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Click on a thumbnail picture below to see the full size version. 116 Entries.
Thursday, January 5 View Page
The onions are fairly big for the time of year but I think 12 hours with the lights on is on the edge of to long so I've cut them down to 10 hours and well see how they go. It's an incredibly long crop to grow and only two plants leaves zero chance of mistakes but it does give me something to grow.
 
Wednesday, January 18 View Page
I made a bigger support ring for the onions and this one is 11inch cir and 8 inch high. The moisture is 10% and the EC is only 1.3. Looking at the plants now there is no tip scorch and at a guess the feed is somewhere near okay. If I had an EC of 1.3 on our crops that we grow at Pinetops I would be having kittens right now.
 
Friday, January 20 View Page
We have a lot of big changes in the patch this year and the pH and calcium are key.
 
Friday, January 20 View Page
Just a small croc but good fun all the same especially as the water was very coloured due to a load of rain. One of the onions has gone double so just down to one, hey ho.
 
Friday, January 27 View Page
The pumpkin year has started and it's taken 5 days to double dig the whole patch. I know it's a bit over the top but it works for us.
 
Friday, January 27 View Page
These are the roots of the onion that doubled up on me so I must be doing something right.
 
Friday, January 27 View Page
One of my buddies Derick kicked my butt yesterday with this huge 19.5lb croc. It was a PB for him and head to tail pretty much was the width of the boat.
 
Friday, January 27 View Page
He then went on to catch this 16.5lb pike (don't you just love it when a mate does this to you, that said my best from the lake is just over 30lbs) Seriously though I was chuffed to bits for him and very happy to photograph that smiling face.
 
Monday, February 20 View Page
This photo will probably come up upside down but I'm sure you will guess what's coming next.
 
Monday, February 20 View Page
Just over 25lbs, what a Croc.
 
Monday, February 20 View Page
This 4inch Bass pro Laser eye did the business.
 
Friday, February 24 View Page
This is last years (sort of) end of season soil sample.
 
Friday, February 24 View Page
You can see we've got the pH just right this year and it's gone from 6.2 to 7. The key thing for us is that the calcium has gone from 2584 (which we felt was low) to 3409 which is somewhere on the money. The Manganese is low and we will attempt to raise that later when the season starts along with the Nitrogen.
 
Friday, February 24 View Page
Iphones and BP diary entries don't mix.
 
Tuesday, March 21 View Page
Thank you all for making Niagara a great seminar and as friendly as ever. It was a great honour for me as I'm now the third President of the GPC and I have some big boots to jump into.
 
Tuesday, March 21 View Page
Stuart, Andy and I finally got to go fishing after storm Stella did her best to stop us. Here's Stuart with a beautiful Steelhead.
 
Tuesday, March 21 View Page
Andy was next to get in on the action. We shot his guns when storm Stella was doing her thing and it was a blast. Shooting the Magnum 357 (a girls gun) was my favourite but chilling, literally, with Andy, Christy, Tim and Amelia was a memory I will remember forever. Thanks guys.
 
Tuesday, March 21 View Page
Our guild Chris caught this stunning fresh run fish.
 
Tuesday, March 21 View Page
It took me ages to get a bit but eventually I managed to catch a small but very welcome steelhead.
 
Tuesday, March 21 View Page
The harder you try the luckier you get and right at the end I hooked into this 18lb Lake trout. It tried its best to spool me but Chris chased after it in the boat.
 
Tuesday, March 21 View Page
The Three Amigos.
 
Thursday, March 30 View Page
Our nursery is getting a lot bigger
 
Thursday, March 30 View Page
Lucky lucky pumpkins. Our six plants this year we be 3 x 2145 McMullen's 1 x 2634 Willemijns 1 x 1975 Wallace 1 x 2252 Paton Were going to sow on the 2nd of April because we want to aim for peak growth at peak long days and if the are finished growing they will just have to sit in the patch. Were going to plant a load of 2634, 1975 and 2252 seeds for backups.
 
