Been gone a couple days myself. Went over to Boone IA for another garden reunion, this week end. a little over 130 miles one way. Had a great time, but sure will be good to be in our own bed tonight.
I think I may be able to take some fishing tackle with as well. I better check with DNR Colorado to see what non resident fees are. Don't think my IA. lifetime would be any good there.
Well just heard I should cover my tomatoes, frost warning tonight.
Well will rest up and get back to work on preparations.
Russ, the thoughts of frost this late makes me want to cry... how 'bout you, digger?
Learned something, I think. Of the 12 bales, one of them was just about rotted and falling apart. THAT's the one growing the biggest tomato plant. It is also the only one sprouting green grass. Guess it says something about how aged the bales need to be.
The squash and cukes are doing well, and those bales have been loaded with mushrooms. Maybe that means they're alive.
I put a pic on line of the okra in the wagon, and those containers dry out much faster than anything else. They are up higher and the wind can blow underneath them, so I have to keep them watered, even when nothing else needs it. I'm still wondering if I should have thinned those plants. They just all seem too healthy to pull out. But I'm new at this so all advice heeded.
Yep; Digger is right the mushrooms don't hurt a thing. They are a little messy is all. They will disappear after a while.
Don't think we had frost, I didn't wake up till 7:00 it was 35 at that time. I had everything covered anyway, so think I got by. So far I have 30 hills of potatoes have sprouts above ground, frost could nip them but won't kill them. I'll go out after bit and check their leaves and see if any of them were blackened but I really don't think it went below 35.
Yeah, gardening here is a little different than in the warmer zones but then it's not bad. Jeanette has a shorter season and later frosts than I do here so we have to respect the weather a little more.
I tried a couple of the upside down tomatoes but I wasn't able to keep up with their demand I guess. I probably had too many irons in the fire and fell down on the job. This year would not be the year for me to try again either, as they would be on their own for the better part of July. lol
It's been so damp here (NOT complaining!); not hot yet, but 70s during the days, high 50s-60s at night. My bales are so covered with my funny little mushrooms - they make me laugh every day when I head down to the garden! My peas aren't doing real well- too advanced when I put them in the bales . . but everyone else is doing great! Waiting 'til the nights are consistantly in the mid-high 60s, probably another week or 2, before I set them out.
"I cringe every time I think of that wet straw and heat. I remember so many times barns catching on fire due to hay and straw being too wet and smoldering into a blazing fire.
I lost a horse in one of those fires many years ago. Her name was Commander's Melody."
Have any of you heard of, or had any problems with your bales? I am assuming she is talking about hay that has not been properly dried stacked in barns. I am wondering if having it in the hoophouse is such a smart idea?
begonianinny: your bales are looking good. Keep up the good work.
Jeanette: IMHO a straw bale sitting in a hoop house that is constantly getting watered is not going to catch on fire. A stack of wet bales packed tightly in a closed area could be a problem under the right conditions, but that's not what any bale gardener is going to face.
I agree with Kent Jnette... Have had years of hay in my barn and on occasion have had it be to damp. (had to unload that out of the barn) The fire issue is as Kent explained, hay piled high and tight that is too damp (not properly cured hay). Think of it as a really great compost pile. One can make compost by just dumping any combinations of leaves manure and hay in a loose pile... but really pile that puppy up nice and tall with enough dampness and that pile will really heat up and cook. I have had bales get hot, but never heard of one bale actually combusting. Hope that helps...
I think it is the only thing that keeps us all sane.. thought the pic was a hoot. But back to the thread... after having throughly chastising the part pit bull for her exploratory surgery on my beans and replanting the bales the next day (and adding green wire fencing to keep her out) I have been thwarted again by yet another four-legged family member. Although I felt the green fencing would discourage any further forays among the bales, I found my 29 lbs pug decided to tip toe through the tulips right down the middle of the beans and the okra. (how he managed to get between the openings, only Houdini knows that answer) Fortunately his specialty was only dancing along the bales and no digging, sooooo a little thinning for the beans (complements of Sunny fat feet) and a little smoothing of the dents and the bales seems no worse for wear. :) Good thing, I was running out of bean seeds!
I took my tomato plants out 4 days ago to the hoophouse an planted 2 of them. I went out the next day and they all looked like they had a disease. I thought maybe the heat from the hh got to them, it gets so hot in there even tho I have both ends open, and then the next day they were really bad. Almost all curled up and brown.
So, I went down to Spokane and bought a dozen more plants. Bob said he went down and watered the plants today and they don't look too bad. Wouldn't you know it. Don't know what it was. Night time temps are in the 40s. Shouldn't be too cold for them. Any ideas?
I'm gonna miss my fresh mater sandwiches this year . A friend served store bought toms on sandwiches a few years ago . Delish . She said she dipped them in scalding , not boiling , water for a few seconds . Not long enough to skin them . ,let them set in fridge till cooled off then sliced them .It worked for the juice and flavor, a good subsitute . Not the real thing , but better than straight out of the store .
Maybe if I get some tomatoes this year I will sell you some for some of that gold you are going to get digger. LOL, good trade. At least about then you will think so.
I hope the new tomatoes do ok. I planted them in my bales today in the hoophouse.
One of the people here gave up his tomatoes (boy he grew good ones. Right in the ground in his greenhouse) and he went after gold. He is getting the gold and sitting on it, but hasn't had a good mater since. He will probably sell the gold when it gets real low.
