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Click on a thumbnail picture below to see the full size version. 92 Entries.
Thursday, January 1 View Page
Just an Update on my 2014/2015 Winter Project… Soil Media Delivery… (Picture taken in the Fall of 2014) Due to my new winter project location change pictures are prohibited so I have not been able to keep everyone informed of the process like I have done in the past. However, to bring everyone up to speed I do have a winter project in the works! The new location required media to grow in so I invested in fresh potting media to use as my substrate. You are looking at about 30 compressed bails of ProMix BX. I take winter growing as seriously as my field growing so this was quite the investment into a project with many unknowns.
 
Thursday, January 1 View Page
Let There Be Light… (Picture taken in the Fall of 2014) In addition to the media I know lighting has been a problem in the past so I decided to invest in some high quality lights this year. Keep in mind that my goal is not to grow a giant pumpkin in the winter, but to simply grow a plant that can support a healthy pumpkin so that I can have seeds (with giant potential) in time for the normal growing season. These lights were intended to keep the plants in better health during the low natural light period of winter. This was an especially cold winter season that tested the heating system and revealed some weaknesses, but overall the plants made it through.
 
Thursday, January 1 View Page
The Clones Have Arrived… (Picture taken in the Fall of 2014) 1985 Miller ’13 (F: 2009 Wallace x 1725 Harp) [2036 Glasier] clone. This is actual plant material from the 1985 Miller ’13 plant that grew Pete and Cindi’s 2036 pound pumpkin. I want to thank them as well as the many other growers that were willing to ship me plant material, but due to lack of space this was the one that made the cut for my winter project.
 
Thursday, January 1 View Page
Letter of Authenticity (Picture taken in the Fall of 2014) To me the 1985 Miller ’13 is a remake of my “Snowball” (220.3 DeBacco ‘13 F: 2009 Wallace x 1725 Harp [2009 Wallace] clone) and to have this material produce a 2036 pound pumpkin gave me the confidence that I would have a genetic outlier in the proper direction to work into this winters project. It is always nice to get a note from the growers include in the box they send.
 
Thursday, January 1 View Page
Going Green (Picture taken in the Fall of 2014) I was also able to get material from Scott’s plant that grew the World Record squash (615 Cantrell x self). Due to space I could not keep the plant very big to set a fruit on but I hope I can kick the plant back into an aggressive vegetative stage so I can have the potential for clones in the spring. If this ends up working out I am hopeful this will have the possibility to speed up the squash breeding lineage.
 
Thursday, January 1 View Page
Rooted Clones (Picture taken in the Fall of 2014) If you look back you will see that cuttings are sent to me right off the plant. It is my challenge to get them to stabilize and root before putting them into media. In this picture are the two 1985 Miller ’13 [2036 Glasier] clones that I received before they went to the (picture restricted) winter growing area.
 
Thursday, January 1 View Page
Trying to Predict the Future… (Picture taken in the Fall of 2014) This is something I struggle with every year, what seed do I select to add to the winter project that will be desirable for the genetic pumpkin pool? I have a process that I go through and I have been fortunate to pick some very good seeds in the past. What makes this a great challenge is I need to select the next top seed by Halloween so there is not much time after the weigh-off that I am seeking seeds. Here are the two I selected for this year’s project… 1916 Barron ’14 (F: 2009 Wallace x 1730.5 Werner)- While I have seen many great pumpkins in the past what impressed me about this pumpkin was the “small” size of it for its weight. I had this seeds on my radar but when I had the opportunity to touch and thump it for myself I knew this was a special pumpkin. It felt rock solid everywhere around the pumpkin with no visual signs of any flaws. Thanks goes out to Mr. Barron for getting me seeds as soon as possible after what I am sure was a tiring year. I am hearing more and more about this seed as planting time gets closer so I hope I picked another unproven winner. 179.4 DeBacco ’14 (F:335 Scherber ’11 x 1734.5 Steil) “Marshmallow”- This is a result of all my past breeding so I am continuing this lineage. This seed proved itself last year and in the greenhouse the root formation is impressive compared to all other plants. It is important to point out that my winter pumpkins are grown mainly with just water so differences that I see are more representative of true genetics then that of product additions. To skip ahead to pollination time, the following crosses were made… F: 179.4 DeBacco ’14 “Marshmallow” x 1916 Barron …and… F: 1916 Barron x 1985 Miller ’13 [2036 Glasier] clone
 
Saturday, March 21 View Page
GPC Convention in Wilkes-Barre Pennsylvania This is a very unique picture that I am very happy to be able to put together and be a part of. Going from left to right… Ken Desrosiers= Mr. bigpumpkins.com, followed by Don Black, Tony Ciliberto, Jim Kuhn. These are some of the first growers seeds that I planted. Their willingness to share seeds was, and still is very much appreciated! Then there is me;-)
 
Monday, March 23 View Page
Increasing Fruit Sizes by Increasing Cell Division- “Anthesis” This is something I have been working on researching for multiple years but I think I finally have something that I can offer to growers to experiment with. The small tubes contain plant hormones that should help increase the duration and frequency of cell division in a pumpkin or tomato. (If you are looking at the vials and do not see anything in them that is because in this picture they are empty;-) It is the duration of cell division that has a great impact on final cell number and also overall mass. An interesting fact I came across in my research is that cells can increase their size up to 11,000 fold of their initial volume! I came up with the name “Anthesis” (which is defined as the period when a flower is fully open and functional) for my plant hormone combo spray simply so growers can have something to refer to and it needs to be applied 48-hr post pollination. I want to thank all of the growers that have had an interest in this and are willing to give it a trial run this year. I have a slide show about it posted on the Team-Pumpkin.org website (Presentation section) and have answered many questions about what I have been working on. I wanted to post a picture of just how small the containers are as you can see the penny for size comparison. Researching and working on the microscopic scale (cell signaling) can potentially have macroscopic results. Thinking small could be the next BIG thing.
 
Thursday, April 16 View Page
132.2 DeBacco ‘15 (C) “Dinosaur Egg” (F: 179.4 DeBacco ‘14 “Marshmallow” x M: 1916 Barron ‘14) I know many were looking for updates to my winter project but due to a location change pictures were not an option at the site. So here is the key end of the season harvest picture of what was referred to as the “Dinosaur Egg”. It was breed with the 1916 Barron to hopefully get some percent heavy in the genetic line. Some of you may be wondering what the “C” is after the year and I can assure you this is not a typo. This signifies that this pumpkin was weighed at a Team-Pumpkin “certified” weigh-off following the standards published on the website. Link: http://www.team-pumpkin.org/more%20info.htm The basic summary is that the weighing procedure meets the criteria for an official fruit (meaning it was inspected for signs of damage) and was weighed on a calibrated scale and was tarred accordingly. It was not weighed on a typical platform scale as is generally accepted, but still had witnesses (other than the grower) present. Sorry for the lack of updates but this was yet another successful winter project and with the extreme cold this winter and some of the new location challenges I feel fortunate to have harvested seeds and keep the season early breeding going another year.
 
