Friday, March 12, 2010

Newspaper pots

This is the first time I make newspaper pots for sowing seeds indoors.
I took a pill bottle and wrapped newspaper around it and folded the bottom over. I had a bit of trouble keeping the pots from coming undone but at the end I had something resembling a working pot to sow my seeds in. I will fill them with coir.

Like I said, keeping the bottom from coming undone was the tricky part. I did not want to use anything else besides newspaper so I am relying on friction to hold the thing together.

I will try a few and see how I do. If they work well, I will try to figure out a better way to make them.

I also took the cardboard tube from a spent paper towel roll and cut it into sections. I am trying a couple right now to see how they hold up.

I checked my Winter Sowing experiment and the seeds have not sprouted yet.

Yep, my dog Lexie jumped the fence and dug up all my peas. Time to change the fence and re-sow the peas.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

The Bridge

I am always in awe of what plants do. Here is a little poem along these lines:

The Bridge

I ate the fruit
I saved the seed
I put it in the ground

and day by day
with sun and rain
a bridge has dared

to bring together
Heaven and Earth.

© 2010 David Borboa

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Potatoes and Ollas revisited

So last year I tried growing potatoes in trash bags with marginal success. My mistakes were:
  • The bags I used were too big.
  • The bags lacked structure which made it difficult to add more soil as the plants grew.
  • I did not provide adequate drainage.
Still, the poor potato plants tried their best and at the end I did get a few potatoes. I did much better with the tubs. The only problem I had with the tubs was that when I tipped them to harvest the potatoes, the tubs broke.
So, this year I gave in to marketing and purchased two factory-made potato bags. These bags are 18 inches (45.72 cm) high and 14 inches (35.56 cm) in diameter. I planted two varieties of potato today --Yukon Gold and Purple Majesty.

I have been told that the first week of March is too early to plant potatoes but I have planted potatoes this early before and it has worked well for me.
As a test, I will also plant potatoes in:
  • The empty garden soil bag. I'll cut it to match the dimensions of the store-bought bags.
  • A 5 gallon (18.925 liter) bucket.
I really want to try the Olla (clay bottle) method of watering my plants but Ollas are rare to non-existent around here. So I took a pottery class last year in an effort to make my own but it turns out that making clay bottles is an advanced skill so I never made any. I am now considering going to one of the many pottery shops around here and paying someone to make them for me.
Olla watering is a very old method of watering allegedly brought to the Americas by the Spaniards. You bury a clay bottle near your plants with the mouth of the bottle exposed (for refilling the water) and the roots will obtain the moisture they need from the water that seeps through the porous clay. We'll see.

Stay tuned...