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SaladDoug (Team: SaladGreenSandkins) - 2019 Grower Diary Point your RSS aggregator here to subscribe to this Grower Diary.

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Click on a thumbnail picture below to see the full size version. 74 Entries.
Friday, March 8 View Page
Soil cables going in - aim to increase temps for quick establishment. Power on now, and all seems to be up and work. Will see what temps it gets to as no thermostat. Currently suggest 20 degrees c
Friday, March 8 View Page
Pic now attached!
Saturday, March 9 View Page
Running a trial compost tea; took out the brass regulator and upped the diameter of the pipe over winter for more air. Got some air leaks reducing output - hunted out some PTFE tape and jubilee clips to Inc efficiency. Darn cold in this garage this time of year, so now some insulation under it. I think Iíll fit a home brew heat band and link to an inkbird to put some temp control on to aid microbial growth. Diff temps favour bacteria / fungi - fungi like it warmer.
Saturday, March 16 View Page
More compost tea brewer mods; now a home brew heat belt...
Saturday, March 16 View Page
...rigged to a thermostat & insulation. Running with some adj. water as a second season run, and will see where the temperature lands. Still in the garage which is darn cold, but mess here is preferable to the house. Iíd like to get to 70, but sure if thatís possible in this room at this time of the year.
Sunday, March 17 View Page
Even with the home brew heating belt, I just canít get the temperature in the compost tea brewer to hit target temps. Room temp is 55 f currently, but belt can only get it to 64 f. Going to try a 50 w aquarium heater.
Sunday, March 17 View Page
Started a few test run tomatoes for an experiment with myco, a week or two ago. Transplanted into 9 cm pots during the week
Sunday, April 14 View Page
Put an electric fan in the small greenhouse this year, which is a long standing project. Iím often at work during the hottest parts of the day, so itís linked to a thermostat.
Sunday, April 14 View Page
Thermostat screen idea from YouTube - itís hidden down the bottom of the white tube. Which is linked to the black tube - Duc Taoe in my case! Aim is the black tube heats up and draws air up from the bottom to ensure a passive Ďflowí of air over the thermostat. Never tried it, but giving it a go.
Monday, May 6 View Page
Prepped and ready to go. Back from recent hols. Ground watered, compost tea added, soil heating cables back on, and a sprinkling of kelp meal and chicken pellets applied so they can start being broken down and absorbed. And the white plastic cover from last year washed. Need to wash greenhouse to as seems to be covered in layer of dust. First seeds will be sown later this week; tomatoes in pots in pic are just stand ins. Nearly there!
Friday, May 10 View Page
Seeds started. Fingers crossed!
Sunday, May 12 View Page
My greenhouse is within WiFi range, so Iíve been tinkering with some kiddie technology as a proof of concept
Sunday, May 12 View Page
It currently monitors greenhouse temps, humidity and calculates the VPD - and sends it to an app on my phone.
Sunday, May 12 View Page
Thereís a snapshot of Ďcurrentí greenhouse status (at any given time) Not sure the Ďtargetí figures are correct as such, but itís interesting to see. Wishful thinking on the buttons - they donít actually do anything at the moment. But theoretically they could, from my phone which Iím investigating! :) ...you can tell Iíve been itching to go for a while so been looking at other projects, but night temps only just starting to rise from 5C (40f) here...
Friday, May 17 View Page
4.22 Daho and 5.175 Hill are up after being planted when seeds had a few mm of radicle showing a few days ago. Sadly, my 5.95 Domingo didnít germinate, but I popped another on. Some backups in pots if needed, but Iíd like 2 Domingos in the mix of my 7 plants. My own seed of the 5.95 has germinated and transplanted - fingers crossed.
Wednesday, May 29 View Page
Looks like weíre off. Plot 1 (GH) 2 x Smith 5.27 (Domingo) 1 x 4.28 Spaziani (BZ x Domingo) 1 x 4.22 Daho (MegaMarv it turns out, checking latest Mendi diaries) 1 x 4.72 Meisner (Delicious) 1 x 5.175 Hill (BZ) 1 x 6.02 dmg Smith (BZ)
Wednesday, May 29 View Page
Tried 2 of the 5.95 Domingos, but neither successfully germinated, so opted for two of my own Domingos descended from the same seed
Wednesday, May 29 View Page
Plot 2 (Farm) 2 x 4.74 Wiesli 1 x 5.175 Hill 2 x 6.02 dmg Smith
Sunday, June 9 View Page
Awesome drone shot of the farm plot from today. A few giants in here: 4.74 Wiesli (2) 5.175 Hill (1), 6.02 dmg Smith (2)
Thursday, June 13 View Page
Not my megabloom - but someone elseís grow off my 6.02 Smith seed. Fingers crossed itís a whopper - great to see, Iím growing a few plants off the same seed.
