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Click on a thumbnail picture below to see the full size version. 157 Entries.
Wednesday, January 6 View Page
First Diary entry ever! Photo of our fall cover crop of Winter Rye (5 pounds per 1,000 sq ft) mixed with WOW Pumpkin Pro inoculant (3 pounds per 1,000 sq ft) We have had great weather so far and the cover crop is doing very well. Best of luck to everyone in 2016!
 
Saturday, January 9 View Page
This year we will try soil solarization on areas that will not be planted, in hopes of reducing our 3 year rest/rotation schedule to every other year. After much reading about this topic we will do the following: Spring planting of Mustard, when the mustard flowers it will be chopped up, chicken compost will be added on top of the mustard. Everything will then be tilled under and heavily watered to wet the soil down about a foot. After this is done we will cover the soil with 5 mil greenhouse plastic. Cinder blocks will be used to anchor the plastic. I scored 2- 40x100 sheets (shown in photo) for "free" when the greenhouse down the street was changing plastic. Hopefully we will have a warm summer and I can bring soil temps under the plastic over 110 degrees for 2-4 weeks. This "should" help with weed and pathogen suppression.
 
Saturday, February 20 View Page
Pap sorting and filling another round of seeds. All seeds will be mailed out in the next few weeks.
 
Sunday, February 21 View Page
Half way done filling bubble packs
 
Tuesday, March 1 View Page
With the mild winter I am able to take a soil sample today. That's one of the earliest samples ever. Sure felt good to get my hands in the soil again. The 2016 season has started!
 
Tuesday, March 1 View Page
Set up T 5 lighting system today and germination box. Test germination to begin this week.
 
Wednesday, March 9 View Page
Could be a record high temp of 70 degrees today. Winter rye cover crop was starting to get think so it cut cut today, the earliest I can ever remember. I like keeping the rye low, to create more biomass. Plus if we get heavy rains, its much easier to work in the soil and break down.
 
Wednesday, March 23 View Page
Fired up the germinating box for some "test" germination's. I always like to make sure the system is down pat before planting. There are many ways to start seeds and most of them all work. I first make my seed starting mixture with the products shown and then fill pots and place in germination chamber 24 hours before seeds go in. This gives the soil plenty of time to warm up. Our germination box is very simply using a plastic tub, 3 - 60 wt light bulbs, and Plexiglas top. Temperature is kept between 85-90 degrees.
 
Wednesday, March 23 View Page
Seeds are first sanded lightly around the edges ( never sand tip of seed ) then coated with a 10% bleach and water mixture to kill any germs that may be on the seed coat. Seeds are then soaked for 1 - hour in 1/2 strength Humic / Fulvic Acid.
 
Wednesday, March 23 View Page
After soaking for 1- hour Seeds are placed in a moist napkin ( using seaweed / humic mixture ) and placed in a labeled zip lock bag. They will be placed in the germination box for 12 hours.
 
Wednesday, March 23 View Page
As you can see the zip lock bag of seeds hangs in the germination box, so the seeds do not "cook". And no, I am not test germinating 2009 seeds as shown from the photo I am only getting my labels and stuff ready to go in a few weeks.
 
Wednesday, March 23 View Page
After 12 hours seeds are placed in pots. Before seeds go in pots I sprinkle a little Pumpkin Pro and Azos where the root will start to form, insuring direct root contact with product.
 
Tuesday, April 5 View Page
Here are the test seedlings from a few weeks ago. These have been transplanted to 2 gallon pots and placed 16 inches away from the T-5 lights. At times my diary will run behind depending on my schedule.
 
Friday, April 8 View Page
Trapper AKA John Tice from Destination America's Mountain Monsters is trying his hand at growing a "monster" pumpkin this year!
 
Monday, April 11 View Page
With heavy rain expected tomorrow I had to hustle up and put the green houses up today. Depending on weather and soil conditions I try to get the green houses up 3 weeks before plants go in the ground, helping to warm up the soil and keep it dry.
 
Monday, April 11 View Page
Adding amendments to green house areas.
 
Monday, April 11 View Page
Pap working the tiller
 
Monday, April 11 View Page
Pap working the tiller
 
Monday, April 11 View Page
Heating cables installed. I have always used the small "cheaper" ones and I find they do a good job of heating up the soil in and around the area of the plant.
 
Monday, April 11 View Page
Green houses anchored and in place. Looks like the season has begun for us!
 
Friday, April 15 View Page
The season has officially started. Best of luck to everyone!
 
Monday, April 18 View Page
Seedlings are up and out of the box, 2009's look to be out tomorrow. The older seeds seem to always take an extra day.
 
Wednesday, April 20 View Page
Installed watering system and Dosatron fertilizer injector today
 
Wednesday, April 20 View Page
Plants all re potted and under T - 5 lights for 14 hours a day. Added Azos and Pumpkin Pro to my potting soil. Also watered with Root, Companion and Essential. Inoculation with biologicals must start from the very beginning to insure proper colonization. Looks like 70 degrees tomorrow so plants will go outside and we hope to go in the patch for later next week.
 
