Ron: as for the "no soil" comment, I was talking about not using soil from your yard to chink the cracks, but to use a commercial potting mix instead.
The soil in your yard can contain all sorts of diseases and bacteria, etc., whereas the bales don't have that problem. No point in contaminating your bales if you can avoid it.
As for the peppers, as Russ said, I'm a Miracle Gro man. It's convenient and easy since I don't take the time to make up compost teas, etc, which is fine if you have the time and resources and the inclination to go the organic route.
That was a great pic of the bell peppers, which coincidently, are the peppers I am having a harder time with. I get a ton of jalapenos, habaneros, and cayenned peppers, but my bells just haven't been up to snuff for some reason. I'll do a little more study but the bone meal additive sounds good. I have plenty of that.
I have noticed that the roots of some of my tomato plants are beginning to be exposed as the bale disintegrates. And I have also notices that the bales that recieved more soil are holding together better, and that the string-up (vertical straw) bales are also holding their shape better. Plants are doing equally well in most bales.
This pic should highlight the importance of planting deep into the bale. Although I planted these plants (brandywine) as deeply as I could, and with a big handfull of potting mix, they were still quite small. I might throw another handfull of potting soil ontop of the bale to cover these roots. The plants are nice and healthy though. I posted some new pics in the other thread. Also of my own bell peppers in bales, and my miserable beans.
Anyway, that was my 2c worth on the soil topic.
I think since I have plenty of room in garden area that I will stick with planting most of my tomatoes at least in the ground rather than bales. I need to garden in bales for plants like beans and strawberries so I don't have to bend to harvest. Bending of getting down on my knees is difficult, well getting down isn't too bad it is the getting back up. LOL
I do believe spring has sprung up here in Adirondack Park (zone 4a, even tho there is still 3+ feet of snow on the ground) - I saw the first flock of geese flying north this afternoon: More reliable predictor of spring than the calendar or the weatherman imho!
We got Geese, we got robbins, Blue Jays, Wood Peckers. I even caught a stinking Grass Hopper. I have Hostas sprouting up.
I do agree Spring is very close.
Our snow is all gone except some of the piles, from clearing parking lots and some of the ditches where the sun doesn't hit.
We missed several of the snow storms that were to hit late this winter.
They either would go north of us or about30 miles south, or we would still have snow. My daughter who is in Ohio is in zone 5 has had worse winter than we did. I cant remember the day but they had 20" from a Friday through Saturday. They dug out Saturday afternoon. Couldn't go any where though as the roads weren't cleared yet. All church services were cancelled on Sunday as well. That seems like it was only 2 or 3 weeks ago. Here it only had a little flurry, that disappeared as soon as it touched the ground. Kind of makes you wonder how they determine the zones huh.
Wednesday I tried to dig a post hole , found too much frost though. That project will have to wait a little.
I think it is winter again here. All of March has been colder than normal. At least 10 degrees colder. Last night/this morning it is now 20 degrees. I expect I lost some plants in my mini gh that is right by my back door, in the passage way to garage, so under roof and the west side is all glass, sliding doors. I didn't expect it to get that cold. After it gets to be daylight, and I do expect it to be sunny, I will go out to see about frost damage.
Heard about the cold wind and snow in Northern Rockies, on the news this morning. It was 45 when we left the house this morning to meet Phyllis to do some floor repair and fix the leak in her bathroom sink.
Another time I probably should have kept my mouth shut, that I could help her. But she may have to make another trip out East as her 92 year old father isn't in very good shape. If my helping out makes the difference of weather she can make the trip or not. I guess it would make me feel like it was worth the backache, of taking up the floor and putting in new tile. Not to mention taking the sink out to do the work, then putting in new faucet and lines.
Well Spring will come to the north west too. It may have warmed a bit here but we will have a few days that it will dip below freezing, so no planting yet.
randbponder- What part of Ohio is your daughter in? That sounds like my weather. I'm east of Cleveland in the "snow belt"! We still have a few inches of snow, I'm ready for the big thaw so that I can get on with the fun stuff-ordering bales!
Lulie She is about 40 miles north of Columbus and a few miles south of Marion.
She hasn't gotten used to the flat ground yet. Her DHs job took them there.
It only takes a little rain and the rivers are out of the banks and over the road. LOL
Lets see East of Cleavland- - - You should have a few hills there I would think??
18 degrees this morning when I got up Russ. My seedlings are looking good. I really planted a lot of tomatoes. Not all for me thank Heaven. But, they look good.
Our snow is evaporating. Not melting. I have a fellow here caulking all of the little tiny entrances into my house to keep the bats out this summer. I sure hope it works. If I could get to it I could probably make a fortune in bat guano.