Sunday, June 16 View Page
Life has had a few turns of late which mean Iíll need to take a sabbatical on the commercial salad growing. Unfortunately that means that my farm plot (rented) is being pushed to see if someone else might take it on by owners. Be hard to see it go, having built it from scratch - but I donít have time to run the salad sideline, and it isnít my main income. So...maybe losing access to the farm plot giant plants as a result including: 4.74 Wiesli (2) 5.175 Hill (1), 6.02 dmg Smith (2). Ah, pants.
Monday, July 8 View Page
Well I can confirm - I moved off the farm plot at the end of June, so my collection of giant tomatoes is halved. The ones who wonít make it further include: 4.74 Wiesli (2) 5.175 Hill (1), 6.02 dmg Smith (2). Thatís a real shame. Focus will shift to giving what I can to remaining plants.
Monday, July 8 View Page
Plants are staggered in age so itís not a direct comparison. But the 4.22 Daho so far does seem to be a beast. Nothing better than a double yet in blooms tho, so Iím holding out. The 6.02 Smith a lot younger than the other two - would have been interesting to see vs the Hill. A double forming on the Hill, but Iíd like 3+.
Monday, July 8 View Page
Marvís Delicious is coming along - by comparison to the Domingos, BZ and MegaMarvs; itís a super compact tower of tomato - narrow and column like in appearance, super dark green foliage. No blooms of note yet tho.
Monday, July 8 View Page
Across the path, a few Domingos - a quad is forming in the middle, not at pollination stage yet. Rick - Iím sorry - the Big Marley has really struggled as an ant colony set up shop at the base of the plant. I *think* Iíve managed to shake them with countless soakings of water. But itís really set it back and itís struggled alongside them for over a month - but looking a lot better this last week. Fingers crossed, I really like the idea of this cross.
Tuesday, July 16 View Page
Not the biggest mega, but looks like a triple forming on my 4.72 Meisner (Delicious) Still early days for the flower
Sunday, July 21 View Page
Plants looking super healthy, Daho still an aggressive growing plant - nothing really pressing ahead on the megabloom front, a few small doubles that Iím passing on.
Sunday, July 21 View Page
Starting pollinating the Delicious megabloom today, I think itís a modest looking triple. Letís see if it takes, and see.
Sunday, July 21 View Page
Iíve been pollinating the older middle Smith - but Iím not convinced itís pollinated fully and is fully joined. There is a good looking bloom on the left starting to form.
Sunday, July 21 View Page
Forming nicely on the left hand Smith Domingo. Unfortunately tho, Iím having to travel away soon for a few weeks in just a few days. This is really not good timing!!
Wednesday, August 14 View Page
That 5.27 Domingo sadly didnít live up to hopes - didnít pollinate in the middle, grown as two and the stem split out. Iíve removed it, and will just have go with whatever is on offer on the plant
Wednesday, August 14 View Page
I also picked off an earlier pollinated Domingo on the 5.27 Smith - just such irregular growth, it was only going to a fraction of the megabloom potential.
Wednesday, August 14 View Page
The Delicious tho, pollinated well and has started growing.
Wednesday, August 14 View Page
Had a few choices on the 6.02 Smith BZ - this 10 sepal double...
Wednesday, August 14 View Page
...and a 15 Sepal 2.5 double on the same plant 6.02 Smith BZ
Wednesday, August 14 View Page
This was a number of weeks ago; super heathy plants, now bigger still but a poor season for megablooms larger than doubles here - a hot spell when I was away, and pollination despite best efforts hasnít had 100% of the few large ones about at that time. But a few pollinated now, so weíll see what comes should weather pick up. There should be some weights in for the team competition before the season is out.
Sunday, August 25 View Page
All plants 6ft + now (!); canít complain about growth & health of plants this year, just late on meaningful blooms. Earlier blooms, successfully pollinated would have seen me top them off.
Sunday, August 25 View Page
4.72 Meisner (Delicious) has crept over 17 inches
Sunday, August 25 View Page
Another shot of the same
Sunday, August 25 View Page
On the 6.02 dmg Smith
Sunday, August 25 View Page
On the 4.22 Daho Iíve pulled off an earlier growing tomato, which was multi-bloom but growing very irregularly - some parts of the tom just not swelling, so Iíve decided to go with the attached as a gamble. Late in the day tho.
