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Strawbale Gardening: seedlings & hydroponics experiment

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Jnette
Northeast, WA
(Zone 5a)

January 29, 2008
10:00 PM

Post #4470553

Ok, I have it here. I know there are forums for these two items but this is just a quick thread. Sorry Russ the pictures probably won't come thru. I am going to write after each thing, but I can;t change the color or font. Jeanette

Jeanette; I think I have you confused, The boxes are for putting under the seed flats. They will be on my seed starting rack. The seeds you sent me. those plants will go in the fish tank. Two different projects. Sorry bout that.
I still need to get a light hung over the fish tank. ( no fish in it)
I don't have it 100% ready yet. I have been looking for the heater for it.. -- Russ

Russ, where are you going to put it that you need a heater? I was going to put a heater in mine but I forgot to. It seems to be doing fine in the kitchen, but might do better with one. -- Jeanette

Those plants, are almost ready to transplant. They sure are way behind yours. according to the picture you posted.
I'm sure I'm not doing something right. I didn't have every thing ready, so I started the seeds. in potting soil in one of the six pac sections of a starting tray. I may have to buy a new tank heater, if I don't find the one I know I have. -- Russ

I gave up on the Rockwool and started them in potting mix. Then I didn't want to disturb the roots so I just took it out of the pot and put it right in the nutrients. That is the cucumbers. I set the tomatoes in the top of the pot so they could get some of the nutrients in the bottom and they are doing great. -- Jeanette

Not going anywhere today though, we are at blizzard conditions today. The wind was howling all night but it didn't start snowing untill daylight.
The intensity has been picking up rapidly ever since. Definitely a big change from yesterday. Very little wind, temp up to 46. Uh huh now it is 2 degrees, snowing, wind at around 40 mph visibility way down. Nope not going any where today.
Did you start your seeds right in the mini hydroponic system??? --Russ

No, in potting mix. What is the mini hydroponic system? --Jeanette

Post #4469051
Woofie; They are really very small bulbs, but yes they are used for Christmas.
I used them last year. Only had 2 --12 footers, in use. I didnt really notice any difference in power usage.
I will post more pictures a little later. but will post one now that shows the rope lights under the trays. Last years picture. This may not be the right pic. I'll look it up off line, to find the one that really shows the lights. --- Russ

January 29, 2008
10:49 AM

Post #4469096
OK this was the one I was looking for. You can see the rope lights under some of the flats.
This year yoy won't see the lights just that box under the seed flats. but I will try give an account of time to germinate and such. That may be of more help than any thing. --- Ruaa

Woofie, I didn't realize where you live. LOL, just saw it. --- Jeanette
.
woofie
Chewelah, WA
(Zone 5a)

January 29, 2008
11:25 AM

Post #4469276
So, do I have this right? The lights go in the boxes, you put kitty litter in the boxes to help keep the lights in place and hold the heat, then the flats go on top? Are those just plain ol' fluorescent fixtures above the plants or the fancy grow lights? That looks like a very nice setup you have there. I'm going a bit stir crazy here, but I don't have a good place to start anything. Can't afford to keep the greenhouse warm enough and I don't have enough light to start seeds indoors. Which is why I'm so interested. --- Woofie

January 29, 2008
12:16 PM

Post #4469539
Woofie; Yep the rope lights in the box, ( I did use wire retainers to hold the rope in place) they are bridge of nylon to go over the rope, with 2 tiny nails. on each side of the rope) but you have the concept right.
Yes they are just shop lights. although I did opt for them being an instant on and quiet start. I use 2 shop lights for each shelf. so 4 bulbs per shelf. That gives as much light as I can get there. I doubt that it would be enough to grow any plants beyond a size for transplanting into the garden. but it worked well for me. Now I would like to have the seed flats set on something besides directly on the rope light. Also if I splashed any water, I wouldn't have to wipe it up. The kitty litter would soak it up quickly. and the warmth form the rope it would be dry in less than a minute. The real plan is to have the heat distributed more evenly
under the flats. That is the main purpose of the kitty litter.
I take up about a 4' X 6' space in the kitchen, for which I am grateful. My wife don't mind too terribly, that I use that part of the kitchen. Of course being retired I help with the kitchen chores too. And we take turns at doing the dishes and cooking. --- Russ

Russ, That is funny, your set up except for the heat boxes looks exactly like mine, right down to the chains holding the lights. Don't you love this shelving? Woofie, I have tried a lot of different kinds of shelving and lights and this is the best. My daughter got it for my birthday at Costco. Others on Dave's have gotten it at Sams, Home Depot, Lowes, etc. Just be careful that whtever you get it is the right width to take care of the lights. Those are 4 feet long. Some of the shelving is only 3 feet.
Russ, why do you need heat if you are growing in the house? I use heat for just a few things. --Jeanette

Woofie, the lights including tubes are a little over $10 each. Why not just get one whenever you can afford it. You have to start somewhere. But, Russ, why do you have to have quiet on and off? do they wake you up? LOL. Also, Woofie, Russ didn't say anything about it, but I find it very important is a timer for the lights. Otherwise you have to turn them of and on. Those cost about $6. -- Jeanette

