Home What's New Message Board
BigPumpkins.com
Select Destination Site Search
 
bnot - 2019 Grower Diary Point your RSS aggregator here to subscribe to this Grower Diary.

Show Entries in

Grower Diary Menu
  Back to Previous Page
List Other Grower's Diaries
Submit to Your Own Diary

 
Click on a thumbnail picture below to see the full size version. 251 Entries.
Wednesday, January 2 View Page
1st to sprout..6.32 Megamutt. Now the fun begins. There are still more growers starting. Looks like we will have a competition this winter.
Friday, January 4 View Page
Zowie sent me a picture of his first tomato. He didnt have a scale for it but it measured 16 inches for an estimated weight of 1.5 pounds. He has a bigger one coming, and is saying he will have a scale then. I could always bring mine if he needs it. Go Zowie, great start for the giants.
Saturday, January 5 View Page
13 inch cc so far on this delicious set. This was meant to be a breeder plant. Its partner is only cot leaves right now. Might have to get creative to keep the plant shorter than the ceiling and still producing blossoms for the next month.
Wednesday, January 9 View Page
1 1/2 year old bell pepper plant. This is I think the 5th round for fruit. I have picked of all other blossoms except for this one. I like the shape that it shows, longer than the majority that this plant has put out so far. What I donít like,is it is towards the top of the plant. Small vine to feed it.
Wednesday, January 9 View Page
I hope a nice shaped pepper will show up on this new lower growth. That would be an ideal situation.With a tree trunk superhighway for nutrients to the fruit, it might get big. I am wondering how many years I can keep this plant going.
Sunday, January 13 View Page
My hydro plants are a little bit behind last year. I am hoping to have a set before the middle of Febuary. Using a full 2 inch rockwool cube has slowed down how fast the roots reach the nutrient solution.
Sunday, January 13 View Page
At least the roots have reached nutrients now. Growth will be much faster now.
Sunday, January 13 View Page
My soil tomato keeps growing but slowly. At about 15 inches now. Not going to be my winter pb.
Wednesday, January 16 View Page
Roots are coming fast. This is from seed from my 5.08 grown from the 4.38. Getting ready to time the nutrient overdose of P and K. I am thinking in the next week should push for the formation of a super mega or kill the plant trying. I havent had the chance to concentrate on the plants this winter..wait till next. Hope Dan S can get back into the winter grow. I so much want to beat his numbers under the lights.
Friday, January 18 View Page
6.32 Megamutt in hydro. The first blossom is forming. Right on time..about 3 weeks from seed start. After seeing the blossom, I slightly raised the P & K. With the calcium in the tank the EC now is about 1.9 and ph is at 6.0 . Plant is too small to go beyond this.
Saturday, January 19 View Page
I was bored today so stopped by Ecogarden. Zowie gave me a picture of his first indoor tomato to get on the scale. It weighed 1.88 pounds. It will be up to Hayden but I think might be the first entry for this years winter grow.
Saturday, January 19 View Page
Did I say I was bored. Going to a grow store when you are bored is somewhat like going to a grocery store when you are hungry. At least I did not spend too much. Is January 19th too late to start for this years winter challenge? I am going to find out.
Saturday, January 19 View Page
Soaking 5 seeds from my 4.80 which was of variety Wixom Slammer. Someone tell me what F number I am at. The genetic line is original wixom slammer-3.77(my best of 2016)-3.02 ( grown in a pot on a shady deck)-4.80 in 2018. Does that make the 4.80 an F4? If things go as planned, will be able to get 30 days of fruit growth before deadline. Maybe should raise the temp in the grow room a few more degrees?
Sunday, January 20 View Page
Looks like I did not exceed the 6.32 plantís tolerance with the first nutrient boost. I think this is definitely a first truss mega even though it is only 1/8 inch wide. It might even be a ribbon. Stem is nearly as wide as the blossom. Yesterday I had a good conversation about the balance between light intensity, temperature and nutrient levels. Indoors all three are controllable including light levels stonger than sunshine. At 80 degrees I can run at 600 uMols of light vs Zowie that was burning his leaves at 500 uMols at 68 degrees. Going to raise the P & K levels up a bit more. Plant looks like it is still in balance.
Sunday, January 20 View Page
Not ignoring the 5.08. It is showing the bud bump about 3 days after the megamutt. Going a bit more excessive in the nutrient additions. Will be changing 12% of the reservoir at 4.0 EC daily to every other day until I see very negative reaction. I still have another DWC hydro plant that might be treated nice. Have to get one to the finish line.
Wednesday, January 23 View Page
Tonight, I cut off the delicious tomato in soil. This is one of the ugliest tomatoes I have ever grown. It weighed 1.51 pounds. Hoping for better from the hydro plants. I am 1 pound under my winter pb.
Sunday, January 27 View Page
This nutrient solution is obviously not ideal. Probably will pull the plant soon.
Sunday, January 27 View Page
This one looks much better. I am guessing that is a double that should be opening in the next week. This will probably be my best of the winter.
Sunday, January 27 View Page
Here are the two plants side by side. If i did not know that they were from the same seed, I would be convinced that they are two different varieties. Texture of the leaves, nodal spacing etc are very different. I may keep the smaller..it looks like it has a double forming.
Sunday, January 27 View Page
My newest hydro setup is assembled. It consists of a 6 inch cube of rockwool that drains into a 2x2 flood table.The solution then returns to a 10 gallon reservoir. i set the timer for 55 minutes off, 5 minutes on. I donít know how close this cycle is to what the plant wants. Will play with adjusting later.
Monday, February 4 View Page
Surgery is done on the Brutus Magnum. I have plenty of Delicious pollen. I am thinking it is about 2-3 days before the blossom is ready for the pollen,but just in case, I will be transfering it everday now until I know it has set or aborted.
Monday, February 4 View Page
In addition to supplying pollen for my planned cross, this delicious plant has set another mega. How many days left until 1st day of spring?
Saturday, February 9 View Page
Obviously. I do not know what I am doing growing in rockwool. I started it at five minute drench per hour. Should be good, same oxygen level as DWC. Nah, leaves turned very purple. Changed it to 10 minutes every 6 hours..less purple but still Vikings proud. New time, 15 minutes every 12 hours. Will update in a few days.
Saturday, February 9 View Page
Hydro megamutt, starting to show itís potential. It has passed the delicious even though a few days younger. Not enough fused sections for me to get excited about but should finish reasonably for the winter challenge.
Tuesday, February 12 View Page
Indoor bell pepper is starting to change colors. This should break my indoor pb by far. Next winter I think will transplant it from a 15 gallon pot to a 40 gallon pot.
Sunday, February 17 View Page
With about a month to go in the winter competition I am going to take a risk. I have this tomato that is right now about a pound. I am thinking with the big voids it will go light. It is getting culled.
Sunday, February 17 View Page
My final winter tomato will be this one or the blossom next truss up that should be setting in about a day. Every truss of this plant has had one or more mega on this 6.32 megamutt. Need to get some seeds to see what it can do in real sunshine.
Friday, February 22 View Page
It has been a struggle but the third blossom to open might be a success. The first DelBrut is getting bigger. Hope it will avoid BER. The varieties look so different in foliage that I am really curious what this F1 will look like.
Saturday, February 23 View Page
5th truss in a row with a fused blossom on my 6.32 hydro. This one I am guessing will be a quad. It is as fat as it is long. My other 6.32 is not showing the same potential. Low F numbers..need to find the best.
Sunday, February 24 View Page
This is the 7th megablossom on the 6.32 in hydro. Some trusses had two. When I can grow outside again, seeds from this plant will see dirt. I have finally started to package my seeds from last season. As some of you know, I have been preoccupied with something else. I have emails going back to October to fill. I promise to get them all out before the end of March. Please be patient.
Monday, February 25 View Page
23 days to go in the winter competition. I still have a chance with the 6.32 megamutt. 11.5 inches cc gaining over 1/2 inch per day. Based on itís shape I think I will need about 19 inches for an indoor pb.
Monday, March 4 View Page
At 15 inches..16 days to go. 3.5 inches gained in the past 7 days. 2.51 pounds is the number for me to get indoor pb. Might be close.
Wednesday, March 6 View Page
The Delbrut is growing very slowly. It is a good thing that the size of the F1 does not predict the F2. Hoping for a dozen seeds to grow out.
Thursday, March 7 View Page
There is not going to he enough time for the newest set on the 6.32 . It looks to me like a 5 fused.
Thursday, March 7 View Page
The 6.32 continues with a mega every truss. Very different than my past experience with the giants. I have usually seen 1st truss mega, then 2 to 4 trusses of singles. I like what this plant is doing.
Saturday, March 16 View Page
4 days to go. Tomato is at 17 7/8 inches. Not going to a year for indoor pb but there is a chance that it might be bigger than Zowies.
Wednesday, March 20 View Page
First day of spring..time to weigh a tomato. My winter grow weight 2.14 pounds. Not my personal best but I am happy with the result with all my distractions this winter.
Wednesday, March 20 View Page
The bottom side of the tomato. Its measurements were 18.25x16x14.75 for an mfactor of .00049 . I have been estimating using .0005, it was very close.
Saturday, March 23 View Page
The worst time of my life is just about over. My divorce decree was signed on Wednesday. I put an offer in on a house in Oak Grove, Mn on Thursday. It was accepted today. I think with 2.8 acres I can find room for giant vegetables. 2019 is not going to be much of a grow year. Good think I own a chain say...looking forward to 2020.
