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Strawbale Gardening: Straw Bale Gardening (Part 15)

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KentNC
Wake Forest, NC

June 30, 2007
1:38 PM

Post #3678732

Here's a link to Part 1 - Part 12 - http://davesgarden.com/forums/t/724771/
Here's a link to Part 13 - http://davesgarden.com/forums/t/729253/
Here's a link to Part 14 - http://davesgarden.com/forums/t/734190/

Put your garden on the map: http://www.frappr.com/strawbalegardeners

Welcome again to all the first-time bale gardeners. You're in for a great ride!

Kent

This message was edited Jun 30, 2007 9:39 AM
Wvdaisy
Buffalo, WV
(Zone 7a)

June 30, 2007
3:51 PM

Post #3679194

My bales are doing pretty pitiful. Will have to take a pic and post it later. I haven't been feeding properly though. Bad veggie mommy.

Lana

edited to say: The beans and corn in the ground are doing super...except for the jap beetles on the corn :~( I hope I can get the bale plants going better.

This message was edited Jun 30, 2007 11:55 AM
Jnette
Northeast, WA
(Zone 5a)

June 30, 2007
4:11 PM

Post #3679277

LOL Lana, I was going to ask you how your plants were doing if your bales looked so bad. Didn't you plant yours with the Watersorb??

Jeanette
Wvdaisy
Buffalo, WV
(Zone 7a)

June 30, 2007
4:14 PM

Post #3679285

I did but I think they got overwatered while I was out of town. Plus, I haven't fed the bales much. My plants are what looks pitiful. I expect the bales to look that way ;~)
randbponder
Hornick, IA
(Zone 4b)

June 30, 2007
8:41 PM

Post #3679902

jnette; I'm still not the happiest with our bale garden either. The Tomatos are doing great. The peppers I put in the ground after the ones in the bales, are produceing. but the ones in the bales are just starting to set tiny peppers. and they are real short. I know practice practice. I didn't use any watersorb either, don't recall that being mentioned. ( Guess I'm just a dirt gardener) The litle melon is still very little, Not sure it will catch on in time to do any good.
I am planning on covering the bale garden with plastic this fall to prolong every thing in there.
I have a big tank of horse poo tea I have started feeding every thing in the bales and that has helped. I think I am going to use that on some ground that I had to dig up rather quich as a friend gave me 9 tomato plants that he decided not to plant. They are suposed to be a super sized tomato. Well I couldn't throw them away. I also had more peppers to plant. So dug up more space. I had garden there last year, but had not planed to use it this year, so I didn't put any mulch or poo down in that place. If the price of gas don't come back down under $2.00 I think I will plan on useing it. Then I can set up a stand and sell some produce, to offset some of the cost.
Should be able to sell some this year as I have 2 dozen tomato plants besides the dozen in the bales. The same with the peppers. I ran out of time. and didn't get every thing in I wanted. but with all I have in. I am going to be very busy come canning time. I think the storm celler will have all it can hold. I'm not down playing bale gardening, I probably just messed up somewhere. But at least I don't to weed those tomatoes.
Well better go pick some peas tonight as There are some that are too ripe , they will mix in but I like the young tender ones best, for flavor.
Jnette
Northeast, WA
(Zone 5a)

June 30, 2007
9:48 PM

Post #3680058

No Russ, don't worry about Watersorb. That is just something between Lana and I. I don't remember when you got started in the bales Russ. You are zone 4 and I am zone 5. I always cover mine with visquine (plastic). I have a hoophouse. I just took that off Thursday. But, I didn't plant them until the last week in May. My plants are real big and healthy with a lot of blossoms. I didn't plant peppers. The cherry tomatoes have fruit on them but still green. I haven't looked real close to see if there are any on the others. My little melons are loaded with blossoms and a few taking hold. I also will cover the hoophouse with plastic around Labor Day to see if I can't get a last kick out of them.

I don't know as the bales are suppose to produce any bigger, better or faster, just that they aren't as much work. I'm sorry if they set you back in your production. I can't believe you are aiming at getting your gas lower than $2 per. I will be happy to see under $3. Maybe you should try using the gas instead of the horse poo. Actually, that is what I thought you meant. Or, maybe you meant that you should use the horse poo instead of gas. Now I am confused. LOL

Hang in there Russ, pretty soon you'll be so busy with ripe fruit and veggies you will wish it was snowing.
randbponder
Hornick, IA
(Zone 4b)

June 30, 2007
11:46 PM

Post #3680368

Yeah a little snow, OH no!! No I use the poo to fertilize the garden.
Al though , a few ER ah quite a few years ago. When I raised rabbits, to help out on meat. I did seal three barrels with rabbit poo in them, and just for fun, I had an old JD water boy, pump engine. I would run off of the methane that was being produced.
But I don't think, I would like to wait for the horse poo to convert to methane, in order to make a run into town for supplies. Chuckle chuckle.Might have to stop a few times and let the pressure build up.
Then when the poo was done making methane, it made super garden fert.
I really wasn't looking for super monstrous plants from the bales, just thought that since I planted them first they should be further along , than the rest. I do think I will get a good harvest of tomatos from the bales. Most of the plants have a lot of small green maters on them. Almost ping pong ball size. The plants are about 3' tall. and use a quite a bit of water, which I will keep up on delivering that for them. The maters that I put in the ground are looking a little more sturdy and are almost as tall, and they too are starting to set little tomatos. And you are 100% correct. I have to get on hands and knees to pull any weeds. However since I mulched them heavily with grass clippings, there are very few weeds that come through. But I did not have enough clippings to do all the garden. Tonight when I picked the peas, I also pulled weeds. And yup I was on all fours. As I can't stoop over for very long at a time.
Oh and, I don't think that it is an impossible dream for gas to get below $2.00. Maybe not very probable, as long as people have to use gas to get to and from work. The oil companies will try hold out for the highest $$. But I won't buy from EXon Mobile. untill the price does come down.
And each trip to town, has to be for several things not just a few groceries. or one little part. Maybe if it is for the well, but not just any little thing. But I do find that I have to make lists, so I don't forget anything. There I go rambling on again. Shut up Russ. Happy gardening and Have a wonderfull week.
Jnette
Northeast, WA
(Zone 5a)

July 1, 2007
5:32 AM

Post #3681311

Well Russ, when it is just you and me on here I guess we can ramble all we want. After all it is Kent's dime. LOL You know I think the best raspberries I ever had was when I used rabbit poop. Whoops, poo. After Easter one year I went down to the feed store and asked them if I could clean out under their rabbit pens. I went home and put that directly on my raspberries, and then I covered it with about 6 inches of sawdust and watered like crazy. Those berries were wonderful.

I noticed when I watered tonight that my other tomatoes, other than the cherries, have fruit on them also. Sure do wish they were bigger tho 'cause it is suppose to get over 100 degrees later in the week comin' up. We have been having the big thrunder and lightenin' storms the last couple of days. Very noisy. You'd think it was the 4th of July around here. What with the thunder and all of the rest of the fireworks from those people from other counties that ban the darn things.

Well, headin' off to bed. You have a nice day tomorrow.

Jeanette
rutholive
Tonasket, WA
(Zone 5a)

July 1, 2007
1:24 PM

Post #3681741

Happy July !, and to you Canadians, Happy 4th celebration.

It is early just after 6:00 and I hear the neighbors setting off a few firecrackers.

The sky is partly cloudy and supposed to be quite warm today. Jeanette we too had Thunder and Lightning a couple of days ago,, and some needed rain.

Here is a photo I took a couple of days ago when out for a short drive into nearby hills-mountains. There is a small private lake about 20 miles away that I like to drive to just for the scenery and what birds or animals I might see. Here is what I see looking to the south from the highest point before going on down to the lake, about 3500 feet I think.

Donna

Thumbnail by rutholive
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Wvdaisy
Buffalo, WV
(Zone 7a)

July 1, 2007
4:02 PM

Post #3682193

Beautiful, Donna! I really miss WA. Almost like being homesick but not quite. I did get homesick for WV while I was there but if I had my family and friends out there with me I'd never leave! No humidity, no allergies, lots to do, beautiful scenery, what more could you ask for? I lived in Lakewood outside Tacoma for a year. Loved it.

Lana
randbponder
Hornick, IA
(Zone 4b)

July 1, 2007
8:44 PM

Post #3682998

Donna; Beautiful pic. Think I would like to be a little closet to the lake. But that is intriguing. Would be nice not to have all this humidity. But yet that is what promotes some of the growth in our gardens. Just the other day though I didn't have to do anything and I sweat profusely. Needless to say I didn't do much in the garden.
Jeanett; It's been a while since the last thunder storm. But we usually get one sometime the first week in July. I can almost count on it.
It can sometimes be bad though. as some times it gives a lot of hail, and ruins a lot of crops. But I won't go out and try cover my nice looking maters, as the hail bouncing off my head isn't that apealing.
We have yet to go to WA. But we do have a Granddaughter and family at Goldbar. We have only seen their little one twice. Would like to visit there at least once. Of course I would have to bring my fishing gear along.
It is pretty dry here right now, I'm watering every couple days. I spoke to the gent that I got the bales from. about some of the loose straw in his hay loft. He just said you know where it is. so I'll have to get out there and load some up. I need to mulch some more where I ran out of grass clippings. There is a place about 50 miles from here, that I can get all the saw dust I want, they make pallets so most of it is Cottenwood, no walnut. But a 100 mile trip for what a S10 will carry, I'm not sure it's worth the trip. Ummm yeah it would be. I just can't do it right now. Oh well.
We are trying to help our youngest daughter right now. She lost her job and has some medical problems. We have been trying to keep her
" COBRA" ins. up for her for all the tests she has had to have. The Dr. is nearly positive she has a blockage in an artery. They done an angeagram ( sp) yesterday, and we haven't heard the results from that yet. But she has been having really bad headaches for the last 5 or 6 months. and something needs to be done and soon. She is schedualed for surgery on Tue. But this last test may have changed things ???? Not sure she told us every thing!!!!!
I will ask of every one to offer prayers for her though, as this is serious stuff, if not taken care of. Thank you for listening. ~~~~~~~~~~` Russ
hellnzn11
Rosamond, CA
(Zone 8b)

July 2, 2007
5:30 AM

Post #3684671

Donna was that all grown in bales? lol
homemom1
Oldsmar, FL

July 2, 2007
3:19 PM

Post #3685861

Hi again,
Figured I'd post my questions again since it ended up at the end of part 14. I would REALLY like to find out the following:
1) How many of the folks who I read about their 2006 bale garden are doing another this year?
2) Any conclusion that organic produces as good, better or worse results than the non-organic method?
3) Did the onion and potato crops produce well at harvest?

