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Discussion in 'Beer & Food' started by stoney, Aug 18, 2011.

  1. Pesqueeb

    Pesqueeb bicycle in airplane hangar

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    :think: Does not compute.

    There are many excellent organic fertilizers that you can use that are not chemical death. Little jealous of your cistern system. That's illegal in CO.
     

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  2. dante

    dante Unabomber

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    I've always said that there needs to be a middle-ground between "spray-on Round-Up pesticide" traditional and "only all-natural fertilizer comprised primarily of human waste" hippy-organic. I don't need my chickens to have individual names, but I'd rather that they weren't fed remnants of other chickens...
     
  3. SkaredShtles

    SkaredShtles I love NEWCASTLE and will ONLY drink NEWCASTLE!!!!

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    Not any more, IIRC. I think some hippie legislator from Boulder fixed that...
     
  4. Bushwhacker

    Bushwhacker Turbo Monkey

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    I made some bread and butter pickles from the five gallon bucket of cucumbers we picked the other day. My dill isn't quite ready, next week we should be putting up some dills and pickled snaps.

     
  5. stoney

    stoney Part of the unwashed, middle-American horde

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    Can you give us a little bit more info on how you actually set it up? We get strong, periodic rains that I can definitely harvest, but I want to make sure that I attach it to my drip system. Also I need to figure out how I can create pressure to 'power' the drip.
     
  6. pnj

    pnj Turbo Monkey till the fat lady sings

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    we have a few plants going. We also got 8 inches of rain last month (june). My hop plants are doing well, tomatoes are doing very well, basil is dying, pepper plants are just sitting there doing nothing, peas from seeds are over a foot tall and planted 3 weeks ago, corn isn't doing much either...

    I've love to catch water in a bucket too.
     
  7. Pesqueeb

    Pesqueeb bicycle in airplane hangar

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    You're half right.

     
  8. dante

    dante Unabomber

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    This was what I was basing mine on, with the 3/4" PVC screwing right into the caps on the barrels.



    For creating pressure you just need to elevate your barrels to enough of a height that you can use gravity. No clue as to how high that would have to be for you, as it'd depend on what drip system you're going to use. As you can see from the video there's a decent amount of pressure from getting it up 18-24".

    One thing to note about using a drip system with rainwater is that you might end up with a clogged hose/pipe since the water's not going to be exactly.... clean. Something to keep in mind.

    As far as an update, the test water that I put in it (~8" per barrel) showed that the system is sealed, but I'm missing the cruicial element for my rain barrel setup. :(

     
  9. dante

    dante Unabomber

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    As for the garden, it's definitely coming along with multiple blooms/peppers/tomatoes. There's a decent amount of flowering-but-not-producing going on, so a couple times I've pollinated by hand (who knows if that worked?).

    I'm pretty sure that my issue is that they're too crowded and that I was using some time-release fertilizer when I built the bed. I've since read online that time-release nitrogen is *not* good for plants such as this... However, what I have found is that, thanks to hippies/hydroponic pot-growing, the fertilizer market has *exploded*. Whereas my local Farm&Fleet has a couple different MiracleGro (and that's about it) varieties, our "Brew and Grow" store has a TON of different fertilizers (and hydroponic setups) including MaxiBloom, a fertilizer with nutrients but very little Nitrogen so that plants flower/produce more. The choices in the "Brew and Grow" store were, let's just say, interesting.
     
  10. stoney

    stoney Part of the unwashed, middle-American horde

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    Our squash and mellons are growing like crazy. I haven't gotten any flowering yet though. The bean plants are going pretty quickly too. My greens have also started growing like crazy. I've been able to get fresh greens daily for my salad, which was the end goal.

    I'm debating moving my strawberries onto another part of the backyard, out of the box. I will be making changes to the boxes next year, so I want to get them moved so they can start growing earlier.
     
  11. dante

    dante Unabomber

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    Keep in mind that while nitrogen causes plants to grow big, it also inhibits them from flowering/producing. A soil/fertilizer rich in nitrogen could easily lead to massive plants with no fruits/vegetables...

