I was a little on edge using the pure organic fish compost I had purchased, unamended in my giant container garden, but so far tests have been positive! You can distinguish it as the very black stuff in the photo above as compared to the lighter material which is my homemade compost. I think potting soil is a bit of a ripoff so I’m looking forward to the results of this experiment.
I was initially worried about drainage, so I added a 4-6 inch layer of homemade compost to the bottom of each pot, since it’s really light and chunky. It’s pretty much a mixture of kitchen and garden waste mixed with wood chips and rabbit and chicken/quail manure aged for about a year. I have two piles going and I alternate between piles; one gets emptied while the other gets filled. I don’t mind using compost that is a little unfinished, or chunky; but sometimes that isn’t ideal for seed starting.
So far I haven’t noticed any problems with compaction or burning or anything with the fish compost and it’s been a week or two since things were planted. I’ll be interested to see how the growth compares to my homegrown compost pots. Those pots have some fresh chicken pen floor as their bottom layer. Pure folly? We shall see.
A few tomatoes are in. These are my first attempt at cold sown tomatoes, so I have big expectations of them. Ideally, they should be as vigorous as any volunteer tomato in the compost pile. I will have a few in the ground and a few in pots. Maybe a total of about 15 plants. It’s a good thing I restricted myself this year because inevitably I found another tomato plant I wanted at the farmer’s market. It is a Striped German and is reported to taste like candy. I also picked up some Moroccan Tea Mint, Chamomile and a Mouse Melon plant. Not to mention a giant Black Bamboo and Sunset Glow Bamboo which will be used for privacy hedges.
I recently got out my shiny, beautiful, All American Pressure Canner to can some rabbit meat and I’m raring to go on the tomatoes, once they arrive. Tomatoes are one of my favorite things to can, they taste so good. There are a few flowers already, so here’s hoping for a bountiful harvest this year. I plan to try to keep suckers pruned and keep things tidy.
My arugula, started from seeds I collected last year, is growing like crazy. It’s ready for harvest after just a week or two. I’m glad these were the seeds I brought to the swap this year, I love imagining other beautiful plots of arugula all over the island. My red and yellow onions are getting big and my leeks no longer look like invisible blades of grass. Beets and carrots are coming in, although some creature (slug) has been helping themselves to part of the rows. Volunteer potatoes are huge already and calendulas are threatening to bloom. The yacon is bursting out of its pot and there are jalapenos and eggplants sprouting. It’s going to be a busy month!