gabriola garden

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Yellow leaf tips lead to Reduced Feeding

The good news is that electricity has been restored to most homes on the island, including ours.

Another five to ten centimetres of snow fell on Gabriola this morning, then the snow turned to rain and it became slush. Rubber boots are the de rigueur wear around here these days.

The kids loved fooling around in the snow so now they’re sad that it’s all melting. Sara is happy that her spring bulbs are getting enough to drink under ground and I mutter silent curses as I wind my way around the slushy roads.

There’s nothing more miserable than wet snow on your face and huge puddles of slush underfoot. My coat was soaked through by the time I ended up walking the dog.

Down Under, Eloise writes, worrywart John has something else to worry about. They’ve discovered yellow tips on the leaves of their sweet corn plants. John immediately said “I told you so,” to Eloise.

She tried to reassure him that it had nothing to do with them putting less water into their 500 Litre mixing tank in order to account for all the rain watering that their corn was getting. Instead of a medium feeding regimen, their corn is telling them that it requires light feeding.

So they adjusted the Nutrient Calculator accordingly and remixed the tank according to the new guidelines. John insisted on filling the tank up to the brim with water, in spite of Eloise’s warnings that this will result in over-watering their corn and the other vegetables.

“John is still worried. He’s out in the field every day with his NPK Soil Test Kit, which includes 25 sachet reagents of Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Potassium, three 100 mL bottles of extraction solution, and five plastic test tubes in which to mix the soil samples and the measuring agents.”

“He’s got laminated colour charts—three of them—a test tube holder, a small brush, three pipettes, one measuring spoon, and a soil test hand book. He’s better prepared for his soil tests than he was for our wedding, LOL!”

“Whenever his mind starts to worry, he hurries out into the corn field and measures the pH, the NPK, the EC, and God knows what, in order to make sure that our first sweet corn harvest is successful. Even though I find it annoying at times, I must say I admire his tenacity.”

“I’m afraid that these yellow tips will drive him over the edge. He tried to call Advanced Nutrients the other day. I did a quick calculation in my mind and realized that it was three in the morning in British Columbia.”

“You don’t expect those Canadian blokes to answer the phone at 3 am, do you?” I asked John. He got embarrassed and rushed off to do yet another test.”

“Aside from the yellow tips, our corn plants seem full of vigour, healthy and happy. According to the corn growing guidebook, all parts of the plants are growing according to plan. The tassels and the ears are starting to form and pretty soon the silks will be fertilized by the pollen from the tassels.”

“It’s amazing how bushy all of our vegetables have grown. Neighbours come and admire our garden and immediately want to order some of the Advanced Nutrients products that we use to nourish our plants.”

“I wouldn’t be surprised if their New Zealand sales of Iguana Juice Grow and Bloom, as well as Grandma Enggy’s Humic Acid, Fulvic Acid, and Seaweed Extract would have doubled since we started showing off our garden to fellow growers.”

“One reason that John is so upset about the yellow tips is that he’s afraid that our neighbours will laugh at us. I reassured him that yellow tips were just a way that plants communicate their needs, no cause for alarm. I don’t think John is convinced of that yet.”

“Now that John has filled up our tank with water, our EC readings have returned to normal (according to the Nutrient Calculator). I will try to make sure that John doesn’t over-water our crop by urging him to water less frequently.”

“This will cause the plants to receive the required amount of nutrients more slowly, but eventually they should get the suggested PPM or EC or TDS for the week. Unless we cut back watering to such an extent that all they get is rainwater, with a few diluted nutrients.”

“In week 2 of our bloom cycle, the ingredients in our nutrient mix have been reduced by switching from Medium to Light Feeding. According to the Nutrient Calculator, instead of feeding our plants 1341.5 mL of Iguana Juice Bloom, now we only feed them 1224 mL. Instead of 950 mL each of Humic Acid and Fulvic Acid, now we only feed 700 mL.”

Voodoo Juice has gone down from 2300 mL to 2100. Piranha and Tarantula were 200 grams each, now we only feed 150 grams. Carbo Load Powder has slightly gone down, from 115 g to 105, Seaweed Extract much more significantly, from 1900 mL to 1750.”

“SensiZym has also gone from 1900 mL to 1750, as has Organic B been reduced by the exact same amount.”

“Since Iguana Juice is a fish-based fertilizer, we’ve had a family of raccoons visiting one night trying to dig up the non-existent fish. It’s lucky that we don’t have bears in these parts. Our deer fence stops deer most of the time, but I doubt that it would be any good to keep bears out. And if they smell the fish, they could become troublesome.”

“We still can’t figure out how the raccoons came through the fence, but John promised to inspect the entire perimeter to detect any breeches. We opened the gate and chased them out by banging a garbage can lid and yelling loudly.”

“I was doing a veritable Maori war chant by the time they took off and exited our property. Can’t have intrusive critters disrupting our attempt to become accomplished horticulturalists!”

“Take care and watch out for those masked bandits, Eloise.”

posted by Tim at 7:36 PM


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