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Anyone remember that from childhood when picking sides etc.?
Here's today's shot of my potato row. They are doing just fine since the first batch was knocked back from our last frost.
Jeanette: 10-4 on the time difference
This next item is a "gas". The info was sent to me by someone who knows I'm into bale gardening. It's from Bottom Line.
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I guess you could kill 2 birds with 1 stone when you're trimming your bales if you just munch on a little bit, too. :-)
Kent that is a good looking row of spuds. What do you do in the green area. Do you use Lawn mower and just cut occasionally. We are getting the nearest to rain that we have had for two months, Sort of a shower which I am afraid won't last long. It is quite windy and not pleasant outside, so I was in the gh trying to finish with my transplanting of seedlings.
Kent; I'm still in the thinking stage as far as what to put out. it's still early here. But I think I'll take a chance on some tomatoes. If I put plastic over the dome. and really its a little late for potatoes. But I normaly don't bother with them, as so far they arn't that expenseive. I did plant the sprouts that I broke off one of the potatoes before baking them.
Right now though I'm going to have to rest up, a couple friends and I went mushroom hunting. I think I will probably have leg cramps tonight. Just straight walking would have been good. But in wet soil and timber, sand and weeds. I admit it I'm out of shape. But the hunt was good, so I'll not complain.
Some of my garden work is at a stand still as our daughter needed to borrow my truck. while she is getting her jeep repaired. Think I should have loaned her the car. LOL
I still have more loose straw I want to pickup, for mulch, and such.
Oh well so goes life.
Today I began searching the area for appropriate straw bales. I usually get straw bales from one family of vegetable growers but always used them strictly for mulch, not to grow in. Somewhere on these threads I read to avoid bales where the wheat or oats had been sprayed with the herbicide "Growzone". I asked the family today what their straw had been sprayed with after explaining what I needed the bales for. The father became incredibly incensed, started yelling that he wouldn't sell me the bales because he couldn't guarantee that my crops would grow and ranted against "organic" growers with their extermist ways! He refused to give me the name of his sprays! I was dumbfounded. His wife was more rational and understood I was only trying to find out if it was the herbicide you had listed, that other sprays might be OK. Unfortunately I had forgotten the name Growzone. She will ask her son next week what he uses.
Now my question is: Are there any other pesticides or herbicides I should guard against if they were used on my bales?
In the meantime I will ask other strawbale sources and hope they will be more rational about this subject! This will be my first year trying strawbale gardening and I am really excited about the prospect if I can overcome this hurdle!
Donna, I can't figure out why you are not getting rain. I just talked to my daughter in Federal Way and she said it is raining there. It is raining here. Why do the clouds jump right across you all and get us?
Donna, the Heleborus you sent me is getting more blooms every year. It is so pretty. And my white one is betting huge too. But, I don't know why, but yours drops seeds and starts new ones but the white one doesn't.
Russ, my 1996 Jeep Grand Cherokee has $306K miles on it and still running good.
Karen have you tried the wheat grass drink? It sounds terrible.
Gard, you are going to have to tell us your name, but you know, I never thought to ask about the straw I got. It might have weed killers in it and my tomatoes won't grow.
Jnette; That just goes to show what regular maintenence can do for dependable transportation.
A while back I had a small town mechanic, tell me no car can go that many miles on the same engine. I just laughed and said, well I know for a fact that this one has.
Although most carburated engines of the 60s and 70s that would be streching it. The advance to throttle body and fuel injection has greatly inhanced that probability. But we won't even get into certian driveing habits.
I wish you much happy motoring. Alas I will not be putting on as many miles now though; That is unless the price of gas comes back down. Or wages and SS goes up sufficently so I can afford to drive more than one extra mile per paycheck.
But look out if transportation didn't depend on a fuel controled by our government.
Oops I'm dreaming again!!!! LOL
russ: 10-4 on potatoes being cheap, that's exactly what my mama said, but I just wanted to try to see how they would do. Still there's nothing like a fresh potato boiled up with alot of butter, onions, and salt and pepper.