    Tomatoes:



    Peppers:





    Large garden showing beets, kale, swiss chard and a few stunted pepper plants:



    The soaker hose pictured *rocks*. If I leave it on for an hour in the evening, by the next afternoon you can still see that the ground is moist 6-8" on either side of it. Probably should do a better job of covering the whole thing with mulch, but oh well.
     
  12. dante

    dante Unabomber

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    Mini-update: Apparently I've discovered the downsides to a box (and having ~20 some-odd massive plants in it) - it takes a LOT of water. I've been watering it with a watering can every day (3-4 gallons, applied to the roots) as otherwise the plants start to shrivel, but yesterday I went outside ~4pm and the Habanero plant looked like it was completely dead (every leaf was shriveled to almost nothing), and all of the others looked in deplorable condition with wilting leaves, etc. Gave everything a good drink and it'd all recovered by later that evening, but it seems that in 100+ degree weather, it drains fast enough and the other plants soak it up enough that watering once per day doesn't cut it.

    Why I love my soaker hoses:



    It'll actually stay moist well into the day following a watering, as opposed to when we use a sprinkler (it gets dry/cracked almost immediately afterwards). I just wish that I'd put one into the pepper/tomato box before it got so overgrown.... Oh well, lessons for next year.
     
  13. pnj

    pnj Turbo Monkey till the fat lady sings

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  14. jdcamb

    jdcamb Tool Time!

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    The city parks guys brought us water today. Berry's and corn are toast. Maters and cukes exploded. Nasty soot all over everything. Weeded today instead of riding because it was cool..

    So my friend Stan gave me seeds, he said were from Italy. It was some kind of secret transaction I wasn't supposed to tell anyone about. But I have to say they grew like weeds. Tiny little barrels of sweetness....
     
  15. SkaredShtles

    SkaredShtles I love NEWCASTLE and will ONLY drink NEWCASTLE!!!!

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    Got our first yellow squash today...
     
  16. dante

    dante Unabomber

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    Considering I'd been putting 3-4g of water in it per day, I doubt that a few upside down soda bottles would've done much.... Put twice that in today (4g morning and night) and the plants are loving it. The box drains well and warms up faster than the surrounding ground (part of the reason they did so well in the spring), but when it's 103deg and out in the sun all day, it got cooked. I'm thinking more along the lines of snaking a soaker hose in when I put the plants in next year, and possibly using it on a timer...
     
  17. pnj

    pnj Turbo Monkey till the fat lady sings

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    well duh a tiny bottle wont work....:D

    would a larger one? a bucket? a 50 gallon bin? use your imagination....

    we just got our first two days of summer out here. I think it got over 70 today....
     
  18. dante

    dante Unabomber

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    +



    Or possibly a PVC pipe setup with a bunch of holes drilled in it to act as a drip irrigation system... But we picked up 3 of the soaker hoses (they were $7 on sale here) this year and so we're probably set in that regards. We might get a low-pressure timer so that we can use our rain-barrel setup if/when we ever get water though.
     
    #58 -   Jul 6, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2012
  19. Bushwhacker

    Bushwhacker Turbo Monkey

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    Our farm survived the heat amazingly well. While my neighbors poured water on their withering, conventional gardens to no avail, my deeply dug, well mulched unconventional gardens just kept on growing. I have four beds that are hugelkultur, http://www.richsoil.com/hugelkultur/ and rarely need watering. Here's some pics from my morning walk through.
    http://imgur.com/a/tXVWk#0
     
  20. dante

    dante Unabomber

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    0.25" of rain completely filled up the 120g setup. Then the next 1.25" came crashing down and poured out the overflow.... Seriously need to either expand or get bigger barrels.

     
  21. dante

    dante Unabomber

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    Mmmmm, Swiss Chard. Amazing, but only good when it's cut, cooked and eaten within ~45min.



    Box of peppers/tomatoes has been producing like crazy, or at least with regards to peppers. Tomatoes have all been getting eaten by chipmunks... :shakefist:

    Peppers:



    combined with the leftover steak (that tried to *kill me* a few nights prior)

     
    #61 -   Aug 8, 2012
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2012
  22. Nick

    Nick My name is Nick

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    Joker ...
    I just grilled up those squash and zucchini with some olive oil, salt, pepper .... Amazing.
     