It does get to look like a mess by the time the weather is fit to plant every thing out in the garden. I use the plant stand primarily for garden vegetables.--Russ

Yes, by this time I move my flats out to my portable greenhouse in early April. Our last frost date is the end of May. --- Jeanette

How ever I do start a few other things as well.
The boxes are made of 1 X 2 ,s and are just long enough so they will fit between the poles that hold the shelves and they are 2' in width . the bottom of the box is Masonite. or pressed hard board. and was the thinnest I could get. --- Russ

There were a couple of words left that I lost. And the pictures didn't come thru. Other than that I think I got most of it. -- Jeanette
randbponder
Hornick, IA
(Zone 4b)

January 29, 2008
11:20 PM

Post #4470914

Jeanette; Well I see you moved us around while I was napping. LOL. I don't have anything new. Just thought I would see if I could find where we were. LOL
BTW I called your buckets. the mini hydroponic system.
And we still have some wind. but no longer snowing. All the thawing that went on yesterday, all turned into ice. We went down to the Barn to mail a birthday card for her brother. Found there to be a lot more ice. where it wasn't icy before. So I made sure, we were careful.
It is going to be friday before the temp gets up near the the freezing point. Nice huh! How can we think of gardens at a time like this.lol
Beats worrying don't it?
Russ
woofie
Chewelah, WA
(Zone 5a)

January 30, 2008
12:08 AM

Post #4471205

Jeanette, you were asking why Russ needed the heat if his flats were inside. Ha ha, if his house is anything like ours, 55 deg is just a tad chilly (that's upstairs in the spare bedroom, not the whole house) for growing green children.

Mostly just checking to find the thread. Don't suppose anyone has a belated after Xmas sale on those rope lights...they gotta be cheaper than the heat mats. I paid about $75 for the big one I got which is roughly 2'x4'.
Jnette
Northeast, WA
(Zone 5a)

January 30, 2008
12:54 AM

Post #4471417

Russ you are still asleep. I asked you a lot of questions on that thread. Read it. LOL

Woofie, tell me about it!! Our furnace went out yesterday afternoon and of course everyone that will come up here at all is really busy. It was 16 degrees outside this morning when I got up and 51 degrees in the house. Didn't get over 61 in here all day with the fireplace and a wood cook stove going all day. This is a big daylight basement. My livingroom ceiling is 28 feet above the floor.

So, now you know where my heat is. What there is of it.

Jeanette
randbponder
Hornick, IA
(Zone 4b)

January 30, 2008
3:25 AM

Post #4472084


I guess I was asleep. The fish tank will be in the living room, next to a window. We try to have the temp around 63. So we wear sweaters or use a blanket if we sit and watch TV.
Jeanette. The bottom heat makes the germination process faster., and at a higher %.
Yes I like this type of shelving. Got it at Sam's Club, it was on sale at the time. It is sturdy, easy to keep clean. The shelves can be set at any height, and it has casters so it can be moved easily. The only thing is it has one extra shelf, That is for a plant stand. But the spare shelf works pretty good in the garage just by using a couple brackets on a wall.

Some fluorescence's make a rather annoying buzz , or they blink a few times during warm up. These are very quiet. No blink off and on when turned on. I didn't have a timer last year. I just turned them on when I got up. and didn't turn them off untill bed time. That give around 14 to 16 hours a day. Some times more. I do have a timer that was for the pond lights. but now that I got rid of the fish. I can use that on the plant stand. I got the lights at Menard's. I don't remember the exact price. but it was around $13. Except for the 2 that I got after the sale. Then they were $19. Bulbs were extra.

If you want the pictures again I can post them here too.
Russ
Jnette
Northeast, WA
(Zone 5a)

January 30, 2008
6:35 AM

Post #4472454

No, they looked just like mine so not for me. Maybe Woofie or someone else. But they are still on the other thread.

$19 plus bulbs is quite a bit. I think mine all ran around $8 to maybe $10, plus tubes and they aren't much. I think the "daylight" tubes are higher, around $6. At Lowes.

You do keep the house cool. Right now we have the fireplace going, and I've had a fire in the wood cook stove most of the day, and it is 62 in here. Cool for me.

I told you, I think, that the furnace went out yesterday afternoon. Not a good time for it to do that. The repair people all have to travel quite a ways, if you can get them that is. They are all out on calls. Actually, they don't want to come up here the roads are so bad.

Jeanette
randbponder
Hornick, IA
(Zone 4b)

January 30, 2008
3:45 PM

Post #4473520

A wood cook stove, That is what I learned to cook with. I knew just where to put the pot for just the right temps. That was a long time ago. It was somewhere around age 4 To keep me from getting into something I think! Mom would let me stir the batter for whatever she was fixing . Usually things like a cake or cookies. The bread was a little too tough for me then but did get to help with kneading it. Little did I realize that when I was 7 that mom would be hospitalized for all summer. It was then that Dad assigned different chores for all us kids.
My sister was big enough to help in the field. She was 12. My next older brother was 10 He fed the cattle and milked the cows. He told Dad, that he did not want to the chicken chores. So that got passed on to me, as well as getting the meals ready. I soon found out not to trust thinking that all the coals were cold. But I learned after getting my eye lashes curled a couple times. I had better use some paper and corn cobs to get the fire started. I said all that in appreciation of my mother. Of course the experience of the task didn't hurt me either. But did Dad really think his decision was a safe one?? I'll never know. But it worked out. Would love to have an old cast iron cook stove even now. I do appriciate the fact that all I need do is just turn a knob and and there is heat, to cook with, but there is a cost to convenience.