Sunday, April 2 View Page
I was round at a friends last night an we were drinking Port, as you do and we found this photo of my old school. Actually there is another building just down the road and Stuart had his class there but we did swap classes for fun. The seeds are in so our season is on its way.
 
Sunday, April 16 View Page
Our line up this year has changed as we only got one of the 2145's to germinate. So it looks like our final line up will be 2 x 2252 2 x 2624 1 x 1975 1 x 2145 The patch is a country mile better than last year with loads of improvements.
 
Monday, April 24 View Page
I got in some fishing last week and caught one of my favourite fish. This Perch was just under 2lbs and a specimen. Check out the huge black eye used to spot its prey.
 
Monday, April 24 View Page
This is Timothy custard with the caramel tail and yes that is his full name. He's getting and old boy now and 16 this year. Best friend in the world.
 
Sunday, April 30 View Page
We've made so many big changes this year it's a joke, we just always find improvements. So this year should be much better than last year as the extra calcium alone will help us get a pub. This is a 1975 Wallace
 
Sunday, April 30 View Page
I had to do some work on the koi filters this week so I weighed Millie at 19lbs. Stunning.
 
Friday, May 19 View Page
Stuart's been looking after the patch as I've been unwell for the last few weeks and it has certainly been an unusual start to the season. We've had loads of double vines mainly in the 2252's and we only have this one left in the patch.
 
Friday, May 19 View Page
This is our only 2624 and believe it or not, our one remaining 1975 stem split and our last 2145 was a runt. The long and short of it is that Stuart had to sow another batch of seeds so we now have, in our patch. 2 x 2157 Paton 2 x 1947 Paton 1 x 2252 Paton and a 2624
 
Saturday, May 27 View Page
Stuart's doing a great job in the patch and this is one of our 1947 plants. Four of the plants look similar to this one and our last two are a few weeks behind. That said there will be plenty of time them to reach there potential.
 
Monday, June 5 View Page
We have 4 plants around this size but this 2252 is the best looking of all the plants.
 
Monday, June 5 View Page
This is the first pollination on this plant using the 2624 as a pollinator. So the first biggest in the world crossed the forth biggest in the world.
 
Monday, June 5 View Page
Both of our other plants are small but plenty of time to go yet.
 
Monday, June 12 View Page
We did a bit of repositioning today and this is the 2624. This is the first year I can remember with no proven seeds in the patch so it's a good job we only need one to get over the line.
 
Monday, June 12 View Page
At 14ft out this is the 2624 X 1949.
 
Monday, June 12 View Page
This a 1949 plant
 
Monday, June 12 View Page
And this is our keeper 1949 X 2624. From this week we will be doing a leaf and soil sample every two weeks. I'm not actually sure how we did so well last year because our calcium in the soil and leaf was disappointing to say the least. That problem has been fixed this year and at the moment just a little short of manganese which were working on.
 
Wednesday, June 14 View Page
Just two days on and although early days this 2624 pumpkin is shifting. I just wanted to point out the super aggressive S bend were going for this year.
 
Wednesday, June 14 View Page
This is our 2252 plant and the best plant in the patch
 
Wednesday, June 14 View Page
This is our keeper at the moment on the 2252 X 2624. Again a super aggressive S bend.
 
Friday, June 16 View Page
All of our plants look extremely healthy and we have not had to put one Epsom salt spray at all this year. Our last soil sample showed the Nitrogen was just beginning to drop but we are going to resist putting more on as these plants are pigs and don't always know what's good for them. We are ramping up the water from 50 gall a day to 100 on all four of the big plants with pumpkins set. The other two will remain a little on the dry side with 50 gall. Don't stand still in our patch they'll have you.
 
Friday, June 16 View Page
This is our 2157 later plant and although behind our other plants the pumpkins on the early plants should be totally done well before the show. Our last plant is about the same size and doing its best to ribbon but we will keep working on her.
 
Friday, June 16 View Page
Just for interest here is this weeks soil sample. You can see the Nitrogen is dipping down. The Manganese is a problem although we have been working on it. The sulphur looks fine but look at the next entry.
 