Thursday, April 21 View Page
Starter the process for soil solarization today in hopes to reduce our fusarium levels for 2017. Winter Rye is tilled under, next step mustard to be planted.
 
Thursday, April 21 View Page
Plants "sunning" themselves under the T- 5 lights
 
Tuesday, April 26 View Page
Photo from Sunday of the plants getting some natural sun. Looked at my notes and last year I transplanted to green houses today. Looking at the forecast it looks like we will transplant outside on Thursday or Friday.
 
Tuesday, April 26 View Page
Pap tending to the seedling and his vegetable plants that he started from seed.
 
Thursday, April 28 View Page
Most plants are ready to go, we have been exposing them to cooler temperatures at night to harden them off. Once again I am very impressed with the T-5 system, it grows the plants short and stocky.
 
Monday, May 2 View Page
This past weekend was transplanting time. I always start with Pumpkin Pro and Azos. We also add the same mixture (Potting soil, and vermiculite) to the planting hole. Plants were then watered with Humic / Fulvic Acid, Seaweed, Root, Essential and Companion.
 
Monday, May 2 View Page
We only have 2- 2009 seeds left, planting 3 this year.
 
Monday, May 2 View Page
Pap is BACK! Growing 1 2009 this year and here it is!
 
Monday, May 2 View Page
Roots on the 1790. The 1790 so far has been the most aggressive seedling
 
Monday, May 2 View Page
1790 in ground. Photo was from last Wednesday as the seedling was so aggressive I had to transplant it sooner than usual.
 
Monday, May 2 View Page
One of my 2009 seedlings.
 
Monday, May 2 View Page
2230 Double planted, the weakest will be culled in a few weeks.
 
Monday, May 2 View Page
Inside the 5x7 greenhouse we have a piece of cattle fence that we keep over the plants so we can cover the plants with a sheet or blanket on cold nights. As seen in the photo a standard light is facing the ground about 10 inches away from the plants. We turn the light on at night and the heat from the light cover will keep the covered plant area about 10 degrees warmer than inside the greenhouse.
 
Monday, May 2 View Page
Here is what it looks like when covered at night. Second night in the ground it got down to 30 degrees.
 
Monday, May 2 View Page
Photo taken at 6:00 am. As you can see just this small light bulb and a blanket can help elevate the temperature. Yes it does require extra work every night to turn on lights and cover with sheets and or blankets but that extra 10 - 15 degrees or so really helps our plants get established quicker. As far as daytime greenhouse temperatures, we maintain between 85-95 degrees.
 
Wednesday, May 11 View Page
Very busy day yesterday as it was the first time it did not rain on my day off in 5 weeks. Soil Solarization is underway for my 2017 pumpkin patch. I first took a soil sample that will be sent to Western Labs in Parma Idaho for disease DNA testing. In September when solarization is complete I will test again to see if I dropped my levels of soil pathogens. I then mixed 32 ounces of Mighty Mustard Trifecta Blend mustard seed with 5 pounds of WOW Humic Acid and spread it over 4000 sq ft. The mustard seed was lightly tilled in and watered. Hopefully I will be in flower in early July so I can chop the mustard to release the glucosinolates,(mustard gas) add compost water and cover with clear plastic. The plastic will stay on until late August.
 
Wednesday, May 11 View Page
Although we have not had much sun until yesterday you can see how well our sandy loam soil drains. This is one of the reasons why we have to supplement with NPK from beginning till seasons end.
 
Wednesday, May 11 View Page
I always get asked how do you spread ounces over 1,000 sq ft? Easy, mix with a product that requires pounds per 1,000 and spread. Here 32 ounces of Trifecta Blend Mustard Seed is mixed with Humic / Fulvic Acid.
 
Wednesday, May 11 View Page
Mustard Seed should not be tilled too deep. Pap is just barely having the tiller turn the soil over.
 
Wednesday, May 11 View Page
Patch is now watered daily till seed germinates.
 
Thursday, May 12 View Page
For the first month of the season we water with a sump pump from this black barrel. Even with limited sun the barrel heat the water up quickly. In the barrel for today's feeding was WOW Humic / Fulvic Acid, and Seaweed along with Calcium Nitrate and Epson Salts. Because of the cool cloudy weather we are about a week behind, when its cool with limited sun we will hit them with the Cal Nitrate and Epson Salts. This combination will green the plants up in a day or so. In the 45 gallons of water we add 6 ounces Cal Nitrate and 6 ounces Epson Salts. The sump pump works well with the water wand as it gently waters the plants.
 
Thursday, May 12 View Page
1790 getting ready to lay down, so far it's our most aggressive plant, but that means nothing as last year my 2009 plant that grew the 2230 was very slow for the first 3-weeks, then it really took off!
 
Thursday, May 12 View Page
Paps 2009 plant looking good.
 
Thursday, May 12 View Page
I have been wanting to take a few trees down that for one area of the patch limit the sun light in the early morning and afternoon. So this week out they went!
 
