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Click on a thumbnail picture below to see the full size version. 140 Entries.
Sunday, January 5 View Page
This catalogue cover sums it up for me. Indoor grow: Hard to see but, atop the catalogue, on the right, is a nice triple that got culled. Less developed (a week younger) on the left, is one that I think would have been huge. It would have had a roundish shape but I don't think it would be fair to call a single... Looks to me like three or four squeezed together into one... Looks like 4 or 4 1/2 lbs to me. I have been trying to judge based on the stem and sepals, and it's actually hard to judge based on the stem, the sepals, or the position in the cluster. In the future I may try to judge based on the stigma.
 
Sunday, January 5 View Page
Smallish double (upper right) is currently the keeper. Probably a runty bud it looked good at first though and it's pollinated... A small triple is the backup to this one. After that... Nothing. The plant is all pruned.
 
Sunday, January 5 View Page
My 3rd world setup. I'm behind on eating my greens. Excess nitrogen and probably excess potassium too. I'm going to try watering a small amount, daily, to try to reduce the moisture flux & blossom end rot. Giving a gallon every week or so was convenient but causes too much moisture fluctuation I guess? Even though the plant was not getting bone dry or wilting, the water fluctuation did help ruin the last tomato.
 
Monday, January 6 View Page
Pollen flying on the little triple. Its very hard to see tomato pollen and in my experience it flies only on the first day the flower is completely open when the petals are light yellow. By the time the petals are a more vibrant dark yellow the window for pollination may be closed? We like dark colors but bees like light colors. And I wouldnt be a bit surprised if the tomato flower is colored in uv, that we cant even see, but bees can!
 
Wednesday, January 8 View Page
My sleep gets messed up by low sunlight someone texted me at 7:45 pm and I was asleep and I read it as 7:45 am then I went back to sleep and woke up at ten or so and thought I slept through a whole day but I guess it was only a couple hours... have completely lost track of time no sense of time at all now. Total mental confusion... we had one nice day but other than that the weather has been unhelpful w/ dark cloudy short days & soaked too. The past two systems dumped about a foot of rain. I said enough is enough and covered 1500 sq ft of garden with plastic. A bit too late any extra nutrients are long gone. I will probably lay one more sheet whenever its not dark/raining/snowing. Other than that things are going peachy. Onions should be popping up in a few days. 6 lbs is the goal... Onion, tomato, potato, carrot... Whichever. Gotta hit 6 lb. on one of these... not sure I can. Winter grow tomato is doing better and my neighbor is going to let me borrow a grow light since the plant has outgrown the other lights. Maybe 1 lb. is possible...
 
Wednesday, January 8 View Page
Tomato measures 5.5 inches cir. @ 10 DAP. I think thats good for a little double blossom. Chicken doo coming tomorrow. Its hot stuff with strong ammonia smell and disappears fast... the worms eat it. I dont know if it will help gain me a pb though because the rain has set my soil back to zero. Maybe, just getting back what I lost?
 
Wednesday, January 8 View Page
Add Father of Fools to my monikers. I thought the long chilli looked like a tomato. Well, it is. The cheap potting mix I used has some resident tomato seeds that resisted any compost heat-sterilzation by the manufacturer. Long chilli is coming up though. Just... fooled by these usurping interlopers.
 
Wednesday, January 8 View Page
Almost caught up on my work and chores so just sitting here dreaming of summer days gone by. The most tangible reminder of summer is the 'sundried' tomatoes from last year. They were a surprising success and I would recommend drying cherry tomatoes as a useful extra-garden-produce prepper activity. If they dont get totally dry (sun is not necessary its really more of an air drying process) they can be frozen. I harvested about a hundred pounds (wet weight) of sweet red cherry tomatoes from a row of 14 plants and this made about ten pounds of good quality dried tomatoes. I am about a third of the way through them. ...So, there's a lot less reason to ever buy any tomatoes from the store.
 
Saturday, January 11 View Page
Hit by BER just like clockwork 11 DAP. The calcium reversal probaby happened yesterday but didnt 'look wet' until today. I added a small amount of fertilizer about dap 9 and I probably let the soil start to get acidic? Or maybe I am not watering at the correct time of day? And I should have cut back on the watering. But I dont think I was overwatering the plant is moderately big and with the fan and lights and at about 30% humidity... it has been needing the water. Anyhow the gain today was awesome... 3/4 inch in one day. But the calcium didnt keep up... So I can kiss that kind of gain goodbye. Almost a nice tomato. So close. Might be time to scrap this project but there is a still longshot a tiny bud that could be open at the end of the month. Its on a quadenary branch (whatevers after tertiary)... So...Should I stick with it? And keep the pressure on you, bnot?
 
Sunday, January 12 View Page
Indoor tomato comp: I am out guys. . . Sorry. It was fun I would like to give it a try again in the future. Thanks all. It did help pass the winter and I did learn some things I needed to learn. I forget the day I started but it would have given three possible sets @ primary, secondary and tertiary branches... And maybe coulda squeezed a set on a fourth. But instead I got a germination of a long chilli and I am gonna try to grow a pepper plant now.
 
Tuesday, January 14 View Page
East Lewis County current conditions... 4'' lovely white snow. Uh-oh, the forcast though... Gonna switch to brown stuff this afternoon. 1-2 inches of manure expected, so keep your mouth closed when you look up... unless you are a worm!
 
Wednesday, January 15 View Page
No snow here... It's time to plant!!!!!!! (And you thought I got an early start last year, ha... let me show you an EARLY start! Hang on, because THIS is an early start, folks!) Ok just kidding, for now...
 
