That much sun getting to the roots is never a good idea. The same plants in opaque vases would do much better, or if more of their root balls were in the substrate and not just sitting in the open.
> In the laboratory, when we work with plants we always cover the soil chambers with aluminum foil to protect the root system from light. You don't only have roots in there. There are bacterial communities, protozoa and fungi as well that are essential to the circulation of nutrients in the rhizosphere. If you ever see a drop of soil water under a microscope, it will blow your mind. This is a system that has evolved in the dark. So, if you find that the mysteries of soil ecology are as cool as the plant itself, give the poor little microbes some cover.
Here is a very good read on microbes and plants and how they work together: https://www.amazon.com/Teaming-Microbes-Organic-Gardeners-Revised/dp/1604691131
Start by making a Lactic acid bacteria serum; it will help you cut your teeth, and it's needed/warranted for many of the other ferments.
Find a place where you can get the purest, and cheapest sugar, because you're going to need A LOT of it. None of the processed stuff, read the forums on IG mag and the like, there is a lot of no-till knowledge out there.
Our main man u/ediblesdidmedirty is my go to guy for anything KNF related; he knows his stuff.
Read Dr. Cho's KNF manual, and Teaming With Microbes. You can buy it, or be filthy like the rest of us and download it from grasscity lol.
Edit: Look into Vero 29's before you spend some money on the "Cree" name. Their stats are pretty close in benchmark tests. I've heard good things about Citizen chips, but I never looked into them (~$12/chip). I also bought my drivers on mouser.com, they were cheaper.
lol you have MUCH to learn. Either read something like this or simply look at r/notillgrowery.
Get this book. You won't be disappointed. I promise.
Oh sure it will. Start here.
Teaming with Microbes: The Organic Gardener's Guide to the Soil Food Web, Revised Edition https://www.amazon.com/dp/1604691131/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_glt_i_BY48P7VSSJGS9Y3Y0QSV
Check out the book Teaming With Microbes
No doubt, bet your coco is Teaming with Microbes.
No OP, but there's an awesome book called Teaming With Microbes that is a really fun read.
This book will teach you everything.
Some good resources for anyone interested in organic growing:
Mel's book is great. However, I think he's very optimistic about spacing. It may be theoretically possible to plant things at those intervals, but a new garden plot needs a few years to develop the biodiversity it needs to achieve peak productivity.
I didn't use much other than Mel's book my first year. I think Teaming With Microbes is essential reading. If you understand soil, you'll understand your plants. Building Soils Naturally is also a good one and it's a little less dry.
I'll also say that Mel's "soil mix" did not work well for me at all. I don't have abundant sources of organic matter available, so I took his suggestion to mix 5 types of store-bought compost. I don't think commercial compost is a sufficient replacement for the homemade stuff. Perhaps if you mix it together with a small amount of homemade compost and let it decay for awhile, it would be better.
That said, plenty of people have success following Mel's book to a T, so your mileage may vary.