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Click on a thumbnail picture below to see the full size version. 62 Entries.
Sunday, January 1 View Page
Hi Growers, I finally found time to start my diary again. 2016 was a great year, I won first place at the GPC French weigh off with 1371lb but as you see the pumpkin looks young cos of a very late pollination. It could have have grown another 40 days as my usual pumpkins. I only grew one plant : 2096 Meier x Self. Léane is posing for the photo
Thursday, January 5 View Page
Léane loves big pumpkins !
Sunday, January 8 View Page
Léane posing with the New WR Bell Pepper grown 100% organically. Big and tasty !
Thursday, January 12 View Page
Got 45 tons of well rotted cow and chicken manure from my organic farmer friend, that's 4 full trailers like this one.
Sunday, January 15 View Page
All been carried and spread by hand in the 4 polytunnels situated at 200m. That keeps you warm when it's cold lol
Wednesday, April 5 View Page
Thanks a lot to Terralba to provide me all the exciting stuff for the soil. The range is full of great products to improve your soil structure, life and nutrients. Here " Terre alluviale noire", that's organic matter from river bed mixed with 20 years old horse manure. It loosen hard soil, built a nice structure which is ideal to avoid soil compaction to let air and water going through. Roots grow better. Water retention is also increased. NPK : 0.6-0.4-0.4
Wednesday, April 5 View Page
Volcanic basalt is full of trace elements and it stimulates soil micro life.
Wednesday, April 5 View Page
Biochar is charcoal made from biomass and used as a soil amendment. It's very porous and can absorb up to 5 times is own weight of water and nutrients. Then it releases them slowly for a long time.
Wednesday, April 5 View Page
I added a little bit of Azomite too. As volcanic basalt, it contains plenty of trace elements (70!)but the fine powder shape will dissolve quicker than the granule shape of the volcanic basalt.
Wednesday, April 5 View Page
Bat guano contains plenty of bacterias which active soil micro life. This one is balanced, NPK : 3.5-4.5-1.8 Great stuff for roots, leaves and blossoms.
Wednesday, April 5 View Page
I love Worm castings. Black gold for the soil. Natural amendment made from worms (usually Eisenia fetida) after digesting horse manure. It holds beneficial bacterias, fungus and humic/fulvic acids which strongly stimulates soil life.
Wednesday, April 5 View Page
This guano is made from Tenebrio molitor larvas. Soil life enhancer.
Wednesday, April 5 View Page
Kelp meal ( ascophyllum nodosum)) very well known magic stuff ! It is full of trace Minerals, Carbohydrates and Amino Acids, which help create a strong root systems and makes a very healthy plant. It will add organic matter to your soil and help it retain moisture. Kelp Meal will keep your lawn healthy and green, and shows great results on all plants.
Wednesday, April 5 View Page
Cockroaches guano is a good fertilizer that contains chitine and calcium. NPK : 4-9-2 +9. It also helps plants to prevent diseases and insects.
Wednesday, April 5 View Page
This is Zéolithe. Contains trace elements, increases Cation exchange capacity, retains moisture and minerals and slowly diffuse them in the soil.
Wednesday, April 5 View Page
All products were carefully weighed and spread in the whole pumpkin patch. I also added some peat moss and castor meal which is a good general fertilizer and repel voles and moles.
Wednesday, April 5 View Page
All tilled and watered. I did used a "grelinette" along the edges of the patch, that's by far my favorite soil tool.
Wednesday, April 19 View Page
All drip tapes were placed carrefully
Wednesday, April 19 View Page
I covered the soil with a breathable and permeable black weed barrier and transplanted my only pumpkin plant of the season. 2230.5 Wallace is now sitting in his new home and watching the lake ;-)
Saturday, June 10 View Page
Plant is starting run quick now.
Saturday, June 10 View Page
I tried to keep the stump dry but also I wanted to make sur it has the right curve in the right direction without any pleat. It happened a few times in the previous seasons and I think It may reduces the amount of sap running towards the rest of the plant and pumpkin.
Saturday, June 10 View Page
Leaves are very healthy
Monday, June 12 View Page
I'm using The Paton Pots system again this season. Last year, I did a test and I found it works really well to get roots every time. You got multiple roots, often 2/3 from the top and the bottom of the vines. The difference is the weed barrier. I have to cut holes but no weed at all. That's perfect !
Tuesday, June 13 View Page
Nice Young leaves, the whole plant is healthy and growing strong now
Friday, June 16 View Page
The second flower is the way ! I hope It will take despite the heat wave, we had up to 42°C in shade ! at midnight It was still 29°C , Unbelievable ! Hottest day I ve ever met in my life. In Paris, hottest day since 1945 and the following night was 29°C at 4.00 AM which is the hottest night since 1872 ! I used 2 shading mesh to cover the whole polytunnel, 2 fans, misting system, ice bottles, white wet towel and styrofoam. Fingers crossed It won't abort...Lucky me, the hottest spot in France was exactly my city ! grrr :-(
Saturday, July 1 View Page
So far, everything looks good.
