Tuesday, June 18, 2013

June And Progress ... And Some Complaints

It's June 18th and I'm rather annoyed by the progress I've made.  I decided to go with pots this year and found some really cool pots.  I started a whole bunch of herbs and tomato plants in little peat pots whatever they're called.  They work well for seeds.  After they got started I watered them, at first just with water, but then with dilute hydroponic nutrient, and more recently with standard strength nutrient.  As usual the plants flourished in the peat pots.  When I'm planning on doing straight hydroponics I usually use rockwool cubes, but since I was planning to pot these plants anyway I just did the peat pots.
That's a picture of the green plastic tray with herb plants in it that I took a couple of days ago.  They're flourishing on the whole, especially the basil which is the largest plant in the picture.  Now the next picture is of a basil plant (same cultivar) that was transferred to a pot with potting soil.  The potting soil was a Miracle Grow related product purchased at a local store.  It advertised how healthy it was for plants.
This is what it looks like.  Same cultivar, started at the same time.  Trust me, I'm not happy about this.  I'm not sure what the reason is.  I'm imagining that there is too much fertilizer in the potting soil and that it "burns" the plants stunting their growth at first.  But I don't know if that's actually the case.  I have had the same problem with my tomato plants.
There are two tomato plants in the pot.  The one with the larger leaves was in the green tray much longer than the one with the smaller leaves and was only transferred about a week ago while the other was transferred somewhat longer ago (don't remember exactly when but the same time the stunted basil plant was transferred).  I was thinking about starting a pot with passive media and only using hydroponics nutrient and now I'm sorry I didn't.  It would probably be a revelation to see how much better the hydroponically fed plant did.  I'm hoping that over time the plants will acclimate to the higher fertilizer content or whatever it is that is stunting them and start to do better, but we'll see.  Just this moment I'm not a happy camper.


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