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Click on a thumbnail picture below to see the full size version. 51 Entries.
Sunday, February 24 View Page
As we approach the start of the 2019 season, we're buried in snow. The Twin Cities average 7.7 inches in February. MSP has measured 35.7”, or the 6th snowiest month of all time. The public schools have had 10 days off this month (between snow days, cold days, holidays, and in-services). To say that I have cabin fever now would be an understatement. Auction season is wrapping up and my lineup is crystallizing. 2019 is probably going to be a year of growing big and orange from the 1810 Werner lineage. Here’s hoping we thaw out soon.
 
Thursday, March 21 View Page
The snow was well over my knees in the back yard when I was last out there on 3/10. Left for 10 days for work/vacation and the soil is making an appearance again. Spring-like weather for the foreseeable future. Also, it is sugaring season! Only tapping my black walnut this year.
 
Sunday, March 24 View Page
3 of 6 test seeds have germinated after 48 hours. Going to see how they do with the new grow light and have them start some mycorrhizae growing for the real plants in a few weeks.
 
Sunday, March 31 View Page
Test plants are all up. The back yard is 90% thawed. Unfortunately the temps for the last few days have been mid 30s, maybe 40. Everything is still a sloppy mess out back. Hoped to do soil sampling today, but will wait a few days to see if it dries any more. Few flakes flew today, but otherwise it's been dry for the last 16 or so days.
 
Saturday, April 6 View Page
We've just broken a little mini drought. Had close to 20 days without precipitation. This prevented area flooding from being even worse than it was as all our snow melted. Unfortunately, we didn't really get enough heat to dry out the garden properly before I pulled dirt for a soil sample Wednesday. Submitted the sample yesterday, nearly an inch of rain when I woke this morning.
 
Saturday, April 6 View Page
Inspired by others, trying to germinate my 1810. Its a little earlier than I had planned, but will give it 4 days and will decide who else to start if/when it starts.
 
Wednesday, April 10 View Page
Winter is back, celebrating by starting seeds makes sense?
 
Friday, April 12 View Page
Soil test results back. Time to make the amendment plan/order stuff up. Who knows when the patch will be workable, need to thaw again...
 
Saturday, April 13 View Page
Spring is really trying to assert itself. Getting some sun today-- the rays are the same intensity as late August. The snow is off color due to a dust storm in Texas, which should help accelerate the melt. I bet well be clear in the garden again by Monday.
 
Saturday, April 13 View Page
The test plants started on 3/22. Could do better, added heat pad about half way through their grow. Hope they got the myko established in the starter mix.
 
Saturday, April 13 View Page
4/5 seeds have germinated and were showing root tips after 60 hours. Baggie method, sanded and soaked for 1 hr in water plus a little neptunes harvest seaweed. No special incubator, just have all the starts in the furnace room which is averaging about 75 degrees. 2X 1937 Werner, 1933.5 stelts, and 1656 Stelts have all been moved to the 2 gallon grow bags.
 
Saturday, April 13 View Page
1673 stelts is up at 72 hrs.
 
Saturday, April 20 View Page
Took advantage of the beautiful sun to get the starts some proper spectrum. Hope Easter is amendment day. Added 600 lbs of composted cow manure to the patch today, will till it and the rest in if the weather holds.
 
Sunday, April 21 View Page
Woke up to rain showers this AM. Thankfully it didnt amount to much. However, since 0.5 forecast for tomorrow, pulled the trigger with the amendments I have on hand. Still waiting on copper sulfate. Heating cables in the dirt. Plan to give them a week so to heat things up. Also got the rain barrels installed again.
 
Tuesday, April 23 View Page
Looks like we'll have a couple half way decent days and then it'll cool off over the weekend. Solution? 1 of 4 plants (1937 Werner) hit the dirt today and will get a lot of TLC and monitoring. The other 3 will have more space inside and will likely go out towards the end of next week.
 
Friday, April 26 View Page
The one outside is doing well. Weather is going to crash tomorrow (sorry to WI neighbors with snow in the forecast). Temps have been holding in the hot ok overnight with the bulb going. Will probably leave everything tucked in until Sunday at least.
 
Friday, April 26 View Page
Here are the rest of the starts. They won't go out until next Wed or Thurs at the earliest.
 
Sunday, April 28 View Page
I had a temperature logger lying around so I stuck it in the cloche. It's been informative the last few days. 1) The temp spikes are from when the logger way at the top of the cloche, near the plastic, baking when the sun is out. I've since lowered the probe so it's in a more central location. However, my plant's first leaves got some sunburn last year even with the "doors" open, and this tells me why. 2) Big AM temperature drops are when I remove the blanket and switch off the light in the morning. Delaying the "unveiling" the last few days has helped eliminate the big dip. 3) Overnight temps have been satisfactory. Soil temp is holding around 75 and am not particularly worried about not making it through this cold spell. Plants are putting up their second leaves and look generally healthy. The 1937 that is outside is looking a little yellow, probably could use some more direct light. Of the indoor starts, strength of seedling is 1656 > 1933 > 1937.
 
