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JAP69's Blog

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Yesterday, 3:41 pmContainer garden [baking temperature & time]

Found it on the first search.

Looks like 180 degrees core temperature for at least 30 minutes.

The oven I will build is a lot quicker for my situation with portable containers and container mix.

I would get kicked out of the house if I put container mix in the house oven. At least for a week.No Pity!
Tips To Sterilize Potting Soil, Garden Soil And Soil For Seeds


Last Edited: Yesterday, 3:43 pm

Entry #3,770
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Yesterday, 8:44 amContainer garden [container mix recipe]

I think I have settled on a final recipe after the bottle settling test.

Bottom portion: about 8 or 9 inches deep.  50% potting mix, 50% perlite and water saving crystals.

Top portion: which will be about 7 inches deep. 80% potting mix, 20% vermiculite.

Entry #3,769
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Yesterday, 8:27 amContainer garden [fungus & critters in soil heat treatment]

Seeing the containers and contents are portable rather than on the ground soil it may be simpler to do the heat treatment. I would not have hot enough outside temperature and enough direct sunlight before spring gardening season. I want to do it when the vegetables are done I have in them now.

I could purchase a metal tub like the old wash tubs and put the container mix in that depending on the size of the tub. Maybe put the tub in a three sided enclosure. Then I could put an electric space heater directing the heat to the tub and bring the container mix up to the required temperature and cook it for the length of time required . Be about the same thing as an oven without the door.

Maybe have a marshmallow roast for myself while I am tending to it.Green laugh

Last Edited: Yesterday, 8:31 am

Entry #3,768
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October 22, 2017, 3:50 pmContainer garden [final bottle settling results]

Went out this morning and measured the results from test #1 which contained the potting mix,
mushroom mix and vermiculite with a couple handfuls of black cow I had sitting in the paint tray.
top flotation was 1/2 cup and the bottom settling contained the finer granules with vermiculite
had 1 1/2 cups.
Test #2 had the mushroom compost. it had all settled to the bottom with no recognizable
layers about 1 1/2 cups there. Got that in the tray draining and will go out and feel
texture later.
Started test #3 with the potting mix with 2 1/2 cups in test bottle.
Already seen flotation come to the top. Will let that settle until tonight.
checked test three @ 15:30 hrs
Top flotation test #3: 1 1/4 cup
bottom sediment: 1/4 cup fine particles

That 2 1/2 cups to start was dry mix.
Looks like elimination of the mushroom compost & black cow is a must do.

Entry #3,767
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October 22, 2017, 1:30 pmContainer garden [leftover compost problem]

I had a thought this morning on what to do with the left over mushroom compost and black cow which is fine grained I do not want to put in anymore containers. Might compact too much in the containers.

I have a 20 gallon plastic storage container with holes drilled in it that I had filled with dirt and dumped out. It sits empty in the garage. I will clean off the inner and outer portion of the container where the holes are and put duct tape on each side to seal it back up. I have the lid for it with no holes in it. I will take it outside and set it by the deck and put about ten gallons of water in it, then I will dump in about three gallons of mushroom compost and black cow mixed together. Stir it all up and let it set to digest adding raw vegetable scraps from the kitchen plus the coffee grounds. Stir it all up occasionally. What I will have when it digests into the water is liquid ferlizer Big Grin to feed to the plants while they are growing. Maybe about one cup for each plant now and then.

Just add more mushroom compost and black cow when I see the liquid ferlizer Approve getting weak.

I might just take the top portion of the cuke box that has the Potting mix, black cow, mushroom compost and vermiculite I just re done and dump that into the liquid ferlizer Big Smile container. Going to need to re do the cuke box again [third time around] with putting perlite in the bottom portion and do the top portion with the new blend of potting mix I settle on.

I was also reading last night the problems they have with these bagged nursery supplies is that they transport crop diseases and crop fungus's plus little live critters or egg cells in the mixture.

No doubt that is where my plant fungus's came from.

