solar-tomato-2002/13/2015 ~ I want to plant tomato seeds. But, in years past just when I’m delighting in young tomato plants, they are felled by armadillo bugs, also known as pillbugs, doodlebugs, roly-polys.

Last year in an effort to have armadillo-free pots I used composted mulch and rock dust, the praises of which videos extolled, i.e. high praise.

Some things did okay. But I had no peas to speak of, as opposed to a dozen and a half sturdy pea plants supplying me with a good handful of peas a day for lunch. I had to admit defeat, but I remembered that in the past I used outside soil as starter for my indoor compost. It’s great for including a worm or two, which multiply over winter, but invariably there are armadillo bugs, which are hard to see once they roll into a pebble-looking ball.


The 24″ Fiskars pot in which I want to plant solar tomato seeds, since they seem to be the happiest to over-winter indoors, doesn’t look like it has any armadillo bugs. But, they’ve fooled me before.

preparing-red-blue-led-light-dscn0683-200After hours of thought my plan is to add some enriched soil, dig it in, then put some bark pieces on top and keep the Red/Blue LED light on during the day. The pillbugs love the warmth from the lights and they love to have a nice piece of bark as a roof over their little, lobster like bodies ~ I just learned that they are not insects, but in fact crustaceans, like lobsters.

2/16/2015 ~ Ay yii yii. (expression used to show frustration, hopelessness, sadness, annoyance and so on and so forth.) Yesterday I removed dozens and dozens of armadillo bugs from the soil. Today as I began topping up and turning the soil there were three bugs, in the very first trowel full. Two were easily lifted out, but one successfully hid for nearly a quarter hour.

Back on track, I mixed armadillo-free soil from my 24″ pot with peat moss. I’d previously put small peat pots into a 6 pot tray that came with plants I ordered last year from Parks. The plants had the best root systems of any plants I’ve ordered in years, not counting 6″ pots from High Country Gardens.

tomato-seeds-planted-led-dscn0700-200I planted one Solar Tomato seed in each of the six pots, covered with the peat rich soil, watered, and set on top of the soil in the 24″ pot. I covered the tray with a Parks Bio-Dome and turned on the Red/Blue LED light.

On second thought I took the remote thermometer from my mushrooms and put it under the dome with the tomato seeds. It read 58.1*. I’m very curious to see if the temperature rises as the light, hopefully, heats up the soil and interior of the dome.

A few hours later: it’s up to 60.3* under the dome with the LED light shining on it. Just to be clear, that’s 2* warmer than the rest of my living room.

10/16/2016 ~ Darn it, I can’t remember why that didn’t work in the end.

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