I'm having fun with my "Tater Corral":). I've got blooms on all three varieties. How do I know, you ask? In all that mess how do you know what's where? Well, thank the 'Taters. The white potatoes have whits flowers, the blue have pretty light blue flowers, and the reds have pink/lavender flowers. Good thing I only planted three varieties. Oh no. I didn't. I planted four. Hmmm. well, that's okay, it'll be a surprise...
*G*, I know it's a "fingerling", but I can't remember what kind. Okay, duh, I will read the label when I get to the garden, if I can find it under the plants...
Need some help, here. How often do y'all water your bales, and how much? I'm terrified to NOT water, but I'm afraid I'm overdoing it. We did have rain (finally), but when there is no rain, how do I judge? What brings this up is the BER on some of my tomatoes. It isn't on all of them, but enough to concern me. Even the other tomatoes on the same plant sare not affected, YET! Do I wait until things start to wilt, and water selectively?
Watering to me depends on the weather and how hot it is. And for how long. Long enough to dry the bale out? Also, how tightly the bales are packed. I have a couple that are kind of loose. I expect them to dry out faster.
The ones from last year are not the same consistancy as the fresh straw from this year. I think you just have to do a little bit of "trial by error". I'm sorry, I don't think there are any exact answers for this. Maybe someone else can give you a better idea.
Also, the type of plant, how big it is, all of these come into play on watering.
*G*. Yeah, I guess you're right. I was really hoping for some guidelines, so I'm still open to suggestions. I stuck my hand in a bale the other day, and was horified when I realized it was right into the roots of a tomato. Fortunately, it seems none the worse for wear.
The difference in bales is significant. My first bales were fine hay, and have decomposed a lot already. The more recent ones are rye hay, and look more like straw. They finally cooled off enough to plant, but what a difference!! The old hay bales were easy to part and put the plants in, but I had to rip hay out of the new one to have enough room to plant my 'Maters. Granted, I wanted to put some soil in as well, so I needed open space, but that was WORK!! I am going to "start" a few more of these for fall crops if we're able to find some more hay for the cows. Can't let them go hungry, or they will probably decide that my garden is lunch.
Oh! The fourth potato is Rose Finn Apple Fingerling :). It doesn't seem to have flowered yet.
Well, I visit the garden twice a day anyway, so I'll just try to keep ahead of the drying out.
Another question for those of you that have experience with this. Have you found that the roots of any of the plants have gone into the ground at the end of the season? Just curious if they have remained contained, or escaped into the wilderness...
I have mostly eggplants and peppers in mine and while they were healthy, I wasn't that happy with them.
Then I remembered Kent's post about his conversation with someone who said that you have to feed a little more frequently than with dirt grown plants. I added some fish emulsion and epsom salts to the alfalfa tea I was giving them. And I added some bone and blood meal to the bales and then gave them a good watering and they are very happy now.
Even the flea beetle ravaged plants are looking good.
BronxboyThis is my first year doing bales and eggplants.I planted white eggplants because I heard they were milder in taste so wanted to try them. They look pretty good. Does the plant get bigger like a stalk and once you see one growing, how long does it take before picking. As for your fertilizing how much did you add? And after the first addition how often after that.Another question. My mother's squash has bumps on several of them.She is 82 and has been gardening most of her life.It is yellow summer squash.It is in soil.Said never seen anything like it. Anyone have ideas or solutions. Thanks Deanna
The following is an excerpt of an email from Chris, who is not a member of DG, but gave me his permission to post some of his photos. He's got a great looking garden; very neat and orderly, and colorful. Here's some info on Chris and his garden.
I do not live in NC, but in Western Kentucky, near the Lakes (small town of Calvert City), and close to Paducah Kentucky.
The tomatoes that I have planted are all heirloom, so it will be interesting to see how that goes.
I have added marigolds, and recently planted nasturtium seeds (which are coming up). This is what I have planted other than a varity of heirloom.
Also okra, 2 types of squash, eggplants, peppers (bells, hot, sweet, etc), dill, 2 types of cucumbers.