  23. stoney

    stoney Part of the unwashed, middle-American horde

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    Sweet. Here is this morning's harvest:


    Going to be hitting the grill this evening. I need to decide on what to do with the peppers. I might do something like what Dante did above with the yellow, zucchini, and peppers.
     
  24. dante

    dante Unabomber

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    ^^^^ That was a fajita lunch with:

    Peppers
    Onions
    Leftover steak (thrown in at the end since it was already fully cooked)
    Salt/pepper/cayenne pepper

    So, so, so, SO good.

    Also, anybody have any good hot sauce recipes they want to share? I might have a poop-load of extra peppers that I don't know what to do with. I have some random hot variety, jalapenos and a single plant of habaneros. Well........ That single plant shot up to ~4' tall about 3 weeks ago, and is now covered with at least 50 Habaneros. Not sure if it's the fertilizer or what, but oh man.



    That's showing maybe half of them that are still green, and there's ~a dozen that are already red/ripe underneath. So it looks like I might need a hot sauce recipe, something with a bit of sweetness to even it out? Peppers were called "gourmet" Habaneros, whatever that means. Bright red, hot as ****, but I'm not the kind of person to tell the difference between a 400k Habanero from a 200k version... Thoughts?


    edit: Oh, and I accidentally left my soaker hose attached to my (full) rain barrel setup on yesterday afternoon. ~110g gone in an afternoon, but at least the plants are happy (and that's ~110g that wasn't out of our water supply).
     
    #64 -   Aug 22, 2012
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2012
  25. stoney

    stoney Part of the unwashed, middle-American horde

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    Jimmydean has an awesome peach/habanero recipie.
     
  26. dante

    dante Unabomber

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    So...... too soon?



    After my success last year with the (overfull) garden box of peppers and tomatoes, decided to just bite the bullet and expand the practice to the rest of the garden. Had 3.6' by 10' of windows that someone was throwing out, so the first box matched those dimensions exactly. Buried a bunch of wood/bark that was left over from taking down an oak tree last year underneath, then filled with dirt, manure and peat moss. Finished/filled yesterday, soaked it with water and put the windows on it to heat up the soil. Planted the following (measured lengthwise):

    2' salad greens/lettuce
    1' spinach
    2 swiss chard
    1' boc choi
    1' kale
    1' bush beans
    1' pole sugar-snap peas
    1' pole beans

    We're still below freezing at night (last night was down to ~22 or something crazy), but I'm hoping that the windows will offer some protection and keep the soil warm enough.

    No clue on how much food is actually going to be produced, but fingers are crossed. Have lumber for 3 more boxes: One 4x12 (soft soil for potatoes, beets, carrots and onions), one 4x12 for the second half of the seeds from today's planting, and one 4x8 just for peppers.

    Anyone else jumping the gun on planting season?
     
  27. kazlx

    kazlx Patches O'Houlihan

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    No planting...harvesting. A fraction of what's coming off the tree. Fuerte avocados:
     
  28. dante

    dante Unabomber

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    Might've jumped the gun on my garden planting.... It's been cloudy/cold/raining for the last couple days, and predicting a low of 25deg and 1-3" of snow on Thurs night. I've got a string of ~100 christmas lights (miniature) inside the enclosure to keep the temperature up a bit, but might have to see if I can figure out how to get something a bit more substantial in there over the next couple days.

    Grrrrrrr.....
     
  29. stoney

    stoney Part of the unwashed, middle-American horde

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    I've got our tomato, pepper, and herb plants started in a mini-greenhouse in the house. I'm about ready to move half into larger containers and let the rest stay in the hot box. I'm not planting for a while still.
     
  30. dante

    dante Unabomber

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    With sun it'd be fine even if it did occasionally dip below freezing. The problem occurs when it's cloudy, cold, and THEN dips (way) below freezing. I kept a cold-frame with salad greens and swiss chard going through Christmas one year...