I don't mind having bats in the area, just not in the house. They eat lots of night flying insects. Birds wait for day light. All dry bird droppings as well as dry guano, does nasty things to the respiratory system.
I took out our old brick chimney. It had about a 3" layer of bird droppings in the bottom. When I was done I used the vacuum cleaner to finish cleaning up the mess. I wound up with a bacterial bronchitis that really put me down for a while. That was in 97, I still can get bronchitis at the drop of a hat.
Which tomatoes ae you growing this year Jeanette? Im already getting excited about next seasons planting, I have ordered (and fermented) my seeds for spring already. I sowed my first cool season crops yesterday: carrots, spinach, rocket, brocoli, cauliflour, parsely. I still have ALOT of tomatoes and eppers to preserve before its all over though. I have run out of jars, and been hunting for new ones in friends and mothers-of-friends kitchens, on the internet, in 2nd hand shops, anywhere I can think of! Im ready to start all over again though :-)
You managed to get a second planting into your bales didnt you? Did you pull the old roots out, or just trim the plant off? Im thinking of trying some brocoli or lettuce when te first tomatoes are over. One row is not far off.
Russ- We have some hills and don't have to worry much about flooding, only in the low areas. That is very flat, beautiful farm country where your DD lives. I'm waiting impatiently for global warming to hit Ohio!
Lena, I planted a whole lot of tomatoes this year. I put in some seeds that I had left over from last year for a plant sale for Master Gardeners on the 10th of May. Then Russ sent me a lot that he had saved from his garden last year. He can tell you about fermenting seeds. LOL
So, the only tomatoes I am growing that I actually know anything about are the Sun Sugar's. A small gold cherry tomato that my sister grew last year and they were like eating candy. Very good. The rest I am going to keep are from Russ.
I only tried a couple of bales on a second year. I left the plants in for the winter so I wouldn't tear the bales apart, and then in the spring they just lifted off. I guess the roots let go at the bale. That is good so they didn't destroy the bale, but I was not real pleased with the tomatoes I grew in them the second year. There wasn't much left of them for the roots and the ground underneath was so hard, which is why I started using the bales in the first place, that the roots couldn't possibly get down in it.
Russ, I really appreciate the bats outside because I don't have any mosquitoes. But, I don't want them flying around the house. I am hearing more and more people have the problem. I don't know what the answer is. I am hoping all of this caulking works. Also I am going to put a screen that falls closed over the deck door because when Bob is using the BBQ cooking dinner at night I think he is guilty of leaving the door open. That doesn't help either.
I did buy from a neighbor 2 more hay bales. My ones from last year especially the cheaper straw bales just fell apart. I do want to grow beans again this year. I haven't even been able to water the bales . We had the first rain of the year yesterday and it really didn't amount to too much and i can't turn the water on in the hoses until I can leave it running as will freeze overnight. 25 degrees this morning and was freezing all night. A good bit of the light hail from our 15min hail storm is still visible. Sure hope April is better.
Lena; I didn't really ferment my seeds, I used an alternant method. I took seeds right from the tomatoes we were eating. Put the seeds in a bowl and added warm water and a little ( oxy- clean ) stired the mix and let it set for about 20 minutes, then stired the mix some more, until the jell on the seeds no longer appeared to be there. I rinsed the seeds 3 times then spread them out to dry. I used a paper towel. but they do stick where they dry but they weren't that hard to get loose by racking my thumb nail over the towel.
A very good fermenting process is on HORSESHOES, home page. You can find his name in the forum on tomatoes. You can even google fermenting tomato seeds and find his page.
I looked at Shoe's diary Russ. from 2005. he let the seeds ferment. Also, he used non-hybrid seeds. That is the answer I think, no matter how you save/clean them. Remember the melon seeds I sent you. Nice plants but no produce.
Yep that was a little disappointing. But since I only had one try to grow, I can't blame it all on the seed. Remember, I planted them right in the bale. There are other factors that could have done mine in. But yes it is possible that they were a seed from a hybrid.
All the mater seeds I sent you are heirloom, so we should be safe there. Just be prepared to tie them up tall. I think I will try to cut the tops on a few, before they reach fifteen feet!! They will definitely grow tall!
I think I read Shoes tutorial on fermenting. Appart from the sweet sweet smell and colony of little fruit flies that moved into my kitchen, all went well. Seeds are clean and dry and in little handmade paper envelopes. I have even traded some seeds with a couple in England. My first seed exchange across DG.
Jeanette: I grew a few gold cherry varieties this year. Yellow pear, yellow plum, gold nugget, sungold 100. Yellow plum impressed me the most with its vigour and productivity. Yellow pear was good too. im not a huge fan of cherry tomatoes though. I like the big meaty ones, too many favourites. Do you have a favourite?