Thanks Cajun for your answer, would love to hear from other folks who might know.
Thanks

catmad
Pelzer, SC
(Zone 7b)

July 2, 2007
4:22 PM

Post #3686186

homemom1 wrote;"Any conclusion that organic produces as good, better or worse results than the non-organic method?"

Well, I don't really know. Helpful huh? What I do know, is that so far I've gotten Golden Jubilee, Marglobe, and Pink Ponderosa tomatoes, and the Golden Jubillee and the Marglobe taste wonderful. I'm reserving judgement on the PP, I've only tried one, and it was very small. It wasn't bad, just not as good as the others. I think the next one, picked this a.m., will taste better. I'm kind of surprised, as I've never heard either of those tomatoes described as very tasty. I'm not sure if it's just that they're so very different than the "store boughten" ones, or if they're really that good :). I think tomorrow will tell, as my first Cherokee Purple should be ready. I have had great yields from the squashes, cukes, and green beans, and the melons are coming along nicely. Everything has tasted wonderful, but it's all so fresh, so that has something to do with it, I'm sure.

OTOH, my pototoes seem to be a bust. I planted late, so maybe that's why. I'm only getting tiny, tiny potatoes, with one that was "creamer" size. I've only pulled the ones that seemed to be dying, and so far those have been the red Pontiacs. Haven't looked at the other three varieties, but I'm not expecting much :(.

I wasn't here last year, so can't help you there, but I'll be here from now on...

Oh, forgot to say that I am "going organic"

Margo
hellnzn11
Rosamond, CA
(Zone 8b)

July 2, 2007
5:54 PM

Post #3686587

I don`t know either I`m a nuby. Inquireing mind want an answer and we want it now dang it. lol
KentNC
Wake Forest, NC

July 3, 2007
2:57 AM

Post #3688664

homemom1: this is my 3rd year doing the bales.

It was my 1st year doing potatoes in the straw and it was a success. Prettiest red potatoes you ever did see. Here's a repeat photo taken back in early June.

I'm not much of an organic gardener. Miracle Gro man. I need to buy some stock in the company! :-)

Kent

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KentNC
Wake Forest, NC

July 3, 2007
3:00 AM

Post #3688681

Shoe: my trombocino vine is about 18 ft now! How long does this sucker get? :-)

Kent
randbponder
Hornick, IA
(Zone 4b)

July 3, 2007
3:57 AM

Post #3688876

Pretty good taders for just giving it a try. I haven't checked mine yet.
It's early yet for here, as far as taders go.
I'll have to get some pics for you. I'll just have to take the time I guess.
Not much grass growing but still have to mow as the lawn weeds are just as heathy as always.
deanna8
Raeford, NC

July 3, 2007
6:41 AM

Post #3689162

homemom1 This is my first year and I am ever so pleased. My squash is growing like crazy. I am getting cukes, tomatoes peppers and zuchinni. Have been so pleased with the first started more bales about a month ago, am just about to pick my first eggplant from that and I have more tomatoes. Next year I plan to have 50 or more bales going. It is so pleasurable to do I tell everyone. Deanna
Horseshoe
Efland, NC
(Zone 7a)

July 3, 2007
3:58 PM

Post #3690274

Hehehe, Kent, that "trombo" vine will keep growin' and growin'! Let 'er roll! I picked a nice-sized one yesterday for a neighbor to try...it was nearly two feet long. Will be throwing some on the grill soon!

I'll try to take pics of my bales today...I have tomatoes coming on, lots of peppers, two kinds of cukes that I'm harvesting. Also have the trombocino and watermelon vines climbing the fence!

homemom, I bought some bales last year but never got around to planting them, so this is my first year and can't compare to last year but can sure witness that it works great from what I see this year. Regarding which is better, organic vs non-organic, you'll have good results from either method you choose.

Happy Gardening, Folks!
Shoe
BronxBoy
Lawrenceville, GA
(Zone 7b)

July 5, 2007
6:24 PM

Post #3698990

Hi Everyone:

Been awhile since I checked in.

My bales are going great guns. The eggplants have really taken off and are looking like they will produce heavily. I'm convinced that adding a more frequent feeding regimen was the key to bringing them back from the brink.

This is my first year with the bales as well so I can't compare with last year. I have noticed that the peppers and eggplants that I planted in my raised beds are larger than the ones in the bales but this could be due to the fact that the raised beds had plenty of nutrients while it took me awhile to get the hang of how to feed the plants in the bales.

I grow using as strict an organic process as I can but don't have any control crops where I'm using non-organic methods so I can't offer any comparisons

I will post some pics later
hellnzn11
Rosamond, CA
(Zone 8b)

July 5, 2007
7:35 PM

Post #3699199

Man I should look at this in a different light after reading that book, What they don`t want you to know, Natural cures... It`s backward but I should be only eating what I grow.

darius

darius
So.App.Mtns.
United States
(Zone 5b)

July 5, 2007
10:53 PM

Post #3700467

today, only a month late due to ill health, i put some transplants into my straw bales. only the tomatoes so far, but others to do tomorrow after yet ANOTHER ct scan late morning. 8 more bales, the last of them, will be ready in 5-6 more days and they will get fall crops, butternut squash, chard and the like. i might even try broccoli which i love and always manage to kill.
Jnette
Northeast, WA
(Zone 5a)

July 6, 2007
8:29 PM

Post #3704033

Homemom, my 2nd year. Yeah, for my yard/area, I would do nothing else. Don't know organic. Sounds good, my daughter says since she has done that with her whole yard that she has plenty of bees, birds, etc. She doesn't do much veggies other than tomatoes, cukes, peas etc.

Russ, how is your daughter? Sure hope it isn't too serious. Keep us posted. Just got out of the hospital myself yesterday so I don't envy her at all.

Jeanette
randbponder
Hornick, IA
(Zone 4b)

July 6, 2007
9:53 PM

Post #3704359

Jeanette; We are waiting to hear from, another specialist. A Dr. that deals with strokes. If we don't hear very soon. we are planning to try getting her to Rochester. She is in a I'm not concerned, about anything mode. She only has the off and headache's otherwise, you wouldn't know there is any thing wrong.. Right now it is that we now know what is causing them. The Dr. that was going to do the surgery, was surprised that she is still walking around. Her left carroted artery is the big problem and the right is 85% blocked. For some reason or another she is still getting a very small amount to blood flow, to the left side of the brain. The Angiogram showed that the left was 100% blocked. Don't think any of them know why, she is still up and around.

This waiting pattern is not easy. She don't need any stress, as I'm afraid that would tip the scales, and give her a stroke.

On gardening news I have picked 4 cukes, 8 peppers and one tomato.
None of the peppers in the bales are that far along. We have been using the spinnich and swiss chard for some time now. I just finished weeding our iris bed. In this heat I could work on that a couple hours at a time each evening, so it took me a while. I am going to put down news paper and wood chip mulch down to keep the weeds to just a minimum. I don't want to have to work that hard to keep it clean again.
My pellet gun and I have disposed of three rabbits that seem to like cuke vines. even after spraying them with rabbit repellant.


Jnette
Northeast, WA
(Zone 5a)

July 7, 2007
5:20 AM

Post #3705925

Gosh Russ, sure hope they get her taken care of soon. Give her my best.

Be careful working in the heat. She doesn't need you down too. I used the newspapers and mulch last year and it has been a lifesaver.

Sounds like good repellent for the rabbits.

Jeanette
catmad
Pelzer, SC
(Zone 7b)

July 7, 2007
10:58 AM

Post #3706180

Has anyone else found that some of their veggies hide in the bales *g*?. I found a monster cuke yesterday that had grown down into the hay, and only the top was showing. Looked farther, and found a zucchini doing the same thing, and a couple of melons on top of a bale that are sunk in. They seem to be fine, just not very visible. I'm wondering what else I'm missing...

Margo
KentNC
Wake Forest, NC

July 7, 2007
6:22 PM

Post #3707482

Margo: same thing happens to me, too. Since I use a double bale row for my cukes and zucchini/squash, it's easy for them to get lost in the cracks.

Kent
KentNC
Wake Forest, NC

July 8, 2007
12:18 AM

Post #3708680

Shoe: my trombocino vine is now at 20 ft in one direction and 4 ft in another. No sign of it slowing down whereas my traditional zucchini and squash plants are petering out.

Also, I have a trombocino that is 42 inches on the vine and growing.

I have had a ball with this plant.

Kent
KentNC
Wake Forest, NC

July 8, 2007
12:33 AM

Post #3708724

Folks: this is/was my supper tonight. Two fantastic sandwiches from this German Johnson tomato that just melted in my mouth. I've had tomato sandwiches each night for the past several nights and they keep getting better.

For those whose tomatoes haven't turned yet, hang in there. It'll be worth the wait.

Kent

Thumbnail by KentNC
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KentNC
Wake Forest, NC

July 8, 2007
12:34 AM

Post #3708729

Here's my tomatoes so far. The German Johnsons are in the middle.

Kent

Thumbnail by KentNC
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Jnette
Northeast, WA
(Zone 5a)

July 8, 2007
2:14 AM

Post #3709123

Kent you are evil. You keep telling us about how long that Trombocino plant is, but does it have any fruit on it???

Margo, I've hever had that happen, but it must be like an Easter egg hunt.

Jeanette
KentNC
Wake Forest, NC

July 8, 2007
3:46 AM

Post #3709553

Jeanette: back in part 14/June 25 I posted a photo of what I get off the trombocino plant, except the one I now have is at least 7-8 inches longer.

I still haven't cooked one up yet, but I gave one to a church member who said it was great.

Kent

This message was edited Jul 7, 2007 11:47 PM
catmad
Pelzer, SC
(Zone 7b)

July 8, 2007
2:38 PM

Post #3710608

I think I have Killer Bales :(.