Thursday, May 12 View Page
This photo was taken at 8:00 am, you can see how this is the last area to get full sun.
 
Thursday, May 12 View Page
Tree removal was finished up today, it will be nice to see tomorrow how much extra sun this area of the patch gets. A late addition to the patch, the 1625 made it out in the patch today.
 
Friday, May 13 View Page
I get many emails about the usage rate for TKO. TKO is a great product but it can be "hot". NEVER mix it with copper containing products. If I have applied copper I wait 20 days till a TKO application can be made. After the application of TKO and if I need copper I wait 10 days before applying any more copper containing products. Per the label DO NOT use surfactants or adjuvants in with TKO. Early in the season the drench rate on TKO is 1/4 ounce per gallon of water. A tablespoon is 1/2 ounce so 1 tablespoon will added to a standard 2 gallon watering can. From mid June till mid September we apply TKO at 3-5 ounces per 1,000 sq ft as a foliar application, depending on tissue test results we could also add 0-0-25 from Growth Products to this. Last year after test results I was adding 2 ounces per 1,000 sq ft of 0-0-25 along with 3 ounces per 1,000 sq ft of TKO every 10-14 days depending on weather and pumpkin growth.
 
Friday, May 13 View Page
2230 getting ready to lay down. As you can see we brace the plant with a few bamboo stakes, the one placed below the main vine will be moved daily to make sure the main vine does not try and drop too much in one day.
 
Thursday, May 19 View Page
Early morning visit from Steve Connolly. Steve dropped off some Mega Marv and McCoy tomato plants for me to grow this year. Not much to report in the patch as growth has been slow so far. I'll have pictures up hopefully for this weekend.
 
Monday, May 23 View Page
Took some photos on Saturday, getting a nice stretch of weather this week as we will be 80 degrees for several days. Over the last few days the plants have really starting to grow quickly. Plant in photo is 2008 Neptune, I culled a 2009 that was planted next to it. The 2008 was started a week later and went in the ground 8 days later and it was just outgrowing the 2009 by leaps and bounds. This is the main reason we double plant, does not matter what seed it is, if there is another one doing much better, that will be the "chosen one".
 
Monday, May 23 View Page
1790 has been our best plant so far. I have received many emails about the aggressiveness of the 1790.
 
Monday, May 23 View Page
Noticed this am that Paps 2009 has grown quite a bit since this photo on Saturday. I am always amazed at how fast they can grown once everything kicks in. Only 29 days left till June 21st and that's our "prime" pollination date and hope to be 12-15 ft out.
 
Monday, May 23 View Page
My 2009 for this year started very slow but has started to make a turnaround.
 
Monday, May 23 View Page
2230
 
Monday, May 23 View Page
A very late start for this plant but I felt my line really needed Gary's genetics. Here is the 1625
 
Thursday, May 26 View Page
Added soil amendments today, removed green houses, tilled and put up wind fences. To 5,000 sq ft we added the following: 75 pounds Kelp Meal, 20 pounds Humic / Fulvic Acid, 25 pounds 0-0-50, 30 pounds K Mag, 25 pounds Sul - Po - Mag, 24 ounces Borax, 2 pounds Manganese Sulfate, 2 pound Zinc Sulfate and 1 pound Copper Sulfate.
 
Thursday, May 26 View Page
Rye was a bit tough to till under as the cool weather this spring was perfect growing conditions for it.
 
Thursday, May 26 View Page
Soil was also very dry from lack of rainfall. I started watering 8-10 ft beyond the plant on all sides treating with Humic / Fulvic acid to get microbial population going strong! Plants have started to show some life with the recent warm weather. I'll post pictures tomorrow.
 
Thursday, May 26 View Page
Soil was also very dry from lack of rainfall. I started watering 8-10 ft beyond the plant on all sides treating with Humic / Fulvic acid to get microbial population going strong! Plants have started to show some life with the recent warm weather. I'll post pictures tomorrow.
 
Thursday, May 26 View Page
Also started pitchforking the soil today. The pitch work will break up any compaction in and around the plant and will help with oxygen in the root zone I pitchfork every few weeks around the outside of the vine tip. I do not turn the soil over, I simply push the pitchfork down and gently "rock" the pitchfork back towards me, just enough to break any compaction.
 
Friday, May 27 View Page
Finished laying down patch boards today and foliar feed with Seaweed and Humic / Fulvic Acid. Photo of 2008 Neptune
 
Friday, May 27 View Page
1790 Still leads the patch by a wide margin, its really starting to "run".
 
Friday, May 27 View Page
Paps 2009
 
Friday, May 27 View Page
My 2009 has been slow but starting to gain some speed.
 
Friday, May 27 View Page
2230
 
Friday, May 27 View Page
Finished patch.
 
Saturday, May 28 View Page
Early am drench today on plants consisting of: Humic / Fulvic Acid, Companion, Essential, Liquid Mykos, Seaweed and Epson Salts. Will start "tweaking" Boron next week
 
Saturday, May 28 View Page
"Treasure Bath" on the 1790
 
Saturday, May 28 View Page
Planted 5,500 sq ft of Zinnias this am on our patch for 2018. The Zinnias were a big hit last year with everyone who came to the farm, plus they colonized Mycorrhizal Fungi better than any crop I have ever tested.
 
