Tuesday, May 25, 2010

File This Under "Stupid Things I Have Done"

It's a big file. And its most recent entry is mulching my precious tomato seedlings with the urine-soaked straw from the sheep barn.

Not that this is inherently bad. In fact, it's supposed to be good. So say all the experts. So I finally decided to sack up this year and haul wheelbarrows of sheep-soiled straw to mulch the tomatoes. So virtuous of me! Such a disgusting chore! So relieved when it was done!


I dug down too far, into the really ammonia-heavy muck in the bottom layers of straw. The result? Some of my seedlings got burned, meaning the leaves are all grayish and brittle.


There are HOURS of work in those seedlings, and now it could all be wasted. It's not certain that the plants will die; the stems aren't wilting or anything, and most of them have some small new-growth green leaves on them that I'm hoping will bring the plants back to life. And I do have a few extra seedlings that aren't planted yet, so I can replace some.



Drew @ Cook Like Your Grandmother said...

That sucks golf balls through a garden hose. Meaning it sucks hard. I hope they come back.

Word verification: rether -- prefer, as in "I'd rether it was the cabbage that got burned."

tu mere said...

It's the evil tomato blight come to haunt you this year in a different form. I'm thinking Mother Nature couldn't be that insensitive to all your hard work to let the tomatoes totally wilt and die. She's just testing your resolve (once again). I'm convinced they'll be hanging in there when you check them out after your trip.

Chiot's Run said...

I think they'll bounce back and your seedlings will be stronger than ever.

Anonymous said...

Move the mulch and water very well.
Good luck...we decided next year instead of growing from seed in the cold frame..very tedious and time consuming....we are planning on buying plants. But, we have tomato seeds left...so we probably wont' waste the seeds and will go ahead and plant seeds again next year. It is time to plant your tomato seeds again now , if you want plants that will last the rest of the season. :)

andrea said...

it's such a steep learning curve sometimes eh?
i hadn't thought I was particularly stupid til I tried doing things like that myself

hang in there

Drew @ Cook Like Your Grandmother said...

Ooh, wait, I got it! Save some seeds at the end of this season from the ones that did the best. You'll be selecting for sheep pee resistance.

Word verification: lyine -- what the sheep are doine up in the field

Anonymous said...

Is there something that you could add to the soil (quickly) that neutralizes acid?

Warning: This advice from a non-gardener!

Anonymous said...

Lime neutralizes acid. Beth

word verification 'mizerses'

plural of married women money hoarders


Man, don't you hate when that happens?

Roger A. Post said...

The MiL's father once sold or gave a local doctor a large quantity of fresh chicken manure to put around his rose bushes. The ammonia wreaked havoc with the roses. At least tomato starts are more easily replaced.

Lime neutralizes acid, as posted by anonymous, but in this case the burn is from ammonia, a base in solution, so lime would not be advised, I suspect.

Elsie said...

Ugh. I start my tomatoes from seed too and the thought of losing them is awful. If they are a variety you particularly love, I would keep some and then yank the rest and replace with something from the garden shop. They will likely come back but they will be set back in their fruiting. Good luck. I totally feel for you. My garlic has started to mold around the neck. Too much water and mulch - only half my fault, but still. GAH.

sheila said...

Rabbit poop, it won't burn.

Alyssa said...

I'm going to hold off on planting the ones at our house until I hear how they turn out. If it's bad I insist that they go home!

FinnyKnits said...

Ooh, good to know.

Reminds me of when I got the wild hair idea from some blogs to go out and prune the leaves off my tomatoes.


They're fine being huge.

Gingerbreadshouse7 said...

That's a horrible thing to happen to your saved seeds..if you added some fresh soil around them to kind of dilute it would or could that be any help? If not you still didn't fail...you learned something! You'll be a good country girl yet :o)