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Click on a thumbnail picture below to see the full size version. 69 Entries.
Wednesday, April 5 View Page
I guess it's time to get going on my diary for 2017 already! The giant watermelons were started on March 20th and the first true leaves are about to emerge. Planting two of these this year, one 290.5 Terry and one 192 McCracken
 
Thursday, April 13 View Page
Spent time last weekend finally spreading out the piles of horse manure sitting in the patch since December, then harvested some compost (pictured here) to spread over the top. I make my compost the easy, slow way - make a pile and let it sit for two years. I don't worry if there are still some undecomposed pieces in it, as long as the batch is about 80% finished. The rest will be food for all the soil microbes, worms, etc. which will keep nutrient cycling going all season for a constant fresh supply going to the plants
 
Thursday, April 13 View Page
The only element I wanted to boost more for this year is calcium, and I've made the switch over to crushed oyster shells for that. Surprisingly cheap, friendly to the soil microbes, and will be a slow release calcium source for a long time. I'm still going to be prepared to liquid feed calcium this year, as it may take a while to see a real benefit from the shells
 
Tuesday, April 18 View Page
Spent some time this weekend putting heating cables in 2 of my planting spots. 48 foot long cables, should make the soil nice and warm for an early start. I'm doing 4 plants this year, so two will not have the cables. Started all the giant pumpkin seeds on Friday, April 14th and they are beginning to come up 4 days later. Lineup to be revealed shortly.....
 
Sunday, April 23 View Page
Turned on the soil heating cables today, they will run for one week before planting day next Sunday. Only the top two plants have the heating cables, there is black plastic down in the other planting spots and 80 degrees in the forecast for later this week. Looking forward to a quicker start and earlier pollinations this year. Plants are in larger pots now with a healthy dose of compost and myco mixed in. Lineup mostly set, still pondering the final choice since the 1861 Cutrupi failed to germinate. Only one out of 12 to not come up, and that is with no soaking or filing of seeds
 
Monday, May 1 View Page
Ok I'm going to start revealing my lineup finally, starting with a 1795.5 McCracken. This is the biggest of the 6 seedlings so it wins a spot in the patch. Note to self, take it easy on the potting mix next year. All my seedlings are looking a little shocked by too much compost/manure in the mix. Been watering them a lot to try to help the situation, and putting them in the ground should help too. What am I, a rookie or something? It's too damn easy to get overzealous in the spring, but one of these years I'll learn
 
Monday, May 1 View Page
All 4 giant pumpkin plants went in the ground yesterday, April 30th. Couple of chilly nights coming up in the forecast over the next week but shouldn't go below 40 (I hope). Anyway they are all covered as always, and 2 have heating cables so they'll be fine
 
Monday, May 1 View Page
All 4 giant pumpkin plants went in the ground yesterday, April 30th. Couple of chilly nights coming up in the forecast over the next week but shouldn't go below 40 (I hope). Anyway they are all covered as always, and 2 have heating cables so they'll be fine
 
Wednesday, May 10 View Page
Planted the giant watermelons out this evening. 290.5 Terry
 
Wednesday, May 10 View Page
And a 192 McCracken. Plants really were ready to go in the ground but we had 36 degrees the last 2 nights so I decided not to torture them with that
 
Thursday, May 11 View Page
Took some pictures last night of the plants. Here's the 1795.5 McCracken
 
Thursday, May 11 View Page
And now the rest of my lineup - the 1843 Werner. You can really see the early misshapen leaves here, as well as the perfect ones forming now. Too many nutrients baaaaaaaaaad
 
Thursday, May 11 View Page
2145 McMullen, might be my smallest plant so far and that is with heating cables. Go figue
 
Thursday, May 11 View Page
And decided to go with another 1843 Werner. The 1861 Cutrupi did not germinate for me, and of all my backups this was the one I wanted the most. I think it's potential is great and growing two of them could pay off. Weather has been cool lately and not very much sun, yet I think my plants look better than they usually do on May 10th. 80s in the forecast next week, after we get an inch or two of rain this weekend. Here come the weeds
 
Saturday, May 27 View Page
Perfect morning for a sunrise dome covering. For those new to my diary, this has been my organic solution to all insect problems for about 6 years now. Sure it's a pain to put the cover on - you need perfectly calm conditions, and without help I have to use cable ties to hold it in place while I gradually move up and down the house pulling it up a little bit at a time. But once it is done, voila! No worrying about insects for the entire summer. Even if it rips off in a storm in late July (like last year), by then insects don't have enough summer left to find my plants and do much harm.
 