Karen: haven't tried wheat grass juice, but I did drink some Barley Grass juice sometime back. I believe the brand was BarleyGreen. It's probably great for you, but I quit buying it. I'd rather have my Bojangles Biscuit in the morning!!! :-)
My potato row is planted in the leftover straw from my double row of cukes from last year. Most of the straw went to the mulch pile. I just kept out what I thought looked like enough for the potatoes. I'm very pleased so far.
gardadore: the response you got was a surprise. I can't understand why that joker would go off like that. He must be suffering from "irregularity". Tell him you'll let him have some of your wheat grass to chew on. Maybe it'll help him!
Everyone I've asked simply told me what they put on their crop, and no one I asked put any herbicides on their crop, just some nitrogen fertilizer.
The guy was trying to sell the wheat grass itself, so he had just made it up into juice to show us how good it was. Still tasted like grass to me. Maybe there are different varieties of wheat grass. = - )
Kent said; "Still there's nothing like a fresh potato boiled up with alot of butter, onions, and salt and pepper."
And I dearly love the tiny "new" potatoes, and can never get enough. I suspect very few of my potaotes will get very large, except the russets, which I will try to let mature :)
I'm not good with words about those sorts of things because it's just overwhelming to me as I sit in here typing in health & comfort, so how about I just say "thanks" to you for your service, and not just on behalf of straw suppliers everywhere!
There not hard to perpetuate are they :)
I've been trying to keep my patch small. At one time I had three rows about 12' long. Done a lot of digging to make it smaller. Have to watch were the excess dirt is distributed. or another patch will be started.
Do you have a good recipe you would share??
Gotcha covered, Darius. These are just a root with a leaf at this point in the year, but that's all you'll need. And they are very beautiful plants as well, though the flea or asparagus beetles (are they the same thing?) riddle the leaves later in the summer.
I get a lot of odd shaped roots. Maybe the bucket and sand thing would be a much better idea. I think I have had them now for about 15 to 20 years. keeping the extras mowed don't do too bad. Would a bucket be big enough or more like a half barrel be better?
Speaking of combining horseradish and potatoes for eating, they are also great garden companions since the horseradish helps deter the Colorado potato beetle! I have read one should plant horseradish in each corner of the potato patch. Maybe this could be done with the straw bales as well if you are growing potatoes!
Kent, I don't know if the gentleman was suffering from "irregularity" or not but he certainly doesn't like anyone who remotely sounds like an organic gardener! I'll be glad to offer him some of my grass if I ever find bales that haven't been sprayed with an herbicide! I'm going to check with a nearby goat farm that sells straw as well as goats!
By the way the wheat grass juice is also very popular in Australia. It is sold at juice bars as a "Power" drink. It's kind of amusing to watch them pull out this tray of grass, clip some off, and then put it in a blender. My DH and I both tried it when we visited there in the fall a year ago. Can't say I felt any great "power" surge but I have tasted worse!
Jeanette, my name is Jessica and I really enjoy this strawbale thread! You all keep my poor addled brain going with all kinds of ideas for setting up the bales, planting them and creating staking and watering systems. The watering will be the hardest part for me unless I set up some kind of "hose stations" to avoid having to drag my hose so far so often! But the results sound worth the effort!
Kent, I watched also with tissue in hand. So tragic. My dad, brother and husband were all Army. I support our troops and always have no matter what I feel about the leadership, enough said on that. I volunteer with the Army Natl Guard and work with the Family Program. I've been on hand for deployments and returns, tissues needed both times! Kids Camp for kids of the Guard starts June 16th at Camp Dawson here in WV and this will be my first year at Camp. I'm Craft Superviser this year or some such title :~) I am kidless but will be supervising around 200 kids with crafts. I'll probably come back babbling with no hair ;~) lol.
I'm trying to go back thru the threads, but I'm afraid the growing season will be over before I can finish :). Does anyone know where I can find some info on "spacing" the bale residents? I'm trying to figure out plants per bale (eg, I _think_ I remember hearing 2 tomatoes, 4 peppers) but some of my bales are smaller than others. My problem is that I had it all figured out...but somehow I ended up with more plants than I'd thought, and still 9 tomato plants have yet to arrive. Has anyone put it all together? Is there an FAQ section? An "Idiot's Guide"?
Thanks, (the other) Margo, (who swears that plants crawl into her shopping cart and hide until they get home...)
