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Microgreens sucess!

After almost a year of trying to grow microgreens for market and failing with each batch, I've finally had success.

By using a mixture of coconut coir and perlite, and by placing my 10x20 trays in the natural sunlight of a temperature controlled greenhouse, my test trays of spicy radish microgreens and mild kale microgeens flourished into a healthy crop in 10 days.

A test tray of sunflower microgreens is showing much better progress, but has not yet produced the results I'm looking for. I think that I have kept the growing medium too moist and a little bit of damping-off has occurred.

I don't know if it is the sunlight that has brought about the desired results as compared to the artificial compact fluorescent lighting that I had been using before, or if its the fact that I have abandoned Sure-to-Grow brand growing pads in favor of a more traditional growing medium.

It could be also a combination of these two which have produced a wholly improved growing environment for the microgreens.


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Today, I sowed Israeli melons in 10 more Bato buckets. Unlike my previous starts in Oasis cubes, I directly sowed the seed into the medium in the buckets.

The medium is composed of about half and half perlite and coconut coir.

I've placed the buckets in the greenhouse to keep them warm, as nights are still chilly in the 50s. In the greenhouse, lows stay in the upper 60s, so the melons should germinate faster.

If the starts are successful, then I should harvest melons from these buckets about two weeks earlier than melons sown directly in the field at the first of April.

As for the melons started in February, they're growing slowly after having dehydrated. I was unaware of how dry perlite can be, and when I transplanted the seedlings into the perlite, I did not water the buckets thoroughly enough. They are recovering, but I think I've lost some of their potential advantage.

Sweet peas sown January 27, 2017

On January 28, 1986, I skipped classes at Waxahachie High to sow sweet peas in the field next to my house.

I was unaware that the Space Shuttle Challenger had exploded that morning until my friend called me and asked if I had heard the news. Immediately, I turned on the TV and found all the major networks covering the story.

Still, the events of that day are tied together in my memory, and each year that I sow sweet peas, I remember the date that I sowed Wando sweet peas and harvest the greatest yield I've ever picked.

This year as the date approached, I made sure to have seed on hand, and I sowed the peas on Friday, January 27, 2017, in the same field where I grew sweet peas in 1986.