Saturday, May 27 View Page
1843 Werner #1. Looking pretty nice
 
Saturday, May 27 View Page
2145 McMullen. Dead ringer for last year's 2145 including a big early split in the stump. Considering how well it turned out for me last year, I'm not going to worry about it. Keep it dry and healthy and there's no reason why it can't go all the way to the finish line
 
Saturday, May 27 View Page
The finished dome #1. Immediately put some ropes criss crossing over the top to keep it from flapping around much, which leads to holes and eventually rips. Doing the other dome this evening or tomorrow morning.
 
Sunday, May 28 View Page
The 1843 Werner #2. Looking as good as the other one, glad so far that I decided to plant them both.
 
Sunday, May 28 View Page
The 1795.5 McCracken, smallest of my 4 plants right now
 
Sunday, May 28 View Page
The 192 McCracken watermelon. Not doing a whole lot yet, maybe I was just a one-hit wonder with my big melon last year. What's worse is that the 290.5 Terry I planted had the growing tip of the plant die, so I replaced it with another 192 of mine and the same thing happened to it. Still waiting to decide whether to pull it or not, but I probably will replace it with a field pumpkin soon.
 
Wednesday, June 7 View Page
1795.5 McCracken, trying to do some catch up. We have had a ton of rain lately and cool temps. Summer and sun are about to arrive though!
 
Wednesday, June 7 View Page
1843 Werner B, in dome #2.
 
Wednesday, June 7 View Page
192 McCracken B watermelon. This is the one that replaced the 290.5 Terry. I think I'm going to leave it grow and see what happens. Side vines are coming out strongly
 
Wednesday, June 7 View Page
192 McCracken A. Sprayed all plants with Companion this evening
 
Wednesday, June 7 View Page
158.6 Mackinnon field pumpkin. Direct seeded it because I'm a noob at these.
 
Wednesday, June 7 View Page
2145 McMullen. Had some haywire secondaries near the stump so I had to take a few off.
 
Wednesday, June 7 View Page
1843 Werner A, in dome #1. My biggest plant, 6 and a half to 7 feet
 
Sunday, June 18 View Page
1843 Werner B plant, really doing nicely but the first female is only appearing in the tip now.
 
Sunday, June 18 View Page
1795.5 McCracken. Seems to be gaining length faster than the others with its long internodes. Also just now showing a female in the tip.
 
Sunday, June 18 View Page
192 McCracken A watermelon
 
Sunday, June 18 View Page
158.6 Mackinnon field pumpkin
 
Sunday, June 18 View Page
2145 McMullen, first female to open in 2 or 3 days but it's only at 8 1/4 feet
 
Sunday, June 18 View Page
1843 Werner A, first female to open in a few days will be at 9 and a half feet
 
Wednesday, June 28 View Page
Pollinated this one on the 1843 Werner A on Monday, June 26th with the 2145 McMullen. 5 lobes at 14 and a half feet out. Gave it Anthesis this morning
 
Wednesday, June 28 View Page
Pollinated this one on Tuesday, June 27th. 2145 McMullen x self, 5 lobes at 14 and a quarter feet out. Getting Anthesis tomorrow morning
 
Wednesday, June 28 View Page
From last Friday to Sunday this guy was breaking into the patch and ate parts of all 4 plants. Mostly leaves but terminated some side vines on the 1843A, and terminated the main on the 2145 McMullen. Luckily I got him before he ate any flowers. Spent all day Sunday putting electric fencing around the patch and fixing holes in the chicken wire so this won't happen again. Going to have to let some new vines grow to replace the damage, but ultimately it shouldn't affect fruit size much, if at all.
 
Sunday, July 2 View Page
1843 Werner B, taken last night at 3 days old. 5 lobes pollinated with the 1843 Werner A. Anthesis at 2 days old
 
Sunday, July 2 View Page
1795 McCracken taken last night one day after pollination. 4 lobes, pollinated with the 1843 Werner B, and just got Anthesis this morning
 
Monday, July 10 View Page
2145 McMullen on day 13 today. Smallest day 10 circ. of all of mine but also the tallest
 
Monday, July 10 View Page
1843 Werner A at 14 days old today. My oldest fruit and best shot at an orange one, it looks like
 
Monday, July 10 View Page
1795 McCracken today on day 10. Released lady bugs in the domes today to take care of the aphids. They're the one insect problem I usually have inside
 
Tuesday, July 18 View Page
Time to start giving more frequent diary updates! Here is the 1843 Werner B on day 22. My only shot at orange this year, growing well but not the fastest
 
Tuesday, July 18 View Page
2145 McMullen on day 21. Started off the slowest of mine up to day 15 but since then has kicked it in. Having problems with the stump already though, and there is a big main vine split also about 5 feet before the fruit. The biggest challenge I have before me right now
 
Tuesday, July 18 View Page
The 1843 Werner B on day 20. Similar shape as the other 1843 but very different color. Biggest day 20 circumference of my group this year
 
Tuesday, July 18 View Page
And the 1795 McCracken on day 18. I decided this year I'm only giving measurements in the videos I've been doing, and even then it will be sporadic because I often forget what I want to talk about! Anyway check out Pumpkinjesus on You Tube if you are interested, I discuss all of growing philosophies and methods there, I've been having fun doing them. Thanks and stay tuned......
 
