Monday, February 26, 2007

February 26 Seed planting time

February 26

Two days ago I started Broccoli (Early Green), Kale (Red Russian) and Lettuce (Cimmaron and Red Vouge). I started the seeds in wet paper towel in front of the heat register. The broccoli and Kale are sprouted, the Lettuce seed is just splitting.

So I had to scrounge in the garage and get the flats. The compost I had dug and put in cat food bags last fall need to unfreeze in the warm house. I insist that the seeds will not damp off in compost, even though I don't sterilize the soil, because of the balance of bacteria in the compost.

I have had damping off problems in the past. Herein I will keep the records of what soil I used, and how it was treated, in order to study what seeds need what types of soil. I have shied away from sterilizing soil in the microwave or other such technology. I'd like to think that complexity in soil bacteria will prevent a crash in soils like complexity of species buffers ecosystems and preponderance of good bacteria buffers health in the intestines.

I will buy sterile soil if I have to use it. Buying soil opens up many issues about where the soil has been.

Another possible solution that has worked in the past for me (no documentation of this) is using slightly acid water; which will counter certain alkaline loving microorganisms or tea, which has antioxidants. I assume here that the damping off organism or organisms are mold as opposed to bacteria. I think I read this somewhere, but have not kept up on the latest. I assume there is ongoing research about every aspect of horticulture.

The broccoli will go the porch tomorrow in a flat. It will be slightly leggy by the time it is ready to put out under the spun polyester. Maybe I'll get lights this year, maybe not.

I have yet to locate any pepper seeds saved from last year. Maybe I will have to order them this year. I hope I can at least locate Tri-Fetti, as Pinetree seeds has discontinued it.


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