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Click on a thumbnail picture below to see the full size version. 89 Entries.
Friday, January 1 View Page
Happy New Year. A new diary for a new year. After harvest last fall, I added an inch of compost/manure and 5 lbs of elemental sulfur to the patch and worked it in good. I then immediately sowed a cover crop just to keep the myco going.
 
Friday, January 1 View Page
New weather station installed for next year.
 
Friday, January 1 View Page
Photo for last post.
 
Wednesday, February 24 View Page
Unseasonably warm last fall. First week in December and I took advantage of the unfrozen ground to do some subsoiling in a unique way. I had developed a plow pan layer after over 20 years of tilling the same depth so I took a 2 inch soil auger and drilled 16 inches deep holes every foot in a checked pattern. I will fill what's left of the holes with overwintered leaf litter from the shelterbelt. Planning to try a giant watermelon this year and this should dramatically increase my drainage capacity. Planning to add about an inch of coco coir to the watermelon grow to help loosen up my soil structure. Not growing a pumpkin this year, instead I will be growing a giant marrow, long gourd, giant cantaloupe, giant tomato, and the giant watermelon. Don't have a lot of sq ft, but I think I can make it work. Pondering a 10X20 greenhouse for the watermelon. Wanting to get an official entry for each class to get in on the Master Gardener contest.
 
Wednesday, February 24 View Page
Photo
 
Sunday, February 28 View Page
My long gourd seed selection for 2021. I bought some new seed this year at the Ohio Valley Growers Seed Sale because last year I had 0% germinaton. May have very well and most probably grower error. I had them on a seed germ mat, but I don't think it was hot enough. This year I am digging out my old chicken egg incubator and try germing them in there with regulated 90 degrees. Not sure If I should pump up the humidity in the incubator or if that would cause seed to rot or catch something before it germs. Hope it works better and I get at least one plant as that is all the room I have.
 
Sunday, February 28 View Page
My one an only marrow option at this point. If someone has some good marrow seed they would share, please email me and I will send bubble mailer. lancej@siouxvalley.net
 
Sunday, February 28 View Page
Here is my watermelon line up. I had these seeds given to me from a friend who quit growing.
 
Sunday, February 28 View Page
My tomato line up. Again if someone would part with some good seeds, much appreciated. lancej.siouxvalley.net
 
Sunday, February 28 View Page
long gourd
 
Sunday, February 28 View Page
Broke down and purchased a seasonal greenhouse. 10x20 ft. I've wanted one for a long time. I will be using it to grow the watermelon. When it gets summer, I will pull the cover and leave the frame to makeshift into a trellis so the watermelon vines can climb up one side, and the marrow and cantaloupe will share the trellis on the other side. Shade fabric can easily be added if needed. I purchased 33 lbs of coco coir that I will expand and add to the watermelon patch. Should be the equivalent to 1/2 in deep. Will add an additional 1/2 inch of composted manure and work in. I will also be adding humic , myco, kelp, worm casting, alfalfa pellets, and leaf litter. Worm casting tea will be used religiously. I have my own worm farm, African nightcrawlers. I will run my drip lines over the top of the soil, then cover the whole patch with cheap landscape fabric, then cover the fabric with straw blanket. Sounds like a good setup, hope it works good.
 
Monday, March 1 View Page
Got my cantaloupe seeds
 
Tuesday, March 9 View Page
The season begins. Watermelon will be grown under the new greenhouse.
 
Wednesday, March 24 View Page
Been a while since updating. I planted my watermelons too deep and had some difficulty. These four have survived and are in my grow tent under two COB LED 3500K grow lights. Survivors include 318.5 Kent, 315.5 Kent, 304 Mudd, and a 290.5 Terry. I have them potted up in 12 liter pots which I plan to leave them in until transplanting into the greenhouse.
 
Wednesday, March 24 View Page
Soil test is back. I will use these AG recommendations for my watermelons, as I have not found any specifics on watermelon fertility requirements.
 
Wednesday, March 24 View Page
Here is a shot of my patch. The worked area, I added 1/2 inch of Coir, 1/4 inch of composted manure, and 1/4 inch of compost, then turned it over with a potato fork. I have some more amendments to add in the next few days, then will shallow till with the Mantis. This is where the greenhouse will be erected. The area with the leaf liter covering the surface will be a giant cantaloupe, and the remainder is yet to be decided. I will cover that area with leaf litter too. Amendments yet to be applied include: 20 lbs humic, 25 lbs kelp, 5 gallons worm castings, 25 lbs alfalfa pellets, and 2 lbs myco. I will use some ammonium sulfate at test recommended rate and balance out the N with urea. I have the boron and manganese on hand and will slurry and apply in a gallon of water over the entire patch. A little triple super phosphate and of course elemental S will also be added. Going with a landscape fabric and straw blanket as an artificial mulch. Drip lines will be put down under the mulch before covering.
 