Friday, January 17 View Page
Keeping politics out of my diary, again. Excellent self-discipline, as usual...
 
Wednesday, January 22 View Page
This is the healthiest lettuce plant I've grown. I got the nutrients approximately right in the ex tomato bin! No insects, slugs... the nice part of indoor growing. Freeze "sterilized" soil used here. (A plastic bin this size fits in the chest freezer.)
 
Saturday, January 25 View Page
Brought a pack of seeds to the Library seed swap and folks gobbled many of them up. The rest got put in a three ring binder and will be a community resource. Many of the other seeds I brought got gobbled up also... And I took home about twenty packs of seeds from the other participants. I may go against the grain this year in terms of my climate zone and do a large planting of peppers. It looks like I may have little helpers again so I cant get too ambitious. Everything will go at half speed until they begin to get atop the learning curve.
 
Sunday, January 26 View Page
Now at 50 % germ on the giant onions! As an amature allium grower I consider this to be quite good. No disappointment at all. For me... thats a success.
 
Monday, January 27 View Page
Junuary. Very warm. 9 pm and the frogs are still croaking feels like its time to plant. Somehow a dandelion has a bud up with yellow showing already. Maybe it will be open tomorrow.
 
Wednesday, January 29 View Page
Fledgling dandelion flower. It's been warm. Doing all I can to jinx it.
 
Wednesday, January 29 View Page
I looked up Rodebaughs recommendation for catching moles... It looks cool. I am stuck with these. The black victor trap works well for me (first catch of the year here) and the green one is similar but I don't think the green one is available anymore --this is good --it's half as effective as the black one and harder to set. Unfortunately I find trapping to be absolutely necessary. I have not found moles and gardening to be compatible whatsoever, way too much root damage. I will say this though: The sonic repellers might work for a very small garden, as long as there are worms elsewhere... I've used them to temporarily corral my moles out of important areas. In some situations, it might be possible to let moles do their thing most of the year, then repel them during the growing season rather than killing them. Sorry for being gruesome. I'll have to experiment more with the sonic repellers. I've had luck with castor oil too but it really comes down to cost. It's a lot cheaper to not have ANY moles.
 
Friday, January 31 View Page
"Thou shalt not eat the forbidden fruit..."
 
Friday, January 31 View Page
No commandments needed? It's just all too easy to follow commandments when the "forbidden fruit" is a sprouting onion. The Spaziani giant Ailsa onion had two internal sections both are sending up leaves, and hopefully seed stalks which will keep my personal seed supply going. It's not a storage onion but it stored better than a walla walla? The lettuce is amazingly beautiful emerald color just too lovely to pick it yet.
 
Friday, January 31 View Page
Class is in session. Listen up you little pipsqueeks... I've stolen porkchops secret to success!!! I am such a bas***d. Gotta do what works ya know...
 
Thursday, February 6 View Page
Snow worms. I successfully jinxed the warm weather.
 
Thursday, February 6 View Page
It may be too hard to see. They don't look like baby earthworms, I've seen both kinds side by side eating rotten pumpkin. They are not red worms either. Cominig up atop the snow is one of their strange behaviors they also like skinny dipping atop clear plastic maybe they think clear plastic is snow. I would be creeped by them but... I've found others more creepy than these... The others are too creepy to post. Little nubs on them like a snake trying to grow arms... Gross.
 
Thursday, February 6 View Page
Groundwater is only 1 ft below the soil and raining heavily. . . This is as swampy as I have ever seen it. The laundry sink almost overflowed the pipes in the ground out there must be deeper than 1 ft and full of water. Normally my soil drains excellent. The whole valley here is fully saturated.
 
Thursday, February 6 View Page
I pulled the beautiful emerald green lettuce and then decided to replant it because it did so well. I replanted it in an empty corner minus all the outer leaves--which tasted great. I am inspired by Charles Dowding to be semi serious about lettuce. He has great vids on youtube... I will let it bolt and make seed it passed vigor and taste test. So why not.
 
Saturday, February 8 View Page
I mixed some low germ pepper seeds into a tray of spinach starts. I thought this was a clever way to not waste a whole tray trying to grow seeds that may not germinate well. If none germinate its ok... I will plant the spinach starts instead. I have trouble direct sowing spinach because its a favorite delicacy of the soil bugs here. Plus its too early but by March it can go out in the garden under a cover and then I wont have to wait until summer for a salad. Any peppers that sprout can get put in gallon pots and spend a couple months by the window. I will start competition tomatoes and some roma tomatoes sometime in March. Thanks big moon.
 
Thursday, February 20 View Page
A vid of where I live. How lovely, I forget how lucky I am!!! When he says "Calm Air Here" he's flying over Glenoma. How beautiful. ps I saw this guy fly over my house a week ago on the 12th... His airplane is more of a motorized hang glider than a real plane. He posted a vid from that flight too its funny and quite unexpected that I found him (and that exact flight that I witnessed from the ground) on youtube. https://youtu.be/Gn2Hi12v2YA?t=143
 
Thursday, February 20 View Page
Awesome weather every beehive was getting pollen today and that silly dandelion finally bloomed. Soil covering: The clear plastic is warming the ground a lot... Bindweed is sprouting up in one area under the plastic already. The one area that has an opaque tarp has more mold but less weeds. The clear plastic warms the ground the most but it allows some weeds to survive.
 
Friday, February 21 View Page
New soil testing methods commencing soon? New soil freezing method? Frozen vs unfrozen: seedling tray comparison??? Lots to do!
 