Saturday, July 1 View Page
Come on baby !
Saturday, July 1 View Page
Sunday, July 2 View Page
Still working hard every day to look after the vines, I m sweating mad but that's so important to get a decent pumpkin.
Monday, July 3 View Page
We are growing giant tomatoes for shops, they are absolutely fantastic, people keeps saying the taste is fabulous.
Wednesday, July 5 View Page
I was pleased to reach my target of the 2016 season ! Happy days !
Friday, July 7 View Page
Nice shape so far
Friday, July 7 View Page
Could be orange, not too sur yet. Time will tell
Wednesday, July 12 View Page
Kids still love to see giant pumpkins !
Wednesday, July 19 View Page
Big weight average, nice looking, awesome tast, just a bit fragile.
Saturday, July 22 View Page
What a long stem ! Longest I have ever got. That's a good news to reduce vine stress. Fruit is growing but too early to be sur it took.
Monday, July 24 View Page
Nice 5 lobes female.
Monday, July 24 View Page
Pollinated ! I carrefully tried to cover each lobe with plenty of pollen to get a good fruit shape. I used 2 males.
Monday, July 24 View Page
Stump has grown a lot.
Monday, July 24 View Page
Plant still healthy for the moment, hopefully it'll quickly start to send all the power to the fruit
Monday, July 24 View Page
30 days old today, knocking wood, nothing wrong yet
Monday, July 24 View Page
Ismaël posing with the pumpkin
Monday, July 24 View Page
Great shot, happy little boy !
Saturday, July 29 View Page
End of july is always the beginning of the problems here as PM, pest ( 20lb coypus a few years ago)etc... weather has been crazy, one day was 38°C and the following day 18C ! Also, I still have plenty of moles and voles eating the rooting system despite all my efforts to get ride of them with numerous technics as poison, ultrason, cat, essential oils, mechanical traps, repealing fox urine, anti roots barrier etc...but nothing works and I carry that problem years after years...
Saturday, July 29 View Page
One more shot
Saturday, July 29 View Page
Giant pumpkin leaves are huge. 3 or 4 years ago, biggest one was 97cm wide. This one is 95cm. Just curious to know what is the biggest leaf ever produced by a pumpkin plant ?! growers, plz, publish a photo off your best one just for fun ! I'm pretty sur, 100cm is existing somewhere :-)
Saturday, July 29 View Page
95cm for this one. I know we are not growing salad, but it s just a funny detail
Tuesday, August 8 View Page
Early august, everything was fine, plant and pumpkin were looking good. Growth was ok with 30/35lb/day
Wednesday, August 9 View Page
However, issues started... I sprayed Jojoba oïl to prevent Powdery mildew which is good organic stuff. That was a mistake... The following days, heat wave litterally "cooked" the leaves. Effects started to appear within 24h and last weeks despite all my efforts to save them.
Saturday, August 12 View Page
I decided to mist severals times per day to wash out leaves but oil sticked very well as predicted.
Thursday, August 24 View Page
3 weeks later, 80% of the plant was affected.
Thursday, August 24 View Page
Here the proof that jojoba oil was the culprit. I didn't sprayed that part of the plant and as you can see, nothing wrong happened
Friday, September 8 View Page
But it wasn't the end of the problems. While I was burying vines, I found a huge amount of sciarids larvas eating roots. I dug in severals differents spots and they were everywhere ! Steinernema feltiae were sent through the driptapes. Early september, Some leaves were falling apart, what's that new problem ? Sclerotinia... Lucky me, I found the first attack on the mainvine just before the pumpkin just in time to save it by using Companion but still lost many leaves.
Saturday, September 9 View Page
What's coming next ?! Pumpkin stem splitted under and above ... But not into cavity, wow I'm Lucky...
Sunday, September 10 View Page
On a great note, Giant bell peppers were looking fantastic ! very healthy and growing strong.
Tuesday, September 12 View Page
Some big peppers !
Wednesday, September 13 View Page
We are still pick up plenty of giant tomatoes. Many are ranging between 2lb and almost 4lb
Thursday, September 14 View Page
As you can see, weird spots were spreading quickly
Thursday, September 14 View Page
Despite all those bad news, I still feel happy to have that pumpkin still alive and growing slowly now. Fingers crossed
Friday, September 22 View Page
Spidermites attack !
Friday, September 22 View Page
I managed to take these photos using magnifying glass on my mobil phone.
Friday, September 22 View Page
I don't mind getting this pest, it's late now in the season. Pumpkin's still gaining a few pounds per day. Fruit is 97 days old. Fingers crossed for the National Show next sunday.


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