I can see digger now. Doing the same thing. Don't think Russ and Barb will get the fever that bad tho. Only for one year. LOL
Jnette , You're funny .I moved here 20 years ago because I'm in the middle of the highest grade gold in the country . Actually , I've been setting on my gold for all those years plus . Never sold a gram of it . Bought some back years ago when It was cheap tho .
This trip is going to be the first vacation We've had in years . When we go to Tex doesn't count because we work on my sons place or ours all winter , between fishing . Septic lines to replace and chain link fence to finish and two porches to build this coming trip .But this time, I'm going to play in the water , eat stew and sandwiches off paper plates and enjoy coffee around the fire pit early in the morning .The gold will be a bonus .Russ and Barb will be doing whatever they want at the time . He will play in the water , learn to pan , and keep the gold he finds . I know he may find gold fever a little tiring , but for me , it isn't fun when it gets to be hard work .He'll have a little something to show the grandkids . The gold isn't big , like in California,we may go there next year, but Russ will know enough when he goes back home to play around with it closer to home if he likes .
It's the comradrie and just doing nothing , no responsibility for awhile that counts for me . It would be nice if you and D H could join us . I wish all my D G friends could be there . What a reunion that would be !Save me some of those maters , I'll probably pay a good price for "real" toms , I'm sure gonna miss not having them for sure .
We had some of last years butternut squash with a little butter some onion and seasoning and a mess of this years asparagus, with a few morel mushrooms, for supper. Bet I gained a couple pounds for that
Still have one or two squash left
Sally. We might surprise ya next year. We get enough of that " color" We might roost on your door step fer a week or two. They say there is some flour here but probably not enough to pay for the labor involved. So I doubt there will be much fever involved, I'm probably a little too old for that much work, day in and day out.
I know I will need to either overhaul the van engine or get a better vehicle before I put many more miles on any of my vehicles. the van only has 371,000 miles on it with only a valve job for that many miles. We get back from this trip, I may have to get a job to play catch up, before I start on a overhaul. But I think the enjoyment will be worth all of that. Heh Heh, Kids think I'm nuts for trying but they forget some of the things they did.
I'm going to have tomatoes but I might have a jungle of weeds trying to choke them out when we get back lol I'm going to put a bunch of preen down on both sides of the row. going to do the same for the potatoes and the sweet corn.That should cut down some of the weed growth.
I wouldn't be able to have a bale garden and not water it for a month, so I guess this will have to do.
Jeanette; How are this latest bunch of maters doing? No more dying off I hope.
Nope Russ, so far so good. We'll see. I am trying a couple on the deck in an Earthbox. I had a couple of those years ago and gave them to my daughter. She uses them for everything so I am going to try one this year just to see how they do.
Other than that I planted about 20. Everything from Jelly Beans, Sun Sugars, to EArly Bush Beefsteaks and everything in between. Those will be interesting. They are suppose to be good for our short season. We'll see.
I am getting very envious of your trip. Haven't been camping in years. Used to do a lot. I'm with you Russ. Sally would probably be wondering how she got involved in this with us that don't have all the energy we used to.
371K isn't too bad on that van. Just hope you make it back before you need to do more than the valves. I am sure the kids think you are crazy. They will have you registered in the "home" when you return. LOL
Jeanette; they started on me when I had my accident. I told them then that if they got too restrictive that I was running away. Didn't take them long to settle down.
I'm thinking the van will make that trip. I'll be easy on her and try to hold her back. She likes to run an I really have to keep an eye on the speedometer.
Several years ago, I got stopped a couple times. All in the same year. Don't want that to happen again.
Some vehicles are like that Russ. If you have a cruise control that would hold it down.
Bet you did learn a lot from growing from seeds Kent. That is the most fun of a garden to me. Love to see those little guys sprout and get bigger. You are lucky tho, you don't have to hold them inside as long as I do. I am just now getting mine planted outside. Which means that I have to repot them in larger containers at least once and possibly more.
Kent , I'd take them as they are and eat them out of hand with a catsup bottle in the other hand .
If your D W would give her recipe for the casserole that freezes good , I bet we all would apperciate it .Freeze cooked or uncooked ?
Russ , Bet I can find room to roost .Tex or georgia ?
I was thinking Georgia.
That way We would be closer to My nephew In SC and just a couple hundred from sister in law in NC. Got a lot of work to do on the vehicle situation before we can plan that though.
But hey why not.
Texas wouldn't be out of the picture though. We might enjoy warming our toes while the snow is 3 ' deep up here. lol
Finally gonna get my 'maters in the bales tomorrow - set them outside today. We've gone from 50s at night and 70s during the day to high 60s at night and high 80s and into the 90s during the day! Too fast for me! This is the first year I've started everything from seed myself (so far. I may supplement with some plants when I see how everything's doing).
Looking forward to a brilliant garden this year. It was really exciting to be able to turn so many folks on to the joys of Hay Bale gardening this year. I had fun, giving the classes, and people really responded. Lotsa new bale gardeners around here this season.
Beautiful Kent. Let me ask you, do you think the containers you built are saving you water, work, etc. ? Do you think your plants look better than they have in the past? Did you put bales in the board containers? Were they straw or alfalfa or???
Lotsa questions I know. Really curious how you judge your garden this year vs in the past.
A pleasure to view!!! It makes us all a little envious in the North as we have been so limited with all the rain and cool weather. Now as Susan pointed out things are burning up. I planted one tomato in a used bale two days ago and covered it to protect from the direct sun's rays. So far it seems to be surviving but the temps are supposed to go even higher tomorrow so am not sure if I will plant or not! Okra seeds are sprouting in my moist paper towels so maybe I'll plant them first since they like it hot!!
