The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

The slowest of the slow sprouters


If you've got a small garden or just a widespread wish list, it's tempting to start several varieties of seedlings in the same flat. That can work...just as long as you don't put fast- and slow-sprouters together.

In my slow-sprout flat this time around, I included swiss chard, peppers, and parsley. Looks like of those three, the last is the slowest to emerge. If I don't see their pointy little cotyledons soon, I'll take the lid off anyway so the first two species don't succumb to damping off. Always compromises in the garden!

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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For many years, we've used my grandmother's trick to stop damping off, and it sure works for us. Grandma had the typical windowsill full of african violets and whatever else would grow in soup cans and flower pots. She was the classic green thumb lady. Her trick is simple; it works. We add one tablespoonful of ordinary household bleach to one gallon of water. We use this to water and spritz the plantings. Poof! No more damping off.

Actually, the 'original recipe' was one teaspoonful. We've added up to the current tablespoonful because it is just easier to do and it seems to work just as well. (Truth be told, we don't measure the spoonful. We just add a 'capful' instead and that's about a tablespoonful.)

Comment by Tim Inman Wed Mar 8 09:19:28 2017
The bleach idea sounds tempting, but what are the implications of having a food crop sprayed with bleach?
Comment by Jennifer Quinn Tue Mar 14 14:56:07 2017

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