Monday, February 24 View Page
Last year my (more successful) ultra early start began Feb. 27th. The much less successful start began Feb 25th... Getting very close time is flying by. I have an empty pot with dirt so... For my ultra early start this year... Its getting soaked tonight... hmm which seed to plant?! I doubt I can do better this year... figure the odds of success are almost zero...but surest way of all to fail is to not try. I might start an early competition tomato also. Last years ultra early plant won me $100. Maybe starting ultra early will bring me good luck again...
 
Tuesday, February 25 View Page
Started soaking a 263 Est. (1103 Zaychowski x 1462 Gibson) early a.m. today because it might be a good plant. Using garden dirt from an area I probably shouldnt... Oh well. If it passes this resistence-to-disease test then it will then get to proceed to the next test. I am relying entirely on strong genetics. Looking for a late May pollination... New growers... dont try to copy me. April is the month to start if you want a pumpkin in October. I am playing with an end of August target. And I am more interested in playing around than winning. Maybe that will change someday? Meanwhile... hopefully various top growers will post diaries about how to actually win. Will start the 5.12 MacDonald 'domingo' for the extra early tomato plant.
 
Tuesday, March 3 View Page
Purslane is a good combo with pepper starts. The only thing that keeps pace/ exceeds lettuce is the cole crops. Its an ok combo. . . Spinach is about on pace with a tomato. Worth trying maybe. Finally have germ of the 1103 Zaychowski x 1462 Gibson. Its orange with moderate size potential and great genetics. I doubt it would keep up with a 186 Radach but I cant plant the same thing every year. 186 Radach outgrew the 2005 Haist started in the same pot and both grown out fully so it cant be too bad although I didnt exactly test the max size potential of those plants. Anyhow today was the nicest day so far this year. I planted lettuce and a giant kohlrabi and the lettuce is kinda fun to start indoors now its a question of bugs slugs and the weather. I will be spending a lot of time at home chipping away at inventing a better beehive. Hopefully I finally get it to work. Feeling a little sick and was near the outbreak. Pumped gas and then thought
 
Tuesday, March 3 View Page
...thought, 'What am I doing? I have no sanitizing wipes with me!' (I am an idiot admittedly.) Dont think I caught it but really the gas pump handle at Totem Lake Arco has to be the epicenter... Can I laugh at this. To quote Shakespeare... 'tomorrow you may find me a grave man'. Is it a sin to laugh when I should lament. Probably.
 
Tuesday, March 3 View Page
That dang gas station is the busiest around other than costco on the weekend. And they dont have a bathroom! I guess I am morally obliged to do my part. All those portable handwashing stations used at big events should be deployed to the 'totem lake arco's' of the world? Join in! Let's kick this virus's butt!!!
 
Wednesday, March 4 View Page
Team Grinch: prickliest cactus, largest onion, and hairiest... vetch? Onions are doing well... thanks garden rebel.
 
Thursday, March 5 View Page
I am healthy as a horse. No CoVid 2020. I wish everyone around me was as healthy as I am. I wish my ex's were mentally healthy. Then they would have no reason to hold my children hostage. I may be busier in the court system than in the garden this year. Its a nightmare and a waste of money. Its too bad they wont come to their senses.
 
Thursday, March 5 View Page
I dig this person.
 
Sunday, March 8 View Page
Germination was slow (low temps) but my 263 Est. is up. I would love a personal best and it will have 500-700 square ft to prove its strength. A couple of the 5 MacDonald tomatoes are up. Cold & wet spring weather is lettuce is taking a beating. Its all a roll of the dice when planting early... Rather than roll the dice I should have put them under plastic!
 
Monday, March 9 View Page
My tomato lineup just planted them tonight in the hope of some early ones they are so slow to ripen here... aiming these at August: 8.22, 6.54 Porkchop Reed's yellow x 2 4.05 Peine x 2 7.18 Hill 3.61 Peine 4.38 Momate x 2 4.58 Sandercock 3.44 Oglesby I am a bit heavy on the megadoms and light on domingos. I have a few folks who might want a 9.65s and lambchops... wait to see about bringing out the big guns for the team comp--- maybe I can hook my friends in here in Lewis county into being 'c' growers???
 
Monday, March 9 View Page
Starting them in a Jiffy windowsill tray. . . The little airpot disks are cool. Thought I was going to get to plant them with the kids but my ex is using my kids as bargaining chips to get what she wants. It might be a couple more weeks before she realizes this is morally wrong. Plus: I dont think its going to be a successful way of negotiating with me.
 
Monday, March 9 View Page
Some other work fell through so not much going on this month. So hopefully I get caught up... Since so much seems to be against the world and myself personally at the moment... I am gonna say something that IS working is the clear plastic covers for the garden beds... The soil is 10 to 15 degrees warmer. The plants and weeds under the plastic are a month ahead of schedule in terms of growth. I think I may even try a giant watermelon this year? Because I may have the warmest soil I have ever had and I think I may have better luck with bugs and fertilizing this year. No pics the tablet is maxed I may switch to new devices soon. Well... Gotta get back to work:(
 
Tuesday, March 10 View Page
A couple nights in the 20's. Cold and dry the bees are happy eating honey fast now they may eat as much during this March as in all the winter months preceeding. Majority of pollen is yellow. . . Not sure if its willow, alder/hazlenut or an unknown source.
 
Tuesday, March 10 View Page
The lettuce wasnt ready for 20's farenheit. Lastly... I found a spot for... cantelopes and peppers?? 300 sq ft or so. Double plastic layer is down. I wish I could post a pic...
 