Lana: appreciate your volunteering for the camp; I know you and the kids will be blessed, and if you come back with short hair, it'll grow back! :-)
Margo: here's what's worked for me re: spacing on a "standard" size bale
3 - 4 peppers/bale
4 sets of okra
3 - 4 tomatoes (4 is crowded, but if you sucker you'll be OK; I'm only doing 3/bale this year)
2 sets of yellow squash or zucchini
2 - 3 sets of cukes (double row works great)
That's all the varieties I've planted so far.
rutholive: forgot to answer a question you had about the grass between my bales.
I just mow it with the lawnmower each time I cut my yard and once in between to keep the garden area looking neat.
Have thought of you guys too
I dropped off Dave's. Dallied about renewing and then they wouldn't let me back on for the previous member price and I just figured I could spend the $25 somewhere else. Luckily several people are still on Gardenweb and you know - its made me get off the computer and get some other things done. Kids are keeping me busy and all.
Hi to you and especially to Kent also.
I've sent his article to all kinds of people encouraging them to do this.
Would be nice to say hi on the list but maybe you will do that for me!
I do check Daves for a few forums that aren't blocked like NorthEast Gardening Forum.
See you around and happy gardening this summer!
has anyone tried direct seeding tomatos in the bales?...I have some heirloom seeds & would like to try them in some soil in the bales...how about peppers? cukes? melons?
We have deer problems even with our 3 dogs (12 to 20 in a herd & a couple of single mommys with their fauns) so I took some 2 foot fencing i had laying around & hooked it to the trellis fence in back of the bales & made a"tent" to protect all the babies...they've been safe so far. i'm going to try the Irish Spring on a string trick to see if it helps when the plants get bigger...anyone have any other ideas?
Summerkid, and anybody else, I am curious how you do your horseradish? Kid, how deep is that sand pail? I have some in a 20 gallon pot like a tree planter. Not sand tho. Then what do you guys do to preserve it? Do you grate it and mix with vinegar, oil, or?? Do you can it? How long does it keep once you grate it? Also, what do you use to grate it with?
I saw some a lady had mixed one time, she had put it in baby food jars. I think she put vinegar in it.
Oh, btw, I have never sowed any seeds directly in the strawbales so can't help you there. How are you guys making holes or space to put the roots of your plants in the straw?
Thanks for your name Jessica.
Foggy, the deer know there is safety in numbers. The most I get at one time is 3 so they do come up and hang around the house but only when my dog is inside barking at them. And, for some reason I have never seen them around my plants on the back side of the house. Weird. Both mule deer and white tails.
jeanette: re horseradish; I use only the smaller roots to avoid the pithy centers which give an off taste; peel & cut into 1" pieces, put them into a blender with white vinegar and salt (the latter being optional) blend until I like the consistancy, I like it really fine & if you get the liquid 'just right' the mix will roll in the blender - at the end I add a dollop of maple syrup (simply because that is what my grandmother used to do - I imagine sugar would do as well) then I freeze it in small amounts - It will stay perfectly fresh while frozen & keep forever, give or take a year: Good luck!
ps: when you open the blender, keep your head away, it is powerful! perry
Thanks Kent, That's what I was looking for:). I have mostly heirloom tomatoes, so they'll get (hopefully) pretty big, so I'll probably stick to 2-3.( And then, when I have no more room, I'll stick others in between).
I don't have any results on direct seeding yet, but I'm trying green beans, beets, cucumbers, various squashes and melons. It's been 4 whooooole days, and they haven't showed up yet :(.
(the other) Margo
WHOOPEEEEE! They Live:). My direct seeded babies are awake. Their little green heads are just up. I'm so proud...So far, we have one variety of cukes, at least one of each kind of squash (summer and winter) and the pumpkin. The melons are still a bit worried, I guess, that it may not stay warm. I told them I have styrofoam hats for everyone now, and they can safely come up into the light.
I kept the trailers apart from the tomatoes, but mostly because I didn't want to spare the space in the tomato bales. Maybe in the fall...
Thanks, Foggy :).
The little green heads were popping up all day long. I wasted a LOT of time checking on them, and hovering around like a nervous nellie. Even watered the beetlings so they didn't dry out. Now I know that if they had enough water/moisture to germinate they were probably fine, but they looked thirsty, and they're so little...