Kent, I really appreciate that . My squash casserole has always lacked a little something , sounds like this is a good one .I've frozen a lot of squash but now there's a better option than fried , stewed , and mixed in cornbread and hushpuppies .
I'm passing your teachings on to my son in Tex . he's slowly putting in hay to plant in and ate his first squash ever, in hand , in the garden . Didn't even make it to the house . I've tried to get him intrested in a garden for years and now he is trying it and calling me with reports . Priceless .
Quoting: Beautiful Kent. Let me ask you, do you think the containers you built are saving you water, work, etc. ? Do you think your plants look better than they have in the past? Did you put bales in the board containers? Were they straw or alfalfa or???
Lotsa questions I know. Really curious how you judge your garden this year vs in the past.
1. I do think the frames are saving some water because the sides of the bales/soil/compost mix are not exposed to the sun/air. Less evaporation. But, the bales do a great job of retaining moisture even when exposed.
2. Other than last year's blight, I have been pleased with the way the plants have looked in the bales. As you can see by my pics, this year's garden is coming along well, too.
3. Last year I recycled my old wheat straw into the frames and packed it in as far as they would go. I then took new bales and finished filling in the remaining space. This year I added some commercial 50/50 compost/soil mixture, some sphagnum moss, and commercial manure compost to everything, plus added some new beds.
4. I've never used any grass/hay/alfalfa bales. Way too expensive in my area.
Would you guys believe it was in the 30s here last night? Hasn't gotten higher than low 50s this last week. Highest we have had all year is 70 I think last week. I have a lot of fear that this is going to be another one like last year. Only ripe tomatoes we got were the little cherry guys.
It just occurred to me that I haven't posted this link to the YouTube of my Hay Bale Gardening class (back in March) If you're interested (although most of you probably know more than I do), it's: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vXWz6AmzH_c
Have a great holiday weekend! I've got some planting to do, but it's SOOO hot here!
Good one Kent' but I spent Saturday afternoon on the roof replacing shingles that blew away. I think it will take a week to recoup.
One of the girls in my class back in the fifties, tried to get me to jitter bug. I failed then I know I would not survive now , that boogie woogie is hyper
It has been ages since I posted here, I bet it has been over a year. Last summer I gave up on straw bales here in Oregon. I have minimal sun during the day and when it doesn't warm much, everything dies. This year is even worse than last. We have had one of two days above barely 70very wet and overcast. The bales cook nicely but nothing will grow.
I have two maters that don't look like they are going to survive in a wading pool garden. My strawberries are looking good, lots of blooms but they won't ripen in this weather.
So miserable that I don't even feel like putting forth the effort to plant anything. Last year I had to plant everything 3 times before it sort of grew. By the time they would grow the season was too late. I think I got 1 tomato last year.
My bride and I are moving, after 37 years in the same house up to Longview, Washington. Don't have a house yet, I am holding out for sun light and enough room for a green house.
I have been working and researching a vermiponic system that I am going to begin here in Oregon and move to Longview. I had asked many times over in the vermicomposting forum if anyone had used worm castings for the food for a hydro bed. Well some folks in Australia were doing work with this and it works great.
It is an offshoot of the aquaponic system. It seems that they always find worms in the aquaponic grow beds that have water running through them. It seems the worms love the water, as long as it has enough oxygen in it.
So, it is only a next step to forgetting the fish and just use worms.
This is really exciting because, people can run one of these in a pretty confined space and grow a lot of great food.
Have a great day, His and Your Grateful servant, Paul.
Sorry Kent , Jnette's boogie was better .
Got my puter back in working condition last night . The router was defective and changing everything over to laptop , some of my stuff had been disabled on the desktop 'till nothing worked on either . Thanks for a good show .
Digger, I had to replace my router a while back, and I called Cisco and told the guy in their tech support, what my setup was and how I use it, and he told me what to buy, where to buy it, and how much I should pay. Then when I got it, I called him and he got me started and told me if I needed any help to call back. The CD that came with the router was so good that even I didn't need any help.
But just wanted to say that those guys at Cisco are wonderful.
LOL, glad you liked the boogie. Bob likes to listen to it every morning to get his motor running. That way he gets some work done.
I wonder if you might have to replace all of the straw from last year if you had blight?
I have heard that you can't plant maters in the same spot every year because of the
possibility of blight.
The way you have your straw boxes built, it might be harboring some things that
wouldn't occur if you used new straw every year.
Jnette , Ha Ha , It's the south again . There is a language all it's own .
I'm jealous Lenny , and Rusty has been running out all morning . The only thing that dog doesn't understand is "come here "
Or he understands too well . He pauses and looks at you , then hightailes it at full speed to where he was headed in the first place .I'm gonna chip him before someone steals him . LOL
Very impressive photo, Kent! Everything looks so neat and trim!!
My bales will finally be all planted up today and we are getting a heat wave for the next two days. The tomatoes and eggplants look great but the peppers really suffered yesterday from the sun and heat. We haven't had a lot of sun so I think they got sunstroke!! Except for three really unbearable days about a week ago it has been so nice and cool but that will change tomorrow. My seedlings do not like this see sawing. I cover everything but even with that it got pretty hot under the Remay cloth! We have chipmunks again this year; so far they have not snipped off any tomato plants - crossing my fingers and covering them as well! It's been a long long crazy spring here weather wise so a relief to finally get everything planted!