Friday, April 17 View Page
Gaining knowledge form other growers is always helpful and a horticulture teacher named Michael Martin, at the Connecticut Juvenile Training School in Middletown, CT provided the use of a state-of-the-art greenhouse as well as critical help during the winter growing season. Due to the extreme cold this past winter, environmental control was a necessity and Mr. Martin grows using the latest LED lighting technology which lighting could have been a hindrance in the past projects. His expertise of greenhouse environmental controls made him the ideal candidate to accomplish this year's winter breeding project. Martin would like to credit the pumpkin to the superb greenhouse facility at CJTS. It is also worth mentioning that this pumpkin was grown in only 11 cubic feet of soil, making the yield a whopping 12lbs./cubic foot! The picture shows just three bags of soil that was the entire growing medium for the entire plant. Congratulations to the Therapeutic Horticulture program at CJTS for successfully breeding the 132.2 CJTS "Dinosaur Egg" giant pumpkin this past winter!
 
Thursday, April 23 View Page
My 2015 Seed Line-up… 1916 Barron ’14 (F: 2009 Wallace x M: 1730 Werner) 1744.5 Fulk ’13 (F: 220.3 DeBacco “Snowball” x M: 1789 Wallace) 1719.5 Daletas ‘14 (F: 1676.5 Daletas x M: 2009 Wallace) 1676.5 Daletas ’12 (F: 1381 Checkon x M: 1495 Stelts) 811 Gerhardt ’11 (F: 923 Gerhardt x M: 1332 Wolf) 179.4 DeBacco ’14 “Marshmallow” (F: 335 Scherber x M: 1734.5 Steil)
 
Friday, May 1 View Page
Here is my patch picture with a lot of the work recently completed due to the longer than normal snow pack on the ground. Last fall, I added some old hay bales to the patch so that is what is on the soils surface. Due to the colder than normal temperatures the natural plant life seems behind when I look at past pictures. Still early in the season and this is why cold-frames are important.
 
Friday, May 1 View Page
1916 Barron ’14 (F: 2009 Wallace x M: 1730 Werner) With the cold start to the year my plants are showing a sulfur deficiency which is the first time I have seen this happen in my patch. I chose to grow this seed because I was impressed with the pumpkin when I saw it in person. Also, the combination of the 2009 Wallace and 1730 Werner genetics I think make a good combination so this was a win-win in my opinion. I also used this plant as part of my winter project and this was another reason it made the cut to the field grown patch this year.
 
Friday, May 1 View Page
1744.5 Fulk ’13 (F: 220.3 DeBacco “Snowball” x M: 1789 Wallace) With the cold start to the year my plants are showing a sulfur deficiency which is the first time I have seen this happen in my patch. While I know this will produce a white pumpkin I really like the “Snowball” genetics. Also, this seed had a very impressive first year out and the offspring all seemed very symmetrical in shape which should mean there will be less potential for problems assuming I get a pumpkin.
 
Friday, May 1 View Page
1719.5 Daletas ‘14 (F: 1676.5 Daletas x M: 2009 Wallace) With the cold start to the year my plants are showing a sulfur deficiency which is the first time I have seen this happen in my patch and this plant has the worst yellowing color. There were a few growers that made this same cross and I had a hard time deciding which one to plant but I settled on this one because the pumpkin had the deepest orange color. The 2009 Wallace pollinator did end-up as a dmg pumpkin but based on the track it was one it makes for a nice pollinator.
 
Friday, May 1 View Page
1676.5 Daletas ’12 (F: 1381 Checkon x M: 1495 Stelts) With the cold start to the year my plants are showing a sulfur deficiency which is the first time I have seen this happen in my patch. Since this seed grew my personal best I feel a special connection with this seed. I like the plant behavior of the plant and the pumpkins seem to be steady growers all are good traits that I want to see continued in the pumpkin genetic pool.
 
Friday, May 1 View Page
811 Gerhardt ’11 (F: 923 Gerhardt x M: 1332 Wolf) With the cold start to the year my plants are showing a sulfur deficiency which is the first time I have seen this happen in my patch. This plant has my best odds of producing a bright orange pumpkin. I grew it last year and despite the virus that took down the plant early I was impressed also with its ability to grow a nice sized pumpkin. For these reasons is made the cut for this year’s patch.
 
Friday, May 1 View Page
179.4 DeBacco ’14 “Marshmallow” (F: 335 Scherber x M: 1734.5 Steil) With the cold start to the year my plants are showing a sulfur deficiency which is the first time I have seen this happen in my patch. This plant was also grown as part of a winter project and it was impressive. The plant is nothing special, but it is the root structure that makes this unique. Often growers want to see a nice looking plant but forget about the supporting root structure and this has a very aggressive root structure.
 
Sunday, May 24 View Page
General patch update showing the effectiveness of my weed block and how I lay out my drip irrigation lines. This is the same system I have used in the past and I am still happy with how it performs so I continue to use it.
 
Saturday, May 30 View Page
Plants are now starting to outgrow the cold-frames so I have removed the plastic from them. This will be followed shortly by the supporting PVC pipe structure. Then as the plants grown I simply roll back the weed block until the plants reach the ends of the patch and then the weed block gets removed entirely.
 
Thursday, June 11 View Page
In an effort to combat aphids that have been transmitting virus to my patch I have gone with a three part plan. What makes things very challenging is that insecticides do not work fast enough (only takes seconds to transmit the virus) so I have to go with other means to simply have the aphids avoid coming in contact with my plants. The first part is something that I do not think is being used much in the United States (at least in field applications) and that is the use of beneficial insects to attack pest insects. There is a lot of planning that must be done, as there are many variables to consider. Some that I took into consideration and what I decided on are listed below… 1. Type of insect to get? (Green Lacewings: Chrysoperia rufilabris) 2. Stage of development to get the insects? (Egg stage, most cost effective) 3. How many? (5,000 for my area) 4. How often to repeat a release? (About every 7-10 days) 5. How and where to release the insects? (Mist the area with water and sprinkle the eggs with their rice hull carrier in many small areas around and in the pumpkin patch.) 6. When to start releasing? (Around May 22nd) 7. How long to release for? (I made three separate applications with the last one being a double dose of 10,000 eggs) My “dirty” aphids (those that were carrying the virus) were coming in to my area around June 1st to the 10th. So I started my weekly releasing of my Green Lacewings around May 22nd to give time for the eggs to hatch (it takes 2-5 days) and be on the hunt for aphids in the area. The larvae feed for about 7-21 days so this will offer extended coverage as I was releasing more (about 5,000 eggs) each week so by time some of my Green Lacewings were nearing the end of their feeding cycle others would just be stating. The goal was to always keep feeding Green Lacewings in the area especially during the highest odds when initial virus infection has been known to occur.
 
Friday, June 12 View Page
The second part of my plan is a visual deterrent and I have chosen to use shade netting called “Aluminet”. I spoke with some other growers that had success with this system so I looked over what they had used and made some adjustments to fit my area. I decided to use 60% shade netting and also go with a 7ft height. This material with 60% shading did have some data to show it repelled insects and the fine mesh may also have the added benefit of being a physical barrier to some degree, even though it is porous. The entire patch perimeter has been covered (even though it is not fully set-up in this image) for maximum protection. The concept behind this idea is the shine of the material confuses the insects and makes them think this is part of the sky and they want to fly down where it is shaded. I did an experiment in the greenhouse with aluminum foil on some benches and there was noticeably less aphids on the bench with the aluminum foil than the other non treated (control) benches so there is some truth behind this idea. Reflective mulches also work in field applications to reduce thrip populations. This does add a unique look to the patch and there is the added bonus of getting some wind protection from the material. You will notice in the picture that there are many vertical poles as these are all needed to prevent the material from becoming one big sail in the wind. So, far everything has held up well through some of the recent weather.
 