Saturday, May 28 View Page
Good shot of the patch for 2018, This patch will be solarized with Mustard and clear plastic next year.
 
Monday, May 30 View Page
Happy Memorial Day!
 
Wednesday, June 1 View Page
Installed 2 moisture probes today. These were a big help last year knowing how many gallons of water it takes to maintain the % of moisture for optimum growth. The probes are buried on an angle so the moisture % will be averaged from 2-10 inches of soil. I choose to measure this way as I am only concerned about the root zone of the plant, not whats going on a foot or more below as our soil is sandy loam and drains very fast.
 
Wednesday, June 1 View Page
Gardening "legend" Joe Jutras stopped by yesterday to check in on my progress.
 
Wednesday, June 1 View Page
Photos were taken yesterday but today June 1st is one of the "key" days I always have circled on my calendar. To me it means I have about 10 days or so left to "push" the main vine out between 12-15 feet for pollination, and a total of 20 more days till June 21st to grown the plant big enough for pollination's to begin. We are still behind about a week from last year so I will be "gently" pushing the plants a bit to try and make up some ground. Photo is of the 2008, if you look at my previous photos from last week, you can see the plants are starting to gain speed.
 
Wednesday, June 1 View Page
1790
 
Wednesday, June 1 View Page
paps 2009
 
Wednesday, June 1 View Page
2009
 
Wednesday, June 1 View Page
2230 Also moved all wind protection out a bit yesterday. Starting tomorrow with my foliar program of Cal / Mag Max every 7 days along with my first application of Harpin Proteins.
 
Thursday, June 2 View Page
Sorry about the "tiny" photos from yesterday, here are better ones. Pap's 2009
 
Thursday, June 2 View Page
2008 Neptune
 
Thursday, June 2 View Page
Great friend Joe Jutras
 
Thursday, June 2 View Page
First meter reading of season. Really not concerned with level of moisture at this point in the season. 30 days from now the soil probe will be directly under the plant and at that point I will test daily. Not much sun so the 1.25 inches of rain we had on Monday is still holding in the soil.
 
Friday, June 3 View Page
Mustard is growing nicely in the patch scheduled for July solarization.
 
Friday, June 3 View Page
Here is the soil thermometer i purchased for the solarization process. I placed it in the ground today at about 8 inches to test it, it was reading close to 70 degrees. The key will be how hot can i get the soil down 18 inches or so to kill pathogens.
 
Friday, June 3 View Page
Put markers in at 15 ft today as a reminder that we want to set our pumpkins at a minimum this far out. To be able to pollinate for June 21 we will need baby pumpkins "showing", and at fifteen feet out for next Saturday the 11th. We will see where we stand next Saturday Looks like a few may make it to 15 and a few others a bit behind. Started micro nutrient foliar program today.
 
Wednesday, June 8 View Page
We get lots of friends stopping over this time of the year. Spent an hour or so with Scott Marley yesterday as he was giving me pointers on my giant tomato plants.
 
Wednesday, June 8 View Page
Moved wind fences yesterday and gut lucky as there was hail all around us yesterday afternoon. 2008 Neptune
 
Wednesday, June 8 View Page
All plants main vine are now at or past 12 ft. We will let any females develop now but would still like 15 ft or more out for the "chosen" ones. Sometimes you only get a few chances for pollination in that golden time frame of June 18 -24th. 1790 in photo.
 
Wednesday, June 8 View Page
Paps 2009. Weather forecast for the next 7 days have temps in the high 60's low 70's about 6-8 degrees below the norm for this time of the year. The plants have struggled a bit to find a consistent "groove"
 
Wednesday, June 8 View Page
2009. Foliar feed all plants this am with: Seaweed, Humic / Fulvic Acid, Cal Mag Max, Epson Salts, Manzate and Lexicon. We have found since switching our contact fungicide from Bravo to Manzate that we have better tissue results for micro nutrients Manganese and Zinc. Manzate contains 16% manganese and 2% Zinc.
 
Wednesday, June 8 View Page
2230.5
 
Wednesday, June 15 View Page
Biological and fertilizer drenches now done from 275 gallon tanks, water is added a day before to heat it up. This Wayne pump shown in photo works great! We have 150 ft of hose connected to it and can still empty the tank in 30 minutes. Yesterday and today were the first back to back days over 80 this year and the plants loved it after a week of cool, cloudy weather. Drenched yesterday with Cal Mag Max, Essential, Companion, Humic / Fulvic Acid, Epson Salts, and seaweed.
 
Wednesday, June 15 View Page
Mustard is almost in full bloom for solarization process to begin.
 
Wednesday, June 15 View Page
Brewing 50 gallons of WOW Wonder Brew for am "sprenching" Sort of like a half foliar, half drench watering.
 
Wednesday, June 15 View Page
Was time to spray outside wind fences with generic Round Up yesterday to kill weeds.
 