~Russ~
Jnette
Northeast, WA
(Zone 5a)

January 30, 2008
5:28 PM

Post #4473971

Russ, I have both. The year after we moved here was a hellacious winter and we lost power at Thanksgiving for a week. The next summer we bought the wood cook stove from an ad in the paper, bought a generator and had an electrician come out and put a transfer station for the generator so we wouldn't electrocute any linemen. We haven't NEEDED the wood cook stove since until now. It doesn't really heat this house because of the size and openness of the house. But, it does help a little But, I love to heat it up in the winter and put on a big pot of bean and pasta soup with a loaf of bread in the breadmaker. LOL, still need the modern conveniences.

Funny how things go, after the 2000 Millenium you could pick those stoves up cheap. Then came that bad winter and they were expensive again. Then not long after that, they were cheap. We paid a $100 for this one and it isn't fancy like the nice Monarchs but you know, that little thing works so well that I guess I wouldn't trade it.

They really come in handy if you have a big meal like holidays with family and need the extra burners. I haven't learned to use the oven tho.

Well, the guy showed up to plow the driveway about 8:00 O'Clock and he no sooner left than the furnace repairman got here. Boy, that was lucky because the guy for the furnace is driving a 2 wheel vehicle. He had to park at the end of the driveway and walk up anyway because he couldn't get up here even with it plowed. My drive is about 300 feet long and is uphill. Not a lot, but enough that a 2 wheel isn't going to make it.

Jeanette

woofie
Chewelah, WA
(Zone 5a)

January 30, 2008
8:59 PM

Post #4474754

I think I like Jeanette's prices for those light fixtures much better!

We had a little bitty wood stove in the kitchen in our old house in OR. It sat next to the electric stove. I used to use it a lot in the winter for cooking a pot of beans and it worked out really well for making apple butter, too. Yum. Apple pie in a jar.

We just switched over this year to a pellet stove downstairs and it's just great. Keeps the living room nice and toasty, but not much of that heat makes it up the stairs.
randbponder
Hornick, IA
(Zone 4b)

January 30, 2008
11:28 PM

Post #4475382

I was able to do pretty darn good with the oven. But do have to say ours had a thermometer in the door. However I remember I checked cookies and cakes often. Most every thing I baked just required watching. But the bread baking is where I watched for the right temp. If I had it too hot the bottom crust would be hard and I would get ribbed . Only two of us boys ever learned how to bake bread. Of course Sis did to.
I will say this It don't hurt boys to learn how to bake and to cook. My better half, does appriciate it. I may have to watch for one. It would come in handy for canning, and keep the light bill down.
Woofie; question Does your pellet stove also double as a corn burner?? Some of them did but the lighter ones won't handle the extra heat from the corn.
Jnette
Northeast, WA
(Zone 5a)

January 30, 2008
11:58 PM

Post #4475511

Russ, do some googling about that stove that eats corn cobs. I google everything any more.

Woofie, did you get the message I sent you about just noticing where you live? How long have you been there? Very interesting.

Jeanette
randbponder
Hornick, IA
(Zone 4b)

January 31, 2008
12:47 AM

Post #4475776

Jeanette are we talking about the pellet / corn burner? If so it isn't the cobs it burns. It burns the shell corn it's self. and burns much hotter than wood pellets. The cobs I think I referred to were for starting the fire in the wood burning cookstove. Trouble is now that they have the price of corn up because of the Ethanol use. The price of corn was so low, that it was cheaper than wood, definitely cheaper than propane. But I want to do some searching anyway, so it won't hurt to check that too. I know where I could get some old corn, still on the cob. there is a one of the round wire corn cribs nearby . Only thing is it has been there so long it actually looks black. Probably is full of mold. I don't know the story on it, but I think it has been there for nearly 20 years. Will get back with you on a cob eater lol.
Russ
Jnette
Northeast, WA
(Zone 5a)

January 31, 2008
1:10 AM

Post #4475927

You know Russ, it never hurts to have an alternative to whatever you have now, propane. My house has 2 fireplaces, (which aren't worth much as far as heating but better than nothing); an airtight in the basement, an electric/wood furnace, and the wood cook stove. However, it sure was nice to get the fan fixed in the furnace today. Couldn't use it for either wood or electric. We've never used the airtight in the basement, or the fireplace in the loft. All the others are well used.

You should maybe check the old corn. That it wouldn't give off some kind of gas or something with that mold or whatever on it.

Jeanette
randbponder
Hornick, IA
(Zone 4b)

January 31, 2008
1:50 AM

Post #4476103

Don't intend to touch that corn. But Thanks anyway.
woofie
Chewelah, WA
(Zone 5a)

January 31, 2008
2:54 AM

Post #4476421

Our pellet stove is supposed to be able to burn corn, but according to what I read, you get a lot more ash from the corn. When we went looking for information on pellet stoves, there were only two brands that were recommended. I don't remember the name of the other one because it's not available in this area, but ours is a Quadra-Fire.

