Author Topic: Planting / Growing your own 2018  (Read 9930 times)

birdie55

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Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
« Reply #250 on: April 15, 2018, 08:31:27 PM »
I buy Costco Organic Potting soil.  55 quarts for $8.99. 

I use a seed starter when I start my seeds, and then transplant into 4 inch pots when the plants have their second set of leaves. I use the potting soil in the 4 inch pots.  I buy 4 - 6 bags a year...I always have something to be planted...

cerat0n1a

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Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
« Reply #251 on: April 16, 2018, 03:26:39 AM »
I have long since given up the illusion that gardening at home saves me money. It gives me satisfaction, and I know they're grown without chemicals and crap, and it eliminates waste

I think when you factor in the number of hours spent (and how much you could earn if you worked for those hours), it's completely uneconomic. On the other hand, what value do you put on the health benefits of spending time outdoors, getting exercise, contact with soil bacteria, mental health improvements etc?

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Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
« Reply #252 on: April 16, 2018, 06:22:00 AM »
Economics: there are plants that save you tons of money growing, but tomatoes are definitely not it with possible exception of cherry varieties, which are often quite prolific.

A few of my favorite plants in terms of economic return (especially factoring time in): green beans, zucchini/summer squash, cucumbers, hot peppers (particularly ones used primarily green like jalapeŮos or poblanos), raspberries (once established), garlic IF you successfully save the cloves from the first year for at least one season beyond the ďseed garlicĒ price.

If you use a lot of fresh herbs, many can be grown very cost effectively. Iím spoiled by my wife being in the spice trade, so our dry herbs and spices are very high quality for free, which often are just as good as fresh. So there I focus on herbs that I enjoy growing and/or have medicinal value for my animals thatís lost when dry.
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furrychickens

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Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
« Reply #253 on: April 16, 2018, 06:29:32 AM »
Seed starting mix: Iím still searching for one that I like thatís not $$$. This year Iím trying the Jiffy mix. Friends I know like the Burpee mix. My favorite is Vernont Compost but itís VERY pricey at retail bag quantities ($35-40 for 60qts) and only available shipped or an hour plus drive from me.

Not sure how cost effective mixing your own is for small quantities. Lots of recipes out there but I have no personal experience with them myself.

Most of what I start in pots will grow well in pure compost, so I may try that next year as Iíve got plenty of compost. I can get a bag of perlite if I feel like the mix needs it. You need to make sure itís very well aged so that the nitrogen is bio available. Rabbit manure and hay are my main feed stocks, plus chicken manure with lots of carbanaceous material, all of which should result in a reasonably well balanced final product.
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Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
« Reply #254 on: April 16, 2018, 06:51:46 AM »
I buy the huge bags of Pro-Mix organic.  It doesn't have vermiculite in it.  It doesn't have long lasting fertility so when I up size the pots - from cell pack to 4" or from 4" to final container, I add some compost or well rotted manure that is free. 

I think my gardening is economic now that I have all the infrastructure purchased - the stakes, the trays, the lights, fencing and irrigation supplies because I can consistently grow a lot of food and I have gotten my season extended with access to a free greenhouse.  I am still waiting for many of the perennials to mature to full production. I should keep track of how much I harvest.  Last year I was harvesting salad greens on Mother's Day - (which is a frigging awesome achievement looking out over the snow, ice pellets and rain frozen onto every surface as I type).  I try to grow things that are not easy to buy - shelling peas and beans - because they are labour intensive to harvest.  Last year we got our first really good harvest of asparagus - and no store bought - can come close to fresh picked asparagus.  It is so tasty it can be eaten raw.  But I wouldn't do that with bought - because of e-coli. 

I transplanted all my tomatoes into 4inch pots yesterday.  I need to do the peppers but have no room.  Some of the hardier stuff needs to move from under the lights over to the greenhouse.  But with wretched freezing weather I can't put them in an unheated greenhouse.  There is snow in the forecast up to Thursday. 
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Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
« Reply #255 on: April 16, 2018, 07:01:11 AM »
Pro-Mix isnít stocked here in any stores that Iíve seen but Iíve heard good things. IIRC in the non organic version it is a sterile, essentially zero fertility, peat mix so it is designed to have fertility added to it. Not sure if the organic is the same or not. A podcaster I used to listen to loved that mix but stressed the need to add fertility. I think his preferred method was compost tea.
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Trifele

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Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
« Reply #256 on: April 16, 2018, 07:41:09 AM »
My bareroot gooseberries have only been in the ground 3 days, and they are popping full leaves already!  I've never seen that happen so fast with a bareroot transplant.  Hopefully this full-speed start is a sign that they approve of the site and the soil, and a harbinger of more good things to come. 

