2015 Spring brings New Products and thoughts

Good morning everyone. So it is March! Never thought we would finally get here.

Have you finally awakened from your “prolonged” winter hibernation? The only thing that gets me going is seeding out new heirloom vegetable varieties!

Its nice to set up the old 3 tier Grow System at this time of year. (…and now the sun is shining more…) This is always a real sign of spring for me. This winter has been cloudier than usual. One can always sit and absorb the extra light!  Time to get some  hot peppers, herbs and eggplants into the earthy soil.

I am trialing some new organic seeding mixes.

One blend I found is offered by ProMIX (Organic seedling mix). They say it contains: Canadian sphagnum peat moss, peat humus, coco fiber, perlite, lime, organic fertilizers & mycorrhizal (a beneficial fungi). As much as I have pre-moistened the mix, I am having a hard time watering (once the surface goes dry…) as the water is pooling just on top…not a good sign. It doesn’t contain a wetting agent and this could be a problem. It is how ever OMRI…organic certified. Another drawback is that I could only find the 1.4 kg bag which for me fills barely a small tray system. I had spoken to a company spokesperson and she informed me it is a very new product. She also said that only this size was available to us here in Manitoba.

Another blend I have found is called “Black Gold“. It does not appear to be a branch off the “Black Gold” as seen in the US and offered there. Even it’s bag design is different. It originates in Alberta, which I am very grateful for. It contains: Canadian sphagnum peat moss, perlite, bark, compost, earthworm castings, dolomite lime, and an organic wetting agent. They say it is a natural & organic potting mix, but no where does it say it is OMRI certified. It is reg. with the CGIA. The real nice part of this one, is it comes in 28L, a nice large sized bag and could easily fill several trays…AND it contains a organic wetting agent.

One more thing…In my quest for “responsible” seedling mixes, I came across another product gardeners are real excited about. It is becoming very apparent that the 3 big fertilizer components: Nitrogen, Phosphorous and Potash are not the end all and be all of a good fertilization program. Anyone who knows their stuff knows that micro-minerals (essential or trace minerals) are the real worker bees of our soils and that big corporate fertilizer suppliers have never paid attention to this in the past. Gardeners are finding that micro-mineralizing their soils would give their plants the essential nutrients they have always lacked. In fact some have done tests, dividing same sized plants into 2 groups (placed in pots to minimize differences) and treating one group with a mineralization product and the other with conventional fertilizer. The results were quite striking! The robustness and production was quite evident.

Chemical fertilization is all about feast and famine, as it is completely dependent on (your) weekly (or monthly) applications and it offers only short highs and quick lows. Where this mineralization product truly shines is that plants continue to benefit from just one seasonal application, as the plants take only what they need (nothing to do with slow release) over a longer period of time. It will never burn. Furthermore there are NO bad chemical residues left in the soil.

The product I am speaking about is called “Azomite“. This is what is being said about it: AZOMITE® is a natural product mined from an ancient mineral deposit in Utah (USA) that typically contains a broad spectrum of over 70 minerals and trace elements, distinct from any mineral deposit in the world. AZOMITE® is used internationally as a feed additive and a soil re-mineralizer for plants, and is available in over thirty countries throughout the world.
AZOMITE® is an acronym for the “A to Z of minerals including trace elements”. An estimated 30 million years ago, a volcanic eruption filled a nearby seabed. The unique combination of seawater, fed by rivers rich in minerals and rare earth elements present in the volcanic ash created the composition known as the AZOMITE® mineral deposit. c/o Azomite Canada

Believe it or not, the moment I arrived at my GH supplier, he starts talking about a new product he is offering. Just a week ago I was researching this very same one! He tells me it is being offered in 44lb bags and also in huge mega-bags of a metric ton. There also appears to be 2 forms of it…one being a finer grey white powder and another in a “grey “beaded” look, like “slow release fertilizer” only different. My preference is for the “chunky look”, as it would handle better than fine powder whiffing up into your nostrils.

Looks like you know what I will be up to in the next couple of days!
Happy growing!

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