That is one beautiful garden, Kent. and definitely the way to go. a couple of my bales are falling apart, but those have the largest plants. The bales that are holding together won't grow anything. I'm sure there is an explanation for that. Maybe you could be so kind as to educate us as to why one bale fails to grow anything.
I'm probably gonna help my son set up some in Aug for his garden next year . He might plant a fall garden in them . Was just wondering , Thanks , and we don't see you so much anymore. Don't be such a stranger and more pictures please .
Hey guys, I thought we were safe from slugs by using the strawbales. Well guess what I found on one this morning. A very big sized slug just about to chomp down on a big tomato plant. I could not believe my eyes. So, you know what my next buy is going to be.
Gosh, haven't used any slug bait since I left Seattle. Well, gotta get going. ttyl,
What a coincidence you should write about slugs at this point. I just returned home after a 10 days visiting my son in Arizona. I went on a marathon planting of tomatoes in my bales just before I left. I planted marigolds in front of the bales to ward off bugs. Well most of the marigolds have been fairly chewed into oblivion and the bottom leaves of all the tomatoes have holes. The stem of my Azoychka has been three quarters eaten through and will probably have to be cut off and re-rooted. At least I now know how to do that after learned two years ago when a chipmunk snipped off many stems. (Maybe it was slugs then, too, and not the chipmunk!!) They also have eaten some of the okra seedlings and peppers. Slugs love my bales, especially the re-cycled ones from last year. I think they burrow in them! There were baby slugs as well as larger ones on lots of the plants last night at dusk so I know they are the culprit.
Fortunately, I had bought a large container of Sluggo about a month ago for my Hostas with all our rain so am prepared. I sure used a lot!
I will have to watch my German Johnsons then. This is my first year with them. I haven't planted any of the others this year.
Sorry to hear that Kent.
I've heard of using beer for slugs Sally. Now Coreys have put out a slug bait that the rain doesn't bother. I had Bob pick some up for me today but haven't looked at it. Hopefully he got the right stuff.
Yeah, but they make such a mess! Ugh, Yuck! Like putting salt on them. My daughter used to do that. Go out at night with the salt shaker and a flashlight. Ducks are really good to keep them down, but they make as big a mess as the slugs do.
Digger - Just saw your post about using treated wood to enclose the bales. This is not a good idea- you don't want what they were treated with leaching into your bales! But you know me - I figure that, if you're growing your food, you want it to be as pure as possible.
What a gorgeous weekend we're having - sunny and breezy - not hot. Heavenly. How 'bout you all?
IDK - according to what you read (depending on where you read it) genetically modified vegetables are ok, too. I'd say that, if you're interested in organic gardening, untreated wood would be the way to go.
Well...since ya asked...(snicker) Ours is looking good. The plants are much bushier than last year but not as tall. Zucchini is huge. That's okay though, they are still growing. Now for the neighbors - what can I say. They are still alive but they need to feed those poor things. Our phone/internet guy stops by to visit (see what it is like to work in a small town lol) and told us of some more bales that have popped up. We drove around and found there are 4 here trying to grow in bales. None look good. They will walk or drive by and stare but no one is asking how we do it. Some of the poor little plants look petrified!
Thanks for asking and how are yours? Did ya get rid of those darn ants?
Connie, that is funny, but let me ask you, did you try the alfafa vs straw? I thought you did. If so, what did you decide? What kind of plants did you grow? If they were determinates, they will be bushes. All the tomatoes will come on at once. If they are indeterminates they would be bigger bushes.
You said you had ripe ones, so they must be doing ok?
I did alfalfa this year and have found that they don't need as much water just like Suz said. But, mine are just like last year, June was so wet and cold that the plants didn't grow until July!! And mine aren't any different than anyone else's in this side of the state of Washington. Another year like last years. I am getting a few more tomatoes come on the plants each day, a half dozen maybe that are the size of baseballs (not quite). But that's it and I only have until mid Sept. at the latest to get any ripe. Just 2 sad years. We really have too short a season.
We are using both to compare and so far the hay is winning as far as growth. One minus is the hay is breaking down at a much faster speed than the straw. I am hoping we will have a little hay left to finish out the growing season. Now I see what she meant when she said there's nothing left at the end of the season lol. The tomatoes are the same as last year (Heinz, Beef Steak, and those yummy yellow cherry tomatoes) and then we added Roma to the list. We finally found a few Red Wolf seeds (you know the story on that one lol) and we planted those in compost. We are hoping to get at least a few ripe ones to collect seeds before frost. Such a late start on those.
Keeping my fingers crossed for you hoping you will get enough ripe ones to maybe can??? Did the Scotch Bonnets ever take off for you?
Ants and wings...must have had a good prayer meetin' with them LOL!!
No on the peppers Connie. I just cannot get peppers to do anything here. I have 2 burgundy Bells that are barely hanging on. Not peppers hanging on the plants. Plants hang on to life. However, I still have some seeds you sent so maybe another year.
Keep us posted on the comp of the bales, and also how the neighbors gardens are doing. LOL
Connie, how is your garden doing now? Are you canning yet? Ya gotta let us know how the straw vs alfalfa does. I don't know that this year would be a good comparison for me since the weather is sooooo bad. I can't even say the lack of watering I am doing is unusual because it is so cool. Actually cold. Yesterday didn't get over 60 degrees and the nighttime temps aren't doing any better. High 40s and low 50s. Too cold for tomatoes to grow. So, no it isn't even necessary to water but a couple times a week. Isn't that awful?
