Inexplicably, the seeds planted with the microwave boiled water, as opposed to the stove-top boiled water, continue to race ahead in germination and growth. I was getting worried about the compost soil watered with stove-top boiled water because nothing was germinating. I thought it would be nearly (statistically) impossible for all three seeds in that single container to fail, compared to the seeds in the other three containers which were all growing in some shape or form.
Well, finally, on Day 10, one seed has sprouted in the compost soil watered with boiled water. Actually, this seed is the only one that germinated right on schedule, exactly when the seed packet said it would. (Seed germination was supposed to occur within 8-12 days.)
But look at the difference in growth between the two pots! In the composted soil, the seeds in the pot watered with microwave boiled water sprouted a full three days ahead of the seeds watered with stove-top boiled water. I wonder why? Could the microwave be purifying the water more? If you know why please let me know.
For the hygrosoil pots, the plants watered with microwave boiled water continue to maintain their early germination and growth compared to the plants watered with stove-top boiled water.
If you would have told me when I started this experiment that the seeds watered with microwave boiled water would clearly and starkly outpace the seeds watered with stove-top boiled water, I would never have believed it. We only use our microwave for heating leftovers (especially things hard to reheat stove-top like lasagna) and before I always felt a little hesitant to use it. I now feel a little more comfortable about it, though I have no plans on ever really “cooking” with the microwave.
One comment about the hygrosoil. Clearly, one can see the spectacular advantage the hygrosoil offers plants and seeds compared to compost soil (which is supposed to be far better than regular soil!). However, I’m really not in favor of using chemical-based fertilizer or soil mixes because over time they can really damage your garden and adjacent areas due to build-up of some minerals (like salt) and chemicals, and leeching of others. As is the case with most chemical fertilizers, once you start using them you need to continue using them (thereby creating and maintaining a market for the product) or else plan on 3-5 years to get your soil nurtured back into good health with compost, mulch and other organic matter.
The only reason I used hygrosoil here is that I knew the composition of the soil would be a controlled and sterile medium in which I could vary only a single variable in an experiment (in this case, the single variable was type of water; everything else was held constant).
Comparing hygrosoil to the compost, I was very happy to see that the compost soil sprouted a couple of pea seeds ahead of schedule on Day 7 (in the microwave-boiled water condition only). This tells me that with good soil I can grow crops just as strong and healthy as chemically-fertilized crops, I just have to be a little more patient. And who knows what would have happened with fully composted soil? The compost used in the photo above was composted “enough” for planting, meaning it smelled fresh and good like garden soil should. However, the organic matter hadn’t completely broken down yet because I wanted to place it at the bottom of an 8 inch trench with garden soil on top, in order to let the last bit of bacterial magic occur under the layer of the top soil (this releases even more nutrients for your plants over time).
In any case, I really am interested in your thoughts as to why the microwave boiled water condition produced far superior results compared to the stove-top boiled water condition – even across two types of soil?!