Sunday, April 11, 2021

Hope Springs Anew; Amending Soil in Spring

This week I'll be starting the pumpkin seeds.  It is like the opening week of major league baseball.  Everyone is in first place with nothing but opportunity ahead.   

A week ago I finally got around to prepping the greenhouse soil.  Later than I prefer, but in time.  

My soil test came back with things in pretty good shape, other than nitrogen and organic matter was a little low.  So I add three bundles of sphagnum peat moss, three bags of Miracle Grow garden soil that a friend had given me (I know many growers would not use anything in the patch that said Miracle Grow on it, but 3 bags over 640 sq feet doesn't bother me at all), ammonium sulfate, Azomite, humic acid,  4-4-4 fertilizer, elemental sulfur (doh! I didn't look close at the bag and it was mono-ammonium phosphate--big blunder), copper sulfate, zinc sulfate, manganese sulfate, and a little compost around the planting area.

I tilled that all in and the put down some winter rye seed to help suppress weeds and add additional organic matter.  That will be tilled in around June.  In the photo, you can't see them yet, because the seedlings are only starting to green up, the grass blades are already nearly and inch long.  In two weeks, that grass will look like a healthy lawn.

I'll till in the grass in the planting area the end of this week, so it will be partially broken down when I put the pumpkin plants in the ground.

This year, if the weather will cooperate, I plan to get one pumpkin plant in the soil, much earlier than I usually do, the other will be grown in the grow closet and planted later..  I can control the temps fairly well, so I hope to get the roots growing into the soil, rather than into the sides of the starting pot, to see if that makes much of a difference.

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