Actually it is picking up today. It is up to 76. Very nice, but a few more degrees would be better for the tomatoes. Now if the nights would just warm up some. Maybe we would even get some bees to wake up.
Let me know how you are doing. And have a BLT for me. LOL
Speak of the devil (snicker) We just came in from outside talking about the Romas and the yellow cherry tomatoes. (Those yellow ones are so awesome!!!) Of course your name was mentioned along with the tomatoes HA!!! Alfalfa has beat all!! Suz did good for us. YAY, SUZ :)
Just got done with a taco salad that included some freshly ripened red cherry tomatoes and onions from the garden. We just talked about BLTs too. (Are you listening to our conversations again ha!) Would have used the yellow but they disappeared just as quick as they were pulled off the vines hee, hee. Gotta find some "blue ribbon" recipes for salsa, ketchup and other stuff. I am ready for canning!! If we could meet in the middle with the temps, we'd both be happy. Highs hitting 100s and no rain in sight. Hubby said they just changed the forecast to 40% for Friday so we are keeping our fingers crossed.
Got a funny for ya: We took our Grandson fishing and who do we run into but the neighbor up on the corner trying to grow in bales. We asked him how they were doing for him and he said "oh, those are my girlfriend's". He asked us how we were doing it and continued to talk. Couldn't get a word in edge wise then he left. He said "I'm, err she is putting compost from scraps around the bottom of the bales." and kept asking questions but we never got to say a thing. They actually started the bales before we did and he aka she made a clear tent out of plastic for a greenhouse effect. They looked great when they took it off but they haven't grown any since. Not sure if they are hitting a foot tall and not sure if they have any green left on them.
Connie, you are such a tease. Don't you even share with him? LOL, yeah right. Not much!! Sounds like you got the bug girl. Be sure you save seeds from the Sun Sugars. Those are the little yellow cherries. So good. I didn't get any this year 'cause mine that I started from seed got hit by frost so I ended up buying some and nobody had those. I did save 2 Jelly Bean plants that I had started from seed. Have you had any of those? I hope I get some to try 'cause I have never had any.
Look on google for some recipes. Just type in recipe for salsa, or recipe for cherry tomato salsa, anything like that. Whatever you want. You will get a lot of recipes and just look thru them. You might find something that sounds real good.
Anytime I need a recipe for something I don't have, that is what I do.
Ya know, that day I was going to be nice and share.:)))) He just wouldn't let me say anything lol!!! We are definitely saving seeds from those tomatoes. Hubby takes care of the seeds and he thought they started with a G. He is thinking Gallaway or something??? He said Sun Sugars didn't ring a bell. He will have to look through the seeds but whatever they are... You did good :) Never heard of the Jelly Bean plants. Are those mini cherry tomatoes?
I have been looking at different recipes and ratings. Family recipes have been lost through the years due to lack of interest by family members which is so sad. I have others but only one for canning. I am hoping one day to make two recipe books for the kids and hope they will pass them on.
Well, I sure hope things warm up enough for you to get a good tomato or two. You might just have to pack up and come to my house. Heck, the others have gone visiting so why not lol!! Have you heard from Russ or the others? I hope they are safe and having a wonderful time!!!
Yes, as a matter of fact, funny you should ask now. I got an email from Russ today saying they had a real good time other than the river was high, which I think they all are. Too high to use the sluice box so he was disappointed with that since he had wanted to learn that too. Said Johnny, Sally's husband, was a good teacher tho 'cause he actually found some gold. He said not enough to make him rich, but at least he panned some.
So that was cool. I am sure they will be on soon. I think he was having trouble getting on DG so he was wanting me to maybe give Melody or Terry an email telling them. But then he discovered he was spelling his password wrong or something and is on, so I am sure you will hear from him soon.
Wonder if the G was for Sun Gold? The ones I sent you were Sun Sugar. Don't know if I sent you seeds or told you to get some. They are so good. Think I sent you seeds. Tell him to look for Sun Sugar. ttyl,
Well, it's not the easiest for me to find a place to start.
But, Sally was successful in jarring me out of my comfort zone of what I felt I could spend on a trip. The lure of learning to pan for gold and finally being able to put a face to someone called Digger, must have been the real draw. As Gary, at the coffee shop has been watching a show filmed in Alaska about finding gold on the beach I think by Nome, and kept showing it to me while sucking up several cups of that morning nectar, so there was an interest there to start with and Barb and I hadn't been on a real vacation for quite sometime.
Convinced at last, the race was on to get ready. I had an old pop-up camper that I drug home to scrap out, but had not started to do so yet.
With the interest in the trip, I took another look at the camper and decided
( I can fix it ) I mean really. Pull some of the skin off the outer edges of the hard top, replace the wood frame work. replace the skin and seal the joints. Take the canvas off both ends do some sewing and patching of torn material.
New tires as it had been setting 1989. Wheel bearings on one side and repacked bearings on the other side. The lights were all gone, so found lights that would work and got them all working. Got it registered and licensed. this took all fall and most of this spring to get it ready as I was doing the work outside and it was a rainy fall, a cold winter, then this spring wasn't that good either. I also had to decide what to pull it with. I decided on the van I bought from the delivery company for salvage price. a 1996 Ford E150 cargo van.