My new seeds for next spring just arrived! Now I must wait. And deal with the many tomatoes I still have. growing them is more than half the fun. I found some seeds for those awesome looking trombocino that Kent had, that should be fun. Still not so sure what they are though. Like a pumpkin, or more like a caugette?
Im thinking about your question Kent. I like that bale gardening is like "instant garden" where nothing would have ever grown (like on my concrete courtyard!) at low cost and effort. Its been an exciting and fascinating process, and I have had alot of fun. Im amazed at how much will grow in bales, even with very little feeding. Feeding more gave some much better results though. Through placing bales around my yard, I discovered some great new potential growing spots. Ill continue to grow things in bales for that reason, to make the most of space. But I have alot of vegetable beds, more than enough, and Im young and fit and seem to find the time to dig them, so bale gardening isnt really necessary for me, its more of a luxury, a bit of fun.
My next bale garden will be smaller, and strictly organic. I need to make it work using feasible organic methods. I dont like that Im growing my food on chemical fertilisers. Thats probably my only gripe with bale gardening: the need to feed, alot. I like the idea of feeding the earth, and letting the earth provide for the plants, which in turn feed me. Feeding the plants with powder from a bag seems unatural. I wouldnt want to be fed powder from a bag!
Things that suprised me... maybe how very very soft and fragile the bale gets! And the amout of grass that sprouts from them. Oh and the funny fungi that turned out to be harmless. The lovely compost full of worms was a rather nice suprise at the end too.
Ive worked out that beans dont like bales, neither does allysum... The bales didnt stain my courtyard which is great. The pumpkin and cucumber roots went right down into the cracks between the concrete plates! I wander what the bales on the lawn will look like underneath. Hopefully Ive suffocated the grass underneath, and can plant winter veg in that spot soon.
You have my curiosity up, as to what a caugette is!
I haven't grown a trombocino either but it is a ZUCCHINI. a type of summer squash.
My thought on it is . The taste would be nearly the same only it is a much larger fruit.
Barb & I are going down town for breakfast, check back later.
Maybe you meant tromboncino, sometimes called 'climbing zucchini'? http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/go/56773/
I grew them last year. The mature squash keeps all winter in my root cellar. The neck is seedless, and sliced, dipped in egg then cornmeal they taste kinda like fried green tomatoes.
Jeanette, Yes for me the hay bales last at least two years. And i feel there is a low nitrogen feed in the hay. I have not been able to prepare my bales. has been too cold. Can't turn my water on and small amount of rain we received a couple of days ago really didn't moisten anything. Still 25 degrees . I had to cover my Juwel cold frame last night too cold for the one flat I put in there.
Russ: A caugette is another word for a zuchini! The words are used interchangeably here.
Darius: Yes thats the one, Tromboncino. The seed packet I have is labelled Rambicante. They keep all winter like a pumpkin? Thats good to know.
Jeanette: I just saw your post on the other thread, but ill answer here. My holidays were over the day after I got back from Germany, about 5 weeks ago! Im in the middle of my 2 week long easter break now. Easter was so early this year, we had to have our mid semester break after only 4 weeks at school. Kind of silly, when there are 13 weeks in the semester. Im already bogged down with reports and assignments to write, they seem to think we like doing them in the holidays.
Yes I miss Germany, and my people there. Its strange not seeing them again for a few years. But thats life, Im used to it being like that. Im still sad every time I leave though, and it takes quite a few weeks to settle in again.
I dont have problems with dogs, they cant get into my well fenced yard. I do get a few flies visiting my compost and the newly spread bloodmeal. The main pests in my garden are birds though, digging up my new seedling rows. I get so frustrated with them! Plastic bags on strings only work the first few days untill they are used to it.
Oh Lena!! Birds scratching in your seedlings? Take some sticks and put them around the border, just short ones, not like your tomato jail. LOL, and then take regular string and tie the string back and forth and sideways from stick to stick. The birds won't want their feet tangled in the string. put it an inch or 2 up off the ground.
Or, some plastic bird netting just lying over the top, doesn't even have to be neat. Just place it over it. Until the seedlings are bigger. Not so big they will get tangled in the netting. Once the seedlings get their roots down in there the birds can't hurt them then take the netting and/or string off.
Also glad to hear that your beans didn't do well in the straw either. I planted mine 3 times and only 2 even germinated.
Kent (or anyone): Just discovered this forum today. Want to try straw bale gardening for my grandkids but they have huge gopher problem in their back yard. Does anyone know if straw bale gardening makes it harder for gophers to get to the veggie plants?
