Hey everyone- oh my goodness these videos are a bear to upload!! I have been trying to do them at night so that we can use the computer during the day, but sometimes they're not done in the morning so we've had to cancel the almost done uploads several times. bleh. I thought I'd post the first four vids and a few tips up to that point and then on part III I'll continue to give tips and show videos. My plants have been in for a week and a half now and actually started sprouting 2 days after. I love Arizona!
Control 6 Elements for Success:
Your plants must have full sunlight all day long! No trees, shrubs, fences. Plants can even shade themselves. Prune off excess sucker stems so there is plenty of air and light.
Seed usually don't germinate until they reach 75-80 degrees. If your climate is a cold one, you can build a mini frame around your rows and cover it with greenhouse plastic (uv protected). If your climate is too hot, use the same frame but cover it with 30% white shade cloth (30% is maximum- you can go lower). And only cover in the hottest parts of the day. Plants will stop fruiting once the temperature reaches 95 degrees.
Plants receive air through the roots- they need soil air. No standing water, so avoid flooding. Make your beds 2 inches above the height of the walk ways to promote drainage.
A plant is a continuous water pipe from the tip of the smallest root to the top of the highest leaf.
If you have a problem with salinity (salt) in the soil, create the beds, then flood it three times and it will get the salt far enough down away from the planting area that your plants wont be affected.
It is important to have level beds so that all nutrients given to the plants will stay and soak into the soil where they are placed, rather than running to the lowest point of the bed when watered. (I have a video of how to level the beds coming soon)
Water only the root zone of the plant. *Do not sprinkle* this will water weeds, waste water and promote disease. Try your hardest to not get the rest of the plant wet when you water- this just promotes disease as mentioned. If you automate water using an above the ground drip system it will be easier, faster, and more efficient. Using 3/4 inch #200 psi pvc piping (painted with exterior paint) and drill 3 #57bit holes every 4 inches. Set this on a 6"long 2x4 to suspend above root zone. (when I make mine I will video and post)
A plant can not grow beyond it's most limiting factor. In my opinion food is, in most cases, the most limiting factor. There are plenty of the nutrients that your plant needs in most soil, however, many are bonded to other elements and cannot be absorbed by the roots, so they do you no good. The food given to plants must be water soluble and available to roots. The 13 natural mineral nutrients needed for the best growth and health of the plant are:
- Potassium in the form of Potash
Plants use these nutrients to develop different parts; N builds strong leaves, Phosphate builds strong roots, and Potash promotes root development and disease resistance.
- Sulfur (Ca and Sulfur are found in gypsum)
- Magnesium (epsom Salt)
Weed early and often. do not use mulch. keep ground dry and bare.
ok, I actually said the wrong amount to apply on this video- it's 2Tbs per square foot. The weekly feed is 1 Tbs per running square foot. Sorry about that! Just mix up a bunch and share your left overs with your neighbors! That's what I've been doing!