AMKuska's 2023 Garden

heirloomgal

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The UK is absolutely right to step away from harvesting peat moss. I don't use it when ever possible, except when it is given to me by others. I think it's a great medium, but just not worth the environmental degradation it causes.

I tried coco coir, as the initial seedling medium as it is sterile. It does a fine job, but obviously you need to pot up to something with nutritional value. I think my current one is made with coco coir, earth worm castings, compost, and tree bark.
If you continue to feel like the plants are stunted, or start to look light green or yellow-y colored, you might want to check out 'nutrient lockout in coir'. Sodium is often high in coir, if unbuffered. Coir needs to be processed and treated very specifically to be safe for seeds as a planting medium and some companies are def selling mixes that are unbuffered. It also has a high 'cation exchange capacity' which basically means calcium and magnesium will not be available to the plants because of the coir substrates. In a nut, the plants in the medium can starve even if your fertilizing regularly because the coir is binding it up.
 

AMKuska

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If you continue to feel like the plants are stunted, or start to look light green or yellow-y colored, you might want to check out 'nutrient lockout in coir'. Sodium is often high in coir, if unbuffered. Coir needs to be processed and treated very specifically to be safe for seeds as a planting medium and some companies are def selling mixes that are unbuffered. It also has a high 'cation exchange capacity' which basically means calcium and magnesium will not be available to the plants because of the coir substrates. In a nut, the plants in the medium can starve even if your fertilizing regularly because the coir is binding it up.
Hmm, that is exactly what is happening in specific plants. I will investigate, thank you!
 

AMKuska

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I'm going to get a ph meter today. My testing kit is missing the little containers for mixing in, and I don't know how much soil/water to add to a test tube to get a clear picture.
 

AMKuska

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pH is 6.9/7.0. I went ahead and did a flush on one to see if it improves. I worry about damp feet, but if it gets better, than it's possible it is still a nutrition lockout, but it doesn't show as a pH.
 
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heirloomgal

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You could also message the company. There are a few answers they should have for you - 1, is the EC level below 1.0 milliSiemens, 2 was the coir sufficiently leached and tested, (->is the salt level lower than min. .5 mS/cm) 3, was it buffered with calcium nitrate (you might want to know this as well because the process is not compatible w/organic standards, it's a synthetic chemical, water intensive too. The ratio is 1,000 litres water/7 kg calcium nitrate buffers 5 cubic metres coir, resoak using another 1,000 to rinse).

If they don't have a robust yes to these, the mix isn't safe for your plants to be in. A really good company will likely know if their coconuts are sourced from coastal sites or inland too, silly as it sounds, it amounts to drinking a glass of water filled from the tap, or the ocean. If your mix is labeled organic, and you want to check for authenticity, ask if they buffered with the cal nitrate, and if they didn't, how they got around the exchange sites saturating with potassium and sodium in their product so as to be safe for their customers to use.

here's a good info link, the last blurb is key - link https://www.lichengroup.co.za/how-to-buffer-coco-peat/
 
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Alasgun

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While im familiar with this company, i dont use they’re products; However, the write up about too much/or little fertilizer could be considered a helpful diagnostic tool?

i mention this because of how easy it is to get carried away; ask me how i know.

 

AMKuska

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Growth has started again in Sacrificial Plant. It has put out two new leaves since last photo. Potting up is the only thing to cause growth to restart so I'm going to pot up the rest today.
 

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AMKuska

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Today I left my cold weather crops outside the whole day, bringing them in only after dark. None of them seemed to mind, and in fact the cabbages really seem to like going outside. I swear they visibly grow when put out there. I'm going to keep putting them outside during the day and back in at night. Might as well make use of actual sunlight if they can stand it.
 

AMKuska

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It was a good day to be outside. Temperatures have warmed up to a comfortable 45F, and it only hailed a little yesterday. I left my cold weather crops outside under a sheltered eve the whole night, and they didn't seem at all bothered.

Yesterday I also planted an experimental pea to see if it would be fine in dirt. Nothing ate it, the hale didn't kill it, and it didn't freeze, go limp, or change colors. I take this as a good sign that I can plant things and just cover them if we get a killing frost.
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My Lettuce
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Baby Cabbage
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The Spinach That Lived
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Happy little peas
 

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