There is an infrastructure of poles (Lowes) to handle the tomatoes. Most are of the beefsteak varity. The grouping of the bales catches about 6 to 7 hours of sun, in my shady yard. The soil here is clay and rock, so this method is great, other than my water bill. I am wishing for a well now. Hahahahh
My husband is in a motorized chair. He has his tomaotes on both sides of the back sidewalk. Some he has in EB's (homemade) and some in the bales. They are doing great considering the crazy weather we had. This is certainly a great way to go for the handicapped.
Peg, your husband's garden is wonderful. Great tomatoes!! What in the world do you do with all those tomatoes?? You must be canning as fast as he picks them. Very nice picture. A real inspiration to all gardeners.
Good morning everyone! I know this has probably been addressed somewhere in one of the many threads on straw bale gardening, but I can't spend days reading back through it all again. I'm hoping one of y'all can advise me. I got straw bales (wheat straw, I think) and started prepping them. Watered them but they never got above 100 degrees. My husband thinks they were pretty old when we got them. The bales are now beginning to spout green stuff--wheat, I suppose? Anyway, can I take this as an indication that the bales are ready for planting?
My wheat bales never got hot either, but they did just fine anyway. If you prepped them the proper length of time, and are now growing wheat on them and have had mushrooms sprout, they should be fine to plant in.
Glendalekid I see you are a latenighter too. I have had my bales planted for about a month now. Never have seen the mushrooms. I did not test the temp but I waited the time frame .I believe it was 9 days I watered and put the fertilizer like Kent said. Was it the first thread?there was an article in our elect. co-op magfeaturing Kent and it had this address so whatever thread came up I used but I know it told from the first day until the end of the season. The first bales were old and have not really sprouted much grass but the 2 new ones had sprouted grass in less than 2 weeks.. but everything seems to be growing well.I have little squash I can see and little cukes and my tomatoes will soon be ready to pick. brocolli is doing good. All in all I like this strawbale planting and plan to go much bigger next year. deanna
I have to admit I've been lurking on the hay bale threads. I went out last week and bought one bale of wheat hay. The salesman asked me, do you want wheat hay or straw? My reply was " UHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH" --I was trying to think back to the thread, nothing came to mind, so I said hay.
Would it have mattered if it was hay or straw?
I put 4 tomato plants in -
This is so fun, I am going out today and buying a couple more bales. Except here in central jersey bales of hay are hard to find and they cost $7 each. But it is fun to experiment.
How did you get your bale prepped so fast?? Mine seemed to take forever, but, of course, I was anxious to plant.
As to the hay vs. straw, I can only tell you my experience. I started with hay, and they have decomposed a lot already, and starting to fall apart.. The veggies are growing well, but some are falling over. Not a big deal, it's mostly things that like to grow on the ground anyway, like squash and tomatoes. I just planted in "new" bales, which are supposedly rye hay, but seem more like straw, much larger stems, although still lots of seed for the cows. These are a whole different story. Took longer to prep, and one was still hot when I went to plant. They are much denser, and I had to rip out hay to get the tomato plants in them. I'm going to direct seed some things in some, as well. These I think will hold up a lot better, but I don't know if the veggies will be as happy.
Time will tell :)
Catmad - your garden looks healthy --plants are huge, as you can see, mine are all still babies.
I only fertilized maybe 3 days and then we got heavy rain 4 days straight and it the bale just got nice and soaked.
I wasn't sure the bale was ready. It wasn't hot and it seemed to be water logged because of all the rain. I had the tomatoes in the 4-pack from the garden shop and I knew they were ready to be planted. So I took a chance with the bale.
I'm going out today bale hunting and I'm going to buy bloodmeal to sprinkle around, I'm trying to keep the rabbits and groundhogs away.
I noticed you don't have a fence - any critters eating your plants?
No critters (crossing fingers) yet, but it's not really in a place that's too accessible (knocking madly on the desk). We've got deer and bunnies, but the deer stay back in the woods, and the bunnies too. It may help that I have several large dogs that are between the garden and the woods. I don't know when the raccoons are going to find it, but I'm hoping for the best. I do have bloodmeal around (I used it to condition the bales, too), so that may be helping.