Friday, June 12 View Page
1916 Barron ’14 (F: 2009 Wallace x M: 1730 Werner) Seems like I have a right handed plant as the secondary vines on the left side are slow to develop even though there are vines there with growing tips but the growth has been slower on the left side for whatever reason. I have full confidence that it will fill the area with time but at the moment the plant is asymmetrical. Also, I probably should weed the edge that my weed block just does not quite reach;-) This shows how effect (and what a time savings) the weed block actually is. While it seems the standard for comparison this time of year is main vine length, I have had plants in the past that grow a great main vine but do not ‘fill-in’, so I developed the idea of Leaf Area Estimation which is basically the area of a triangle. (This works best for the standard Christmas Tree style of pruning.) All you have to do is measure the width of the plant and the length of the main vine. Then it is simply (1/2)*(width of the plant)*(main vine length) = Leaf Area Estimation. Leaf Area Estimation= 83.5 square feet Main Vine Length= 14.5 feet
 
Friday, June 12 View Page
1744.5 Fulk ’13 (F: 220.3 DeBacco “Snowball” x M: 1789 Wallace) I know it is still early in the season but I think this seed has something special. My 220.3 DeBacco ’13 “Snowball” has always been a slow starter, but this cross seems to have corrected this typical slow start issue since this plant is basically tied for biggest in the patch. Now, if the aggressive and continued pumpkin growth that I have seen from Snowball can occur on a large plant from the start of the season, really big things could be possible. While it seems the standard for comparison this time of year is main vine length, I have had plants in the past that grow a great main vine but do not ‘fill-in’, so I developed the idea of Leaf Area Estimation which is basically the area of a triangle. (This works best for the standard Christmas Tree style of pruning.) All you have to do is measure the width of the plant and the length of the main vine. Then it is simply (1/2)*(width of the plant)*(main vine length) = Leaf Area Estimation. Leaf Area Estimation= 135 square feet Main Vine Length= 18 feet
 
Friday, June 12 View Page
1719.5 Daletas ‘14 (F: 1676.5 Daletas x M: 2009 Wallace) This plant is tied for biggest in the patch at the moment. The growth continues to be aggressive and I like what I see overall from this plant. In the picture you will notice a tall bamboo stake with yellow and red tape at the top near the main vine tip. This marks the location that my personal best pumpkin was grown and there is a female located at this exact spot, so I think that may be my keeper;-) While it seems the standard for comparison this time of year is main vine length, I have had plants in the past that grow a great main vine but do not ‘fill-in’, so I developed the idea of Leaf Area Estimation which is basically the area of a triangle. (This works best for the standard Christmas Tree style of pruning.) All you have to do is measure the width of the plant and the length of the main vine. Then it is simply (1/2)*(width of the plant)*(main vine length) = Leaf Area Estimation. Leaf Area Estimation= 136 square feet Main Vine Length= 17 feet
 
Friday, June 12 View Page
1676.5 Daletas ’12 (F: 1381 Checkon x M: 1495 Stelts) Each year I grow this plant (this is my third year) it is just a steady producer and this year is no exception. It may not be the biggest plant in the patch, but it is not very far behind the current leaders. The genetics have proved their potential to me in the past and so far I see no reason to be concerned. Once I get the weeds removed it will look even better. While it seems the standard for comparison this time of year is main vine length, I have had plants in the past that grow a great main vine but do not ‘fill-in’, so I developed the idea of Leaf Area Estimation which is basically the area of a triangle. (This works best for the standard Christmas Tree style of pruning.) All you have to do is measure the width of the plant and the length of the main vine. Then it is simply (1/2)*(width of the plant)*(main vine length) = Leaf Area Estimation. Leaf Area Estimation=122.5 square feet Main Vine Length= 17.5 feet
 
Friday, June 12 View Page
811 Gerhardt ’11 (F: 923 Gerhardt x M: 1332 Wolf) First off, I know this plant needs water;-) It seems the leaf structure of this plant is a little different than the others I have in the patch. I noticed this last year also the leaves have more of a flat appearance to them with a more rounded shape. I do not think there is anything wrong with this phenotype, just something I noticed. When the plant fills in it has a “Lillypad” look to it almost like you could walk across it or like it would hold a nice bass below it;-) While it seems the standard for comparison this time of year is main vine length, I have had plants in the past that grow a great main vine but do not ‘fill-in’, so I developed the idea of Leaf Area Estimation which is basically the area of a triangle. (This works best for the standard Christmas Tree style of pruning.) All you have to do is measure the width of the plant and the length of the main vine. Then it is simply (1/2)*(width of the plant)*(main vine length) = Leaf Area Estimation. Leaf Area Estimation= 116.5 square feet Main Vine Length= 15.5 feet
 
Friday, June 12 View Page
179.4 DeBacco ’14 “Marshmallow” (F: 335 Scherber x M: 1734.5 Steil) This plant was slow to get going and had some issues as it was trying to vine, but I am getting it back on the ground and under control. It may be the smallest in the patch at the moment but it is starting to take-off. I think the initial delay with this seed is that it is an aggressive root producer and this is what causes the early delay in top growth. Once the roots establish themselves the vine growth seems to be above average. While it seems the standard for comparison this time of year is main vine length, I have had plants in the past that grow a great main vine but do not ‘fill-in’, so I developed the idea of Leaf Area Estimation which is basically the area of a triangle. (This works best for the standard Christmas Tree style of pruning.) All you have to do is measure the width of the plant and the length of the main vine. Then it is simply (1/2)*(width of the plant)*(main vine length) = Leaf Area Estimation. Leaf Area Estimation= 33.5 square feet Main Vine Length= 13.5 feet
 
Saturday, June 13 View Page
My third component of my aphid repelling plan involves scent. I have been applying “Garlic Barrier” to the perimeter of my patch on about a 3 day or so (due to rain events) interval to deter aphids with the garlic scent. I only made one application on the actual pumpkin plants early in the season and all of the rest have been made to the area surrounding the plants. I like to think of it as a scent barrier to the patch. To recap, I have implemented the following as my three part anti-aphid system… -Beneficial insects to seek out and eat the aphids -“Aluminet” to visually (and partially physically) deter aphids -“Garlic Barrier” to provide a scent to also deter aphids *Goal is to keep virus carrying aphids away from my plants without the use of insecticides during the critical 10+ day period when they have been known to infect my patch.
 
