All Natural vs Synthetic Comparison: Update Jun 8 2011
Here's an update to this described at:
On Jun 8th I took the pictures posted below, but then went on a 2 week trip, so I only got around to posting them now.
In another message I'll give the Jun 23rd update.
It was a cold wet spring in northern California and my deck only gets about 4 hours of sunlight during spring, in summer about 5 hours. So all the plants are small.
The weather just turned warm with summer finally arrived as of June 8th.
Totes contain: Back left to right: peppers in rejuvenated mix, eggplant in bark/turface, peppers in new leaf mulch.
Front left to right: Peppers in bark/turface, eggplant in rejuvenated mix, basil in rejuvenated mix.
Close-up of: Peppers in bark/turface
Close-up of peppers in rejuvenated mix:
Close-up of peppers in new leaf mulch mix:
The peppers in the new leaf mulch mix are doing the best. These peppers did not have any transplant shock wilting. I planted the peppers from small six-pack purchased at the garden center. I planted during a cloudy cool spell. When it turned sunny these plants did not wilt at all and so I left them in full sunlight the entire time.
The peppers in the rejuvenated mix and the bark/turface mix, both wilted when it turned sunny. So they had to be moved into the shade for over a week, until they hardened off enough to be moved back into full sun. I moved them back into full sun around June 5th. I was able to move the rejuvenated mix ones back a few days earlier than the bark/turface ones. None of them wilt at all now in the noon sun.
Although it is not quite clear, the peppers in the rejuvenated mix are doing somewhat better than the bark/turface mix ones.
I have a drip system set up that waters them every day at noon, with 12 emitters/tub.
This result was unexpected. The forest floor leaf mulch mix has done much better than the others. In an article tapla referred me to in a discussion on transplant shock, they stated organic matter does help alleviate transplant shock.
When I saw this result I decided to do another experiment and take the 9 leftover peppers I had from the six packs and put them in cups with various mixes and see if they wilted differently. I had mixes from 5:1:1 to pure clay.
None of the wilted at all in the hot summer sun, even while the tub peppers where wilting.
My conclusion from this is that the leftover peppers stayed well-watered in the six packs for 2 weeks before I transplanted them into cups. So they were much bigger when I transplanted them. So maybe peppers transplant better if they are bigger (unlike squash for instance).
* Organic matter helps alleviate transplant shock.
* Forest floor mulch alleviates transplant shock better
than straight compost.
* Peppers are better transplanted when bigger.