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Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
« Reply #257 on: April 16, 2018, 09:06:04 AM »
Economics: there are plants that save you tons of money growing, but tomatoes are definitely not it with possible exception of cherry varieties, which are often quite prolific.

I mean, I'm still eating off of my stash of home-canned tomatoes from last fall.... but yeah, I agree. I'm going to grow jalapeŮos after skipping them last year, because I had SO many of them chopped and frozen from 2 years ago, I didn't need to. Greens are cost effective for me too, when grown from seed, since store bought lettuce seems to always rot in the fridge so quickly. (Except in years when we get freak 90 degrees early and everything bolts.) I cannot successfully grow anything in the squash/cuke family, unfortunately. And I do use a lot of fresh herbs.

I HATED the Jiffy mix, YMMV. I honestly only have good success with starting from seed if I use the Jiffy pellets. I know those are not mustachian but that's the only thing that I can get healthy seedlings out of.

I am only allowed to use organic products in the community garden so I haven't tried any nonorganic soil. Maybe once I am producing my own compost, I can try growing in pure compost. I thought that was too rich for newly transplanted seedlings?

I feel like I have the infrastructure that I need - last year was an infrastructure year because I moved into a building with a small yard that I'm allowed to garden in, so I needed a raised bed (Aldi) and some big containers (Craigslist) and I bought the fruit bushes. My main expense going forward is going to be all this soil - because everything I read tells me that I should not reuse it from year to year. Ugh. How do people do this?

Some of the hardier stuff needs to move from under the lights over to the greenhouse.  But with wretched freezing weather I can't put them in an unheated greenhouse.  There is snow in the forecast up to Thursday. 

Same problem here, though I *think* the snow is supposed to end today. Yesterday I forgot to bring my plants in until around 10 p.m. and there was freaking SNOW in the pots!! :( They do not seem worse for wear, though; it was just peas, spinach, arugula and chard, and it was technically still above freezing. I am so sick of snow, I cannot even.

I really want to buy a second grow light because every year this is a problem - too many plants to cram under the light because it is still freezing cold and most things cannot go outside. But I  don't want to spend the money. I keep thinking one year we'll have an actual spring....



Frugal Lizard

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Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
« Reply #258 on: April 16, 2018, 09:11:38 AM »
Economics: there are plants that save you tons of money growing, but tomatoes are definitely not it with possible exception of cherry varieties, which are often quite prolific.

Some of the hardier stuff needs to move from under the lights over to the greenhouse.  But with wretched freezing weather I can't put them in an unheated greenhouse.  There is snow in the forecast up to Thursday. 

Same problem here, though I *think* the snow is supposed to end today. Yesterday I forgot to bring my plants in until around 10 p.m. and there was freaking SNOW in the pots!! :( They do not seem worse for wear, though; it was just peas, spinach, arugula and chard, and it was technically still above freezing. I am so sick of snow, I cannot even.

I really want to buy a second grow light because every year this is a problem - too many plants to cram under the light because it is still freezing cold and most things cannot go outside. But I  don't want to spend the money. I keep thinking one year we'll have an actual spring....
I am using light bulbs in the work light thing and a desk lamp to stop them from getting so leggy.  and I burnt a bunch of the leaves when they got too close to the heat bulbs so I unscrewed those.
« Last Edit: April 16, 2018, 06:08:45 PM by Frugal Lizard »
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horsepoor

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Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
« Reply #259 on: April 17, 2018, 09:48:19 PM »
Whatís your frost depth there? Iíve never thought about fall planting potatoes, I figured my winters would be too cold. Technically our frost depth can go to 4 feet, but I think 2-3 feet is more typical these days.


I don't know frost depth, but last winter was frigid.  I think we got to -15F a couple nights, and probably had a month below freezing, and I had volunteer potatoes.