Sunday, June 21 View Page
“Anthesis” Application This shows the stage of development you want to apply the “Anthesis” spray that I developed. This is a pumpkin that was pollinated 48-hours ago. As you can see I use blue plastic cups to cover the flower to prevent bees from making my crosses impure. This pumpkin is under an umbrella which is also helpful due to the rainy weather patter we have been in recently. What I do is take the Maxus (brown vial) that should be kept frozen out of the freezer the day I do the pollination and put it in the refrigerator so it can defrost. The morning that I need the contents are back in a liquid from. Then I take about ten mL of distilled water and put it in my mixing container. Then I add both contents from my vials (Cucurbit + Maxus) and rinse them out with distilled water. Once this is complete I then add more distilled water so the final volume is 30mL. Add this final mixture to my fine mist spray bottle and then go apply it to the actual pumpkin. There is no need to apply any to the actual flower as call division is occurring in the actual pumpkin so this is where you want to target your spray application. This is pumpkin is on my 1719.5 Daletas ’14 plant. The tag writing in the background decoded is as follows… 6-19 = June 19th pollination day & 4 lob. = four lobe flower & 9.9 = this is the rating out of 10 for symmetry and this is a very, very near perfect rating.
 
Sunday, June 21 View Page
“Anthesis” Application- Continued This pictures shows that there is no harm in getting some of the spay mist on the actually flower but there is really no benefit of doing this. I was attempting to show that all you need is an even spray coverage on the actual pumpkin but it did not really come out in the picture. I removed the cup that was in the previous picture just to make it easier to get around the pumpkin. While the final mixing volume is 30 mL (or 1oz.) this is more than you need for one pumpkin and infect this will do about three pumpkins during the same morning. The reason why it is important to mix-up the contents the morning you plan on using them and then make your application soon after mixing is once added to distilled water they start breaking down (which is a good thing). If the hormones did not break down the signal would be to strong and over regulate the processes that occur on the cellular level and could lead to negative mutations. By having them break down the natural cell signal is simply being extended during the critical time (48-hr. after pollination) that it is naturally high. The goal is to simply have the cells divide for longer and at a faster rate. One potential slight negative is that the pumpkins may have slower early growth since the cell swell phase is being delayed since the cell division phase is being extended. (I never thought day 10 numbers were reliable anyway.) However, the trade-off is at the end of the season greater potential for extended growth. Each cell can expand about 11,000 times its original volume so by increasing the number of cells there is a greater opportunity to gain more weight. This is pumpkin is on my 1719.5 Daletas ’14 plant. The tag writing in the background decoded is as follows… 6-19 = June 19th pollination day & 4 lob. = four lobe flower & 9.9 = this is the rating out of 10 for symmetry and this is a very, very near perfect rating.
 
Tuesday, June 23 View Page
Here you can see the resetting of the “Aluminet” shade netting now that the correct size has arrived since there was a mix-up on the original shipment. When the shade netting is up it makes the plants hard to see so I took this opportunity to provide a look inside the patch at my plants. At this point all six plants are in good shape with umbrellas protecting my hopeful pumpkins and SVB (Squash Vine Borer) traps all set-up.
 
Tuesday, June 30 View Page
179.4 DeBacco ’14 “Marshmallow” (F: 335 Scherber x M: 1734.5 Steil) Sadly I am going to be removing this plant today because the chosen female flower did not look right. It is hard to pull a plant that looks this great but I am fortunate to have five other plants so I feel that I can be aggressive in my decision making. I have found in the past if the lobes in the female flower were malformed this equates to high odds of having a malformed pumpkin and typically this leads to the pumpkin splitting later in the season. This is why I developed my 1-10 lobe symmetry rating to be able to track my theory.
 
Tuesday, June 30 View Page
Grass Seed Planted This shows the area I provide for each of my pumpkin plants. The dimensions are about 32ft wide X 30ft. long. I use the yellow rope to mark the edge so I know when to terminate my secondary vines. Even though the plant is gone I will continue to leave the SVB (Squash Vine Borer) pheromone trap up to help reduce the local moth population.
 
Saturday, July 4 View Page
Grass Seed Starting to Grow My grass seed is already starting to grow just four days after seeding, it should like the pumpkin prepared soil it has been placed in;-)
 
Saturday, July 4 View Page
1916 Barron ’14 (x 1676.5 Daletas) Pollinated on: June 24th Feet out on the main vine: 18.5ft. *Anthesis Treated* Day: 10 OTT: 55.5” Est. Weight: 4.5 pounds This pumpkin has a nice long stem which has made positioning easier as it is already close to the goal of a 90-degree angle to the main vine. The plant area behind the pumpkin has filled in well and should provide enough energy for this pumpkin.
 
Saturday, July 4 View Page
1744.5 Fulk ’13 (x 1719.5 Daletas) Pollinated on: June 24th Feet out on the main vine: 21.5ft. *Anthesis Treated* Day: 10 OTT: 55.5” Est. Weight: 4.5 pounds Still early in the game but this is my hopeful pumpkin for this plant. You will see that I place a dryer sheet near the pumpkin to act as a deterrent to any varmints that may want to investigate the pumpkin. I am told the smell will keep them away and I see no real harm in using them. I do place a white sheet over the pumpkins (even at this size) but I removed it for the picture.
 
Saturday, July 4 View Page
1719.5 Daletas ‘14 (x 1744 Fulk) Pollinated on: June 19th Feet out on the main vine: 20ft. *Anthesis Treated* Day: 15 OTT: 95.5” Est. Weight: 21.6 pounds At this point in time I am seeing more of the 1676.5 Daletas in the background than the 2009 Wallace but I really like the overall shape and shine to this pumpkin so far. The stem is on the thicker side so I am being extra careful when working the pumpkin away from the main vine.
 
Saturday, July 4 View Page
1676.5 Daletas ’12 (x 1916 Barron) Pollinated on: June 21st Feet out on the main vine: 18ft. *Anthesis Applied* Day: 13 OTT: 66” Est. Weight: 7.4 pounds I am seeing similarities with the 1719.5 Daletas plant and I am perfectly happy to see this. I am noticing that there seems to be a little more yellow to the vines compared to what I have seen in the past. I know this can be an indicator of orange color which is what I would expect from this seed, but I have yet to get an orange pumpkin from this seed in the previous two years.
 
Saturday, July 4 View Page
811 Gerhardt ’11 (x 1719.5 Daletas) Pollinated on: June 17th Feet out on the main vine: 16ft. Day: 17 OTT: 97.5” Est. Weight: 22.9 pounds This is the biggest pumpkin in the patch at the moment and so far it is showing every sign of also being a nice round and orange pumpkin at the end of the season. I hope everything continues to go as planned;-)
 
Tuesday, July 14 View Page
1916 Barron ’14 (x 1676.5 Daletas) *Anthesis Treated* Day: 20 OTT: 184.5” Est. Weight: 145 pounds So far this plant is still filling in past the pumpkin but it is getting there. The area behind the pumpkin is just about all terminated. The long stem has made proper positioning easy and the longer pumpkin shape is becoming more pronounced now.
 
Tuesday, July 14 View Page
1744.5 Fulk ’13 (x 1719.5 Daletas) *Anthesis Treated* Day: 20 OTT: 173” Est. Weight: 121 pounds Looks like this pumpkin will curl over the blossom end which is not necessarily a bad thing. I am doing my best to position it so this occurs as late as possible. I could pack some sand under it to get it level, but what I do not like about this option is that you are then committed to this bed of sand for the entire season. I have seen in one growers patch that they ended up having to put about 2ft of sand under the pumpkin by the end of the season.
 
Tuesday, July 14 View Page
1719.5 Daletas ‘14 (x 1744 Fulk) *Anthesis Treated* Day: 25 OTT: 214” Est. Weight: 223 pounds This pumpkin is taking on its unique shape and characteristics early. I am happy with the growth it has been doing and it is currently the biggest in the patch. The nice yellow color indicates there is at least a chance at some good orange color by the end of the season. The supporting plant continues to be in great shape so hopefully I can maintain this for the rest of the season.
 
