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Click on a thumbnail picture below to see the full size version. 57 Entries.
Sunday, April 16 View Page
Returning for the giant pumpkin fun after around 8 years.
 
Sunday, April 16 View Page
My last time growing was around 2010 and I got to around 400 lbs trying to grow in Florida. I now reside in North Carolina and have a vastly improved growing environment. Tonight I started 8 sets of seeds, all old stock from around 2009. Amazingly, the appear viable as they've been well stored and protected. Some have lineages including 1400+lbs parents. I'll get more detailed in my following posts including prep and photos.
 
Sunday, April 16 View Page
Some of what I've started. We'll see if they pop.
 
Friday, April 21 View Page
5 days and nothings popped as yet.
 
Saturday, April 22 View Page
Still nothin. Starting to think they arent viable. Might be time to request some seeds.
 
Tuesday, April 25 View Page
Out of 8 1 has popped so far. 8 days.
 
Tuesday, April 25 View Page
The Bowles, aka Sponge Bob.
 
Tuesday, April 25 View Page
From my second attempt at growing in Florida. If you live in central or south Florida, I wouldnt recommend trying to grow AG's. Absolutely crazy amount of work. Patch was 25 feet-L by 40 feet W. Plants ended up well outside the patch. On right was 893 Privitera (998 Pukos x 1068 Wallace) plant which under the brutal Florida conditions produced a close to 400lb pumpkin. On left was a 1096 Privitera. Salt levels in the well water according to Florida Dpt of AG was 900ppm, which destroyed first set of plants. Had to set up a rain catch using our old small above ground pool and rain gutters connected to pipe. Soil salt levels were still too high even after a serious leeching, which led to the pumpkins on both plants developing splits. None of those issues this time. :)
 
Wednesday, April 26 View Page
Dug up 5 of the seeds today. All rotted. Only the Bowles aka "Sponge Bob" made it. Left three in pots to give em another day or two. New seeds should be here in day or two. I'll be setting up my irrigation perhaps this weekend and getting some pics of the growing area.
 
Saturday, May 6 View Page
Prep is done. All thats left is to wait on the plants to be ready. Each plant mound sits on 200 lbs of manure and compost with a soil mix. Measures 30 x 40 for two plants. Little tight, but will do.
 
Saturday, May 6 View Page
Werner, Geddes and Steil. Will come down to two. Have another from my old stock, 8 year old seed, the only one that popped. Other half insists on me making another spot for it so we can call it the red headed step child.
 
Sunday, May 21 View Page
Everyone in the ground for a week and doing fine so far. 1724 Steil, 2066 Gedde, and 823 Bowles aka "SpongeBob". The Bowles is a for the heck of it plant since the other half named it and wants it to have a chance, so its in a small patch by itself with less soil prep. Its still got plenty of food and attention to work with though.
 
Sunday, May 21 View Page
Bowles Aka SpongeBob. Couple weeks older than the others. Bit spindly.
 
Sunday, May 21 View Page
1724 Werner in ground a week.
 
Sunday, May 21 View Page
2066 Gedde in ground a week.
 
Tuesday, May 23 View Page
The above should read 1724 Steil, not Werner. Werner is set as a backup. Heavy rains this week, tues, weds, thurs. No real plant damage except for a bit of leaf tear on the Geddes.
 
Tuesday, May 23 View Page
Geeze, photos are screwed up as well. This is the Steil.
 
Wednesday, May 24 View Page
After 2 days of heavy rains and storms, plants seem to be doing fine. Treated last weekend with fungicide and immidcloprid.
 
Wednesday, May 24 View Page
2066 Gedde. Little slow looking, but healthy.
 
Wednesday, May 24 View Page
1724 Steil. Vigorous plant.
 
Monday, May 29 View Page
Steil growing strong and looking good. The 2066 Geddes is slow and falling behind. May have to pull it and replace with the backup Werner. Below is the Steil
 
Monday, May 29 View Page
This is the Geddes. Same age as the Steil but very noticeably farther behind.
 
Monday, June 12 View Page
Been pretty standard aside from weather the last several days. We had nearly 2 weeks where bigtime winds and torrential rains moved through. Fortunately no real damage. We are no entering the truly hot season, with 90's the norm and high humidity. So far no issues with insects though I did see a single squash bug which I promptly, well, squashed. The immidicloprid seems to be working as I find dead flying insects on the leaves occasionally, and only minor chewing has taken place. The Steil is still gonzo strong, and unruly. Had to remove a couple secondaries that were taking off near the stump as they would only grow straight up and were growing like mad. The main end will bear watching as it likes to reach for the sky. The Geddes is growing well now also, but is less muscular and more amenable to guidance of its growth. Although less stout, it is gaining length slightly faster then the Steil. The Steil is at 5 1/2 feet, and the Geddes 6 feet. Secondaries are now beginning to branch off. I'm continuing to add soil amendments and will do one more tilling this weekend. Each plant receives a fish emulsion drench on weekends as well as a weak spray mix of immunox and bayer advanced. Until I see any pest or disease issues, I wont be giving them any full strength treatments with chems. Hopefully by the end of the month I'll be switching up my fertilizer to emphasize root growth. Below is the Steil. Following post is the Geddes. The ratty plastic will stay until there are solid secondaries to prevent vine twist from a wind blowover.
 
Monday, June 12 View Page
Geddes.
 
