Planted Out Today In NorCal - March 3 (pics)

rnewste(8b NorCal)March 4, 2013

We been having a very warm Spring - the cherry blossoms are out in full bloom, and with the long range forecast for continuing warm weather the rest of March, I decided to take a chance and plant out today:


Early Large Red............................................... ........Vilmorin Dona F1


Goose Creek


Desters


Soren's MarNar


Momotaro.......................................... .................................................. ..Big Beef


Jetsetter......................................... ....................................Supersonic


Better Boy............................................... .........Big Daddy


Park's Whopper........................................... ........BTD Pink


Berkeley Tie-Dye....................................WBF Beauty King

I am trialing a selection of fertilizers to see if I can come up with an alternative to Tomato-tone (more about the trials in another post in a week or so).

So far, the Snow Peas are doing great:

Same with the Sugar Snap Peas:

Looking forward to an interesting Summer.

Raybo

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uncle_t(Z6 Ontario CAN)

Peas look great! Have you got tomato seedling backups in case of frost?

    Bookmark   March 4, 2013 at 8:20PM
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robeb_gw

Looking good Ray.

Did you start from seed? Reason I ask is because the tom plants seem to be so far along that you had to support them. Wondering if you started them early or purchased transplants.

Good luck with your growing season. I always enjoy your informative posts.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2013 at 10:30PM
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rnewste(8b NorCal)

I started from seed on January 11. The Burpee XL Ultimate growing system exceeded my expectations // 100% germination. Next year, I will wait until January 25 to start them, as these were getting a bit leggy the last couple of weeks.

Here they were on Feb 8:

Raybo

This post was edited by rnewste on Mon, Mar 4, 13 at 23:11

    Bookmark   March 4, 2013 at 10:36PM
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MrClint

Raybo, I'm just a casual observer, but I would check the PS number on the bottom of those plastic cups (if you haven't already). The plastic used in the 31 gallon Rugged Tote is made of LLDPE (Linear Low Density Polyethylene) which is recycling #4, so it should be fine to use as a planter for edibles. I am not so sure about those cups.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2013 at 9:37PM
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rnewste(8b NorCal)

mrclint,

Those are Solo DRINKING cups. I would think that if the FDA has rated them safe for drinking out of - - then growing seedlings should not be of concern - or am I missing something?

Raybo

    Bookmark   March 10, 2013 at 10:29PM
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TheMasterGardener1(5B)

Hey nice plants. And yes those solo cups are safe to use. :)

I will be doing some tomatoes this year and hope to get them out in another month or so if all goes well.

Nice varieties there. I cant wait to get growing some tomaotes too!

Happy growing.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2013 at 10:38PM
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MrClint

Yes, you may be missing something. The only way to know for sure is to check the rating number on the bottom of the cup, it will have one of these symbols/numbers:

I'm guessing it to be Number 6 - PS - Polystyrene, which is normally a single use disposable food container. I am unaware of #6 PS being used as plastic plant containers.

I am no expert on the matter by any means, so it's up to you to determine if it is safe to use as a plant pot (or not).

    Bookmark   March 11, 2013 at 2:13AM
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suncitylinda

So all of us that have started seedlings in empty egg cartons all these years are DOOMED =)

    Bookmark   March 11, 2013 at 12:51PM
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rnewste(8b NorCal)

mrclint,

I agree that we all need to assess risks of products we use and try to find the most benign vessels for drinking, eating, etc. One of the ironies is that a well meaning lady took me to task at a recent plant sale I attended, for growing tomatoes in LDPE containers. As she stood there sipping her Starbucks coffee, I asked her if she was aware that she was sipping hot corrosive coffee through the sippy lid which was also made of LDPE plastic. I suggested what she was doing was 10,000 times more dangerous to health versus growing tomatoes in containers.

Needless to say, she relented on my use of LDPE container growing! There are all sorts of risks out there every day - just keep in mind "the big picture".