Tuesday, July 14 View Page
1676.5 Daletas ’12 (x 1916 Barron) *Anthesis Treated* Day: 23 OTT: 178.5” Est. Weight: 132 pounds The pumpkin and supporting plant are both in great shape. No complains to this point in the season and it does look like I may get an orange pumpkin off this plant, but time will tell on this. The symmetrical shape with slight ribbing shows it has a nice supporting structure that should be able to support the continued growth with no flaws.
 
Tuesday, July 14 View Page
811 Gerhardt ’11 (x 1719.5 Daletas) Day: 27 OTT: 198” Est. Weight: 178 pounds This pumpkin really glows in the sun and even though there is a slightly lighter coloration close to the blossom end, this is because there was a leaf that fell over and shaded this region. The leaf has now been moved to allow even light which should mean even coloration on the pumpkin.
 
Friday, July 17 View Page
This pictures shows all of the weeds I missed under my 1719.5 Daletas plant ;-) I basically hand weed under my plants and while this may not result in perfectly clean soil under my plants I feel that I have the “good” weeds under my plants. Unlike aggressive spreading weeds, I have mainly grass species that I think may offer some slight benefits with their fibrous root system since they are monocots. With all of the microbes we are looking to support having some extra root exudates can be advantageous.
 
Saturday, August 1 View Page
Team-Pumpkin Patch Tour Day! We had a great turn out and I want to thank all of those that made this event a success. It was great to see some new growers as well as some seasoned growers that were in attendance and visiting my patch for the first time. In the picture I am posing next to the closest pumpkin to the back door (that also happens to be a nice orange pumpkin) with the crowd waiting for me to make it to the rest of the patch to uncover the remaining pumpkins. The heavily weeded area is the plant site that I lost an early plant that I seeded “Contractors Grade” grass seed that has filled in nicely. I did let some secondaries get long on one of my plants to take over some of this space as a test. Since the grass was thick I was unable to bury the vines and this is the reason for the leaf flagging during the hot part of the day. No complaints from me as far as the plants are concerned, just being virus free this year is a great feeling. Thanks to all that came out to my patch, hope it was educational.
 
Saturday, August 1 View Page
Here is a unique view of the pumpkin patch from the roof of my shed. It shows my two main hobbies as it is nice to have options during the summer.
 
Sunday, August 2 View Page
1916 Barron ’14 (x 1676.5 Daletas) *Anthesis Treated* Day: 39 OTT: 323.5” Est. Weight: 738.5 pounds This pumpkin has been a steady grower which will hopefully increase the odds that it will go heavy to the measurements at the end of the season. I have seen this seed produce a wide variance of shapes and colors, but for me it looks like I got a white one. As far as the shape goes it has more length then I think it looks like in the picture, so it looks like the color comes from the mother and the shape is favoring the parental lineage for my particular pumpkin. At this point in the season this plant has the most aggressively growing main vine that will be terminated soon around 45ft long.
 
Sunday, August 2 View Page
1744.5 Fulk ’13 (x 1719.5 Daletas) *Anthesis Treated* Day: 39 OTT: 338.5” Est. Weight: 842 pounds I like the symmetrical shape of this pumpkin which leads to no major flaws in the main structure of this pumpkin that can be visually seen. The color is what I expected from the 220 DeBacco “Snowball” lineage. Only down side is I do have a stem side split that I am monitoring but at the moment it does not go through so all is good.
 
Sunday, August 2 View Page
1719.5 Daletas ‘14 (x 1744 Fulk) *Anthesis Treated* Day: 44 OTT: 334” Est. Weight: 810 pounds I am letting this plant take-up some of the space where I pulled a plant earlier in the season. This plant has been very aggressive and it has been filling the extra space in very well, however, I am now terminating more of the vines since the pumpkin is now over 40 days old. As expected the blossom end is getting the “sucked in” shape, which does not concern me, but I just do not care for this appearance in general.
 
Sunday, August 2 View Page
1676.5 Daletas ’12 (x 1916 Barron) *Anthesis Treated* Day: 42 OTT: 319” Est. Weight: 709 pounds There is just something about this seed/plant that I like. This year my pumpkin has a higher shape than I normally get, but it has been getting taller each day. I moved the umbrella up and the gap is getting smaller which is a good sign the pumpkin is growing. The symmetrical shape is also very nice to see and is consistent with what I have seen from this plant in the past.
 
Sunday, August 2 View Page
811 Gerhardt ’11 (x 1719.5 Daletas) Day: 46 OTT: 310” Est. Weight: 653 pounds Let me start out by saying that this picture was not altered in anyway; this is just how the pumpkin looks. I am very happy with the color of the pumpkin and the ribbing it has provided a little character that only makes it look more like a traditional pumpkin. I am hopeful that the pumpkin keeps growing and the color continues to mature as the month goes on.
 
Thursday, August 6 View Page
Downy Mildew on Cucumbers “Classic Look” Odds are if you have grown cucumbers you have seen your leaves look like this at some point. This is what Downy Mildew looks like in an almost ideal, straight out of a textbook picture. What makes downy such a challenge is that there are six different strains and fortunate for us pumpkin growers, there are some strains our plants are naturally resistant to. However, cucumbers are susceptible to all six strains. So, you can use cucumber plants as an indicator but not necessarily a sure sign that your pumpkin plants will be infected. This year, in my local area there has been high downy mildew pressure and as a result some plantings have been going down in as little as 10 days which is not uncommon for this disease given the right conditions.
 
Friday, August 7 View Page
Very Dry Year It seems this year all of the rain storms have been missing my area. As the picture indicates you can easily see the wetting front from the edge line of my drip irrigation. There is about a three foot perimeter around the patch of green grass followed by dry and dead looking grass where my irrigation water does not reach. This has been the year to really test an irrigation system and so far my system has been working as designed.
 
Sunday, August 30 View Page
1916 Barron ’14 (x 1676.5 Daletas) *Anthesis Treated* Day: 67 OTT: 385.5” Est. Weight: 1227 pounds I have seen this seed produce a wide variety of shapes and colors, but it looks like my offspring will favor the round and white characteristics. (I was hoping for some orange color, but it does not look like this is going to happen.) This pumpkin reminds me of what the actual 1916 Barron looked like, so hopefully I will get the same percent heavy;-) When I measure my pumpkins, I measure to the half-inch, and what was surprising was that this pumpkin and my 1676 Daletas pumpkin measure exactly the same in OTT (Over the Top) measurements.
 
Sunday, August 30 View Page
1744.5 Fulk ’13 (x 1719.5 Daletas) *Anthesis Treated* Day: 67 OTT: 414” Est. Weight: 1509 pounds In this picture the pumpkin does not look as big as the tape says. I think you have to compare the pumpkin to the umbrella (which is still up to keep the stem area dry) to get a more accurate representation of the size. If you look toward the base of the pumpkin I have dryer sheets around the pumpkin to discourage mice from making a home (or a meal) out of my pumpkin. I do see some of my 220 DeBacco “Snowball” traits in this pumpkin, and now I am just hoping the prolonged growth trait also has also carried over. The plant is still in great shape and with any luck my “Anthesis” application made back when it was only 48-hours old will ensure there are plenty of cells that can take advantage of late season expansion.
 
