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SaladDoug_UK (Rebel Rousers) - 2020 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. 55 Entries.
Tuesday, March 3 View Page
Looking fwd to the new season - plans are afoot for another season of giant tomatoes!
Tuesday, March 3 View Page
5 gallon challenge - would an air pot be legal?!
Tuesday, March 3 View Page
5 gallon bucket challenge - would this be legal?. 5 US gallons = 18.927 litres in metric I was going to propose a 20 litre airpot, but not fill to the top (some kind of volume calculation based on diameter & height). Airpots have lots of holes in the side - itís supposed encourage rooting to make max use of the available compost If max weight per x volume of compost is an aim, airpots could be a fun avenue to go down. (I have never grown in them before). I can of course find a bucket tho for standardisation... Happy either way but flagging now before anything starts!
Saturday, March 28 View Page
It's not pretty yet, but container for giant (tall) sunflowers is made, filled, and prepped ready for sowing on the south facing part of the house. Some bright days had, but still cold (both day and night, so protection is going to be needed to keep things cozy.
Saturday, March 28 View Page
Not exactly super snug & warm out without a bit of help.
Saturday, March 28 View Page
Thanks very much to John Butler for the seed!! Just awesome, thanks again.
Wednesday, April 8 View Page
The tomato line up - some for the little greenhouse, some for 5 gallon challenge and some to play with breeding crosses.
Wednesday, April 8 View Page
Giant sunflowers (Butler) are up. Started early as an experiment. Be interested to see if they flower x days after pollination or at particular time of year (shortening days)
Friday, April 10 View Page
Amazing how fast giant sunflowers grow. 8 days difference - and these are the rejects (2 of 6) that didn't make it in what is a gradual cull!
Tuesday, April 14 View Page
Universal beer can measuring scale provided for the giant sunflower. Germinated 13 days ago...This is post the thinning to just the one plant. It was tallest, and most heliotropic. Wonder if that is related? Additionally, Iím going to need to give him a name (4 year old boy has told me itís a boy sunflower). Is Sunny McSunface too obvious?
Wednesday, April 22 View Page
17 inches of giant sunflower on day 20. No idea if thatís good, bad or indifferent - but Iím impressed. I canít seem to find any growth rates or what heights people are at on day x, y, z so noting for my future reference
Wednesday, April 22 View Page
Tomatoes are up; those successfully germinated amongst other seeds are 4/4 WR 9.65 and 3/3 Lambchop. They wonít all make in the ground due to space, but good to know there are choices to be had. Other seeds include my 6.11 Delicious, 5.57 Domingo, 8.07 Daho, 7.66 Hill.
Thursday, April 23 View Page
I really wanted airpots for the 5 gallon challenge, but I had to go over or a long way under in volume as everything sold in litres here in UK. So 20 litres (over the limit) or 15 litres (a long way under). Settled and on fabric bags that aught to also root prune but these are 5 gallons on the dot. Letís try this!
Monday, May 18 View Page
Tomatoes transplanted; those on the left suffer from a bit of shade due to a fence and some overgrown neighbor bushes so Iíve co-opted the propagation lights in the short term. 2 x 9.65 Porkchop, 1 x 5.71 Lambchop, 1 x 5.57 Smith Those in pots are for the 5 gallon challenge, but also for some breeding crosses - 6.11 Smith, 8.07 Daho, 7.66 Hill.
Monday, June 8 View Page
The 26 Butler is around 13.5 feet now. Wrapped up as we've had a sudden switch to a cold spell and cold winds, from relative warmth in recent months.
Monday, June 8 View Page
Very earliest of flower buds forming, so switch from vegetative to reproductive stage but hope there's a few feet more to come.
Sunday, June 14 View Page
Plants making headway. The black bags are 5 gallon fabric pots. Iím torn now, as ever, given they are doing so well and I can see mega blooms - between letting them go for size, vs doing the crosses Iím supposed to!!
Saturday, June 20 View Page
Sunday, June 21 View Page
Soil grown plant: Lambchop 5.71, candelabra style (grown to multiple stems). Currently a leading light.
Sunday, June 21 View Page
Smith 5.57 (grown off 5.27 Smith - a descendant off the 5.95 line) - again, candelabra style. Both this and lambchop have had some supplemental lighting due to neighbours overgrown bushes / trees to one side of me.
Sunday, June 21 View Page
A 9.65 Porkchop - a little smaller than the others, but itís not about leaves at the end of the day
Sunday, June 21 View Page
And another 9.65 Porkchop - so far the stronger of the two.
Sunday, June 21 View Page
A 8.07 Daho MegaMarv for crossing on left - itís a tank; and 5 gallon container plants that are doubling as crossing material - 7.66 Hill (BZ), 6.11 Smith (Delicious). Intention is also to cross the Porkchop Domingos onto the MegaMarv, so itíll be loaded with crosses. Sure hope I donít loose the labels....