Last Edited: October 22, 2017, 1:39 pm

Entry #3,766
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October 22, 2017, 9:20 amContainer garden [bottle settling results 1 & 2 test]

Went out this morning and measured the results from test #1 which contained the potting mix, mushroom mix and vermiculite with a couple handfuls of black cow I had sitting in the paint tray. top flotation was 1/2 cup and the bottom settling contained the finer granules with vermiculite had 1 1/2 cups.

Test #2 had the mushroom compost. it had all settled to the bottom with no recognizable layers about 1 1/2 cups there. Got that in the tray draining and will go out and feel texture later.

Started test #3 with the potting mix with 2 1/2 cups in test bottle. Already seen flotation come to the top. Will let that settle until tonight.

Today's thoughts: Eliminate the mushroom compost and black cow from the container mix. Thinking those two will compact and cause container problems like that dirt episode. Figure out something for the mushroom compost next year. Got one unopened bag which I could take back to the garden center and the opened bag I could take to the back of the lot and mix it with something to place at ground level. Maybe by the back fence and plant something in it.

Was thinking about the forestry chips in the potting mix rotting in the container. Checking on different things and the wood mulch is out of the question I mentioned last night. For the bottom layer of the container which only has the potting mix and water saving crystals in it I could use up to 50% perlite in that layer. They say perlite does not hold as much water as vermiculite.

After final bottle testing I will figure what to go in the top portion of potting mix. As it looks now it just may be potting mix and vermiculite as vermiculite hold more water than perlite. Need more water in top layer for the plants any how and top layer dries out quicker.

Need any additional nutrients I will just add ferlizer.Big Grin

OHHH, the flowers are doing great and the vegetable plants are still alive. Done some pruning on the pepper plants yesterday also.

Last Edited: October 22, 2017, 9:22 am

Entry #3,765
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October 21, 2017, 9:41 pmContainer garden [excess moisture in bottom]

Another thought just came to me. When I was re doing the cuke box the lower I got in the container the more moisture was present the lower I got. Probably why the top dries out quicker, water runs downhill.Thud

Any how this thought came to me. When I do and redo the other containers with the mix ratio I choose I will add wicks to the container. They could be cotton terry cloth towels cut into strips. Put one end in the bottom and extend it to the top when I fill the containers. Figure out how many per container. When the top mix starts losing moisture the wick will pull moisture up to the drier mix on top.

If I notice the wicks starting to rot away I could take a small steel rod and push in new wicks to the bottom.

I do not want to take all the credit for my thoughts here. My space alien"I" has been giving me some direction on this.

Green laugh

Last Edited: October 21, 2017, 9:42 pm

Entry #3,764
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October 21, 2017, 8:59 pmContainer garden [the potting mixture]

I got to think about this one for awhile. There already is the fine particles that settled. then there was the flotation that looked like forest products which I do not know how long it takes to rot.

Seeing I already have the decomposed stuff that settled to the bottom which is a fixed situation to begin with. Then we have the flotation that is going to rot over time joining the decomposed stuff at the bottom of the jar which I am not sure of the time it takes to rot.

Maybe I should increase the wood mulch part with this.
Brown Pine Bark Mulch: "It is extremely slow to decay". it is also 100% natural.

Does that mean slow to decay on the grounds surface. Does it decay quicker in below wet ground situation with oxygen in the compost mix.

Got to think about how much pine bark mulch to add to extend the life of the potting mix in the containers before it all turns to swamp muck.

Another thing to think about. Anyone ever hear of Hugelkulture. Look it up.

Create a Hugelkulture container.ROFL

Last Edited: October 21, 2017, 9:46 pm

Entry #3,763
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October 21, 2017, 7:19 pmContainer garden [bottle settling results #1]

Just finished with looking at settling test I did yesterday that had the mix of potting mix, mushroom compost and vermiculite with a couple handful's of black cow. The top flotation was about 1 1/2" thick, The water was still cloudy as there must be ultra fine particles that do not want to settle and the bottom portion was about 2 1/2 inches deep. I had an old paint tray and with a spoon removed the top flotation into a paint tray, gently poured out the water and then dumped the bottom segment into the paint tray as I did not see any different layers in that. Looking at the flotation looks like shredded forestry products with a small amount which looks like perlite . The bottom layer has the vermiculite plus what looks like the decomposed mushroom compost, probably peat and the black cow. The bottom layer was real small particles except for the vermiculite. The bottom layer looks like swamp muck except for the vermiculite. At this rate when the top layer decomposes through out the container mix I am going to end up with a container of swamp muck with vermiculite.