Sunday, August 30 View Page
1719.5 Daletas ‘14 (x 1744 Fulk) *Anthesis Treated* Day: 72 OTT: 392.5” Est. Weight: 1292.5 pounds This pumpkin has decent color, but the shape is a little asymmetrical. I can say that this must be the best tasting pumpkin in the patch, as over the course of just two nights the varmints really did a lot of damage to this pumpkin. It seems I tried everything and nothing would stop them until I added the Ultra-Sonicator (which is the gray item next to the pumpkin). This devise produces ultra sonic sound waves to essentially annoy the varmints, and as a result, they find other places to go. The day after putting this devise out the severely fed on areas began to heal over as there was no new damage. Once the varmints identified this pumpkin as a food source they seemed very happy, but it seems now they have found another place to go. This is just another one of the challenges of growing giant pumpkins.
 
Sunday, August 30 View Page
1676.5 Daletas ’12 (x 1916 Barron) *Anthesis Treated* Day: 70 OTT: 385.5” Est. Weight: 1227 pounds Overall there are some similarities to the 1719.5 Daletas plant which is not surprising since it is the female side of the 1719.5 Daletas genetic line. Interestingly, this pumpkin does measure the same in OTT as the 1916 Barron based on today’s measurements. I have also placed an ultra-Sonicator near this pumpkin as there is some obvious sampling and chew marks near the base of this pumpkin. However, once I added the Sonicator the feeding damage ended and the pumpkin is starting to heal from the damage.
 
Sunday, August 30 View Page
811 Gerhardt ’11 (x 1719.5 Daletas) Day: 74 OTT: 354” Est. Weight: 959 pounds This pumpkin is just a vibrant is it appears in the picture and I am very happy with the overall color this has produced. There are no bite marks of any kind, but I felt the need to put an Ultra-Sonicator as a preventative to ensure no varmints take a sample from this pumpkin. I did recently remove most of the surrounding leaves to ensure it gets maximum sun exposure. Over the last few weeks, I have slowly watched the nice orange color start to get some hints of a reddish hue, so the color is only improving. This is the only pumpkin that did not receive an “Anthesis” treatment and I can say that it does have the slowest growth at this point in the season. I am not sure if is the cause, but, I do my best to treat all of my pumpkins the same. Even though the plant is still in great shape, the growth rate of this pumpkin is less in comparison to the other four pumpkins that I have currently growing, so there is a chance that my “Anthesis” can have some positive effects on late season growth.
 
Wednesday, September 2 View Page
Loaded up for Woodstock Fair, CT Today, I harvested my 811 Gerhardt ’11 (x 1719.5 Daletas) pumpkin that is 77 days old and was 16ft out on the main vine. This is the best looking pumpkin I have grown to date. The ribs add a great texture and the color just glows with orange. Driving down the highway I certainly did turn a lot of heads and luckily for all traveling, there were no injuries or accidents to report.
 
Thursday, September 3 View Page
At the Scale at Woodstock Fair, CT 1030.5 DeBacco ’15 (F: 811 Gerhardt x M: 1719.5 Daletas)- Howard Dill Award Winner! (Pollinating 1719.5 Daletas ends-up as my Durham Fair entry and weighed 1409 pounds) I was happy to see the pumpkin go over 1,000 pounds! I happened to be drinking a can of “Orange Crush” and I think it was fitting for the situation. This pumpkin also won the Howard Dill Award for best looking pumpkin so I was very happy how the evening turned out. This was truly a near perfect pumpkin and I plan on showing this to people beyond the Fair. 1030.5 DeBacco ’15 (F: 811 Gerhardt x M: 1719.5 Daletas)- Howard Dill Award Winner!
 
Saturday, September 5 View Page
My Pumpkin with Some Visitors During the Fair 1030.5 DeBacco ’15 (F: 811 Gerhardt x M: 1719.5 Daletas)- Howard Dill Award Winner! At the Woodstock Fair we do not necessarily highlight the heaviest pumpkin, but we put the Howard Dill winner on prominent display. In the pumpkin tent we have more than just pumpkins, we also get a lot of visitors and in some cases the visitors are living statues. In this picture we have “The Gold Guy” and “Mary Poppins”. We also incorporate the scarecrow display/competition and the Old Guy from the movie Up “Carl Fredricksen” was enjoyed by many. This was a great Fair and marks the unofficial start of pumpkin season in the area. I would like to say “Thank You” to everyone that makes this event possible.
 
Saturday, September 19 View Page
Sad Day… Lost 1744 Fulk Sadly, today I officially lost my 1744 Fulk pumpkin. There was a soft spot that developed randomly on the side of the pumpkin that I was simply not able to get to heal over. This happened just days before the planned harvest which is what makes this so depressing. As growers, we know the effort that goes into a pumpkin over a season. If there is any positive from this, it is the fact that the failure goes under the category of bad luck and not grower error. This was a new personal best OTT (Over the Top) measurement for me. Final OTT was 429.5” which roughly translates to 1678 pounds or it should have weighed with-in the range of 1531 lbs to 1823 lbs. I was not able to get a weight on this one, but at least I have another one I can still bring to the Fair in its place. This pumpkin just wanted to grow and it was just an odd soft spot that lead to its sad demise.
 
Wednesday, September 23 View Page
At the Scale at Durham Fair, CT 1409 DeBacco ’15 (F: 1719.5 Daletas x 1744 Fulk)- OTT = 415.5” *Anthesis Applied* This pumpkin went under chart but this is why I bring them to a weigh-off to find out what they actually weigh. The sun was directly in the tent the time my pumpkin got weighed so it is hard to see the exact color, but it had the second best color in the patch. I am still happy with the weight, but was hoping for a few more pounds (just like everyone else;-)
 
Saturday, September 26 View Page
My Pumpkin on Display at Durham Fair, CT 1409 DeBacco ’15 (F: 1719.5 Daletas x 1744 Fulk)- OTT = 415.5” *Anthesis Applied* Here is my 1409 DeBacco ’15 pumpkin on display where it is easier to see the true color. The reason why the color is important is this was the pollinator to my 1030.5 DeBacco ’15 that was a Howard Dill winner. My goal was to try and breed some of the “go big(er)” potential into a pretty pumpkin. Looking back, my breeding plan turned out how I wanted. Also, the stem on this pumpkin was larger than normal and gave me no issues all season.
 
Saturday, September 26 View Page
Durham Fair, CT Pumpkin Line-up Here are some of the pumpkin entries that were at the Durham Fair this year. What helps makes this a unique display is at night we have the Ferris wheel in the background and we also added the giant air blown display pumpkin. The fair goers really seemed to enjoy our display this year. We see literally thousands of people and answer all of the questions they ask, so it is a very busy time, but the Team helps out. Thanks to everyone that brought an entry this year!
 
Saturday, September 26 View Page
Durham Fair, CT with a Very Special Watermelon On the other side of the Giant Pumpkin Building we had entries of pumpkins, bushel gourds and watermelons. The very special watermelon in the picture is the 192.5 pound current CT State and New England Record grown by Sue Blair. Even though the pumpkins were impressive, this watermelon won a very deserving “Best in Show”. Thanks to everyone that brought an entry this year!
 