Hey y'all! Well, Kent has gotten me so excited about this straw bale gardening that I have started up a little tiny coop straw bale garden group!!! I've already started putting everything related to the garden in a journal, and will document my progress in detail w/photos.
BUT- I have a few questions that even KENT couldn't speak to (because he hasn't tried these particular crops). Have any of you tried growing things like
carrots, scallions, broccolli, brussels sprouts, cauliflower? Do the things
that generally grow under ground (the carrots, radishes, etc.) need to be
in straw-filled trenches, or can they just develop inside the bales, above
the ground? And how about the scallions, broccolli and brussels sprouts?
Do you know? I'd be most appreciative of any directives.
In this regard, I've put 'ads' on several of the local freecycle sites, looking for straw bales, fertilizers, hoses, trellis wood & wire mesh, plants, seeds, etc. I'll let you know how I make out!
Also, I do organic gardening and am looking for the optimum organic version of ammonium nitrate. So far, it looks like either dried blood or (and?) Milorganite 5-2-0 or 6-2-0. Any opinions? And then will a 12-12-12 balanced fertilizer work as well as a 10-10-10 for the final conditioning of the bales?
Susan: I cured my bales organically using fresh horse manure tea. And some blood meal. It worked fine.
I think we have had the carrots question and it still remains unanswered as far as I know. Some say no, some say why not. Im about to try broccolli for the first time. I think Kent successfully grew collard in bales a while ago. Someone else may be able to help more.
Suzan: Whatever nitrogen source you add to the bales needs to be readily soluble in water - no time-release type additives. You'll feed your plants later.
To test, put whatever nitrogen source you have in a bucket and add some water and stir. If it dissolves easily, then use it.
There is really no "final conditioning" phase.
We just pump that nitrogen into the bales to increase the decomposition activity. Add warm outside temps and moisture and you have the best environment.
Once that bale heats up from all that decomposition going on inside at one time, the temp will spike and will start to drop back down and continue to come down.
So, whatever you start with that gets those bales "cooking", just stick with that and you'll be fine.
I use a turkey cooker thermometer or my hands to check on the bale temps. It's kind of neat feeling the warmth from inside the bales. You know something is going on.
Again, a key ingredient is the outside temps. That really helps sustain the chemical activity inside the bales. If it's too cold, then no matter what you add to the bales, not a whole lot of "heat" is going to be generated.
I'm real interested to know what you all may have found helpful to add to the bales for growing specific vegetables- I read someone who said that they used lime for tomatoes . . is that added to the bale during the initial conditioning or later?
Also, I know that melons are kind of persnickety and like certain soil additives- can anyone help me with what might be good to add for : beans, melons, etc., and WHEN/HOW to add them? Many thanks. It's been about 12 years since I was able to garden, so this is so very exciting for me!
Kent: The 'final phase' in the conditioning process I was referring to was the time at the end, after the nitrogen/dried blood phase, when you said to use a 10-10-10 fertilizer for 2 days. Miracle Grow isn't really organic and so I'm trying to figure a good organic substitute for it.
Thanks, again, Kent. My guru! So maybe just watering with a compost tea at the end would be good? As far as fertilizing after planting, would I just use a compost tea for that, too? Or dissolve an organic balanced fertilizer and water with it? What's best?
Also, who can I talk to re: trying hay bales (at least partially)- do you know anyone who's done that? I'm thinking of trying some of each and just documenting the results.
Suzan: feed your plants with whatever method you prefer, keeping in mind how often and how strong, just like dirt-farming. Your plants will "tell" you what's happening or not happening.
Since you're leaning toward organic farming, go back and read all of Lena's posts from NZ. She has done an excellent job in that area.
Plus, we had some folks in the early threads, Parts 1 - 10, who were into organic.
As for the hay users, maybe some of those folks will comment. I've only had experience with straw, but I don't remember any negative comments about grass/hay bales, in fact, they seem to be very pleased with their results.
I am only into my second year of bale gardening. but I did plant in both straw and hay bales last year. Was far more happy with the alfalfa hay bales, so am only using hay bales this season. I bought from a friend second cutting alfalfa hay, as it is usually pretty weed free. Haven't been able to do much yet except put the bales in place. Has been much too cold. this morning probably broke a record for this date, got down to 17 degrees a little while ago, now starting the uphill climb. Think I probably lost some plants in my little cold frame even tho covered with a blanket.
Many thanks, Kent, Lena and Donna, for your thoughtful posts. I was able, finally, to find someone local with rye straw- but it's $6/bale! I'm thinking of trying 1/3 straw and 2/3 hay (which I can get for half the price).
