Friday, September 6, 2013

Six Containers Growing Money -Update

Post success first to intimidate newbies.
The six vegetable containers are still on the back patio.  I still haven't sprayed them and only the lettuce seems unhappy, or dead, about it.

The squash have flowers, but they are male flowers.  The males flowers always come first.  The useful female, fruit-bearing flowers show up late.

The peppers have bloomed and set fruit.  The tomato has little toms; I'm not sure how many.  The bean has some little beans, but you really have to know what you are looking for to see them.  Something is eating the bean plants.  I have found unexplainable, truncated stems.
Lettuce without its make-up.

Overall, the container veggies have not grown as much as I expected.  However, I have done NO maintenance.  I mean NONE.  I watered them for the second time today.  It's rained regularly so they haven't ever wilted before.
There is a really important thing I haven't done yet that will make a huge difference...
I haven't fertilized them.  They shouldn't need any since I added the slow-release fertilizer into the soil when I planted them, but I can see they are hungry.  It's nice to see it instead of hear it.  If you have twins you know what I mean.
In the pictures you will see the leaves are not vibrant green.  Don't settle for less.  When the leaves are not fresh, summertime green, the plant needs fertilizer.  Usually nitrogen.  These for sure need nitrogen because the oldest leaves on the bottom are yellow.

Beans, Beans. Good 4 your heart. The more you eat, the more you...

We aren't spending more money on fertilizer.  If you want to sprinkle another tablespoon of the slow-release into your squash, go right ahead!  I would totally do that if these were my personal plants.  Actually, if these were my personal plants, I would put a tablespoon of Ironite on them instead. 
Alas, these are not my personal plants but your learning material and some of you are organic fanatics.  I hope you are not like the vegetarians who take supplements to make up for the nutrients they have eliminated from their diets.  Or the suburbanites who throw fits about non-organic food but have their lawns chemically treated to prevent weeds.  I really, really hope you are not one of those because we are about to use the grass clippings -FREE! - to add some nitrogen and phosphorus to our hungry plants.  If you are one of them, go buy the Ironite and quit being such a hippocrit.

Squash plant.  I'll post a better pic in a few minutes.
Pack the top of the container with grass clippings but be careful not to pack the soil.  The soil should have settled by now and there is room on top for the clippings.  Keep a few in a pile nearby so when these settle you can top them again with more.  Grass clippings are great fertilizer.  The first time I mulched around the lettuce bed with them, the lettuces down the sides were twice as big as those in the middle.  Wish I had a picture of THAT to post.

We have learned three things today:
  • yellowing plants need fertilizer
  • yellow bottom leaves need nitrogen
  • grass clippings can be used as fertilizer
That makes my blog post useful enough to be finished.  Hope to see you soon!

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