Sunday, June 21 View Page
Mega on the 5 gallon 7.66 Hill
Sunday, June 21 View Page
Mega on the 6.11 Delicious. Neither are blooms Iíd necessarily have picked for soil grown plants, but I think speed is of the essence - I want compact plants that havenít fully extinguished all soil nutrients in a limited pot, so I donít think I have time for the Ďperfectí bloom. Iíll take what I can get and run with it
Sunday, June 21 View Page
Sunflower is doing well too
Monday, June 22 View Page
Itís going to be a hot week - Iíve removed some glass panels from the GH and will put up some shade on the hottest days.
Tuesday, June 23 View Page
Iíve decided to rebrand, whilst executing on the Ďcandelabraí style on the Lampchop 5.71. Forthwith, itís the ďx-wingĒ starfighter formation, as, well... frankly, star wars Rebel Alliance starfighters are cooler than light fittings. Targeting 4 trained & staked secondaries, one main, aiming for good air and light distribution within the available space - and multiple chances of megablooms
Thursday, June 25 View Page
Have managed a few tomato crosses in the last few days, fingers crossed they take:. 8.07 Daho (MegaMarv) x 7.66 Hill (Big Zac) 8.07 Daho (MegaMarv) x 9.65 Porkchop (Domingo) 8.07 Daho (MegaMarv) x 6.11 Smith (Delicious, 7.33 Hunt strain)
Saturday, June 27 View Page
This is a pic from last year - but this is why Iíve been crossing the Daho 8.07 with a variety of plants (including the 9.65 Porkchop Domingo) - sheer vigour, as well as potential to go large. Vines are from the 4.22 Daho, mummy to the Daho 8.07.
Sunday, June 28 View Page
Dang it. The triple megabloom on Delicious for the 5 gallon has revealed on petal drop that itís not fully fused. Picking off the single would leave a double at most. Nothing else promising on that plant
Friday, July 3 View Page
Giant sunflower about 19ft now..
Friday, July 3 View Page
Looks like we have a set for a modest double on the 7.66 Hill for the 5 gallon challenge
Monday, July 13 View Page
First signs of yellow in the sunflower. Remind me not to take pics with wet hands tho (after a foliar spray) at the top of the ladder next time..
Monday, July 13 View Page
Peekaboo!
Monday, July 13 View Page
About 20ft now, rigged some support for the head. It could be more solid, surprisingly how wobbly things being in 23 ft plus lengths! But better than unsupported. Iíd like to save the seeds off this one. :)
Wednesday, July 15 View Page
Another of the pot challenge megas pollinated. On the 7.66 Hill. The before:
Wednesday, July 15 View Page
and the after:
Saturday, July 25 View Page
5 gallon challenge: 7.66 Hill (BZ)
Saturday, July 25 View Page
5 gallon challenge: 7.66 Hill (BZ)
Saturday, July 25 View Page
5 gallon challenge: 6.11 Smith (Delicious)
Saturday, July 25 View Page
A set on soil grown 9.65 Porkchop (Domingo). Itís not one of the super large megaís Iíve been seeing on the forums, but my window of pollination is closing as Iím now looking at best blooms plants have and aiming to roll with them over next few weeks.
Saturday, July 25 View Page
I think thatís about as far as itís likely to go for the sunflower? The 4 year old said he wanted a giant one.. 21ft 3 if you measure over the curve and include longest sepal at the moment. Just shy of 20ft in absolute terms. First season trying to grow one of these.
Saturday, July 25 View Page
Sheís flowered !
Monday, July 27 View Page
So... this isnít ideal! The 6 blossom on the 5 gallon tub (7.66 Hill) has grown to the extent that itís got a thru & thru...very gangsta.. Basically, thru a split stem, I can all the way thru the growing tomato to the floor of my greenhouse. Says danger all over for an early flash, but all still green so far.
Thursday, July 30 View Page
Sunflower is making the national UK press - print & online at https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/12260858/stellan-dad-20ft-sunflower-taller-house/ A few minor inconsistencies (project manager?, having a pic measuring from the ground vs the actual stem!, free seeds not bought!?) - oh well, never let the truth get in the way of a good story. A few radio gigs and mooting of TV next week. I tell you, I donít get this kind of attention when I grow lettuce & tomatoes! A nice ray of #Lockdown sunshine.
Sunday, August 2 View Page
Tough cull on the 5.71 Lampchop - a triple, nice placement but close inspection one of the three not joined... argh!
Thursday, August 6 View Page
5 gallon challenge - 23.5 inches, but will be light to chart given centre hollow. Gangster tomato with a thru & thru. 7.66 Hill. BZ
Thursday, August 6 View Page
5 gallon challenge: 6.11 Smith (Delicious) .
Thursday, August 6 View Page
5 gallon challenge: 7.66 Hill (2nd)
Thursday, August 6 View Page
Porkchop 9.65 set on 1
Thursday, August 6 View Page
Porkchop 9.65 mega (last chance saloon for a set here)
Thursday, August 6 View Page
Two sets on 5.71 Lampchop. Slight temporary darkening on one where I removed sepals too see where it was joined (or not). Yet to cull to one, but would like to do so over next few days. The right slightly older of the two. Pics from a few dats ago
Thursday, August 6 View Page
Another shot of the 7.66 Hill thru & thru
Saturday, August 8 View Page
Maybe you can grow a big tomato in a small pot? More strapping added to the 5 gallon challenge tomato. 7.66 Hill, BZ

 

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