I'll keep good records and post regularly. Am curious to know about the diaries I have seen referred to, and also how to post photos to this forum?
It took me a while too, figuring out how to post a photo.
Click on browse under your post. That should get you close to where your pictures are. I have to click on the down arrow in the small box at the top. then click on documents. That opens another set of items. and then I select pictures. then find the picture you want click on it, and click on open that puts the selected picture in the image box. You can then send or preview before sending.
I'm not real happy with the program for my pictures. Hope yours works faster.
Good luck on the bale garden. Last year I had only one hay bale. I too found it to do slightly better than the oat straw.
I cannot complain about that as I got my bales free. By helping to clean out a retired farmer's hay loft. I still have to go get mine for this year they are still in his loft, and I have some more cleaning to do. Good for him, Good for me. as I too am retired. The tomatoes were outstanding. The vines were still full up untill it was suposed to freeze one night. I picked all that was on the vines. I had to share with a friend, which worked out as he wanted to make some green salsa.
Ahhh, Russ- An abundance of green tomatoes is a WONDERFUL wealth to have! My problem with tomatoes and zucchini is letting them mature! Fried green tomatoes and batter fried zucchini blossoms are 2 of my favorite things to eat!!
It was neat- when I called the fellow who I finally located to get the straw bales from and told him what I was doing, he said his mom has done it for a while!
Thanks for your tips on downloading the photos here- hopefully I'll have something to photograph SOON! (In the meantime, here's one of my echinacea and a little friend from last summer!)
Hey Suzan; You even got the Bumble Bee.
Glad I could help.
This was early in the season with peppers and tomatoes in the bales. I have to admitt I had the bales with not near enough room between the two rows. and the 10 10 10 fertilizer probably didn't get watered in soon enough. This year I have liquid fertilizer, pluss I will have some good old horse poo to make some tea for them.
I had little mushrooms poping up from the bales, guess they don't hurt anything though. They only last long enough for the sun to melt them.
Just wanted to say hello. Hope to start my second straw bale garden again this year. Right now I'm still looking for straw bales. Reading the prices around here has really scared me. Hope it isn't that bad.
Thank you for all the news I've been reading. Has anyone come up with a good support system? I accidentally found Strawman's photo of the tomato tunnel! Sure could have used that last year. I'm going to set up for it this year. Did you use regular redtop fencing? or is it the reenforcement for concrete?
Kathy, I purchased several 10' cedar rails from Lowe's, like used in post & rail fences. Put them in the ground about 2' deep and a litrtle over 5' on center (4 posts for 1 cattle panel, or in my case 7 posts for 2 panels), and stapled cattle panels above the top of the bales. Ran a row of bales down each side. My mistake was in leaving too large a gap between the bales and the wire cattle panels. The failure was that nothing would reach the wire panels to start to climb and I was too ill at the time to stake stuff.
I've got 2 more panels coming and will cut them lengthwise and add to the bottom of the existing panels. I might even add some length to my rig. Right now it's 32 feet long (2 panels). My winter squash in the bales did too good and spread out over the edges by about 15 feet so this year they go elsewhere.
Thank you , Darius. That sounds very interesting. I may try to do that, with the exception of the cattle panels. I have a roll of fencewire here and need to use what I have. I also have the rails! I'll just add more support across the middle and it may work.
Last year, our garden was a gift from God. Helped my husband through his illness too. Just watching it grow was a joy to him. Our pantry is still pretty well stocked from vegetables I was able to can. We were totally amazed by the bounty.
I was a doubter on this straw bale gardening. Just in case, I worked part time at a community garden just to be sure we would have groceries. Boy, my back ached! While the most work I had in our garden was my lack of support. It is pretty windy here. Then the veggies started growing and soon we were making more in our little garden than my share in the dirt garden. I just stopped taking any pay, so to speak. We had more than enough and plenty to share. This is definitely the way to garden.
Quoting:I accidentally found Strawman's photo of the tomato tunnel! Sure could have used that last year. I'm going to set up for it this year. Did you use regular redtop fencing? or is it the reenforcement for concrete?
I used concrete wire. But, even that was not strong enough to hold the weight, especially when the tomatoes got wet. You'll need some support, but not as heavy as what my photo shows. The 2x4's were all I had available at the time.
O-Tay! It's really underway!! I had my 20 straw bales delivered today(see picture below) and am getting an equal number of haybales this weekend. Got 150' of good new garden hose and 3 - 50' lengths of soaker hose, with all the hook-ups. I AM PSYCHED (or psycho!)! See what you've done, Kent??