Wednesday, May 1 View Page
Forecast high was around 50, but I don't know that we cracked 45 today. 20 degrees lower than the average May 1 high temp. Planted 1937 soldiers on regardless, but I wish I left the light on today. Of the three still in grow bags, I'm a bit worried about the 1933.5. All 3 of the other clearly have 2nd leaves now while it has a nub.
 
Saturday, May 4 View Page
Hopefully warmer temps have arrived effective today. All of the plants are in the ground now. 2X 1937 Werner share one corner of the plot, the 1933 and 1656 Stelts are in the opposite. Watered in with a little Neptune's Harvest.
 
Tuesday, May 7 View Page
We've had half-way decent conditions since Saturday--or at least sun and highs in the upper 50s to mid 60s. It's been enough that the plants are starting to ramp up a bit in their hot houses. 1937 Werner shown. Unfortunately tomorrow sounds like it'll be cool, wet, and generally miserable out so may not even uncover. Hopefully we'll rebound by the weekend and start heading to the 70s.
 
Saturday, May 11 View Page
Cool week, but it looks like the weather will be turning a corner next week. At least the plants won't have to worry about transplant shock. Shown are the Stelts plants. 1656 is a bit ahead, but is a bit closer to the heat lamp in the tunnel. 1933 skipped the 2nd leaf, had 3rd, 4th, 5th all at once.
 
Saturday, May 11 View Page
Two 1937 werners in the other corner. The bigger of the two (and one planted earlier) us shown. I'm probably two weeks ahead of last year. Looking forward to getting the plants all more sun and heat.
 
Saturday, May 18 View Page
Woke up to thunder, hail, and close to an inch of rain. If it's going to hail, let it happen now while the plants are still sheltered. 2 to 4" of rain forecast this weekend. Hopefully this is the last of the cooler weather.
 
Wednesday, May 22 View Page
Patch update: 1933.5 (R) and 1656 (L) Stelts. 1656 is lying down already and looks like it will be winner from the one corner unless something dramatic changes.
 
Wednesday, May 22 View Page
1937 werner alpha is assimilating beta. Alpha is in outstanding shape, but will not lie down yet. Beta has touched down, but will likely cull when alpha makes it to the ground. In any case, plant have outgrown available space in cloches. Seeing a little leaf damage. If we got a sunny day more would be fried. Weather is sub par, but training wheels are coming off tomorrow.
 
Wednesday, May 22 View Page
Better picture of the stronger 1937 Werner.
 
Saturday, May 25 View Page
Decent weather day today--should have another day in the mid 70s tomorrow. Bit the bullet and culled to one 1937. Plant is strong, does not photograph well however. Windbreak is up. Feeding this weekend. Rain expected memorial day so I fed today and am making tea for tomorrow. Stelts plants are also doing well. 1933 still very verticle, but 1656 has a nice vine to it.
 
Saturday, June 1 View Page
Finally starting to feel like summer out there-- highs in the 70s and 80s, ON temps mid 50s to 60s. Looks like we'll have mostly dry and sunny weather next week. Down to two plants. 1937 Werner shown.
 
Saturday, June 1 View Page
And here's the 1933 Stelts.
 
Saturday, June 8 View Page
We had a warm and day week--temps into the mid to upper 80s. Both my plants are taking off. 1937 Werner here. Its secondary development seems to be lagging a bit, though it's starting to heat up. 6+" of new growth a day.
 
Saturday, June 8 View Page
Here is the 1933 stelts. Its a few ft shorter than the 1937, but looks to have better secondary development. Lots of work outside this weekend. Got most of the weeds pulled and turned the soil around the plants. Started burying vines on Sunday.
 
Friday, June 14 View Page
Temperature cooled off again this week and the plants slowed down a bit. 1937 W shown here. 10' MV, girl flower at 10', look to have a second in the very tip. Secondaries are still slow. Better secondary growth on both is on the side nearer the silt fence. Probably a bit warmer there. Need to start with bigger hot houses next year.
 
Friday, June 14 View Page
Apologies for all the upside down plant pictures. They look fine on the phone. Here's the 1933 S. 8' or so, somewhat better secondary development. Female flower may be showing in the tip.
 
Wednesday, June 19 View Page
This vine tip was doing it wrong. Secondary thankfully, hope to train a tertiary to replace.
 