    I'm trying to get my c7 Christmas lights to work (replaced a few bulbs, now I think I need to replace the fuse) as they put out a LOT of heat, and will keep it decently warm. Think it'll be fine, but frustrating when it's 10-15deg below normal for this time of year.

    edit: Btw, not touching pepper or tomato plants beyond a single tray of seedlings I have on a heat mat and under a grow lamp indoors. Come mid-May I'll just pick up a bunch of seedlings from the local greenhouse. 4 tomato plants cost ~$3 and produced FAR more tomatoes than we would've been able to eat, and the $10 or so I spent on pepper seedlings were well worth it as seedlings are a bitch and a half to get going.
     
    #70 -   Apr 10, 2013
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2013
  31. boogenman

    boogenman Turbo Monkey

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    Damn I miss my garden. My new home does not have a place for one. I do have a huge deck that gets a ton of sun, planning on a herb garden and maybe a hot pepper plant.
     
  32. SkaredShtles

    SkaredShtles I love NEWCASTLE and will ONLY drink NEWCASTLE!!!!

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    April 10th, Centennial, CO at 06:53: 3°

    :rofl:

    april10.jpg
     
  33. dante

    dante Unabomber

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    Replaced 2/3rds of the C7 bulbs in the string of Christmas lights, which has been good since the temps have been in the low 40s for a high during the day (and cloudy), and dipping down to around or below freezing at night. Incandescents - 1, CFL/LEDs -0.



    Everything has sprouted except for one row (Kale?), and keeping my fingers crossed that the peas don't get too long before this cold streak ends...
     
  34. dante

    dante Unabomber

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    Woke up to a slight dusting of snow on the ground... But inside the box, things are rocking.

    Next year I might plant the beans/peas a couple weeks later than the rest of the stuff, as they'll probably be too tall to keep the windows on it within the next couple weeks.

     
  35. dante

    dante Unabomber

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    Image from a week and a half ago:



    Thinning bok choi, and the nightly salad greens:



    Yesterday we had to harvest all of the bok choi since it started bolting, and today was harvesting of all of the spinach (same reason). Upside is we got a nice big batch of spinach:

     
  36. dante

    dante Unabomber

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    Wow, kinda silent in here..... Looking back on my setup, I deem it a smashing success. Was eating fresh salad greens by early May, and definitely got a jump on the season with everything else. The latest:

    First bed:



    These are the other two beds, complete with PVC drip irrigation. 1/2" with 1/16" holes drilled every ~4" or so, fed from a 3/4" pipe and a ball-valve at each bed so I can adjust the pressure of each one independently.



    And lastly, thanks to a neighbor upgrading his pressure-washing setup, I scored an upgrade to our ~120g rain barrel setup:



    ~320g, and thanks to a deluge recently it's now completely full. Will be running a 1" PVC pipe from it to the garden beds and hope that the water pressure will be enough. Fingers crossed...
     
  37. UNHrider

    UNHrider Monkey

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    looking good dante.

    no pics at the moment, but have most of my garden planted. my peas are just blossoming at about 3 feet tall. Oregano is trying overtake one of my beds, all my beans (green, velour, yellow, and black) are coming up. As well as all my squash. peppers and eggplant coming along nicely.

    Trying to grow peanuts this year. we'll see how they come out.
     
  38. dante

    dante Unabomber

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    Finally finished connecting the rain barrel to the irrigation setup:



    Probably ~3-4' drop between the rain barrel and the garden, and had *no* issues with water pressure:





    Had enough pressure to run two of the boxes simultaneously, and probably had at least as much water pressure from that as I did connecting a hose from the house. Ran a 1" PVC pipe from the tank to where it splits off between the beds (3/4" connectors), and then decreases down to 1/2" for the actual irrigation part. So basically it's constantly decreasing in diameter, keeping the pressure up.

    So, now just need a torrential downpour once every 2 weeks (and bone-dry weather the rest of the time) and I'll be all set!
     
  39. UNHrider

    UNHrider Monkey

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    looking good Dante. Wish my house had gutters.



    my garden is going well this year, more zucchini then i know what to do with.
     
  40. dante

    dante Unabomber

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    Wish we had more rain.... Barrels are bone dry as of a couple days ago. :(