It also needed a little care. tires, breaks wheel bearings one hub and rotor. and a good going over. Was a good thing we had made our plans months ahead of time. Now Barb had been dragging her feet most of this time. Not looking forward to such a long trip and no running water or electric at the camp site. When it came to the last week or two we were both in agreement though and really started getting ready.
The trip across Nebraska was uneventful, being mostly flat. We stopped for the night at Ft. Morgan Co as a distant family ancestor was instrumental in starting free camping in a park by the Platte river .
The rest of the way was ( different ) when we went Southwest from Denver we began to wonder if the van would have enough power to make it all the way as a quite a few of the long steep grades we had to downshift, all the way to low gear!. I had driven that van working for the delivery company and hauled many heavy loads in it and put many of the 373000 miles on it. I trusted it and thought I knew how it would handle. This was different, very different. But as I looked around only the lighter units or those with V 8s were right on my tail or passing. That made me feel a little better but I think an overhaul may be in order, so sometime soon that will be in order.
Now Johnny and Sally had things to get ready too. getting their dredge all checked out and their van all ready too.
Well the usual happened. Both Barb & I as well as Johnny and Sally forgot a few things we would have liked to have along.
We kept in touch on the way. We didn't have as far to travel and we left a day earlier than we had planned so we got to the original destination a day early.
Sally discovered that some of our plans had to change. Due to the weather late spring snow and mud in one area. Not able to dredge in this or that area. So We decided to meet in Salida at the Wal-Mart parking lot and check things out. Figure out where to go. We greeted each other as though we were family that we hadn't seen for a while. Hugs! We were very glad to have that much of the trip complete. It felt good to be with friends.
Sally had all the phone numbers and claim information, so a few phone calls
and a drive to get more information and we were off again to find a camp site.
It was Sunday so after setting up the campers and unloading. Sally made some coffee and we rested and visited the rest of the day.
Coffee pot was one of the things we had forgot.
Monday morning some of my lessons to began, likely place to dig, how to set up the sluice, how fast- slow to feed it. Johnny and I managed to get up and down the river bank with some difficulty and run several buckets of material through his sluice then cleaned it into an empty bucket and carried that material back up to the camp and began to separate the gold from the sand by panning. I was a little awkward at first and a little over cautious, thinking I would spill any gold in the pan and find nothing. But I soon got better with Johnny's coaching and could do pretty good.
Now all this was work but fun for me. But with not being able to put the dredge in the river in this area because the water was too high and the current too swift, that left a lot to be desired by Sally as that was really what she had in mind. So she and Barb done a lot of visiting while Johnny and I were making the best of the situation. and I was learning something new.
We had several visitors to our little camp. One was a couple staying in a cabin for several months of the summer. he stopped in several times to see how we were doing. once giving us 2 trout he had caught. Well Sally hadn't planned to do any cooking and we had planned to go along with that plan. but how long would trout keep and there were only two. So Sally made a wonderful stew that we all provided items to make it. You can't make a little stew, so that was good for a couple meals.She also made a great chilli, same story it is hard to make just a little. That was also good for a couple meals.
Then there was another couple that dropped by they were the caretakers of that claim, they dropped off 4 ears of sweet corn. That was put in an ice chest for a while. We made a few trips into town for ice and to make some phone calls as our children wanted to hear from us as well as Sally's and Johnny's to hear from them. after all who was this other couple they were with. LOL;I felt bad that the river and the location was not any thing like Sally had planned and she really didn't get in on any dredging or panning. But it was a situation that we just had to make the best of.
Well Sally said she was done cooking she washed her skillets. They were going to try another spot as we were going to have to move our camp anyway.
So Barb and I watched over things at camp while they checked out another area. While they were gone and about the time they should be getting back, I got out our dutch oven, husked the sweet corn and boiled it. I would have roasted it but we couldn't have a campfire as it was so dry and they were in a high fire risk area.
Where they found what was to be a good place they didn't think Barb and I could get our camper turned around let alone make one or two of the turns, so we had supper of sweet corn and sandwiches. and decided to break camp in the morning after coffee. We would head back home and they would try this new area. I think Sally will tell the story of that place.
Anyway in leaving I forgot one turn and went about 15 or 20 miles out of the way but it was very scenic and we enjoyed the view even though we finally decide to turn around at a little over 1100ft elevation and we knew for sure we were going UP the wrong road. That was the last wrong way or lost if you wish, the rest of the trip.
Now Panning for gold was work and was even fun for me but it proved a little more like working for mister scrooge and after a couple days you find you have earned around 15 cents. But we did find gold and it will be a keepsake. the real gold though however was in the friendship that is now cast in gold and we have a face for (Digger) Sally and Johnny.
I will have to load some of the pictures yet so some will follow soon.
Sorry this was so long and off our straw bale garden theme but this is where digger an I started visiting.
And I hope you will either forgive the story or enjoy the little side track.
What a wonderful story!!! I had just asked Jnette if she had heard from you all. Now I am sure you have left out some details that we would get a kick out of. Maybe when digger gets back on, she will fill in the blanks (so to speak ) LOL! Thanks for sharing some awesome memories with your DG family :)
I have lots to tell about Russ and dw, Barb . Deliteful . Gotta catch up on visiting with family first . Made wonderful friends and grateful for the chance to meet them . Just wish the parks dept . and bureau of land management would have let us camp in one place more than two weeks, then have to move over 30 air miles
Kent, Russ, anyone, have any of you heard anything from Lena? Wasn't she in Australia last we heard? I thought she went there from NZ. Right? Then there was that terrible weather, hurricanes or something in Australia. Hope she is ok.