Wednesday, March 27 View Page
The first ever Delbrut is starting to flash. I wonder when the GPC new rules early tomato season is going to open. Might I have the first entry?
Saturday, April 6 View Page
Getting ready for my May 3rd closing. I thought mowing just about 3 acres with a push mower might be too much. Driving down my street, I spotted this. The price was right...FREE. Ramps, come-along, and a chain and it is all mine. Needs a bit of carb work but by the middle of May it should be humming. Probably will be pulling my little wagon around all summer. It will maybe be 2 years before I have plants in to grow seriously , but will be growing in preparation until then. Best guess..I will be on a sandy base again..soil test by middle of May.
Monday, April 15 View Page
I have Delbrut seeds drying. After harvesting 20,000 misc tomato seeds over the summer..getting seeds from one little tomato is so easy. Future years..i will never be able to grow this variety without remembering this winter. Still set for May 3 rd closing. No pumpkins this summer..but for sure tomatoes.
Monday, April 15 View Page
The Brutus Magnum outdoors is truly a Brut..One of the fastest growers I have had. Indoors, It was a wimp. Just keeping the plant alive was a struggle. This plant is dying..lack of water.. but it did what was needed. It is mother of the Delbrut. Way opposites of characteristics. Will the cross be strong or weak?
Saturday, April 20 View Page
Today, I am going to harvest the seeds from my winter megamuttD. It has been sitting in a bowl on my desk for a month and is still not leaking. The thought crossed my mind to try to rehydrate it. Wonder if this tomato would be judged sound at a weighoff?
Saturday, April 20 View Page
1/2 of the tomato was black inside. The was enough remaining to get a little bowl of mush. With a TSP soak should have enough seeds this summer to try the highest F number MegamuttD. These seeds are F4 generation.
Tuesday, April 23 View Page
Someone talk some sense into me.I chatted to the soil supplier that delivered 50 cu yards to me last year. He is willing to mix as much as I want and tweak so it could be even better. I cant complain about last years mixture..i set my pb both in tomatoes and pumpkin. This is a picture from last year. It was delivered May 22. Too bad I cant take it all with me to the new place. Spring seed starting is tempting me to a late season. I havent succumbed yet but it is not too late.
Wednesday, April 24 View Page
I tried to convince myself out of the foolishness of starting pumpkin seeds without having seen my garden soil. I did not pick up any seeds this winter but I still think I have enough to grow. I have narrowed it down to about 20 choices. Looking like it will be an ugly year. It will be a challenge to start with zero prep..but I wonít be bored.
Thursday, April 25 View Page
After hours of deliberation..ah well maybe actually 15 minutes (not enough time to confuse myself). I have chosen this years lineup. Going for three big uglies (have to give myself a chance for a jacket), one HD candidate and one really old seed. 8 more days until I find out what was under the snow. This years lineup should be sprouted by then.
Wednesday, May 1 View Page
Of the 5 seeds I soaked, 4 have sprouted roots. Still waiting for the old 901 Hunt. I am happy.. Very low effort start..soak in water, put in damp paper towel in a baggy and place on top dresser at 70 degrees. First year..i stressed so much about trying for optimum germination environment. Now it is just let them grow. Time to transplant..no fancy custom mixtures this year, just happy frog with great white. I think with this years lack of time and no garden prep that 3/4 gallon of potentially less than optimum soil is not going to make a noticeable difference. Time saved now is worth much for the later part of the year.
Wednesday, May 1 View Page
For what it is worth..the 1875 Mendi is sprouting ribbon root. Good..Bad...or Indifferent, I donít know, only time will tell. I will enjoy seeing what it does.
Wednesday, May 1 View Page
I am but an itsy bitsy grower..dont follow my method. I am very familiar with happy frog..i have spent enough winters growing that i feel it is not too hot..ocean forest is a bit tough on seedlings. Spring is a good time for me to drop the last winters biologicals into something it might benefit. Wow, I had lots of Great White leftover..into the mix. I set the moisture level so when i squeeze hard no water droplets come out. Remember, I am small..my way must be all wrong.
Wednesday, May 1 View Page
When i move the seeds to soil for the first time i plant them root up. The root will curve and go downward. The cots and seed hull will be pushed up. The friction of the soil and the angle of the opening of the seed will most of the time will shed the hull. If you plant it normal root down..you might be doing needle nose pliers surgery to free the cots from their protecter.
Saturday, May 4 View Page
Closed on the house yesterday morning. I spent time in the afternoon walking the land and trying to decide the best place for the first garden. There really is not an ideal spot. All will take some modification. I chose this spot for main patch. Havent measured it exactly but it is well over the 10,000 sq ft i desire. There are a few big trees and a bunch of little trees to sacrifice. Deer tracks everywhere. I do not expect much success growing this year. Next year should be better. At least I will be busy.
Sunday, May 5 View Page
New patch from a different perspective. Still think this is the right spot.
Sunday, May 5 View Page
I have what I had hoped for..lots of sand on the property. After the past 8 years i would not know what to do with clay.
Sunday, May 5 View Page
Planned garden patch...looks like i have about 4 inches of loam over sand.Two inches less than what i started with at my last place. This hole is the furthest from any tree..roots are going to be an issue.
Sunday, May 5 View Page
The challenges are here, but I am very content. I think that I have a place I can improve on for the rest of my life. Did I mention the deer tracks. My golden retriever loves the place. My daughter is satisfied. Maybe genetic place holder this year..just sets up for future years.
Sunday, May 5 View Page
This is probably the easiest grow spot. It is way to public of an area for my daughter to feel comfortable with. She is with me for another 3 years....I can wait.
Sunday, May 5 View Page
I wonder if I can get a 50 pound AG out of this soil. It has to be good..neither grass or weeds are growing. Bnotís house..the new sahara. Why i am I so happy?
Tuesday, May 7 View Page
Looking at all the garden stuff that I need to move. I see these hay bales that I used for weed supression on the edges of the garden. I think I saw some diary that was talking about growing in hay....hmmm, maybe i dont have to figure out how to turn sand to gold...after much contemplation (at least 8.3 seconds), i think i will stick with alchemy, I am completely out of H2O2.
Tuesday, May 7 View Page
After surveying my garden space last weekend, I have lowered my effort. No jacket for Bnot. I have decided to go with one ugly in 1000 sq ft. This 2363 the most developed of the three. I will see if i can amend the soil and tree roots ahead of the pumpkin plant. I also have an 1109. It will go into a neglected corner. Wonder if it can score lower than 184 lb with Haan glow. I will be an enjoyable summer even if i have nothing to weigh.
Tuesday, May 7 View Page
This picture is for agteacher..901 Hunt
Saturday, May 11 View Page
The power of the Atlantic Giant. One little baby pumpkin shows up and all kinds of trees fall down. Wonder what kind of havoc a big pumpkin plant will cause?
Saturday, May 11 View Page
Looks like I wont be driving to the pole barn very soon. It is going to take a bit of time to clean up the 15 trees (4 big and 11 little ones) cut today. Shade issue solved, next up roots. After that, lack of topsoil. Patch prep should be done by july..this might be the year i enjoy the most.
Sunday, May 12 View Page
Uh oh..my throttle switch rebelled while i was whittling down the big mess i made yesterday. I hate plastic parts...Should I order a new plastic piece or fabricate one out of metal on my breaks at work..might be delayed for a week trying to decide.
Wednesday, May 15 View Page
After getting home I checked the pumpkin plant. Something is wrong..the leaves are shredded. Is this the revenge for the tree massacre.At least the pumpkin plant is still alive. The part for the chainsaw arrived today. I have 10 out the next 12 days off from work. I donít know how much longer I will be thinking about pumpkins but my tomato season starts in the next few days.
Saturday, May 25 View Page
I found the time today to replace the carb on the tiller. Backup patch A has first till done. Best guess,this is a bit over 2000 sq ft. It is a bit shady, but will be home for my one remaining pumpkin plant and eating vegetables. Now instead of 3 inches of loam over sand , I have 6 inches of sandy loam over sand. Tomorrow will be first till for a tomato patch. I really should start some seeds soon.
Sunday, May 26 View Page
More work done today. Cut down a few more trees and tilled more. I am up to about 4000 sq ft tilled. My chain saw decided to take a break again so expansion is delayed. Hoping to be at about 15,000 sq ft tilled by the end of summer. This would allow rotation of patches. Very poor soil right now, but I have decided to send a soil sample in next week. This is a building year...any result is a good result.
Monday, May 27 View Page
I am finally starting some competition tomato plants. Have picked seeds from 14 tomatoes to try this year. The lineup is 4 big zacs, 2 domingoes and 8 of various crosses. If I sprout an average of 4 each that would give me 50 plants to take care of. The biggest in the sahara might not even break my first year numbers. But the genetics will be there for future years. Wonder which will be best this year.
Tuesday, May 28 View Page
Now that this years patch is tilled and somewhat dry, I can see what I am working with. Looks like awesome pumpkin soil. Do you have doubts?..just wait a few years. Previous property and this one are close for starting point. 1st of potentially many truckloads coming in on Thursday. This one is going to deliver composted cow manure. I am going to start building the soil using P as the base nutrient. I have a plan...will have to see how many years it takes to fit in the budget.
