Oh hey, how's it going? Good, good. How am I? Oh, no news here. I fixed my unfixable cucumber problem, no big deal, I might be a genius, but whatever. Please, you don't need to be so excited, it was really very simple. Please stop crying and yelling "You are like Zeus!", I know I am the best farmer in the world, but you're embarrassing me.
How did I fix the problem, you ask? Well, I have a few minutes before my Nobel Peace Prize ceremony, so I'll tell you...
You probably remember that my cucumbers, the same variety which had grown fine in the past few years, were not doing so hot a month ago. They were turning yellow and bulbous long before reaching full size, and the leaves had brown edges and white splotches. Even after doing extensive research, I was perplexed, and so were many of you, my dear readers.
That's when I got a note from Farmer Bill.
Farmer Bill is a real life farmer (on a farm!) who has been raising food and animals in California since 1975. He has grown plants with both Harvard and Humboldt University, hybridizes his own lillies, and travels the country consulting on greenhouse construction and growing methods. When he saw my cucumbers, he knew the problem right away.
Farmer Bill sent me a package in the mail that was very very smelly. VERY smelly. The package was left by the mailman in my hallway, and when I walked into my building that evening, I thought a fish had died in there. I was delighted to learn that the dead fish package had my name on it!
I was sort of hoping to open it up and find actual dead fish, but bummer, it was something much more sanitary. Farmer Bill sent me BioFlora Dry Crumbles for my cucumbers. This is an organic 6-6-5 NPK fertilizer that is made out of hydrolized fish (which accounted for the awesome smell!) and composted chicken litter. It also has added potassium sulfate, which is good specifically for the development of the fruit.
I sprinkled the crumbles on the soil in my cucumber pots and watered the heck out of the plant so the nutrients would soak into the soil. I trimmed off most of the dead and yellow leaves, but made sure to leave enough leaves to continue soaking up sun for the plant. Check out the before and after on the exact same cucumber vine:
Ok, so really, I didn't actually fix my cucumber problem... Farmer Bill fixed it, because he is a real life farmer! I sat him down on the beach in Humarock, MA to ask him some questions while he tanned. (PS, I put sun-in in my hair and I'm trying to get "natural" blonde streaks!) Anyway...
FarmTina: Hey Farmer Bill, what other plants can I use this BioFlora Crumble fertilizer for?
Farmer Bill: Everything- it's a real good general purpose fertilizer. Since it's 6% organic proponants, it really helps the soil. Your potting soil has no living componant- no bacteria, fungi, living flora. So when you just use something like Miracle Grow, you are not putting anything living in the soil. So this starts that process. Most standard potting mix really isn't very "alive".
FarmTina: Where can I get this stuff?
Farmer Bill: You can find more info about the product at BioFlora.com. The one you're looking for is the 6-6-5 BioFlora Dry Cumbles.
FarmTina: Can I make this stuff myself? I make my own compost, is this similar?
Farmer Bill: No! Gotta buy.
FarmTina: How often should I use it?
Farmer Bill: Use a couple of tablespoons on a 2 or 3 gallon pot every week. You can sprinkle it on top or scratch it into the soil.