After I did the above I washed out the test bottle and filled it about 1/2 way with the mushroom mix and shook that up for a test.

Tomorrow I will go out with the measuring cup and check the quantity in the top and bottom piles which I have set in the paint tray to drain and dry out some.

The third test I will do the potting mix .

I do not know how fast it takes these shredded forestry products to decompose at the size they are. They are pretty small.

May need to use a higher ratio of potting mix with the shredded pieces among the potting mix, mushroom compost and black cow. May just skip the black cow as that is a fine grain product. All black cow is a medium that rates out to 5-5-5 in the fertilizer scale. I already have a bag of time release fertilizer now. A teaspoon or so full of time release fertilizer is a lot less than a couple handful's of black cow.

I miss spell fertilizer every stinking time. If I ignore the miss spelling and you see ferlizer Green laugh you will know what I mean. There are few other words that are stinkers too. No No

Entry #3,762
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October 20, 2017, 9:20 pmContainer garden [The settling bottle saga]

Went out before dark and checked on the settling bottle. It is still cloudy, About one inch of flotation on the top now. Looks like the vermiculite settled to the bottom with something else of the same weight. Just above that is some sort of lighter material that settled. Seen a few of the top flotation particles dropping to the bottom.  the top flotation must be soaking up water for them to drop. Like a floating log until it gets water logged and drop to the bottom of a body of water. Must be some really fine lightweight particles making the water cloudy yet.

When it is all settled I may carefully remove each layer to figure out what each layer contains.

All the past months of work and nothing for the dinner table yet.

Figure I may get some lettuce here shortly as that does not take long to grow in nutrient rich soil they say.

What gets me you look out and see all these weeds thriving just on their own. May just as well be a forager like Ewell Gibbons was.

Last Edited: October 20, 2017, 9:21 pm

Entry #3,761
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October 20, 2017, 8:54 pmContainer garden [starting from seeds]

I always like starting my plants from seed. I was thinking about that they recommend using seed starting mix. From what I just read seeds do not need nutrients to start growth. Like starting them in vermiculite in those thimble size compartment trays. Then you need to transplant them into pots. The idea occurred to me to fill one of the leftover 4 1/2" containers the flowers came in with the sifted potting mix. Another thought occurred to me was to take the sifted potting mix and add coffee grounds in it. I had a 2 cup measuring cup and just about filled it with the sifted potting mix I had. I then dumped in today's coffee grounds which was three scoops and mixed it all together. Put that in the 4 1/2" container and watered it down. Took some lettuce seed I got today and broad cast the seeds and covered with about 1/8" of sifted mix. added some more water on the dry mix on top. "coffee grounds contain nitrogen, calcium and magnesium that are greatly beneficial for the growth of plants." If the seeds start that should give a big boost to the seedlings once they get their second leaf set. See how that works out.

Another thought occurred to me. I could fill the pot with the mix I mentioned, then take my thumb and make a thimble size depression. Fill the depression with vermiculite and place my seed in that. The seed will start in the vermiculite and advance in growth to the potting mix with the nutrient rich coffee grounds. I did not have any vermiculite tonight so I just started the seed in the potting mix. Seems like starting one seed in a 4 1/2 inch container as mentioned will save time from transplanting from thimble size container to a larger container with the nutrients in it.

If the lettuce seeds start it is obvious I will need to transplant the wee small seedlings after they come up with that many seed in one container.

That will be another topic for the container garden saga if they come up or not.