I used bales from two different sources, both supposed to be hay.The first ones were very fine hay, and soft, easy to plant in. They "seasoned" quickly. The second, rye hay, was very heavy, dense, and took longer to soften/decompose. I had to rip the stuff out of the middle to plant in them. I had two different planting times in the first ones, first beans ,cukes, myriad squashes, tomatoes and peppers. The next set of tomatoes also went in these, but later. The second set of bales I planted half with some very special (much wanted, and expensive but very late in arriving) tomatoes. I left the rest empty, to plant a later season of different kinds of eggplants, squash and who knows what.

The second set of bales seems to be killing my Maters. They've been in about a month. All went well at first, I put lots of soil/compost in the bales with them, to give them a good start. About a week ago I noticed that one of the plants was doing strange things. All the new growth was emerging all curled up, and staying that way. Doesn't even look like a tomato. Blossoms are indistinguishable from foliage, except for tiny bits of yellow. On three forums with real tomato "experts" no-one had much advice, except that maybe someone had been using Round-up or similar in the neighborhood and it had "drifted". Well, none of the other plants were having problems, so I didn't see how that could be. I sure hadn't used anything, and my neighbors don't seem to garden at all. I looked at every tomato disease website, no luck.

Then I remembered that in an early part of this thread, there was discussion of hay grown with herbicides, like a weed and feed product. I'm afraid that's what has happened. The roots are now big enough that they are taking up the chemical, and it's killing them. I don't think that there is anything that can help, but thought I'd see if anyone else had seen this. Can anyone think of anything that might grow in these bales? Corn occurred to me, might that work, since I think it's basically big grass?

I'm so disheartened by this. The one bright spot, it's probably not going to affect the other tomatoes. I've been waiting for it to "jump" to them. Means my predominant tomatoes will be black and green, but at least I'll have those...

Margo (the sad MaterMurderer)

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deanna8
Raeford, NC

July 8, 2007
9:58 PM

Post #3712041

Margo, you bring up an interesting point. We need to ask more questions about our hay. I got part of mine from a nursery and the other from HD,never thought about herbicide( or something else) being in it. So I guess next time I will ask if they have any info. Because it would be so disheartening( as you know) for this to happen never mind the expense, if this happened to all you planted.So sorry about your tomatoes That excitement looking everyday or so to see if something is growing and than to see it is dying but hopefully all the rest will be okay. Deanna
KentNC
Wake Forest, NC

July 10, 2007
1:14 AM

Post #3716840

I know ya'll are getting tired of me talking about my trombocino, but I'm just having a ball watching this plant grow.

I'm going to see just how long this one will get.

It's at 49 inches right now.

Kent

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KentNC
Wake Forest, NC

July 10, 2007
1:15 AM

Post #3716842

Here's a wider shot.

The trombocino vine is over 20 ft long now and if I had a clue it was going to grow like this, I would have started it on the far left of my trellis.

Kent

Thumbnail by KentNC
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darius

darius
So.App.Mtns.
United States
(Zone 5b)

July 10, 2007
1:34 AM

Post #3716927

i got a few more things planted in my bales yesterday and today. but between the heat and still having pain from my recent gall bladder surgery, it's slow going.

i don't expect much of anything from summer crops since i have been so late getting them in the bales. however, the support posts and cattle panels are in place and will be great for next year too.

i guess it's time to start seeds for fall crops. i had a few fall things started already but my brother's grandson nicely removed all the labels while i was in the hospital. they look like crap anyway.

KentNC
Wake Forest, NC

July 10, 2007
1:46 AM

Post #3716996

darius: I have neglected to wish you well in recuperating from your surgery. I pray you'll mend up shortly and the pain subsides soon.

Kent
Jnette
Northeast, WA
(Zone 5a)

July 10, 2007
3:42 AM

Post #3717461

Kent that is some squash!!

Darius, what do you plant for fall crops? Too bad you didn't get things going your cattal panels and bales look super. Like they need something growing in them.

Sorry to hear you are still hurting, but you know that is not minor surgery.

Jeanette
deanna8
Raeford, NC

July 16, 2007
3:14 AM

Post #3740851

How is everybody doing/ I see your names on other forums but this one seems to have been quiet for a while or I have quit getting updates.My veges are doing good. My eggplant really loves the bales. I have white eggplant never tried it before but heard it was good. Almost ready to pick. Getting some good tomatoes, cukes, squash and zucchini.When is it time to start with the fall things? Have not seen any plants in the stores yet. Deanna
catmad
Pelzer, SC
(Zone 7b)

July 16, 2007
12:27 PM

Post #3741558

Well, here's the take for Friday. I'm still not sure how to handle the squash now, but hopefully I'll get a clue :)

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Jnette
Northeast, WA
(Zone 5a)

July 16, 2007
4:54 PM

Post #3742534

Hi Guys,

Yes, it has been quiet. Think everybody is out picking their gold mines? Cat, did you actually grow those this summer??? Wow, it is amazing the difference in the different parts of the country isn't it? I doubt that we have a season long enough to get one of those punkins.

Russ, are your melons producing? I have tons of blossoms on mine but they just dry up. No melons. I don't understand it. I even poked my finger in some of them to pollinate them.

Wonder how Bronx Boy is doing? He better get those boys hopping with all of those plants.

Donna how are you doing over there? Haven't heard anything from you either.

Jeanette
randbponder
Hornick, IA
(Zone 4b)

July 16, 2007
7:40 PM

Post #3743177

Jeanette;
I feel real bad. The melon stayed real small, then all of a sudden it was gone. We were looking forward to some of those little ones too.
I should not have planted them in the bales. The peppers are finally coming along but not doing as good as the ones in the ground. The tomatoes are starting to bear. I have picked 2 already and none off the ones in the dirt. But both the ones in the dirt and those in the bales are good strong plants and are about 4 ft. tall. and have a lot of blosoms and little green maters. I planted cukes in the dirt and run them up a section of fence. I have been picking some of them, but they were suposed to be straight 8s, But they are only getting 5 - 6 inches long. It may be the lack of rain. Watering isn't as good as a good rain.
I don't know if it would work or not on mellons, But some people use blosom set. I have no idea if it would work or not.
My mouth wasn't watering yet for some of those small melons, but I was anxious. I may have to begg for more seeds for next year.
I could trade for some sweet potato plants, hmmmm, please. I could start them indoors first, so they would have a good start first. But then if you don't get any to bear either, guess were out of luck! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~`Russ
Jnette
Northeast, WA
(Zone 5a)

July 16, 2007
8:09 PM

Post #3743291

But why aren't they setting fruit Russ??? I can't imagine why they wouldn't. I have 2 plants in one bale so wouldn't you think they would pollinate good? I even saw a honey bee on one this morning. Who would we ask?

You are certainly welcome to some seeds for next year. In fact I will send them soon. But I sure was hoping to collect some from my own fruit.

You know what Russ? I wonder if those were some of the geneticly engineered seeds and the seeds won't germinate. But, they did germinate. They just won't bear fruit. I am going to do some research on that.

See, they are doing that so that everybody has to buy new seeds from the corporations. That is why gardeners have to preserve heirloom seeds. Better start saving those tomato, squash, cuke etc. seeds.

Jeanette
randbponder
Hornick, IA
(Zone 4b)

July 16, 2007
9:12 PM

Post #3743511

I hope were wrong on thinking this. but there could be something to it.
You may have a point too. maybe we should be saving our heirloom seeds. I just remembered last year a friend shared some giant pumpkin seeds with several of us here in town. Mine started to grow got big thick vines and good looking leaves had lots of blosoms, then the plants started turning yellow and just dried up. I laid blame on cut worms but maybe it wasn't. There is a seed saver place here in IA. Maybe that is where I should get seed so I can save what I like as well.
Oh I Thought I had some voluntier Cukes come back, But I had to rethink when I found a muskmelon on a vine. One big problem tho is I did plant cukes next to it. That is not usually a good thing. I also had a Butternut squash come back as a voluntier. It is also in the same vacinity. This is going to be interesting, huh. So far there are 2 squash on that vine and more blosoms. I will be trying some bale garden next year as well but more for the tomatoes than any thing else. I didn't try the cukes in bales, but next year I will. I may also try making a raised garden just to see if That will work any better for me. That way Barb could even help. It would also help my back.

I do hope maybe the weather has something to do with the blosoms drying up. I know that just watering doesn't get the same results for me as some good rains. It has been dry this summer. That could have something to do with my small straight 8 cukes.
I would like to hear what you find out on the melons, also hoping that they start setting fruit.~~~`Russ
Jnette
Northeast, WA
(Zone 5a)

July 17, 2007
2:06 AM

Post #3744606

Russ, I didn't spend any time on it but just for kicks, google genetically engineered seeds. See what you think of just glancing thru it.

Jeanette
catmad
Pelzer, SC
(Zone 7b)

July 17, 2007
11:55 AM

Post #3745561

Jnette wrote;"Cat, did you actually grow those this summer??? "

I'm surprised, too. I never expected them to ripen so soon. I'm going to plant more, and hope they are ready for Halloween.

My melon plants were the last things to set fruit consistently. I did find two nestled in the tops of the bales, but in general, they were way behind the squash and stuff. Don't know how long it will be until they ripen. Probably next week, along with the Green and Black tomatoes, since I'll be away...
randbponder
Hornick, IA
(Zone 4b)

July 17, 2007
8:18 PM

Post #3747368

Jnette, Sounds to me we may have some super weeds on our hands to deal with in near future huh. But the poor bees and and other benificial insects. Kind of sounds like that may be what is confusing the bees.
I went out a while last night and pulled some weeds around the cukes in my lower, or rather back garden. I was surprised by some rather large cukes. I picked them last night. This morning I checked the garden space in front, found more cukes. Now I have too many to use up for slicing, that we eat as fast as we can. Now you know what I have to do tonight, after it cools down a bit. Yup you guessed it. Heat up the kitchen. That's ok they will taste good this winter. I promised Barb I would make these up as dill pickles. I like them too but my fav, is bread & butter. It's only 96 out, but all the moisture is gone. It feels like you are by the door of a blast furnace. That's why I will wait till tonight. Think I should get 4 or 5 qt from this batch.
They are trying to tell us that the next 2 days we can expect rain????
I bet it misses us again. I'll have to water again tonight
Jnette
Northeast, WA
(Zone 5a)

July 17, 2007
10:29 PM

Post #3748044

Truly amazing Catmad.

