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Oldfellainspain 2024 Grow Log.

oldfellainspain

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Oops. My mistake. I used potting soil.
Thanks. I can now start looking for what potting soil is available locally.
Although I love the idea of the 4 foot wide kiddies pool, I need to be able to move the plants around my roof terrace to keep them in the sun, so I've opted for four trays of four bags. The fit is a bit tight, but with damp soil in them I think they'll settle okay. I'll put a piece of canvas under each tray separately, so as to be able to drag them around without giving myself a hernia. I'll also think about putting a skirt around the trays to keep direct sunlight off of the bags.
The weather here is still perfect. Plants go out every morning for 3-4 hours sunshine and a gentle breeze. Spain's winter temperatures this year are anything from 5ºC to 8ºC above normal. I hope that doesn't carry on into the summer months.
 

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oldfellainspain

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First day with some rain since September. I had to start filling my grow bags indoors. Six done, ten to go. The weekend forecast is sunny again, so outside again tomorrow.
The hardest part so far was getting three, 70 litre bags of soil up two flights of steep stairs.
I'm keen to transplant as soon as possible as the plants are flopping about a bit in the 3" pots. Bottom leaves have been trimmed off so I can plant them a little deeper, and I've bottom watered the grow bags with some fertilizer mixed in. The water doesn't seem to want to wick up through the soil as well as I thought it would, but then I didn't bottom water last year, which was my first grow, so I'm not sure what to expect.
 

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oldfellainspain

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Beginning to realize that non-woven grow bags are a whole new ball game. I'm struggling to find the correct soil moisture that allows the water to wick up. I should have sorted this out before I transplanted. I took your advice Bob, and did a top water but still find the bags dry out and won't wick the water up.
Any advice gratefully accepted.
 

wruk53

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Thanks Bob. That's what I'm hoping for.
I don't know if I can be of much help. Once I transplant into my cloth bags I only water from the top, but I'm using cypress mulch as a grow medium instead of soil. The water flows easily through the mulch down to a small reservoir that I have built into the bottom 2 inches of the containers. Enough water stays trapped in the bottom of the container to keep everything somewhat moist. I really don't understand why your soil won't wick the water up from the bottom. What does your soil consist of and how much water are you putting in the tray? Was your soil pre-moistened before you filled the containers? Are your bags truly breathable and porous enough for water to enter the bag? I feel for you, but I don't know how to help you, there are too many unknowns.
 

Knucklehead

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Beginning to realize that non-woven grow bags are a whole new ball game. I'm struggling to find the correct soil moisture that allows the water to wick up. I should have sorted this out before I transplanted. I took your advice Bob, and did a top water but still find the bags dry out and won't wick the water up.
Any advice gratefully accepted.
I water to 2" in the pool, then allow the water to wick up. This only takes maybe 2-4 hours then the pool is empty and bags are heavy. The top of the soil can appear dry, but if the bag is heavy there is plenty of moisture, if the bag is airy light, the soil is dry. After awhile you can tell from just rocking the bags a little and watch the leaves. It's ok for the leaves to wilt during the day, as long as they stand tall in the evening. If they stay wilted in the shade, they need water.
 

oldfellainspain

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@Knucklehead, @wruk53
Thanks for your comments. I think the potting soil was far too dry. A silly mistake. Last night I soaked each pot in a bucket of water until it felt heavy, then put the pots on a rack to drain. I wasn't keen to do this with the transplants still in the pots, but this morning 11 of the 16 plants look a lot healthier. The remaining five are still badly wilted. I hope to see some improvement in them today. The bags are okay. I tried to fill an empty one with water this morning and it was shedding water as fast as I put it in. The potting soil seems to drain okay. I think under watering combined with transplant shock is the problem. I do have a tray of backups should the wilted plants not survive.
 

oldfellainspain

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A two day disaster ........ Thursday evening and the bags stopped draining while still being too wet, and a 6th plant wilted over. The bags drain really well (see above post), it's the potting soil that doesn't drain well. The forecast for the following day said sunny, so I was hoping to see the bags slowly dry without killing the plants. Then it decided to rain overnight and every bag was saturated come the morning. Friday was light rain all day . This morning (Saturday) I put the bags on supports to keep them off the ground to hopefully dry them out quicker. Ten plants look as though they will survive if the bags dry out okay.
So why are the other six plants dying? About a week ago, I had to buy one extra sack of potting soil which I mixed with the remains of another sack for the last six pots. I had noticed that the potting soil was wet in this sack, but thought no more of it. When I was tidying up this morning I noticed a strong ammonia smell coming from the almost empty last sack. Although I can't say for sure that the six dying plants are in the bags filled from the ammonia smelling sack, it does seem like a bit of a coincidence. Any thoughts anyone?
 
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