Last Edited: October 20, 2017, 8:55 pm

Entry #3,760
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October 20, 2017, 11:50 amContainer garden [todays progress]

Went out with a 2 litre plastic sody bottle. Cut the top of with a utility knife to where the bottle was same size on the neck. Filled it about half full with yesterday's mix I done for the top portion of the new box. Put water in, slipped the top cut off down inside the bottom portion and shook it up. Sitting out back now and settling.

Transplanted two flowers in 10 inch pots and stuck the remaining 5 flowers in a corner of the boxes I have tomato and peppers in. I had two ten inch pots with beets started in them. I dumped those two in the cement mixing pan which made about 5 gallons as each 10 inch container hold about 2 1/2 gallons. Dumped the vermiculite I had remaining from the 8 quart bag I purchased. There was one gallon of vermiculite left. Mixed that all up and refilled the two ten inch containers for the flowers. Had some left in the pan so I used that with the flower transplants in the vegetable boxes after I dug the hole in the corner. When I dug the little holes in the corner of the tomato box I seen tomato roots all the way to the corner that looked healthy.

Got ready to leave after cleanup I checked the settling bottle and seen it was still clouded up but had a layer of flotation stuff on top about 1/4 inch thick.

I shopped around for vermiculite and found I can buy a two cubic foot bag at Home depot for less money per quart than the 8 quart bag I purchased. Did not see the larger bag when I was shopping for vermiculite. Save about 1/3rd in cost.

Got to thinking about this black cow and mushroom mix. Once the nutrients are leeched out I will just go to Tractor Supply and buy a bag of garden mix fertilizer. Why buy black cow or mushroom mix every year just to get the nutrients. Once the container is established with the proper mix for growing, Just buy a bag of the fertilizer I mentioned. All this nonsense  of removing and replacing the top portion mix can get old and costly every year.

May go and exchange that wire screen today I mentioned last night.

Entry #3,759
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October 19, 2017, 11:21 pmContainer garden [another WTF moment]

Got started this morning about 11:00 hours.
Last night I was thinking about that nice shiny new gray aluminum screening I purchased. Then a thought hit me. Why don't I take the new screening and replace the screening in some windows that have bug holes in them. I took one window screen that is about 35 inches by about 60 inches tall and removed the screen which had a couple holes in it about the size of a dime. Used that to line the box. I will need to take back the 36 inch by 80 inch roll for exchange for a roll of screen 40 inches by 25 feet. Thirty inches is a little narrow to grab the edges when rolling in the neoprene rope that holds it in the track. I already have the tool for window screening.

When I got the container done I had another thought. I use a hand cart to haul stuff around with that has a support plate about 16 inches wide and about 8 inches deep. Always had trouble keeping stuff on the SOAB. I had a piece of leftover plywood in the garage about 2 feet by 3 feet. I cut that down to about 2 feet by 2 feet. Then I notched it to go around the two upright pipe that goes to the top of the cart. The steel base plate stuck back about one inch from the uprights. Put the plywood on the top and got my trusty c-clamp out and tightened it down. Go my drill out and drilled one hole through the plate and plywood. Run a bolt through it and put a wing nut on it. WaaLaa works like a charm. Did not even need to bungy cord the box to hold in in place. Wheeled that SOAB around to the back without any cussing.

Then I set the box in place, filled the bottom portion, put in the charcoal layer that was mixed in with the potting mix. Took the mud pan and put in about 2 1/2 gallons of my potting mix for the top portion. Read the instructions on the mushroom compost which said 4 inches compost worked into 2 inches of soil. That is a high percentage I thought. Cut open the bag and came to the WTF moment. That stuff is about the consistency of the dirt I took out to begin with and dumped on the lawn. Welll I said, I am not mixing that ratio. So I put in 2 gallons of mushroom compost with the 2 1/2 gallons of potting mix. Then I added 1 gallon of vermiculite. added the ironite and mixed it all together. Texture did not feel to bad after I mixed it all together. Put it in the container and added about 2 quarts of potting mix as I was a bit short from the level I wanted. Mixed those two quarts with the rest in the box. Transplanted a squash in it. That was it for the day. Did not get to the flowers yet.