I keep waiting, thinking we should hear any time. This is their winter I think. Let us know if you have heard from her.
Jeanette; how are things going with your home and the possible move??
I was able to get out in the garden today and do a little catch up on tying up my tomatoes. Some of them have a pretty good size to them. No ; no ripe ones yet. I think they missed me. Going to give them a good watering tonight. Got lots of nice potatoes though. I've been making good use of them already. as I dumped over my tire project. Got 20 good sized ones from that. I will probably try that again. Might even stack it a little higher if I stick around home a little longer. LOL
My cannas that I nearly forgot about and planted the last of June are growing. Don't know if they will multiply much but at least it should save the tubers. They range from 8" to 13" tall right now. Got a ways to go before they bloom though. Probably not in time for the humming birds though. I need to put out a couple more feeders, so they stick around.
Had fresh caught catfish and new potatoes for supper. yummy
My tomatoes are finally getting fruit on them. So ok, I am using alfalfa bales this year. I just went out the other day and cut off leaves, and big branches, in one case half the plant. Parts that were not producing. I had such gorgeous blossoms they would have made a beautiful bouquet in a vase in my house. But no fruit. The plants are 4 to 5 1/2 feet tall from the bales up.
Ok, my question is, was the alfalfa too much nitrogen? Suz??? What do your plants do? I seem to do the same thing with all this type of plant. Including my brugs. I have such beautiful plants but no blossoms on the brugs, and not much fruit on the tomatoes. My daughter tells me I am too kind to my plants.
Suz, tell me, do you have produce in conjunction with your plants? In other words, do you have as much fruit/vegetables as you do foliage? Or in equal, maybe not quite equal, amounts? Do you know what I mean?
If you can get some liquid kelp that may help. That is recommended when tomatoes are fruiting and filling out instead of nitrogen. Foliar feed as well as hitting the soil.
I am using some alfalfa bales (4) this year as well and I don't think that is the cause. I will have to go out tomorrow and really look at the tomatoes in the alfalfa bales to compare to the straw ones. I know they are strong but will do a tomato count!!
it has been a very strange summer with extremes. I notice that different varieties of tomatoes really set at different times. I have over 50 different varieties this year and a few have set no tomatoes yet, others one or two, and others are filled. I really think it depends on the variety and the weather conditions. One Italian grape is just about dead - not sure what caused that since the 4 different varieties next to it in a row are doing fine and my Amazon Chocolate has leaves that are wilting and then turning brown. I have never had that but fear it may be a blight?? So hang in there - you will get ripe tomatoes eventually!!! Try the kelp and see if that helps with the setting and ripening.
Jessica why does it have to be a liquid kelp? I have a granular kelp. Wait a minute, I also have a kelp blend with humic acid and a few other good things. I do believe it is water soluble. But kelp would be a nitrogen too. Wouldn't it?
I see you are zone 6. How long do you think you have yet for your tomatoes to ripen? We normally get a frost any time after Labor Day. After that one frosty night, it will be nice up until mid to late October!! It can I should say. Not will.
So are you saying the kelp will help them ripen???
The kelp has micro-nutrients and minerals including potassium which encourages flowering, fruiting and overall health. It sounds like your mix would be fine. Read the label and see what it says or Google for more info. Granular kelp is slower acting, I think, at this point and spraying the whole plant once a week for the next couple of weeks might help. I have Aggrand products which includes 4 types of fertilizer from a general one, to liquid bone meal, liquid lime and liquid kelp with sulphate of potash. On their planting guide, which explains when to use what combination, they suggest using just the kelp with sulphate of potash at tomato fill. I use 2-4 tbs per gallon. Use your liquid kelp and follow the directions and see what happens. You certainly will not be worse off. The one thing you do know is that you probably don't need any more nitrogen!
I also have Aggrand Liquid Lime and Liquid Bonemeal. They recommend mixing the Liquid Bonemeal with the General one at first blooming and the Liquid Lime with the General at full blooming. If you can get either of those it might help as well (doesn't have to be Aggrand - they are strictly Internet Order). My problem is that the tomato plants are never doing any of those things all at once. I have very few determinates where I could say the plant is in "full flower". I'm sure you have the same situation. Each plant is in various stages all at once - so I cover my bridges and use both in my mixes. Using both should cover the flowering and fill!
For the moment start with your Kelp and Humic Acid mix and that should do the trick if the weather cooperates! Are you getting this terrible humidity? That is certainly slowing down the tomato setting!
You certainly do frost earlier than we do. First frost for us is usually second week of October but we can start getting very cool nights in September which slows the tomatoes down considerably. While it says Zone 6 some Zone 6 plants don't make it here if we have a harsh winter so I generally consider us a 5 to be safe and experiment with Zone 6 plants.
Good Luck. I have just resigned myself to the fact that things are MUCH slower this season and I get what I get! I am praying more that the diseases stay away as they hit in August two years ago and a couple of my plants have me worried at this point - don't want their problems (whatever they are - must check that out) to move to others!
That should be good. Fish emulsion has nitrogen but there are different ones. Was the middle number higher or lower than the first? It's good now if the middle number is higher. That's the same as adding more bone meal. I checked my tomatoes today - many still very slow to set since the heat wave. They are just starting to flower heavily again so I think they may set better. Many of us are facing the same problem this year. Fortunately we love fried green tomatoes! LOL
I had such gorgeous blossoms on those tomatoes. Some had huge double flowers on them. I could have made a beautiful bouquet for the house with them. As it was, I cut a lot of the leaves, suckers, and almost anything that wasn't producing off. Blossoms that didn't have any tomatoes on them had to go. Big branches and one even half the plant. There is no point trying to get them to grow fruit now. They wouldn't even be big enough to bother with for fried.