I don't chit them, just leave whole small potatoes in the ground, not sure if that makes a difference.  This is the first time I've purposely fall-planted, and they haven't sprouted yet, but I did dig up a potato a couple days ago and it was in good condition and looked like it was thinking about sprouting.

Frugal Lizard

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Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
« Reply #260 on: April 18, 2018, 05:54:05 AM »
Whatís your frost depth there? Iíve never thought about fall planting potatoes, I figured my winters would be too cold. Technically our frost depth can go to 4 feet, but I think 2-3 feet is more typical these days.


I don't know frost depth, but last winter was frigid.  I think we got to -15F a couple nights, and probably had a month below freezing, and I had volunteer potatoes.

I don't chit them, just leave whole small potatoes in the ground, not sure if that makes a difference.  This is the first time I've purposely fall-planted, and they haven't sprouted yet, but I did dig up a potato a couple days ago and it was in good condition and looked like it was thinking about sprouting.

Our frost depth is 4 feet for foundations but rarely does the ground actually freeze any where near that deep - And it is all related to how much snow we get first.  I would think the biggest issue would be freeze and thaw cycles.  But just about every year I grow potatoes I miss one or six and they all reveal themselves in the spring.  I think I will try and fall plant this fall for an experiment now that I will have the space.
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Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
« Reply #261 on: April 19, 2018, 03:56:50 PM »
Whatís your frost depth there? Iíve never thought about fall planting potatoes, I figured my winters would be too cold. Technically our frost depth can go to 4 feet, but I think 2-3 feet is more typical these days.


I don't know frost depth, but last winter was frigid.  I think we got to -15F a couple nights, and probably had a month below freezing, and I had volunteer potatoes.

I don't chit them, just leave whole small potatoes in the ground, not sure if that makes a difference.  This is the first time I've purposely fall-planted, and they haven't sprouted yet, but I did dig up a potato a couple days ago and it was in good condition and looked like it was thinking about sprouting.

Our frost depth is 4 feet for foundations but rarely does the ground actually freeze any where near that deep - And it is all related to how much snow we get first.  I would think the biggest issue would be freeze and thaw cycles.  But just about every year I grow potatoes I miss one or six and they all reveal themselves in the spring.  I think I will try and fall plant this fall for an experiment now that I will have the space.

I'm further north and east, and the one year I left some potatoes in the ground they all turned to mush.  Fall planted garlic is fine though.
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Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
« Reply #262 on: April 20, 2018, 12:48:53 PM »
Spring has sprung here! The daytime high is above 12C, so I've begun taking my seedlings out to the back yard to enjoy the sun for a bit each day. Neighbours also took advantage of the warmth yesterday to do yard work, and were kind enough to drop off a few bags of leaves for me to use as mulch on my vegetable beds (I only have one mature tree + 5 wee twigs, so I don't get quite enough leaves from my own yard). 

No signs of life yet on the three fruit trees that I planted last year, so I'll be hovering attentively to look for signs that they survived their first winter. 
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Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
« Reply #263 on: April 21, 2018, 08:21:39 AM »
 I am going to put all the fragile seedlings out into the greenhouse for the day. It was 24 in there yesterday.  If I can't get a heater rigged up, DH said he would help me carry them back in the house for the night.  They are getting too leggy to continue under the grow lights.
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KBurns

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Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
« Reply #264 on: April 21, 2018, 08:44:23 AM »
Current Plantings:
Red Raspberry patch -Planted 2014
Black Raspberry -at end of the above patch -Planted 2015
Apple Tree -Planted 2015 (Got mowed down by deer last winter but it survived and with wrapping this winter survived again!)
Peach Tree -Planted 2017
Plum Tree -Planted 2017

2018 plan:
Set up compost
build green house
set up in ground vegetable garden

I would love to plant in the ground this year, we have so much set up to do I think it might be best to set up everything this year and plant next!

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Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
« Reply #265 on: April 21, 2018, 10:07:30 AM »
I'm heading back up to B.C. in about a week. I have been receiving reports that things are starting to go gangbusters. And with temperatures about to tick considerably higher things will just accelerate further. I have been unable to coax any friends or family to do any weeding for me - completely understandable - so between that and all the seedlings I need to plant out when I get back...I am going to be insanely busy in the garden for a while.