Yes, Jeanette, I noticed that you're in this general area too. Of course, NE WA covers a pretty big area. We moved here in January of 2000 (oh, yeah, that was a fun move! Lovely time of year to be schlepping boxes and furniture around.) We just love it here. Pretty area, nice people. We're just a little ways outside the city limits, in a somewhat more rural area. Sure is nice to be able to bop into town in just a few minutes to hit the local Safeway. Where we lived before, it was a 2 hour drive, one way.

Jnette
Northeast, WA
(Zone 5a)

January 31, 2008
6:07 AM

Post #4477146

Well, from 2000 you are practically a native. LOL. In little towns you will always be a nwbie unless your great, great, grandparents were born there. We are about 40 to 50 miles, as the crow flies, from you. Across Flowery Trails. Where did you come from?

I haven't heard a thing from Donna Russ. I sent her a D-mail the other day, but didn't get anything back. Hope she's ok. I read in the paper where an elderly woman died in a house fire and her husband was burned pretty bad. In a small town tho, everybody knows everybody. I don't believe Donna has a husband and I didn't recognize the name.

Jeanette
randbponder
Hornick, IA
(Zone 4b)

January 31, 2008
1:31 PM

Post #4477698

No I don't think so either. I think she is really busy or still traveling with her Father.
She didn't say how long they would be gone.
Maybe we don't want to see pictures of her garden just yet. We might drool all over our keyboards. :>)
How long does it take some communities to accept and think of you as a native. Hmmmmm. I have been accepted slowly, but even after 29 years my house is either referred to as the Childes house. or the old telephone office. That is even with one owner adding on another room and an upstairs. and installing running water. and putting on new siding. Then I widened the kitchen and built an attached garage. and put on a new roof and resided the whole thing again. Of course many of those who refer it as the old childes house. are older than I am. and that is just how they remember it. It is kind of funny though.
Russ
woofie
Chewelah, WA
(Zone 5a)

January 31, 2008
2:20 PM

Post #4477863

All you have to do is get a herd of goats. Then your place will be referred to as "the place with all the goats". Works every time! :-) Although, not everyone means that in a positive way.

We moved here from Oregon, but I'm originally from SoCal.
Jnette
Northeast, WA
(Zone 5a)

January 31, 2008
4:42 PM

Post #4478515

Russ, you are talking about Lena. I mean Donna up here in Tonasket, Washington State. Lena is in NZ.

It's location, location, location Russ, the Childs House. LOL, you are the "new" guy.

Do you have goats Woofie? If I could run fast enough I think they would be cool. Oregon is nice. But, it is all relevant. If you find the right place in CA, OR, or WA, they are all nice.

Jeanette
randbponder
Hornick, IA
(Zone 4b)

January 31, 2008
4:59 PM

Post #4478595

OK yes you are right. That enters in with a senior moment. Or a
Brain _ _ _ _!!!!
Yes you are right. I haven't heard from her either. Think I will go back a couple forums. and see what she said. But you have had a rep-ore with her longer, But now you have me concerned too.
Russ
randbponder
Hornick, IA
(Zone 4b)

January 31, 2008
5:24 PM

Post #4478727

I think you have reason to be concerned. The last correspondence I found from her was Nov. 30 That was the one. She mentioned about taking flying lessons. 57 years ago. and that her first child stopped that so she never got her license.
A person can't be sure of anything these days. I think we should both put her in our prayer list.
Sorry I was so unobservent.
Russ
woofie
Chewelah, WA
(Zone 5a)

January 31, 2008
7:14 PM

Post #4479097

Are you two talking about the Donna who's DG handle is rutholive (I'm pretty sure her name is Donna)? I know she lives in Tonasket. Last post I saw from her was on Jan 20, which is not TOO long ago.

Oh yes, we have goats. Or rather I should say my DH has goats. Goats, goats and still more goats. Don't have to be able to run fast, tho. They come when he calls (although they can ignore ME all day). We have about 40 or so right now. That will change about the end of March, tho, when the kids start coming. OMG are they cute! He just loves them. I think they're a lot of work, but the kids are adorable.
Jnette
Northeast, WA
(Zone 5a)

January 31, 2008
7:21 PM

Post #4479115

Hi Woofie, yes she is the one. I was looking too Russ, I saw a post not too long ago so I guess she is ok. I do know she is awfully busy tho.

Goats!! Don't you, or your DH have an awful time getting rid of them tho? Do you sell them for meat? Milk them? Or what?

How big a property do you have them on? Interesting.

Jeanette
woofie
Chewelah, WA
(Zone 5a)

January 31, 2008
7:48 PM

Post #4479209

So far we haven't had a problem selling them; the problem is more being willing to turn loose of them. They're awfully easy to get attached to. We sell them for meat, as milk goats, breeding stock and as pets. We really have more than the property (20 acres) can comfortably support. Keep trying to cut back, but every year it's "oh, we GOTTA keep this one!"
Jnette
Northeast, WA
(Zone 5a)

January 31, 2008
8:26 PM

Post #4479337

That would be what would happen with me. I love the little guys (animals) of most any kind so it would be real hard to part with them. What breed do you raise?