Tomorrow I am going to take some of the top mix and put it in a clear bottle, add some water, shake it up and let it settle. See what the percentage ratio of this and that is in the mix I made up. May need to readjust for less mushroom compost after the plant is done. Not pulling that SOAB of a plant up again after all this work.

Probably plant the flowers also.

Last Edited: October 19, 2017, 11:24 pm

Entry #3,758
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October 19, 2017, 3:25 amSomething strange needs to happen

The 25X ascending
The 35X ascending

They are both in a show zone.

#      TH            Last seen      out

255    2    2.03    Aug 4, 2017     140
256    5    4.05    Aug 10, 2017    129
257    3    4.05    Jul 27, 2017    154
258    4    4.05    Feb 10, 2017    464
259    4    4.05    Aug 21, 2017    108
355    2    2.03    Dec 20, 2016    562
356    4    4.05    Aug 7, 2017     134
357    3    4.05    May 4, 2017     311
358    4    4.05    Aug 24, 2017    102
359    5    4.05    Aug 7, 2017     135


8/21 E 592____25X__X59__***
8/24 E 583____35X__***__***

Got the X59 out there also.

The last time the X5X ascending hit
10/06 M 165 15X__X56__***


Search South Carolina Pick 3 Midday and Evening Past Results

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Entry #3,757
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October 18, 2017, 9:44 pmContainer garden [the good & the bad]

Went around today and picked up some supplies. Mushroom compost, vermiculite, screws, other odds and ends. Plus I got two more packs of flowers, 1ea 4.5" aster & a 6 pack of asters. Pretty little things they are.

Went out back to redo the 16"x16"x12" deep container that had the cuke in it. The cuke got tossed a couple days ago. Set up my buckets and pans to keep the potting mix separate. The bottom portion had the water saving crystals in that portion already the next portion was the charcoal layer and the top portion was what I was going to redo as I did not have ironite in it. Got my five gallon bucket set and started removing the top portion. Came to a WTF moment. The burlap had rotted. I expected it to last at least a couple years and it has like been only about six weeks since I put it in. I had no recollection from my childhood farm days how long burlap lasted in wet conditions. So much for believing what I had read and seen on you tube about burlap. Must be they are using burlap treated against rot. So I finished bucketing the top layer, took the charcoal layer of about two inches and put that in a small pail. Removed the bottom layer and put that in the cement mixing pan which is about 20"x30"x5" deep. Tore out the burlap and washed out the container. Figured I had the container emptied I would do it up to 16" deep and add the 45 degree corners making an octagon. Made another trip to the store and got short roll of aluminum window screening. They claim aluminum will not rot and last like 500 years underground according to a soda can thickness. Seen that in my search on aluminum rotting. I knew it did not rot but at screen thickness I was not sure. I can remember pulling up aluminum screening from lot cleaning that was not rotten in my construction days.

With that emptying job completed I hauled the container to the garage and added 4" to the height and put in the 45 degree corners. That was as far as I got on that as it was late in the day when I finished my shopping and emptied the container.

The other day I did pre cut all the boards for two more containers I was planning on. That is still setting in the garage to be assembled.

Tomorrow I will add the aluminum screening to the inside of the box, refill the bottom layer that has the water saving crystals in it. then the charcoal layer and the top layer I will need to add the ironite and the mushroom compost plus vermiculite. Then I will transplant a squash plant in it I have started that is doing pretty good.

When I emptied the container the potting mix was moist but not dry or ringing wet. Moist enough to make a ball in your hand that did not drip water or fall apart from being to dry.

Then I will work on transplanting those pretty flowers in 10" containers.

Looks like I will need to redo the four other containers I have that have the tomatoes and peppers in them when they are done for the season. Add the 45 degree corners and put compost in top layer.

For some reason Just potting mix and a couple handful's of black cow does not give a good growing mix. For the time they have been in there they should show more vigor and growth. I will need to do like the guy that lived on Walden Pond and tug on the plants to get them to grow faster. I visited Walden Pond some time ago and it has my stone in the stone pile I threw in.

Entry #3,756
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