Well , they're just babies & they need extra attention! lol
i direct seeded some peppers and some melons yesterday...the bales were 80 degrees & I thought the melons would be happy with that. I still have the wire tents on & if it gets too hot for the young seedlings when they rise I'll put cheesecloth on that to shade 'em a little.
the tomatos are poking through the wire tent, but it helps to train them right now & i'll just cut it away if it interferes
Those who have sweet potatos...if you don't already know..deer LOVE them...they nipped mine off to the roots twice year before last & the darling things came back & gave me a great harvest, after i put wire tents to protect them... I just took 6 ft pcs of fencing & made the round "tents" about 2 ft high.
Foggy I found that rabbits are also very hard on sweet taders. But they don't like the ones with hot pepper sauce sprayed on them. I have some rabbit proof fence, but not enough to go around the garden. I may have to work on that. Maybe your idea of individual cages would do, untill the plant is established, and a bite or two will no longer be a problem. Ok now I better get busy.
Poking my head in from SW PA; I just ordered 30 oat bales today, they will be delivered tomorrow. I plan to grow tomatoes, mellons, zuccini and cukes in them. I had never heard of this before until I stumbled on to this thread three days ago. I was hooked right away. I love doing new and interesting things in the garden.
Hope you have fun with bale gardening! Thirty bales, eh? Take lots of pictures, please!
I'm only doing two bales here on the farm but DD is doing more at her school. This week I set out some peppers and tomatoes in my bales, they didn't even flinch from the transplanting and are standing as tall as soldiers still!
Hey, Kent. Well a forum is like the "Vegetable Gardening" forum that these threads are located in. We could request that they make a seperate forum for Straw Bale Gardening, since we are so active. Don't know if they would honor it, but we could certainly request it.
That pic was taken just a day or two after the bales arrived, they are turning green from the wheat sprouting now, lol. The bales along the back row will be for tall stuff, since they are on the west side, tomatoes, okra. The other bales will have other stuff, broccoli, eggplant, peppers, squash, zucchini, cucumber. We only plant a few of each since there is only two of us.
Those trees are a couple they pushed down when they did the final grade around our house, we are saving them to cut up for firewood. Just had so many trees taken down, that we haven't needed them yet.
Kent, I have had four different kinds of mushrooms in my bales. A couple of types last for several days.
I now have tomatoes, green beans, leaf lettuce, watermelons, cantaloupes, and cucumbers in my 19 bales. They are growing great. Even though I never did get the "heat" in them the rest of you did, my bales still cooked up fine. In my enthusiasm for seed starting, I over shot how much would go where so ended up putting the peppers and okra into a raised bed I had put in for flowers. Flowers will have to wait a while as I didn't have enough time to do more bales with a trellis behind them.
I have not grown vegetables before. Should I take the first blooms off until the plants gets fairly large? I have some tomato blossoms already, but the plants are only about 12-14" high.
I am also trying to start more leaf lettuce by putting potting mix on top of a couple of the bales and then seeding that. I'll let you know how that goes.
My next-door neighbor, who puts his garden in with his big tractor, thinks I am nuts -- but that's okay. I'm used to that, too poor to be eccentric. ; - )
Well Kent; I broke down today and planted some potatoes. We had some that got soft and were sprouting. I could have thrown them out but laid some straw out, and threw them in there and covered them.. If they grow thats good. if they don't they will add to the compost. That is another area that won't have weeds growing, so that is also good.. I planted seven bales of maters, and put up some nylon or whatever screen around the top of the bales to keep the wind from tearing up the plants. Cross my fingers, on that. I'm trying to get some plants ready to take to the IARU. Dug up some naked lady bulbs that needed thined out. Divided some water lilies. and need to dig some hostas yet, but don't want to dig them too early
as it isn't untill next week end. My back felt like it was giving out. Gotta learn how to go slow. Hope I can skip mowing the Church yard this week. I really get stove up with just mowing. Add this other to it an my back will be in knots. - - - -But hey it's all fun, right????