Sunday, March 28 View Page
We have tomatoes!! This was just a test run, but going to use for the 5 gallon bucket challenge.
 
Sunday, March 28 View Page
Watermelons really cruising along.
 
Monday, April 5 View Page
Watermelons are two weeks old and are growing like crazy. Tomatos are potted up and growing.
 
Monday, April 5 View Page
All amendments applied and incorporated. Going to try to get heating cables buried today, my son is coming over to help put the skin on the greenhouse after work today. Got rain coming in, so may leave the greenhouse off and take advantage of the spring rain.
 
Tuesday, April 6 View Page
Ground ready for heating cables.
 
Tuesday, April 6 View Page
Cables ready for the ground. Had to buy new cables this year, the little snap switch thermostat got damaged and no more snap.
 
Tuesday, April 6 View Page
Cables meet ground.
 
Tuesday, April 6 View Page
Covered and ready to start raising my soil temp. A little extra peat just to get it out of my shed.
 
Monday, April 12 View Page
Watermelon on right 315.5 Kent, on right the 318.5 Kent. Watermelons are 3 weeks old. The two tomatoes to the front are 6.32 Borgers and the two toward the rear are 7.66 Hills. Tomatoes are 2 weeks old.
 
Monday, April 12 View Page
Top/Left watermelon is 304 Mudd, to the bottom/right the 290.5 Terry
 
Wednesday, April 14 View Page
Irrigation drip lines ready to be hooked to the trunk line as the plant grows.
 
Wednesday, April 14 View Page
Landscape fabric down. I will cover this with straw blanket for the watermelon tendrils to grab onto and stay in place..
 
Thursday, April 15 View Page
Cloche on, heating tape on, soil warming. After the melon outgrows the cloche it will be removed from the greenhouse. Way easier to heat a small cloche rather than the whole greenhouse early in the season.
 
Monday, April 19 View Page
Greenhouse is done.
 
Monday, April 19 View Page
Ready for the greenhouse are the 315.5 Kent on the left and the 318.5 Kent on the right. I am favoring the 315 right now, but will transplant both and cull down to one after I'm sure everything has taken hold after the transplanting. We have a couple nights forecasted down to 22 this week so will wait until after that to plant out in the greenhouse. Temps this AM in the greenhouse were 15 degrees higher than the outside ambient temp with no supplemental heat.
 
Monday, April 19 View Page
Here are my backup plants. On the left 304 Mudd and on the right 295.5 Terry
 
Monday, April 19 View Page
3 weeks old and ready for the 5 gallon bucket challenge are on the left the two Hills' and the two Borgers on the right.
 
Tuesday, April 27 View Page
The selected one. 315.5 Kent
 
Tuesday, April 27 View Page
Backups on standby, One of the backups is going to go in the ground outside the greenhouse,
 
Tuesday, April 27 View Page
Last backup
 
Tuesday, April 27 View Page
Tomatoes ready for potting up to the five gallon buckets.
 
Saturday, May 1 View Page
315.5 Kent on Mayday.
 
Saturday, May 1 View Page
318.5 Kent on Mayday.
 
Saturday, May 1 View Page
My set up for the year.
 
Monday, May 17 View Page
5 gallon bucket tomatoes
 
Monday, May 17 View Page
315.5 Kent starting to really branch out.
 
Monday, May 17 View Page
Another shot. I put up a trellis along the north side of the greenhouse to take things vertical for more vine power.
 
Monday, May 17 View Page
318.5 Kent took the brunt of a frost last week. Planning to pull the watermelon and start a couple giant muskmelon in its place.
 
Monday, May 17 View Page
pic for trellis post. ooops
 
Saturday, May 29 View Page
Don't know if the stem in an S shape is of concern, but would love to hear from experience if this is a problem or not. Please email me.
 
Saturday, May 29 View Page
Another shot of the lay of the melon.
 
Saturday, May 29 View Page
A shot of the whole plant. Don't know if this is enough plant to start pushing a melon yet, but figure I will see what happens for now.
 
Saturday, May 29 View Page
A shot of the 5 gallon bucket maters.
 
Saturday, May 29 View Page
A nice bud coming along.
 
Saturday, May 29 View Page
Another bigger one.
 
Saturday, May 29 View Page
Mega on one of the 5 gallon plants.
 
