Here's my favorite gardening tool out of everything I have laying around. this is what helps me grow such great fruits and veges and how I grow so much food. It's a multi meter and it checks moisture, pH and lighting for me. I use it at least 4 times a week thru the growing season and it's how I know my window plants are properly hydrated and have enough sunlight.
I picked this little gadget up probably 10 years ago in the end of season basket at Chinamart(walmart). It was marked down from $9 and some change to $3. I remember it because I really thought it was a heck of a buy at the time. I still do!
But why is this so important? Well, for plants like blueberries you have to have some way of knowing if your soil is right. blueberries love acid soil and can be stunted or killed quick without the proper pH level. Another example is the differences between horse manure compost and cow manure compost. Horse is around 8.6 and cow is very close to neutral(7). So, for most garden plants out there, you would need to do something to your soil to drop the pH level from that 8.6 down to around 6.7 or so to get a good harvest. Didn't know that? That's okay, I had to learn the hard way about all this stuff.
I grow lots of plants in containers and buckets. How else would I figure out if they are too dry or too wet? Well, I could stick my fingers in the soil all the time to see and that's not very accurate for a good root reading (plus it often disturbs the plant) or I could just stick this little bugger in there. The meter isn't very intrusive to the plant or it's root system, I don't get dirt under my fingernails and I get a good and accurate reading of what the plants' roots are feeling like. That allows me to better handle the over watering and the under watering. Some plants just don't like their feet wet and others prefer to be a little dry.
This is one of my many little secrets to growing all those awesome looking fruits and veges. A very handy little tool! I'm having a really hard time not starting seedlings. I know it's too early but that darn Seed Savers catalog has me all jittered!
Job update- no word yet. We have several friends out there keeping their ears open for us and got 3 calls this morning telling us all upper management was in a meeting at shift change today....
Yes, all of 2013 and part of 2012 are missing from the blog. You can thank Mike H for that. Almost all of those posts were about our great friendship and our partnership in farming. You all know how that turned out!