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Click on a thumbnail picture below to see the full size version. 18 Entries.
Monday, March 16 View Page
Just got my soil test back. The pH is at 5.0! Yikes! I can't believe I grew my 1,201 in that spot. It may have been a little higher last summer as I used some hydrated lime to try and get the pH up in a hurry. I suppose it could have dropped over the winter. But I doubt I was growing in soil with a pH above 6. The state lab recommends 150 pounds of lime per 1,000 square feet. I will see if I can get some tomorrow. The joys of growing in New England we have a granite based soil, and get lots of rain.(50" annually) The granite brings with it lots of radon to fill our basements and imparts an acid nature to our sandy loam soil. Cross the line into New York state and the soils are shale based. The New York soil has lots more calcium and is ideally a silt loam. The New York silt holds the moisture and fertility very well, it also tends to have a more balanced pH. Much of New York was once covered with a large sea. It is not uncommon to find sea shell and trilobite fossils in the sedimentary rock there. (It is fun to crack open the rocks and see the surprises inside) That same soil type is what yields the natural gas that they are controversially fracking. The Marcellus shale belt goes down through Pennsylvania and into the south. Places like Tennessee and West Virginia. Oftentimes the land above the Marcellus shale land can be very good for farming, there are many large farms on New York's and Pennsylvania's rolling hills.
 
Monday, March 16 View Page
Ok I will stop rambling now about soils. I find it fascinating. I am still not sure what my growing plans will be for 2020. I do plan on growing the 1780 Wagner AG. That one could produce a big orange beauty. I also would like to grow some melons and BG's. I have had some trouble when test germinating my 203 seed. I am not sure why. When I save seed I only keep the ones that sink. I know the cotyledons are full. The 203 had white seeds and the melon was all black or dark green. My 187 had stripes with a dark background that one has jet black seeds. Too bad the 203 doesn't have jet black seeds. If it did, it might be a good one for a Jumbo Black Diamond contest. My 179 Melon was very long and also had stripes with a dark background. The 179 had white seeds. I am waiting to see what happens with this virus before I solidify any plans for sure. I will definitely grow some giants though.... I love it.....I don't care if they don't get weighed at a weigh off or not. I will do it because it brings me joy. A happy diversion, from the real world. A blessing.
 
Friday, March 27 View Page
Having some trouble with germination on my 2019 melon seeds. The 187 and the D1 are the only melons that are germinating at decent rates. I may go with a 2018 seed. We will see. I want to advance the CC x JBD hybrid breeding project, this will be the f3 generation. Three generations have been grown since Chris Kent made the original cross back in 2017.
 
Sunday, March 29 View Page
I did a little experiment with some 'Tetsukabuto' squash cuttings. In this picture the cutting was dipped in a rooting hormone called "Dip and Grow" (10X strength) The hypocotyl was not wounded before dipping. It rooted very well.
 
Sunday, March 29 View Page
In this photo, the cutting was also dipped in a ten Percent solution of Dip and Grow. The bases of the hypocotyl (stem) were wounded (scraped) with a sharp razor. The wounding is often something that will help absorption of the rooting compound. In this case, I see no noticeable difference between the wounded and unwounded cuttings. Both rooted very well.
 
Sunday, March 29 View Page
Last but not least is the Control. It was neither dipped nor wounded. The result is that the rooting is vastly inferior to the dipped cuttings. Perhaps in a couple of weeks the initial rooting will not make a difference, but it is worth noting how much better the initial rooting is when the hormone is used. In the past I have never bothered to dip my cuttings before rooting, In my opinion it certainly couldn't hurt to do so, based on the results that I have seen.
 
Sunday, March 29 View Page
I have my melon seeds starting underneath this screen. I have had some problems with mice digging up the melon seeds and eating them, so far the screen is working. The seeds will sprout in this bed, then be grafted and put under mist to heal.
 
Sunday, March 29 View Page
Caveman's Club gourd that has been a cat's bed for the past couple of years. This gourd weighed 92 pounds. I wonder if someone were to breed this line for a few generations what it would look like. Could they keep the length of the long gourd? and also some of the width of the bushel gourd? Maybe this would create a new new super sized gourd cultivar that could eventually compete with the BG's for weight.
 
