Sunday, May 13, 2012

I feel like a Pariah

 Hardly anyone wants to do trades with me, no one wants leaves.  I feel like my name is smeared and I am like an outcast. I brought it on myself I know.  I'm still waiting on the soil test. I'm still having trouble finding mites to take to an entomologist.

I did cut down on watering, let the soil mix actually get dry and crumbly on the surface, which means too dry I thought.  But with the heavy mix it still is very moist just an inch under the surface.  Where it dried out, the roots are starting to grow back. Where the soil is moist, the roots are dead.

The Menards african violets in the bathroom are starting to grow new crowns.  The new growth is still pale.  I used an old PH testing strip.  The PH was high, like somewhere between 7 or 8. That is too high for ideal growth.  The city water seems to be alkaline too.  The soil was supposed to be acidic, but maybe the water brought up the PH.

 I'll try a little experiment:
1.Lighten the soil mix with more perlite
2. Microwaving some of my soil to pasteurize it and set a few starters in it.
3. plant a few starters w/o pasteurizing the soil
6. Get some soil acidifier from Menards or mix powdered sulfur in some.
4. wait it out, give them the same care. See what happens.

 If the ones with the acid soil amendments grow out the best, then it is a PH issue.  If the ones with the pasteurized soil grow out the best, then it is a soil pathogen case.  if they all grow out well, then it was a watering issue.  If they all grow out like crap, then there is something else going on. I'll need to check for pests or my lighting.

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