Karel Bunker

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since Feb 22, 2018
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Recent posts by Karel Bunker

Thanks for the input y'all!  What you're putting down makes sense so I will be tuning the mix way down for the next trays and will report back.

This conversation has opened up all sorts of questions related to seeds and compost...  Should I not amend my beds too heavily with compost immediately before seeding?  I've also starting an air-prune bed to start tree seedlings this year that has a heavy amount of compost with potting mix that has been stewing with a thick leaf mulch over the winter.  Now I'm thinking of digging out a lot of it and turning the compost content way down as well.

Thanks again!
3 years ago
I have a local supplier of compost that takes in food waste from the city and turns it into some nice black looking compost for a very reasonable price ($30 for a cubic yard).  I've been using it to form my market garden beds (sometimes right over the old beat-up pasture grass), tarping it for a period of time, and am seeing an explosion of earthworm activity when I go to broad fork a few months down the road. Seems like a good sign.

Recently I've been trying to use the compost to start seeds and grow microgreens when mixed about half and half with a peat/pearlite standard grow mix and have been having poor results.  Germination of winterbor kale and salanova lettuce has been spotty, the lettuce has a funky leaf curl, and microgreen flats start growing webby fungus along the top within a few days.  Curious about the quality of the compost, I put it under the 400x microscope -Elaine Ingham style- and found pretty much just straight bacteria.  No signs of fungus, nematodes, protozoa, or microarthropods.

I was wondering your all's thoughts on this bought-in compost. While it may not have a full compliment of the soil food web, I feel like it is a useful source of organic matter, just may need time for the organisms to develop once in the garden.  But as far as starting seeds/growing microgreens goes, do you think it could be contributing to the poor germination/fungus growth?  Any other thoughts on why my transplants aren't germinating? Setup uses a combo of t5 and LED strip lights.  Doing bottom watering, and I did mix a handful of organic fertilizer in with the transplant medium.  Currently running a trial with microgreens with straight potting mix to see if that helps with the fungus problem.  Any comments welcome, not the most experienced grower, but working on it!

3 years ago