The garden, once it got cleaned up today, is much larger than I need, so in the interest of keeping it neat and managable, I'm getting the boundary/critter fencing moved on Friday. Then, on Saturday, I can start soaking/treating my bales. My friend (who's going in on this endeavor with me) bought 4- 5 lb. bags of Urea, so I guess I'll use that.
Got 50 peat pots planted tonight with a variety of stuff: broccoli, crookneck squash, brussels sprouts, 4 varieties of tomatoes, cucumbers, and have a bunch more to start tomorrow, and a bunch MORE to direct seed into the bales! (Found out today that MiracleGro finally has an Organic potting mix this year!)
Whew! OK, Jeanette- it's official now. I'm in the game!
I am hoping to start prepping my hay bales today. it has been too cold, couldn't even turn the water on and leave it on. But yesterday was really like spring, it was 56 degrees, sunny and no wind, and wouldn't you know too much else going on hardly got into the garden at all. Today is supposed to be nice, but was down to 24 degrees again this morning. Good luck everyone with baled gardening.
I am trying this method for the first time: bought several bales last summer and have let them "cure" over the winter. I bought lots of strawberry starts yesterday and can't wait to get them planted. Any general advice? Thanks!
Sounds good Suzan. What are your temperatures running now?
Love dirty nails, do you have a name?
How do your bales look after the winter of sitting there? I am assuming the weather wasn't warm enough that they decomposed much?? Can you stick your hand down in them to feel how they are inside? Just curious. What kind are they?
Hi jeanette, my name is anne! The bales look OK - at least, they have maintained their general shape. they did decompose a little - which I suppose is good, right, in terms of being ready for planting??? I have NOT stuck my hand down inside of them - I"m not sure I could...they're still pretty compact. I bought these from a hay farmer here in portland who couldn't sell them for feed because they had gotten wet after being cut, so I guess that would make it straw...? I don't know too much about this kind of thing.----Anne
Yes decomposing is what you are after, to a degree. How are you going to get your nails dirty if you don't stick your hand down in them??? Just force a section apart in the middle of the bale and shove your hand down in and feel for the texture.
No, that doesn't make them straw. It makes them wet, or maybe even a little moldy hay. Should be good nitrogen in them, and maybe they did decompose inside good. Let us know.
I'm glad to see some more Oregonians into bales.
I don't have a problem with gophers in my bales but in my raised beds I use a 1/4" hardware screen under.
I had more tomatoes last summer than I have ever had because of my bales.. I still have some in the freezer I need to use. I guess I will stew them in jars for this spring.
I will start to get my bales for this year going this next week. I know the temps are a little low but by the time the bales cook it will be time to plant.
Good Luck all.
Jeanette; Beautiful weather today. It started out with fog that you could almost see 15 feet. But when the sun burned it off, - - - Beautiful It got up near 70 F I really took advantage of it too. But wouldn't you know it; I had to make a run to the city for some 2x4s.
I thought I had more but when I uncovered the lumber for the patio roof, there was only 4. Now I do remember I had planed to use 2x6s for the rafters. I think the 2x4s were fore something else. I think they were for a bridge over my pond that I have lost interest in, When somebody couldn't keep their grubby hands off. and stole nearly 60 of my KOI.
I gave the rest to Gary at the Barn. He has a dog that will watch for him.
LOL Russ, when you said Gary at the Barn I thought you were going to have a fish fry.
Dang Russ, we are suppose to get 4 more inches of snow tonight. And here you are up to 70?? That is wicked. I don't think we are going to have any summer this year.
A friend and I spent 4 hours repotting plants into 3 inch pots for the Master Gardener's plant sale next month. I'm not a MG but offered to help out. My kitchen is full of plants. Dahlias I planted from seed last month I'll bet are getting tubers already. Maybe I should pull them up and see. LOL.
I will have to look for the CD with the pond.
Right now I'm fully ingrosed in constructing a small green house and still need to go get my bales.
I put out a big garden in dirt. and will still be trying bales again for tomatoes and some small melons. The nice thing about the bales for me is they don't have to be in the garden area. I have right at an acre and a half, and can be put any where I want them. I don't have neighbors that would really see my yard or my garden.
Well back to work. Just came in for lunch and a rest. will look up the pics later.
Wow thats beautiful Russ! And the fish are very cute. I hope whoever has them is looking after them, and that it wasnt a racoon like Jeanette suggested. Thank you for showing us. I think my pet turtle "Sage" would love your pond too. One day when I have my own place I will build him a pond in my garden. Untill then we will both keep dreaming...
Jeanette; No I Know it wasn't a raccoon.
The worst part is; there is one other pond in town besides Gary's that I dug for him, big enough for KOI.
