Sunday, May 20, 2012

Sheltered Existence

The plants on our light rack have been doing well but they live a very sheltered existence.  If we on day just transplanted them in the ground chances are many would not survive.  The extremes of the real world would be a shock to them compared to the controlled, relatively constant environment they have been accustomed to.  The intense sun rays, temperature swings, wind and rain is very stressful on these tender plants.  Sort of like many of us in a way as we grow up sheltered under our parents until the reality of the "cruel world" sets in once we get out on our own.

What is needed to be done is what is called "Hardening Off".  This typically means bringing the plants outdoors for a few hours a day, gradually increasing the exposure length for over a period of a few days until they are accustomed to the outdoors.  One thing that can help with strengthening the plants is to put an oscillating fan on them while they are still inside to provide resistance and help strengthen their stems.  I was pleasantly surprised to find that putting the plants directly in our greenhouse worked well as a transition point because the sunlight is diffused, the wind less intense, and the rain is not a problem.

To update those who have been following along, our Goji plants are now planted in the ground in their hopefully permanent homes.  We took the seed from dried fruit in a bag from the store to seed starter tray, to 4" pots under the light rack, to our greenhouse and finally into the ground.  Although outside now, they are still being protected from dangers by a fence that is keeping the rabbits away and our dogs from tearing through them as they are planted in a place they typically would run through.  We still have a few years yet to see if our efforts bear any fruit. J
New baby Goji's in square pots.
They fit nicely in starter trays.

Goji's growing fast on light rack.

"Harding Off" plants in greenhouse,
getting use to the real world.

Goji's in 2 rows of 6, 12 plants to be planted.
Not much open grass is left in our yard...

A look at our soil...  Thin layer of poor topsoil over sand.

Added new black topsoil and horse manure into holes.

View from deck with temporary fencing.
We plan to mulch this area with wood chips.

No comments:

Post a Comment