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Messages - Beau in Austin

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"Chef Dan Barber has co-founded a seed company that is focused on maximizing the deliciousness & nutrition of the resulting food (rather than for yield or shelf life)" via kottke.org

https://www.row7seeds.com

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Questions and Answers / Re: snack
« on: August 01, 2018, 12:08:43 pm »
I got what sure looks like Calcium Nitrate via Amazon. It's more expensive than buying in bulk but I only have 5 EB's

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0744QV9XW/ref=oh_aui_search_detailpage?ie=UTF8&psc=1

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An EB that grew Romaine lettuce earlier in the year was topped off with more organic fertilizer and mounded higher with planting mix, the old cover was reused, and I planted three Bradford watermelon seeds in mid-May. One sprouted, and after it was clear the other two weren't going to, I planted two more seeds, so there's three vines now. There have been four melons produced.

On the Bradford web site it says it takes about 85 days (in South Carolina) to mature fruit, and that the tendril nearest the melon will brown a day or two before it's time to pick. Here in Central Texas yesterday, 60+ days in on the oldest vine, I picked the first melon because the tendril was brown. Chilled it, sliced it, and it tasted fine but it was mushy, and improbable as it seems I think I may have waited too long to harvest.

Is that something that happens, a crop maturing faster because it's grown in an EB? Does the fact that it's hotter here make a melon come to maturity faster?

These melons are smaller than the ones grown in the ground in S.C. which .. may be because there's three vines in the box?

Resource links:

https://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2015/05/19/407949182/saving-the-sweetest-watermelon-the-south-has-ever-known

http://bradfordwatermelons.com/

https://www.motherearthnews.com/organic-gardening/heirloom-watermelon-varieties-zewz1310zpit

https://extension.udel.edu/weeklycropupdate/?p=5936

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Questions and Answers / Re: Sweet Peppers Wilting, Help!
« on: July 19, 2018, 11:20:41 pm »
This is from pasting that link into the img brackets


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Questions and Answers / Re: Sweet Peppers Wilting, Help!
« on: July 19, 2018, 11:17:30 pm »
https://maxpull-tlu7l6lqiu.stackpathdns.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/pepper-wilt-400x533.jpg

That's an image I Googled. I think this forum software works with links to images that are externally hosted rather than uploaded here.

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Questions and Answers / Re: Sweet Peppers Wilting, Help!
« on: July 14, 2018, 01:16:07 am »
First year EB'er here too, so take this with a grain of organic fertilizer .. my sweet peppers started doing better when I started top watering them a bit in the afternoon/early evening, along with filling the reservoir.

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Questions and Answers / Re: The quest to add more flavor
« on: July 11, 2018, 09:23:22 pm »
I should find a plastic rolling pin that can be filled with water (only fill it with compost after the next step), drill some holes in it, and try this experiment next year.

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Questions and Answers / The quest to add more flavor
« on: July 11, 2018, 09:14:20 pm »
I've read about cutting back on watering before harvest to intensify the flavor of tomatoes and watermelons. We can use EB sanctioned potting mixes that have a little bit of bat guano and worm castings and other stuff that's more than just a wicking growing medium. We can add snacks.

What else? I had a thought, want to run it by you. Do you think a tube (a capsule), the size of a cardboard toilet paper roll, made of food grade plastic and permeated with hundreds of tiny holes, could be filled with compost, buried in the EB, and serve the purpose of getting actual compost to the plants without mucking up the wicking? Maybe two or three of these tubes, or one the size of a paper towel core?

I wonder if a modified EB could be introduced that would add the ability to introduce compost from a door in the side that leads to a pocket not unlike the wicking corners...?

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Questions and Answers / Re: What to do about mosquitos??
« on: July 03, 2018, 12:45:37 pm »
I've read here on the forum about people putting a little piece of a BT 'dunk' down the filling tube, and using a fine mesh screen to cover the drain hole and filling tube. There's also videos on Youtube with people talking about how they're dealing with them.

Here it's so hot that the boxes need to be refilled twice a day and I think that washes most of the eggs out. I also hang a mosquito trap that attracts them with CO2 from yeast then, sadly, kills them with salt water. (It's from Spartan Mosquito out of Mississippi)

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Update to this: I never got around to transplanting the strawberries out of the Earthbox. The surviving plants are thriving and sending out shoots and I'm tearing holes in the plastic cover to accommodate the new starts. If the box is loaded with plants next year, more than the recommended number, and still thriving, I'll feel better about having them in an EB.

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Questions and Answers / Re: Input hole clogged
« on: June 11, 2018, 01:17:33 pm »
Can you break the clog with a long screwdriver or coat hanger? If you can break it up some/most might flush out of the drain hole next time you water

I've read here that the recommended calcium nitrate 'snack' is just a teaspoon down the tube every 7 - 10 days

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Questions and Answers / Re: Strawberries
« on: June 06, 2018, 11:46:43 am »
I read in an older thread that you don't need to add dolomite to a strawberry box.

I'm of the opinion (now) that an Earthbox is overkill for strawberries having planted a box with the Eversweet variety myself. Two of my plants browned completely out and died while the rest seem to be thriving. One is sending out shoots to create new plants. I think top watering until they're established helps. I didn't start doing that until the second plant died.

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Questions and Answers / Re: Texas Summers
« on: May 29, 2018, 09:52:41 am »
One of the things I've appreciated as a new Earthbox gardener is the lack of drooping at the end of the day, compared to growing in the ground. So far, as long as I fill the boxes with water twice a day, they're still looking proud around sunset.

On the other hand I've read that one of the ways to improve the flavor of fruits and vegetables is to cut back on watering before harvesting, and that doesn't seem entirely doable with an EB.

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Questions and Answers / Re: Texas Summers
« on: May 28, 2018, 02:28:54 pm »
In a similar boat here in Austin where we're forecast to hit 106 later this week. So far so good though, watering the tomato boxes twice a day and have picked about 70 tomatoes from 4 plants with more still ripening. Getting fairly full sun in a small section of the yard, roughly 9AM to 6PM.

Being this hot this early in the season is not cool.

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Questions and Answers / Have any of you tried Pittmoss?
« on: May 22, 2018, 01:27:36 pm »
A few years ago someone was on Shark Tank pitching a recycled paper replacement for peat moss called Pittmoss.

https://pittmoss.com/

Have any of you tried it?

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