Monday, March 14, 2011

Dirt Gently Nursery for Slightly Fungus-ridden Toilet Paper Rolls: an Update

The seedlings have thrived in their toilet paper homes despite the initial appearance of white fuzzy fungus. There's no visible trace of the stuff any more on the rolls themselves, or on the soil surface. Instead, carpets of lush green growth.

Well, "carpets" might be overstating things a bit, but there is certainly a lot of happy little seedlings with one or more sets of true leaves today. Even the sad-looking purple moonflower seedling, and his brother whose seed coat is permanently attached to its seed leaves, are starting to vine away.

Clearly, time to pot them on, but with only a limited amount of potting soil on hand, only the most desperately leafy were transplanted today.

The germination rate for the bok choi from Richters was excellent, with 15 of 16 seeds producing viable little guys. I sowed these a little too densely with 4 seeds per TP tube. As I separated out the toilet paper tubes and peeled back the cardboard, it was clear that the fungus had been driven underground and was thriving between the tubes and in the seed mix. Still, roots and leaves looked healthy — roots were peeking out from every crack in the rolls and some had even driven right through the cardboard. I thinned each tube to 2 seedlings each, and planted two tubes intact, and two tubes with the cardboard removed.

I ate the thinnings; they tasted like roquette.

Next up was the Bloomsdale long-standing spinach from Sage Garden Herbs, with 5 seedlings for 8 seeds planted. These were not thinned, and were planted 1 intact, 2 naked. Roots looked healthy, though less rambunctious than bok choi, and the fungus was also comfortably co-existing.

Out of those that have emerged, most of the Tree & Twig Jaune du Doubs carrot seedlings still looked a bit small. Only 7 seedlings out of 16 seeds have emerged to date. There was 1 tube showing 3 seedlings so this was transplanted into the same container as the spinach, TP tube intact, after the smallest seedling was removed.

Eight of 8 cape daisy seeds from Seeds & More had hatched, so tubes were planted intact and 2, naked. 2 seedlings were immediately thinned, one each from an intact and naked tube.

The purple moonflower was also transplanted.

I'll probably give the TP rolls one more shot and see if baking them before use (paper burns at 451°!) will prevent fungal growth, and if the seedlings I planted with TP rolls intact do OK.

1 comment:

  1. I repotted Ol' Ugly too (my moonflower). Uglier (his bro) is still in his tiny bachelor unit and has not upgraded living conditions yet. He seems stunted, healthy, but not growing, so maybe he should really move too. What final sized container do you plan on putting them into?