Friday, June 16 View Page
So here is out leaf sample. I told you pumpkins were pigs: look at the nitrogen. Manganese is a problem and despite Sulphur looking fine in the soil, like Ron, we are short it the leaf.
 
Monday, June 26 View Page
The patch is going well at the moment although will did pull the double vine plant. It's been very hot and our leaf samples show that we are in much better shape than this time last year. It has already showed up in some quite startling numbers and we did have to measure twice this morning. The 2624 on day 24 tapes 291lbs So to put that in context last year our 2157 Day 24 was 161lbs 2252 Day 25 was 203lbs 1949 Day 26 was 239lbs
 
Monday, June 26 View Page
Our 1949 DAP 22 is already 239lbs
 
Monday, June 26 View Page
I'm not a fan of the shape of the 2252 but that's how her Mom started and ended up the forth biggest pumpkin in the world ever.
 
Monday, June 26 View Page
This is another 1949 a long way out from the stump.
 
Monday, June 26 View Page
We mix the watering up these days with some underneath ,some over the top and all the time just piling in all the good stuff.
 
Thursday, June 29 View Page
Roots are pouring out of our pot system.
 
Thursday, June 29 View Page
We've had a few days with no sun and the vines behind the pumpkin won't go down.
 
Thursday, June 29 View Page
Stuart said to make a note in my diary that this 1949 feels like lead.
 
Thursday, June 29 View Page
There's a lot of plant behind it.
 
Monday, July 3 View Page
Here's a quick update on our patch. Our leaves are tiny after the pumpkin and probably not worth sending for a leaf sample. DAP 31 our 2624 is 623lbs up 332lbs for the week which is 47lbs a day. DAP 29 our 1949 is 534lbs up 298lbs for the week and 42lbs a day. DAP 26 our 2252 is 266lbs. As there is nothing between the top two I'm giving the star of the week to our 1949 because it's our seed. This sport is nuts.
 
Monday, July 10 View Page
We've just had an amazing week in the patch and the thing to be watching here is the quality of the plant growth. The decision to give the pumpkin of the week to the 2264 is because on just DAP 38 she tapes 1027lbs up 404lbs for the week, which is 58lbs a day. Why do we grow these beasts; well there's your answerer.
 
Monday, July 10 View Page
DAP 36 our 1949 is 916lbs up 382lbs for the week and averaging 55lbs a day. At a guess she will tape way bigger than the 2624.
 
Monday, July 10 View Page
This pumpkin was very close to the star in our patch as on just day 26 tapes 415lbs which is another record for us. This is the one that Stuart thought feels like lead. She's a great shape and has a lot of top quality plant behind her.
 
Monday, July 10 View Page
This pumpkin was very close to the star in our patch as on just day 26 tapes 415lbs which is another record for us. This is the one that Stuart thought feels like lead. She's a great shape and has a lot of top quality plant behind her.
 
Monday, July 10 View Page
DAP 33 the 2252 is 518lbs up 252lbs for the week and all of a sudden the shape has improved. At only 36lbs a day you might think this is a lost cause but it is looking great at the moment.
 
Monday, July 10 View Page
Our 2157 is just starting to move.
 
Monday, July 10 View Page
All of our plants growth looks fantastic
 
Monday, July 10 View Page
All of our plants growth looks fantastic
 
Monday, July 10 View Page
I think this is the stem of the 2252 which is just a great example of what we're after. We decided not to bury the main vine before the pumpkin because of the problem of a rotting vine.
 
Monday, July 10 View Page
We have two fans on the back of all of our stems to keep them dry.
 
Monday, July 10 View Page
The stems are solid.
 
Monday, July 10 View Page
My advice would be to try and ignore your pumpkin growth and concentrate on your plant at all times.
 
Monday, July 10 View Page
Ahh,how sweet to plants meet for the first time.
 
Monday, July 17 View Page
Well we've had a nice steady week with no drama in the patch which is always nice. Our 2624 DAP45 is 1357lbs up 330lbs this week and averaged 47lbs a day. Realistically she will not be the biggest in the patch but Stuart and I both think she will tape around the 2000lb mark on the new chart.
 
