Finally, I was able to start my peppers and tomatoes. I think I may have been avoiding this a bit because I have three varieties of tomatoes and six varieties of peppers. What was I thinking? Oh, yes, I love tomatoes and peppers!
I started with a rubber tote full of the topsoil/compost mix we had delivered last week. I mixed in a little over a 1/4 cup of powdered egg shells, 4 TB of organic bone meal as fertilizer and about a quart of coffee grounds. Joe was my little helper…and yes, it was messy.
Egg shells are about 95% calcium and help with root and shoot growth. Coffee grounds are rich in nitrogen and do not have to be “composted” first but can be added right to the soil. The nitrogen also helps to establish big roots so that the plants can take in more water and nutrients…which means bigger yields and tastier produce! Bone meal is rich in phosphorus which plants need to help with photosynthesis and regulating moisture so that they can stay strong and stocky.
After mixing all of this up I started filling my containers…I used a variety of planters, egg-shell cartons, sour cream containers, etc. I made sure to poke holes in the bottoms of the containers that did not already have them. All of the dirt-filled, hole-drilled containers then went into totes, cookie sheets, 9×13 pans filled with water in order to ensure that the soil slowly soaked up the water instead of dousing from the top and letting the water drain out.
This process took awhile so I was able to get the kids down for a nap and clean up the kitchen floor…did I mention that Joe was “helping”. 🙂
After the water made its way through the soil, I planted 2-3 seeds per pot. These are going under the grow light tonight and I will check on them daily, making sure the soil stays wet and encouraging them to become big beautiful tomatoes and peppers.