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Click on a thumbnail picture below to see the full size version. 173 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.

 

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