And frankly....I cannot wait. :)

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Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
« Reply #266 on: April 21, 2018, 11:17:02 AM »
I would love to plant in the ground this year, we have so much set up to do I think it might be best to set up everything this year and plant next!

Or you could maybe plant some potatoes this year?  I've found they are a great 'pioneer' plant for a new garden spot.  I've even planted them with no tilling at all -- just dig a shallow hole, backfill, and then hill them and mulch with dirt/leaves/straw as the plants grow.  In my experience the potatoes (and/or the mulch/hilling material?) really improves the soil, and then voila -- next year you've got some primo soil in that spot.

Frugal Lizard

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Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
« Reply #267 on: April 21, 2018, 04:32:03 PM »
Seedlings are back in the house for the night.
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Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
« Reply #268 on: April 21, 2018, 11:12:54 PM »
I can't believe I missed this thread until now. I've grown stuff in containers the past two years, fairly successfully the first time, less so the second. I haven't yet decided what I'll do this year, but posting to follow.

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Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
« Reply #269 on: April 22, 2018, 04:50:11 AM »
Plan is to get potatoes and the SX61 shrub willow cutttings (a Cornell selection of Salix miyabeana) that arrived in the snowstorm last week finally in the ground. Everything else that can be planted outside this time of year was seeded before the snow, hopefully it will germinate properly.
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Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
« Reply #270 on: April 22, 2018, 06:49:12 AM »
Aldi's had "seed starter" mix this year and I bought a couple of bags. I usually just use potting soil, though.

It's been a long, cold winter. I see that I've got some onions that overwintered. The raspberries are perking up. (I really hacked back the raspberries last fall - they were getting out of hand.) The herbs and strawberries look good.

I'm going to plant some peas this afternoon.

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Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
« Reply #271 on: April 22, 2018, 11:30:34 AM »
It's nearly warm enough to move our greenhouses from the kitchen/dining room to our 3.5 season porch!

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Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
« Reply #272 on: April 22, 2018, 06:18:56 PM »
I ate my first harvest from the garden yesterday: a single strawberry. A few more should be ripe this week.

I thinned out my carrots a little more today, as I didn't thin them adequately the first time. A few were orangish and sort of carrot-like. About how long from that point until they're ready to harvest?


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Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
« Reply #273 on: April 23, 2018, 04:51:00 AM »
I ate my first harvest from the garden yesterday: a single strawberry. A few more should be ripe this week.

I thinned out my carrots a little more today, as I didn't thin them adequately the first time. A few were orangish and sort of carrot-like. About how long from that point until they're ready to harvest?

Depends on the variety. You can poke around with your finger to estimate the size of the carrot before pulling it out of the ground, but itíll probably be a couple weeks minimum.
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Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
« Reply #274 on: April 23, 2018, 05:05:14 AM »
I got a small heater plugged in at the neighbours so that if the temperature in the greenhouse drop to below 4C - it would turn on.  The weather station said 0C at 5 am this morning and it is currently still 0C.  Here is hoping all was fine under the floating row covers!
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horsepoor

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Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
« Reply #275 on: April 23, 2018, 07:35:22 AM »
I'm further north and east, and the one year I left some potatoes in the ground they all turned to mush.  Fall planted garlic is fine though.

Yesterday I turned up a yellow potato right near the surface (I was planting beet seeds) and it was in great shape and had some sprouts starting.  Last winter was pretty mild though; I think a couple nights got down to 7F, but we didn't have a ton of sustained freezing weather.

Planted beets, parsnips and more radishes this weekend.  Got the hops trellises up, and temporarily repurposed several remesh tomato cages to grow pole beans. Repotted a ton of seedlings and kicked them all out to the greenhouse. Still need to get cucurbits and okra seedlings started.  The cherry tree is blooming and *should* be in the clear of any killing frosts.  It's supposed to be 80 on Thursday.  Tiny little carrot seedlings are starting to pop up too.

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Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
« Reply #276 on: April 23, 2018, 08:08:00 AM »
Garlic is up.  Still have some snow in places but I think it will be gone by the end of the day.
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KBurns

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Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
« Reply #277 on: April 23, 2018, 08:20:31 AM »
I would love to plant in the ground this year, we have so much set up to do I think it might be best to set up everything this year and plant next!