Russ, I would like your B&B recipe when you have time. Hang in there. We have had over a week of no less than 96 degrees, with a couple triples thrown in and now it is raining huge drops. Because I put the sprinkler on. Won't last long tho.

Jeanette
randbponder
Hornick, IA
(Zone 4b)

July 18, 2007
12:32 AM

Post #3748408

O my, I just use the method of a little of this and a little of that, It's kind of burried in some grey matter. But I will try OK?
But tonight is going to be the dill. But I'll get on it and write it down. I generally go by if my mouth starts watering, thats just right. Wierd huh?
That is kind of the way my mother tought me.. I was the 5th of 6. and the (Baby) for 7 years. So when my younger brother was on his way, mom didn't realize it. She got sick and had to spend all summer in the hospital. so being the youngest; Dad assigned me to take care of the chickens and to the cooking. At the time we did not have a gas nor an electric stove You guessed it. The old wood burner. And I baked, heat water to scald the chickens that I killed and butchered. And nobody complained about what I fixed and nobody got sick. so I guess that quite an accomplishment for a 7 year old. Nobody would dare assigne that to a 7 year old today! Oh and I did better than my older sister she made a cake that really looked nice. Only she missread the amount of soda used a table spoon instead of a teaspoon. It took the chickens a week to eat that cake, after it made my oldest brother gasp for air.
I will admitt I did shinge my eye brows and lashes a couple times, when I thought there weren't any coals.Guess I was very lucky.
Well stand by, but don't hold your breath, as it may take me a while to get the amounts written down. Never thought of anybody possibly wanting that old of a receipe. But then our girls like it, as they always ask for a few jars. Any way hang on I'll try.~~~~~~`Russ
Jnette
Northeast, WA
(Zone 5a)

July 18, 2007
2:02 AM

Post #3748775

I'm just trusting that you have good taste Russ. LOL

Jeanette
rutholive
Tonasket, WA
(Zone 5a)

July 18, 2007
2:09 AM

Post #3748819

Jeanette, We did have a slightly cooler day today, but no wind , so muggy, even without much humidity.

I was glad for the firefighters to not have any wind. It is really smoky and hurts my eyes. When i came back from Omak this afternoon (had to get my new lenses for after the cataract surgery on left eye), I could plainly see lots of flames. But so far still on the east side of the Okanogan river. I tried to call a couple of my friends and also the fellow who has worked for me for more than 20 years. All i got was the busy signal, don't know if that means they had to move out or if maybe the lines might have burned or be down. No rain predicted for here and i sure hope no T & L.

Donna
Jnette
Northeast, WA
(Zone 5a)

July 18, 2007
11:00 PM

Post #3752197

Donna, so glad to hear from you. I have been thinking of you the last couple of days but just couldn't seem to find time to write. Sorry. I am sure glad the fires are across the river from you. The Okanogan is a fairly good sized river, lets hope it is big enough for a fire break.

T&L are predicted for us unfortunately. Hope it isn't dry lighttning. We have 2 fires going here but so far they are several miles from us. Just hope we don't get any wind.

Keep us posted. Hope your friends and neighbors are ok.

Jeanette
rutholive
Tonasket, WA
(Zone 5a)

July 19, 2007
2:50 PM

Post #3754671

We had a really nice rain yesterday with some T & L, received about
.5 of an inch of rain. The Tunk fire is 80% contained now. Actually it is raining again this morning, and believe me I am not complaining. Didn't have to irrigate yesterday.
BronxBoy
Lawrenceville, GA
(Zone 7b)

July 19, 2007
3:24 PM

Post #3754810

Has anyone tried growing beets in the bales?
Jnette
Northeast, WA
(Zone 5a)

July 19, 2007
4:27 PM

Post #3755126

Wonderful Donna, glad to hear it.

BB, have been wondering about you. I can't imagine growing beets in bales, but try it. How is the produce business going?
foggywalk
marshville,, NC
(Zone 8a)

July 19, 2007
6:07 PM

Post #3755483

Donna, glad you're all right..ain't rain wonderful?!

Foggy
randbponder
Hornick, IA
(Zone 4b)

July 19, 2007
9:30 PM

Post #3756262

Aahhhhh, Rain is wonderful. We had T&L with it; lots of it. When I checked the guage this morning, we had nearly 3&1/4inches. All the pepper leaves have perked up, and the sweet potatoes must have grown another 2 or 3 inches. :o) Just finished processing 8 quarts of Dill Pickles. And yup when I looked out in the garden again, There were more cukes ready. I think I'll take some to give away. lol Gary at the Gen. store ( or The Barn), would like some for salads. He serves supper on friday eve. So I guess I would still get to eat my share, Heh heh my smugg little grinn. That is usually DW and my, night out. Of course we don't miss fri mornings very often either. He has biscuits and gravy Uummmmm Yummy. Of course that's when we catch up on what has happened in the neighborhood, and solve all the world problems :o) OK???
Jnette
Northeast, WA
(Zone 5a)

July 20, 2007
4:00 AM

Post #3757576

Russ, sounds heavenly. Love those biscuits and gravy. Bet the neighborhood news is fun too. LOL

Jeanette
BronxBoy
Lawrenceville, GA
(Zone 7b)

July 20, 2007
10:16 AM

Post #3757896

Hi Jnette:

I've been doing well. Between my regular job and the market, I've been pretty busy. Luckily with all the rain we've been getting, I have been saving a lot a time from not having to water.

Here's a market pic

Thumbnail by BronxBoy
Click the image for an enlarged view.

Jnette
Northeast, WA
(Zone 5a)

July 20, 2007
7:40 PM

Post #3759818

It wouldn't enlarge, but it sure looks nice. Good for you!!

Jeanette
lonejack
Longview, WA
(Zone 8b)

July 21, 2007
4:22 AM

Post #3761339

Hi all,
It's been a while since I visited. Actually I have been hooked on kayak fishing so have been spending way too much time there.
It is off to Haiti on 9 August so I am busy getting things ready. Be gone a month. I say this only to have you pray for our team..
This is why I am interested in bale gardens. I can teach my brothers and sisters to build a box and tamp straw into it to form a sort of bale. Then cook it and plant it and water it.
Much of the soil where our sister church is located has been salted from hurricane storm serge. The box bales can be set on the ground and vegies can be produced.
I am introducing worm composting toilets. They can use the worm castings for fertilizer and worm tea. Everything we grow there is organic because the big corporations can't make money on altered seed and fertilizer. I do take some fertilizer in to use to start the plants but will switch to worm castings when we start producing them.
I will take a picture of my home bale garden tomorrow and show you my progress so far.
I started everything late so I don't have the progress to show. My beans have tons of blossoms and the tomatoes are blooming like mad. We have such a long growing season here in Oregon that I tend to get slack about getting started. Next year I am going to start in February getting ready and planting in April.
I drip water all the bales. some bales I set up with deep dripers and surface dripers. This week I added a fertilizer injector that fertilizes along with the water. Right now I use 20/20/20 water soluble fertilizer. When that is gone I am going to switch to worm tea.
Has any one used worm tea for fertilizer?
Well until I get my picture.
In Christ, his servant, Paul.
lonejack
Longview, WA
(Zone 8b)

July 21, 2007
4:27 AM

Post #3761352

Hi again,
When I return from Haiti would You like to see some pictures or do you think it might take up too much space? I would love to share what we are doing.
In Christ, His servant, Paul.
Jnette
Northeast, WA
(Zone 5a)

July 21, 2007
5:10 AM

Post #3761414

Paul, don't know about the others but I would love to see them. If they don't want to look they can just skip over them. I would think it very interesting.

BTW, how many kayaks did you catch fishing? LOL

Please share your pictures of the bale gardening and how you have installed your drip watering and fertilizing too.

Jeanette
KentNC
Wake Forest, NC

July 21, 2007
9:12 PM

Post #3763212

All: I've been away too long. Extra busy at work plus my daughter's softball team was playing in their softball tournament. They won the regular season and the tournament. Go girls!!

I have been taking a quick glance at the thread and enjoying all the conversation.

Here's today's tomato harvest after my mama and a friend of the family got some. The missus wants to do a canning or two.

It's tomato sandwiches just about every day. I love them so.

Nothing left in my garden but tomatoes and peppers and the trombocino that just keeps on growing and growing.


Paul: welcome back and definitely take some photos of your trip to Haiti. We'll also keep your team in our prayers. Post while you're gone if you get the chance.

Kent

Thumbnail by KentNC
Click the image for an enlarged view.

rutholive
Tonasket, WA
(Zone 5a)

July 22, 2007
1:41 PM

Post #3764915

Yes Paul, some photos of your Haiti trip would be very interesting. Have a good and safe trip.

Donna
Jnette
Northeast, WA
(Zone 5a)

July 23, 2007
6:20 PM

Post #3769520

Kent, your tomatoes are beautiful. I'll bet you are buying the stores out of bacon. LOL

Russ, I think we have a hybrid weed we are growing. So sorry.

Donna, hear you guys are getting rain at last. That is great. My daughter in Seattle says the rain is ruining the flowers. Guess that is all they have had for quite a while. That is unusual even for Seattle in July.
KentNC
Wake Forest, NC

July 24, 2007
1:09 AM

Post #3771162

Jeanette: nope, no bacon yet on my tomato sandwiches; I just haven't taken the time to cook any up, but since you mentioned it...

Kent

dreaves

dreaves
Hutto, TX
(Zone 8b)

July 24, 2007
1:09 AM

Post #3771163

Jeanette,

I've been lurking on this thread for a while, but I planted everything in the dirt this spring. I'm thinking of some bales next year for weed control.

I'll share my mother's bread & butter recipe--it's probably not been around as long as Russ's recipe, but we all love it. I used it for squash this year too, not just cumcumbers. I bet Kent's trombocino would be perfect for pickling, since there is so much neck! The attached photo is B&B straight-necked yellow squash.

The recipe is for quart jars--made 6 quarts, since that was the size of her boiling water processor.

