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We all enjoy this Gail. Glad you enjoyed them too.
Russ, have you started any tomatoes yet? I finally got one up and then pulled the top off when the seed was stuck to it's head. I am trying to start some in a damp paper towel in a baggie. It looks like maybe 2 have germinated.
We have been busy painting etc. so hopefully I will get a chance to do something with them tomorrow.
Jeanette Mine haven't pop-ed up yet. I admit I didn't get right on it, when I got the seeds. I have mine in potting soil in a flat. Keeping them moist I don't have any heat under them, which could have a bearing on the lack of sprouts yet. I took a picture of the the piece for the aquarium for our other little project but haven't downloaded it yet. I have been kind of swamped with a few other projects. Which helped more than I could have imagined. They asked to see the seed catalog I was ordering from. They sent for everything that I had on the list of what I would like to get. I was going to send my order in this last Wensday. and they said not to order anything I had on the list. I would have crossed off some of the list as it was more than I wanted to spend, just yet.
Here we are talking about growing tomatoes and the temp is in the single digits. Ice on all the driveway yet. Our January thaw just didn't last long enough. Now I don't expect much of a warm up untill March. Where is Al Gore's Global Warming. Just yesterday I heard that the average world temperature was actually 2 degrees cooler than 2006
Well best get busy with my chores, an get some heat to the tomato seeds. Russ
Who asked to see the seed catalog you were ordering from? And why did they tell you not to order anything? Who are "they" Russ?
My little seeds had germinated. 2 of them, so I had to leave pieces of the paper towel attached to them and plant it too or I would have ripped the roots off. I haven't checked on them yet today to see if they are ok.
We haven;t heard anything from Lena since the 18th of November. Hope she is ok. Wonder if she went camping New Years Eve? I did send her a note yesterday. Haven't heard anything.
Jeanette; I tried to send pics of the cut out I made for the tank. but some how I goofed again. I couldn't get to them with the browse button. so you have an Email.
The friends who sent the order in for me are Gary and Tami. Gary runs the restaurant. and I help him with a lot of projects. The last one was replacing a very leaky faucet for their bath tub. and in doing so I got the spigot that has the shut off on it for a hand held shower head for rinsing her hair. I am thinking that it was her way of saying thanks.
It was more like my wish list. I probably would have crossed off 2 or 3 of the trees. but they paid for the whole order. and sent it in for me.
She knows I take garden produce to some of the older ones who can no longer garden. and have even brought stuff to their place.
I had thought the way she asked to see the catalog she just wanted to add some thing to the list to save on shipping. Not to pay for the order.
I moved my seed tray to get some sun through a window. as I have a lot of work to do in changing the kitchen around before I bring in the plant stand. Hopefully the tomatoes will sprout soon and get around 2 to 3 inches tall before I transplant them to the fish tank, mesh tubs.
Leana said something a while back that she was going to go with her dad , I can't remember for sure but it may have been to Germany. She said something about having someone to watch the garden. But you are right it's been a while. Maybe her helper is eating all the tomatoes LOL
The temp is really dropping tonight, it was up to 14 during the day but is now down to 2 and I don't mean centigrade; no warm up untill towards the end of the week. Oh well. another 105 days. I will be working all the compost into the garden that I will use for the root crops. I probably won't have much planted before the IARU in Cedar Rapids. which is nearly across the state from here. I have some plants promised to exchange there with other DGers. It will be a fun weekend. Probably the only time we will go very far this summer. I am planning on getting some chickens this spring. and have them pened up down below the garden to get first shot at the bugs, especially the grasshoppers. They always seem to come from that direction. Hope that will help. I know it will help when they get big enough.
Gail There are a lot of great pics through the straw bale forums. but I will try find one or two of mine.
These rows are too close together as the walk way between the rows got full of tomato vines after they slumped over from the top of the cattle panels. At the lower end I had some white potatoes between the two rows of bales.
This next summer I will pay closer attention to pruning them and not let them get so long.
Russ, that sweeet potato reminded me that you are going to send me a few starts.
I told you I planted my newly sprouted tomato seeds with wet paper towel around the tap root of them. Well, 2 days later they were 1 1/2 inches tall. Looking good. And, my cukes which got a head start on the tomatoes (btw, I don't recall tomatoes taking that long to germinate) are going to start blooming here pretty soon. They are about ready to go into the food and the tomatoes are several weeks from that.
Russ, did you ever hear that cucumbers don't like their roots to be messed with? Well, I planted them in soil, thinking I will have to wash it all off. What do you think?