Monday, July 17 View Page
On DAP 43 our first 1949 is 1248lbs up 332lbs and averaging 47lbs a day. This could be a real lump of a pumpkin.
 
Monday, July 17 View Page
Don't ask me why the 2252 shape is now fantastic because I have no idea. This pumpkin and our other 1949 sat in the patch doing nothing for ages, we actually thought the 1949 had not pollinated. Stuart thinks they spent longer in the cell division stage which is good news. DAP 40 she is 896lbs up 378lbs this week and averaging 54lbs a day. She has absolutely no netting what so ever.
 
Monday, July 17 View Page
Our other 1949 also has a great shape and DAP 33 is 755lbs up 340lbs this week which is 48lbs a day.
 
Monday, July 17 View Page
Dap 24 our 2157 is 239lbs. We've been working on this one to try and keep her upright.
 
Monday, July 17 View Page
Just for interest here is this weeks leaf sample taken from in front of the pumpkin. As you can see the calcium is not making it past the pumpkin which is not really a surprise. We will have to get our head around the manganese next year.
 
Wednesday, July 19 View Page
The last few days have been wet, thundery and even in our glasshouse the climate is far to humid my our liking. Although we haven't taped the 2252 she will be over the 1000lbs today.
 
Monday, July 24 View Page
The weather over here has been poor to say the least with no sun at all to speak of for most of last week. It's around 80days until our show and as it typically takes up to 120 days for our pumpkins to truly max out we will have some of them sat in the patch for a few weeks gathering dust. But you know what, that's just Dandy because while their on the plant they won't lose any weight. DAP just 52 our 2624 is 1631lbs up 274lbs for the week and averaging 39lbs a day. I know the new chart makes her 77lbs more than the old one but she is still one impressive beast.
 
Monday, July 24 View Page
Our oldest 1949 is not that easy to tape and I imagine over the next few weeks we might see some strange numbers. DAP 50 she is 1489lbs up 239lbs which is 34lbs a day
 
Monday, July 24 View Page
DAP 47 our 2252 is 1187lbs up 291lbs and averaging 42lbs a day.
 
Monday, July 24 View Page
Our other 1949 is a perfect shape. DAP 40 she is 1060lbs up 305lbs for the week and averaging 44lbs a day. I've given up trying to find the Star in our patch because I think they are all Stars.
 
Monday, July 24 View Page
I feel a little sorry for our last pumpkin in the patch because she is not mixing it with the big girls at the moment. DAP 31 she tapes 507lbs up 268lbs for the week and averaging 38lbs a day.
 
Monday, July 31 View Page
The patch is on fire at the moment and were very happy with the way things are going. We've been venting at 22C or 74F this year which is two degrees higher than last year which does account for the good growth rates. It's always a bit of a dilemma with starting the pumpkins for us because as our show is late in the year. We will always be finished with growth well before the show but we want our pumpkins to be growing during the longest days. Anyway on day 59 our 2624 is 1818lbs up 187lbs for the week and averaging 26lbs a day.
 
Monday, July 31 View Page
DAP 57 our oldest 1949 is 1660lbs up 173lbs for the week and averaging 25lbs a day.
 
Monday, July 31 View Page
DAP 54 our 2252 is 1384lbs up 197lbs and averaging 28lbs a day. This was our one disappointing result.
 
Monday, July 31 View Page
DAP 38 our 2157 is 783lbs up 276lbs and averaging 39lbs a day.
 
Monday, July 31 View Page
This 1949 is the one that could well rock our patch and produce a new pb. DAP 47 she is 1338lbs up 278lbs and averaging 40lbs a day
 
Monday, August 7 View Page
We've just had a fairly bulk standard week in the patch which is just the way we like it. At the moment we will probably end the year with at least three pumpkins taping personal bests. What they weigh will be a different matter but we're happy that we have done our best so far. The plants continue to look great but we do have some damaged leaves on one of the 2149 plants. So DAP 66 our 2624 is 1959lbs up 141lbs and averaging 20lbs a day.
 
