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Click on a thumbnail picture below to see the full size version. 40 Entries.
Friday, January 5 View Page
I just watched this video this morning, it blew me away. So I thought I would share it with anyone who might be interested. Every successful giant pumpkin grower knows the importance of soil biology to plant health. Why should it be any different with human health? We need a diverse flora starting in our mouth and going through our gut etc. By using some of the products we use, we are often killing off the very microorganisms that our there to help us. THis video takes about an hour to watch, I know we are in a rush, rush society. I even had to force myself to sit through it because I know it is important. I would think nothing of it to sit through an hour long video about growing giant vegetables, rarely would I sit and take the time to watch an hour long video about human health. Our personal health is actually far more important (dare I say) than growing giant vegetables. Without your own personal health you aren't going to be able to grow much of anything. YouTube video
 
Wednesday, January 10 View Page
I was in Newport Rhode Island in the beginning of December Newport is a great place to go if you like trees At the turn of the nineteenth to twentieth century gardening was popular among the elite. Plant explorers were circling the globe in search of hardy plants that would grow in the USA uk France and other places in Europe. Everyone had to have the latest and greatest new cultivar or species. The plants were collected like trading cards. It was an exciting time in horticulture. The tree in the photo is a London plane tree which is a cross between the American sycamore and a Chinese species of sycamore. It is easy to distinguish the difference as the London plane bears its seed balls in clusters of two. The American sycamore “buttonballs” are born singly. usually the London planes are a cream colored mottling and Americans are a white mottling.
 
Wednesday, January 10 View Page
Two massive dwarf Alberta spruce on the campus of Salve Regina university. These are probably fifteen to twenty feet tall proving that given enough time even dwarf trees can grow big. luckily they had plenty of room and were allowed to keep growing.
 
Wednesday, January 10 View Page
When I used to work at a retail nursery people would come in and tell me “a tree grew out of my bush”. After asking a few questions I usually could figure out what they meant by that. In the picture you see the back side of one of the dwarf Alberta spruce. It has a regular looking spruce growing out of the tree this is called a reversion. The dwarf Alberta spruce cultivar is nothing more than a mutation. The reversion is the tree reverting back to its true self. If a gardener doesn’t cut out that reversion soon it will grow like gang busters and eventually the whole tree will need to be removed. If it is removed soon the tree will be fine and not have much of a dead spot.
 
Wednesday, January 10 View Page
An English oak in full green leaves in early December.
 
Wednesday, January 17 View Page
I haven’t been paying much attention to the weather this winter as it has been mild and super wet. I was watching the Kansas City chiefs play over the weekend and I was shocked to see how cold it was in Kansas City. I knew that weather was on its way here well it’s here now!!!!
 
Friday, January 26 View Page
Not too much going on in the garden. I planted purple top turnips as a cover crop. They always do great and also provide some food or animal feed. They seem to be much more freeze tolerant than the daikon radishes which are already soft these turnips are still hard and edible. We had a couple nights around nine degrees yet they are still good
 
Tuesday, February 6 View Page
Last week my son had shoulder surgery in Hartford I had some time to blow so I went to one of my favorite parks. The Elizabeth park rose garden. This place is gorgeous in June. Many people get married there. Such a beautiful place. Even in the middle of winter.
 
Tuesday, February 6 View Page
Another angle of the rose garden.
 
Tuesday, February 6 View Page
A weeping blue atlas cedar arbor.
 
Tuesday, February 6 View Page
A hellebore getting ready to flower.
 
Tuesday, February 6 View Page
One of the greenhouses at Elizabeth park.
 
Tuesday, February 6 View Page
A ver large mature sour wood tree, Oxydendron arboreum
 
Tuesday, February 6 View Page
This is a normal branch from a chamaecyparis obtusa ‘nana gracilis’. (Dwarf hinoki false cypress) in the next entry you will see a branch where the tree is reverting back to its true form.
 
Tuesday, February 6 View Page
You can see two different looking types of foliage if you look closely one is the correct type for the nana gracillis cultivar the other is normal for the species. When you are dealing with horticultural mutations you always have to be on the look out for them being unstable and reverting back to there true type. Some mutations are more stable than the others.
 
Thursday, February 8 View Page
Rampart gourds. These dried up nice, I just left them outside. Simple. It is getting close to melon starting time, I will have to get the seeds out soon
 
Tuesday, February 13 View Page
After several neatly snowless winters we got a big snowstorm today. We just got 14 inches. It is a winter wonderland outside. For those of you in warm climates who have never experienced this, everything is quiet and still and it is like waking up to a different world.
 
Tuesday, February 13 View Page
Another shot of the snow. It has been an easy winter so far and there is no frost in the ground so this will make for a big clean up come spring.
 
