Thursday, January 14, 2010

All Jitters

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....


  1. I really hope something comes through for you in the job department soon. Keep strong !!

    You see, if I were in your shoes, I would be starving by now. I don't have a garden.

    I'm going to have to check on getting a Multi Meter since I either starve plants or drown them. :(

  2. Thanks for sharing the husband likes me following your blog b/c we learn little tricks:) I am just learning on an avocado tree. I'm in HI and I started an organic avocado seed after I had a very delicious and ripe one a few months ago. It's been doing great, and then I watered it too much:( So, I'm drying it out now...but it's humid here so things stay wet for a while. Any ideas? It's a pitiful looking thing right now.

  3. Hey Tango! Oh, you're not alone, I used to do that too!

    Sunshyneshanny! Try a heating pad under the plant. I use a terrarium heater set on 75 and it works great to reduce excess moisture from the soil.

  4. Kat, I found one for 4.99. I will have to get one to keep me from killing everything. Can you believe that I once killed a Cactus?

  5. Woohoo Tango! Good find! You killed a cactus? That takes some talent! LOL you'll have perfect plants with your new toy now tho, LOL.

  6. Thanks! I'll try looked a little better this afternoon after I re-potted it. It's the only thing that survived my vacation!

  7. K,
    have you grown tobacco yet? i purchased seeds last year and got a late start in seeding them... in may i think. but they never got taller than 1/2" tall and then fuzzy mold like stuff killed em.... should i start them in february ? and what kind of starter pots do you recommend for that sort of plant...?

  8. Hey Steve! yes I have grown tobacco. I start them on peat pellets in late Feb. the seeds are real sensitive to skin oils, try not to touch them. Just sprinkle them across the tops of the pellets and thin them later.

  9. Thanks for the metere tip. You mentioned it before but noone knew what I was talking about when I went looking! Good luck on the job front. Let me know whn you have cheeese ready!


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