Tuesday, March 10 View Page
Right side up? New device! Here is the soil getting warm via plastic rather than heating cables. The soil may not hit 70 until May, but it should be 60 by April. The last thing I need is an increase in my electricity usage.
 
Tuesday, March 10 View Page
The Barret long chili is nearly 2 ft tall I guess I started it too soon it has hit the lights multiple times and gotten burned. Usually peppers are so slow this one is might be a very big plant by the end of the year.
 
Thursday, March 12 View Page
Captain 97... Ok buddy... impressive & now I gotta try to catch up. My main worry for this year is that the fair will be cancelled. But thank you for the competitive motivation.
 
Saturday, March 14 View Page
Dustin... Wow what an inspiration. I am so happy that you are giving those kids some more to their lives than the just 'hunker down in front of the computer' at home. You are going to make a huge positive difference this year!
 
Tuesday, March 17 View Page
In.
 
Tuesday, March 17 View Page
Weather was cooperating and plant was done with the 1 gal pot... The choice was upgrade to a custom grow bag or plant in 55-60 degree dirt. Sun in the forcast, so roll the dice!Mad that I burned the second leaf with calcium nitrate. Anyhow this is not how to grow big. This is just me seeing what is possible and... I am playing early mind games with my competition... Captain 97 has a nicer setup but my 263 Clayton is ahead, yeah baby... woohoo. Or... It was up until today when it hit 55 degree soil, not 70. Fun, fun, fun.
 
Tuesday, March 17 View Page
All tomatoes up except the 8.22. (Rotted.) ...I should have done a presoak with a little peroxide and then watched the soil temperature closer. 972 Marvin squash is going in... & It's really not necessary for a 2019 seed but giving it the paper towel with a little bit of H2O2 that the 8.22 should of had.
 
Wednesday, March 18 View Page
Started 144 tomatoes (2 trays) of 8.22 x open progeny. One tray is dirt the other seedling mix running a comparison. Trying azos this year. Main threat will be aphids they knocked half my peppers. 356 Borgers mom seed of his 1109 started today.
 
Friday, March 20 View Page
Blazing sun today. This is the warmest driest bit I can ever remember in March. It's not too warm though. Jack Frost is still employed and at work... Maybe not tonight though... it's hot out!!!
 
Friday, March 20 View Page
No lockdown here Gov. Inslee or his advisers came up with a compromise that may or may not prove to be rather smart... Let low risk groups work to protect the economy and support/enable the isolation of high risk people. Isolation he noted does not mean being emotionally alone it just means physically safe. Jay Inslee is officially a good guy in my book! Anyhow Round 2: the orange and green seeds are now in pots I used 1/3 Krainick dairy cow manure and 2/3 amended soil for my mix. If this mix doesnt work then I will move on to Round 3.
 
Saturday, March 21 View Page
Soil warming with greenhouse plastic is working GREAT. The weather has been sunny though and the soil might drop back to 50 degrees if we switch to clouds and rain for awhile. Mulching with leaves has the opposite affect it keeps the soil cool on these warm days... potatoes are storing well in the 'shade-garden' under shredded leaves. I am unsure when the optimal time turn the soil might be. If I am tearing out myco friendly plants then maybe I should leave them in until the last minute.
 
Saturday, March 21 View Page
I think I will grow a watermelon and at the rate I am getting things done maybe just five or six competitive tomato plants. Such a strange year... Really miss my kids but the courts are shut down and then when they finally do open there will be a backlog of cases. I was completely clueless how horrible it can be to be a father in this 'modern' age of paternal serfdom...
 
Saturday, March 21 View Page
Suburban-- bummed to hear you wont be jousting for a thousand pound pumpkin. I will put in a few long gourds... Snake gourds and the 666 Hester 2004. My last shot at an over-ten-year-old seed the Northrups are No-thrups so far. While I am at it how about 6.66 Spaziani for the toilet bowl *ahem* 5 gal challenge.
 
Saturday, March 21 View Page
Giant onions planted. Still pencil sized or a permanent marker at best. They have been outside in the cold wet weather and basically like most plants they do not appear to grow at 50 or below. I resisted the temptation to space them closer and put them a ft apart. Gave one cup of feathermeal on top of the ground. Not sure if I should give anything else but I have a feeling they will want more nutrients than potatoes or pumpkins. For nutrients, I think onions and peppers may be similar?!
 
Tuesday, March 24 View Page
Marvin squash is up and bnot's orange seed is coming up. I couldnt find my orange Foss seeds. I will try the 5 gal tomato competition though and I think the Scarecrows pride cow manure will be my secret ingredient... I am liking it. Good texture and doesnt burn the plants and I think it may hold the right amount of water. Peat moss mining is like coal mining that stuff should stay in the ground.... And I think this 'scarecrows pride' dried dairy stuff might be better for plants anyhow.
 
Wednesday, March 25 View Page
Forrest Gump when Jenny finally comes to her senses and marries him only after being diagnosed with AIDS... so poignant. Started more tomatoes this is round three. I lost the first to frost and the second to bad seed starting mix. Started the 904 Northrup 2005 seeds. Getting in over my head maybe!
 
Thursday, March 26 View Page
Forcast has turned to crap. Spring will not be early after all. Keep your plants going Captain 97. My St. Paddy's day plant caught a cold. More of a freeze. You win.
 
Friday, March 27 View Page
I have slipped into a dream... An alternate reality. Wake me up... when Coronavirus ends.
 