Thursday, July 27 View Page
1843 Werner A on day 30 yesterday. My slowest grower but still in the low 30s per day. Named Methone, all my pumpkins are named after moons of Saturn this year
 
Thursday, July 27 View Page
2145 McMullen on day 29 yesterday. Has hit the 40 lb. per day mark but I also found a small soft spot near the bottom. Too much rain lately and it's not letting up yet. Stump problems too, this one is going to be a battle. Named Enceladus
 
Thursday, July 27 View Page
Looks like I finally have a pollination on the 158.6 Mackinnon field pumpkin. Set on 7/25
 
Friday, July 28 View Page
Day 30 today for the 1843 Werner B fruit, named Telesto. Starting to lose leaves to rot, I have some work to do this weekend to clean up this plant. And there is more rain falling tonight
 
Friday, July 28 View Page
Day 28 for the 1795 McCracken, named Rhea. Growing at a very good pace and should be super thick
 
Thursday, August 3 View Page
So this happened yesterday. I've been growing these giants for 10 years now and have not had an in-season hailstorm before now. The hail was small so the fruit are intact, but the leaves in my patch are 75 to 80 percent leveled. This is the worst one, the 1843 Werner B. It also rained 1.7 inches in 30 minutes so there are washouts through the vines. I'm going to give it a couple days to see what bounces back, and then clean out the irreparable damage on the weekend. Was having such a good season too. I was just messaging with Jeremy Terry the other day about how cruel this hobby can be. All I can do now is help them out the best I can and see what comes of it.
 
Friday, August 4 View Page
Day 10 was today for the 158.6 Mackinnon field pumpkin. It's an open pollination, 24 inch circumference and a crazy stem that is 13 to 14 inches long. Plant survived the hailstorm beautifully, and all the giants are doing their best to bounce back. Stay tuned......
 
Saturday, August 5 View Page
Pumpkins are hanging in there after the hail storm, although gains have slowed. Here is Methone on the 1843 Werner A, day 40.
 
Sunday, August 6 View Page
Day 40 today for Enceladus on the 2145 McMullen. This plant looks the best of all 4 and the weight gains are reflecting that. Maybe there is hope yet
 
Tuesday, August 8 View Page
Day 40 was yesterday for Telesto on the 1843 Werner B. It is big, but the plant is the one most wrecked by the hail storm. Stem is splitting apart too so maybe the slower growth will actually save it. Can't help but think though that this had a shot at 2,000 with a healthy plant
 
Wednesday, August 9 View Page
My only watermelon of the year is approaching 100 pound estimate. On the 192 McCracken, I named it Mimas, another of Saturn's moons.
 
Friday, August 11 View Page
It's day 46 for Methone. Steady as she goes
 
Friday, August 11 View Page
Enceladus is at day 45. She's into the 900s now but has stump problems that are getting worse. Two nights of 51 degrees lately too so the gains haven't been great. What a stinker of a weather year
 
Wednesday, August 16 View Page
1843 Werner A, day 51
 
Wednesday, August 16 View Page
Enceladus on the 2145 McMullen. Day 50
 
Thursday, August 17 View Page
Telesto is 50 days old today, on the 1843 Werner B. Really slowed down now with most of the foliage gone. Can't help but think how big this would be if the hail hadn't happened
 
Thursday, September 21 View Page
Enceladus on the 2145 McMullen, 85 days old now
 
Thursday, September 21 View Page
Methone on the 1843 Werner, 86 days old. These are the last two i still have hanging on
 
Thursday, September 21 View Page
The 192 McCracken, day 78
 
Thursday, September 28 View Page
Bringing Methone to Grim's this Saturday! She's probably the prettiest pumpkin I've ever grown, might actually be a HD Award contender at any other weigh off. It's pretty hard to compete with that Orangeneck guy
 
Thursday, September 28 View Page
Made the top 3 at Saratoga Springs last Saturday with a 1,613.5! Second biggest I've ever grown, we had a great time hanging with the New York growers.
 
Thursday, September 28 View Page
Got to sit in the leader chair for a few minutes until Karl Haist made me give him the hot seat. Then Andy Wolf kicked both our butts
 
Thursday, September 28 View Page
Preaching to the choir! Enceladus is the 2145 McMullen x self. 12% heavy
 

 

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