants....but I was happy for those .

.....Fast forward almost 1 year to the date that this all starts happening. I know I don't have a water retention problem...I know I do let them go a little dry between watering, but the old timers and experts I have talked to say this is the best way to water.It still could be the watering , they could be getting too dry for too long(I didn't think this was the case, but one never knows) I am absolutely certain that this IS NOT fusarium wilt...so no raw bleachy hands for me ...thank you very much! The last two things I can think of are, 1- I am planting my seeds 3-4 weeks too early.It just seems like too much of a coincidence that they start acting up around the 6 week mark....if I had planted them later it would only be a week or two before they would be planted out, and I think I could save 75% of them, and for me that is a good quantity. Or 2- my house is just unsuitable for tomato seedlings. I am betting on scenario number 1 . It seems that the only issue I had with the 2007 seedlings was sun scald...and that was a faux pax on my end....I planted them mid March.

So it seems that I will be sowing my seeds a few weeks later in 2010....and if that doesn't help....I am going to find myself a good local supplier of Heirloom Tomato Transplants.....