Friday, March 27 View Page
Abysmal tomato germination my seed may have begun germinating when I saved it I left it warm and damp longer than it should have been 7/144 sprouted and those that did sprout seem to have been amongst the smallest seeds they are rather small. 0/30 in the third batch because I added too much feather meal and this rotted the entire soil. 36 more in the dirt... 4th and 5th batch. Its the tomato equivalent of the invasion of Normandy here. If anyone wants to chat about coronavirus or gardening stuff text me? 2 o 6 9 for 7 for for 83. Still up for tomato team mates or i will go it alone. . . It doesnt matter one bit. I will have have tons of fun with whatever cards are dealt to me...
 
Monday, March 30 View Page
If we were all wearing masks maybe the docs wouldnt have to. I am in trouble though my nose is too big. Maybe could use a size K bra cup.
 
Monday, March 30 View Page
I have mowed my oats twice... I think I feel the tomato competition coming!!! No lack of oxygen here... sorry for posting too much.
 
Tuesday, March 31 View Page
Time machine forwards 3 months... Covid is solved... And here is a picture of porkchop looking enviously at how my garden looks. Time machine backwards... Everything sucks. Send me $5 if you enjoyed the ride!
 
Wednesday, April 1 View Page
Good seed give-away karma... Found a few extra old seed contest seeds. I thought I was all out! It pays to dig through your seed collection every now and then! Reinforcements may be needed because the others are not doing anything. Marrow seeds!!! I may give the master gardener thing a try if my beekeeping work doesn't start to gain some traction.
 
Wednesday, April 1 View Page
I looked at the nutrient profile of the processed cow manure product and I see it is high in ammonia and surprisingly low in potassium. This explains some of what I am seeing. Then I discovered that miracle grow tomato food has the least amount of ammonium of that product line and next I discovered it is... tomato colored. How silly. Nevertheless, it may be my new favorite fertilizer. I will not be adding excessive fertilizer once the tomatoes are set. I believe in the lean diet approach I will probably go very lean on magnesium once the tomatoes are set because it could hasten ripening and is not necessary to size in my experience and might conflict with potassium. My belief is that potassium and calcium are certainly important but I am unsure of what else also might be important. The mobile nutrients are probably less critical. Lastly I wonder if the tea idea could be beneficial in terms of reducing ammonia levels. And hence blossom end rot because ammonium competes with calcium. Basically I may try tea prior to blossom set and perhaps nothing but a maximum level of calcium and potassium after the fruit is set.
 
Sunday, April 5 View Page
102 Risi (1191.5 Northrup x 1161 Rodonis?) coming up as an orange genetics plant. 356 Borgers may go in today depending on construction of a quick tent greenhouse. Less keen on this plant because the cotyledons were deformed too early to tell if it still has potential.
 
Monday, April 6 View Page
356 Borgers is in. Looking for a pollination at exactly twelve feet & it will be my 150 sq ft plant I guess. . . the other bigger area really wasnt totally ready. I can say with certainty I will not break 1000 but it will be blossom-down... I suppose there is one vine pattern that might work where I would have a slim chance at 1000 or a personal best.
 
Monday, April 6 View Page
Correction: The 102 Est. Risi 2013 is 1191.5 Northrup x 1059.6 V/M. Should be orange! I have no clue where it will go but its good to have an extra plant or two.
 
Tuesday, April 7 View Page
Oops onion post today got sent way back to March 21st. Auto- entry of the posting date on this phone is troublesome.
 
Wednesday, April 8 View Page
Giant cabbage went in today. Should be an excellent companion with potatoes. Gourds for grafting have been a real struggle which is too bad because my watermelons are doing well. Do gourds need very steady, ideal temps and moisture? Well, then I guess I have work to do. I dont think the giant watermelon will get a companion crop. I may try carrots with giant pumpkin. I cant think of a companion for a watermelon. The good news is maybe I can give it 288 sq ft.
 
Thursday, April 9 View Page
I am doing square garden beds and a lot of companion planting. It sounds very pie-in-the-sky wishful gardening but there is an actual advantage. The advantage is I can identify nutrient issues better when I have more plants of various types. Row gardening has some drawbacks. I planted the 5.12 MacDonald tomato today. I will go easy on myself and only do one area of nine competition plants. But I might do the 5 gal bucket challenge and some experimental ones too if I have time.
 
Thursday, April 9 View Page
New plan no full size plants this year. Three in 150 sq ft hopefully.
 
Friday, April 10 View Page
The 972 Marvin squash has the largest first leaf (in back) I can remember its 9 inches across. It's a good plant so far. 356 Borgers is smaller but healthy. Nevertheless-- I wish I'd planted three 356 Borgers seeds and chosen the best of them.
 
Friday, April 10 View Page
Superb weather. Gourds round 2 started. At 90 degrees steady with correct moisture. First round they said "dude we are not pumpkins." Will attempt about a dozen gourd/melon grafts. Will attempt some tomato grafts too if they ever send the seeds. Thanks to those who sent me tomato seeds.
 
Saturday, April 11 View Page
Thank you pumpkin helpers:)... I miss watching Joel Holland videos with you...
 
Saturday, April 11 View Page
I think there was an inchworm... True orange color. This was the 162.5 Clayton grown off the 186 Radach. It's tempting to throw yet another 186 in the ground.
 
Monday, April 13 View Page
My Spaziani giant zucchini came up. Remember-- $55 prize to the winner... Giant zucchini contest!
 