Sunday, March 29 View Page
Giant onions from the veggie exchange. They are ready to go into the garden.
 
Sunday, March 29 View Page
Kedrostis africana, also know as Baboons cucumber. Can you believe this is a cucurbit? A friend of mine gave me some seeds for this many years ago. I cut it back in the winter and in the spring it grows new vines. The vines produce these small little orange fruit the size of a wild blueberry. Many years ago Steve Wright, AKA West of the Blue Ridge had an idea to use a similar tuberous cucurbit like this one as a rootstock for melons. I think the species he was going to use was native to the America's, I can't remember which species. I am not sure if he ever tried out his idea. Steve is a very smart guy.
 
Sunday, March 29 View Page
300.5 Young on a 'Tetsukabuto' rootstock. My grafts aren't to pretty, (with curled nasty cot leaves) but they will get where they are going... eventually. I have to give some props to Big Dogg Darryl Burnthorn, he has gorgeous looking grafts right from the get go.
 
Sunday, March 29 View Page
It occurred to me that a BG grower might be able to get some more vigor right out of the gate if they had a rootstock that was better in cool soil. Wallah! A BG grafted onto a 'Tetsukabuto'.
 
Sunday, March 29 View Page
Mist bed with brand new grafts. Most are single cot grafts. If there is a huge size difference between the melon and the rootstock I will go with a hole insertion graft. I have primarily used interspecific squash as the rootstock for this early batch. Normally I don't start mine until early April.
 
Sunday, May 10 View Page
Had a frost last night... hopefully that will be the last one for the year. I hope the peaches are OK... they are in bloom right now. We will see. Lots of stuff is ready to go in the garden, it looks like things should be good by later this week. We are in a full moon cycle and the first and last frosts usually occur during a full moon. I don't believe in planting by the moon or any of that... but I have paid close attention over the years and a full moon in early May can often bring a frost. Same thing in October. We usually will miss the frost if the full moon occurs at the end of May or in September. It is crazy... I am not sure why that is, but it is... People often ask me if I plant by the moon. If I did that I would not be able to get anything done. I plant when the weather is conducive. If the conditions are right the plant will thrive.
 
Sunday, May 10 View Page
I have a few extra grafted watermelons if anyone is interested. The only catch is you will have to come and pick them up. They are all hybrid CC x JBD plants. They are on squash or BG rootstock. Contact me if you are interested and we can arrange a time to pick up.
 
Thursday, May 21 View Page
It looks like we had a surprise late frost here last night. I was caught off guard and nothing got covered. We will see how things look as the day progresses. I had a nice 1780 Wagner that was off and running at about 3-4' long. Pretty sure much of those leaves are toast. Perhaps there is still life in the plant and it can recover. Gardening is not for the faint of heart. All we can do is do the work, only God can provide the actual harvest.
 
Friday, May 22 View Page
My 1780 Wagner is OK, perhaps half the leaves got hit with frost but the plant will make it. The frost was very spotty as very little else was even hit. I am thankful it could have been worse. I just found out that the Bethlehem Fair is cancelled for 2020, pretty much every country fair in the state is cancelled. I am hoping that there is at least somewhere to get weights this year. Perhaps the local clubs can figure out a way to do a weigh off. It seems like just about every fun thing has been cancelled for this year. I could have never imagined a scenario quite like this a year ago, heck even four months ago I could not have imagined this.
 
Sunday, May 24 View Page
I hope to get eating melons in the patch soon, this year I am growing 'Harvest Moon' a seedless Sun moon and stars type. Also growing 'Iopride', 'Allsweet' and my old favorite 'Jubilee'. One thing I learned about using the Carolina Strongback rootstock is that you have to be careful when pruning off any rootstock re-growth. The strongbacks leaves look very similar to watermelon leaves. By accident I pruned off a couple of the desired melon's (scion) and left the Strongback. Oops.
 

 

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