Wednesday, May 29 View Page
2nd semi truckload of ammendments is scheduled for saturday. This will be a mixture of grass and wood compost. This will probably be as much OM as I can add this growing season. Still plenty of soil building yet to do this summer...just no more OM. The advantage of new bachelorhood...I can keep my seed starts on the dining room table. Going to be a tight timeline for these tomato plants. After soil, I still have to figure out deer barrier and irrigation system. This is very enjoyable for me. I think I like building a garden more than growing the plants.
Friday, May 31 View Page
Dining room table was good for an emegency seed starting platform. Just not enough light. I found this spot in the garage that is so much brighter. Only a 20 amp circuit going in the garage. With more amperage I could make it really bright. Where is my winter grow going to be?
Friday, May 31 View Page
Worked hard today trying to get a place to grow this year. Tiller is objecting...too many sumac roots. I need to tighten the belt. Just about 8000 sq ft tilled..waiting for the semi load of compost tomorrow. Looking at the garden, I think there are three more big trees to take down before I put up fencing. Pumpkin season is a write off for me..I still have hope for the tomatoes. My nine year old Golden is probably wondering , why are there not plants in the ground already. I started growing the year he was born. Very faithful patch companion.
Saturday, June 1 View Page
Tiller is down, needing repairs. To keep working, I am starting to spread all the compost. Hopefully the tiller will be back up to till it in. My almost free mower (it cost me a battery and carburetor) is really helping. I do think will need to upgrade some of my equipment. What works fine in 2000 sq ft is a bit lacking for 15,000.
Saturday, June 1 View Page
Current plan...I am going to need two of these truckloads per year for possibly 10 years, maybe more.I dont think it is possible to build the perfect patch in a day. I talked with my new neighbor today, he is a landscaper. He is going to save me much time. His bobcat should spread this truckload out very quickly. I have still yet to move my Allis WD45. One of priorities this coming winter will be to get the front end loader usable. Errr...I dont have 220V to the pole barn. Wonder if I can run my MIG welder off from my generator. Something to figure out in November.
Saturday, June 1 View Page
My pumpkin growing watching chair is now parked nicely under shade of an oak tree. I should have view of both patches. This has been my chair for 30 years. It is probably time for some maintenance.
Wednesday, June 5 View Page
This tray of giant maters has 62 of 72 seeds sprouted. My ratio would be better without the domingo seeds. Only 1 out 7 sprouted. I am going to put these into pots and hopefully by the time they need to be transplanted have some garden space ready. Serious set back with tiller down. I need to find the funds to get bigger equipment. This year is probably going to be a write off for growing. Thankfully , It is only one year out of the rest of my life. I will post if I get these in the ground...otherwise wait until winter or next spring.
Thursday, June 6 View Page
I cant give up on the garden just yet. I had 5 out 5 germination rate on both with Big Marley and the DelBrut. They look about equal right now but when transplanting I could see that the initial root of the Big Marley was much longer. Wouldnt take much space to prepare for these 10 plants. Goal will be 60 plants in ground by July, minimum are these 10.
Thursday, June 6 View Page
Competition tomato group. 65 plants sprouted. In addition to the Big Marley and DelBrut plants there are multiples of The two biggest F2 Zachearts, Higher Fís of Megazac, Wixom Slammer and MegamuttD, many BigZacs and one Domingo.No tender care for these plants this year..the biggest genetics will keep going next year. If I can get a deer fence up..I should be able to break one pound.
Sunday, June 9 View Page
My neighbor with the bobcat never showed up. I canít wait..I did it the hard way. It was a good weekend. I got the tiller back to functional and moved about 30 cu yards of various composts. My piles are almost gone.
Sunday, June 9 View Page
i put all the compost into the lower garden. This will be the spot for this years tomatoes. 30 cu yards of black compost tilled in to 3000 sq ft and I still have light brown soil-sand. I am going to do one more till to blend it a bit better and then send in for soil test. Originally I was going to use P as my base..maybe OM level will be the new base. I think I might be comfortable pushing OM to 15-17%. As long as disease can stay away..easier in sand than clay,the higher OM will get me to awesome soil years faster.
Monday, June 10 View Page
Garden lower section is just about ready for this years tomatoes. Tilled it up for the 4th time tonight and pulled a soil sample from 15 different locations and then mixed them. The 3000 sq ft is not very homogenous yet. Should be able to have plants in the ground within 2 weeks. Good thing tomatoes can have a later season. Upper section needs a lot of work. I have stumps to be removed and am going to bring in another semi load of compost. Upper section is planned pumpkin growing area next year. At least I have the rest of the summer to get it ready. Right now, my muscles are very sore. Bigger equipment is starting to sound cheaper.
Tuesday, June 11 View Page
My little seedlings have not liked my care. Going from grow light to 90+ degree full sun immediately after transplanting from root starter plugs has been too much for many of them. It seems the crosses that have megamarv genes are doing the best. I am not upset, I have thousands of seeds. How can you decide the strongest if you dont expose them to difficult environment.Will probably start another batch this weekend. Need a ticket to the fall weigh offs. Tomato patch keeps getting better..i think I have 1 1/2 to 2 pound potential as of today.
Saturday, June 15 View Page
I think you are ahead of me Wixom with the Delbrut. I had one grower email me that he was 0-5 for germination. I have 5 delbruts growing now. Waiting on soil test results. Hoping to get these plants in the ground in about a week. Starting another batch of tomato seeds tonight. These will probably be a majority of megamuttD. Need to find the best for the next F number.
Saturday, June 15 View Page
The 4.19 Borgers and the 4.70 Spaziani Zacheart F2ís are very close(5 of each). Looking for the best for next F generation on these also.
Saturday, June 15 View Page
I am wondering if I am the only person still growing a wixom slammer cross. Should not take too many more generations and should have a stable seed. I will have the garden space available to grow out the crosses.
Saturday, June 15 View Page
I have 17 megamuttD plants already growing from my pb.They are by far the most aggressive seedlings. Since these are only F3 there is much more selection to be done. Someone broke the rules crossing an F1 with an F1. Who would have thought that the result would be so good for me.
Monday, June 17 View Page
30 cu yards of compost into 3000 sq ft and this is what I get for soil test. I really expected my om to be higher than 5.2. I ordered ammendments tonight (only for the 3000 sq ft),but I am unsure if I will continue my partial growing season. Time is becoming a big factor.
Thursday, June 20 View Page
Most of the amendments for the first 3000 sq ft have arrived. Still waiting for one package in the mail and need to pick up one item locally. I was hoping to get the admendments tilled in, the tomatoes transplanted and 1/2 of a deer fence up this weekend. The weather might not cooperate..suppose to rain from tonight until monday. If there are enough dry periods I think 3lbs will be possible.
Friday, June 21 View Page
Yep, looks like a 4.3 pound tomato to me. At least it might become part of a 4 pound tomato.
Friday, June 21 View Page
Everything is mixed. I reduced the area to 2000 sq ft. This 40x50 area will be dedicated to tomatoes. For those that play with soil calculators, use the soil test I posted and add to it in 2000 sq ft: 65 pounds epsom salt, 50 pounds potassium sulfate, 20 pounds sulfur, 8 pounds bonemeal, 3.5 pounds manganese sulfate, .5 pound boric acid, and .3 pound copper sulfate. The result looks good to me..time will tell.
Friday, June 21 View Page
Before I could add the admendments, I had to wait for the stump grinder. Then I decided since the tomato patch was the shadiest, i could reduce that by cutting down two more trees. Then marking the area, I discovered 2x40 ft was going to be in air (this garden is elevated). Too much time hand shoveling, and I have the border I want. My body is sore..beer time. Maybe these remaining 55 plants will go in tomorrow. If so, will have to hope the deer have something else to chew on for awhile.
Monday, June 24 View Page
Tomato plants are 2/3rds in the garden. I thought I would be done tonight but was tied up on the phone for about two hours. Notice how crooked the stakes are..Below tiller depth the sand is packed very hard. I think I need a subsoiler.So far the deer tracks have only gotten about 6 feet from the plants. First priority get the plants in the ground, that should be accomplished by Wednesday evening. Then I will have to decide what next...stopping the deer or how to water these plants. Thinking watering will probably be the priority. I purchased enough hose...will I have enough pressure for 100 ft from well to house then 400 ft to garden? If I have to initially put a tank into the back of the truck and drive it out to the garden should be able to keep the plants alive until a better solution can be found. Plants are actually looking reasonable..I might have a chance at Stillwater.
Tuesday, June 25 View Page
I managed to get the final of 54 tomato plants in the ground tonight. It is a day earlier than expected. Now to find the bandaid solution to the next problem...water. I can get water to the tomato garden. I was curious about the quality of water going there. I couldnt remember which box I had my old ph meter packed in so I ordered a new ph/tds meter. Since I do the winter hydro grows, a backup is not unreasonable. The new one arrived today. Testing the water straight from the well, the ph is 8.2 with high tds. I am guessing that a majority of the tds is CaCO2. I will be shooting myself in the foot trying to lower garden ph while watering with high ph. I left my phosphorous level low...I should be able to ph down with phosphoric acid. For long term...will be researching reverse osmosis units. For a planned 12,000 sq ft garden it would take, if my math is correct, about 1500 gallons per day. That is a big unit. The size of the unit is less of an issue than what to do with the grey water. I dont think my septic system would like it. This year..into storage tank, ph down and then pump to little area I have growing. Next year might be a bit more difficult.
