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In sidepocket's KTK yesterday the subject came up in the comments about growing things since sidepocket is a master grower of things, esp. tomatoes. He showed us his farm shoes which he wore to NN14 by accident. In Detroit he found a shoe repair shop inside the building in which we were staying. Manny fixed his shoes. vzfk3s wondered why his own tomatoes didn't taste so hot. I let him know it's all about the soil. The more alive your soil is with microorganisms and nutrients, the more delicious your veggies taste and they are far, far more nutritious.

As a matter of fact, store bought fruits and veggies have been losing nutritious value since the 1930's. Back then we had the Great Depression and the Dust Bowl. Farmers were really hurting and the Federal Government wanted to help. They introduced chemical fertilizers to farmers to help boost their output from depleted soil. This was a good and noble thing to do. It helped tremendously not only the farmer but anyone who needed to buy food.

A big reason farms were having trouble is that every time you grow something it takes nutrients out of the soil. Unless you introduce more nutrients back into the soil, subsequent crop plantings result in lower and lower output and worse and worse nutritious food. Once upon a time farmers would simply move away from "spent soil" to new soil. That isn't possible anymore, obviously. Another technique is to rotate crops so that some nutrients get put back into the soil. If you grow legumes they "fix" nitrogen from the atmosphere back into the soil, for instance. Well this technique has largely gone by the wayside as well.

In order to grow crops fertilizer was introduced that has three components: Nitrogen Phosphorus and Potassium otherwise known as N-P-K. Well this will make plants grow big (nitrogen) and flower and fruit (phosphorus) and grow a good root system (potassium). The only problem is the results of the crop will be devoid of nutritious value as the soil they are grown in is "spent." Today's huge corporate farms use fertilizer to grow mono-crops on giant farms on spent soil. They use GMO seed so they can use Roundup in large quantities to kill weeds since the crop plants have been genetically changed to be impervious to Roundup. GMO crops also have pesticides created internally in every cell by way of genetic engineering.

The end result is you get crops to grow, flower and fruit. The quality of the stuff is not good. As a matter of fact it's getting worse and worse. You can literally tell the nutritious value of something by how it tastes. Now days there are people who literally have no idea how fruits and veggies truly taste. Their total experience is eating the low nutrition, GMO modified mono-crop stuff. That's sad.

I commented that I was motivated to write tonight's KTK about growing things. Really it's an addendum to a diary I wrote for New Day (remember that?) back on June 27, 2013 which you might read to know why I'm calling tonight's KTK an addendum to that diary. Here's the link:

I've been experimenting with nutrients and supplementation for my plants because that's what I do. I experiment to see what happens under different situations. I firmly believe if you grow crops you should strive to make them the best quality and contain the most nutrition possible. Using typical N-P-K fertilizer doesn't come close to cutting it. Not even close.

Continue reading after the KTK orange doily for gold nuggets for growing things.

So, after reading my diary about growing things from June 2013 you'll see I make the soil extremely awesome in which I grow anything that I really want to be at it's premium optimal best. Here are some things I've added this year. I've mostly used products from a local company---> Earth Juice from Chico, CA. I also love Fox Farm products. You'll note when there are the N-P-K numbers listed on these bottles, they aren't very high. That's because the main thing about these products is to make the soil super duper loaded with micro-nutrients for both the plants and organisms in the soil. Soil health IS what matters! If your soil is healthy, it is alive, literally teaming with microorganism and worms.

Now don't let the prices scare you. You use these sparingly. One teaspoon per gallon of water in the maintenance level...and that's in only one watering per week. Two teaspoons is medium and three teaspoons (one tablespoon) is for heavy fertilizing (something you don't need to do when you start with super duper soil).

Fox Farms Grow
Earth Juice Grow
Biodiverstiy Organic Nitrogen
General Hydroponics Rapid Starter

The products shown above are for big growth. You'd primarily use them up to the point your plants blossom. I alternate between Fox Farm Grow Big and Earth Juice Grow. Some can be used continuously, even when your plants bloom.The small bottle on the bottom is used for hydroponics but also for feeding plants in soil. You use only 6 milliliters (1/3rd teaspoon) per gallon of water once per week.

Earth Juice Catalyst
Earth Juice Microblast
Earth Juice Meta K

The three products shown above are added to really super charge your soil and are to be used in addition to the first group of products I showed you.

Earth Juice Bloom
General Hydroponics Floralicious Plus
Canna PK 13-14

The three products shown above are used when your plants bloom and throughout the blooming and fruiting cycle. The small bottle in the second pic is used at a rate of 6 milliliters (1/3rd teaspoon) per gallon of water. The strange looking bottle in the bottom pic is used for just one week at the beginning of the blooming cycle at a rate of 15 milliliters (one teaspoon) per gallon of water every other day.

For the last three weeks before you plan on harvesting, you use one tablespoon of excellent quality black strap molasses per gallon of water to ensure full plumpness of your fruits. Below you'll see the results so far this season. The larger and darker green the leaves of a plant are, the healthier it is and the better it uses the sun to grow and eventually flower and fruit. These leaves are a good 6 inches in length which is excellent. The bottom pic shows the size of the banana peppers we get every three days. We bbq them after taking the seeds out. These things are so potent smileycreek literally uses a mask to remove the seeds as the fumes alone are too much to deal with otherwise.

banana peppers

What do you want to kibitz about tonight?

Kitchen Table Kibitzing is a community series for those who wish to share part of the evening around a virtual kitchen table with kossacks who are caring and supportive of one another. So bring your stories, jokes, photos, funny pics, music, and interesting videos, as well as links—including quotations—to diaries, news stories, and books that you think this community would appreciate. Readers may notice that most who post diaries and comments in this series already know one another to some degree, but newcomers should not feel excluded. We welcome guests at our kitchen table, and hope to make some new friends as well.

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