Tuesday, July 19, 2022

Mistakes were made...


Not an impressive "take" on my seedlings
Last year I had a spectacular success in starting my Chinese cabbage seedlings.

 This year, not so much. I changed one, tiny detail. Last year I saturated the potting soil, placed the seeds on top of the potting soil and then covered with about a half-inch of coarse sawdust. They came up like missiles.

This year I got lazy and did not walk the 120 feet to the sawdust pile. I covered the seeds with common potting soil.

As soon as I had verified that I was in trouble, I replanted the problem cells and planted a second tray.

Yup, the problem was because I did not use sawdust.

This cost me about a week but I could be worse. I planted this hybrid July 21 last year and still got a crop so I am about a week ahead of last year, even with my mistake.

Soil moisture

I put in a few end-posts for the tomato trellis this morning. I was heartened to see how much moisture was available two feet down.

If I had to terra-form a planet, I would make the areas near the village a 3 percent grade with sandy-loam in the top 18" and then a layer of silty or clay-loam about two feet down.

Korean Radish

I planted three varieties this year.

One was suggested by Pascal, Belladonna's boyfriend. He is proficient at conversational Korean (interesting hobby, that). The other two were throw-a-dart at the catalog choices.

All told, I planted about 100 feet of row with much of it interplanted in the watermelon patch. My thinking is that the two plants can coexist. The first frost will level the melons and the radishes should flourish over the next month.

New (for us) furniture

The ERJ family will soon be the owners of some new (for us) furniture.

That is one of the perks of being an empty-nester. The old furniture sustained a great deal of wear-and-tear over the last twenty years. It owes us nothing although I think we will have one Laz-e-boy recliner reupholstered. It was a gift from Mrs ERJ's father forty years ago and still has good bones. It was made back when they used straight-grained sugar maple and screws rather than press-board, staples and hot-melt glue.


  1. Interesting about the seeds. What quality about the sawdust do you think made the difference?
    I have had abysmal and poor luck with most of my seeds, either started or direct plant (so I just over seed like a madman and cull)

    1. I think the major factor is that it is lightweight and the seedlings can push through it with ease.

      A second factor is that it is easy to sprinkle it to an even depth.

      A third factor is that light can penetrate it and some seedlings like light with the smaller the seed the more it likes it.

      A fourth factor is that it does a good job protecting the surface of the dirt from sun and wind so it moderates moisture content. I covered the flat with a sheet of newspaper so I don't think that was a major player but it could if left uncovered.

  2. Interesting... Never thought about using sawdust!

  3. Sawdust from what kind of wood?

    I'd think some woods - cedar, redwood, anything pressure treated - might not offer the same degree of success, and some woods - well aged and very dry pine, spruce, poplar - might work better.

    Oils and acids, etc., and there might be some woods that add worthwhile chemicals as water passes through them to the plants.


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