This week I finished nitrogen seeding the straw bales. Temperature is a toasty 95F, compared to 50F for my large raised beds and 45F for my ground soil. I’ll have to wait till they get back to around 75F before I can put my tomatoes in them.
A five day temperature comparison
This week I started my second attempt in 10 years using straw bales. Last time I bought a load of bales & went for it using some fertilizers & water. Wasn't very successful. Recently I listened to some podcasts & read a useful description on the milorganite website.
Monday I got 5 bales (more manageable + the price has gone up a lot), put 3 cups of milorganite in each bale, watered & covered them in black plastic (to help any weed sprouting). So far, so good.
14. August 2017
I'd forgotten that this had happened last year. The things we don't remember!
27. July 2017
Finally, I'm beating the birds and squirrels to the ingredients necessary for green tomato chutney!
22. May 2017
You may have noticed that I painted the tubes different colours, one set green and the second set red. For the 10 tubes, odd numbered ones are red and even numbered are green. "Half" of each also have different soil mixes in them, so I have two experimental conditions .... not ideal really but I needed to eliminate some conditions pretty quickly. I did start with four types of mixes but two of them, as I noted earlier, quickly showed how poor they were at water retention. The main difference...
15. May 2017
We conducted our first harvest on Sunday ... Marnie enjoyed the experience of harvesting from the tubes compared to the ground. Made a huge difference in her comfort.
08. May 2017
Going back and talking about the strawberry tower growing project.
07. July 2013
It's been a wet month since I last added to this page. Lots of rain for June, I've recorded almost 10 inches (approx. 200mm), and July has added another 1.5" (50mm) so far. The backyard is a swamp, though surprisingly the mosquitoes are not as numerous (probably because there is no standing water for long, it gets rained out!). I managed to get my neighbor's bob cat up to it's back axles in mud trying to pull a pear root out of the ground, and in the process learnt all about pulling yourself...
04. June 2013
This time last year we were already harvesting basil from the field. What a difference the cooler April and May have made. The basil in the ground is still only 6 to 8 inches tall, and some beds are struggling to be more than 2 inches. Meanwhile, I have a few personal pots that are closer to 1 foot, and side branching. A clear case of how much soil temperature matters. My plan was to cycle out older woody basil plants by early July to have fresher growth, but this schedule is all thrown out. Of...