Your plants will catch up, I'm sure. Mine will probably falter in the summer heat, so I'm hoping for good growing before then. I have to harvest zucchini daily, they grow SO darn fast...
He doesn't have tomatoes yet. Lots of blossums, plants are still growing. I guess when the tomatoes start we will give a lot away and freeze some. I only know he is having a good time taking care of them. It gets him out of the house instead of watching TV all of the time. I will have to find him a new projet for winter.
Okay, I just found this and I am amazed! I have been wondering for the longest time how to help My Dad with his garden, Now I know! He is 83 and still plants in the ground and runs a tiller! It nearly beats him to death! He is so determined to do it though! This straw bale planting would be something great for him and ME too! Thanks so much!
I am now going to be one of those "Lurkers", that everyone talks about, cause I will go back and read all the links . I hope I will learn fast cause I really would like to get in a couple of trys at it, this season before its too late! Eufaula
Good luck Eufaula! Lots of us are just starting out this year. There are a bunch of threads---we are up to 13 threads, I believe. If you go back and read through all of them, it will take a long time, but you'll get a real education.
Yes Thank You Kevanrijn, Ive been at it a while now and realize there is a lot to read and learn ! The hardest part for me right this minute is locating The straw bales!!! Our drought here had depleted the straw and hay for almost 3 months! We are trying to let our cattle and horse people get the first of the new coming soon we hope!
Deanna: Yep, getting to stay late up comes with being retired. I always hated to get up early. Could never see a reason for starting the world before 10 AM, now I don't have to. LOL. My straw bales were new, but they never did get hot like others had happen. They did sprout a lot of wheat and lots of mushrooms. The mushrooms quickly died though. I did use the ammonium nitrate and followed the schedule. I have little yellow squash, little zucchini, little green beans, and tiny watermelons. The tomatoes are starting to ripen. Some of my watermelons, canteloupes, and cukes were planted later than the other stuff, but they are coming along fine, too. One of my biggest tomato plants is a volunteer that came up next to the flower bed by the house. I let it grow -- lots of tomatoes on it, but it's too shady there. My daughter was joking today and said that one is probably my "fried green tomato" plant.
Eufala: Straw bale gardening will be perfect for your dad. No stooping and no tilling. Have you talked to the folks at HD or Lowe's? They have been out of the straw bales for about a month now here, but I noticed today that our HD has two new truck loads of straw bales in their parking lot. In your area ask them when/if they will be getting more.
Chesapeake: How about a hoop house for winter? They're easy and cheap to build. It could be made from PVC pipe or cattle panels. If you get a lot of wind, the cattle panel hoop houses can be very sturdy. I've read where people are overwintering all kinds of vegetables in them.
kiwiandsteve: Either hay or straw should work just fine. Some use one and some use the other. I chose wheat straw because it was available at HD and Lowe's for half the price of hay bales.
kiwi: any organic bale will work. Just don't try PINE STRAW. Totally different animal. I've only used wheat and oat. I want to try some hay/grass bales. Shoe is a real big fan of those.
Margo: gorgeous! just gorgeous.
Eufaula: good to have you with us.
All: I'm looking for a lapel pin of a hay/straw bale. If anyone finds a source, let me know, please. I've made up caps and t-shirts, but I can wear the lapel pin with a suit and "stir the puddin" a little that way.
I too just recently stumbled upon this wonderful straw bale discussion. We live on old strip mine ground that is heavily wooded. There is some open space now but I would never even contemplate planting something directly into the ground. It is heavy clay on top and if you dig a bit deeper you may get lucky and find the greasy looking blue stuff. Everything in my flower garden is put in raised beds and I just never had the energy to do that to an area the size of a veggie garden. I am so excited by the thought of having my very own veggies! I know it is too late this year but I am going to read the threads and plan on next year.
My Goodness Kent, is it really too late for Tetleytuna to put other things in the ground? (bales)? 5 days ago was our last "frost day". My sister, who is the same zone as me, doesn't even put her tomatoes in the ground until mid June. I see that Tet and I are both the same zone. I think the longest wait would be to prep, but from what I read above, some of the people on here are not even taking the length of time that you cited and most of us took.