Russ, I just put a half cup of peroxide in a gallon of water with nutrients and added to my cucumbers. A couple of leaves have those little yellow dots on them. I looked for spider mites but couldn't see a thing. I sprayed with oil on the backs of those leaves just to be sure.
randbponder
Hornick, IA
(Zone 4b)

January 31, 2008
8:53 PM

Post #4479438

Woofie; Know what you mean about getting attached. I have discussed getting, about 4 for the back yard. but I don't have a fence for them. I have also plans for some new trees in the back. So if I did get any goats, they would have to be confined to a pen or a certain area.
At any rate fence first. They would prune my fruit trees faster than the rabbits. I have some blueberry bushes too that I put plastic drain around. They are trimed off at the top of the piece of drain tube. I'm hoping they survive. I am going to have to put poultry wire around them this spring. The whole garden for that matter.
There was a pretty good market around here for a while. but you know what happens when you find something good. Some big shot starts flooding the market. and then the buyers. start buying cheaper.
I have a niece and her DH that raise goats. They call their place Ziegen Farm. LOL

I am glad you heard from Donna later than November.
We get kind of concerned about some of our residents around here too if we don't see or hear from them for a while.
L8ter Russ
randbponder
Hornick, IA
(Zone 4b)

January 31, 2008
9:00 PM

Post #4479465

Jeanette: I guess I will need to use quite a bit of peroxide for my 50 gallon tank LOL I have only put in a cup so far.
I started to read that other. I haven't checked to see if I could get that 35% stuff around here. But I will check.
I think too that I will have to print those instructions out and do some underlining. Thanks
Russ
woofie
Chewelah, WA
(Zone 5a)

January 31, 2008
9:07 PM

Post #4479502

Grumpf! Grumble! I want little seedlings to have to worry about, too! I have a couple of little honeydew seedlings that I rashly started (just to see if the seeds were viable) and they're getting kind of spindly from not enough light. I'm trying to talk my DH into getting me at least a shop light to hang above them. Do you think I can re-pot them and bury the stem so they're not so "stretched out"?

Our goats are more or less mongrels. We started out with Nubians, but then introduced some Boer and some Saanen and a bit of Toggenburg, so it just depends on which one you're looking at. We've ended up with some that are kind of scroungy looking, but also some that are just wonderful. This is Eunice:

Thumbnail by woofie
Click the image for an enlarged view.

Jnette
Northeast, WA
(Zone 5a)

February 1, 2008
6:05 AM

Post #4481409

LOL Woofie, no wonder the neighbors say "the place with the goats." Eunice is cute.

Wow Russ, i was reading a book on hydroponics Tomatoes, tonight, and it said to change the water at least every other week. So, I did that and now my cucumbers are wilted right down. Actually, I decided since I was going to change the water that I would take the potting mix out of the roots. Well, I told you that cukes do not like to be disturbed. I should take a picture of them tonight for you. LOL Think I will put my tomato in the water.

That Oxy-Plus 35%, I think you can use food grade. Some of the people buy that for cleaning. I know one of the DGers raises Golden Retrievers and she said that is what she uses. But you have to be careful of it. I had just bought a sweatshirt one day and went in and poured some of the drug store 3% and splashed it on the shirt. Bleached spots all over the ss the first time I had worn it.

Woofie, I don't think you will save the melons if you do that. You can do that with tomatoes and brasecas, like cabbage, brussel sprouts etc, but not melons or CUKES!! LOL

Jeanette
woofie
Chewelah, WA
(Zone 5a)

February 1, 2008
2:42 PM

Post #4481952

Jeanette, you mention that cukes don't like being disturbed, but the ones I grew last year got started in little six-packs in the greenhouse and transferred into successively larger pots till I could plant them outside. Didn't seem to bother them any. Is that just a problem when you're growing them hydroponicly?
randbponder
Hornick, IA
(Zone 4b)

February 1, 2008
6:16 PM

Post #4482693

Woofie; Sorry, you asked Jeanette but my two cents is that they are easier to get damaged by the handling while transplanting. It is so easy to tear a root or break the very tender stem on the melons and cucumbers. As you have found it can be done, But care must be taken.
Good luck and use care.
Russ
woofie
Chewelah, WA
(Zone 5a)

February 1, 2008
8:21 PM

Post #4483105

Thanks, Russ. Soon as I can thaw out :-) some potting soil, I'm going to give it a try with one of them. Probably going to have to rig up a mini-hothouse inside the greenhouse...assuming I can clear enough snow to open the door! We've got a real mess here and more snow is forecast. But I really want to try out your setup in my spare bedroom upstairs. That looks really civilized. If I can keep these little guys going, I want to try them in a strawbale, which is how I ended up on this thread in the first place! :-)
randbponder
Hornick, IA
(Zone 4b)