Wednesday, June 26 View Page
500 ft of garden hose from house to patch. I still have multiple leaks (missing some rubber o-rings) but i am surprised by the result. Even with long hose and the leaks I have more pressure from the well than I ever had from city water. I wonder if there is a way to inject ph down into the line so I could water direct?
Friday, June 28 View Page
Tomato plants are looking ok. So far no great adverse reaction to the mix I put into the soil. In retrospect, i think that I should have raised the N level and added a bit more Mg. P is still waiting for evaluation. 1st blossoms are starting to show...they are very small now. If I have lack of good megas, I will blame it on insufficient P. By next year this area should be tweaked enough to be competitive.
Friday, June 28 View Page
I still have issues with water pressure. It is enough to get thru this year with the small area of tomatoes. Next year when 8000 sq ft is growing it will be very lacking.I should have enough time before the 2020 grow season to find the solution.
Saturday, June 29 View Page
I think you are ahead of me Garden Rebel with the Delbrut. Mine are just starting to get their roots past the confines of the starter pot. I can walk around the garden and spot the 5 Delbruts from the wispy leaves and vines. F1 generation is definitely taking on the characteristics of the Brutus Magnum with the exception...maybe negative...they dont seem as aggressive in early growth. This generation will not matter so much..all seeds have the same dna. The best of next generation is the important one.
Saturday, June 29 View Page
F2 Zachearts...So far I can not see much difference between the 4.70 Spaziani and the 4.19 Borgers. I have 5 of each in the garden. The best of the ten will be grown out for F3.
Saturday, June 29 View Page
This is a special plant..out of 15 attempts in the past two years to sprout a pure domingo, this is the only one to have grown for me. I dont know why domingo does not like me.
Sunday, June 30 View Page
Most of the deer barrier is up. After I string the top 3 ft I will have an 8 ft tall obstacle. Why is my dog in the garden...no fence has ever stopped him. I think he went thru the gate.
Friday, July 5 View Page
It all started with about nothing but sand. Then came much compost and nutrients. Now it is time for some microbiology. I am raiding winter grow supplies hard. After this brew is put on, I think that the 2000 sq ft tomato area will be about 30% ready to be super competitive. Hoping to gain a bit more percentage yet this season.
Friday, July 5 View Page
I did the first pruning on the plants today. They are all starting to form the first blossoms. For the most part, I am not very impressed. Going to boost P with the addition of the microbiology. Maybe 2nd set of blossoms will be better.
Saturday, July 6 View Page
My watering system might not be high tech yet but good enough to water in 50 gallons of compost tea. Second batch is brewing. Basic setup on the garden will be done soon, then I might have to take a break. I still have yet to convert my old garden with itís awesome soil back to growing grass. That is going to hurt.
Monday, July 8 View Page
I searched thru my boxes and found the VegiBee. In the charger now. My first truss blossoms may not be huge or pretty but I think my goal of breaking 3 pounds this year is a good probability. Looking forward to next year with a bit better preparation and about 15 hours extra per week to spend on the garden. I will have about 3750 cu ft of decent(not great) soil to work with now. Will have to decide topsoil depth and sq ft to spread it over. I still have a website to develop..tomatoes might get a majority of the soil I have. Everything else might be in pure sand.
Friday, July 12 View Page
I can finish moving now. Compared the cost of renting a trailer many times to buying one. Buying one made sense. Soon my tractor and machine shop will be at the new house. Next year will have to grow a pumpkin too big to fit in my truck. Have to justify the yearly license fee.
Friday, July 12 View Page
Tomato blossoms when open are a bit better than I expected. I am not buzzing them as often as I should but hopefully some will fully set. Could 4 pounds be possible? This is a memamuttD.
Sunday, July 14 View Page
F1 Delbrut has so far been a disapointment. This is the best blossom of 5 plants. Hopefully 1/4th of the F2 will be better.
Sunday, July 14 View Page
Best in my garden are the megamuttDís. This megazac blossom is showing the other mega can keep up. Oh, do I see a ribbon to blossom?
Tuesday, July 16 View Page
Thru the heavy rain and mid 90ís temps, 85% of first truss pollination is complete. The Big Zacs, Big Marleys and the Domingo are left. Some observations I have made this year. The closest vine structure to the DelBrut are the Zachearts. I would have thought the F2 of two different Zachearts would show more variety. The MegaZacís are the beefiest plants closely followed by the MegamuttDís. Best first truss blossom I had this year was a five on an MMD. Unfortunately, I think it might not be fused and is a 2+3. This is a picture of a DelBrut. Will see in a few days if it starts growing. Somewhat looks like a Domingo to me.
Tuesday, July 16 View Page
I pulled 5 plants today. Why spend time on a plant that gives you no excitement. In a few weeks I might be down to 1/2 the plants. This one interests me. It is fusing everything. I am looking for my winter crossing stock..maybe this Big Zac will be in consideration.
Tuesday, July 16 View Page
To be winter crossing stock..this fusing Big Zac plant needs to do something with this blossom. What could I cross with a plant that wants to fuse everything?
Sunday, July 21 View Page
This is probably my most promising set. It is from my winter megamuttD. I have pulled about 20 plants. Most of what is left are megamuttDís. They just do better for me than everything else. I have kept a couple each of the delbrut, zacheart, bigmarley, megazac and a few big zacs. They have triples set so maybe will have some reasonable numbers in September. Time is short...weeds(crab grass) are taking over.
Sunday, July 21 View Page
The Delbrut. Pollination was a success. This one does not have to grow big for me this year. What is important is if it has the fruit density of the Brutus Magnum. Is that dominent or recessive. If it can retain density hoping F2 will push mega formation from the hunt delicicious. Next cross maybe F4 with a megacross for vine strength.
Monday, July 22 View Page
More culling of plants today. What I have left: 11 MegamuttDís, 5 BigZacs, 4 Zachearts, 3 BigMarleys,2 Megazacs, 2 Delbruts and 1 Domingo. First truss sets: 16 triples or better, 8 doubles and 4 yet to set. Will know in a few days if this Big Marley took.
Monday, July 22 View Page
I wasnt sure what to call for fused on this delbrut. It has to be more than a single, but fused so much that really cant count. I counted it as a double. It could win the giant tomato beauty contest. F2 for next year is down to two plants, unless someone out there grows a better one.
Tuesday, July 23 View Page
Tomato patch is really looking neglected...probably because it has been neglected for the past few weeks. I really didnt want to be dropping 8.2 ph water on it but no good alternative yet. I think I will break 3 pounds..but can I finish ahead of wile come september 7th. I have 400 pounds of amendments waiting to be spread on the remaining 6000 sq ft of sand/compost. Conversion cost from sand to 70% good soil is $1 per cu ft. Come on September 20th...I want to be able to concentrate on just one property. Anyone have a bobcat they want to give away?
Wednesday, July 24 View Page
I am not worried yet wile, you have to set one to weigh one. Looks like this one took. It is from my 5.60 BigZac that came in officially second at Gale Woods. Too many of my sets are caterpillars.Speaking of Hill seeds,wonder what Larry has going in the frozen north. Frostbite..are you growing?
Wednesday, July 24 View Page
Getting close to hammock time. I am going to try something different this year...paint strainer bags. They should be delivered in 2 days. This one should be at about 12 inches by then.
Thursday, July 25 View Page
Uh oh...first BER of the season for me. Unfortunately it is on my best Delbrut.I know it is not caused by lack of calcium in the soil, My sand has not been waterlogged from rain. I think it might be magnesium. I pulled out what is left of my winter supply of rot stop. Hope this will get me thru to when the next supply arrives. I have a concentrated product from southern ag arriving on saturday and a concentrate from bonide arriving on wednesday. If I need it,calcium chloride should be available from the local home brew store. A grower gets real familiar with ber during the winter grows. We never have solved that riddle.
Saturday, July 27 View Page
Five gallon paint strainer bags purchased from Amazon for a little over $1 a piece. I am not sure yet how I want to cut and tie them. Much cheaper than queen size pantyhose. I have a few sets between 12 and 14 inches. The biggest are on fused vines..i donít have to rush the hammock process. BER on my Delbrut is drying after treatment. I gave the rest of the sets a preventive treatment. Wilie..you better aim for 3.25 or better....
Monday, July 29 View Page
Tomatoes are doing ok..only BER was on a Delbrut and it is now dry. Here is a respectable BigMarley. The soil in this area might be a bit potent for it. Every leaf is curled up. This year is confirming what I thought during the winter..the megacrosses like much more potent soil. They are only about 1/8th curled.
Monday, July 29 View Page
I am starting to get the higher truss megas. I think I have about 2 weeks to choose for October weighoffs. This one is a possibility. It is Megazac with a doubled stem.
Monday, July 29 View Page
This is one of my favorite tomatoes this year. It is a Delbrut, the one without BER. First glance, you might think it is a single, but I know it isnt. It has caught up to the other Delbrut at 13Ē cc with a few less DAP. I hope inside has the Brutus density.
Tuesday, July 30 View Page
Not very refined, hooking a hydro RO system to an outdoor faucet, but good enough for me to mix some BER preventative. Cost to mix a quart from concentrate is about $1 vs buying premixed at the local nursery for about $12. Taking some time tonight to take care of the neglected plants. Looks like I have about 8 sets at about 14 inches. I am a bit fuzzy about pollination dates but they all should be July 15th to July 20th. Needless to say, I am way behind Garden Rebel. Go Rick...you can do this. Thanks for sharing with the rest of the growers.
