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Click on a thumbnail picture below to see the full size version. 36 Entries.
Sunday, March 7 View Page
Thawing out here in the Twin Cities. Winter was pretty decent save the bad cold snap in February. Since we were mostly stuck around the house, I flooded the garden to make a rink. There was a pretty decent slope so it wasn't perfect, but the little one made some good skating progress. May keep the plastic out to help warm things up over the next few weeks.
Friday, April 2 View Page
Picked up a new toy and used it for the first time a few days later. I'll still use the little Honda to mix in amendments, but it's nice to be able to get a deeper aeration.
Saturday, April 10 View Page
Glad that season start is on us, but I'll be waiting a few more days for seed start. Rainy week--0.1 " or more every day, but we needed it. Now hopefully it'll dry out and I can get the amendments in. In the meantime, new sprinkler controller is online.
Tuesday, April 13 View Page
Coping with some light snow showers this evening.
Saturday, April 17 View Page
2021 amendment day. Had some issues getting the tiller going, but managed to get the job done. Coils in, hoop up. 150 patch marked out. The patch is 160" wide. Flags mark out 135" length for 150 sq ft. Not visible in the pictures are a set of four pop crates that have been sunk in the garden to mark the corners of the boundary that will be a seasonal addition.
Tuesday, April 20 View Page
All up.
Wednesday, April 28 View Page
It's been a cool and wet April other than a few early warm days. Heavy rain the last few days prevented me from planting out earlier or doing a better job hardening off the plants. Got up early this AM to get them in the ground. Plant on the right is favored now. Both 1025s.
Wednesday, May 12 View Page
Temperatures look like they're finally going to moderate over the weekend. I think the plant is somewhat ahead of last year despite the cold. Vine is starting, but there's still a long way to go until she settles. Backup plant is growing in the wrong direction (not shown) but I don't want to cull quite yet.
Sunday, May 16 View Page
Very close to touchdown--should happen either overnight or tomorrow evening. Main plant looks great--will probably cull the backup tomorrow. Hopefully one more week in the hothouse--need to get the shade netting and fence installed next weekend so that we'll be be protected from the elements/fauna. Backup isn't growing quite as well and sent it's main due south instead of west like expected. I have one more backup in a pot still--will have to rehome it soon. 150 contest.
Sunday, May 16 View Page
The loupes got started last week and are starting to come up. They're a bit of a motely lot. Bought two lots of the English WR seeds at auction this year. The first got beat up during shipping (of course the WR seeds were the ones affected) and the second ended up sending 2X packs of 56.2. Thankfully Doug had hooked me up with an extra set of seeds, but I went a head and tried to germinate the crushed 71.6s and a few popped up. The goal is to have 2X 71.6s and 1X 56.2 in the garden and to get at least one fruit to the MN state fair (though we'll harvest if and when the fruit are ready. Hope to do them justice, and thanks for all the advice, Doug!
Sunday, May 23 View Page
Trying to get a little more analytical this year and figure out how much water is added when I have the sprinklers on in the back. Last few days have erased our rain deficit, but figured I'd get it done before the plant gets too big. Also got most of the loupes into the garden yesterday.
Monday, May 24 View Page
150 sq ft contest, post hoop house pic. Sorry about not having the standard beverage can in the early season pic. Flags will stay up till the space gets filled.
Monday, May 24 View Page
2nd pic of 150 sq ft contest plant.
Wednesday, May 26 View Page
Setbacks. Am 10 to 14 days ahead of last year. But lows in the high 30s forecast Thursday night. Had hoped that the urban heat bubble would keep us warmer, but the plastic is back up until Sat. More concerning, some varmit has developed a taste for sweet little secondary ends. Thankfully the main is still in good shape. Still, plant has had slower secondary growth in some areas than I'd like. Oh well--just need 150 st ft of vine and plenty of time to get there.
Tuesday, June 8 View Page
Well, pest problem is uncontrolled. Presumed woodchuck went down a whole side of the plant and systematically took off all the growing tips. Including the main. One more small kin on the main that is an option, otherwise we're going with a secondary. SOB sampled the loupe plants as well.
Sunday, June 13 View Page
6:30 AM June 13. 61 degrees out. Had/used 3 males to self the 1025 Bierle. Last chance on the true main (thanks woodchuck). Forecast to be hot today, but the morning temps are great. 150 contest.