Or you could maybe plant some potatoes this year?  I've found they are a great 'pioneer' plant for a new garden spot.  I've even planted them with no tilling at all -- just dig a shallow hole, backfill, and then hill them and mulch with dirt/leaves/straw as the plants grow.  In my experience the potatoes (and/or the mulch/hilling material?) really improves the soil, and then voila -- next year you've got some primo soil in that spot.

This is totally doable! - Is the idea not to actually plant the potatoes for food just to help the ground?

Trifele

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Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
« Reply #278 on: April 23, 2018, 08:52:55 AM »
I would love to plant in the ground this year, we have so much set up to do I think it might be best to set up everything this year and plant next!

Or you could maybe plant some potatoes this year?  I've found they are a great 'pioneer' plant for a new garden spot.  I've even planted them with no tilling at all -- just dig a shallow hole, backfill, and then hill them and mulch with dirt/leaves/straw as the plants grow.  In my experience the potatoes (and/or the mulch/hilling material?) really improves the soil, and then voila -- next year you've got some primo soil in that spot.

This is totally doable! - Is the idea not to actually plant the potatoes for food just to help the ground?

It's a two-fer.:)   Get some tasty taters and some happy soil

cerat0n1a

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Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
« Reply #279 on: April 23, 2018, 09:48:04 AM »
This is totally doable! - Is the idea not to actually plant the potatoes for food just to help the ground?

The potatoes themselves don't really "help" the ground - in the sense they are reasonably greedy feeders. It's just that they tend to out-compete weeds and the process of earthing them up (covering them up so the tubers don't turn green) or mulching and then digging them up to harvest the potatoes does a decent job of turning rough ground into something ready for other crops. Obviously if you're mulching with organic stuff that will improve the soil quality.

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Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
« Reply #280 on: April 23, 2018, 12:40:54 PM »
I ate my first harvest from the garden yesterday: a single strawberry. A few more should be ripe this week.

I thinned out my carrots a little more today, as I didn't thin them adequately the first time. A few were orangish and sort of carrot-like. About how long from that point until they're ready to harvest?

Depends on the variety. You can poke around with your finger to estimate the size of the carrot before pulling it out of the ground, but itíll probably be a couple weeks minimum.
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Re: Planting / Growing your own 2018
« Reply #281 on: April 23, 2018, 06:01:48 PM »
I'm getting antsy to back to my garden now. This feeling actually started to grow a few weeks ago. My DW and my extended family have been doing period checks and walkthroughs for me....sending me a bunch of pics as well. They have started to harvest spinach and a few varieties of lettuce. First two plantings of peas are doing well (I will start a third as soon as I get back, the goal this year is to have a steady supply of peas ALL SUMMER). Potatoes are up. Onions are showing lots of new growth, especially the onion "sets". My quinoa seems have escaped being munched on this year. Kale and collards are looking really good. The only real bad news is that 3 of the 6 cabbage plants I put out in late March have died. I knew it was too early to set them out, so not too dissapointing. I have another 10 cabbage starts under the lights in our city condo.

The weather has really warmed up in the PNW...forecasts are for 20C (68F) for the next several days. Given my garden's tendancy to capture warmth in it's forested glade, I expect it to be much warmer than that. I know my DW well enough to sense that she might be getting a bit overwhelmed by the amount of starts under her care under the grow lights - tomatoes, peppers, tomatillos...so I want to get home in order to ease her burden as well. With any luck the late Spring will be a warm one and I can start to get some of these things planted out.

Someone mentioned garlic.....we've got that covered this year.


(Not sure why that image is blurry)

Before heading south I expanded one of my last remaining in-ground beds in order to make a large "mound" on which I'm going to plant my squash. I've tried squash in the wooden raised beds....and it's been my experience that they seem to prefer being in the ground.  The "new" in ground bed can be seen almost dead centre in the picture. Just needs a bit more soil when I get back....you can see how the soil level is a bit low on the left.



That pic is almost a month old now. I'm thinking of investing in a brand new gas powered string trimmer when I get home. It ain't gonna be pretty. ;)

And yes....that's a BOAT.