Saturday, August 3 View Page
Big Marley update: All sets are less than twelve days. This is BigMarley one.
Saturday, August 3 View Page
BigMarley update: This is BigMarley two.
Saturday, August 3 View Page
BigMarlet update: This is Big Marley three.
Saturday, August 3 View Page
Today started to hammock the tomatoes with paint strainer bags. Trying two different tie methods.I have multiple sets over 16.5Ē cc. Another week and should be over my goal of three pounds this year.
Sunday, August 4 View Page
This is one of the youngest sets in my garden. It is at 11 days at 14 inches..It is from my 5.60 which was grown from the 8.36 Boudyo. It is growing bonkers. Could a BigZac be the winner over the MegaMuttDísíís in my garden this year? It is looking like next year will be even a more limited grow. The seeds that make it to next year will be really special.
Tuesday, August 6 View Page
Since there was a bit of interest on how the f2 zachearts were doing, I had to go check mine. I was wrong, I have 4 zacheart plants that survived the round of culling. Much better tomato shape on the zachearts than my 6.32 MMD plants but less fused. I am surprised that there are not a lot more obvious differences between the zachearts. Should be able to get a weight worthy of F3 generation. This 16.5 cc is between 16 and 23 days old. Final weight will be what separates the F2 zachearts.
Tuesday, August 6 View Page
Maybe this year I can break my Domingo difficulty. This is from the 8.22. It is only one day old. Sorry Porkchop, It is only waist high..
Wednesday, August 7 View Page
This is what my neglected tomato patch sadly looks like. Over 1/2 of the 16Ē+ sets have yet to be hammocked. I guess to go to next year the plant genetics will need to have strong enough stems to support a two pound tomato. Time is still short. I have had to make the decision..do I work on this years tomatoes or next years soil. Next year is winning.
Thursday, August 8 View Page
So this is what happens when you dont prune daily. 6 days ago I thought i had the plants focused to just one fruit. Then tonight, I saw that this sucker has shot up from ground level. Hmmm, that looks like decent mega..maybe two fruits could be possible. I am encouraged by results with six inches of soil over sand. Next year with 12-18 inches should be even better.
Friday, August 9 View Page
Delbrut one...hard to measure with the hammock but estimated at 16 inches.
Friday, August 9 View Page
Delbrut two- It also estimates at 16 inches. Growth is slow on both plants. Not sure what I need to feed these plants. I think I will just let them be.
Friday, August 9 View Page
I tilled up a few more areas and let them dry. No wonder I donít have a weed problem. Anything that grows is really extreme. Crabgrass seems to do the best. I canít believe I am starting the rest of my life growing experience with this. At least I can say...I am starting with a blank slate. Need to find a cheaper delivered compost. It is going to take many truckloads.
Saturday, August 10 View Page
I choose two upper sets to grow a weighoff entry ticket. Not sure if I will go to any weighoff but good to have something just in case. This ribbon set from my 6.32 MMD looks promising. Plant is reasonably healthy. My soil is not potent enough yet. I might start feeding this one hydroponic nutrients.
Saturday, August 10 View Page
Hammocked a few more tomatoes today. I am at the borderline of my goal for this year of 3 pounds. At about 16 inches, growth slows way down. Just not enough good soil. Working on the future soil. Trying to figure out the best cost effective plan. The choice is between a few plants with great soil next year or many plants with great soil 3 years from now. Bobcat rental at $300 per day is a big negative. Compost delivered at a cost of $30 cu yd is second negative. 10 years, I will have it the way i want it. The path there is yet to be determined.
Sunday, August 11 View Page
I thought this set was looking good until I did the 3 way measurement multiplied by an mFactor of 4.6. I might not even reach my winter grow numbers. At about 16 inches nearly every set is almost shutting down. The only hope is the are almost all less than 25 DAP.
Monday, August 12 View Page
My favorite delbrut..it is still growing past the 16 inch limit of some of my other plants. Look at that bottom..is this a single? At the end of the year, I will know how much to subtract for the thickness of the paint bag. One grower emailed me and inquired how I hammock with a paint bag. I am figuring this out myself this year. So far what has worked best for me is to make a cut 90% down one side leaving a little pocket for the tomato to rest in. The stem goes where the cut is. I split the remaining top so I have two sections i can tie together. I have a second method that also has potential depending on how the tomato is placed. When I am more sure of my method, I will post some pictures. I do have a few extra shredded bags ...not everything worked.
Wednesday, August 14 View Page
The path to my dream garden is not getting any easier. This sand base reacts differently than the sand base at my last place. I think it because of the very high Calcium Carbonate percentage. It compacts to something like cement. It still drains though. I have a thin layer of topsoil over this hard layer. I am thinking I should I should take my top layer and put it all on 1/3 of the area. This would give me 18Ē inches over cement. I question using a bobcat to do it. Where I drove the bobcat the most is rock hard. The tiller will only go down 3 inches. I abused the tiller badly this summer. I wont have much free time until the middle of September. If I can get it done, I would have 3000 sq ft to grow in next year. Still not as good of soil as last year but better than I started with this year.
Friday, August 16 View Page
Congrats to all the Big Marley growers this year. You are getting some awesome numbers. Obviously, my soil is not competive. My Big Marley only measures 18 inches. We have all the same genetics with this F1.
Friday, August 16 View Page
Canít give up..just have to make plans for next year. My current plan for next years tomatoes....till up 750 sq ft here. Move 1000 cu ft of soil from other patch to make a raised garden 16 inches deep. I would then try to grow pumpkins in the remaining 6000 sq ft with 6 inch topsoil. This plan is subject to change (probably at least 20 times by spring)
Tuesday, August 20 View Page
I am getting bored with this year tomatoes. All slow growers. At least I should reach this years goal of three pound with this Delbrut. It is measuring 20 inches at estimated 34 Dap. Need to improve next year or I will be losing interest fast.
Wednesday, August 21 View Page
All 6 of my MegamuttD were started on the same date. All pollinated within a day of each other. And all have started flashing within a day of each other. I would have expected more diversity from F3/F4. In this case it is a negative trait..DAP to flash..35 days. Too bad they are not eating tomatoes..could call them an early variety.
Thursday, August 22 View Page
Day off today, so I harvested the MegamuttD tomatoes. If weight mattered, they would not have been cut so early. Cutting them early, I can compared them side by side to decide which to save seeds from.
Thursday, August 22 View Page
I broke my goal for this year..barely. Weight on 4 of these is so close(within .15 pound) that is not a deciding factor. I will have to use shape, inner density etc to choose next years seeds.
Thursday, August 22 View Page
These are the four..weights 3.05,3.00,2.92 and 2.92. There are two from my 6.32 and two from last winters hydro tomato. So 2 from an F3 and 2 from an F4. Right now am thinking that the one i will grow next year will from the 2.92 winter mmd in the lower right corner.
Thursday, August 22 View Page
Since, I was harvesting, I also took out two zachearts. These were from 2 different F2ís. Their shapes are very similar. The plants still remaining in my garden: 3 big zacs, 2 megazacs,2 delbruts, 1 zacheart, 1 big marley and 1 MegamuttD.
Friday, August 23 View Page
This Big Marley is looking good even though it is in shallow, low nutrient soil and has competition from many weeds. Measuring a bit over 20 inches and probably was my lastest first truss set. It is not showing blight, while the Big Zacs are starting to get hit hard. Rick, you made a winner. Planned cross for this winter..seeds from this plant X MegamuttD. If succesful might need help with naming.
Friday, August 23 View Page
My favorite delbrut. It is just about at 21 inches. I really hope for solid flesh inside. I want to grow a rock. This winter crossing plants will be in soil under led lights. What is under CMH light in hydro is yet to be determined. Wonder what nutrient strength a delbrut responds to.
Saturday, August 24 View Page
Getting ready to lift some heavy machinery. Only 10 ft legs now. I have 3 more pipes available to extend them. If this will lift the bridgeport mill, I will be ready for next year. The bridgeport weighs about 2200 pounds.
Tuesday, August 27 View Page
I am picking my first delbrut tomato tonight. I think my next one will be bigger.
Tuesday, August 27 View Page
I missed 3 pounds on this one. I think I will be saving seeds from only 4 tomatoes this year. Less than 50% chance this will be my choice for delbrut. Three plants still in the garden that I think will harvest seeds from, one delbrut, a zacheart and a big marley.
Thursday, August 29 View Page
I pulled the megazacs today. This has been a difficult year for growing. My new 2019 summer top weight 3.14 pounds. Still 7 plants left. I have hope for better on only 3 of them.
Friday, August 30 View Page
I cut the first Delbrut open to harvest seeds. Not as solid inside as I had hoped. The second should be picked sometime this weekend. Maybe that one will be better.
Saturday, August 31 View Page
I picked the second Delbrut this morning. It weighs 3.21 pounds. Nothing impressive but still the biggest of this year for me. 3 way measurements 21 x 19.25 x 14.5 which gives an mFactor of .00055 . It might be solid inside, my usual is about .00049.
Saturday, August 31 View Page
Bottom side of the Delbrut. Quite solid. Only one hope left in my garden..the Big Marley.
Monday, September 2 View Page
I am good at growing three pound tomatoes. This one is from my 4.19 zacheart. Maybe the big marley can break this trend..it is at 22 inches and still all green.
Monday, September 2 View Page
The inside of my 3.21 Delbrut. Maybe the next generation will show the brutus density.