Tuesday, February 13 View Page
Another shot of the snow. It has been an easy winter so far and there is no frost in the ground so this will make for a big clean up come spring.
 
Monday, February 19 View Page
I still have two 146.5 young seeds. Maybe I will grow these in their own roots in some new soil
 
Tuesday, March 5 View Page
It's still winter, and not much going on yet in the garden so I thought that I would take the time to brag about and share this little "trophy" of mine. About ten or so years ago the good folks who make "Lucky Charms" cereal had a contest to win a very special box of cereal. It was a box of lucky charms with nothing but marshmallows. .. no cereal at all in the box. All you had to do was cut out the UPC symbol on the box and mail it to the general mills company, the winners would be chosen at random. If you were one of the lucky ones who got chosen, you would receive a box of this very special collectable cereal. There were only a couple thousand boxes that were to be given out. Well I eagerly clipped the upc symbol off the box and mailed it in.... nothing happened for months, I didn't give it much thought, I just assumed I hadn't won. Then one day in what seemed like a year later this box shows up in the mail with a special certificate. That day was surely one of the greatest days of my life, right up there with my wedding day and birth of my kids.
 
Monday, March 11 View Page
Back in the 90s when I was in college at UConn for horticulture and also doing an internship at the Arnold Arboretum. It was known that hard to grow plants would need a pinch of soil taken from the mother plant in doing this you would inoculate the new plant with the essential soil biology that these plants need to grow the ericaceous plants are like this. they need very specific mycorrhizae that are unique to that family. They will often struggle without the proper microbiology, this family includes rhododendron, blueberry mountain, Laurel, Heath, and Heather this product is supposed to help inoculate them.
 
Monday, March 11 View Page
Here are the active ingredients. Hopefully this stuff helps to get my new blueberry plants off to a good start. Back in those early days when I was first starting out in horticulture I never realized that vegetable crops like pumpkins etc could also could benefit from mycorrhizae. So much has been discovered and there is so much more left to be discovered. The more we kno, the more we realize we have so much more to know.
 
Thursday, March 14 View Page
Tillage radish all winter killed. I think it dies at 15 degrees or so.
 
Thursday, March 14 View Page
Purple top turnip is still alive. I think they die around ten degrees or so
 
Thursday, March 14 View Page
Purple top turnip is still alive. I think they die around ten degrees or so
 
Thursday, March 14 View Page
The season has begun in the high tunnel. Lettuce, potatoes,cabbage, broccolli snow peas, carrots and kale
 
Sunday, March 17 View Page
Imagine tending a garden that had to be weeded and cared for year round for decades with out stop. You would want to find a way to help make managing that garden easier. Well for Ken D (Owner/cofounder of bp.com) he has a situation that is like tending a garden year round. Keeping this site free from bots is a daily chore for him. He has told me he gets hundreds of bots trying to infiltrate this site daily. He was his ways of Identifying and weeding them out and keeping the "weeds" from gaining a foothold here on bp.com. This endeavor takes up Ken's time every day. We can help Ken manage this site by paying the small $15 per year premium member fee. Once someone pays the premium member fee it identifies them as "not a bot". Ken told me "bots will never pay". If you are a regular user of this site I ask you to consider becoming a premium member. It will help Ken manage the site and it will also help offset the costs to run the Mainframe server and all the other costs Ken incurs like the electricity and commercial grade wifi. Over the past year I have gotten to know Ken personally and I know he isn't the type of person that like's to toot his own horn or ask people for anything. That is why I felt the need to say this and let you all know.
 
Sunday, March 17 View Page
Speaking of the internet being a "weedy" place got me thinking about a skit Dave Chappelle made over twenty years ago. Called "What if the internet was a real place?" Over twenty years later things really haven't changed much, perhaps you could argue that things have gotten worse because the real con artists don't "Pop Up", they prefer to stay out of sight. Go to the 1:27 mark if you want to just watch the part about the internet. YouTube video
 
Tuesday, March 19 View Page
These melons just came out of the grafting dome. Check out the roots growing off of the stem. The bushel gourds and rampart didn’t do this. Only the’ tetsukabuto’ squash rootstock did. I guess I don’t have to feel so bad about letting them get so leggy.
 