MAMA’s BREAD & BUTTER PICKLES

5 qts. Med. Cucumbers sliced ¼-inch thick
8 small white onions, sliced
1 large green pepper, sliced
1 large sweet red pepper
1/2 c coarse salt
Cracked ice/ice water

Mix above ingredients thoroughly and let stand 2-3 hours.

Drain and place in non-reactive pot.

PICKLING MIXTURE

5 c. sugar
1 1/2 tsp tumeric
1/2 tsp ground cloves
2 Tbsp mustard seed
2 Tbsp celery seed
5 c. vinegar

Combine remaining ingredients and pour over cucumbers. Bring to boiling point but DO NOT BOIL. Stir with wooden spoon until cucumbers have yellowish-green color.

Fill sterilized pint or quart jars. Process in a hot water bath for 10 minutes. Remove and cool. Check the seals and store in a dry, dark place. Yields about 6 quarts



Thumbnail by dreaves
Click the image for an enlarged view.

Jnette
Northeast, WA
(Zone 5a)

July 24, 2007
4:23 PM

Post #3773543

Thank you dreaves, they look wonderful. Especially since you can use anything to make them. I'll try them soon.

Good to have you on board. Hope to have you strawbaling next year. I can't do anything else with my soil so this is perfect for me. Also, with my arthritis having the fruit up where I can reach it is great.

Thanks again so much.

Jeanette
randbponder
Hornick, IA
(Zone 4b)

July 25, 2007
1:05 AM

Post #3775700

Jeanette; Well I just got done with 12 qt. of Bread & Butter pickles. It wasn't easy trying to measure while shaking and dumping in the ingreadients. But I started by washing the cukes in warm water and a little dish detergent. then rinseing them. cut off the blossom end and the stem end. and sliced them into a 6 gal crock. I had about 4 to 4-1/2 gal of slices. to that I added
6 garlic cloves sliced
10 large onions _yellow bermuda Sliced to make slivers.
12 de seeded sweet banana peppers. Sliced
2 cups of canning salt
1 tsp alum
mix with the peppers onions and cuke slices and cover with a bag of crushed ice and and about 2 qt of cold water. let stand 4 or 5 hours. Over night would be fine, if you wanted to do the canning in the morning.
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
I used two glass sauce pans to bring to a boil the spice and vinegar mix.
15 cups vinegar. I used a little of both ,cider and white
2 cups brown sugar
10 cups white sugar
4 Tbl spoons mustard seed
1 tsp ground ginger
4 tsp turmeric
4 tsp celery seed
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cloves
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
I add this seperately
1 Tbl spoon coriander seed
1 tsp pepper corns
wrap in a cloth and mash with a mallot.
put broken up seeds in a coffee filter and tie shut with a bread twist tie.
Use some of the vinegar to boil the pepper corn and coriander. and let stand until you are ready to cook the rest of the spice mix.
use that vinegar in with the rest. discard the coffee filter and seed mix.
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Drain and rinse lightly The cucumber mix.
Pack into sterilized jars
pour, or ladle hot spice and vinegar mix over cucumbers
leaving 1/2" head room
Adjust sterilized lid on jars
Place in a canning kettel of boiling water, making sure that the water covers the lids when all jars are in the hot water bath.
Heat at a slow boil for 15 to 20 min.
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Taste improves with at least a week shelf time.
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
This gave me 12 qt. xxxBut I always have extra jars ready just in case.
As I said before I don't use precise measures they are aproximate measures. But very close.
Grand mother used dried ginger root and cinnamon sticks. and used the rag and hammer method on those as well, and making sure to take out the little strings or long fibers of the ginger, before puting it in the vinegar. So the recipe has changed some over the years.
And it is a little toward ones taste. My sister was taught the same recipe. but I always thought hers were more, on the sour side.
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
You can sterilize your jars one of two ways.
1 wash in hot soapy water and rinse. and place in the pan of boiling water you will be useing for the hot water bath.
2 Wash in hot soapy water rinse and dry and place them right side up on a cookie sheet in the oven heat at 225 degrees for 15 min.
either way will do the job.

Wow I sure was glad a neighbor asked if I had any cucumbers to spare. Went out to the row that is on a trellis ( cattle panel). and picked half a grocery bag for her.

I'm hoping to get a bunch of the little ones to make sweet pickles next.
That is kind of hard to do though with the straight 8s
I picked 4 tomatoes today, so they are starting, but on a couple plants I'm getting a lot of end rot. I also have one bale that some large, black ants have made their home and it seems they like tomatoes.
I will have to spray that, I'm not sure if sevin will work on an established ant nest.
Jnette
Northeast, WA
(Zone 5a)

July 25, 2007
1:54 AM

Post #3775934

Thanks Russ. That was a lot of work typing it up for me. I appreciate it. Now I am going to have to try yours and dreaves both. It was really super of both of you to send them to me.

I'm looking forward to canning them up. Thanks.

BTW, are the tomatoes with the end rot in the bales? I always heard that was from irregular watering. Not sure.

Jeanette
randbponder
Hornick, IA
(Zone 4b)

July 25, 2007
2:29 AM

Post #3776096

Yes those plants are but I have another in the dirt that has a few with end rot. but not like that one. it is also real close to the ants
Jnette
Northeast, WA
(Zone 5a)

July 25, 2007
11:17 PM

Post #3779448

I think Gardens Alive sells stuff for Blossom End Rot. BER. You might google them and see. That is a real pain to lose the whole end off of every tomato.

I doubt that the ants have anything to do with it.

Jeanette
randbponder
Hornick, IA
(Zone 4b)

July 25, 2007
11:41 PM

Post #3779500

No I think your right about the ants not causing the BER. But those that have a hole in the side and has one going in and two coming out just might . LOL
With just one or two plants having the problem. I probably won't do anything as I have probably around 30 tomato plants. and those two are the san marino, not a very big tomato. I had thought they might be more like the Roma. I had planed on using them for tomato sauce and or salsa.
Well I picked 5 this morning so they will be comming on strong soon.
But I will be ready. I have plenty jars down in the root cellar. I think I still have enough flats, and the rings I can take off of the pickles, if I run low.
I have dozen or more plants that will have the tastie, larger, maters.
So I'm pretty sure we will have plenty and will probably be giving a lot away too. Which is something I like doing.
Gwendalou
Langley, WA
(Zone 7b)

July 26, 2007
3:58 AM

Post #3780476

My tomato plants are the biggest they've ever been. One plant got a tomato on it real early on and I just picked it and ate it for dinner. That plant still has a lot of green tomatoes on it. It's the smallest of the 4. The others are huge with tons of flowers but no tomatoes, at least that I can see.

We have not had a whole ton of sunny weather and very little *warm* weather.

My bale with the small melons (growing but no fruit yet) has collapsed but not the others. Are they supposed to collapse or does that not matter? I thought maybe the fact the others didn't collapse meant they weren't decomposing enough. I have fed with vege fertilizer but nothing else.

The tomatoes keep growing. Is it time for them to stop putting out green and start putting out fruit?

At what point do I stop watering every day? Some unusual summer rains have been doing my watering for me, but today was warm and sunny and so maybe we're going to get our one month of sunny weather after all. (Usually we get 2 months of sunny weather with one month being pretty warm.)

Gwen
KentNC
Wake Forest, NC

July 26, 2007
4:21 AM

Post #3780540

Gwen: collapsing bales are normal. It depends on how much weight is on them, how densely packed they are, etc. Let'em do their thing.

I only water my bales for about 15 seconds/bale. That has been plenty for me.

As for the tomates, they'll come around.

Sounds like you're doing a great job.

Kent
Jnette
Northeast, WA
(Zone 5a)

July 26, 2007
5:14 AM

Post #3780661

Gwen, if you have been reading the posts from Russ and I, you will find that those melons are not going to have any fruit. We have decided they are hybrid weeds. Genetically engineered seeds. If you google that you will probably come to the same conclusion. Those seeds are the ones I sent you and I sent Russ some also. I sent some to my daughter in Federal Way and she is having the same thing happening.

Good plants, lots of blossoms, but they drop. No fruit. I would think I was doing something wrong except that we all are having the same problem.

Jeanette
randbponder
Hornick, IA
(Zone 4b)

July 26, 2007
1:05 PM

Post #3781191

Jeanett; I had a strange thing happen, again this year.
Last year I had a volunteer butternut Squash, that gave me several Sq.
The same thing this year, I got three from it. and then the vine died.
But then I also had several other volunteer muskmelons.. There are three good sized melons on those. I think I said this before but--- they are right next to some of my cucumbers. ????? The cucumbers taste fine, I am wondering if the melons will though. These are of course in dirt. Don't think that would happen in bales LOL.
Now I'm not feeling quite as bad about loosing that lone, small melon, since everyone else is having similar problems. Barb was really looking forward to having some that we could eat all of it at one meal.
Don't get me wrong, we could eat a whole regular sized one. We normaly don't. That is where zip loc bags come into play.
Gwendalou
Langley, WA
(Zone 7b)

July 26, 2007
6:21 PM

Post #3782346

Bummer, I was looking forward to them! LOL Do melons need cross-pollinating or anything like that? I know my kiwis need male and female plants or they won't set fruit.

Gwen
MaryinLa
Marshfield, MO
(Zone 6a)

July 26, 2007
7:15 PM

Post #3782537

Monster zucchini that was hidden under the foliage.

Thumbnail by MaryinLa
Click the image for an enlarged view.

MaryinLa
Marshfield, MO
(Zone 6a)

July 26, 2007
7:19 PM

Post #3782547

I only planted one variety of tomato this year, Beefsteak, and I don't think they have quite as good a flavor as what I planted last year, but don't remember what I planted last year. Whatever we had last year made the best stewed tomatoes and okra I have ever had.

Would love some suggestions on the best tasting tomatoes for that kind of thing. The beefsteak are great for sandwiches, etc., though.
randbponder
Hornick, IA
(Zone 4b)

July 26, 2007
8:46 PM

Post #3782870

Gwendalou;;
Years ago I planted. what was supposed to be , 1 male and 3 female Kiwi the Chinese varity. Well 3 died and I am left with one. There has never been any blossoms; that I could see anyway. I don't know what I have but would sure like to have some of the opposite.
Otherwise, it is just running its branches or vines all over, and is just a nuisance vine. I may just have to move it, as it does like to droop its vines in my koi pond. And that nearly done in several of the koi. Guess I may have to order another pair or set but they seem to want an arm and a leg for them now.~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~`Russ
Jnette
Northeast, WA
(Zone 5a)

July 26, 2007
10:57 PM

Post #3783314

Gwen, I have 6 of those melon plants and I doubt that I have all one sex in the 6 so I don't think that is it.

