Got a travel trailer? South Texas is full of folks that winter over from
the colder states. Most residents call them "Snow Birds" but the
Chambers of Commerce call them "Winter Texans." At any rate they bring
some much needed green (money) into primarily agricultural area.
George, who used to live in South Texas
I'll pay you all the vegetables you can eat if you'll follow me around with
an air conditioner. <G>
Seriously, they just had some kind of job fair up in Houston because 5000
jobs have gone begging for over a year. But, if a job was all that was
keeping me here (actually it's my bank) I'd be gone in a minute.
Because it is hotter than two hells, flatter than a steamrolled pancake,
dustier than any desert, treeless as any shopping center parking lot and
expensive as any big city in the nation now. Other than that, it's really a
great place. And, I'm a born and raised Texan but the difference is that
I've been around the world a couple of times and been able to see what the
other places have to offer.
then you need to get the book by Elliot Coleman titled Four Season
Harvest. One of the best books you will ever find on the subject of
growing and harvesting and eating your own produce. Elliot Coleman lives
in Maine, by the way with his also very famous gardening partner,
Barbara Damrosche..........hope this helps.
I believe he did in the OP. Something about experiencing problems
Anyhow, there won't be any issues with using the Styrofoam cups or
having them biodegrade. The "collar" will allow you to maximize the
water while minimizing the effort (of control of weeds, rot, et al.).
The stepped system is already in place so now you should be looking to
figuring out why rot is taking place. A soil virus, maybe?
That seems awful high in acid... My best guess would be the manure;
might not have composted enough. I burned up some pumpkin and zuke
seedlings once by using steer manure that had lost that ripe smell but
wasn't ready for prime time.
1/3 vermiculite also seems just a might excessive. Do you need that much
It will definitely constrain the roots, and perhaps make them rot. If
you put the water at the base of the plant so it goes into the soil, the
roots will grow to be wherever they want to be to capture that water.
That may be where they would have been in the cup (or beneath it), or
not. Plants evolved to be smarter than you when it comes to where their
roots should be, and the ones you want to grow have evolved to grow in
soil, without cups.
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