If it were me, Tet, I would try it using milk jugs with the bottoms cut out to put over the plants like toamtoes. Just don't get discouraged if you end up with fried green tomatoes instead of ripe juicy ones this year. At least you would know why and you could get started earlier next year.
You should still have plenty of time to do some things in your area. Kent amd some good suggestions and you should still have plenty of time for beans.
Give it a shot if for no other reason to gain the experience. I've made a ton of mistakes this year. My last one being putting a little too much fertilzer near some of my pepper plants and having them drop all of their leaves.
Remember, the first few years you are gardening more for knowledge than for food
First of all, Hi all...you folks have a really good thing going here. I have gleaned much information just by browsing this thread alone.
This is my first year hay bale gardening and so far it has had its ups and downs but all in all things are going pretty well now.
My question arises from reading Bronx Boys' response to Tetly. Apparently I made the same mistake with regard to peppers and fertilizer. I had a Jalapeno pepper plant shed all its leaves. The 2 peppers and the remainder of the plant seem fine (I attached a picture). My question is; Will the plant make a comeback? and if so, how can I help it along?
Additionally all of my pepper plants seem very slow to grow but are producing fruit. Should I be harvesting these peppers early to allow more of the growing energy to go to the plant itself?
Jeanette: 10-4 on tetleytuna trying some bales out now. I didn't mean to imply it was too late. I'd go for it now AND in the fall.
Ron: Welcome aboard!
Picking your peppers will encourage the plant to grow more, so yes, pick them even when the plants are small. My peppers always seem to sit there and not do much until about now. They are really starting to grow.
As for the pepper in your photo, I'd leave it to see if it puts back out and plant another one next to it. If you have to buy a 4 pack, you can put 4 to a bale w/out too much of a problem.
Thanks for the quick response Kent, I'll give it a whirl.
I've really wrestled with the peppers. I currently have 4 Jalapeņos in a bale along with a couple of squash. They are right next to another bale containing 6 bell pepper plants. All the other plants (tomatoes, squash, cucumbers, etc) in the garden seem to be doing all right but the peppers seem very sensitive to apparently everything. I have had them be very perky and healthy looking in the morning and wilty and dying in appearance in the afternoon. They have gone from yellow leaves to green and are starting to yellow again. I thought I was over watering them so I cut back, then they looked wilty so I kicked it back on again. I am currently watering via a soaker hose for 10 mins every morning as we are knee deep in drought here in Northern Alabama. Additionally I have fed the whole garden (8 bales) on 2 occasions with 1 cup of 10-10-10 granules.
My questions are...how do I tell if I'm watering too much?, not enough?
I haven't set up a diary yet but I have been taking pictures on a monthly basis and am keeping them online. You can view them at the following link:
You can see the peppers in their current state in the June album
Myself and 3 other guys from work are gardening in hay bales this year. Only one of us has done this before and he's our Mentor...We are having a blast! Your diary pictures have been an inspiration to us as well Kent, the tomato archway was something else!!!!!!
If you all think it is not too late, I think I will try it out this year then. If nothing else it can be a learning experience, and I would be happy to have anything to harvest. The excitement of of eating just one thing of my own would be worth it. And it is not like I do not have many experienced folks to answer questions! Thank you for the encouragement. I will be shopping for bales this weekend! :^)
I told my Mom about straw bale gardening and showed her the pictures. She's thinking of trying it herself now. She wants to try half runner beans in the bale. Anyone have experience with those? She'll be starting them from seed on the bale (at least we are guessing that's how to do it). Does anyone have experience with growing half runner beans on the bale? Normally, in our area, you would plant the seeds around the 4th of July.
And what about leaf lettuce? Can you do that from seed, growing it on the bale? I'm guessing you prep the bale and when it's ready for planting, put down some soil and sow the seed. Will that work?
You are correct it is trying to sprout new leaves. I've noticed quite a difference since Wed when I took the pics. I think Im gonna just let it go and see how it all turns out.