Russ, use the kiwi for a trellis. It would be beautiful to have a clematis, or any other pretty vine crawling all over it. A lot of people are planting 2 plants in the same hole now. Normally something like a climbing rose with a clematis. Need to buy the right group for blooming and pruning tho.
randbponder
Hornick, IA
(Zone 4b)

July 27, 2007
12:43 AM

Post #3783616

Not too bad of an idea. Maybe if I make a good strong trellis for it to rank all over. Not sure which would choke which. those vines really wrap tight around one another or anything they can reach out and grab.
I will give that some thought. Anybody got clematis seed. Or is that only by cuttings???
I've had clematis started before. but had to try move it as it was where I extended the kitchen out to. It didn't like me, so it refused to grow.
I hate to pay the price that is in those catalogs" whoo Yaah"
randbponder
Hornick, IA
(Zone 4b)

July 27, 2007
1:05 AM

Post #3783715

Just went out and moved the water hose. While out checked the bales. Picked 10 of the san marzino, to keep. also picked about the same number of tiny half tomato with the end dark but dry. left them for the birds. Did get one off that plant that was good. It may come around yet.
Weather man said we were going to get rain tonight- - - - I think it will go North of us, so I'm watering. The air is heavy like it could but the actual storm cell is going north of here, so it won't be much.
BlueGlancer
South/Central, FL
(Zone 9a)

July 27, 2007
2:30 AM

Post #3784126

Some watermelons need a different kind of watermelon planted near them in order for them to produce fruit.

I planted some Petite Yellow watermelons this year, and had to plant a red one close by in order for it to hold fruit. Not true of all watermelons, but some it is.

~Lucy
randbponder
Hornick, IA
(Zone 4b)

July 27, 2007
3:41 PM

Post #3785636

Hmmmmmm This I didn't know. I may have never planted any of that variety. I usually just stick to those with the red flesh. This one is a black diamond. I like the striped ones too, but it was late so I bought two plants. I knew that if I planted seed a black diamond would not mature by the first frost.
KentNC
Wake Forest, NC

July 28, 2007
3:56 PM

Post #3789204

MaryinLa: I would have a huge zucchini turn up like that sometimes. I'd miss picking it and they seemed to get huge over night.

Kent
hellnzn11
Rosamond, CA
(Zone 8b)

July 30, 2007
7:21 PM

Post #3797297

I am going to do it next year with some winter planning. do you guys ever transplant them after they grow or leave them always?
randbponder
Hornick, IA
(Zone 4b)

July 30, 2007
11:49 PM

Post #3798401

hellnzn 11; Not sure of the question? but If you mean starting the plant then transplanting??
All the tomatoes I put in bales, were transplanted there.
I did plant some melons seed direct into bales. The ones surviveing are finally doing something. I would say that for me it has worked better, transplanting them. I have not had the best luck with my bales, but then this is my first attempt at bale gardening. I have been a dirt person untill this year. I have some learning to do, to be sure. But then I have excellant soil here and I guess I expected the same results from the bales. Was trying to get out of all the weeding. I think that jnette or strawbaleman, might be able to give a better answer. Russ
hellnzn11
Rosamond, CA
(Zone 8b)

July 31, 2007
1:30 AM

Post #3798869

Thanks. I forgot that most plant a small plant in the bale. I was thinking of planting from seed. I was wondering if you ever planted flowers or some self sowing plants if once they were established in the bale, did people take them out later and plant them but never mind, it was a dumb question.
randbponder
Hornick, IA
(Zone 4b)

July 31, 2007
5:42 AM

Post #3799742

On this forum there are no dumb questions. I've been doing a lot of trial and error on the bales, myself. I know what I have to do with veggies in the dirt, But having to get all the right nutriants in the bales. For the most part I think I failed. After I put on some old horse poo tea on the bales things started to perk up. Now that the roots are way down in the rotting part of the bales, the plants are looking better. and I don't worry so much about watering as often.
But no I don't think it would work too well taking the plants back out of the bales. Something that you could get slips from though, and use the slips for starting new plants could be a different story. I never thought of that before. However I do take cuttings from my sweetpotatoes, that I planted in the ground. Mostly the ornamentals though. and have sent the rooted slips through the mail to others. with good luck.
But if you are going to try the bales next year or later this year yet since you are in 8b. there is a lot you can grow there this fall yet, that I couldn't here in 4b.
Hey Kent jump in here and give hellnzn11 some help here He he he :)
Jnette
Northeast, WA
(Zone 5a)

July 31, 2007
5:45 PM

Post #3801483

Russ, I am not Kent, but I think you answered as well as anyone could. I don't know how you would get the roots out of the strawbale all in one piece with the plant. Besides the slips if the plants had seeds, harvest those and plant them in other places or scatter on the bales and then sprinkle a layer of soil mix on top.

I think, unfortunately, maybe some people tried a lot of things that just were not meant to work in the bales and maybe they got discouraged. But if you don't try you would always wonder if it might have worked. Does that make sense?

Jeanette
randbponder
Hornick, IA
(Zone 4b)

July 31, 2007
7:52 PM

Post #3801975

Ya jeanette You might feel a little out of place, tote-n a badge and all :)
He he . I thought he might give her some clue as to what she might plant for a fall crop. I think a fall crop for me is just out of the question.
As tomatoes go untill first frost. and sometimes so do the cucumbers. That is if they don't burn up first.
When I pulled up all my onions, Garlic, and Pea vines, I was going to plant some beans. Barb kind of talked me out of that. since I'm doing the garden & canning, it wasn't too hard. We want to take some time off the middle of September. Going to go the other side of the state, visit my oldest brother and go see an old steam powered threshing machine at work. and a bunch of other antique machenery. Not to mention just some good visiting.
Thought I would include one of the old tractors they have there at the Heritage park.

Thumbnail by randbponder
Click the image for an enlarged view.

Jnette
Northeast, WA
(Zone 5a)

July 31, 2007
11:01 PM

Post #3802586

That's pretty cool looking Russ. Bet you'll have a good time, but in the middle of September? Isn't that canning time there?

Jeanette
randbponder
Hornick, IA
(Zone 4b)

July 31, 2007
11:24 PM

Post #3802651

I'm in the middle of canning right now. So far 27 quarts of pickles, and another bucket full waiting. The san marzano maters have started now too. Don't have a lot but we can't eat enough BLTs to use them up. I guess that means I need to start making pastes, sauce, and salsa. The sweet banana peppers are keeping up with the canning as well.
We are only planning on a week-end- and I told Gary down town to pick what he wants for salads and so forth. He might pull one on me though- - - -Last year another neighbor raised some water melon, in addition to a lot of maters and cukes. one of the water melons got swiped. taken down to the local resturant. And Gary served a slice to ( the owner) of the melon. He comented on how good it was. and was then told where it came from so it should taste good. It was all a joke and he took it very well.
Oh well we will see.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Russ
Jnette
Northeast, WA
(Zone 5a)

August 1, 2007
5:26 AM

Post #3803993

Sounds like you are in for a good time Russ. Wonder how he would have felt if he had said it didn't taste as good as his?

Gotta tell you Russ, you've got more steam than I do. What are your temperatures like now? I wouldn't even try to can in this heat. We are running in the 90s. Once in a while it gets up to the triple digits. But, this is unusual for us.

However, I never have canned the pickles. Just sterilize the jars and lids, pack the cukes in with the spices and pour the boiling brine over them. That's it. That is for dills tho. I always found that every time I tried to hot bath them or can them that they ended up soft.

Same with jams and jellies. I don't can those either. Just pour them in sterilized, hot jars & lids, and now I turn them upside down for 5 minutes. Didn't use to.

Jeanette
randbponder
Hornick, IA
(Zone 4b)

August 1, 2007
11:28 AM

Post #3804224

Jeanette I guess I call the whole process canning. If they stay in the hot bath too long, they really do get soft. That is one of the reasons that pickleing spice has a little alum in it. I remember one of the first times, I
pickled a batch, and didn't use the hot bath. The jars all sealed, but in a short time. they started to ferment and a couple jars blew up, and the rest were just leaking out as the rings were not that tight. It sure made a mess though. I don't remember for sure if I skiped washing them first or not. That was 45 or so years ago.
The kitchen does warm up a quite a bit, but I try close off the rest of the house, so it don't over work the A/C. We haven't had any triple didgits this summer yet. Had several 98s in a row. It has been in the 90s most of the time though.
Got up early this morning, so I could water another part of the garden, before it gets hot. I had planned to do a small batch of pickles this morning but I think I will just get them to soaking in the brine, and wait till this evening. I'm tempted to do a batch of pickles the way we used to you know, the 14 day, but that would tie up the crock longer than I'm willing and I would probably forget about them too long or something.
You know what that would be like. EEEWwee!!!!
Horseshoe
Efland, NC
(Zone 7a)

August 1, 2007
3:50 PM

Post #3805280

randponder and jnette, just wanted to jump in here and let you know that one of my market customers recently told me about the "perfect pickler". She says it makes pickles in only 4 days and they are delicious!

After reading up on it online it appears these are not the kind we can put up those and must be eaten fresh. (These are the old-fashioned "lactic acid fermented" kind.)

Ya'll might want to check it out though and see if you can use up some of your cukes this way! http://perfectpickler.com/home.html

Happy Day to All!
Shoe

darius

darius
So.App.Mtns.
United States
(Zone 5b)

August 1, 2007
4:42 PM

Post #3805470

i have 2 Harsch crocks for lactic acid fermentation (pickles, kraut, beets, carrots or whatever) and as long as water is kept in the seal, they will keep a year in a cool spot. mine go in the spring house. you can take out a jarful, replace the water in the seal, and they're good to keep as long as the water doesn't evaporate. the lactic acid is very good for the body.
http://www.canningpantry.com/sauerkraut-crocks.html
randbponder
Hornick, IA
(Zone 4b)

August 1, 2007
6:33 PM

Post #3805874

Gee I don't know the name of my crocks. They have a picture of a crown with 6 in the crown. I have those two and a smaller one. I used to have a 20 gal. one too but I really couldn't handle it very well. So it went to a collector, along with several others. and on the bottom it just says USA.
But I'll check the site out.
Well mine definatly are not the harsh crock. as far as a seal, I've always just used a dinner plate weighted down. Oh well.