Sunday, June 13 View Page
150 contest update. The extreme early season heat + animals have eliminated some of my options. There's one last female flower on the true main (4 lober, opened 6/13). A secondary has taken over as the main from the same node as the female, which could be used as a new main but will be removed if the pollination sticks. There have been a number of females on secondary vines, all of which have aborted so far. There is one that may be developing, covered by the tent nearer the camera, which could be an option in the area of the patch where the secondary vines were prematurely terminated by the wildlife. Mill cloth was set down to accommodate the preferred flower, but extended beyond the pre-determined growing area (by 32"X60"). New markers + white twine denote new boundary that accommodates the mill cloth, where 19"X100" of unused area is excluded.
Friday, June 18 View Page
150 contest. 5 DAP. Hasn't really kicked into high gear yet. The new main has a bitty kin in the tip, but there are a couple half way decent secondary options that will hopefully open on Monday or so.
Saturday, June 19 View Page
English loupe. WR seed. Slow out the gate but taking off now. This one has the most space but is near the walnut.
Saturday, June 19 View Page
The rest of the loupe. WR near the camera, other two are the reciprocal cross. Will probably cull down to two. WR needs to get its vine turned around.
Saturday, June 19 View Page
First/last main vine pollination looks to be a bust. There are a number of secondary options showing up, but on the other corner of the patch, so we're pulling the mill cloth and reverting to the boundaries first established. 150
Thursday, June 24 View Page
150 plant, more or less filling up its space. Still growing a few vines to try and fill in areas where secondaries got eaten and maximize rooting.
Thursday, June 24 View Page
June 19 stud vs June 13 dud? Liking the stem plus shape.. Pollination on 6/21 looks could also be an option. Another opening tomorrow too, and many other secondary fruits soon. First year no main vine kin for me.
Tuesday, June 29 View Page
150 plant. 10 DAP. Not 100% sold she's the one, but she's making slow progress. Cut the vine past the kin yesterday, we'll see how she does in the next 10.
Tuesday, June 29 View Page
If the 10 DAP fruit is a bust, thankfully I have a pair of solid looking backup fruits. The 5 lobe is particularly nice looking at 4 dap. Both on the new main rather than a secondary. Primary concern is around leaf stress on the vine. It seems to be particularly sensitive to the sun.
Monday, July 5 View Page
Loupe update. Growth was kicking in on all plants. And then the walnut wilt came for the WR plant. Same thing happens to tomato plants on that side of my garden--they grow great, then collapse out of the blue. Melons supposed to be resistant to jugone, but I doubt it now. Perhaps some other cause for the fail, but I doubt it. I'll probably wait a few days, order up some cover crop, and get this third of my garden prepped for next year.
Monday, July 5 View Page
The good news is I still have 2x plants on the good third of the garden. Nearer the camera is a WR plant, further is its reciprocal English cross. Not a ton of space for either, but we'll see how things grow!
Tuesday, July 6 View Page
10 DAP on the backup option. Plant decided the 5 lobe backup wasn't the one for me.
Tuesday, July 6 View Page
17 DAP. Need to make a choice soon!
Friday, July 16 View Page
150 sq ft plant. "Tiny." 20 DAP. Marginally bigger than the one I cut loose, but not much. We'll ride her to the finish.
Tuesday, July 27 View Page
Tiny at 31 dap. Numbers are embarrassing, even considering 150 sq ft. Something isn't right in the patch this season.
Sunday, October 3 View Page
Well, picked Tiny, my 150 contest entry, earlier this week. Got it to Anoka, but it didn't survive the ride, so no official wait.
Sunday, October 3 View Page
No weight, but Tiny got the Engel treatment.
Sunday, November 7 View Page
'22 season kickoff. New dirt! Final patch dimensions TBD, but will have space for 1 or 2 proper sized plants (800+ sq ft each). Will depend on whether I grow on the right of way next to the road or not. The plan is to irrigate from the lake, so will need to come up with a good system for amendments.
Sunday, November 7 View Page
Pulled soil sample today. Looks nice for 8+ inches under the sod. Will drop off at the U tomorrow to learn baseline for next year.
Thursday, November 18 View Page
Fall '21 soil test results. I'm pretty happy with where I'm starting.


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