Raybo

    Bookmark   March 11, 2013 at 2:28PM
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suncitylinda

Sorry if I was rude, I find it sadly funny (now theres an oxymoron) that government would approve safety of a drinking cup for one use. Seems like great material for late night comedians.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2013 at 3:00PM
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DIYGardening(9)

Hell everything we do seems to kill us eventually. Oh the crime in growing in plastics. I find it funny how people are so concerned about your health & eating home grown food yet they end up eating fake fast food and go about their business like its no big deal. Growing any type of food at home is better than anything bought in the stores even if its grown in plastic.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2013 at 6:55PM
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MrClint

Got it.
* The solo cups may or may not be completely safe to use as plant pots, but there is a more important-big-nebulous-picture to focus on instead.
* Since we are Martha Stewart clones, everything we buy/use has to have more than one purpose in order to have value (you can't just throw away solo cups after a party, they have to be used for tomato plants - likewise for egg cartons). If you bought solo cups to use as planting pots, that would spawn a completely different theory.
* Our great and wonderful government would never allow bad things to happen to unsuspecting people like us. If something is safe for one purpose, it is automatically safe for any other purpose. That's just common sense.
* We are all going to die anyway, so no need to get all worked up about stuff that may harm you or your family at some later time.
* Contacting the manufacturer or spending one minute of research would be a big waste of time for all of the above stated reasons.

I think we can all move on now. :)

    Bookmark   March 11, 2013 at 10:57PM
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robeb_gw

I think we can all move on now. :)

You hijacked this thread.
Perhaps you should move on and start your own thread about the evils of plastic.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2013 at 12:14AM
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suncitylinda

Thank you Robeb. I really didnt want to have to appologize for being rude. again.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2013 at 12:34AM
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sumith2008(9)

Seriously there are people like this clown who want to dance around raining on other peoples growing techniques. If you want to be all organic and use back to eden or whatever holy grail of gardening by all means do so. No body is stopping you! You should worry more about sitting on your sofa than the plastics that are unsafe.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2013 at 12:59AM
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TheMasterGardener1(5B)

rnewste,

What kind of soil you using this year?

    Bookmark   March 12, 2013 at 11:20AM
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rnewste(8b NorCal)

I am blending my own Grow Media. It is 3 parts Pro-Mix, 2 parts Microbark, and 1 part Perlite. This gives me a well draining Mix which still wicks up well in a SWC.

Raybo

    Bookmark   March 12, 2013 at 1:11PM
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TheMasterGardener1(5B)

Nice mix. I cant wait to see your first harvset.

This post was edited by TheMasterGardener1 on Thu, Mar 14, 13 at 20:22

    Bookmark   March 13, 2013 at 2:08PM
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Remodeller

Hey Raybo-
Do you think that mix would work for Bell Peppers as well? & other salsa ingredients?

    Bookmark   May 8, 2013 at 9:22AM
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rnewste(8b NorCal)

I use the same 3:2:1 Combo Mix for all my plants:

As of May 1, 2013:

My Peppers:

And cukes:

Raybo

    Bookmark   May 8, 2013 at 10:11PM
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ongodsmountain

Man, I see your seedlings after one month and I feel sick... MIne are 2 months along and where they should have been at like 2 weeks....

This is my second year at trying to grow from seeds and while not near as disasterous as last year, I have a lot of learning to do...

Where in Nor Cal are you?

I 'WILL' learn to do this!

    Bookmark   May 8, 2013 at 11:00PM
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rnewste(8b NorCal)

Actually, These plants were put in 2 months ago on March 3.

I am in the San Jose area.

Raybo

    Bookmark   May 8, 2013 at 11:38PM
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Remodeller

Raybo- Cool- I will have to try that mix- Im not too far away in Sacramento so the climates are similar I'm guessing- you guys probably get more of the cooler bay area weather no? Im new to this so I have too many questions sorry- I also wanted to ask: Do you soil test? (maybe mixing your own soil eliminates the need since you know exactly what it is) and if so how; lab or home test kit?- Are all labs pretty much the same or do you recommend certain soil test labs?

    Bookmark   May 9, 2013 at 8:06PM
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rnewste(8b NorCal)

The Pro-Mix, Perlite, and Microbark combination actually don't require any soil testing that I am aware of. This is a soiless mix.