There lookin purty good. Had another older feller, tell me tonight, that they may not do too well as this isn't really in the dark of the moon. Well he has a point . Just joking though. I told Him I wasn't about to plant them on the moon. Figured it would be easier to plant them in the ground Ha ha. Ordinarely I would have planted them on Good Friday, or any good day near that. Well Time for this old feller to hit the hay. Let you know if they come up.
randbponder, strawbaleman - my grandmother always used the term "stove in" rather than "stove up". She was born and raised in Van Buren County IA but lived most of her adult life in the Missouri Ozarks. Possibly "stove in" is an Ozark term she picked up there. A number of years ago, I saw a documentary on Appalachia and the colliquilisms used there. I was amazed to discover that my grandma used many of those same phrases. So, there was a big Applachian influence there obviously.
She also would use the term "packing" to mean carrying if it was something heavy -- as in, I'm packing this down to the barn or I'm packing my grip (suitcase). The Union Pacific RR train crews still "pack" their "grips." But if it was something small, she would "carry" it -- such as, she would "carry" her pocketbook (never purse).
When I lived in Oregon, I learned what a jockey box is. Have you heard this one? If not, you'll not be able to guess. I love the language from different areas.
Russ, every year I buy the calendar Gardening by the Moon. I use it for general guidance but should really get my moon book out as it contains much greater detail.
When I first read that book, I read the chapters about things like haircuts, fishing and getting a tooth pulled. I needed an extraction but wouldn't make an appt. until I consulted the book. I usually bleed a lot but this time I barely saturated one gauze square. Amazing. My neighbor will only wean calves when the moon sign is below the knees and then the calves barely bawl.
Russ liked your comment about planting by or on the moon. Ha ,Ha. If I think about I somewhat pay attention to moon phases.
Yes Kent very good looking healthy potatoes.
My exercise nowadays is mostly what i accomplish by gardening, and at my long age that isn't a whole lot. About a month ago I bought a set of 6 pottery pots, ranging in size from 30" across, 36" deep, they are various matching shades of purple, and vase shaped, or v shape, don't know how best to describe, that is the largest , the smallest of that set is about 18" tall and 10 " across. And for buying the large set, she gave me for $30.00 more another set , different shape, different color, another set of 4, so I have lots of pots to plant. Have only planted 3. Am going to spring plant show 90 miles away today.
Glendalekid; No I hadn't heard that one, but just guessing I'de have to say a radio.
But then I could be way way off.
I have a couple 20 year boxes. Any guesses? LOL
Stove in , wouldn't be too far out of line either. Considering the fact that after working that hard" Your all in!" hehhehheh
Yeah I was born a little closer to Missouri, than where we are now. It was in Shelby Co. Born at home, I don't know exactly where. The only part I remember for sure is that there had been a blizzard the roads were all blocked. All the neighbors knew how close mom was; so they all got together and cleared the road to town. That is the day. The Dr. got there, a little late, but made it. The next day the roads were all blown shut again. I've heard that so many times, there is no way I could forget.
darius; yup Ive read that same info. Funny it does seem to work most times. even the one about weeding and when to hoe the garden. But there again, if the weeds are there I'm not waiting for the moon to be right. I might have something more important to do then. Fishing at the top of the list. LOL
Donna That sounds like a very good deal on the pots. Can get quit a bit of things to grow in them. And I do like to stay fairly close to the moon signs. You would just have to know the guy that I was talking about.
I helped a friend put in a pond. the yard had a slight slope. so when checking for level, I used a clear plastic tube. Filled it with water, had the friend hold one end up and I the other. Noted where the water was in each end and built the low side up to that. This other guy was absolutely sure that water would not seek its own level. and that the one side was too high. Well after we had filled the pond we laid a pole across from one side to the other. Measured from the pole to the water and it was only 1/4" difference. He still didn't want to admit he was wrong. He thought we were off by 2 feet. So we kind of have that little joke, but we don't rub it in. ((*-*))
Red letter day at my house. Got all the planting done yesterday. Nowhere near as much as many of you have, but more then I've ever attempted before. Nine bales and 2 raised beds of 6' x6' and 9' x 3'. Six kinds of tomatoes, 3 kinds of cukes, 2 kinds of cantalope and 1 melon. Also some lettuce, carrots and snow pea pods. I used the bales for maters, cukes, melons and cantaloupe. I tried direct sow in a bale, for the Cold Set tomatoes; we'll see if that works. I grew my own plants for all the other tomatoes, most of the cukes, cantaloupe and the melon. I was so whipped last night I couldn't even muster the energy to write! Late 66 is a little late to start gardening. But then I'm doing so much less then my partner who has taken on landscaping this acre of land! Last year my efforts included about 6 tomato plants and an attempt (failed) to grow cukes. My partner got me interested in strawbale gardening by turning me on to this thread. What a joy! Thanks Kent, for starting this. Oh, and your potato plants look like they took off like a rocket!