Anyway, this way the strength will go into finishing off the tomatoes that are on there. I hope. I only did that to half of them and will do the same to the rest one of these days. I do actually have one small tomato that is orange. Don't know why. :0)
Sorry to hear your tomatoes are still not ripening! How frustrating! Would it help to bring some in and let them ripen indoors?
I am finally getting a few on some varieties but it is very slow here in the NE as well. Temps have dropped to 70's and 50's-60's at night. Now we are having tons of rain so the leaf diseases are running rampant! I think my garden would be great for students to visit who want to see what various leaf diseases look like! Some plants the leaves are turning brown-black and drying up, others are yellow with big blotches, and others are yellow with tiny brown dots. I keep removing the dead leaves so some plants look a little peculiar being so bare. I have never had such a variety of leaf problems. The tomatoes seem unaffected so far - just exposed!
I have determined that I will plant only one tomato plant per bale next year so that they have more space for air circulation. The alfalfa bales are smaller than the straw bales so putting two in each one caused too much crowding. I found last year that when I replaced a dead tomato plant with an eggplant everyone was happy. Three tomato plants have died already from leaf and stem disease leaving the tomatoes hanging: Amazon Chocolate, Grappeli d'Inverno and the Principe Borghese. I am sad about the last two since I planted them to make sun dried tomatoes. Well better luck next year. Don't know what hit the last two but some kind of wilt killed the Amazon - never had that before. This has been a super crazy summer weather wise so nothing should surprise me. They certainly are not enjoying being drowned in all this rain! At least the tops of many plants are green and flowering but that will only be good for getting fried green tomatoes!
Jeanette; my tomatoes have just started and now they are ripening just a little faster than we can slice them for BLTs.I have Mr. stripeys, Ammana paste, big boy, a yellow one that my daughter gave me and Rutgers. I will soon be able to pick enough to can a quart or two at a time. Gary's are ripening too so I may be selfish for a while. lol
I need to be out there digging potatoes , a few hills at a time. Nothing major until sometime next month, so they will keep over winter!
Well, we have been getting tomatoes for a little while. Darn heat moved in but the rain didn't so they don't look as good as last year...(and we couldn't get them started at first last year lol). I have enough to make a mess on my counter but not getting enough for canning. Maybe before long...fingers are crossed!!
Glad to hear your tomatoes are getting big, Jeanette. Keeping my fingers crossed for you too. I kinda stumbled upon that thread you had going and thought about jumping in but I left ya alone HA!!! Told Hubby that when he goes to water make sure he shakes hands with those tomatoes lol!!! Hey, if it will work we will do it:))))))))
Dang, Kent!!! How in the world do you eat those things????? If you like those, I have scotch bonnet seeds on hand :) I need lots more tomatoes for juice and sauce. Sure would be nice to can some up. How many plants did you put out this year? You got an awesome amount of tomatoes.
Gardadore, I started cutting the leaves and unproductive parts off of my tomatoes around the first of this month. I think that did help some. I have not had any problem with diseases, maybe that is why. Because they did get air thru them..
As long as it doesn't affect the fruit, I guess it doesn't matter. Maybe mentally. LOL But, you might try that.
It doesn't sound like anybody but Kent has had enough ripen to can. How many plants did you put in Kent?
Russ, you don't really count because you weren't here during the most important part of the year for the plants. Next year.
Well, due to my part of the country and short season, I don't really feel too bad, 'cause I am counting on a couple more weeks at least to ripen. If I don't get that, then I will feel bad. If I get that, then I might consider my year semi successful.
Cool enough here this morning to have a light jacket on when I went outside for my coffee and cigarette . Morning ritual . Glad the crops came in for most everyone . I have a little volunteer Beef master in the compost pile but only a conversation plant .
My dil planted 80 toms and 87 quarts of toms , sauce , soup base so far and still pickin . (some for me when I get over there this weekend )
For a while there I was going thru a half a gallon of hummer food every other day. But, it is turning so cold now that I think they may be heading South. Not using it so much now.
It is still only 47 degrees out there and it is 7:30. The weather people did say it is suppose to warm back up this week. High 80s to low to mid 90s this week. We'll see. A woman was telling yesterday that she had frost the night before. She is about 50 miles East of us. Can you believe frost already?
"Connie I think Kent has big plans. Jeanette" Sure sounds like it lol!!! I hope you plants hang in there long enough to harvest some ripe ones, Jeanette. We finally got enough to ripen at the same time for 7 quarts of juice. Hey, that beats none :))))))))) More are starting to turn so we are hoping...
Tell that frost to stay away for a little bit longer!!!
You had to ask about the hummers Kent. A baby hit my window so have been nursing it back and finally got it to eat from a straw and fly a bit around the bathroom so decided out in the big wide spaces was better for it than living in a dark shoebox. Took a couple days. Just took it out this morning.
Kent, are you and your family ok? Were you in any place near where Irene was? How did you weather the storm? Good I hope. I suppose all of you folks in your jobs have to work and then worry about your home situation later huh?
Well lets hope that the storm heads out to sea and stays there. Burns itself out. Jeanette