This message was edited Aug 1, 2007 1:48 PM
hellnzn11
Rosamond, CA
(Zone 8b)

August 1, 2007
11:07 PM

Post #3807050

Rand and Jnette thanks. I do feel very ignorant of a lot of gardening things, though I have had a succesful garden before. I can not root plants from anything no matter what I do, it seems to be an art or something you need to watch people do. I have a book that shows step by step and pthhhhhhhhhhhh.

This sounds like something that once you get it, you get it. i may try some fall stuff but I need to do my lazagna garden plants too, maybe I`ll place the bales in the lazagna garden bed that is not all decomposed yet and add bales and plant in that for this fall and maybe next late winter I can use the bales in the garden for another layer and it will be ready for direct plantings by then with another good layer of soil. hmmm?
Jnette
Northeast, WA
(Zone 5a)

August 2, 2007
7:24 PM

Post #3810225

hellnzn11. Don't give up. Do your lazagna garden this fall. Then in the spring get a couple of bales and buy some tomato plants and try them. I think once you try it you will like it. I like it because I don't have to get down low to pick the tomatoes, there is no weeding or hoeing etc. All I have to do is water and fertilize.

But, I have to admit that the bale gardening is not for everyone. I do believe we lost a lot of people from last year. Maybe some of them will come back again after a year of soil gardening. Don't know.

Whatever you do good luck. Jeanette
hellnzn11
Rosamond, CA
(Zone 8b)

August 2, 2007
10:15 PM

Post #3810839

thanks. It is heavy work getting the bales but the dirt work is all the time.
SalemSunshine
Salem, OR
(Zone 8a)

August 7, 2007
3:43 AM

Post #3827071

Hey everyone!

Well it's been a whole year since I have been around here. I still have my bales standing (barely) from last year, and I again have wonderful healthy tomato plants growing in them. I notice that I hardly have to water them at all this year. Not sure what that's all about. What do you think?
KentNC
Wake Forest, NC

August 7, 2007
1:33 PM

Post #3828009

Salem: good morning from my end of the US of A!

Welcome back. I've been away from the thread alot this summer due to family/work/other stuff, but I've enjoyed reading when I can. Things have settled down some, Praise the Lord! :-)

Glad to hear about the 2 years of service you've gotten out of your bales. Keep up the good work.

As for watering, I have watered my bales less this year than any of the previous two years, and my garden has done the best it has ever had.

Zero problems this year, of any kind.

Here's my revised opinions on bale gardening (with straw) after 3 years and tons of emails from others:

1. The initial prepping of the bales plays an important role.

Most of the folks who called me with problems skipped this step or didn't complete it. They either cooked their plants from the heat of the bales that hadn't "cooled" down yet, or even if the bales didn't heat up, they transplanted too early and the straw was still so tough it just didn't hold or let any moisture down in the bales long enough, and the plants suffered.

Hay and grass bales probably have totally different characteristics. I have no experience with them, but those who have report only positive results.

2. I now believe that string side down works best for me.

I had no problems making a crack in the bales to transplant. And I had no where near the water run-off when watering my bales as I had the two previous years when I had the strings off the ground with the bales on their sides.

With the string side down, the water trickled down the bales rather than running straight down through the hollow straw shafts.

3. I prefer bales with twine over bales with plastic string.

The biggest reason is the plastic strings are a BIG PAIN when it comes to getting up the old bales. The plastic strings don't rot so you have to deal with them hanging up in the straw on in the ground when you use a pitch fork to move the old bales to your compost pile or where ever. You also have to dispose of the strings.

The twine rots nicely and since I have most of my bales butted up to each other, they tend to support each other for most of the summer. I never had to stake the ends of the bales, either. I just let the bales do what they want to do which is just shrink up on the spot, some more than others.

4. Adding some potting mix when you transplant won't hurt and is probably a good thing to do.

This year I added 2 good handfulls of Miracle Gro potting mix around each transplant. The mix helps retain some moisture in the early, critical stages of plant growth before the bales really start to decomposing and holding more moisture on their own.

5. I only watered once per day.

At the end of the day after the sun went down I watered each bale and let it go. Here's where I think the orientation of the bales helped. With the string side down, it appears more moisture stays in the bale longer.

Design any watering system that works for you, but don't get overly concerned about watering. It really doesn't take that much.

And, as the bales decompose if you skip one night, no problem. Just use some good judgement and don't let your plants go without water when it's 90+ each day.

We are in drought conditions in NC and while most of my neighbors' gardens are mostly dried up, I have beautiful tomatoes and peppers going full blast.

You talk about watering, it takes a TON of water for a dirt garden, and even with sprinklers most of the water goes everywhere but around the plants. You end up watering the middle of the row which causes grass and weeds to grow, too.

6. I fertilized my bales about every 5 days.

As most of you know, I'm a Miracle Gro man, plain and simple.

I don't have the time to make up compost teas, etc. and spend alot of time mixing up home brews. There's alot of good recipes for fertilizers that have been posted, but with 60+ bales it's much simpler and easier for me to put that "can" on the end of my hose and water/feed at the same time.

Here's where I get alot of emails.

Most folks complain that their plants are yellow, etc, but then say they haven't fertilized their plants for 2 weeks.

Dirt gardening and bale gardening are different and you have to adjust your feeding schedules and amounts.

That's one of the biggest reasons I like Miracle Gro. It's pretty near impossible to over feed or burn the plants.

7. When it comes to tomatoes go with a trellis.

Traditional tomato cages and stakes just won't cut it. Get some 4x4 posts and some heavy wire and fix up a nice trellis at least 7-8 feet tall. You won't regret it.

Well, these are the first things that popped in my mind, for whatever they are worth.

Just my opinion.

I encourage you to continue to add your thoughts and comments. That's what makes this site great.

Kent


This message was edited Aug 7, 2007 9:45 AM

darius

darius
So.App.Mtns.
United States
(Zone 5b)

August 7, 2007
2:45 PM

Post #3828242

Kent, my bales (straw) were placed strings down and have done fine. The planter (me) did not so fine, planting 7 weeks late due to surgery. Finally my tomatoes are starting to really take off, along with a few squash (none of which may mature fully due to late starting although I hope for a late frost). All are now tag-less thanks to my brother's young grandson who visited recently.

I have 2 tiny watermelons the size of walnuts, 2 ears of corn on 8 stalks, several heirloom tomatoes, and I'm hoping some of the squash are winter squash. I transplanted some buttercup squash into the ground adjacent to the bales but they are doing squat so far.

I may leave the bale remnants in place and simply add new bales on top for next year. It's either that, or move the cattle panels down a foot and a half lower to tie up the 'maters next year. Here's an earlier posted photo of my bale set-up. http://davesgarden.com/forums/fp.php?pid=3662460

Jnette
Northeast, WA
(Zone 5a)

August 7, 2007
8:49 PM

Post #3829518

Darius, now there's one idea I hadn't thought of. Placing the new bales on top of the old bale. Salem is right, the old bales don't take as much water as the new ones. The old bales do decompose to about half the size of new so I could probably get by with that. This year my tomatoes are about as high as I can reach. But then the tomatoes aren't going to be clear up there either. Good idea because I still have straw left over from last year that I couldn't find a place for. Yes, I have been adding to the compost pile but it doesn't seem to compost as fast as other stuff. Maybe I should add some of that really strong urea or something to my compost pile?

Russ, Guess what!! I have 3 small melons growing on one long leg of the vine. Only about an inch apart, about e feet from the root, hanging from the cattle panel!! The rest of the vine is sterile. LOL It is going to be interesting to see what they do. I am thinking of putting a net under them to keep them from breaking from the plant.

Jeanette
randbponder
Hornick, IA
(Zone 4b)

August 8, 2007
1:05 AM

Post #3830532

Jeanette; The volunteer melons that came up for me. have been putting on a few melons. I put up a section of cattle panel to keep them from going over into the cucumbers. One of the melons was hanging from the top of the panel. Yesterday in the rain it fell off the vine. Well I had to cut it open. Waallaa it was ripe. and it did not cross with the cukes. Was much better than any we have been able to get from the stores.
Congrats on the small melons. I'm thinking that my problem may have been too much nitrogen, I don't know, but with the stunted growth and all, I'm sure it was something like that. However the tomatoes are taking over all of the panel I provided. The fruits are not as uniform as I have grown in the past, but they are not hurting for flavor.
I'm still waiting for those I planted in the dirt. but then They were planted much later. Those in the bales are the San Marzano, we have been eating them in salads and BLTs. But alas they are getting ahead of us. I have put up 4 pts. of salsa from the excess. They are now starting to come on faster. and I have found a few of the red pear tomato on one of the plants I got from the RU this spring and planted in dirt. Now they have flavor. All the other larger tomatoes are still green. I'm getting peppers from all the plants, in the bales, in the dirt, early and later plantings. A couple of my pepper plants were so loaded when it started raining that they couldn't hold all the weight, and they bent under the strain. I picked those two clean hoping they would straighten up again. With the peppers coming on now and the majority of the tomatoes still green. I may have to pickle some of the peppers. so they can be used in salsa and BBQ sauce at a later date. Oh and one more thing, I am going to have to put my bales further apart next year, or just have one row. I could prune the plants to only have vines on one side, so they don't take up the space between the two rows, a little late for that this year though.
Kent good to see you back. I may have to do the miracle-gro next year.
I will say though I don't think Barb will let me use it on any of the house plants again. as it did put them in some kind of shock. I know one of them died. I took cuttings off the one ivy and am trying to get them to root. so if a little is good - - - - more is not always any better. If I were trying to kill them with roundup I could not have done it any faster. I bought the concintreted stuff and must have mixed it too strong. Any way good to hear from ya. Don't go working too hard, it might make me feel bad, then I'll have to work harder. Remember work is a four letter word. :o) heh heh heh
KentNC
Wake Forest, NC

August 8, 2007
4:13 AM

Post #3831254

Russ: that's funny! and H-O-T-T-T is a 5 letter word in NC right now, too!