randbponder: Good guess -- better than I would have done - it's the glove box in a car.
darius and randbponder: My grandma always planted by the phases of the moon, except potatoes. Those she always planted on Good Friday. We know the moon controls the tides. This is a fact. So why not other things, too? Seems reasonable to me.
A jockey box is the glove compartment in a vehicle, right.
The spring plant sale was a bust. I did not buy anything except a cinnamon roll!!!!! I have better tomato plants here at home that I grew from seed.
But I did drive another 15 or so miles to a nursery called Flowers To The Brim and found several things there that i seemed to need. So came home with more than $100.00 worth of plants for my pots. Now to get them planted, Most are annuals and I know are not hardened in so for right now they are sitting in the open, but I can bring them inside for protection if frost is predicted.
I bought a shrub at our local Bakers Acres, small nursery a couple of days ago. They had bought quite a few shrubs bare root, and had just potted them up. I bought what was labeled Sand Cherry, and nothing else. That really aggravates me to have just a sort of common name. I t is Prunus bessevi, Western Sand Cherry. It is about 36" for the tallest branch, of which there are several. I thinned down to 5 , shall I call them trunks or branches. I plan to leave it in its pot which is a two gal. size, should be good for the season. If I like it after it leafs out okay, If I don't care for it in the pot then I can plant in the garden.
Wrote a message, forgot to send, so will try again.
The spring sale was in Manson, WA. It is a yearly local arts & crafts and plants sale. I have gone to it several times, I felt like maybe most of the people had somewhat lost interest. So there was not as many things displayed either inside or outside. I have better tomatoes here at home that I grew from seed ( and hope to get planted under plastic hot kaps) today. So after I ate my cinnamon roll- other years they have had good pies for sale. I drove on toward Wenatchee about 15 or 20 miles from Manson. There are two nurseries about a mile from each other down along the Columbia river. They each have 3 or 4 large hoop house ghs. And their plant material is similar.
Flowers to the Brim where I stopped has two of their large hoop houses filled with lovely hanging baskets with annuals under them. I bought one hanging basket and 2 flats of mixed annuals for my large pots. They I am sure have not been hardened in, just came straight from the coast, so they are out in the open here at home so if a frost is predicted I can bring them under cover.
Here is a photo of my hanging basket, it is hanging from rafter in my 14 foot passage way to the garage from the house.
Donna sounds like you had a wonderful day. Wish I were closer to go with you and the baskeet is beautiful. I planted basket petunia seeds this year for the first time and I have tons of them coming out my ears. (Now how would you like me to just stand in your yard like a scarecrow?) I have given a lot away.
Sorry if we got a bit off track of the strawbales guys, It was fun hearing about Donna's day tho because we don't have too many areas near by that we can do that.
And back to them, strawbales, this straw is different from what I had last year. Don't know why. But, the 4th day, which was the first day for adding the nitrogen, the next morning the bales were warm. Just to put my hand on them. Now, I never had that all thru the season last year. Wonder why. Without knowing what kind of plant they all came from I know you probably can't tell me either.
I do have them in the hoop house, but I did last year also. The only difference is that I have the ends covered this year. Hard to imagine that would make that much difference.
jnette; if all we had to chew on were straw bales, it would be like a steady diet of just fiber. LOL
Gotta know what were going to have to play with too.
My tomatoes are still trying to adjust to the outside and are looking kind of the worse for wear.
I used to have 2 dozen plastic buckets with a hole cut in the bottom, for covers. Some how they managed to dissapear. so I need to make some new ones. They were my hot caps, and done a very good job at that.