Wednesday, April 15 View Page
Gourds came up much better at 90 degrees than 60-80. Some Sherwood and a Barlow coming up in addition to many of the seed exchange gourds. Many of the bushel gourds will be used for grafting though. I planted the 463.5 Theil directly in the garden upon germination. The bugs might get it but not slugs its been so dry they are all hiding which is unusual this time of year. A couple stretches of very low humidity this year, contrasting with the one 'excessive rain' event.
 
Wednesday, April 15 View Page
Watermelon onto AG today. In recovery chamber now. Good practice for the watermelon on gourd attempts. Many tomato starts look like crap this year. To conserve seed starting mix and get them into better dirt I should replant them at cotyledon or first leaf stage? I do have the 5.12 in the ground already and it is a nice plant so far. 4.55 Momate is the leader of the pack but some Peine's close behind. Frank the Tank will be the largest momma tomato I killed one of my WR porks and gave the other two away. And my last 7.18 Hill looks to be a dud. Diggidydog Dang...
 
Wednesday, April 15 View Page
One pretty pumpkin!
 
Wednesday, April 15 View Page
Two pretty pumpkins... Love u! :)
 
Wednesday, April 15 View Page
Third pretty pumpkin. Love you all...
 
Thursday, April 16 View Page
The 972 Marvin squash is a great plant and my best area just started getting sun. I am thinking it will get a really good chance to prove itself?
 
Thursday, April 16 View Page
I am going to track the weight of one of my beehives. It weighed 84 lbs tonight at about 8:30.
 
Thursday, April 16 View Page
Trying Amish pie pumpkins. Couldnt resist. 972 Marvin...Heater was on all day its raising the temp in the tent by about twenty degrees. Its my happiest plant ever. I wish I had a C02 meter! I suspect its getting a boost there as well, sitting on top of two tons of decomposing organics?? I did an azos / myco drench. I think the azos may be a positive factor this year. But I haven't used it enough yet to say for sure.
 
Friday, April 17 View Page
972 Marvin was looking good ready to go out yesterday so it got planted yesterday. Paper/plastic grocery sacks made a nice pot again this year. Am thinking four plastic grocery sacks rather than three. Heavy!
 
Friday, April 17 View Page
Check out the size of this plant. Low growing and huge. 972 Marvin squash. Awesome.
 
Friday, April 17 View Page
Patch tour. Thanks for letting me borrow your hat, Cole.
 
Friday, April 17 View Page
Sorry if any more of these are sideways. This is a piece of greenhouse plastic tied up and draped over the plant. Basically, just a tent. Very comfortable inside. Small heater set on low kept it about 60 degrees last night.
 
Friday, April 17 View Page
Pics. Like an incoming tide, the germination area quickly filled back up!
 
Friday, April 17 View Page
The "door". Its clipped up to a third post. Its just crap I rigged up but its flawless the temps are perfect, access is easy, and the plant is sitting on the mother lode of organic garbage. I will probably have ammonium problems. I will have to be sure to not add any ammonium. Good luck 972. Thats it! Patch tour for today is now over.
 
Saturday, April 18 View Page
My little pumpkin pollinators gained 2.5 lb. 86.5 lb now. Weather and bloom were ideal today. A medium strength colony two deeps one super... about one deep more than they actually need. A good one and a half story beehive, in other words.
 
Sunday, April 19 View Page
Cool with showers beehive net weight: -.5 lbs. Now 86 lb. Wow they eat a lot when the weather gets too cool and damp to fly more than a minimum amount.
 
Sunday, April 19 View Page
Oops my post about my squash plant today went back to the 16th... auto entry on the date got me again... That should really make a mess of this diary.
 
Sunday, April 19 View Page
Oops my post about my squash plant today went back to the 16th... auto entry on the date got me again... That should really make a mess of this diary.
 
Sunday, April 19 View Page
Beehive gained a quarter pound. Cool weather reduced activity to about 1/2 of the day. Better than going negative but thats not going to make me honey crop at that rate.
 
Tuesday, April 21 View Page
Beehive update +3lbs now 89 lbs. Awesome. Weather is going to take a turn so the two steps forward one step back pattern will continue.
 
Tuesday, April 21 View Page
Marvin squash says 'Feed me Seymour!' It moved its leaves so fast this evening tracking the sun... Creepy. Plus its growing unbelievably fast. Might have to do a tissue test at and try for a pb. Equally concerned about excessive nutrients as deficiencies.
 
Wednesday, April 22 View Page
Gain of about 2 oz on the beehive scale. It was colder and they flew less but I was expecting a pound. 89 lb 6 oz. Yesterdays should have said 89 1/4 lb. Not making much honey at this rate. The weight they bring in includes pollen. Some of the disparity in weight gain and flight activity is probably due to them drying all the nectar they brought in yesterday. More wet nectar means more weight loss as it gets turned into honey. If they bring in 3 lb probably its 1 lb water that needs to be evaporated 1 lb future honey (the part of the nectar that wont evaporate) and 1 lb pollen which will get eaten by the bees eventually or as soon as the weather is too poor for flying & flowers.
 
Wednesday, April 22 View Page
100% germ on the House Indian corn. Too pretty to not plant it! I have a large polycarbonate greenhouse door to use as a cover. Too early for corn but I wanted to plant them on easter with the kids. I thought the kernels look so pretty like easter eggs.
 
Thursday, April 23 View Page
Beehive update. Poor weather no flight activity except water. Rained all day. Minus about 1/2 lb... About 88 lb 14 oz. Squash update: vine is not laying down as well as I would like. . . Lack of sun. The rain today was mild and relatively warm. I should have uncovered the plant. Lost one cotyledon to slugs and bugs. I should have put the bait out.
 