This other person told someone that he had too many and gave some to a friend. I went and looked at his pond, And I saw many of mine mixed in with his. Of course my big ones were not there. I suppose he thought the big ones were the only ones I would recognize. One of the big ones had unique markings. She left those markings on all her young.
When I thought of him as a friend and visited his pond, there were none like mine.
My pond has straight drop off on all sides, which deters coons. his does not.
My thought is coons got to his pond and he knew I had a lot of koi.
Didn't think I would miss a few.
He knows I was really up set. He also knows that I made the statement, that because of thieves I can't have any fish. And that I got rid of the rest.
I would love to find a place that is loaded with common carp. Seine them and dump about 50 or so in his pond!
I guess I would have an evil grin on my face for a while. Huh?
Russ, Sure sorry about your loss of Koi , I only have one, and I know they are expensive. I do have about 35 or so goldfish, the oldest being more than 15 years. I can hardly imagine someone being mean enough or bold enough to steal someones fish. My ponds are not as large as yours and are ready for spring. There are about 12 or 15 frogs and/or toads in the smaller pool now and really talking it up.
Well, Donna; I do like to hear frogs. So for now I think it would be safe to have frogs and turtles.
Since I have had time to think things over, I have even thought about raising catfish. I probably would not have eaten any of the KOI. But now catfish, that would be a different story. The way the inflation is heading It could be a better way to go anyway.
We don't have to drive much, but we can't seem to stop eating.
I'm making my garden bigger, putting in more of every thing. Gary and I are going to work together, in that I can use his store front to sell some of the produce. We will give it a shot anyway!
Russ, that sounds like a great idea. Working with Gary to sell your produce. However, don't you get in over your head and overdo it. That is a lot of work. I am find out how much work it is just to sell the plants I am raising for the MG plant sale not even raising them through the summer and then all the canning etc. that you do.
Well, it got pretty chilly here today while I was soaking my bales for the second day- I guess tomorrow I'll do the first urea application. Kent (or anyone), can you tell me: shall I dissolve the urea and pour it over thebales as a liquid or just broadcast the powder and water it in with the hoses?
I worked so hard yesterday, but it was really worthwhile (I'm trying to convince my back now)! Got the bales situated, straw on one side and a mirror image of the same bale configuration in hay. My friend and I moved all the fences (big job!) to make it a more manageable size. Next, I think we'll put down layers of newspaper (my tenant has tons!) between the rows of bales. I'll attach a picture. Started a lot of seeds (over a warming pad) and got another one today so I can start a second tray. (Oh yes! And I found 6 praying mantis cocoons!)
Wish I had room for a lovely pond like yours, Russ. Maybe in my next lifetime . . .
Jeanette; Yup, it's a lot of work! We sure enjoy the fruits of our labor in the winter when the cold bites and nothing will grow.
I just potted up another 28 sweet potatoes. About 1/3 of them were Blackies.
I know I have way too many tomato plants. I know I will not have that many bales however I have always have had good luck with them in the dirt as well.
If I didn't have good access to nearly all the grass clippings, to mulch between the rows, I would probably think twice about that big of a garden.
I hope a lot of people at the RU want castor bean plants. I have around 140 of them. Moby from Lincoln is bringing some as well.
I also have 70 or 80 pepper plants. Some are hot other are Bells.
I haven't started any of the yellow banana yet, I've run out of room on my plant stand.
I got a quite a bit done on framing in the greenhouse. Hopefully I will get done tomorrow and start moving some of the plants to it.
Have to start pressing to get the rest of the tinware back onto my garden tractor. That will save me a lot of the backbreaking work of rototilling.
Just looked at the time, guess I better get this old man to bed.
Hey Suz; I like the table and chairs by the garden.
I always have a chair, but haven't thought about the table yet.
If I put a table out there, I would probably have to have a cooler too. LOL
Looks like your garden is taking shape
I'm trying to hurry my self to finish my greenhouse. Then I need to go get my bales yet. Lucky for me that very few around here are doing the bale garden or I might not be able to wait. :>)
I can't really answer your question on dissolving the urea or not . I spread mine on last year and kept watering it in. It took a while but it did eventully water in . Blood meal, seems to water in faster. Then I also put 10-10-10 fertilizer on and that took more time to all dissolve.
Then what peppers I had planted in the bales never really did do real well. untill almost too late. I know I didn't really know what I was doing. I sure was trying to do everything I could, and hoping it was right.
The tomatoes did great.
Russ, what size pots do you have your caster beans, peppers, tomatoes etc. in? Are they in the ones that you are taking to the RU? When is that anyway? And, where?
I don't know about dissolving the Urea to apply it. Never tried that. I just dumped it on, or sprinkled it I guess, and watered it in. Same with the home made fertilizer mix I got from Perry's instructions. When I used triple 20 I dissolved it and poured it on.