Raybo

    Bookmark   May 9, 2013 at 8:13PM
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Remodeller

Thanks for the info!- I used a mix from the global buckets website: 35% Sphagnum Peat Moss, 35% Coir (by product of Coconut industry, I think its basically Coconut skin/bark) 20% Vermiculite (fine grain was all Hm Depot had, Hydroponics/Garden store had none!) 10% Perlite. I only made a couple batches of the above mix until I got sick of dealing with the Coir- it came in a solid block and I had to chip away at it then break up the big chunks into smaller chunks- it wasn't granular at all & hard to work with.
So I switched to this recipe from the same website:
Recipe #1: Sphagnum Peat
70% Sphagnum Peat
20% Vermiculite
10% Perlite
Can you foresee any problems I might run into with this mix? Its basically designed to wick up moisture really well. I know last summer here in Sacramento we had a decent amount of triple digit hot days- wonder If I might have to bring my Bell Peppers inside the house on some of the hot summer nights.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2013 at 10:41PM
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jennieboyer(8)

I love the set up! Did you build the cages for them? Would be interested in trying some of these myself. I am currently using five gallon buckets and regular tomato cages - your setup looks much better than mine!

    Bookmark   May 10, 2013 at 7:32AM
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chilliwin(EU DK 7)

Very nice set up and 3:2:1 draws my attention a lot too.

Thanks, for sharing with us :-)

Caelian

    Bookmark   July 14, 2013 at 4:49AM
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rnewste(8b NorCal)

A few pictures from early July:

Raybo

    Bookmark   July 14, 2013 at 3:31PM
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Remodeller

Amazing! Will there be an appendix added to the Earthtainer PDF on how you pulled this breathtaking garden off this year? I think you've got the magic formula!!- part of that formula might be matching the right plants to the right climate, but regardless this is the most impressive container crop I have ever seen. Out here in Sacramento both of my Bell Pepper plants died this season :( - we recently had 5 days of triple digit weather so that is suspect no1, but I am happy for anyone's feedback since Im new to gardening (my first season). As the picture shows I used a clear plastic bag instead of a black plastic bag. I often see beads of moisture drops under the plastic, could this be breeding harmful mold? And if so how is it any different from using a black trashbag? I used clear because we have a lot of triple digit days here in Sacramento, attached a pic.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2013 at 6:27PM
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Remodeller

I just checked out the temperature differences between my garden and Rays, this could be a big reason why both of my Bell Peppers died, and his are thriving, that and I only kinda know what I'm doing lol

    Bookmark   July 14, 2013 at 7:29PM
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Remodeller

I just re-read the chapter on growing Peppers in DK Publishing's Book âÂÂGrow VegetablesâÂÂ:
"Peppers are tropical and subtropical plants. They need heat and HUMIDITY in order to grow well." As you can see in the pic with my last reply on this thread: San Jose also appears to have more humidity- is it a big enough difference to matter? Still trying to figure out the possible causes of my two Bell Peppers dying

    Bookmark   July 14, 2013 at 8:32PM
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rnewste(8b NorCal)

What did you use for your Grow Media? Also, I would use white trash bags for your moisture barrier - will reflect the Sun better.

Raybo

    Bookmark   July 15, 2013 at 12:58AM
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Remodeller

I'll have to try the white trash bag, thanks for the tip! I mixed my own with a recipe from the Global Buckets website: 70% Sphagnum Peat
20% Vermiculite (almost powder, not chunky)
10% Perlite
I added Dolemite and 10-10-10 fertilizer granules in a ring along the side wall of the bucket and away from the center, but I did not add the EB Stone Sure Start you recommend. I watered the Bell Peppers from the top a little as well as the water tube because they were small and I figured the roots weren't deep enough, since the 5 gal bucket is actually deeper than the soil bed of the Earthtainer- how do I know if the soil is too moist? Is there a meter or method you recommend for this?- and any other input would be greatly welcomed

    Bookmark   July 15, 2013 at 1:27AM
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Remodeller

oh yeah I should add that the Bell Peppers are about 5 feet from the East facing wall of the house with some overhead sun shielding, so they get the morning sun, but not the directly over head sun that happens between 230-430 pm. I did this since we are having so many 90s to triple digit days so far this summer here in Sacramento, and more in the forecast this coming week

    Bookmark   July 15, 2013 at 1:40AM
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labradors_gw

I'm no expert in container gardening, but I think that the plastic bag over the top is probably cooking the soil and the plant. I'd prefer to use a thick layer of mulch to keep the moisture in.

Linda

    Bookmark   July 15, 2013 at 10:39AM
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