February 1, 2008
10:14 PM

Post #4483515

Woofie; I know what you mean * if I can clear enough snow away from the door *
I wanted a heat lamp that I have in the cave, where the pressure tank is.
I have the snow off the doors but the bottoms of the doors are embedded in thick ice. I used the heat lamp to thaw out the feeder line to the pressure switch. Then left it down there.
I wanted to try using the infrared lamp on my hand, I read something about infrared heating pads, for soothing arthritic joints. Thought that if that worked. it would be ok. It should be very close to the same principal. as long as I used a damp towel of something over my hand, so I didn't get burned. Then if it worked half as good as they advertised, Then I might buy one of the heating pads they were hyping up.
The weather men are predicting more snow here too. They have been wrong a lot lately. I'm hoping it goes South of us this time too.
I have really good soil in my garden. I really wouldn't have to use bales.
But I am expanding the garden to an area that isn't that good. Infact there was a walnut tree there. I also found junk burried there. So that will be a good place for the bale garden. I got the tree down and some of the junk picked out of the ground. I plan to put down some wood mulch from what the light company runs through the schredder, when they clear tree limbs. If I put wet news paper down first no weeds will come up between the rows of bales. and will eventually decompose, making the soil a little better in the process. I do nearly the same with all the root crop vegtables too. except I cover the paper with grass clippings. No weeds between the rows. I do get some right next to the plants. But at least weeding doesn't turn into an all days job. Then in the heat of the summer it also helps to keep the roots a little cooler and holds the moisture better.
Good luck on the transplanting, and on the bale gardening.
Russ
Jnette
Northeast, WA
(Zone 5a)

February 3, 2008
11:16 PM

Post #4491622

Woofie, I have also had success with moving them, but like Russ said, you have to be very careful. Also, if you are going to try the setup like I have, I think tomatoes would be better. They are a lot stronger and you can manhandle them. LOL

I just planted my tomatoes deeper to get a better root mass on them and then I am going to take the cuke out and put the biggest one in the hydro.

Hairdryers work pretty good for thawing also Russ. Let me know how that infrared heating works.

Jeanette
LenaBeanNZ
Brisbane
Australia
(Zone 10b)

February 3, 2008
11:36 PM

Post #4491693

Hi All,

Ive just logged on for the first time in ages again, no Idea where you are posting at the moment, this thread was right at the top a minute ago.

Im still in Germany. It snowed yesterday, a nice thick cover to about ankle depth down here in the valley, a bit more up on the hill. We went walking up a big hill (Köppel) and through the forrest in the snow, itr was really beautiful. And COLD. Is it getting warmer where you live yet?

My friends tell me that the weather in NZ in really really hot at the moment. The hottest dryest summer in ages. My garden seems to be doing ok, everything has grown alot Im told, and the first big ripe tomatoes are being picked. Time to go home! Another 3 weeks to go! Jarrod has been watering every few days. And he said he spent 2 and a half hours tieing up the tomatoes last week! What a lovely man. It does take that long to tie them all. Im glad hes getting to eat a few by now.

I miss my plants and my garden so much. I go walking in the forest here at every opportunity, but its just not the same as talking to my own plants. My seed raised dependant plant children. Jarrod says they miss me too.

I dont like this desolate bare winter climate, nothing grows. Ive had enough. I want to go home.

Lena

randbponder
Hornick, IA
(Zone 4b)

February 3, 2008
11:41 PM

Post #4491711

Hey how about that we are both on ha ha ha .
Well I haven't broken up that ice yet, to get to the heat lamp.
However we have a electric heater that they say uses the infared heat. I hold my hand, where the heat comes out. It feels good!!
I still have some stiffness in that hand. If it only helps with the pain, that's still good. That it seems to do. But I still need to get the cave door open. I don't want to miss with the ax and knock a hole in the door.

Russ
randbponder
Hornick, IA
(Zone 4b)

February 3, 2008
11:47 PM

Post #4491728

Lena; Nope no warm weather yet, It won't get above ( 0C ) 32F this week yet.
Enjoy.
Russ
woofie
Chewelah, WA
(Zone 5a)

February 4, 2008
6:01 PM

Post #4494712

Hi Russ and Jeanette, glad one of your lost pals checked in. Hi Lena.

Well, I bit the bullet this morning and repotted my leggy little seedlings. I don't think I damaged anything, but time will tell. We got some nice sunshine today so I'm going to transfer them out to the greenhouse and keep an eye on the temps. I'm really hoping I can keep these going to try out in the strawbales. I'm expanding my garden and the new area is pretty heavily covered in grass and weeds, which seems like a good candidate for the strawbales. I'm going to cover the ground under the bales with the (free!) tarps from the lumber yard. Haha, assuming we ever SEE the ground again! My fountain, which is about 32" tall, is completely buried in snow and has a pile on top about the same height. This is how my poor garden looks now. There really are raised beds and containers out there, in front of the kennel and to the left. I plan to try the strawbales on the other side of the kennel. BTW, that chain link fence is 8' tall. I had to take the picture from upstairs cause there's too much SNOW to get out there.

Thumbnail by woofie
Click the image for an enlarged view.

Jnette
Northeast, WA
(Zone 5a)

February 4, 2008
6:24 PM

Post #4494785

Lena, good to hear from you. Wow!! 3 more weeks. Your tomatoes will all be ripened and eaten in that time. LOL, just kidding. Don't you believe it. You are lucky to have Jerod. Good friend. That is a lot of work. But, the tomatoes he is getting are good payment.

Russ, let me know how that infra red helps on the arthritits. Probably like everything else, just when you have it on. Like hot tubs.

