An Attempt at Science

This summer I’m using Neptune’s Harvest Fish & Seaweed Fertilizer on everything I grow. It has great Amazon reviews, and it was available at the urban farm supply store where I talked so long with the owner I felt obligated to buy something. I’ve gone whole hog on ideas for much stupider reasons.20150611_094656_HDR

And I have to say, my garden does look a lot more impressive.

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On the left we have last year at this time, and on the right we have this year, all fishified.

The fish-drenched guys are definitely further along. The chives are enormous, the greens at the far end are a solid mass, and the peas have completely escaped their trellis. Of course… last year I didn’t plant anything until I got my plot at the end of April. Most of the things in this year’s picture were planted indoors during a February snowstorm. There are more scientifically rigorous studies…

Like this one!

I’ve chosen two vegetables I know grow quickly. I don’t know anything that grows faster than radishes, but I’m worried the hot weather will set them back, so I’m planting beans as well.

20150618_161848_HDRThe Neptune’s bottle suggests soaking seeds before planting in a solution of 1 tsp fertilizer to 1 cup water. Do radish and bean seeds like to be soaked? I’ve never heard they do, but I’m doing it anyway! I’m also doing a control of seeds soaked in regular tap water.20150611_182021_HDR

If you’ve never used fish fertilizer before, trust me when I say it smells just as good as it looks.

I let the seeds soak for 24 hours, then planted them. Another use for Neptune’s, and the one I’ve been using in my garden, is a simple watering with a very diluted solution every one to two weeks. So I sowed a set of each seed that will be watered normally, and a set that will be fished. If you’ve been doing your math, you’ll know that comes out to eight different treatments.

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And here they are!

All sown at exactly the same time in soil from the same bag in basically the same containers are plain radishes and beans, fish watered radishes and beans, water-soaked radishes and beans, and fish-soaked radishes and beans. I’ve put three seeds evenly spaced in each pot, so hopefully individual seed quality doesn’t get too much in the way. I lightly watered the plain pots with water and the fish pots with fish solution.

After only four days the radishes, true to form, were making an appearance. At least one plant emerged in every pot.

Oddly enough, though, the water-treated seedlings look vastly healthier.

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Go ahead and click on the pictures to enlarge them so you can see the seedlings and my beautiful labeling. The plain seedlings look more developed and vividly green. Their leaves are splayed out completely. Also, only the completely untreated pot has two of its three seedlings already. The fish seedlings, on the other hand, look yellower and not fully opened yet. This could be chalked up to a few hours’ difference in growth at this stage, but I really did sow everything in one go. Eagle-eyed readers may notice that there are berries just everywhere. They’re mulberries, and they’re getting a post of their own soon.

I’ll be tracking the seedlings’ growth and updating every now and again. If this current trend continues, maybe I’ll have enough evidence to bring down Big Fish.

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