Saturday, September 26 View Page
In Memory of John Colburn During this season we lost the long time pumpkin grower John Colburn. The Team wanted to acknowledge him in some way but were not sure how. The idea came up to have an empty palette on display in his honor. Since John also liked the orange pumpkins the special recognition palette was painted orange and a folded lifting tarp was also added. This set-up was placed within the giant pumpkin display just as if he had an entry. This is something I suggest other weigh-off sites consider as a way to remember those growers that have pass away. I feel it was a great way to honor and remember someone that has supported the weigh-off in the past.
 
Saturday, September 26 View Page
Durham Fair, CT Question and Answer Table This set-up is only feet away from the place that Team-Pumpkin originated. It is amazing to think how we started at a little table and are now helping growers worldwide. By helping new growers get started in the hobby and also providing scientific information to those more seasoned growers, we have tried to ensure everyone is included. We have even expanded the opportunity for growers that simply want to host a weigh-off to highlight their pumpkins by providing a free application process for a Team-Pumpkin certified weigh-off. Our goals remain the same… 1.) Have Fun! 2.) Allow for equal recognition time for all entries and growers 3.) Uphold the “Team” atmosphere
 
Friday, October 2 View Page
Topsfield Fair in Massachusetts 1662.5 DeBacco ’15 (F: 1676.5 Daletas x M: 1916 Barron) only 405” OTT *Anthesis Applied* This pumpkin was a very nice surprise as it went about 19% over the estimate. What also makes this a very interesting pumpkin is that looking at the Team-Pumpkin Enhanced Chart range the upper end at 405” OTT is 1538 and this pumpkin exceed even that by over 100 pounds. This seed has been good to me in the past and it continues to perform for me, while this may not be a new personal best it is a very nice surprise. Initially when the pumpkin hit the scale I thought that I missed the 4,000 pound club by just half of a pound as I needed 1563 pounds to qualify which I knew was going to be a struggle since the pumpkin estimated at about 1400 pounds. It did take me a little time to realize that the second number was a six and not a five, much to my delight! My pollinating pumpkin also went in the teens heavy, so I think this could be a great cross for those looking to breed consistent percent over chart genetics. One interesting note is if you want to refer to this pumpkin please remember to include the 0.5 pound level of precision after the 1662;-)
 
Friday, October 2 View Page
Name in Lights 1662.5 DeBacco ’15 (F: 1676.5 Daletas x M: 1916 Barron)- 405” OTT *Anthesis Applied* Since my pumpkin went way over the chart I held the leader position a lot longer than I ever thought. While I did run over quickly to the leader board so I could take a picture, I remained the leader until the last two pumpkins were weighed.
 
Friday, October 2 View Page
1662.5 DeBacco ’15 (F: 1676.5 Daletas x M: 1916 Barron) only 405” OTT *Anthesis Applied* After all of the pumpkins had been weighed, a staff person from the Boston Globe was going around and taking some final pictures and happened to catch me next to my pumpkin. I tried to offer a unique angle and as a result I made the final edit cut to his article. This angle also shows the true height of the pumpkin. Overall this was a very good night for me! Photo Credit: Matthew J. Lee/ Boston Globe staff
 
Friday, October 2 View Page
Topsfield #2 to #5 on Display 1662.5 DeBacco ’15 (F: 1676.5 Daletas x M: 1916 Barron) only 405” OTT *Anthesis Applied* Never did I think that I would be in the top three at Topsfield, but with my pumpkin going so heavy I made the cut for the display. I had to coordinate the pick-up and figure out some logistics but I was honored to be in such good company. The Topsfield 2015 Weigh-off Top 5 were… #1 = 1992.5 Vincent (not pictures as it gets its own special display box) This is also the new CT State Record, great job Gary! #2 = 1954 Lancaster (pictured all the way on the left) #3 = 1662.5 DeBacco (the one I am next to;-) #4 = 1538.5 Hoomis (a new personal best!) #5= 1538 Jutras (another heavy pumpkin) that is the orange one all the way on the right I am very thankful to be in the Top-3 at Topsfield!
 
Saturday, October 10 View Page
Frerich’s Farm in Rhode Island 1662.0 DeBacco ’15 (F: 1916 Barron x 1676.5 Daletas)- 414” OTT *Anthesis Treated* I have been fortunate to have my last two pumpkins weighed go way over their estimates. I thought the odds were in my favor for these two seed lines and this is why I decided to breed them together in an attempt to keep the percent over estimation trait continuing to the next generation. However, I did not think that both pumpkins would go in the teens for percent over estimate so this was an added bonus. I can also add that having both pumpkins end-up within only a half pound of one another was another shocker. Having this pumpkin go 13% heavy and the pollinator going 19% heavy is hopefully a sign of good things to come in the next generation. This pumpkin was greater than the top of the range weight on the Team-Pumpkin Enhanced OTT Chart. This indicates that this pumpkin (and the pollinator) is outside of the normal range (in a good way) of weights for their size. If you think the reverse cross is good, (just like me) you are in luck, as this is the cross of my previous pumpkin that I weighed at the Topsfield Fair. Luckily, my predictions for percent over estimates came true, but even I did not think the percents would be as high as they were. With this pumpkin, my top 3 weights this year sum up to 4,733.5 pounds so I made it into the 4,500 pound club which I am very happy about. ***Including the weight to the tenths place is important as my last two pumpkins are very close in weight, but not exactly the same ;-)***
 
Saturday, October 10 View Page
So you are planting a 1916 Barron… On the left is the 1552 LaRiviere and on the right is my 1662.0 DeBacco pumpkin. Both of these pumpkins came from the 1916 Barron seed. Many have asked “how is this possible?” and the reason is the simple fact that two plants crossed together that were basically opposites from one another. As a result the offspring are highly variable in shape and color, but I can say that the trait of being over the chart does seem to be constant. In short the 1552 LaRiviere pumpkin looks like the male pollinator to the 1916 Barron and my 1662.0 DeBacco looks more like the female side or the actual 1916 Barron. So, if you are fortunate to plant a 1916 Baron it is going to be a surprise what type of pumpkin you are going to get. For those looking at crosses with the 1916 Barron in them, you may want to try and get a picture of what the pollinating plant produced, since as you can tell from these two offspring’s there is some variation in color and shape.
 
