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A garden is only as good as the ground that it's planted in. Discussion forum for the many ways to improve the soil where we plant our gardens.

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Old May 12, 2016   #166
bower
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I love the height you're getting on those raised no-till beds. Very inspiring for us, I bet the roots get really nice and warm.
Looking forward to your varieties report... fantastic you can grow so many.
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Old May 13, 2016   #167
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Thanks guys. It is like an oven in there when I stick my hands in to plant. Plus, there is a ton of plant matter that is still alive. It's very "hot" in a bacterial sense. I have lost one out of about every 20-30 plants from stem rot. The rest seem to be taking off nicely. The last of the plants I planted had been in six-packs way too long. I was picking blooms off of them, and they didn't look nearly good enough to sell. But most of them seem to be taking off. The ridges will drop as all that plant matter decomposes. The worms are having a great time eating all of that decomposing sod. I have them everywhere. They like the ridges as a place to get up out of the soggy ground when it rains.

I just bought a 50 pound bag of calcium nitrate at a local farm supply store for $28. If I can keep it from turning to liquid, that will last years. Cal nitrate sucks up water out of the air. The employee at the store spilled a little in the back of my truck. It was a humid day. And after a 30-minute drive home, most of the stuff spilled into the truck bed had melted into liquid.

I had some market customers last week wrinkle their nose at me when they asked if I was organic, and I said no. I tried to explain that I didn't use chemical pesticides, fungicides, or herbicides and the tiny amounts of chemical fertilizer that I am using are less damaging to the environment than organic fertilizer applied across a field and allowed to run off with every rain. I'm not sure they wanted the lecture, though. People often prefer easy labels over having to understand complex issues.
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Old May 13, 2016   #168
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I've always found your farming practice admirable. Way to go, Cole.

This has been such an enlightening and enjoyable read. Looking forward to learning more from you as the season progresses.

Thanks for sharing the tidbits of knowledge, and caring about the environment, and you being you.

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I had some market customers last week wrinkle their nose at me when they asked if I was organic, and I said no. I tried to explain that I didn't use chemical pesticides, fungicides, or herbicides and the tiny amounts of chemical fertilizer that I am using are less damaging to the environment than organic fertilizer applied across a field and allowed to run off with every rain. I'm not sure they wanted the lecture, though. People often prefer easy labels over having to understand complex issues.
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Old May 13, 2016   #169
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Thanks for the tip, rabbits are running this neighborhood! Might frost tomorrow night - pray not! got 40 plants in the ground - nothing compared to the wonderful list and quantity of Cole's
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Old May 14, 2016   #170
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What a great grow list you have! I can not wait to hear your reviews.

This is turning into a great thread to follow.

By the way Cole, could you please tell me the source of your Daniel Burson seeds? You could certainly PM me about this, I'll understand. DB is just something that I am awfully interested in this year....
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Old May 14, 2016   #171
Cole_Robbie
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Thank you, everyone.

I honestly don't remember who sent me the DB. It was either from Tormato's swap, or sent through an individual trade. I do too many to keep track of.
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Old May 19, 2016   #172
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My row of dwarfs is my nicest-looking row of outdoor plants right now. Jade Beauty is closest to the camera: http://i.imgur.com/8ak3Z1M.jpg
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Old May 19, 2016   #173
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Looks really good Cole.

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Old May 22, 2016   #174
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cole_Robbie View Post
I'm on a 5 GB a month Internet data plan, so threads with a lot of pics eat up my data when they load.
Yep I live this one as well. AT&T no contract wifi $50.00 for 5 GB and $75.00 for 8 GB. I just buy the 8 GB package now.

Anyway...

I use google's chrome web browser because of images. Then I add this extension. Block Image.

I also use Adblock Plus to block all video's.

If i want to see the images posted in a thread I just hit the button for it and refresh. This saves all kinds of bandwidth on the pictures...

I'm not sure about the video's tho. All I know is if i don't see the vids than I wont watch them...

Now this has been a fantastic thread for me. So many of my questions were answered. Cole_Robbie please put me on your seed list. That is one heck of a collection!

Last edited by MrSalvage; May 22, 2016 at 03:55 AM. Reason: Spelling
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Old May 24, 2016   #175
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Thanks guys.

My mom and stepdad spent all afternoon tilling. They just bought a new Honda tiller. They wore out a Husqvarna in one season last summer. They still didn't get everything tilled. As soon as it rains again, all the grass comes back up. So they have to have a tilling marathon every other week or so to keep the grass from taking over. It was a lot of work to put my plastic down, but so is tilling. And I only had to do it once.

May has been cold and wet, much more so than April. It was 80 and sunny in April, so everyone wanted to plant their gardens. I mostly sold out of plants. Then this month the weather changed, and most people's gardens are hardly growing. The tilled garden tomato plants are 6-8" tall and not even blooming yet. Weather like this, cool and wet, is really where the black plastic and raised ridges pay off. I have green tomatoes everywhere. I'll be picking Cole and Anmore Dew Drops in about two weeks. Depending on how the weather plays out, my garden is about a month ahead of the tilled garden. That's what I get off the high tunnel - a one month earliness advantage. The high tunnel is going to produce enough to sell before my outdoor garden does, but not by a lot. And once again, that depends on weather. The high tunnel plants are not at much of an advantage on a day that the sun doesn't shine.
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Old May 24, 2016   #176
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Why is it that people get so ingrained in something that they cant see any other way? I face this all the time when I tell people I use no-till. Many times they give me a sideways look and act like I'm crazy. My neighbor almost killed himself tilling last year and within a month everything he had tilled was a weedy mud pit, yet he still tills even after I explained to him it was a waste of time and he could save himself a lot of work. I'm just glad I am open to new ideas because I am 180 degrees from where I started because of it.
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Old June 2, 2016   #177
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Today's garden pic: http://i.imgur.com/A2TFY3C.jpg

I just picked and ate a handful of Anmore Treasures and Anmore Dew Drops from my outdoor plants. Ripe tomatoes by the 4th of July is considered doing well in my climate. And it's been cold and wet. It's still getting into the low 50's at night. I wanted to use low tunnels but never got them built. It would take a very dense planting, but a low tunnel crop of these two could be a very early crop for market, especially if I had some sort of emergency heat for freezing nights. They would need no support at all, which is going to be a requirement if I can ever grow tomatoes by the acre.

My three Cole plants don't look great, but they got stunted and sick from being started too early. I will get enough off of them for a seed crop, which is what I wanted. That's another low tunnel candidate variety.

The tilled garden plants are starting to grow. They're about knee-high. I see a few blooms. If it would stop raining so much, they would take off.
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Old June 2, 2016   #178
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Your garden looks fabulous!
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Old June 2, 2016   #179
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Early crop is certainly worth the money, Cole. Ripe fruit on June 2 is amazing. If anyone can fill that market niche you'll do it. Inspiration for everyone.
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Old June 2, 2016   #180
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Thank you both.

Another thing I forgot to mention is that I keep getting leaf curl stress on the bottom leaves whenever I use my fertilizer injector, even though there is no fertilizer in the soil. It happens both with the Cal Nitrate and the 4-18-38. I'm going to lay off the fertigation for a while. The plants don't seem to like it.

My theory is that I have a soil high in humates and other nutrient uptake accelerators. That's what I wanted, but I am finding that it's extremely easy to over-fertilize. Maybe I will try some molasses next, instead of chem ferts.
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