Monday, August 7 View Page
I got Stuart in the photo to show just how big these pumpkins are. The 1949 DAP 63 is 1798lbs up 138lbs for the week and averaging 20lbs a day.
 
Monday, August 7 View Page
The 2252 had a steady week and DAP 61 is 1535lbs up 151lbs and averaging 21lbs a day. It's never going to be huge compared to others in our patch but it will be an impressive pumpkin.
 
Monday, August 7 View Page
Our other 1949 with a little leaf damage DAP 53 is 1544lbs up 206lbs and averaging 29lbs a day for the week.
 
Monday, August 7 View Page
Last but not least our 2157 DAP 45 had a very good week and is 1101lbs up 318lbs and averaging 45lbs a day.
 
Monday, August 14 View Page
The patch is going well still but we do have some mildew creeping in. The chemical we used to spray with has been taken off label and I don't think the replacement one is working. DAP 73 our 2624 is 2070lbs up 111lbs and averaging 16lbs a day. She now tapes 2 inches bigger than our pb ott and is a terrific looking pumpkin.
 
Monday, August 14 View Page
Our biggest 1949 has an enormous waist at exactly 19ft and that must be some sort of record. DAP 70 she is 1928lbs up 130lbs and averaging 18lbs a day
 
Monday, August 14 View Page
Our 2252 is actually turning into a good looking pumpkin. The leaves at the back of the plant have all of a sudden started to look old but she's doing well. DAP 68 she's 1670lbs up 135lbs and averaging 19lbs a day.
 
Monday, August 14 View Page
Our other 1949's leaves that we think might have been spray damaged are struggling but the pumpkin is still growing well. Although the pumpkin is growing okay we cant help but feel perhaps she might be growing a little better. We always direct most of our attention to the plants and pumpkins a direct result of how our plants look. DAP 60 she tapes 1709lbs up 165lbs for the week and averaging 24lbs a day
 
Monday, August 14 View Page
Last but not least our 2157 has one big mouth on her. DAP 52 she is 1284lbs up 183lbs and averaging 26lbs a day
 
Monday, August 14 View Page
Ron asked for a couple of photos of our main vines so this is the 2252 about 5ft out.
 
Monday, August 14 View Page
And this is our 2264 about 5ft out.
 
Friday, August 18 View Page
I had a day on the river this week after Pike and Perch but had this bonus Chub that nailed a coat hanger.
 
Monday, August 21 View Page
Here's my beautiful daughter Katie with the enormous 2624 DAP 80 she's 2142lbs up 72lbs and averaging 10lbs a day. Our biggest 1949 DAP 77 is 1989lbs up 61lbs for the week and averaging 8lbs a day. The 2252 DAP75 is 1748lbs up 78lbs and averaging 11lbs a day. Our other 1949 DAP 67 is 1808lbs up 99lbs and averaging 14lbs a day. Finally our 2157 DAP 59 is 1487lbs up 203lbs for the week and averaging 29lbs a day.
 
Thursday, August 24 View Page
A couple of weeks ago I found a puddle of water around the stem of our biggest 1949 pumpkin. The water must have come in through the vents when raining and not shutting in time. The long and short of it is that yesterday Stuart and I found a tiny soft spot in the stem which grew to a mighty hole. We now have a fan on it and we will see over the next few days if it dries out.
 
Friday, August 25 View Page
We have not been able to stop the hole from filling up with water because the stem is still pumping it out like no tomorrow. So looking at the situation as our cup(hole)is half full and not half empty we decided to cut the vine and we are going to take the pumpkin to Holland in two weeks time. God knows what it is going to cost getting it across the channel but it's absolutely enormous and deserves to be weighed. It's all fairly solid so fingers crossed.
 
Monday, August 28 View Page
After cutting the 1949 DAP 81 she was 2009lbs and the stem is now dry and solid. Our 2624 DAP 87 is 2204lbs up 62lbs for the week and averaging nearly 9lbs a day which to be honest is more than we suspected. DAP 82 our 2252 ground to a halt only putting on 20lbs and is 1768lbs. Our other 1949 DAP74 had a good week and is 1878lbs up 70lbs and averaging 10lbs a day. And our 2157 DAP66 is 1573lbs up 86lbs this week.
 