Wednesday, June 15 View Page
This morning was the first time this year that the plants had that "look". Standing on end and running fast, they certainly liked yesterdays and today's sunshine. Next 7 days weather looks great, time to try and get the plants to fill out before pollination. Looks like we will have to set fruit a bit closer and possibly a bit later than last year. The 24th of June is the critical point where I believe you need to be pollinated. We have a few that may be a day or two later but its better to set on a plant that has the correct size. Pictured is the 2230.5
 
Wednesday, June 15 View Page
1790 has one that will be in the golden zone for pollination.
 
Wednesday, June 15 View Page
Paps 2009 has really started to turn it on.
 
Wednesday, June 15 View Page
2009
 
Wednesday, June 15 View Page
2008
 
Wednesday, June 15 View Page
Better photo of tank / drench set up.
 
Thursday, June 23 View Page
Chopped and tilled under the mustard, added 10 yards of Chicken Compost, then received 1/2 inch of rain. Green house plastic is laid over the top and the sides are sealed with soil. Solarization is underway. I took a soil test for disease and will post results in a day or so. In September when plastic is removed we will test again to see if we lowered our levels of disease pathogens. This process will kill both the bad and the good guys, but in a well aerated soil the "good guys" re colonize quickly.
 
Thursday, June 23 View Page
Here is what happens when you pull the plastic out over an area of the lawn for 15 minutes or so... Oops! That shows how hot it gets under the plastic.
 
Thursday, June 23 View Page
Started pollinating, plants are a bit smaller than we like for pollination, but you have to take it and work with it. Looks like only 1 shot on each plant during June, the second chance if needed will be first week of July. That's getting late in my opinion to compete for tops in the world. Here are flowers from the 1625 Gantner that were used on the 2230.5
 
Thursday, June 23 View Page
We use Styrofoam cups over the females and males. The white cup helps keep the flower cool for the first 24 hours.
 
Thursday, June 23 View Page
The next day after pollination we cut away the top of the flower so the segments can air out. If not sometimes with the right conditions the segments would rot off
 
Friday, June 24 View Page
Mustard before chopping and tilling.
 
Friday, June 24 View Page
Pushing the plants a bit hard to try and get them to fill out to pollination size before fruit load stress " re sinks" the plant. Drenched this morning with Epson Salts, Abound, Cal / Mag Max, Borax, Humic / Fulvic Acid and Seaweed.
 
Friday, July 1 View Page
On Tuesday we put 1/2 sheet of plywood and mil fabric under the pumpkins. The 1790 was the only plant to have back to back pollination. The first one (under the chair) was the chosen fruit.
 
Friday, July 1 View Page
As you can see the second pumpkin was culled, I removed the side vine right at the pumpkin and the one right after the pumpkin. In my opinion these vines must always go as they get in the way when the pumpkin gets bigger. We remove them right away and train other vines to fill the space, creating much needed space and air flow around the pumpkin. The main vine is swung back as far as it will go removing a few of the inside side vines) The area is then raked out to be as level as possible, removing any stones. We will now grow every other side vine off of the main vine until all space is full (1,000 sq ft).
 
Friday, July 1 View Page
The "chosen one" is now ready for plywood and Mill Fabric
 
Friday, July 1 View Page
Getting the pumpkins set for growth is always a 2 person job. Special thanks to Joe jutras who came over Tuesday to assist. I like to cut 2-3 tap roots before and after the pumpkin, we carefully lift the pumpkin and slide the plywood (point first) as far under the pumpkin as possible. Placing the plywood in a "diamond shape" keeps the stem end of the pumpkin always on the board and gives plenty of room for the growing pumpkin. Last year we noticed that all of our pumpkins had very concave bottoms. This year we placed sand between the plywood and mil fabric to help the pumpkin "slide" a bit easier across the fabric. We are also going to place a small amount of sand on the fabric as the pumpkin grows. If using mil fabric and sand be careful as I found out this am that the surface was slick enough for me to take a "tumble". We cover the pumpkins with white sheets, keeping the stem as the only exposed area.
 
Friday, July 1 View Page
One last note, its best to move the main vine late in the day when positioning pumpkins. When moved, water main vine so roots will adjust quickly and vine will not wilt.
 
Wednesday, July 6 View Page
Plants are still a bit smaller than years past at this time. I pushed them a bit to catch up but noticed the vines started to get brittle from excess water and nutrients, so I backed off for a few days. I'll post pollination dates and genetics in a few days when I get the chance. Fungicide drenching is in full effect as I noticed some pythium damage on a few leaves. Here is the 2008 Neptune.
 
Wednesday, July 6 View Page
Plants have now started shifting gears to fruit growth as the vines have slowed down a bit. It usually takes about 10 days for vine growth in our patch to start to get back to "normal" after fruit load stress has started. Like years past we are turning 3 vines on each side before the pumpkin and letting them run to the end of the patch. Every other side off of the main is also kept. In and around the first week of August the entire 1,000 sq ft for each plant will be filled with only the main left to run. I think its important to always keep some fresh vines growing as it signals the plant to keep producing hormones for growth. Photo of 1790
 
Wednesday, July 6 View Page
This 2009 has really started to take off in the last few days.
 