Gail, Russ beat me to it. I was going to tell you that there are tons of pictures of all kinds of strawbale gardens. We started this in 2006, wasn't it Russ? So we had a lot of people involved.
Take a look. It is the wrong time of year to be taking pictures now. At least for us up north. Maybe Kent can find some people in the south on his map to post some pictures.
Jeanette; Yup we were talking about, the Vardaman S/P. My best guess as to when they will arrive would be the 2nd week of may. I could get some of the Centennials off to you a lot sooner as they are starting to sprout now. But this is still a little to early to trust to shipping right yet. I am wanting to try the Vardaman because it will have less vine. How about if I send a few of each. The Centennial and the Vardaman??? I am getting the Vardaman from Steele Plant Company. Their shipping date for zone 4 is May 10th.
Cucumbers, melons, squash, pumpkins are touchy about being transplanted. I am not sure if it is the roots or that it is so easy to bruise or break the stem. I have transplanted a few. and was lucky but have also lost some.
I just checked this morning, and no sprouts yet. What medium are you using for yours. I haven't bought the fertilizer yet but will need it soon when I have some plants growing.
Chuckle chuckle,,, Gail I was going to take some pictures of my garden but this is as far as I got. I'm only teasing. this is one of last years snow at this time. This year we have ice all over ! Today is a good day, it's 20 degrees out and snowing very light at the moment.
Tonight the temp is going to start dropping and be well in the minus temps through the week end. But I would say that if you could get your bales now, you should be able to get them started cooking fairly soon. Your season for gardening is considerably ahead of ours.
Thankyou for your concern, Jeanette and Russ. Im very sorry about my lack of correspondance recently. Things have been pretty hectic. This is my first time online in a while. Yes, I have left on holiday, I am posting this from my grandmothers house in frozen wintery Germany!
I had a safe and enjoyable camping trip with friends for the two weeks over newyears. Then a few days of flurried garden work and packing before taking off again! A bad time of year to leave my garden, in the middle of summer. Im missing it and worrying about it terribly. I have a team of three friends watering and doing what they can, but its just not the same. I couldnt possibly expect anybody but myself to give my dear plants the special care I would. Im sure they will survive though. They are well mulched and tied/caged. And I will be back in 5 weeks already.
The first tomatoes, zuchinis, peppers and cucumbers were just begining to be ready for picking. Most tomato plants were between 120-190cm a few taller than me! The sunflowers were beginning to open, at a magnificent height of almost 4 metres. Taller than the roof of the house. And even taller than ever before. I took some pictures before I left, so will post what I can. I have a few pictures with me on disc to show my family. See if I can make it work.
I hope you are all well and happy, I will take the time to read your posts at the next given opportunity. Take care, and all the best,
Oh cool it worked! That previous picture was (from front to back) Cucumbers in bales, Peppers, Zuchinis, Tomatoes, Sunflowers. That picture was taken about 3 weeks ago though. Think Ive got a better one on my disc somewhere. Its hard to tell on the small thumbnail icons, but ill try again. This one is hopefully more tomatoes and sunflowers... looking in the other direction...
Russ!!! Not yet. It is 6 degrees out and nothing but ice. Please not yet. I used just a soiless mix. Pro mix I think. But I don't know if they know it is the wrong time of year or what, but I don't think I have ever had them take this long.
There's Lean!! Wow, when did you take those Lena? Great!!
Ok, Gail, there are your pictures. Right from New Zealand. It is summer there.
This is the one Black Krim I had been keenly watching. It ripened two weeks ago, so I got to eat it before I left. It was wonderful :-)
All these pictures were taken in late dec/ early jan.
I spoke to one of my watering friends today, he said its still just the cherry tomatoes that are ripening, but the plants are laden with big green tomatoes. And hes been picking big bunches of beans. And he took a picture of some bales for me, and sent it with his cellphone. Ive sent it to my email, lets see if I can get it to work.
I have noticed with the tomato/pepper plants in the bales, that although very strong and healthy looking, they are still smaller than their earth rooted colleagues.
To be fair, they have been planted out for about 10 weeks now,and I have only fed them 3 times with a store bought fertiliser. I know higher feeding frequencies were recommended. It cost me $20 and upwards each time I feed just my tomatoes/ peppers/ cucumbers! And thats barely half the plants in the garden. In addition, I gave a few Blood and Bone meal side dressing applications while the plants were growing, and gave a few feeds of strong manure tea. Half the time I was feeding just the bales, letting the plants in the earth look after themselves. I have put alot of work into my soil though, it is well buit and rich, they are doing great. I think I may have taken on a little much this season. Really, I dont need to grow 114+ tomato plants, do I? I will keep it a bit more manageable next season. Hopefully.
