Friday, January 02, 2009

Update on Toilet Rolls Experiments

An update on the toilet rolls experiments:

The mustard in the toilet rolls all died. The rolls can dry out easily, and coupled with some slugs, the whole lot bit the dust.

The Watermelon seedlings are still showing the same difference.


The one grown in a punnet and transplanted is on the left, the one grown in and planted in the toilet roll is on the right. The difference is mirrored in another tub, which only has two from punnets, which are as small as the smaller one here (if you follow).

New Conundrum:


This is Russian Tarragon, planted side by side. The ones in the toilet roll centre are doing fine, the ones in a long roll that we cut up (from the centre of a roll of fabric), are hardly moving.

My first reaction was to put the pH metre over everything (knowing from another life how acidic cardboard can be). Every roll tested is so near seven (neutral) that there is no appreciable difference.

So, as far as I am concerned, there is something nasty in the non-toilet roll.

Another thing is - have a look at the little toadstools growing along the edge in this poor photo:


We sort of figured that there is fungus growing all through the soil, most of it probably beneficial - we definitely need it in our compost heap. This one doesn't seem to be effecting the seedlings, so we aren't too stressed.

Therefore, our general feeling with toilet rolls so far is:

The bigger the seed, the better they seem to grow in them. We like them for Sweet Corn, Cucurbits and Beans. All have worked well in them, other things not so well.

We have also pulled up some of the Rocket that was planted in the little jiffy peat pots.


Although the roots obviously got through the jiffy pots, the plants were still a little root bound, and the pots didn't break down all that well. There wasn't a large, healthy root system.

One of the few plants that has been pulled out from toilet rolls - excess Zucchini, no photo, sorry - the toilet roll had completely broken down and the roots were good and widespread.

So that is it at the minute - toilet rolls for large seeds, and we will see how things progress.


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