Thursday, April 23 View Page
Will tempt the plant to bend down with a strong grow light placed on the ground... illuminating it in the direction I hope the plant will grow.
 
Friday, April 24 View Page
Beehive update @ one full week: Cool day they flew excitedly in the afternoon no gain today and no loss. The weather was just too damp and cool. Total for the week +3.75 lb. I might have read the scale wrong so the numbers may not add up right but I think that last number at least 3.5 lb for the week is correct. Probably my last daily beehive post. Always short on time or energy but maybe I can write weekly updates More about the beehive: I may condense them into one deep box and one super (honey harvesting box) rather than two and see if this increases their efficiency. I will also swap some new frames in. So the weight of the hive may change but the total weight isnt whats important. The change in weight is whats very important.
 
Saturday, April 25 View Page
Bees were coming in very laden and lots of flight activity today. I keep hoping for multiple pounds but yet another day of zero gain. To quote Winnie The Pooh... Very Confuzle. Sqash is iooking good. Cheated an put a flake of hay under the vine so the vine will lay on the hay for a very short distance--just a foot or two-- and then be perfectly even with the ground. The grow light probably helped coax it down but it was still at about 30 degree angle and its a large plant so that experiment was not worth the risk.
 
Saturday, April 25 View Page
Well well what have we here. Two watermelons successfully grafted. The only problem is I forgot to tag the tops I only tagged the rootstock. I might be starting some work away from home so looks like a bonus challenge... I will try to grow them in an automated manner... Weed fabric please.
 
Saturday, April 25 View Page
5.12 MacDonald. Plus... lots of companion planting this year. I don't have pics of all but some I am trying: Carrots/radish Garlic/potato Onions/cilantro Cole crops/ potatoes Pumpkin / potatoes Lettuce / tomato (pictured here) I should probably try: lettuce/ garlic or lettuce/ giant onions I'm also going to try a bushel gourd back to back with my squash. If it costs me a couple hundred pounds oh well I don't think a state record is within reach anyhow. Squash plant looked great today though. It's off to an awesome start don't know why my 356 is lagging (growing normally I suppose) but by comparison the 972 Marvin squash... is really squashing the competition.
 
Sunday, April 26 View Page
Beehive Week 2: -.25 lb minus a quarter pound today not a good start heavy rain this morning but they flew a lot in the afternoon. I rearranged the boxes so they now weigh 56 lb.
 
Sunday, April 26 View Page
Squash plant & hay. It's amongst the biggest young plants I have ever had. Might have been low on phosphorous? Looking better now but still may be low idk. Im sure everyone else will catch up to me soon as I juggle all the usual no-soil-test issues.
 
Monday, April 27 View Page
So far the hive gained two pounds @58 lbs but for the honey gain was probably just one pound. Will go to weekly updates now. Thats the last daily update.
 
Monday, May 4 View Page
Anyone ready for a road trip?
 
Monday, May 4 View Page
Kinda straight here.
 
Monday, May 4 View Page
Pretty. Or Lord of the Rings.
 
Monday, May 4 View Page
Gardening lesson #115 if your plants are getting eaten by slugs and your girlfriend punishes for God knows what by with holding your slugline hostage... Dump her and never look back!!!
 
Tuesday, May 5 View Page
Beehive gain 4.5 lb this week... but a cover blew off and it got rain on the wood. Probably a pound or two was just water soaking the dry wood. Checking inside... Not much honey. The only thing they are really gaining is brood (the unhatched baby bees). This pic is not the same hive but it's similar...
 
Tuesday, May 5 View Page
My female friend thinks I'm lying about the slugs. These were her sunflowers. Her idea of a fair fight is to take my slug killer. Lol. My idea of a fair fight is to say 'bye... until you apologize...'. I know she is not the type to apologize so this should give me about six years or so to freely play in the garden. At this rate they won't even reach 26 inches, much less 26 feet. One will hopefully make it. I didn't notice the slug on the post when I took the pic.
 
Tuesday, May 5 View Page
Leaves on 972 Marvin squash plant have broken some records for me... Nice one week growth difference.
 
Tuesday, May 5 View Page
Shovel for scale... leaf is at an angle so hard to tell size but this one measured 27" across its is the fourth leaf on the plant. The third leaf measured 26.5 ". I think 27" is a personal record. I don't think any of this guarantees a squash/pumpkin over 400 lbs though! Very happy with it, but there's a lot of work yet to do. "To do or not to do." MacBeth's pumpkin patch.
 
Tuesday, May 5 View Page
Cover blew off my orange pumpkin. It looks like it was finally starting to go. Planted only a day after the 972 Marvin. I guess the saying here would be: "You're a day late and a dollar short."
 
Tuesday, May 5 View Page
Giant cabbage... Plus lettuce and potato. All getting eaten by slugs. And I think a small animal stepped on the cabbage and broke the inner leaves... Maybe a cat. The beds are 3' x 3'.
 
Tuesday, May 5 View Page
The rest are tomato pics of my 5.12 MacDonald, early outdoor tomato...
 
Tuesday, May 5 View Page
Nice triple or so on top. Doubt it will be a keeper hard to get good set and growth this early but maybe. We'll see.
 
Tuesday, May 5 View Page
Last pic of the 5.12 Mac Donald 'Domingo'. Good luck kiddos with your 4.05 Peine in five gallons... The 4.05 is my probably the best seed overall again this year. Makes it easy when a slug chews the entire top off the 6.54 Frank the Tank. The Frank the Tank plant grew TWO six pound tomatoes! Mine looks like it would have been a good plant... Probably was my best. Will try to get it planted... and see how the side branches look. Bummer.
 