Monday, April 1 View Page
I couldn’t resist, I was at agway last week and they had a bunch of hellebores (Lenten rose). I have wanted one for a while. I couldn’t resist, It was an impulse buy. lol
 
Sunday, April 14 View Page
It is funny how dogmatic and also pragmatic gardeners often are, it drives me nuts. WHat I mean by that is when you talk to gardeners they always know the "right" way to do something, and in their minds it has to be done that way or else it will fail and won't be right. We probably should be the least dogmatic and pragmatic out of all professions as the more we know and the more experienced we become we should realize that there is more we don't know than we do know. There is nothing set in stone, and there are many ways to accomplish our goals if we ask ourselves questions. Like... Why do I have to do it that way? What is the purpose of doing it that way? What are the results of doing it that way? Could we achieve the same result with another way? Yet we insist on carving out all these rules and regulations and laws for doing what we do. When much of it is unneccesary. We need to think about what we are doing and why we are doing it, and that means we have to stick our necks out and try things that others aren't trying. Do things that others aren't doing. And when they fail which they often do, we have to be OK with it. We are all so different and we all see things a bit differently and come from different climates around the world. We also have different God given gifts, some of you are scientific and mathematical others are artistic and creative. Both types are needed in furthering this sport.
 
Sunday, April 14 View Page
In my last entry, I mentioned how we are often dogmatic and pragmatic in our approach to gardening. Many years ago I read a book about running a landscaping business. The book was called 'Systems for Success' by Dwight Hughes. Dwight mentioned that half the time landscapers are doing things a cettain way just because that was the way they were taught and because of that they have always done things the same way with out questioning why. He illustrates this point with a short story that went something like this. I will paraphrase it as best as I can from my memory. A newly wed couple is getting ready to celebrate their first Christmas together and for dinner the new wife is cooking up a ham. As she is preparing it to go in the oven, her husband is watching her, and notices that she cuts both ends of the ham off before putting it in the oven. He is confused by what she has just done and asks her. "Why did you just cut both ends of the ham off before putting it on the baking tray and into the oven". The wife then replies; I don't really know why.... it is how my mother always did it.... and her ham always came out great. I will call her and ask her why it has to be done that way." So she calls her mom and asks her "Why do you have to cut both ends of the ham off before it goes into the oven?" The mother then replies "Geez I don't really know why, that is just how I saw my mother do it, and her ham always came out great. WHy don't you call her and ask her." So the newlywed then calls her grandma and says, "Grandma I have a question that I need an answer too. But so far have been unsuccessful in getting one. WHy is it that you always have to cut the ends off your ham before you bake it? THe grandma then chuckled and replied "Oh that's silly, of course you don't have to cut the ends off your ham before you bake it. The only reason I used to cut the ends off the ham before I baked it is because I didn't have a pan big enough to bake it in, so I needed to cut some off so it would fit in the pan!
 
Thursday, April 18 View Page
I thought this was interesting. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7569811/
 
Thursday, May 2 View Page
I got my giant melons in early this year. They are cooking nicely under the row cover. Row cover is the way to go you never have to vent them. It is low maintenance.
 
Thursday, May 9 View Page
I was just reading vineman's diary and he had a question about which plant he should keep. It got me thinking that perhaps in a certain way he does get to keep both even after he culls one. Let me explain what I mean by this, WHen two plants of the same species are grown in close proximity to each other the roothaiir tips that grow and touch each other between the two plants can and often do graft together. I would bet that this phenomenon could be helpful to us as growers who are trying to get a big root system to grow a big plant and pumpkin. Here is a scientific study that I found which proves that root grafting does occur in vegetables. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/1343943X.2019.1679649
 
Wednesday, May 15 View Page
This is the 1908 Connolly I also have a 1570 ciesielski and a 1904 sperry. There were a couple others I wanted to plant this year but i figured it woould be better to focus on just three plants. Hopefully less is more and I can grow these really big! They look pretty good for this early in the year, but are growing quite slowly in this cool weather. No heating and no venting is nice. Plus I won’t have to gasp when I get my electric bill at the end of the month. They will get the size I need them to be in plenty of time for my mid to late June pollination date goal.
 
Wednesday, May 15 View Page
167 Holloway on tetsukabuto rootstock. The watermelons are doing better than the pumpkins….. by far.
 
Thursday, May 23 View Page
159.6 ciesielski JBD watermelon on 'Rampart' rootstock. I am pleased with how the melons are growing, they are ahead of schedule for some reason this year. I hope to get a mid June pollination, which I have never done before. I will have to try my hand at manually pollinating these. Normally the bees do it for me. The problem is that they miss all the early females. In late July and August the bees do a great job! There are so many culls, it is like picking cucumbers!!
 
Thursday, May 23 View Page
1570 ciesielski AG. I took there covers off, yesterday and voila!! Hordes of Cucumber beatles were on them today. Probably hundreds! I am glad I chose to walk down to the patch and see how things were going! It just proves that you have to have a constant eye on things or they will go south quickly. I think I am done with the row covers for the year. I have a bad habit of not checking on the plants when they are covered. I will sacrifice some early growth and vigor, but I will be able to easily monitor them and see what is going on with out the covers in the way. I like to look at them in the AM with a cup of coffee in my hand!
 

 

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