The cucumbers in bales have recieved the least feeding, but are doing alot better already than my earth-bound cucumbers from last year, who recieved quite a bit of attention. These last few weeks, I was picking cucumbers already, and couldnt bear to poor my thick chunky smelly horse manure juice all over them! At the least, I will definately be growing my cucmbers in bales every year from now on. I like the way they can be placed in a courtyard, free to trail and climb wherever they like without infringing on neighbouring plants. Instant cucumber hill!
This is hopefully a picture of the tomato bales I put on the back lawn. They are doing as well, If not better than the bales in the shelteres courtyard! They get the most sun, and we have had brilliant weather so far. Hardley any storms. Also not much rain.
Jarrod's shaow can be seen too, while hes watering them for me. Bless him. This picture was taken yesterday off his cellphone, appologies for the poor quality image.
Lena, just think what you have to look forward to when you get home!!!
I'll bet Jaarod doesn't mind watering at all when he gets to pick the beans etc. I really wondered if you were planning on competing with the local produce stands with all of those tomato plants. But, I'll bet you would be able to make some pretty good money with them.
Last summer, I had mu cucumbers in the ground and on a plastic trellis. Actually a plastic fence. They done well but I sure had to water them a lot. I know the bales will hold the moisture longer. I will try the cucumbers in bales this next spring.
Well one thing for sure with 114 tomato plants, you should get to have more than one or two on the table, Right???????? Those were still good pictures, Have lots of fun on your trip.
What do you think Jeanette? Cucumbers in the bales?
I found and ordered some small melon seed. Save a bale for some OK?
Here's a link to my pictures of my strawbale venture, from set-up to pictures of plants and ripe tomatoes. I tried cabbage, broccoli, and squash also but they didn't work out well for me. I had excellent results with my tomatoes, especially Mexico, Better Boy and Stupice.
Hmmm...It works for me. Try going to the tags on top of your "Homepage", click on "Communities". Then click on "Gardening Blogs", then click on "Big_Red". That will get you to my gardening blogs, that should work, if not let me know.
OK it worked by going the route of communities and the blog.
One question. were the poles strong enough?
The tomatoes I had in bales. I used cattle panels attached to 4"x4" posts. It held but the posts had worked loose by the end of the season. to where I could pull them out by hand. I had tomatoes in the ground as well. I used tomato cages, and then drove steel posts to hold the cages up. But I really needed much taller supports.
I think we get enough wind that a 1x1 pole would break after the tomato had grown 3/4 the way up. Maybe 2x2s would work better for me. Although I do have extra tall hog wire fencing. I may just use that with more 4x4 posts..
Thank you for the posting
We put a tarp over the hoophouse after the tomatoes were done and put the boat in it. Well, guess you know what happened. We had a lot of snow that covered the whole thing, then it thawed just a little and then froze. So then we had ice, then we got more snow, ice, etc. So finally it caved in. The cattle panels. I am hoping that come spring we can straighten them out. Otherwise I am going to have some good trellises for roses etc.
I didn't have any problems with the metal fence posts, I drive them about 1 foot into the ground, mostly clay here. 1 x 1's held up good also even in high winds. The plants will grow to the top (and over) of the 8 foot stakes. I prune my plants to 2 or 3 stems until the last part of the summer when I just let them grow.
(Remember, if you go into your blog through the "My Tools" tab, you're accessing your own blog, where you can add to and edit it. That link won't work for anyone else, because we aren't logged in as you.
If you want to post a link for others to access the "public view" of your blog, you have to link to it from the view within the Communities tab ;o)
Nope Twernt ME. Jeanette; I just followed Red's other directions, to get to the site. I'm not even advanced far enough to really understand, following what Terry said to do.
That's OK Terry, I am just a slow learner I guess. I grew up somewhere between Slate boards and Etch-A Sketch. I never did get the Genuine Tom Mix leather belt, I really really wanted. LOL
Jeanette; Sorry to hear about your hoop house. That is going to make more work for you guys. Like you said though it's not all a waste. I need stronger trellises too..
I used that plastic fence for a trellis. Looked OK before the weight of the plants made it sag.
Big Red; How did the grow boxes work out.? I started making a couple, never did get them out. Guess I started a little late in the season. Should be able to try them this year though.
They worked fairly well, the main problem was that I used the dark green trash bags to cover them and once the weather got hot I had to take them off because the roots got too hot. The leaves started to curl and droop. Once I removed the tops they bounced back pretty good but needed watering from the top often.
Next year I'm going to use the white trash bags for covers. I think they'll reflect the heat much better.