Saturday, May 29 View Page
No mega on the other 5 gallon, just a waiting game.
 
Saturday, May 29 View Page
Giant cantaloupe
 
Saturday, June 5 View Page
A shot of the melon in the greenhouse. Vines are growing several inches/day.
 
Saturday, June 5 View Page
Rigged up a misting system from an old furnace fan and a couple of adjustable misting nozzles from Dripworks. I have been running at 5 minutes on every 30 minutes. Seems to work great, I can keep the greenhouse 15 degrees cooler than ambient air temperature. A giant swamp cooler utilizing evaporative cooling. The two nozzles use .8 gallons total during the 5 minute on period.
 
Saturday, June 5 View Page
Been having trouble getting pollinations to stick. They get to about the size of my thumb, then just quit growing. This little melon is a week old and is just sitting there. Does not seem to be aborting, but not growing. Tons of new blossoms coming, so hopefully I'll get one to set and grow. The temps in the greenhouse have been at about 90 +/- during the day for last couple weeks, Is this too hot? Also, I have a lot of N (amended by soil test as if growing AG) and wonder if that is affecting pollination/fruit growth. Been trying to pollinate the first morning the bloom opens. How important is it to be manually pollinated as to just let the bugs do it?
 
Saturday, June 5 View Page
Here is a poorly shaped one pollinated 3 days ago.
 
Saturday, June 5 View Page
Vines starting up the trellis I hung on the north side of the greenhouse.
 
Wednesday, June 9 View Page
Watermelon is growing like crazy. Still have not got a pollination to stick, but trying out some advice from other watermelon growers and will continue the orgy every morning.
 
Wednesday, June 9 View Page
A couple of mains making their way up the trellis. Another just starting on the trellis on the far end.
 
Wednesday, June 16 View Page
Black spots showing up on my watermelon. Looks like bruising, but not sure.
 
Wednesday, June 16 View Page
another
 
Wednesday, June 16 View Page
another.
 
Saturday, June 19 View Page
9 DAP, about 7 inches long
 
Saturday, June 19 View Page
Made a platform 2x4 utilizing a double layer of burlap on top, and another double layer of burlap 3 1/2 inches below in case the top gets weak. Will be putting a smaller platform scale under each end to track gains.
 
Saturday, June 19 View Page
Trellis seems to be working good. Vines almost to top so need turned horizontal. Considering another trellis on other side.
 
Saturday, June 19 View Page
Nice mega on one of 5 gallon plants. Been hot, hope she sets.
 
Saturday, June 19 View Page
Nice mega on one of 5 gallon plants. Been hot, hope she sets.
 
Saturday, June 19 View Page
A shot of the set up.
 
Sunday, June 20 View Page
13 DAP, 22" circumference
 
Sunday, June 20 View Page
Melon guard sleeping on the job!
 
Wednesday, June 30 View Page
Saddest day of my life last Friday. Lost my baby granddaughter in a house fire. Three years old. Please pray.
 
Wednesday, June 30 View Page
Growing along 23 DAP. Been hot as hell.
 
Thursday, July 8 View Page
My 5 gallon bucket tomato doing good.
 
Friday, July 9 View Page
My row of Big Zacs with the 5 gallon from the previous post in the back.
 
Friday, July 9 View Page
Nice mega on one of the Big Zacs in the ground.
 
Friday, July 9 View Page
A row of 7.66 Hill, I don't know the variety, but 7.66! The 5 gallon bucket Hill had a 4 fused mega, but did not set and a couple got BER, eating tomatoes from now on for that bucket. The tomatoes in the ground are cuttings from the 5 gallon bucket plants.
 
Friday, July 9 View Page
71.6 English cantaloupe. World record seed.
 
Friday, July 9 View Page
56.2 English cantaloupe. Back cross to world champion.
 
Friday, July 9 View Page
Shot of the watermelon layout. Things are too slow, I am upping my watering.
 
Friday, July 9 View Page
The melon, 30 DAP, should be about 4X by now. Growing, just not fast. Maybe slow and steady wins the race in the end. I will be disappointed if I don't make 100 lbs.
 
Friday, July 9 View Page
Straight 8 cucumbers for eating.
 
Friday, July 9 View Page
A shot of my whole lay out.
 
Monday, July 26 View Page
This is Stuart Sharples plant that I posted for help.
 
Monday, July 26 View Page
Right side up?
 
Monday, July 26 View Page
Right side up?
 
Monday, July 26 View Page
Right side up?
 
Monday, July 26 View Page
Right side up?
 

 

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