Sunday, April 06, 2008

Not an organic gardener

I recently bought and planted some strawberries, not from seed, but plants that had already been started. I bought 2 varieties. I planted some in pots and some in the ground. Our "soil" is terrible, so when I plant in the ground I typically dig out the existing "soil" and throw it away and replace it with purchased potting mix or something like that.

For my berries, I used a regular cheap potting mix for the pots, and a purchased organic soil for the ground. The bag of organic soil said that it could not be used in pots, though it didn't say why. Mike guessed because of the way it drains. I don't know. I opened the bag and it stank to high heaven and it had bugs in it. Like little gnats or flies or something. Since that's the only bag of organic soil that I ever used, I don't know if they are all like that or what. But I poured it into the hole I made in the ground, and planted the berries in it.

It's now been several weeks. The berries in the pots are doing much better than the ones in the ground. The ones in the ground are barely producing any flowers, two plants have died, and they are crawling with those little flies.

The ones in the pots are producing berries (some have already ripened, and they are DELICIOUS), but there's something weird going on there too. I planted in 2 pots and both pots are producing both strawberries and MUSHROOMS! Where the @#$%! did the mushrooms come from?!? And they are the frightening kind, that shoot up overnight and then spray their spores everywhere!

I wish I'd gotten photos of the mushrooms in their glory. They die so quickly, as soon as the sun hits them, I guess. But see that curly black and white thing to the right of the berry? Dead mushroom. Ugh.

I know "organic" is trendy right now, but I don't think I'll be using organic potting soil again. And my experience with patio gardening has brought out the pesticides and fungicides to fight the battles that I think I would otherwise lose.

1 comment:

Granny said...

Gorgeous! Absolutely gorgeous.


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