Darius: you've got some tomato sandwich eating to make up!!

I received this hand-written letter in the mail today from a lady in southeastern NC:

Mr. Rogers,

I planted my tomatoes in bales of straw. They are about 12 ft. tall. We planted 10 plants, 2 per bale - used small wire to hold bales together.

We get more than we can eat and have about 3 pecks to can. Also give to family and friends.

I plan to copy your article for friends. We live by the road, people stop by to look and ask questions.

We have our straw for next year.

We can't plant tomatoes in our soil, some type of wilt. Only pest was tobacco hornworms - super 10 fixed that.

I added lime to each hill of tomatoes; it made them sweeter.

Thank you, Mrs. ___________ .

P.S. - We are 78 and 75 years young.




This message was edited Aug 8, 2007 12:16 AM
Jnette
Northeast, WA
(Zone 5a)

August 8, 2007
1:23 PM

Post #3831961

Russ, peppers freeze good too. You don't have to pickle them. Just throw them in the freezer whole and can them when the weather is cold. It'll heat you and the house up.

Glad you got some melons anyway. Don't forget to keep the seeds if you want some next year. Maybe we can breed that hybrid out of them. LOL

Jeanette
randbponder
Hornick, IA
(Zone 4b)

August 8, 2007
4:45 PM

Post #3832754

Jeanette. Sorry I wasn't clear, The melons were from another varity. I think they stayed small was due to the the dry weather. But I am planning on saving those seeds as that one melon really tasted good. and it was small enough for two. So far the rest of the melons on that vine are about the same size. I have no idea what melon provided the seed for this volunteer. I am almost sure it had to be one we bought from the store and the seed survived the compost pile. When I first saw them coming up, I was tempted just to pull them up. But am glad I didn't.
I guess I let it slip past whatever greymatter I have left. Yes I will freeze a bunch today, as I have quite a few that need picked. The weather today is beautifull. It is 72 F and and it is sprinkling. Not a drizzle just a sprinkle. It felt good as we were walking back home from having coffee at ( the barn). He He, The Barn and the bank are the only business' left in town. The bank is just a branch, of one in Moville 10 miles away. The Barn is our local coffee shop / resturant.

Good one Kent, I'll have to remember how to spell that 5 letter word if we get any 100 F + days here. So far our temps haven't gone over 98F
But they had humidity of the same %. You could work up a sweat just thinking about going outside. Had to have a towel by the door so when you came back in you didn't drip all over the floor. LOL
Jnette
Northeast, WA
(Zone 5a)

August 8, 2007
10:54 PM

Post #3834204

Russ, whatever the melon, if it works for you be sure to keep some seeds.

Also, when I get melons at the store I cut the rind off and then cut the melon in bite size cubes and put them in a sealed container. Just a few of those cubes are wonderful on a plate with a baked potato, steak and green salad. Just a nice juicy touch. They don't always have to be for breakfast.

Try it you'll like it.

Jeanette
randbponder
Hornick, IA
(Zone 4b)

August 9, 2007
2:58 AM

Post #3835106

I have been quartering them and putting in the baggies, but sometimes even a quarter is too long for the bag. chunking them would probably eliminate one bag. Oh an I just used breakfast as an expression. We are usually quite versatile. If we decide to eat desert first - - - well so be it. We don't have to make sure any little ones skip the vegies and fill up on desert LOL However we do have to watch how much goes over the lip and lands on the hips.
I'm not sure if I said anything about a spinach salad with strawberrys, that finally got me hooked on using spinach. Raw only though. I don't eat it cooked. School lunches and hospital cooking have ruined any chance of ever getting it ant further than it being in the same building, while I'm eating. maybe some day but not yet. Well heres to saving some of the seed from the melons. Which leads me to ask. Do you clean the seeds with oxy-clean like some do or let them dry and just rub them clean.
Jnette
Northeast, WA
(Zone 5a)

August 9, 2007
5:05 AM

Post #3835389

No, I just air dry them and then put them away in a baggie. BUT make darned sure they are dry. Then in the spring I pull all the crap off of them.

That Spinach and Strawberry salad is really good. Don't you use the spinach raw in place of lettuce in sandwiches? Have you tried a spinach souffle? Made in the crockpot??? I am going to have to send you that recipe. It is wonderful.

I will send it to Barb. She can fix it when you have company so that you can just try a little bit.

The weather here has turned cool. We actually went fishing today and fortunately no fish dared to interrupt my nap by biting on my hook. So, since it is turning cool, the tomatoes are starting to ripen, fearing that they are not going to get their production completed before winter.

Jeanette
Wvdaisy
Buffalo, WV
(Zone 7a)

August 9, 2007
5:40 AM

Post #3835438

OK, feeling the need for the spinach souffle in the crockpot recipe, Jeanette :~)

Lana
catmad
Pelzer, SC
(Zone 7b)

August 9, 2007
11:24 AM

Post #3835669

Lana wrote;"OK, feeling the need for the spinach souffle in the crockpot recipe, Jeanette :~)"

Me, too, please. It might be just the thing to get me going on organizing my fall planting...

Margo
Jnette
Northeast, WA
(Zone 5a)

August 9, 2007
5:23 PM

Post #3836686

Ok, Lana and Margo (also Barb) here it is, and as you can probably tell, this is from my daughter to me and I have left in hers, and my both, comments. This is a pretty flexible recipe and I normally leave it on about 6 to 8 hours depending on how hot your crockpot works. I have had some that are really hot and some that are really low. (I use them a lot)

Also, I think if you were to use the whole leaf spinach like my daughter said she thought she would like, (I don't know if she has tried it yet), I think you would need to cook it longer.


Subject: Spinach Souffle

4- 10 oz. pkg chopped spinach thawed and squeeze the water out. (I have just discovered the bagged spinach and like its convenience much better)
3 beaten eggs
1 cube margarine cubed
1 1/2 Cup cubed cheddar cheese
1/4 cup flour
1/2 Cup Cottage Cheese

Mix and put in greased crock pot on high for 2 hours and low for 3 hours. Stir it up now and then. Also, if it appears too moist after stirring, leave the lid off the pot. And vice versa if dry.

Now that I look at this recipe it has the cottage cheese added in my handwriting so I don't know if originally there wasn't cottage cheese in it or what. Weird. Also when I made it I put it on high for about 45 min and then had to go somewhere so I turned it down to low and let it go till it was tender. Next time though I'm going to use the whole leaf frozen and not the already chopped.

Russ,

Try it you'll love it. Jeanette
BlueGlancer
South/Central, FL
(Zone 9a)

August 9, 2007
10:22 PM

Post #3837711

That sounds delicious. : ) I'm gonna (steal) try that recipe. I love spinach. You said... (1 cube margarine cubed). Is that like a stick of margarine cubed?
Thanks, Lucy
Jnette
Northeast, WA
(Zone 5a)

August 10, 2007
2:19 AM

Post #3838613

Yes Lucy. One stick of margarine cubed so when you mix everything up the butter cubes will not be in one big stick. Jeanette
Jnette
Northeast, WA
(Zone 5a)

August 10, 2007
2:20 AM

Post #3838618

You all will have to let me know how you like it. Especially you Russ. LOL

Jeanette

When my daughter is here she always has it for breakfast too. Doesn't even bother heating it. Eats it cold. I have to nuke mine.

This message was edited Aug 9, 2007 9:22 PM
BlueGlancer
South/Central, FL
(Zone 9a)

August 10, 2007
2:42 AM

Post #3838727

Thank you, Jeanette. I already know I will like it. : )
~Lucy
randbponder
Hornick, IA
(Zone 4b)

August 10, 2007
3:17 AM

Post #3838877

Just copied the recipe. Showed it to Barb. She like myself wasn't sure about it cooked. But there are enough other ingredients, that should help namely the eggs and cheese, The flour should take care of it and make it more like a keish. I'll try it.
You didn't know this but I do more of the cooking here. It's not that Barb can't. I'm just the one that is more adventuresome, and get creative in spices and such. So since we are both retired, we kind of share the house work. If I do the cooking She will usually wash the dishes. I do take my turn with the dishes too, so neither of us are put upon too much. I tried often to show Barb how to not have lumps in the gravy. But she would rather just let me handle that job. lol
So I guess if I don't like it- - -It can't be her fault.
Wvdaisy
Buffalo, WV
(Zone 7a)

August 10, 2007
3:21 AM

Post #3838888

Russ, tell Barb the dogs won't even eat my gravy! DH's gravy is better that my granny's and that's saying something. He doesn't make it often but mmm mmm!

Lana
KentNC
Wake Forest, NC

August 10, 2007
4:24 AM

Post #3839058

Let's continue our discussion in PART 16 - http://davesgarden.com/forums/t/758543/

Kent
Jnette
Northeast, WA
(Zone 5a)

August 10, 2007
5:39 AM

Post #3839202

Hey, I am looking for a storage unit that I can put on my deck to hold my tools, fertilizers, etc. in. Especially over the winter. I am thinking mainly of something like Rubbermaid. Do any of you have any ideas where to look?

Maybe I will query Rubbermaid?? Thanks for the suggestion.

Jeanette
glendalekid
Tuscaloosa, AL
(Zone 7b)

August 10, 2007
8:30 PM

Post #3841482

I saw really big ones, about 2' high x 2' wide x 3' long, at WalMart for $4.00 or $5.00 just a couple of weeks ago. I don't know if they were Rubbermaid brand, but they looked plenty sturdy.

Karen

Jnette
Northeast, WA
(Zone 5a)

August 11, 2007
4:26 PM

Post #3844503

Kent has started a new part so let's move over there.

Jeanette

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Other Strawbale Gardening Threads you might be interested in:

SubjectThread StarterRepliesLast Post
Straw bale gardening: no weeding, no hoeing, no tilling KentNC 274 Oct 18, 2009 1:58 AM
Strawbale Gardening (part 7) Jnette 126 Mar 20, 2007 9:51 AM
Straw Bale Gardening LauraK 49 Apr 2, 2008 12:02 AM
Straw Bale Gardening (Part 8) KentNC 114 Apr 2, 2007 5:32 PM
Straw Bale Gardening (Part 9) KentNC 124 Apr 21, 2007 12:39 AM


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