Monday, September 2 View Page
Look what I found hiding in the corner of the garage at the old house, a 3 bottom snap coupler plow. It had been sitting there for 7 years. If i can fix the transmission tower on my Allis wd45, I might try plowing my garden. Wonder how deep It can go?
Monday, September 2 View Page
The bucket for the allis came home yesterday. This tripod is getting a workout this month. I canít believe how easy this to set up. I put 10 ft legs on it and then lift it upright. I only weigh about 125 pounds. Once it is upright, I add 4 ft leg extensions to it. Takes but minutes to get it all done. I should be able to load a 2000 pound pumkin much easier now than I have ever loaded my small ones. The challenge now will be to grow something big enough that I wonder how to load it again.
Tuesday, September 3 View Page
I thought that the big marley looked bigger than this..Something is wrong.
Tuesday, September 3 View Page
This picture shows itís true size...or maybe not......
Thursday, September 5 View Page
I think this is the hardest place in my yard to grow. It is nearly pure sand and is heavily shaded.Weeds even have trouble here. We have the small area challenge (150sq ft) . I am thinking about challenging myself to low budget. I wonder how much I can improve year to year with a budget of $120 per year for one pumpkin plant. Year one..with the deer I have around..I cant even buy fence for the area. $120 is not much....I donít think I will break 1 pound per $. Will have to think about long term value vs instant improvement.
Friday, September 6 View Page
My planned budget garden from a different angle. I have not mowed it for two months.So far I have had two growers email me with suggestions how to maximize my low budget. Thanks guys, first year with a budget of $120 I think $13 (that is tax included)for 7 ft tall 100 ft long deer netting will be cheapest effective solution to my most critical critter problem. Will have to come up with some cheap posts. The suggestion for leaf compost is great too. Fall leaf dropping is coming. I am thinking about asking my coworkers to fill my truck with leaves everyday. What they need to get rid of is what I need the most. This is my test. Most new growers do not start with ideal soil. And if someone was living on social security could they eventually grow something mid level competitive. I think they can..just not in one year. This patch will be visible from my office window..i better put a pretty seed here.
Sunday, September 8 View Page
Pulled two more plants today. My 3 pound streak continues. This is big zac from my 5.60.
Sunday, September 8 View Page
I also pulled this on from my 4.09 big zac. So far it is my biggest of the year. Only one plant remaining..the Big Marley. It is still completely green.
Friday, September 13 View Page
Picked my final tomato tonight. It is my biggest this year. Am going to see if it will stay sound for 16 days. Variety-Big Marley
Tuesday, September 17 View Page
Since my season is done I have started tilling to prep for next year. 4 months later , I donít have great soil but it is better than the pure sand from 4 months ago. At least it will grow a 4 pound tomato. I am setting up a delivery of 28 cu yards of composted dairy cow manure. Will have to do more soil testing and some compost testing. I donít want to push P much higher than 100 ppm.
Tuesday, September 17 View Page
I am also tilling up the second section. This has not been amended beyond about 2 inches of plant based compost. Eventually 6 pumpkin plants will go in here. I am going to divide into 1000 sq ft sections and try to optimize the soil. Hoping to have ready for next year at least two spots.
Tuesday, September 17 View Page
The tomato patch looks bare without all the weeds. In addition to soil building, I have fencing to reposition. Losses to deer or other critters was zero. Hoping to maintain that success rate. Future looks good. No sign of soil disease. Probably not very common in pure sand. Really looking forward to next spring..I will be way ahead of this year.
Saturday, September 21 View Page
I stopped by my old house today. Looks like pumpkin soil will grow good grass. It is growing three times as fast as the rest of the yard. Someone might have to mow in the spring everyday. Not the best germination rate. I sowed in the heat of the summer and was not in the position to water. It is filling in nicely.
Monday, September 23 View Page
I was hoping that my Big Marley would hold in in storage until the 29th. Not going to happen. It has started to show a soft spot 6 days too early. No GPC weight for me this year.
Monday, September 23 View Page
This is what the big marley weighed right after picking. 4.32 pounds. By far the best tomato of my year. There is always next year.
Wednesday, September 25 View Page
Porkchop, wonder what will be happening behind this door in about a month to two. Indoor growing is not as easy as you think it might be.
Wednesday, September 25 View Page
Uh oh, I have no open spots to add breakers. Time to reevaluate the situation.
Friday, September 27 View Page
I have never have liked electric stoves. This one is taking up two breaker spots for the 220 volts required.
Friday, September 27 View Page
All I need to do is drop a gas line into place. After that could split the 220V breaker and run dual 20 amp circuits to the grow room. Doubtful it will be done this winter, time still short..next winter it will be done for sure.
Tuesday, October 8 View Page
I thought all my plants were pulled ...but i was wrong. There still is this plant...it sprouted 2 weeks after the rest of the tomato plants were in the garden. I do not know the genetics.It was shoved into this 15 gallon pot only 1/2 full with soil. It had zero care..no pruning, no watering. I am sure it had times when the soil was bone dry. Amazing, the plant is still alive. And even more amazing..it has three tomatoes on it. If I should decide to go to stillwater in the snowstorm...I have a less than 1/2 pound ticket to a front row seat.
Friday, October 25 View Page
Spring planning always comes before spring planting. I am going to have 8000 sq ft to fill next summer (two more semi loads of good stuff to be delivered next week).I envy the growers that have their seed collections cataloged in fancy 3 ring binders. Mine are just about everywhere. Looks like I might be watching auctions for pumpkin seeds. I do not have nearly enough seeds that make my heart go thump for the planned number of plants..4 uglies, 1 HD and 1 squash. I have plenty of tomato seeds. In the 1000 sq ft remaining I have watermelon, long gourd, field pumpkin, and marrow seeds. And lots of non GPC categories.I donít have big enough garden,my 4000 sq ft expansion planned for two years from now, might have to be done earlier.
Friday, October 25 View Page
It is the time of the year when diary entries start to get scarce. I am looking out one if my windows towards the street. I notice that the white oak loses its leaves when the red oaks keep them. Too bad red oaks are more vulnerable to oak wilt. I have about 50 oak acorns to try to start this winter. I love Oaks...Oak Grove is my perfect place.
Thursday, November 7 View Page
After waking up to single digit temps this morning, and with daughters honda leaking power steering lines, I decided that heat is needed in the attached garage. I am not real fond of insulating but by the time I am done this could be another 400 sq ft of winter grow area. Unfortunately, it only has 1 fifteen amp outlet. Every area this winter will be amp limited.
Sunday, November 24 View Page
My winter tomato season has started. Round one going with MegamuttD, Big Marley, Delbrut and DelMar. I have spent the last two weeks seeing if I could hold temp with electric heater in the utility room off the garage. Best i can do with the available amperage is about 35 degrees warmer than outside temp. Wont be good enough for this grow season. I will start these four plants in soil in the laundry room. They might eventually move to a different location in the house when the hydroís are started.
Sunday, November 24 View Page
I have chosen my 15 gallon pots for this years winter grow. I need to dump the old grow media into the garden and start fresh. The pots are in the garage..unfreezing.
Sunday, November 24 View Page
I think I will fill the pots with happy frog. In the past I have more success with this than ocean forest. I will be adding a few bits extra to this base though. Budget for these plants...grow media $150, electricity for 4 months of 4 300 watt grow lights 14 hours per day $220. There will be some miscellanous costs but of supplies i already have. Winter grow per tomato plant $100. That should be only $40 per pound of tomato. As a way to get thru winter..priceless.
Wednesday, November 27 View Page
I am just a little bit behind you Glenomkins...You have first blossoms, I will there soon. Tomorrow will have to mix some starter pots. 250 feet of deep snow to trudge thru to get to the pole barn and collect all the ingredients. Wish it was spring already.
Thursday, November 28 View Page
Feels good to be growing again. First indoor setup in the new house. I tried to connect three 300 watt lights to the outlet..result, when the furnace kicked on the circuit breaker tripped. I miss my 5000 watt grow room. With two lights I will still be able to maintain May DLI numbers. For the early seedlings will be at 800 uMols for 15 hours per day. Happy Thanksgiving everyone.
Thursday, November 28 View Page
Someone emailed and asked about my starting mixture. It is secret..so secret I canít even remember the exact combination. I have to many supplies to choose from . All I remember is for starting mixture, I pushed N a a bit hard, added extra Ca to try to combat indoor growing BER, and added microbiology way beyond neccesary. I also added preventitive for spider mites and aphids. This is only in 3/4 gallon pots. If the plants survive this, the rest of their life will be in a different mixture.
Saturday, November 30 View Page
Seedlings are out of the ground. Later today I will be making a trip to the grow store to get the supplies to fill the 15 gallon pots. Laundry room is running a bit too warm with the two lights on. These plants may end up in the utility room yet.
Saturday, November 30 View Page
Crazy wiring in this house. I started flipping circuit breakers to figure out which outlets are connected. This one is connected to the kitchen refrigerater. I have been running a 1500 watt heater on this circuit without a problem. It should have enough amps to run 4 of my Ceramic Metal Halide lights. I have another outlet that is in the garage 25 feet from this room. It is on the laundry room circuit. That should be enough, with extension cord for space heater.
Saturday, November 30 View Page
This room is not light friendly. Today will fix that with new paint. After a bit of research on the internet..I found out that flat paint reflects more light than semi-gloss or gloss. Who would have guessed that?
