The Stems On My Second Planting

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Bob Bauer
February 20, 2017 (Last Updated: ) | Reading Time: 1 minutes

February 20, 2017

The stems on my second planting of lettuce are shriveling up at ground level and the plants are falling over and dying. That's a sign of damping off disease that you can get if you don't sanitize your trays and planting mix. I always sanitize my trays and buy sanitized planting mix so I don't know what's going on. I guess I'm not done with six pack planting after all, although direct planting of lettuce, radishes, carrots, beets and Swiss chard is March 13.

Maybe I should just wait. Less chance of failure in the ground.

February 21, 2017

I put the cloches I got for Christmas over my broccoli plants, and even with the top vents open they fogged up right away. It's a cold windy day but the plants have a warm humid environment. I moved the cold frames that were covering them to the artichokes that were getting eaten by slugs. Slugs love artichokes. It's food and shelter in one spot.

There were 20 slugs at the base of each plant, not counting the ones that were hiding. The mini greenhouses would have worked perfectly but they are covering the only Swiss chard that's pickable. Fresh green leaves are coming up from the center of the plants and the birds can't get to them.

February 22, 2017

I started two six packs of cabbage at the same time, using the same seed starting mix, and only one six pack came up. Both sanitized, same fish emulsion mix, same tray with the same hood. I think it's Voodu. Gardening is full of mysteries because although the process is simple, the interactions are complex. It's like we know that mathematics rules the physical universe but discovery is what makes it interesting.

I was a seasoned gardener when I learned what kept eating my carrot sprouts. I kept thinking it was earwigs because there was no slug slime on the ground. I had to go out after dark with a flashlight to find that slugs don't always leave a trail.

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