I just got finished reading this thread. Man, is there some good info here. Hopefully someone is compiling this information because it could easily be converted into a book, say the "Definitive Guide to Bale Gardening".
I really am glad I found this place. Hopefully we all have great harvests this year and even if not the information and camaraderie are well worth the price of admission.
Ron: 10-4 on the book; The title could be "Straw Bale Gardening" by Kent, Wayne, berrygirl, dmj1218, Danny, Melissa, Herbie43, jslocum207, roseone33, melody, dea, zeppy, Perry, swoznick, kimmers, pam, Big_Red, Nancy, Robin, Jeanette, ... etc. etc. (1st 20 people to post way back in Part 1)
Yah Kent I'll third or fourth that Heh Heh.
I'm doing something wrong, My peppers in the dirt are getting ahead of those in the bales. I don't know if the mushrooms getting their black gooie on the leaves has any thing to do with it or not. But wherever they touch, the leaves kind of curl up. I planted the "bale" peppers first.
Yesterday I mixed up a bucket of miracle gro. and tried to give them a boost. Watered them again today, of course I didn't expect any miracle over night. But still hoping for some improvement soon.
The ones in the ground were planted nearly a week later. I haven't done anything special to those. Tomatoes are going great guns though. Haven't given up yet though.
Let you scratch your head for a bit, stead of me. The bales are rotted pretty good. and are moist inside. I can shove my hand half way through the bales with ease. And sniff" yup they are rotted. No I don't mean stink. just rotted.
I planted some potatoes between the 2 rows of bales toward the one end. and covered with straw. And for when I planted them they are comming along good. Lets see, I watered in the nitrogen and some blood meal, while letting them cook. then some 10-10-10- watered that in and planted. been watering every other day. unless it rains. Kind of watching the mushroom growth, when they slow down its time to water.
Guess I'll have to take a pic.~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Russ
BB wrote "Potatoes really like bone meal. Give them a little."
I don't suppose I can just throw it on the plants and water it? I can't get into my "'Tater Corral" anymore, except at the very end :(. The plants on the outside bales are blocking me effectively. The patty pan squash were trying to invade and take over the Taters, and I had to wrestle them out yesterday. That was not pleasant! They're very prickly, and heavy. Next year they get trellised, because they are soooo good.
Sorry, if I included to much. My taders are doing fine. It's my peppers, that arent doing too well. It's like they are stunted. I'll get a pic, today, of both in bales and in dirt. Maybe that will help. ~~~~~~~~~~~Russ
randponder: Maybe someone else can come up with good suggestions for you. The only thing I can think of is that my bales need to be watered twice as often as the veggies in my raised beds. I have one of those probes I have been sticking into the raised beds and bales to check the moisture. The bales register "dry" every morning, even though they were watered the morning before. The raised beds after watering the morning before are still registering "moist" the next day.
Well, It has been windy. The moisture in the bales, is more prominate, the deeper I put my hand. I thought it was sufficient at the root level. But watering every evening wouldn't be a problem either. Guess I was wondering if the black stuff from the mushrooms had anything to do with it.
I was having the same issues. Growth was slow and plants didn't seems as healthy as dirt or pot grown plants. Some plants had a yellow tinge. Somewhere in one of these threads Kent pointed out that the bales lose nutrients faster than if they were in the dirt. I started giving my bales drinks of a solution of alfalfa tea and fish emulsion at least once a week. The plants are doing very well!
The eggplants that got ravaged by the flea beetles are doing great. I'll try to post some pics later
Be careful with the 10-10-10. I put some on my bales and some of my pepper plants dropped all their leaves. They weren't planted too deeply and I think it shocked them. I am got to stick with liquid feedings as I have had better luck with it.
I got the advice about the bonemeal here on DG and all who suggested it said it should be applied at time of planting which is what I did.
I just took a closer look at your picture. I'd be very careful with the 10-10-10. Can you get fish emulsion where you are? Mine just seem to do better with the liquid feedings follwoed by a good deep drink at the root.
Kent; That fert. is the 10-10-10. I just gave them a couple days ago, and started watering it in. again.