Sunday, December 1 View Page
Grow room is slowly getting done. Painting is done (i should have bought two gallons instead of one, oh well, next year). Side rails for the lights are up. By the end of today the cross rails and lights should be in place.
Tuesday, December 3 View Page
Lights are up. This is a 47.25 sq ft room (5.25x9). I am only going to be using 30 sq ft for growing (the door needs room to open). I have 1260 watts of CMH light for the 30 sq ft. Minimum recommended for CMH is 35 watts/sq ft to maximum of 50 watts/sq ft. I am at 42. With the lights set 5 feet up, I am getting 400 umols..ground level in the whole area. The umols rise as you go up..I am at about 1400 umols at 4 ft. My winter plants will never had this much canopy light coverage before. Will find out tomorrow if my temp during daylight goes crazy high. I am not sure yet how to cool without losing the CO2. Oops, I have not mentioned that yet.
Tuesday, December 3 View Page
Good thing I donít make my living being a carpenter. I replaced the side rail screws three times before i had ones that were big enough that I thought they would hold the light weight. It has been only 30 minutes of lights on..already feeling too warm.
Tuesday, December 3 View Page
Quick connect of the controller. When i try to take a picture of the readout, it just flashes with an iphone camera.i am at 89 degrees (updated number, i shut it down) at ceiling level already and the temp keeps climbing. No way am i going to risk fire hazard tomorrow while I am at work.Might have to wait until weekend to figure out a cooling solution.
Thursday, December 5 View Page
I moved my 9 seedlings out to the new grow room, all showing first true leaf. Only can run two lights right now,but that is more than the one light they were under in the laundry room.I might have to leave the door open a bit to keep the temp down. A mini split air conditioner/heat pump has been ordered. It is coming truck freight from Miami. Should be here in about a week. Hopefully the install is easy. After it is installed, I should have good lighting, temp control and CO2...all that will be left is humidity control.
Friday, December 6 View Page
It is weekend..time to concentrate on what is important- GROWING !!! Mixing up my soil pots tonight. The recipe..drink a cold beverage,add a bit of this and a bit of that, which bit depends on what catches my eye. Should be a totally mucked up mixture but what matters..i am having fun.
Saturday, December 7 View Page
Making progress,4 tomato plants in 15 gallon soil pots. Two backups remaining, if needed.
Saturday, December 7 View Page
CO2 system set up and controller mounted. Have a spare tank to avoid a rush trip to the grow store 35 miles away. System will not be used until the mini split air conditioner arrives (due wednesday the 11th) and installed, hopefully next weekend.
Saturday, December 7 View Page
Replaced the membrane filter on the reverse osmosis unit. It is in a temporary location. It is making pure water but input pressure is less than desired. Booster pump is ordered. Tomorrow will work on setting up a coco hydro plant and 2 deep water hydroponic plants.
Sunday, December 8 View Page
Hydro coca setup is getting close. Very close to what I had last year using a 6 inch rockwool cube. I need to get some1/4 tubing for more drippers. Irrigation is set up on a timer. It will be drain to waste. I am using a fifteen gallon fabric pot. Since it is setup in the laundry room there will be no CO2 boost.
Sunday, December 8 View Page
For the past few years my best has been from a deep water hydro setup. I will have two this year both with CO2. I havent decided what else to do different.
Tuesday, December 10 View Page
13.7 relative humidity under the lights. I have a humidifier being delivered tomorrow but do not have enough amperage to run it. Every circuit is maxed out. One little fan will trip the circuit breaker. I have two 16 inch wall fans that need to be connected also. Need some air circulation in the grow room. No extra amps to run them. Tomorrow, air conditioning unit is set to arrive...way low on available electricity for that. I think next weekend will trying to tack together a bit more power. Looking forward to next winter..wont have this issue. Gas line to the stove, rerouting the 40 amp 220v circuit to the grow room will solve the issue. Next summers project.
Wednesday, December 11 View Page
First improvement in humidity control. The humidifier arrived today. Will have to eventually rig up a gravity feed system for it since direct water line connection is not possible. It took 1/2 hour to rise from 13.5 rh to 55 rh. It is improved but I am sure far from ideal.
Wednesday, December 11 View Page
First of two wall fans up. These will circulate the air from the top to bottom in a circle motion around the room. Hopefully will eliminate some hot and cold spots. Is it weekend yet?
Thursday, December 12 View Page
One of my projects for the weekend has arrived. I am sure the delivery driver was wondering ďwhy would anyone be ordering an air conditioner when the outside temps are in the single digitsĒ. I thought about telling him what i was going to use it for but worried..he might think it was even stranger.
Thursday, December 12 View Page
You are so much ahead of me Glenomkins. I am going thru a gallon of water every 4 hours with the humidifier. Having to leave the door cracked to keep temps down just dries out the air. It ran dry today when i was at work. Need a bulkhead fitting to set up a gravity feed. Will be starting the deep water seeds on Saturday. Should be just enough time for the first day of spring.
Friday, December 13 View Page
Playing with the thermometer today. Soil is a bit warm...113 F on this pot.
Friday, December 13 View Page
The leaves of the plant in the 113 F soil pot are only at 97 F. Pointing the thermometer around the room shows me that I really need to increase air circulation. The numbers are all over anywhere from 75 to 120 degrees (i am not counting the grow bulb which I measured over 500 degrees).Need to get some stable air numbers to calculate the VPD.
Friday, December 13 View Page
The megamuttD in 113 degree soil is not looking too bad considering the environment.
Friday, December 13 View Page
113 plant...rookie mistake to begin with..overwatering. The back side of the first true leaf still has the purple. This after 1 week without watering.
Friday, December 13 View Page
113 plant..the new growth leaves are looking much better. I need to find my moisture probe. I am sure it is still packed in a box somewhere.
Friday, December 13 View Page
Ooooh, the first Big Marley in coco has popped the surface. I will have to mix something other than straight reverse osmosis water tommorow. I find it curious that canna coco formula runs low on k. It seems that coco sucks in the Ca and leaves K. New experience for me...I will probably follow the Canna recomendations..until I get bored.
Saturday, December 14 View Page
Progess is being made. The inside air conditioning unit is mounted and lines attached. Tomorrow is outside unit. I will need to find my vacuum pump to complete the installation. If I cant find it, operation will be delayed for a week.
Sunday, December 15 View Page
Running the mr heater buddy propane heater in the garage getting ready to hookup the outside air conditioner unit. It really kicks out the CO2. I moved from 500 ppm to 2500 ppm 30 feet away in the grow room.
Sunday, December 15 View Page
Power for the air conditioner is going to come from the outlet. It is a 20 amp circuit going to just one receptacle. Every other room in the house is amp starved except for the kitchen. It has 3 120v 20 amp circuits going to it and a 40 amp 220v circuit. I tapped into the office circuit yesterday. This will be the fourth circuit tapped. Permanent rewiring will be next summers project.
Sunday, December 15 View Page
Outdoor unit (garage) is connected. It should pump the heat that I do not want from the grow room into the garage where I do want it. Will not be able to turn the unit on until next weekend. I had to order an HVAC manifold gauge set with vaccum pump. I never thought I would learn HVAC growing giant vegetables.
Sunday, December 15 View Page
This big marley F2 is not looking very healthy. It is at 98 degrees.
Sunday, December 15 View Page
This big marley F2 looks much better. It is at 104 degrees. I gave up on humidity control for now. My tank runs dry way too fast. The plants will have suffer 100 degree temps and humidity in the teens until next weekend. Hopefully then I can get conditions a bit more under control.
Sunday, December 15 View Page
Making an effort to try to cool down my plants. I found the box that had my little fans in it. After 3 years of continuous running during winter grows, 1/2 of them do not turn. I found four that work. Next weekend plan..get air conditioner functioning and make progress on humidity control. The weekend after will be to improve air circulation. I have two inline fans wanting to contibute. Maybe with the future high humidity, charcoal canisters could be valuable to reduce disease pressure. Stay tuned , this years progress is not done. Next year should be the year that the indoor growers can show what is possible.
Monday, December 16 View Page
Four out of four big marley F2 seeds popped the surface of the coco pot. On Sunday I set up the timing on the pump. I had it set to 1 1/2 minutes every 5 hours. Since then I have gone thru 3 gallons of mixture. I am going to drop it to 1/2 minute every 5 hours. I will give these seedlings a chance to get first true leaf before eventually thinning to one plant.
Tuesday, December 17 View Page
Another piece of the puzzle arrived today. After the grow room is sealed the high humidity during the day will lead to excessive humidity at night when the temp is dropped. Waiting on a bulkead fitting and then I can connect the humidifier and the dehumidifier to a shared tank. Two more weeks and should have lighting, temp, humidity and co2 all under control. I am getting anxious to see how the plants respond.
Wednesday, December 18 View Page
I had an unexpected phone call today. It was from the Electric Company. Seems someone noticed that my electric usage jumped immensely in the middle of november. They were wondering if there was a problem. I told her all about my grow room. Next, maybe the sheriff will be knocking on my door after the electric company reports suspicious electrical usage. Another two weeks I will have a grow room that many illegal growers would be happy to have. Hmmm, my research says that i have the wattage and space to grow a pound per month..what is the going rate for a pound. I think I will stick with tomatoes..this isnt michigan.