Went out a while but decided to wait till a little later in the day. I know, I'm a wimp, and just get lazy when it gets hot. lol
We had a nice day also Russ. Nice and warm for a change. What were you using? The only things I can think of, and I wouldn't call them buckets, is gallon milk jugs cut off to cover the tomatoes.
I don't know if you read the part where I planted corn in 3 gallon buckets last year. Believe it or not I got 3 or 4 ears per plant in them. 3 plants to a bucket. Have you guys in Iowa thought of doing that for Ethanol? LOL
OK Perry, In a week or so I am going to be ready to plant my tomatoes and other things in the bales. I got the nutrients you suggested, I also got bloodmeal. Now which do you suggest that I use when I start using fertilizer? I also have many other fertilzers so what do you think?
We get hot weather too Lana. Just not a lot. We have a very short season. 3 or 4 months. So, if you want a good flavored tomato you better move to an area with no trees so you get at least that much. I guess we are never happy with what we have. Or is it the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence?
I loved the year I lived in Tacoma. No humidity, no allergies, didn't even have A/C in our apt just used fans and was very comfortable. Even my houseplants I hung out on the covered walkway grew bigger leaves than I'd ever seen. I think I would like gardening in WA but of course that was in western WA with warmer winter weather and perhaps more rain? I know a lot of eastern WA can get really dry.
What you are gonna do with those "nutrients" is to make up a batch of weekly feed fertilizer; so here goes: Get a 40 lb bag of Triple fertilizer - 20-20-20, 15-15-15 whatever - This year I got Triple 12 at Tractor Supply: To that bag of fertilizer you will add 7 lbs of epsom salts (they can be gotten at wal-mart, or most drug stores) and 7 TEASPOONs of 20 mule team borax ( look in the soap aisle of most large grocery stores) and ONE sleeve of the nutrient mix you purchased: Mix it all together, I use a cement mixer (because I have one & it is easy) - Now you have your weekly feed for anything you have growing in your bales: I bet you want to know how much to put to a bale dontcha? OK - It depends on the size of the bale - Take a look at your bale and decide how many 5 gallon pails it is in size - most 'kicker' bales are about 4: for each 5 gallon pail you think your bale is sprinkle on 1 ounce of the fertilizer each week & water it in - What you made up is a poor mans miracle grow - perry
jnette I had 5gal buckets. with hole cut in the bottom and set them upside down. That gave the more leggy tomatoes plenty of room and they don't blow all over as quick as the milk jugs.
We have whole fields of corn that will go for Ethanol, 80 to 160 acres each. There are several Ethanol plants just in this area alone. I like the concept but on the other hand it will increase the cost of beef and pork. Even though after the fermentation process and all. the leftover mash is still good for live stock feed. The Ethanol producers will want to sell it for another great profit to themselves. Oh there will still be a large number of farms that will use their own corn for livestock and not for Ethanol production. Over all though I think we will all see price increases all over the country. I'm not negative but that is the way I see it. Just as the skyrocketing gas prices are makeing all produce higher at the super Mkts. That is one reason I must raise our own veggies. Goodness sakes $.60 for one cucumber. out of sight
Got my thirty bales started this Saturday. I used Urea (46-0-0) and hope to see them steaming soon.
While the bales are “cooking”, I started a batch of Stink Tea. It’s my own little recipe, but I’ll share with you all.
I started with a free 55 gallon soap barrel form a local carwash. I sawed the top off and drilled a 1 inch diameter hole a few inches from the bottom. Into that hole. I placed a pvc pipe and stop-cock to allow for later draining. Once the caulk was dry, it was time to start the first batch.
I filled it with water then inserted a water pump that was made for a 150 gallon aquarium. This cost my $33 from the local hobby shop. I also purchased two small air pumps and six air-stones. That totaled to another $25 or so. I put the plastic cylinder from the water pump about two feet down and start churning the water from the bottom to the top. The pump claims to move over 400 gallons an hour, so in theory, I’m getting my water turned over every seven minutes or so. I also bubble air in from the two air pumps using the air-stones. These all set in the top few inches of the barrel.
Ideally, I’d have a big giant pump that would have enough pressure to pump air from the bottom to the top, but that would cost hundreds of dollars and take a lot more energy to run. My setup seems to be working well, and the $60 cost was right.
