4: Eat (and Produce) Good Food: 2 April 2014

So I finally got all my (surviving) plants transplanted Wednesday; the thyme didn’t make it. I can’t believe how quickly the soil is drying out. It has been somewhat cool and humid, but I am clearly not watering enough. The plants in pots are doing reasonably well, but those in the troughs are struggling. I got the sage into a pot a few days ago. One of the sage plants was really busting out of the starter pot, and now that it is in a full-sized container it is really taking off! I tried to get the basil in at the same time, but was unable. I had to drill a drain-hole in the pot, but the battery for my drill was dead. The basil was the last to be transplanted, yesterday.

As mentioned above, I have a number of plants in coir-lined troughs hanging over the patio railing that are really suffering. Since I did not plan properly, I did not place enough soil in the troughs. The shallow soil combined with the aeration of the coir and not watering enough is really drying it out. The soil is so dry that it is rejecting new water. I thought about taking them out and adding soil, but I have been informed that working the soil while it is too dry or moist can really mess things up. After pouring a generous amount of water over all the planters (much of which just ran straight through) I used a spray bottle to distribute about a quart of water evenly over the surface. This got created a saturated layer over the surface. Then I placed fresh potting soil over the surface that was near optimum moisture content. Finally, I watered the new soil into the existing. Hopefully, this will help infuse the whole bed with moisture. I will need to watch closely.


left to right Cilantro and Chives in Trough


left to right Parsley, Dill, Spearmint and Cilantro in Trough

The plants in pots are mostly growing, though some are simply holding steady. Both varieties of tomatoes are showing some yellow flowers! I need to find out when I should put up a cage around the tomatoes for support. Since the plants are all reaching for the sun, I have begun a rotation plan, simply turning each pot 90-degrees clockwise. I’ll have to see how quickly they respond to calibrate the frequency.


clockwise from bottom Serrano Pepper, Basil, Purple Bell Pepper, Sage, Garden Salsa Pepper, Rosemary, Oregano, Jalapeno Pepper, Beefsteak Tomato, Cherry Tomato in Pots

Back on the 23rd of March I sprayed all the plants with a foliar application of John’s Recipe. This will be a bi-weekly application continuing this Sunday. I’ll check the packaging about the recommended frequency for soil soaks, but if it is also bi-weekly, I reckon I’ll alternate the foliar and soil applications on a weekly basis. Unfortunately, I don’t recall when I did the first soak (which would be for all plants, but sage and basil because they were still in starter pots), but March 19th is a pretty good guess.

On April 2nd, while planting the basil, I also spread some fertilizer, raked it about with a small cultivator and watered it into all the beds. I hope I don’t regret not being more careful with the measurement.


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