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Click on a thumbnail picture below to see the full size version. 25 Entries.
Tuesday, February 14 View Page
This winter I got rid of one of my allotments, so 1500 sq.ft. less. Besides edibles and ornamentals I still hope to grow quite a few competition and exhibition classes. GPC COMPETITION 1x Squash - 967 A. Horde 15* (1024 Daho* x 1036 Würsching*) 5x Field pumpkin - 117 Horde, 133 Wursten, 109 MacKenzie and/or 2 from GVGO seed package 2017 2x Long gourd - 137 Eaton, 122.88 Eaton 1x Watermelon - 220 Bartoli or 161.5 Crews 6x Tomato - 5.50 Johnston/Butler, 4.62 Lyons, 5.20 Lyons, 3.40 Wild, 4.72 Butler, 4.30 Timm and/or whatever I can find in the GVGO seed package EXHIBITION 4x Cucumber - Thomas and Wursten 4x Corn - Jalapeno 2x Onion - Glazebrook 6x Beet - Wursten 4x Runner bean - Wursten 15-20x Sunflower head - Fifolt Trying out some new and old products this year. No electricity where I grow so bought a petroleum heater for early in the season. Also have molasses, Lithovit, humic acid, seaweed extract, sea algae extract, lava gravel, bentonite, borium, manganese sulphate, TNC Bactorr, TNC mycorrhiza, chicken manure pellets, nettle tea and insecticide against lice. I always use milk against mildew. Got some 200-300 litre barrels to mix everything and a motor water pump which I can use for misting and irrigation (two 15 foot deep irrigation pipes in the ground for water).
 
Thursday, February 23 View Page
It took more than six years, but I finally managed to get the beet seeds that grew the world record in 2005. The seeds are from an exclusive/elusive club of beet growers from one of the Dutch provinces that has around 350 members. One of their growers grew the WR in 2005 (171 lbs) and to win any given year, you need 120 lbs or more. They sneer at anything less that 100 lbs... lol Although I can't join the club (I live in the wrong part of the country) they were very generous and sent me a pack of the seeds from the strain they have used for years and grew the world record from. The club is called "The Thirsty Beet" and I haven't been able to make out if the growers or the beets are the thirsty ones... Just to make things clear, these are true fodder beets. There are very few growers that still grow true table beets, though many claim so. There is talk in the giant vegetable world of getting rid of the table beet class as there is a lot of cheating going on, especially in Great Britain, and because a lot of growers and judges simply don't know the difference.
 
Monday, May 1 View Page
Giant beets in their final position under fleece. It's been a very cold and dry spring till now. Have 9 giant (fodder) beets in three different places in the garden. Sandy soil, clay soil and inside. Seed is from the strain that grew the world record. In the small greenhouse I have two 967 Horde* squash plants. No growth on the main one (due to cold?). Placed a second one beside it. Have another backup in case necessary. Have a 137.00 and 122.88 Eaton long gourd going, as well as a 220 Bartoli and 161.5 Crews watermelon for the large greenhouse. Also have 4 corn plants going (about 2ft tall) along with a few backups. Still to start are the tomatoes, cucumbers, field pumpkins, sunflowers, runnerbeans, marrows and bushel gourds.
 
Monday, May 22 View Page
967 Horde*. Main plant in the back won't grow so will have to go with the backup which is doing okay despite a cold spring.
 
Monday, May 22 View Page
Four of the nine giant beets I have going. These are covered in fleece day and night to even out temperatures.
 
Monday, July 17 View Page
One of my beets. They tend to grow out of the ground and fall over so I have been adding soil around this one. Not sure how big it should be by now, but I think it is already too small to beat all 400 other Dutch beet growers I am up against. They have the correct soil, climate and experience, so it will be a tough competition.
 
Monday, July 17 View Page
967 Horde* - day 25. Never had such disappointing day 25 numbers. More or less a new patch (really sandy soil) and a new (smaller) tunnel. Looks like a waste of time, but we'll hang in there.
 
Monday, August 14 View Page
Very rough year this year. Heavy cucumbers don't have the length I usually have. Longest one is now only 28 inches. Girth on the two largest is 15.5 in. Both are still growing and I have at least 3 or 4 others started.
 
Monday, August 14 View Page
The watermelon (220 Bartoli) is estimated at 66lbs and growing very slowly. Watermelons don't usually grow in our country and the current record is 15lbs, so I guess this one is doing okay.
 
Monday, August 14 View Page
It's a bad pumpkin and squash year over here, so hopefully this one is the best of the bad. Day 50 was 650 lbs. Never had such a small day 50 before.
 