Wednesday, July 6 View Page
Another 2009, has about the same shape as last years 1975. Started off pear shaped but then got a bit better as time went on. As you can see in the photo we still have a back up pumpkin on each plant. After day 20 the back up will be culled. Sorry for some of the poor quality photos. The only time usually for me to take pictures is around 6:00 am and the light is not the greatest at that time. Biological drench that includes liquid Mykos, Azos, Essential, Root, Seaweed and Wonder Brew scheduled for tomorrow am.
 
Wednesday, July 6 View Page
2230
 
Wednesday, July 6 View Page
Some times you got to "jack um up"! The 1790 wanted to start to nose dive over the blossom so yesterday we made this ramp to elevate the blossom. The longest I will be able to keep it on the ramp will be a week or less as this pumpkin has started to "move".
 
Saturday, July 9 View Page
Sent in my first tissue test this week. With everything going on i am about a week to 10 days late as I usually like my first results back for July 1. I test at Western Labs in Parma Idaho, John Taberna the owner is great to work with and his lab has tested more giant pumpkin plants than any lab I know of. If all plants are looking and growing the same I will take 1 leave / Petiole off of each main vine. I choose the most recently mature leaf ( about the fourth or fifth one back from the tip of the main)
 
Saturday, July 9 View Page
I then trim the leave as seen in photo to make for easy shipping. The petiole is what the lab is looking for to test. Petiole in then thoroughly washed in cool water and air dried on paper towels. When dry I place them in a brown paper bag. ( never use plastic ) Test number is 11A at Western labs for tissue sampling, simply label everything and fill out the form and place in priority envelope.
 
Saturday, July 9 View Page
Place in flat rate priority envelope ( $6.50 ) and mail. I take cuttings on a Sunday and place in mail for Monday am, and by Friday i will have my results. I test from here on out about every 14-20 days depending on what is going on in the patch. Last test is done first week of September.
 
Monday, July 18 View Page
Tissue test results back last week. About normal for our patch, Sulfur, and manganese have always given us a bit of trouble along with Magnesium and Boron to a lessor extent. Even giving each plant 14 ounces per week of Epson Salts we are still short on Sulfur and "just" barely sufficient on Magnesium (in my opinion not the labs) Each plant is also receiving 2 ounces per week of Borax to help with Boron, in most patches that would be a toxic amount. In our sandy loam soil we can’t supply enough at times. Also getting lots of emails about 20 day measurements, we have never been concerned with daily measurements or day 20, 30 ect. Last years 2230 was measured on day 20 (because it was a Sunday and that's the day we measure) it was under 160 total inches on day 20. We will measure this Sunday for the first time this year. Been getting many thunderstorms, and have received over 2 inches of rain in last week. Moisture meter is reading 68%, 45-50 is what we shoot for.
 
Saturday, July 23 View Page
Been an unusually hot stretch for us, we dodged a major bullet last night as a macro burst hit the town over. We got 3/4 inch rain in a very short time but no wind or hail. Took measurements and had a few good ones and a few so, so ones. DAP 34 2008, 570 pounds average 34 pounds per day for week.
 
Saturday, July 23 View Page
DAP 33 - 1790, 612 pounds Average 44 pounds per day for week.
 
Saturday, July 23 View Page
DAP 31- Paps 2009, 541 pounds Average 42 pounds per day for week.
 
Saturday, July 23 View Page
DAP 29 2230 - 386 pounds average 32 pounds per day for week
 
Saturday, July 23 View Page
Saved the best for last. DAP 30 2009, 649 pounds, averaged 52 pounds per day for week. This is the biggest we have ever had at day 30 and the most pounds per day by measurement we have ever measured. Has a bit of a flat spot on one side that I will keep my eye on, usually at this pace they are tough to hold together.
 
Saturday, July 23 View Page
Pap getting ready for his late morning ride!
 
Saturday, July 23 View Page
Weekly measurements taken today. Had 5 days over 90 degrees this week which is very rare for us here in the North East. New growth that is close to filling in 1,020 sq ft for each plant is mostly burnt. Sorry no time for photos today as I was pressed for time to get everything done. I'll post some photos in a day or so. 2008: DAP 41 733 pounds 161 pounds for week. Disappointing as it only averaged 23 pounds per day. Hey there not all going to be "All - Stars" 1790: DAP 40 881 pounds 273 pounds for the week 38 pounds per day average 2009: (Paps) DAP 38 873 pounds 332 pounds for the week 47.5 pounds per day average. Great shape pumpkin that really took a nice jump in some hot weather this week. 2009: DAP 37 1,033 pounds up 385 pounds for the week almost a 55 pounds per day average. I dont know what to say been growing 28 years, never had one grow this quick. I am however "nursing" 2 spots on the main vine that I found while inspecting the other day. The vine from taking in so much water / rain split lengthwise(about 6 inches) in 2 spots and had started to get a bit soft. Bleach, sulfur 3 - fans and fingers crossed! 2230: DAP 36 642 pounds up 255 pounds for the week averaging 36.5 pounds per day. Starting to pick up after a very slow start.
 