Wednesday, May 6 View Page
The 102 Risi orange AG got planted. Such a small number for an AG but the plant looks good and I want to try the genetics & hopefully get a nice orange pumpkin. Unfortunately it looks like any other plants may only be used as pollinators.
 
Sunday, May 10 View Page
Happy Mother's Day :) Ginormous mega on the 5.12 tomato I did not pollinate it myself but maybe dry weather got it pollinated? I doubt it perfect weather though. So thats pretty early for a garden grown blossom the plant is good but not perfect... not sure what the issue is. A second blossom is open today the mega was fertile yesterday I think.
 
Sunday, May 10 View Page
No extra early squash/pumpkin pollination this year though... Looking at my plant and pollination on May 15 last year, Wow... But nevertheless doing very very well this year just nowhere close to having a flower... Thats ok though! Pollination possibly very late May or early June and tissue test soon maybe in a week or so. Plant is a monster... but nutritionally I doubt anything is anywhere close to balanced.
 
Tuesday, May 12 View Page
Lost the mega on the 5.12 MacDonald. I am bummed because it was one of the largest and best shaped I have ever seen. With ideal soil and weather I would it would have been 7 lb. I am no longer happy with the prunning plan I had for the plant. Wish I had cut almost everything off and just pushed on that one mega. The plant was started in late February. The other plant I started in eary January would have had ripening fruit now... It partially froze a month ago.
 
Tuesday, May 12 View Page
Lost the mega on the 5.12 MacDonald. I am bummed because it was one of the largest and best shaped I have ever seen. With ideal soil and weather I would it would have been 7 lb. I am no longer happy with the prunning plan I had for the plant. Wish I had cut almost everything off and just pushed on that one mega. The plant was started in late February. The other plant I started in eary January would have had ripening fruit now... It partially froze a month ago.
 
Thursday, May 14 View Page
I hope these grow... I think they'd do great if they were planted between the creek and where the grass clipping were dumped and one of the piles of sticks got burned.
 
Friday, May 15 View Page
Whats up homies. At homies, lol.
 
Monday, May 18 View Page
Spaziani 'Giant Zucchini' started weak but looks good so its going in the ground today... The bugs and slugs have been more voracious than I have ever seen so they are clearing space for more plants as I lose the ones I planted earlier. Also had a pretty much fatal amount of stem splitting with my giant cabbage... Not sure the issue there. I dont remember putting too much fertilizer on but with some of these, like calcium nitrate for example, a little bit goes a long ways. Some things are doing well but without lots of learning and testing my gardening efforts will probably continue to be hit and miss.
 
Tuesday, May 19 View Page
Some others planted... Frank the Tank- one of the best even though topped by a slug- it found a good home in the ground. A couple 4.05 Peine's again amongst the best. A couple yellow Delbruts. Probably nine or ten tomato plants total. I have a couple long handled dipper gourds and a Harrington long gourd in the ground, and the Foss orange AG genetics plant. All thats left to plant is some melons. I may till the ground (multiple times?)because so far in my experience watermelons have done better in' yes-til'l than in no-till... Everything else this year has been no- rototiller. Some plants do better and some dont. I would rather till than use insecticide but of course its tempting to just drop the entire arsenal on the bugs rather than learning to coexist. Most temptations are bad.
 
Tuesday, May 19 View Page
Knock on wood the 5.12 early outdoor may have set the mega. Now my concern is that it may not be totally fused. I wont be watering until this tomato is past the cell division phase thats for sure. Trying hard to avoid BER. I doubt this plant will need any water at all should be plenty in the ground for the roots to find. Supposing we do get a very hot dry spell, I wonder if misting the plant would be better than saturating the ground. I am sure having fun. But the best strategy now is to leave it alone... Just cover the plant if it rains...
 
Wednesday, May 20 View Page
Artificial tomato weather. Going to add heater to dry the air out. A pain! Real weather here is warmish and 24 hrs straight of misty rain. Its not happy tomato blossom weather... Humidity is off the chart.
 
Thursday, May 21 View Page
A youngster pulled all the tags out. I had one tomato plant that was an unknown... now I have many. No tomato grafting this year. Insanely voracious slugs and then a kid who was unsupervised for just one minute.
 
Thursday, May 21 View Page
5 gallon challenge. This plant is my own 5.04 off Porkchops 8.22. Looks ugly but its like a train-- there's no stopping it. The momma plant simply knew how to grow. Domingo genetics: I dont think all the offspring inherit this unstoppable trait... Some revert to more normal/ dainty growth?
 
Sunday, May 24 View Page
It feels summery today!!! Last bit of winter/spring weather nothing grew the past few days except the grass and borage. . . Last bit of steady cold rain. Tomato is set, miraculously... I would have put the odds of it at setting at 20 to 1 against. I cant believe that gamble paid off. It looks to me like a personal best. The rest are 2 and 3 weeks behind sorry no pic its a little bigger than a quarter I would rate the bloom @ a bit over 5 lb. My guess for its potential. . . 5-6 lb If all goes fairly well.
 
Monday, May 25 View Page
This is my early outdoor mega. Cool misty day yet again... Had to set up the artificial light and plastic cover again. A lot of work so I hope it pays off. I consider this one a quintuple can see five different stigmas in the photo actually. I am debating a balanced organic foliar feeding. I really want to get this sexy thing to the finish line!!!
 

 

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