Friday, June 21 View Page
Summer solstace, '19 patch update. Slow 'n steady. 0.3" rain last night-- first in a while, off and on showers forecast through Monday, then sustained temps in the mid to high 80s for the rest of the long range. The lack of the heat has kept the brakes on the plants. Pumpkins are more or less on pace with last year despite starting early. Tomatoes are runty little things, can't see them in this view. Both plants have female flowers. 1937 Werner at 10, 13 ft plus one in the vine tip. 10' should open tomorrow or Sunday and I expect to have plenty of males. 13' is in a more favorable position and am shooting for it to be the keeper. 1933 stelts has a flower at 11'. No other apparent options so far. Secondary growth is picking up, would look better if I wasn't growing in flag pattern. SVB trap deployed this morning. Bug pressure has been light with the cool, but as Rick said, better a day early than a day late.
 
Saturday, June 22 View Page
Random fun with soil amendments. 100g copper sulfate dissolved in water. Picked and carefully grew a seed crystal. End result 30g crystal 2 months later. Kids loved the experiment.
 
Tuesday, June 25 View Page
1937 Werner X 1933.5 Stelts, 4 lobe flower pollinated with 3 males. Long stem on this one, but not an ideal location on the vine. 10' out on main.
 
Saturday, June 29 View Page
1937 Werner shown. Secondary growth is picking up well. Had to terminate my first north growing vine yesterday. Pollination is an issue. 10' flower didn't take. The next flower doesn't look like it opened right. Wasn't open at 8 when I had to go so I trusted the bees. If it did open it didn't take. Similar opening story with the first female on the 1933. Another shot on the 1937 in a few days-- hopefully before the 5th. Probably at 17'. May try selfing this one. Will have another chance on ther 1933 about the same time.
 
Monday, July 1 View Page
1937 Werner X self. Between 17 and 18' out. Not exactly what to call it lobe-wise--somewhere between 4 and 6. Was planning on crossing rather than selfing, but lots of rain so decided to go with the dry flowers I'd cut before (4 used total).
 
Thursday, July 4 View Page
Pollinated 1937 Werner X Self backup at ~21 ft. 4 lobe that won't win any beauty pageants. Only one 1933.5 Male available (and it was a fairly defective one at that) otherwise would have made the cross. Applied monthly Merit to the plants. Excessive rain earlier this week has thrown off feed/spray plans. Hope to feed tomorrow. One more "last chance" female in each plant's main vine. Should open next week. Critical for the 1933.5--would like to keep as an anaconda and grow for the cross. July 1 1937 self cross looks to have taken. Pumpkin platform and S-curve trained for that fruit so I hope to run with it.
 
Thursday, July 4 View Page
1937 X Self A, 3DAP
 
Friday, July 5 View Page
I gifted a 1878 Leer seed to Bob at the start of the season and he came by today for flowers for his first main vine pollination. Hooked him up with 3X 1933s. Should be an interesting cross if it takes!
 
Sunday, July 7 View Page
7 DAP. Need to try and adjust stem angle on her. Second at 3 DAP looks to have taken.
 
Tuesday, July 9 View Page
Pollinated a beautiful 5 lobe. Main vine, 25' or so out. 1937X1933. Backup for now. Previous picture should be 6 and 2 DAP respectively.
 
Thursday, July 11 View Page
10 DAP. 1937 W X self. 27" cc
 
Saturday, July 13 View Page
1933.5 Stelts X 1937 Werner. 25 to 27' out. 4 lobes. Been told my pumpkin flower bacchanals have been excessive, so this is a pollination by one male. Plant is a modified anaconda, grown for the cross. Will see if she takes! Will be a hot one today.
 
Sunday, July 14 View Page
It looks like the plant has made its pick. In advance of culling the backups, I had to shift the board about 6 inches to get her centered. If all looks well tomorrow, it's chop time. Just about at last years pace.
 
Monday, July 15 View Page
Still in the game, but dodged a bullet. 3.9" of rain in 90 minutes or so. Inch diameter hail north and west of us. Had a swimming pool for about 30 minutes. Was going to cull back today, think I'll keep until I'm sure the main set doesn't explode. Lost a bit of soil, some tap roots are exposed.
 
Monday, July 15 View Page
14 DAP. 50" CC. Inch smaller than 2018, but gaining faster--8" since yesterday morning. Will wait till 20 to start official OTT measures. 1933 pollination looks very promising
 
Wednesday, July 17 View Page
Another 4 lobe 1933 X 1937 pollination today. Will be a sauna out today so we'll see if it sticks. However, 4 DAP fruit looks solid. Long stem, will need to adjust.
 

 

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