Monday, August 1 View Page
Ohio Patch tour August 1 1998! Jack LaRue, Alan Reynolds, Myself and Dave Stelts.
 
Wednesday, August 3 View Page
Had time to take a few photos yesterday, received another 1.5 inches of rain yesterday morning. Looks like a dry stretch into next week, we need to dry out a bit. Photo of 2008, not doing much as the pounds per day keep falling. I think its done, perhaps last weeks heat shut it down.
 
Wednesday, August 3 View Page
1790: May have to remove the side vine right before the pumpkin as its growing so wide I have some stress. I may try to dig up the side vine late in the day and move it forward. It's worth a try as I don't want to loose an 18 ft side vine.
 
Wednesday, August 3 View Page
2230: When dry in a few days I will weed plants by hand and then spray Roundup to areas that I can not reach. Need to also cut out a few old leaves as the first side vines are starting to show some ware.
 
Wednesday, August 3 View Page
Paps 2009: One of the best shape pumpkins we have ever grown. All plants have now totally filled 1,050 sq ft. Only a single vine is left to run.
 
Wednesday, August 3 View Page
2009: 3 - fans still going on main vine, this warm dry weather should help over the next few days. May have to put straps on it to adjust vine stress.
 
Saturday, August 6 View Page
Weekly Measurements are as follows: 1790: 1089 pounds up 210 pounds for the week avg 30 pounds per day. 2009 Paps: 1129 pounds up 259 pounds for the week avg 37 pounds per day 2230: 888 pounds up 245 pounds for the week avg 35 pounds per day. 2009: 1313 pounds up 280 pounds for the week avg 40 pounds per day Not bad measurements for the week as we figured our first drop in weights was on the way. Still running fans on the 2009, high humidity is making it tough to dry things up but it looks like starting on Sunday we will have 5 days of full sun. The good: Paps 2009 is tracking exactly on target with last years 2230 and the other 2009 is currently 200 pounds more than last years 2230. What made the 2230 special was the tremendous weight it put on from now till late September on a very diminished plant. The bad: Fusarium has made its annual return to our patch taking out many leaves on the 2230 plant. We are keeping our fingers crossed to keep it in check on our other plants. Time will tell.
 
Saturday, August 13 View Page
Weekly measurements are as follows: 1790: DAP 54 1,330 pounds up 238 pounds for the week 34 pounds per day average. 2230: DAP 50 1,089 pounds up 196 pounds for the week 28 pounds per day average. Fusarium has really taken a toll on this plant. 2009 Paps: DAP 52 1,407 pounds up 273 pounds for the week 39 pounds per day average. This pumpkin is 75 pounds ahead of last years 2230 and averaging 7 pounds per day more. 2009: DAP 51 1,614 pounds up 301 pounds for the week with a 43 pounds per day average. Almost 300 pounds bigger than last years 2230 and averaging 12 pounds per day more,just amazing growth. Fans still running as we have hit a stretch of very warm humid weather. In the last few days we have received over 2.5 inches of rain from thunderstorms. Did a drench of Terrazole and Clerays on Wednesday and then followed up with Banol and TKO. Fingers crossed to keep disease in check. Main vines are "sapping" everywhere from all the rain, looks like another hot and humid one tomorrow before we start to return to "normal" on Monday.
 
Saturday, August 13 View Page
The original "unknown grower" is back.... Can you guess who?
 
Saturday, August 13 View Page
Hopefully we will be dry on Tuesday as I would like to pull weeds that I can reach, cut out any third stage growth, tired leaves along final spray of Roundup. Tissue test results came back good, will be backing off 8 ounces per plant of Epson Salts twice a week to 4 ounces. Sulfur and Magnesium came back great but it started to "push" our calcium down a bit, all micro nutrients were good. Before the rains came we started hand watering last week. From here on out when needed all plants will be watered by hand, fertilizing from the injector or using the poly tanks. We try to stay away from the main vine, base of the plant and first side vines at this time of the year.
 
Saturday, August 20 View Page
Weekly measurements are as follows: 1790 DAP 61 415 inches 1,484 pounds, up 154 pounds for the week average 22 pounds per day. 2230: DAP 57 389 inches, 1,262 pounds up 168 pounds for the week average 24 pounds per day. 2009 Paps: DAP 59 428 inches 1,597 pounds, up 189 pounds for the week average 27 pounds per day. 2009: DAP 58 453 inches 1,813 pounds up 196 pounds for the week average 28 pounds per day. Yesterday was the first time in 10 days that it was dry enough to water, plants are starting to show the normal ageing on the first few side vines and down the main vine. Looks like a great stretch of dry low 80's weather starting Monday. Paps 2009 is tracking about 50 pounds ahead of last years 2230, the other 2009 is 280 pounds ahead of last year. What made last years 2230 special was the growth it put on from now till the first week of October. Main vines are still sapping all over the place as daily I have to wipe spots clean, bleach, apply daconil and move fans. Mouse bait to be placed near pumpkins tomorrow. This is the time of the year when we start to measure every 2 weeks, so next update on weights will be 9/3
 