Woofie, I see a lot of fences but no goats. Where are they, and how in the world do you feed that many?

Jeanette
woofie
Chewelah, WA
(Zone 5a)

February 4, 2008
6:52 PM

Post #4494864

Jeanette, you underestimate the intelligence of goats. Our babies are lounging in our lower barn, allowing the dimwitted rancher to slog through the snow to haul food and water to them.
randbponder
Hornick, IA
(Zone 4b)

February 4, 2008
8:28 PM

Post #4495227

Yep smart goats. LOL!!!!!
Well now If we would just get that much snow we would have caught up to what we usually have by now. Really we are only around 10" shy. from normal this year.
Got the plant stand in the kitchen, finaly getting things arranged. the lights hung back up.
Still have some cleaning up to take care of. It is a start though. Some of the sweet potatoes are starting to sprout, so I need to get some going. I want to be sure and have enough to take along to the RU. as well as for myself I have that order for those other sweet taders. I don't expect that to come in untill around the 10th of May. and as you know I have some of those promised. Guess I will have to have 3 seperate spots for the different varieties. It will be a good test, seeing which ones I like the best. I doubt that the flavor will differ. I'm thinking of the space used and the preformance of each variety.
Russ
KentNC
Wake Forest, NC

February 4, 2008
9:53 PM

Post #4495559

Lena: yep, good to hear from you. We've got alot of new folks posting on several different threads. Hurry up and get back to your garden, especially those home-grown tomatoes!

Kent
LenaBeanNZ
Brisbane
Australia
(Zone 10b)

February 7, 2008
8:37 PM

Post #4508293

Hello again, and Hi woofie :)

Wow look at all that snow!!! Our snow is all gone by now, just a few dirty leftover piles of rubble remain, in the corners of parking lots and on roadsides etc. No fun there. Im getting well used to the cold by now, my NZ summer tan is fading fast. Bangkok will be a nice climate shock, we spend a few days there before heading home.

Jeanette: I think I will have more tomatoes than I can cope with when I get back! Jarrod is welcome to eat whatever he can manage. Hes shared a few with some of our friends, and taken some to my elderly neighbour as I asked him to. Maybe he will give me a hand with some of the canning and preserving too... he is a chef by trade after all, well used to kitchen work. Heres hoping. The preserving season will go on until April. Ahhh cant wait to get home.

I brought some cute looking little mini romas at the supermarket last night, I just couldnt resist. What a disapointment. Bitter and dry with a nasty after taste. I didnt even pick up a 2nd. I generally dont buy tomatoes out of season. I mainly just eat my own as long as ive got them. I was quickly reminded why I grow my own seasonal vegetables, and stick to them. Imported out of season produce is so tasteless.

Kent: Im hurrying Im hurrying! Nice to hear from you too :)

Lena






woofie
Chewelah, WA
(Zone 5a)

February 8, 2008
4:07 AM

Post #4510243

Oh my Lena, you have me drooling for fresh tomatoes...and mine are all still in their seed packets. I have a feeling my tomatoes will be getting started a little earlier this year! :-)
randbponder
Hornick, IA
(Zone 4b)

February 8, 2008
6:52 PM

Post #4512457

I think I may start 3 or 4 tomatoes early too. Maybe even this next week. See how big I can get them. before putting them in the garden.
I plan to use a row cover this spring. and see if I can push a few plants a little.
Lena is just making us itch for fresh maters.
Russ
Jnette
Northeast, WA
(Zone 5a)

February 8, 2008
11:19 PM

Post #4513259

You know Russ, my sister has a greenhouse and she has a set date that she starts hers, a set date that she repots them, another for repotting again, and another for potting out in the garden. By the time she puts them in the garden they are still in gallon pots and have tomatoes on them. BUT, her gh is so full of huge tomatoes by that time that you can't get in there. She normally plants 40 or more.

But she does all of the things above at the same dates every year.

She tries all kinds, and each year she makes a note of the best of the new ones. Pretty soon she will have it pretty refined. She gives tomatoes away, makes so much sauce and cans a lot.

Jeanette
woofie
Chewelah, WA
(Zone 5a)

February 9, 2008
1:51 AM

Post #4513798

So, Jeanette, whereabouts does your sister live? Is she in our area?
randbponder
Hornick, IA
(Zone 4b)

February 9, 2008
4:16 AM

Post #4514491

Jeanette; I guess If I had a good green house, I would probably do pretty close to the same thing. Although I'm not too sure about letting them get that big, before putting them in the garden. I'm thinking they might suffer more of a shock and set back when they are that big.
But then I don't know that for sure.
I think all together, I had around 30 tomato plants. I really didn't count.
Anyway I just started a 6 pack tonight, with 3 of the box car willie, 3 Mule team, and three Giant beef.
I think I did in the cucumbers when I tried to transplant them.
I didn't use all the seeds though so I will try again. This time I will try starting them in their pots in the fish tank.
Russ
Jnette
Northeast, WA
(Zone 5a)

February 9, 2008
6:19 AM

Post #4514772

It doesn't seem to bother them Russ. It is still pretty cool and she puts Remay over them to keep the frost off. If you like sauces and pastes Marzanoes are really neat for that.