Red, do you have any idea why the leaves curl like that? Mine normally do a lot. I don't think it hurts the plant, but don't know if that is a sign of too dry, too wet, or what. Do you put any peroxide in the water? Wonder if that might be it.
I believe it's because the soil in the boxes get too hot and it stresses the plants, that's why I'm switching to white covers next year. The leaves don't start to curl until the weather starts to get hot. It doesn't seem to affect all varieties the same, Amish Paste is bothered the most while my Big Red's have little or no curl. If you look at this picture, the two on the right (Indiana Red) are much worse than the ones in the earthbox next to it (Big Red).
No, I don't add anything to the water, I just use tap water as we are on a county water line.
Seed package will go out Tue. evening. Maybe we can find out how these are.
I'm having fun watching the birds go after that homemade suet. I changed the position of the egg carton. it is hanging from one end now. The starlings don't hog it so much now. They don't cling to it like the Juncos and the downy wood peckers. But they still perch on top of it and peck the upper portion.
I now have 6 tomatoes up. I have them and the cucumbers under lights. I will give them a little more time to get a little size before transplanting them to the hydroponic set up.
Red; those tomatoes look pretty good even with the curled up leaves.
Last summer I had one tomato plant with its leaves curled up all summer. It kept trying to live. I am fairly sure that I used the wrong sprayer for the hot sauce. It may have had some residue of weed spray in it. I was spraying the hot sauce on the sweet potato plants to deter the rabbits. and I misted the tomato plants too. But those curled leaves looked a lot different than yours. I'm sure it was the heat on yours. That one may have been getting just a little more sun than the rest, due to the leaf cover. Some things we never know for absolute certian. but we can guess pretty darn close.
How is this deep freeze in KY. ???
It's cold enough here that it can't give us wet snow it is just powder. Deep enough but powdery.
Yes, I believe it is the heat and think that will solve/lessen the problem. This year's planting will tell. ☺ It got down to 10* here last night, 6* the night before but it warms up pretty well in the day, 40* today.
I take pictures of most of my tomatoes/vegetables every 2 weeks and save them by varieties/dates. Then I can compare them to plant out dates in my garden diary and know how many days to maturity for each. It's fun!
Red; It did make out of the negitive double digits and got all the way up to + 10 today. Didn't do much more than clean out the drive way and shove most of the snow across the road into the ditch. Did go down to the local Liars club, Errrrr I mean the Cafe. And helped the owner get his snow blower started. Between the 2 of us we got it cleaned up pretty good. Sure glad I have that skid loader. Tried to make a few points with my neighbor to the north. Cleaned his parking area while I was out. Oh well a day like this that is enough for me. :>)
Send a picture of your suet feeder. I just put mine in one of those onion bags that are the red net. I cut out a piece of that and put the suet in there. What did you put in your suet feeder? Boy, these birds eat better than we do. I put a jar of peanut butter, chunky, and huckleberries, raisins, can't remember the rest. But, I get the suet from the butcher that grinds it up for the deer hunters. I have used the chunks but then I have to melt it down and strain it a couple of times. A real pain.
I get mostly chickadees, nut hatches, blue jays now and then, once in a while a woodpecker. Or flickers.
Red, you are so organized. I take the pictures and then can't remember which floppy they're on.
Russ, I just put my cucumbers in the nutrients in the kitchen. I can't see running that big light just for the cukes. I will send you a couple of pictures on email. I will try one here.
Jeanette; If I didn't know mine was a cucumber. I wouldn't recognize it yet. It still has just the first 2 leaves. Too tender to attempt a transplant. I still need to get a light to hang over the fish tank garden. Think I will invest in two of the grow lite bulbs for that. I have a timer that was for the pond lights. I think I will use that for the plants. Since I got rid of my fish, I have let the pond just sit. I had someone raid my pond twice. and took the number of Koi from around 100. down to 43. Figured the only way to stop him was to get rid of them myself. Let him find an empty pond. If I could have an Alligator I may have had a big surprise for him.
A little milder would be a motion detector to set off a 1/4 stick of Dynamite. But then I may have too much of the wrong kind of fertilizer for the garden.
Any way the garden is more down to earth than having colored Carp.
I may still use the pond though. Maybe for catfish. If I don't catch a big one, put the small ones in the pond to fatten up.
Russ, I ordered two lights. The kind that clamp onto something. Then they have the curly lights in them. i.e. Fleuorescent. One is Metal Halide and the other is the HSP or whatever. The MH is for growth and the other is for flowers and produce. Will see if they work. So far my cuke has not turned up it's toes. I know they don't like to be repotted.