Once the water was aerating, I poured a good quantity of alfalfa pellets, Epsom salt, brown sugar, bone meal, powdered milk and fish emulsion into the water. I let that churn for 48 hours. At that point, sometime tomorrow, I’ll throw in a gallon or so of vermicompost from my worm bins (all placed in a paint-strain bag to keep it from getting into the pumps and clogging them) and add more brown sugar. This will really start to foam in another 48 hours and I’ll take that 50 gallons or so and pour it onto my bales. This is prime stuff – magic. It’s all organic – at least to the point of not using chemicals. I understand some people have issues with bone meal, but I’m good with it – in small quantities.
That mix will contain everything the soil (bale!) needs to become healthy for plants. The alfalfa tea base and vermicompost tea add wonderful little microbes and plant growth hormones. The other stuff is fertilizer and minerals. I do this once a week for my gardens. Once you get the setup built, you can make 50 gallons a week all summer long for under $50 for the entire season. I also bottle this and sell it at the Farmer’s Market. The addition of aeration makes it contain exponentially more beneficial microbes than non-aerated teas and it keeps the stink down. Aerated based microbes simply don’t stink.
I put about a good handful of potting soil into the bale & seeded into that...I have a soaker hose ...used it once a day in the morning & 5 min. in the evening & it kept them moist enough & they are all up now...5 days from planting to full up...
Thanks for the instruction...I'll be all set when I get a couple of better pics
Have a stupid question. My husband bought 10-10-10 fertilizer the other day. If I double the amount of fertilizer in Perry's recipe above will that make it 20-20-20? Sorry if this is a completely ridiculous question.
Perry, is that one ounce per 5 gallon bucket of straw? Good grief, that will last me, my daughter, my grandson and his kids the rest of our lives. Maybe I could sell it to Russ to grow that Ethanol. Or trade!!
Lana: Use the triple 10 - do not double it - do you have the nutrients from food for everyone?
Jeanette: Use the old adage of "a pints a pound" so a pint is 16 ounces or 2 cups - so a bale would take about 1/2 cup per week depending upon size:
I told you it was a poor mans miracle grow formula - take what you don't need and fertilize your lawn or shrubs or whatever - You will need to put it into some sort of container you can close so it does not harden up with humidity
My customers love the product. The rose growers are used to alfalfa tea, but many of them hate making it because they make it anaerobically and it stinks. I have a recycle program whereby I will give them .50 off the next batch if they bring back the container.
Jeanette; Don't think I would want to spend more for shipping than the product is worth. So I guess I would just have to make a trip and torment ya. He He
But just to clarify, I only have one acre. But the farms all around have fields of corn for miles and miles.
You made us both laugh on my Ethanol production. Good one :)
No, why? I can probably take some this year if you like, but we don't open until the 19th of May. I can also take some of the "brew station" if you like. I had thought of taking pictures of the various stages to show how it comes together in a nice foamy mass. The thing I like best is the lack of stink. If you've ever brewed alfalfa tea without external air pumps you know what I mean!
Novelist...Don't believe I've seen you around very much and just noticed your fairly new to the site. Let me offer you a hearty WELCOME TO DG!
I, too, love aerated tea...with all its benefits I could never be without it! I keep a batch brewing usually all Summer. I think it'll be great to use on the bale gardens. Wishing you a great time with your 30 bales!
Hope you keep in mind though that once the aeration of the brew stops that the aerobic bacteria begin to die off after around 4 hrs tops. Combine that with putting the brew in airtight containers and you might not get that long a lifespan from it. (Just something to keep in mind should one of your customers come back complaining of "stink"! *ugh) :>*
Hey, Perry...mighty interesting recipe ya posted! That sounds like the perfect picker-upper for my potted perennials that need a bit of a kick. I think I'll make a small batch and try it (sparingly at first) and see how it works. Very much obliged!!
You're right, Shoe about the short life-span of the tea. I keep it brewing at the Farmer's Market in small five gallon pails and pour it on the spot. I tell people to use it right away. I am new, and loving my bales. I prepared them this weekend and today the smell of straw and nitrogen started. It smells like a bard - a clean bard, not bad at all. I plan on planting some of them on Sunday.