You too? I lost both of my cucumbers.

Yes, Woofie, my sister lives about 5 miles from me. She does heat her gh. In the winter tho she only has it warm enough to keep things from freezing. Then when she starts planting seeds, especially tomatoes, she turns it warmer.

Jeanette
Jnette
Northeast, WA
(Zone 5a)

February 9, 2008
6:30 AM

Post #4514787

It doesn't seem to bother them Russ. It is still pretty cool and she puts Remay over them to keep the frost off. If you like sauces and pastes Marzanoes are really neat for that.

You too? I lost both of my cucumbers.

Yes, Woofie, my sister lives about 5 miles from me. She does heat her gh. In the winter tho she only has it warm enough to keep things from freezing. Then when she starts planting seeds, especially tomatoes, she turns it warmer.

She has tons of tomatoes and in early July. She doesn't use strawbales tho. She really works her soil with a lot of manure etc.

Jeanette
woofie
Chewelah, WA
(Zone 5a)

February 9, 2008
4:17 PM

Post #4515758

I'm doing my tomatoes in earthboxes. I've had really good results with the tomatoes in EBs. Last year I put some in just regular containers and the others in EBs and the difference was truly amazing. Same varieties, too, and in the same area in the garden. I want to try the strawbales for morning glories and melons.
Jnette
Northeast, WA
(Zone 5a)

February 9, 2008
5:27 PM

Post #4516014

EBs are good Woofie. I used one one year and then gave it to my daughter. She liked it so well she bought a lot of them. Now, after 3 years I don't know if she uses them at all. I'll have to ask her.

Jeanette
woofie
Chewelah, WA
(Zone 5a)

February 9, 2008
5:41 PM

Post #4516071

Hmmm, if she's not using them, maybe we can negotiate?
Jnette
Northeast, WA
(Zone 5a)

February 9, 2008
6:00 PM

Post #4516142

I'll ask her. Jeanette
randbponder
Hornick, IA
(Zone 4b)

February 13, 2008
5:36 PM

Post #4533579

Jeanette;
Just for the fun of it, I am starting some of the tomato seeds that I saved.
So far 2 of the Giant Beef have sprouted. I think though that I will have to put ( plastic ) around my plant stand. as I am letting the room temp drop below 60 at night. I laid a thermometer on the kitty litter and it reads 80F. But the water in the starter tray isn't that warm. A couple of the sweet potatoes are starting to sprout but not with any vigor, due to the drop in temperature every night. If I put plastic around the plant stand , I will have a uniform temp and humidity. and they will really take off. that will give me two and a half months to start a bunch of the S/Ps for the IA RU. Just wanted to let you know that the tomato seeds are doing what they are supposed to do.
Let me know when you start yours, and how they do.
Russ
Jnette
Northeast, WA
(Zone 5a)

February 13, 2008
8:52 PM

Post #4534371

Russ, what are you starting your tomato seeds in? I have one that I started in potting mix in the nutrients that is doing good. But, I put a second one in there yesterday and it was too little. I should have waited until it was bigger. It might have gotten too cold for it last night 'cause it shriveled up. It looked good when I went to bed. But sure wasn't this morning.

I thought you were going to the city today. Or did you go and back already? How far is it? Did you get all your stuff?

Jeanette
randbponder
Hornick, IA
(Zone 4b)

February 13, 2008
11:32 PM

Post #4534879

Jeanette;
I was mistaken on today. It is tomorrow, that Barb has an appointment. So we will combine that with stocking up on groc. and hair cuts.
All in one trip. I hope to get some of the baked clay pellets too. I haven't checked in the City yet, that is on the list for tomorrow too.
If I don't find any I may try the small volcanic rock with some Perle lite.
I filled the day up with repairing part of the lift linkage on Garys snow blower. I used it yesterday as I wasn't able to get my skid loader started. The battery was clear dead. It took nearly all day to get it to charge up to full charge. It was to be warmer today, so I waited to put the battery back in. It fired right up. It should be all ready for the snow storm that is supposed to hit tomorrow. Discovered that that part had broken on his snow blower, so today I did a welding job. It is welded better now than the tack weld that was originally done.
I have one from you in the fish tank, that is just holding it's own. I still don't have a heater for it yet. That one is in a coarse oil dry, ( kitty litter)

The new ones are in potting soil with the six pac setting in water. in a flat tray. I have bottom heat for those. Was curious so just went in kitchen to check. I have tomatoes in 4 of the little cubes. So I took the cover off, as it was just some cling wrap and the tomatoes were touching it.
It isn't that far to the city, 25 miles. We just have to conserve as much as possible when it comes to having to fill the gas tank. One of our friends filled his pickup yesterday $70.00 and it wasn't even down to the 1/4 mark yet.

Russ
Jnette
Northeast, WA
(Zone 5a)

February 13, 2008
11:53 PM

Post #4534942

I sure hear you there Russ. It costs almost that to fill the Jeep. We are doing the same tomorrow. Haircuts, groceries, driver's license renewal, etc. But our "city" is 40 miles. We go in to "town" several times a week which is 14 miles but that is where we get the mail.

Your tomatoes sound good. Guess I had better get some more going since I killed all but one.

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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