Thursday, December 19 View Page
I received an email warning about pushing a circuit on steady state past 80% capacity. Seems circuit breakers can overheat and lock on. Thank you for this information. It would be depressing to burn my house down. I have four circuits so far that I am using for the grow room. I checked the circuit panel with my infrared thermometer. The hottest breaker was the one protecting the light circuit. It was at 98 degrees. Next, I dug thru my boxes and found my kill o watt meter. I connected it to the light circuit. I believe that only lights are on this 15 amp breaker. The meter reads 1420 watts. No problem, 1420 watts/1800 watts (15 x 120) is 78.89 % utilization. Way under the 80%. Switching to read amps, uh oh, drawing 12.75 amps. how can that be? Switching to voltage. This circuit is enough to cause a voltage drop down to 111V. I am not sure yet what I am going to do about all of this.
Thursday, December 19 View Page
Another package arrived today. I know how to utilize the bulkhead fittings for humidity setup. But what to do with all these hoses, gauges and that pump thingy. One more day until weekend. By Christmas I think I will have a sealed grow room.
Saturday, December 21 View Page
The michigan seeds arrived today..thanks Chris. Time to start conditioning some rockwool cubes. I have been lazy so far this weekend. But now I have the seeds, I should make a good enviroment for them.
Saturday, December 21 View Page
The first of the weekend projects is done. I must have done something right...i have cold air coming out of the air conditioning unit. Next up will be to increase air circulation. I have too many hot spots right now.
Sunday, December 22 View Page
Looks like this big marley has survived the difficult environment. Temps are holding nicely. With the grow room sealed, humidity has gone up to 50% rh, this is without any controls. Waiting for the hardware store to open. I need some screws to mount the inline fans. By the end of today 95% of this years setup should be complete.
Sunday, December 22 View Page
My inexperience with growing in coca is showing. Yellow leaves are probably not the sign of a happy plant. Time to throw out the original recipe and remix. I am going to get back closer to my standard hydro ratioís.
Sunday, December 22 View Page
Final spots for this winterís grow are soaking. I pulled two of the 15 gallon soil pots to give the two better plants more light. Soaking two Big Wixom and four Big Zac seeds. The ones that can sink roots the fastest will go into the deep water tanks. I will have 5 plants each under a 300 watt grow light. This is my 5th year of winter growing. I have to wonder what changes the next year will bring.
Monday, December 23 View Page
I have installed two inline fans to circulate the air from one side of the room to the other. Last year i used these fans to pump heat from my growing area to the other side of the basement. Each fan is rated at 300 cfm for a total of 600 cfm. My room is only 376 cu ft. Depending on the cfm drop of the tubes, they could circulate the air every 37 seconds. Also the CO2 line has been set up on the ceiling. Plants now are at 1500 ppm CO2.Waiting for a new humidity controller to be delivered. This one will have both up and down control. Getting close to being ready to try to break my indoor pb.
Monday, December 23 View Page
I might get the environment I want and it still is not going to be easy. This plant went from 100 degree temps at 15 rh to 77 degrees at 45 rh. Now it is flagging. I do not know why. The soil is not dry.I am going to run the VPD numbers to see if that gives me a clue. Maybe the boost in CO2 ppm is the reason. Other than trying to figure what is happening I think the best plan is to let the plant try to adjust. One thing I have learned thru time...sometimes it is better to do nothing.
Tuesday, December 24 View Page
I appologize if you get tired of tomato pictures. Growers diaries are so limited during the winter. This year I am going to try to notice nutrient deficiency much earlier than in the past. I am using an optivisor to observe the leaves. Much clearer than my old eyes. I can see the leaves better with the optivisor than my iphone can take a macro picture.
Tuesday, December 24 View Page
Multiply these pictures by a 3x resolution and that is what I am seeing the leaves at.The flagging has improved. I have a bit more yellow at the base of the leaves than I would like. Internodal length is a bit shorter than I think would be ideal. I donít want to drop light intensity with the CO2 to stretch them out so will concentrate on the the nutrients. Adjustment will be slow...indoor plants need limited water.
Tuesday, December 24 View Page
Exactly one month after seed start I see the first blossoms forming. They are a little less than 1/32 of an inch. At this small size it looks like the megamuttD will have the bigger fused blossom but the leaves on the Big Marley are much healthier. Both plants are about 3 inches tall after burying the cot leaves. And soon the last round of this year will be blossoming...both Big Wixom seeds started over the weekend are showing root tips. This cross will germinate.
Wednesday, December 25 View Page
Thanks Zeke, That is an excellent suggestion for phone macro photography. I am going to have to find something similar. I thought since photography was brought up, I would open a few more boxes. This might be a bit excessive for close up pictures..Canon EOS 80d with 100mm macro lense. I will have to relearn the functions of this camera but by pollination time might have some super close in pictures. Not sure yet how to get around BPís diary picture size limitation.
Wednesday, December 25 View Page
I am pulling the coco setup in the laundry room. Increasing the micro nutrients has improved the condition of the plant but it will never reach itís true seed potential. Early plant development time has been lost. I will revisit growing in coco some year in the future. I tried moving a soil pot that was pulled from the grow room and has been in the cold dark garage to replace it. That just doesnt seem to excite me. Maybe I will start another plant Jan 1st. It might not be a tomato seed. 6 days to decide...hmmm, aeroponic carrot..that might interest me.
Wednesday, December 25 View Page
Thanks Spudder, I have it on dvd,but have never used it. It was acquired for a project that hopefully will happen in the future.Your helpful suggestion made me remember that I already have a solution
Wednesday, December 25 View Page
I still have a little over 3000 watts of LED lighting available. My air conditioner is on a 20 amp circuit and it should be drawing only about 10 amps. Garage is holding about 60 degrees during the day and 50 at night. What could I grow? For supplies I have 30 gallons of fresh grow media from the pulled tomato pots and I have the coco setup waiting for the next attempt. I have an idea, it is perfect for carrots. Guess my aeroponic plant will not be a carrot.
Wednesday, December 25 View Page
The carrot fabric pots are loaded. They are 21 inches tall and have a 12 inch diameter. I found these a few years ago when I last attempted carrots. The coco setup will have to wait until weekend. Back to work for me tomorrow. Merry Christmas to all...
Thursday, December 26 View Page
The seeds started last weekend are in my net pot starter. I would have had 6, but a Big Zac made a run for it and escaped into the carpet, never to be found again. I know all 5 of the remaining have sprouted. Still determing final placement. I have only about 800 diary posts to catch up to Henry. Go Henry, you can take Bubbaís record down.
Thursday, December 26 View Page
I saw Peter Glazebrook posting carrot pictures. I am wondering, will the WR stay in Minnesota or even the US if the UK growers get serious about bringing it back. I will have to look at his diaries for the past few years to see what I can learn from the master. This will be my first time growing carrots that I will have optimum starting temps. My basement grows were much too hot. I am getting fired up. Thanks Peter for sharing.
Thursday, December 26 View Page
I have a problem. My fancy air circulation system has shook and vibrated enough that the 100 mph duct tape did not hold it. For some reason, I think it is not going to move much air out of the wall. Good thing weekend is only one day away.
Saturday, December 28 View Page
I have found most of my camera accessories including the macro ring lite. The only thing I can not find is the battery and charger. I am starting to wonder if I left them plugged into the wall at the old house. I might need to get a tripod extension so I can place the camera directly above the plant for best angle. Nice when one hobby matches with a second hobby.
Saturday, December 28 View Page
Big zacs are above ground. Big Wixoms are not doing anything. I checked them in the hole of the rockwool. They have the same root nub as when I put them in there. Sorry Chris, I might have messed up. I think I will start a few more seeds just in case. Not Big Wixom though, I want save my remaining ones for the spring.
Saturday, December 28 View Page
Today was kind of a lazy day for. me. Did not make much progress on grow room. I did pick up a charcoal canister for version 2 of my air circulation setup. Tell me, what is special about Australian activated charcoal. Seems to me that activated charcoal should be the same..no matter what part of the world it comes from. Hope tomorrow will make more progress. Have nice blossoms on both soil plants. First truss will be for size. Higher trusses will be for crossing.
Sunday, December 29 View Page
The first of the seedlings has been moved to the big tanks. I am not waiting for first true leaf to choose. I chose this one based on health of cots and it being the fastest at dropping the root. It needs to drop it about an inch more and then growth can explode. Touchdown should be tomorrow.
Sunday, December 29 View Page
I do not know what I am doing with my new environment. I am running low VPD with 1500 ppm co2. This is the first year that I have CO2 and humidity control. I have some leaves that are showing tumescence, I have others that are looking nutrient starved. I can read this plant differently leaf to leaf. I gave the plants a drink yesterday with some nutrients. Soil indoors is really hard to keep up with plant nutrient demands without sending everything out of balance. I am glad to have the first deep water hydro plant in. That is my comfort zone.
Monday, December 30 View Page
First pruning today. Probably not the best technique but I cut off the parts that did not give me pleasure to look at. I grow winter for enjoyment. Most that were cut were from when the plant was in 100+ temps.Different pruning plan this year than previous. I am going to the Rebel technique of letting some lower suckers grow. Previous, I used the MacCoy technique. I now have a battery for my camera. Will try to get a picture of the blossoms on New Years Day. The are still too small for my iPhone to get in clear focus.

 

Top of Page

Questions or comments? Send mail to Ken AT bigpumpkins.com.
Copyright © 1999-2020 BigPumpkins.com. All rights reserved.