Monday, August 14 View Page
Giant beets are way too small for this time of year. The largest one is growing a centimetre in circumference per day and is now taping 82 cm (32") in circumference. Not sure how long it is. Most of it is in the ground.
 
Monday, August 14 View Page
My last chance at a PB for field pumpkin. I lost two to sag lines and a third is about to go. The fourth is way too small, so only the 133 Wursten is left in the race. Day 26 and estimating well over 100lbs, about 30 lbs more than the 133 itself taped last year on that day.
 
Friday, August 25 View Page
109 MacKenzie developed a big crack in the blossom end. Cut it off to prevent it from going all the way through. Weighed in at 115 lbs so hoping it makes the weigh-off on Sept. 30 as it's a pumpkin from the 11 year boy I'm helping out. Two long gourds in the background. The longest was 118" (4th longest ever in our country) but lost its tip to rotting.
 
Friday, August 25 View Page
117 Horde scaring my pants off the whole season with all its sag lines. Day 35 and estimating 140-150 lbs.
 
Friday, August 25 View Page
133 Wursten and currently the largest in the patch. Day 37 and estimating 160-170 lbs.
 
Friday, August 25 View Page
Runner bean around 25 inches (64 cm). Not the best I have ever had, but will have to do for now.
 
Wednesday, September 13 View Page
Lost all five field pumpkins this year, including this one weighing 176.4 lbs, which would have been a new Dutch record. Lost both long gourds as well. Both at 118".
 
Wednesday, September 27 View Page
Saturday is the Dutch Giant Vegetable Championship. I hope to take along 4 personal bests, all of which could be potential Dutch records. Too bad the field pumpkin went down at 176.4 lbs, otherwise I would have had 5. In any case, I hope to have an entry in 8 giant veg classes: squash, tomato, watermelon, runnerbean, fodderbeet, sweet pepper, heavy cucumber and long cucumber. This heavy pepper will probably be the only Dutch entry which would mean a new Dutch record. Not only that, it should make the top 4 or 5 in the world ever.
 
Wednesday, September 27 View Page
To take the bends out of the runnerbeans, I wrap them in wet paper towels and then cover them in cling wrap and leave them over night. The long one is mine and the shorter one is from another grower who grows on my allotment.
 
Wednesday, September 27 View Page
Although more than 100lbs over the previous Dutch record, the watermelon is nothing interesting. On the other hand, I believe it is the 2nd heaviest watermelon ever grown in northern Europe. The fodderbeet was a failure. It was seed used by the WR holder, but they just don't grow here. Not even a PB. They are like Japanese giant radishes, they only grow big in certain areas, and obviously not in mine. The tomatoes were all failures. The heaviest isn't even going to make 4lbs. Might be enough to win the Dutch weigh-off.
 
Wednesday, September 27 View Page
These are my heavy and long cucumber entries. The long one is considerably shorter than my PB but the heaviest one (in the middle) is several pounds heavier than the current Dutch record.
 
Wednesday, September 27 View Page
Last, and without a doubt, least, is the squash. Tried a new patch with a new (too small) greenhouse and sandy soil and it didn't work out. Estimated between 800 and 1000 lbs.
 
Wednesday, September 27 View Page
These are my heavy and long cucumber entries. The long one is considerably shorter than my PB but the heaviest one (in the middle) is several pounds heavier than the current Dutch record.
 
Tuesday, October 3 View Page
Won seven 1st places and one 2nd place at the Dutch Giant Vegetable Championship. Also broke four Dutch records: heavy cucumber, watermelon, sweet pepper and long runnerbean. The pepper weighed 602g (1.33 lbs) which is to my knowledge the 4th heaviest pepper ever weighed. I had a much larger one which weighed 518g, but when I cut this one open, I found out why this one weighed a lot more.
 
Tuesday, October 3 View Page
To sum up the year, it wasn't half bad. I started with 14 classes of giant veg and showed 8. Field pumpkin: 176.4 lbs (dmg) Squash: 892 lbs (2nd place NL weigh-off) Long gourd: 2x 118" (dmg) Tomatoes: reminder not to grow them in a greenhouse - they don't grow (3.99 lbs) Marrow and bushelgourd - didn't have time to tend to either Watermelon: 118 lbs (NL record) Pepper: 1.33 lbs (NL record) Heavy cucumber: 17.6 lbs (NL record) Long cucumber: 32" (have done better before) Runnerbean: 27.6" (NL record) Fodderbeat: 47.4 lbs (have done better before) Sunflower and sunflower head: wrong seeds Corn: tassled way too early because of poor weather
 

 

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