Saturday, August 27 View Page
Drenched yesterday with Terrazole and Clearys TM + IP fungicides. Hot, humid weather has taken its toll on older areas of the plant, On my day off Tuesday I will remove any older suspect leaves, prune any third stage growth and pull weeds. Still spoon feeding Epson Salts, Borax, Humic / Fulvic Acid, Amino Acids and Seaweed every other day. Reminder to place mouse bait out as I did the other day and already noticed activity, also keep stems dry if you have sheets covering the pumpkin pull the sheet back a bit during the day so the stem can get some good sunshine, dust stems with sulfur once a week as a precaution.
 
Saturday, September 3 View Page
Here is the 2 week patch update. 1790: DAP 75 431 inches 140 pounds gained average 10 pounds per day 1623 pounds. 2230: DAP 71 412 inches 196 pounds gained average 14 pounds per day 1458 pounds 2009 Paps: DAP 73 449 inches 182 pounds gained 13 pounds a day average 1779 pounds. 2009: DAP 72 479 inches 217 pounds gained averaged 15.5 pounds per day 2033 pounds. Paps 2009 is still keeping pace with last years 2230 and the other 2009 is 275 pounds ahead of last year. Plants look a bit better than last year at this time but really starting to show age as we have removed many leaves down the middle and on the first few side vines. Received 3/4 inch of rain on Wednesday and we have a close eye on the tropical storm that is headed up the coast. We certainly don't need any more rain or the high wind gusts that are predicted with the storm. Fingers crossed! Next measurements will be on 9/17
 
Thursday, September 15 View Page
Unfortunately I had to weigh my biggest pumpkin last night. I removed the blossom nub a few weeks ago as it became soft, I thought I had caught it all but evidently I did not, the heat and humidity probably played a big factor in trying to dry it up. I am very happy with the weight of 2,307 pounds. Although unofficial, and disappointed for sure but encouraged knowing the “tweaks” we made to the growing program worked and my goal of 2,500 pounds could have been a real possibility. From the condition inside it looks like it started to deteriorate about 10 days or so ago, still growing well but losing out on 4 weeks of growth. Seeds were also disappointing as most are white tip and not full, some are good and I will be able to tell better when dry. I hope to have enough to make sure any club auction that wants one, gets one. Club auctions are and will always be our top priority. Special thanks to the lifting team last night who made it happen: Pap, Joe Jutras, Gene LaRiviere, Russ klowan, and last but not least Norm Gansert who is always willing to help at a minutes notice. It was exciting to watch this pumpkin grow along with the supportive; emails from the BP group daily made it a great ride. Best of luck to everyone the rest of the way. 2009 x 2230, 489 inches 2,307 pounds DMG, UOW.
 
Thursday, September 15 View Page
I will post a few different photos so you can see the shape from all sides. I had about 500 good sq ft of leaves left and the main vine when cut was still looking pristine inside.
 
Thursday, September 15 View Page
Digital Scale was set to tare- the weight of the lifting ring, straps ect. As you would suspect we got caught in the pouring rain and had to run for shelter till it stopped.
 
Thursday, September 15 View Page
Shape inside the pumpkin was good, no visible Dill rings and very uniform.
 
Thursday, September 15 View Page
Another view from this angle, as you can see where I had to remove the blossom nub.
 
Thursday, September 15 View Page
Last photo for now, This one side of the pumpkin had a massive bulge and was difficult to manage vine stress as I have been splitting the side vines before and after the pumpkin for the last few weeks. Moving it was not an option so I kept digging out the main vine so it could sink a bit deeper in the soil. I think in the future when setting a pumpkin up for growth I will be removing the vine before the pumpkin ( this is what we currently do ) plus one more vine on that same side. We pulled the side vines back as far as we could when burying them to set the pumpkin up but it was still not enough. I may also opt to remove one more vine on the main vine side that runs past the pumpkin. Plant was just over 1,000 sq ft with 9 vines on one side and 10 on the other.
 
Thursday, September 15 View Page
Had to post this last one, the lifting team!
 
Friday, September 16 View Page
In the low 40's again last night, so I added a blanket to the remaining pumpkins. Photo is of paps 2009. Mice have been taking the "bait" so check in and around your pumpkins and place bait down. I have been getting lots of emails about water this time of the year and how much to water. We have cut back the water by about 50% simply because the plant and pumpkin do not require as much with temps in the 70's. We still water about every other day but once again with smaller amounts and yes we are still spoon feeding our fertilizer program.
 
Saturday, September 24 View Page
Loaded my 1790 for the Ridgefiled CT weigh off tomorrow.
 
Wednesday, October 5 View Page
Pap with his 2009 x 1790, ready for Frerics Farm weigh - off.
 

 

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