I think you may be right about alfalfa tea an fish emulsion. This is indeed an experiment and an experience. I can get the fish emulsion. I may have to get a bag of alfalfa pellets, an brew some up. Thanks
Well, don't know if I was suppose to put bone meal in with everything as I planted but I did along with moisture retaining crystals. The bales were pretty nice inside. Needed more bales, had to plant 3 plants per bale on everything and still had to plant a few in the ground around the corn and beans which are growing like crazy :~) I have a few plants I don't know what they are, the vendor didn't have any of his veggies marked other than ID's at the market. I'll have to take pics so y'all can ID what veggie it is LOL I bought so many plants that day it's no wonder I can't remember.
I think I am missing something here you guys. Kent, was the planting in strawbales suppose to be "Jack in the Beanstalk" type plants? I didn't expect them to do any better, nor maybe as well as in soil. I just thought the whole idea was to not to have to, NOW ALL TOGETHER... " No weeding, tilling, or hoeing" Did I get it right this time Kent???
It would be nice to have miricle plants but I never expected them. Clue me in please.
Lana: that's some awesome deer/moose/bull elephant-proof fencing! Opps, I just realized you're in "BUFFALO" WV. Now I get it!! :-)
Jeanette: you totally lost me on the "Jack in the Beanstalk" story. But I just got through chowing down on some awesome burgers, steak fries, and baked beans, so I'm kinda groggy from that! Waiting for some room for a little ice cream w/pralines.
P.S. - J, you got the motto correct, or at least all the terms!! :-)
Well jnette I guess I just expected more from the strawbales, than they were willing to produce. Our temp. fluctuations, have not been the best, for good growth. And as long as peter piper has some peppers to pick, I won't be in a pickle. (:>)
I better go out and spray my new tomatoes with Jackalope retardent.
Kent; Your right it is Saturday night. Not quite a full moon though, So can't get too carried away. ((*-*))
Plan to get a few couplings then. Will connect PVC to a water tank and make a drip sys. for the bales. Then I can add some "TEA" to the tank once in a while. After all Can't let the bale garden take more of my time, Than the dirt garden. Heh Heh Right?
Kent, I remember your experience from last year. Wish we had a long enough season to do do-overs when we screw up. But, in the final planting yours came out great.
I guess I meant that we already get a whole lot by strawbale growing by not having to bend over to do the weeding or picking the produce; we don't have to hoe or pull weeds, nor do we have to do the tilling to be able to plant them. So, whatever each of us does to the plants in the bales determines what the end product is just as though we were planting in soil.
Last year, I have to admit, I had the best, and biggest tomatoes I have ever had. Was it the bales?? Sure could have been. Was it the hoophouse I had the bales in? Sure could have been because of the additional heat. This year I have Perry's recipe for fertilizer I am using so this year might be even better than last year.
As you said Kent, we each try for the best in our own way. Didn't you say that Kent??
It would be fun to have an avatar I think. Have you suggested it to Dave? Any opinions?
BronxBoy; Thanks, pictures are indeed worth a thousand words.
We don't have time for a fall crop here. What ever we want to run into the fall, has to be started before, the peppers give up produceing. The first frost gets them and usually the rest of the tomatoes.. Now that is where a hoop house, right over the row, would come in handy.
But as for you, trying to get a fall crop of broccoli, I don't know why not.
Without looking it up I don't know when you get your first killing frost.
( Temps below 32) Ours can happen as early as mid September, I usually plan on October, sometime. This year My strawberrys started to send up new leaves, sort of promising to grow. but then we got that late spring freezing spell. I lost them and a cherry tree.
Lost a walnut tree a few years ago, but that wasn't due to the temp.
Lightning got that. It blew the bark, to nearly all four corners of my little acre and a half, lot.
Oh well back to gardens. Ithink I would try a fall crop. peas, Broccoli, cabbages can take quite a bit of cold and a light frost don't seem to kill them.~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Russ
Happy Anniversary to Kent and his wife! Very nice you are going to the church you got married in, I hope you have a good weekend.
To Bronxboy - thanks for the pix, it always helps. My pumpkin plant looks like your zucchinis in the "before" photo. I wanted to know if you would share your TEA recipe. I want to try and save the pumpkin. We are looking forward to picking pumpkins for halloween (hopefully).