Tuesday, September 5 View Page
Everything is slowing down in the patch and we are now left with some absolute monsters that should give us a good chance of a new pb. Were working on next years plan at the moment and there are a lot of improvements.The plants look like they are covered in snow with the mildew which was not our fault but we have it covered for next year. DAP 94 the 2624 is up 30lbs and 2234lbs DAP 89 the 2252 is up 20lbs and 1788lbs DAP 84 the 1949 is up 60lbs and 1938lbs DAP 73 the 2157 is up 97lbs and 1670lbs Stuart and I took the boat out Bass fishing and started by catching joey (small) mackerel for bait.
 
Tuesday, September 5 View Page
Dinner.
 
Monday, September 11 View Page
Our 1949 was lifted and Stuart hauled it all the way to Holland only to find that the blossom end had split. It had either happened on the way over or before and we didn't notice it. However all was not lost because she got weighed at 1944lbs DMG and Stuart and Kaz had a great time. DAP 101 our 2624is up 21lbs and 2255lbs DAP 91 our 1949 is up 39lbs and 1977lbs DAP 80 our 2157 is up 39lbs and 1719lbs The 2252 is quite happy sat in the patch at 1788lbs Pollinating early so your pumpkins are growing through the longest days is the way to go.
 
Monday, September 18 View Page
Our 2624 gained one of the most important 10lbs of her life this week. I did have a wander through my diary this week and I actually said "realistically this will not be the biggest pumpkin in the patch". How wrong can you be? It's official. OTT she is the second biggest pumpkin .........in the world. Our 1949 tapes 1989. And our 2157 is 1758.
 
Friday, September 29 View Page
Stuart is taking our other 1949 to the French weigh off tonight and it is a seriously big pumpkin. We've purpose build pallets for all this years pumpkins and now matter which way we turn them the pumpkin is hung over the edge of the trailer.
 
Friday, September 29 View Page
We lost our 2157 which was no real surprise as it was paper thin in places. This is the best piece of kit ever invented for pumpkins and if you want one give Eddy a mail. It's so much safer than crossing two straps over the top.
 
Friday, September 29 View Page
Our patch hit the papers this week and my super model nephew was awesome.
 
Tuesday, October 10 View Page
Well what a week!!! I was staying in Niagara last week visiting commercial growers and attending a trade show. I got a phone call from Stuart saying that we had lost the 2252 with a soft spot on the stem and he had to cut the 2624 of the vine for potentially the same reason. The long and short of it is that although the soft spot does not go into the cavity on the 2252 we are going to call it DMG. The 2624 is absolutely fine and as the BBC wanted to film it we decided to lift it today. My nerves are shot to pieces and I have never felt like this before about a pumpkin. What I can say is that the look on Stuart face and probably mine was priceless when we looked at the pumpkin from underneath and she was perfectly flat.
 
Tuesday, October 10 View Page
Stuart washed off any soil and sand.
 
Tuesday, October 10 View Page
I might as well tell it the way it is so here goes. This pumpkin is enormous and its fair to say that even Stuart and I are amazed.
 
Friday, October 13 View Page
We had a couple of friends rock up today and when Steve saw the stem of our 2252 he said it was absolutely fine. To be honest we were sort of sitting on the fence so it will now go to the York Maze show next week. It's going to be a long sleepless night tonight but whatever she weighs we will be happy.
 
Sunday, October 15 View Page
What a day with all our friends and a big thank you for all the team that worked so hard all day. Last year we were third in the world and who could not be happy with second in the world, European champions and a new UK record. It would be fair to say we were a little disappointed that she didn't weigh a little heavier but Stuart and I wear our heart on our sleeve and it's difficult to be anything else. I'm really proud of our achievement and it's always nice to share the whole journey good and bad in my diary. 2269lbs, what a beast.
 
Tuesday, October 24 View Page
Finally our 2252 got weighed at the York Maze GPC weigh off. 1737lbs That is a great way to end the year.
 

 

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