J'nette: I was confused by that recipe from Perry, because it contained some sort of ingredient mix that you and he had apparently discussed in a previous post (to the one where he gave the recipe), but I wasn't able to track it down. Can you put the entire recipe on again, for those of us that didn't get it all?
I went to check on my peat pots today (I planted them on the 2nd, and set the tray on a heating pad set on low, with a plastic bag over it). I couldn't believe my eyes- about half of them (25 out of 50) had not only germinated, but several were 3-4" tall!!! That's really faster than I wanted them to grow! I also found a deer tick on/in my neck this afternoon- doctor's visit tomorrow.
If Kent (or anyone) knows anything more about applying the urea, let me know- I think I'll do that tomorrow. 3 days of soaking should be a good enough start.
Hi ,i've been reading this thread with total facination. ,I'm in the city very small yard but I'm going to check and see about the hay bales and my X has extra lot on his property and my daughters and they said if i want to try this to go for it. My sons will hve to help if i can obtain the hay but this really great ,ill let you know if we can get it started ...Sharon
Thanks, J'nette- $10 is a little steep for me- I'd sooner use it on another bag of Urea . . . but thanks. I'll just go back and try to find Perry's recipe and try to figure out what "extra ingredients" he was talking about. I did the second Urea treatment of my 403 bales today- it takes 2-5 lb. bags each time (I'll need 2 more and then, hopefully, will be through with the conditioning part).
I had fun tonight and made a sign for the garden- I'll take a picture of it tomorrow and post it . . . It's the "Glory Bee Garden of Peace and Abundance" (or, at least, that's what I'm working on!)
Goodnight, gardeners. (OMG! I got so into painting the sign, I hadn't realized- it's quarter of 3 am!)
Russ, how is your weather now? Would you believe we haven;t had a night time temp above freezing since October and they are predicting 70 degrees day time temp for a day or 2 this weekend? Now, they said one night MIGHT get up to 40.
Jeanette, I think warmer weather is coming your way. We have had a couple of really nice days and last night I didn't have to move my sdlg. tomatoes inside. Temp only got down to 36 degrees. Spring might be here. Hurray
Jeanett; Spring is on its way. We've had snow and rain the past couple days and temps in the lower thirties. Tomorrow is promising up to 50 then Mon and Tue, much better may even get back up to 70.
This nasty stuff has left a lot of moisture behind though, so I don't think I'll be able to do any tilling yet. I really need to get my onions in, and some radishes. Some have found out that I will be selling some produce. So they have requested some white radishes already.
Just hope I don't disappoint anyone. LOL
I know I certainly am ready for warmer weather.
I spent a couple days constructing a greenhouse. Yesterday my canvas shed took flight and landed on the other side of the fence. It would probably have gone further but a rope caught the fence. More work right?
Well I wanted to move it any way, to make room for more garden space. Not over to the neighbors though. This time it gets a steel post at all four corners. not just a small stake. Well for a while my mowers, skid loader and other lawn and garden equipment will be uncovered.
I really hope this was winters last blast before letting spring take over.
I have a couple tomato plants starting to bloom. They really need to be out. However today is cold and wet, and we spent most of the day, celebrating two of the GG children's birthdays, and all I feel like now is heading for the recliner. To be honest that is exactly what I plan to do. LOL
LOL, Russ, those people are used to getting the produce for free. What happens when they don;t get any at all?
Sounds like our whether is going right on East. Donna told me it was coming, and I now have all the doors in the house open, airing it out. So, I am sure you can count on it in a couple of days. It is 67 right now, so maybe in an hour or so it will be 70. That is in the shade on the north side of the house where we still have snow.
My tomato plant in the nutrients is budded. I got some bloom fertilizer yesterday so will change the water tomorrow and maybe by the time I get back from Seattle I will have ripe tomatoes. LOL
Temp did get up to 71 degrees yesterday. First day to work out in yard in short sleeves. Had to do some irrigating , has been quite windy this week and so ground is drying out very fast. Not sure I kept the soil moist enough where I planted the poppy seeds. I could plants some tomato plants, they are large enough but it is still early April and I know we will get more cold weather.
Oh, yes, for sure Spring is here! How do I know? Because the first wasp crawled out of the woodwork in my greenhouse yesterday (completely freaking me out--I'm terrified of the darn things!) and my DH had to squash his first yellowjacket out in the barn!
Could someone please tell me where the full instructions are for starting the strawbales? I really want to try that this year and I need to get them started! I know I've seen the instructions posted several times so I hate to ask for them again; it would be nice if there were a link at the top of each thread.