Happy Aniversary Kent! Looks like a nice day for you :)
Okay, I need some fertilizer info. Is there anything that I can use as a "foliar feed" (needs to be organic:)? I literally can't get to the bales my squash and pumpkin are in, or the beans. When it comes to the tomatoes I can get to most of them, but I haven't done it yet. I'm scared to do it, and scared not to. Everything looks good (knocking on wood with crossed fingers), but I want to keep it that way. I have some organic fertilizer that are basically different "guanos", and have very low percentages, I think .01-.01-.01. Would they be okay? I _am_ going to read the directions, but would like anyone's thoughts...
I'm enjoying my little punkins, although my SO told me this morning that it's a watermelon...not *G*
Happy anivesary Kent;
Barb & I can't go back to the church where we were married. They sold that building. and built a new building, which at the time was out of town. The town has since grown out past it now. We have gone to it a few times, but it just don't feel the same. We are about 50 miles from there. All of our parrents are gone now, so we are content with the small town church, next door.
We were married 1/20/60 It almost seems like we grew up together. Oh well we're happy.~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~`Russ
summerkid: growing up, my Daddy never staked nor suckered any tomatoes. He'd plant a 100 plants and let them grow ever which way and I spent the summer stepping through them and picking them with a 5 gallon bucket.
As an adult I'd cage my tomatoes and still didn't sucker them, but I've read you get about the same poundage and bigger tomatoes if you sucker them.
I started suckering them last year and quit about this time.
Seems like a lot of energy goes into the suckers rather than producing tomatoes.
I wanted to see what the pro-suckering camp had to say.
Kent I'm not going to say when. I was trying to remember when it was you planted them. Just guessing close to 4 months? if so there should be taders. If not that long, might have some of those little ones, that you just scrub a little and cook up that way.
Course I'm sure you gave them plenty water when they needed it. They could produce faster than plant and leave be type. Which is what we used to do, outside of running a cultivator through them a couple times. before they got too big and closed over the row centers.
BB, big difference after using the TEA!! Looking good. What is in the TEA? I put a couple of scoops of steer manure in a 5 gallon bucket a while ago and filled it with water. I will leave it a couple of days and then use it on my corn and sunflowers. Don't know about the sunflowers, but the corn loves that stuff. Is that anything like your TEA?
Russ, is that what you are putting on your melons? Mine in the hh are doing much better than the ones outside. They are warmer.
BB, I have never seen egg plant grow but yours sure look healthy.
summerkid wrote;"kelp & epsom salts work as foliar feeds."
Thanks summerkid. The stuff I have is from them, so I'll read up on the link you sent.
I read on another forum that someone stole your bales? I sure hope they were not your planted bales? Although, I'd like to see someone try to steal mine, the hay bales would just fall apart, and the straw bales would take a forklift *G*. Hope it doesn't set you back too far.
There seems to be no end to what some two legged snakes will steal.
Someone stole about half of the Koi from my pond last year. I know it was a person too; an not animal or bird.
You just can't help feeling viloated.
After a brief rain on Friday I notice a bunch of tiny gray garden slugs on my peppers (as if they weren't already having ENOUGH trouble).
I had a good bit of grass growing out of the bales and think that may have been their entry vehicle. I trimmed up all the grass and now I guess Im going to go get some Sluggo or Escar-Go, or whatever is good at getting rid of the pesky critters.
No, I hadn't planted anything in those bales yet. They were at the turnoff of my driveway, on both sides, about 3 high, to block my view of a neighbor's garage poker parties, during which they just walk around to the side to relieve themselves, in full view of the road & me & who know who else.
The weird thing is, my next-door neighbor, Crissy, said a couple pulled all the way down the driveway, about 400 feet, to ask her whether those bales were out for trash pickup or if she was selling them. Like a dummy, Crissy said, "Those are my neighbor's & she's out of town till Monday."
Half an hour later Crissy comes around the corner of her house & there's the guy with a trailer, loading up bales AND some 3-gallon perennials waiting to be planted near them. She hollered at him & he threw the plants down & took off with the bales. Only 6 or 8 bales were pilfered, but still!