Sunday, October 18 View Page
“Mr. 1662” side angles I had to put a picture together with both of my pumpkins as there is some variability in color but both had great and also consistent shape. The weights were nearly identical which is where I have gotten the nick name as “Mr. 1662”. Not only was I pleasantly surprised at the weights but both went in the teens for percent heavy. I really like both crosses as both plants were great to grow and not only was the weight good, but so was the percent heavy. Looking back on the season I could not have made a better cross. The orange pumpkin on the left is my 1662.5 DeBacco ’15 (F: 1676.5 Daletas x 1916 Barron) 19% over chart The white pumpkin on the right is my 1662.0 DeBacco ’15 (F: 1916 Barron x 1676.5 Daletas) 13% over chart
 
Sunday, October 18 View Page
“Mr. 1662” stem side I also wanted to provide a stem side picture of both pumpkins. Both of these pumpkins share some similarities but there are also differences. Both pumpkins share good shape/structure, very similar weights and high percent heavy. These are all good traits and ones that can be a challenge to get consistently. Both pumpkins have different genetic backgrounds and different colors. The 1676.5 Daletas is one of the few seeds that has produced over one ton and also has no 2009 Wallace in its background. The 1916 Barron brings in one of the few high percent heavy 2009 offsprings as well as some different genetics with the 1730.5 Werner as the pollinator. The reason why I chose to breed these two pumpkins together is to get the consistent shape and percent heavy while still creating some genetic variability in hopes of vigorous and heavy offspring. Only time will tell if my plan will work out, but I feel at least I was able to carry out my original plan that I set in the early spring. The orange pumpkin on the top is my 1662.5 DeBacco ’15 (F: 1676.5 Daletas x 1916 Barron) 19% over chart The white pumpkin on the bottom is my 1662.0 DeBacco ’15 (F: 1916 Barron x 1676.5 Daletas) 13% over chart
 
Saturday, October 24 View Page
New York Botanical Gardens I am fortunate to live within reasonable driving distance to the New York Botanical Gardens and I enjoy this time of year when the giant pumpkins and their growers arrive. (These are not the growers;-) Everyone I talked with was having a great time, and tour guide Andy was ensuring there was always something new to do and see for the top 3. Being able to hear ideas from growers that I have not met before is a great way to try and pick up new ideas and see if particular growing styles would fit in my local area
 
Saturday, October 24 View Page
The Top Three! Here are the top three growers for the year all around the 2230.5 Wallace ’15 that was on display at the main entrance. I was fortunate to be able to see this pumpkin while it was in the patch, then get officially weighed and then put on prominent display. From left to right there is… Josiah Brandt, Gene McMullen and Ron Wallace.
 
Saturday, October 24 View Page
2185 Brandt ‘15 I like being able to see how the top pumpkins look in person, both externally as well as internally. This is one of the thicker pumpkins that I have seen, and I can see why it went over the chart. The wall measured 17” and the measuring device did not show up very well on the pictures. A paper towel roll was handy, so this is an easy to find item in your house that you can use for comparison.
 
Saturday, October 24 View Page
Inside view of the 2145.5 McMullen ‘15 Here I am finding every last seed in the 2145.5 McMullen pumpkin. This one was on the taller side, so I enjoyed the extra head space. Could this seed be “the one”???
 
Saturday, October 24 View Page
Question and Answer Session Here is Gene during the question and answer session at the Botanical Gardens. He did a good job of answering the many questions being asked by the spectators. There was a great display added around the giants, and there were carvers busy at work in the background.
 
Saturday, October 24 View Page
The Crowd Here is the crowd that had gathered around the giant pumpkins that remained constant the entire time I was there. It is always nice to hear some of the comments as they look in amazement at the giant pumpkins.
 
Wednesday, November 4 View Page
1662.5 DeBacco ’15 (F: 1676.5 Daletas x 1916 Barron) 19% over chart This is a picture of the pumpkin just before I harvested the seeds. This pumpkin had a nice textured orange color to it. It was the rough color/texture that as growers, we want to correlate with percent heavy. I was fortunate to have this pumpkin be a very nice surprise for me at the scales at Topsfield. When your pumpkin is about 250 pounds more than you were expecting that is a good day;-) Also, I found out later that the pollinator also did well in final weight and percent heavy.
 
Wednesday, November 4 View Page
1662.5 DeBacco ’15 (F: 1676.5 Daletas x 1916 Barron) 19% over chart Here is the internal view of my pumpkin. It was very consistent and thick all around with the wall thickness of about 10”. I have cut into a lot of pumpkins and this one was hard work as the walls were not necessarily as thick as I thought they were going to be, but the flesh was very dense which made cutting a chore.
 
Sunday, November 15 View Page
1662.0 DeBacco ’15 (F: 1916 Barron x 1676.5 Daletas) 13% over chart This pumpkin was shockingly close to the weight of what the pollinating plant produced as it is only a half a pound less, but the color is very different, which at least provides one way to distinguish it. This pumpkin had a little more of that cantaloupe-like texture to it and it also went heavier than expected. I brought this pumpkin to the weigh off in Frerich’s Farm in Rhode Island.
 
Sunday, November 15 View Page
1662.0 DeBacco ’15 (F: 1916 Barron x 1676.5 Daletas) 13% over chart This is the all important internal view of the pumpkin, which shows the thickness of the walls. The top center and the thickest part that I will say was an honest 11.5”, it was a full foot (12”) if some of the softer flesh was counted. I like what I saw from this pumpkin and really like the cross with my other thick and heavy pumpkin.
 
Sunday, December 13 View Page
Winter Rye Seeding… This Late? It has been unusually warm for this time of year and I took advantage by bringing in some compost for the patch. My soil tests indicated that I was finally breaking down my base amount of organic matter after about 7 years of adding nothing. I just did a coating of about 2 yards per 1,000sq.ft. which should be plenty. It was great to be able to use the official Team-Pumpkin dump truck to haul the material. Special thanks to the owner of the truck for the day rental;-) After I spread the compost I did put down some winter rye seed even though today is December 13th! I know it is late and it may not even germinate, but with predicted stretch of warm (and even potential for record) temperatures I did not want to be wishing that I had added it when it was too late.
 
Friday, December 25 View Page
Christmas Miracle! I went out Christmas morning to the pumpkin patch and found my winter rye not only germinated but sprouting! This was after only 12 days from seeding so I am not sure if there is some sort of 12 days of Christmas connection or not. (We did have some record warmth and perfectly timed rain events which I think helped the germination process.) I am glad that I did take the risk and seed the patch as hopefully by spring there will be some green covering the patch. When in doubt, seed winter rye and then hope for good weather.
 
Wednesday, December 30 View Page
2015 Season Review Well, there was some snow that covered up the patch, but hopefully the winter rye is established enough to survive. In addition to my pumpkin season it was nice to see that my “Anthesis” spray has shown some very promising results and that the theories I researched may have some grower supported data. Overall, I am very happy with how my season turned out and after all of the work here is the 2015 season summary… Winter Project 132.2 DeBacco ’15 (C) “Dinosaur Egg” (F: 179.4 DeBacco ’14 “Marshmallow” x M: 1916 Barron ’14) -This was weighed at a certified (C) Team-Pumpkin weigh-in. Official Entries 1662.5 DeBacco ’15 (F: 1676.5 Daletas x 1916 Barron) 19% over chart -This was a great surprise on the scale! 1662.0 DeBacco ’15 (F: 1916 Barron x 1676.5 Daletas) 13% over chart -This was the last pumpkin I weighed and allowed me to qualify for the 4,500 pound club! 1409 DeBacco ’15 (F: 1719.5 Daletas x 1744 Fulk) 5% under chart -I liked the color of this pumpkin, but wish it went a little heavier 1030.5 DeBacco ’15 (F: 811 Gerhardt x M: 1719.5 Daletas)- Howard Dill Award Winner! -One of the best looking pumpkins that I have grown! Lost late in the season 1678est DeBacco ’15 (F: 1744 Fulk x 1719.5 Daletas) -It would have been nice to see the actual weight but an odd soft spot that I noticed 4 days before the weigh-off did not make this possible.
 

 

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