Sunday, August 25 View Page
Two options on the 5.27 Smith Domingo; lower older, yet to choose. (Correcting photo, earlier posting)
Sunday, August 25 View Page
My entry for the Big Marley- this is off the 4.28 Spaziani (BZ x Domingo) - this particular plant is on the diminutive side vs a number of my other plants which includes both Big Zac & Domingo. It had a rough ride at the start of the season, and now is shaded by surrounding plants unfortunately. Donít think Iíll win this competition but will aim to keep it going. :)
Sunday, August 25 View Page
That leaves the Hill & one of my 5.27 Domingo which have yet to have anything to show for themselves- Iíve been hanging on for successfully pollinated blooms that were 3+, but no joy.
Saturday, August 31 View Page
Yes - itís all very late here! A domino here, 2.5x blossom I think.
Saturday, August 31 View Page
And a BigZac...
Saturday, August 31 View Page
...Delicious...
Saturday, August 31 View Page
And a super fun looking MegaMarv caterpillar megabloom.
Saturday, September 14 View Page
Still all super late, so at the mercy of what Sept / early Oct weather will bring
Saturday, September 14 View Page
Big Zac
Saturday, September 14 View Page
Mega Marv
Saturday, September 14 View Page
And the biggest - a Delicious...
Sunday, September 15 View Page
Peeking under the plastic - lots of surface roots and plethora of worms getting on with the job
Sunday, September 15 View Page
Struggling to get in & out of greenhouse now; excess humidity this time of the year is a big concern. Cold nights. Started the soil heating cables - but one looks to have melted and broken off at a point that it te surface. The rest of it is buried - i'm not digging it up now, is it even possible to fix in situ?
Sunday, September 15 View Page
Tomato sexy time. On what are clones off my most aggressively growing plants, tho they won't ness be the biggest for me this year. but it's been a funny old year, and I think these have some great potential: Cross 1 = 5.175 Hill x Daho 4.22. Cross 2 = Daho 4.22 x Smith 5.27 (5.95 line). Cross 3 is reverse of the above = Smith 5.27 x Daho 4.22. Given lateness of season, these will have to be finished off inside and only result in small tomatoes.
Saturday, September 21 View Page
Different angle..
Sunday, September 22 View Page
4.72 Meisner Delicious, over the top
Sunday, September 22 View Page
Big Zac..
Sunday, September 22 View Page
MegaMarv
Friday, September 27 View Page
Harvested the 4.72 Meisner, Delicious.
Friday, September 27 View Page
Across the top....
Friday, September 27 View Page
Side...
Friday, September 27 View Page
Unofficial weight first thing this am (commercial scales but no independent witnesses) - 2.776 kg (6.12 lb). UK record is 2.88 kg. 104 grams in it. I went down the local shop - blast, no one there!!! Off to work now, going to have to try again later.
Friday, September 27 View Page
Went back at lunch. Officially submitted GPC weight - 2.772 (6.11 lb). Lost 4 grams over the am. Guess the stem is drying out. Itís a new PB tho - last year I managed 5.32 and 6.02 dmg. Taking it to a UK show this evening (Malvern). Thanks for the seed Marv, growing itís been a blast! This one will be contributing to Team SaladGreenSandkins. Go team!!
Sunday, September 29 View Page
Results in - she came in second place at the Malvern Autumn show, just behind a new UK record at 2.9kg (6.39 lb). First time at one of these shows. Great to meet a few folks at the show too - thanks all!
Monday, September 30 View Page
Still a few tomatoes left; I'm keeping these going for the benefit of the team competition, likely until 12th Oct which is a UK pumpkin GPC weigh off.. Nothing to beat what has already got the scales tho - not enough light / warmth now.
Monday, September 30 View Page
There's a Domingo in there somewhere..
Monday, September 30 View Page
MegaMarv; a cracking bloom, just too late in the season
Friday, October 11 View Page
My Big Marley effort (1.38 lb). Sorry Rick - this plant has had a rough time of it, right from the get go. The seed has much better potential, but this plant had ant colony set up at it's base holding back growth, before quickly being pushed into shade by plants that took advantage. Love the idea of the cross tho, will grow another year.
Saturday, October 12 View Page
Southampton weigh off today!
Saturday, October 12 View Page
Daho 4.22 (MegaMarv) has been a super vigorous grower here - blossom just too late tho to reach it's full potential
Saturday, October 12 View Page
Brought a couple of tomatoes to the Southampton weigh off; many thanks to Ian & Stu Paton for arranging for suitable scales - 5.1 & 5.2 registered today!
Saturday, October 12 View Page
On the board! Both grown off my own seed, from a few different toms 5.1 Smith was off the 5.27 Smith (Domingo) and the 5.2 Smith off 6.02 dmg Smith (Big Zac). Both green still but it's the last chance of a GPC listing, and there isn't the light or warmth to push them on now.
Sunday, October 13 View Page
Pics of the toms post competition, now back

 

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