Well it sounds like it was someone close by. Too bad no one thought of getting the license . But being close by even the color of the pickup might help. But who would be stupid enough to even think some one would have bales for trash pickup. GRRRRRR
Crissy says she didn't get close enough & I haven't asked her about the vehicle make.
She is, shall we say, a bit challenged anytime after 10 a.m., when the Absolut shots start coming out of the freezer.
Love her dearly, though! She just doesn't recount things very accurately.
Well, apparently no one in Northern Alabama carries any kind of Slug/Snail deterrent that wont inadvertently kill me/my family/my dog/my cat, so I ordered some Escar-Go from Gardens Alive. It should be here in a few days.
I am currently mustering the troops for an all out attack scheduled for dark-thirty on the eve the ammo arrives...
Wish me well folks...I'm goin' in!!!!!
P.S. On a more serious note, I harvested around 10 Sweet 100's, 1 Roma, 1 Zucchini (12 incher), 1 Cucumber, and 1 Yellow squash today. Im so hooked on this kind of gardening it ain't even funny!!!!!!!!!
P.S.S AWESOME taters Kent!!!!! I think I'll use this years bales for that next year
Great looking taters, Kent! (It's a ritual with my DD and me that each year we dig some fresh taters and immediately take them to my shoffice, cut them up and have fresh french fries. We'll sit there and pig out, neither of us saying a word till they're all chowed down!)
Looks like your trombocino is doing mighty fine too! You'll love it!
My original two bales are going like gangbusters and I started 3 more a week or so ago (trombocino and a sugar baby watermelon in one, two eggplants and a cuke plant in another, and a sugar baby and 4 cuke plants in the third). All the bales now have marigold plants in the tops and sides, just for prettiness!
Raining a bit here now so am off to go walk in it so I can really enjoy it!
Looking good Kent. Ron, sounds like yours are doin' great!!
Summer, can't seem to trust anybody any more. Stealing straw is the last one. LOL. Sorry. It's not funny. They aren't easy to come by. Guess that is probably why they did it. You might keep an eye out and see if you see any fresh straw in somebody's rabbits, chickens etc. Probably not too easy to see that tho.
Cat, I use the stuff in the bags. The fresh stuff would be pretty stong. Normally I would put it in a gunny sack and hang it in a large garbage can but didn't have one so I only used about maybe a half a gallon to a gallon. Not much. Also, I didn't use a garbage can. Just a 5 gallon bucket.
BB, that alfalfa tea is really awful smelling. And then to add fish emulsion is really bad. I have a recipe that has both of those and a lot of other stuff in it I made last year for my roses that one of the good gardeners gave me and it is really gross too. But, you know, the roses that I put it on last fall look wonderful this year.
Thanks Kent. So good to be back. I am as busy as can be so my gardening has taken a back seat much to my disappointment. I am working with a 3 YO show horse this year and she is taking a lot of time. Also own 5 others that need working and am working with 12 more head that belong to a friend. Been 4 weeks in revival at church and had 2 weeks of company from La. Hope to get some pictures of my bales and plants soon but don't expect much. LOL
They were the bane/ bain (sp?) of my existence last year. Destroyed my peppers. Found the answer after the damage was done. It is beer. Put out quart jar lids full of beer each night. Non alcoholic beer will NOT work. Fill the lids with beer before dark, The slugs will drink the beer and slide away. After they ingest the beer the alcohol will cause their bodies to dry up and they will die.
yep, have had my salt shaker out with me lately *evil grin*
Kent, those taters look sooo good. My Mom's neighbor use to make new potatoes with creamed new peas and fried corn bread for lunch about this time of year. I can still taste it! Yummy! I've already told dh we're planted taters in the old bales next year.
Kent wrote;"Guess what's on the menu for tonight?!"
Oh!! They look marvelous *g*. Mine arestill flowering, but I'm dying to "peek" at them, just to see if there are some itty bitty Taters that I can pilfer for dinner...
Keep up the good work, y'all are my inspiration:)