Monday, June 19 View Page
Looking like there's going to be a casualty in the pumpkin patch. While both plants have received the same care and treatment, one is showing weak leaf stalks that bend in half and collapse, a yellowing vine, and yellowing slowly creeping into the leaf stalks and leaves. No idea what it is doing it, but hopefully it doesn't strike the good plant.
 
Monday, June 19 View Page
Another photo of the sick Geddes. The vine WAS deep green.
 
Monday, June 19 View Page
Oops. Sick Geddes.
 
Monday, June 19 View Page
One more of the Geddes.
 
Wednesday, June 21 View Page
Geddes and Steil current condition. First is the Geddes. Still weak and lackluster with easily broken leaf stalks. Has a female about ten feet out on the main, and another about 13 feet at the end. Plant is overall approx 13-14 feet.
 
Wednesday, June 21 View Page
Steil june 21. Still vigorous and aggressive growth. Thick vine, thick stump. Female about ten feet out on main and another on a secondary about 7 feet out. Plant overall is about 13-14 feet.
 
Saturday, July 1 View Page
Day 3 after pollinating and pumpkin on the Steil is looking good. Swelling in size and still shiny. Barely 2 days for the Geddes. Stump on the Steil is looking fat. Steil is 16x18 feet, Geddes is 17x19. Filling up the plot quick. Photos of the Steil to follow. Geddes is doing ok. Still wilting easily in heat, but leaves dont seem to be bending over and breaking now and yellow vine color has faded back to mostly green. The Geddes doesnt have the vigor of the Steil, but it is growing in length faster than the Steil. Both plants have numerous females now. I'll pollinate a few more, then make the call when I can see which looks best. As it stands, the ones pollinated on both plants look nearly perfect in size, shape, location.
 
Saturday, July 1 View Page
Steil kin day three after pollination.
 
Saturday, July 1 View Page
Steil with quickie shade after the end of the vine showed some fairly significant sunburn.
 
Saturday, July 1 View Page
Steil which I should have posted above.
 
Saturday, July 1 View Page
Steil stump.
 
Sunday, July 16 View Page
Sporadic updates and not very detailed I know. Work has been brutal along with the weather. 10+ hour days in 96 deg heat with 100+ heat index and 80% humidity is making life difficult both for me at work and for the pumpkins. Fortunately, the pumpkins seem to be taking it in stride. Have irrigation set up to mist for 5 minutes every two hours which seems sufficient to preven sunburn and keep serious wilt to a minimum. The Steil is going gangbusters. The pumpkin is 146 OTT for 76 lbs. The plant remains strong and healthy. Sporadic squash bugs, very few, and finding carcasses now and then so the spray regime seems effective and no sign of disease. Far cry from my efforts in Fla were bug infestations and disease was the norm. Plants are nearing the end of the patch and are approximately 24 feet for the Steil and 29 feet for the Geddes. The Geddes appears to have recovered from whatever was sickening it and is throwing vine and secondaries like crazy with only a few broken leaf stalks now. Has a pumpkin all the way in back on a first secondary that I've allowed because up until 5 days ago nothing would take on the main. Finally got one going on the main now and it looks good. The bad news is, I will be working out of town for the next five days and there will be no one to care for the plants. Will have to leave it to the auto irrigation and hope nothing catastrophic happens while I'm gone.
 
Sunday, July 16 View Page
Sporadic updates and not very detailed I know. Work has been brutal along with the weather. 10+ hour days in 96 deg heat with 100+ heat index and 80% humidity is making life difficult both for me at work and for the pumpkins. Fortunately, the pumpkins seem to be taking it in stride. Have irrigation set up to mist for 5 minutes every two hours which seems sufficient to preven sunburn and keep serious wilt to a minimum. The Steil is going gangbusters. The pumpkin is 146 OTT for 76 lbs. The plant remains strong and healthy. Sporadic squash bugs, very few, and finding carcasses now and then so the spray regime seems effective and no sign of disease. Far cry from my efforts in Fla were bug infestations and disease was the norm. Plants are nearing the end of the patch and are approximately 24 feet for the Steil and 29 feet for the Geddes. The Geddes appears to have recovered from whatever was sickening it and is throwing vine and secondaries like crazy with only a few broken leaf stalks now. Has a pumpkin all the way in back on a first secondary that I've allowed because up until 5 days ago nothing would take on the main. Finally got one going on the main now and it looks good. The bad news is, I will be working out of town for the next five days and there will be no one to care for the plants. Will have to leave it to the auto irrigation and hope nothing catastrophic happens while I'm gone.
 
Sunday, July 16 View Page
Steil July 16th at 146 OTT for 76 lbs.
 
Sunday, July 16 View Page
Steil again.
 
Sunday, July 16 View Page
Steil up close.
 
Saturday, July 22 View Page
New estimate. 194 OTT for approximately 164lbs on the Steil. 6 day growth of 88 lbs for an average of 14 lbs per day over 6 days. So the pumpkin more than doubled in size over less than a week. Not bad, but not quite what I need for a certain 800 lb result by mid Sept. Very possible if growth continues at this rate through Sept. Looking for at least 25lbs per day. Having been gone for a week, the slow growth is in all truth a good thing since I wasn't around to monitor and likely resulted from conservative watering setting on the auto irrigation and choosing not to boost potash levels before I left on the 16th. I'll be here to resume efforts daily though, so later today the plants will get a dose of everything and some badly needed trimming and training. The Geddes has two pumpkins. One on the main appears deformed as most it throws appear to be, but one on a side vine looks decent and is growing well, so I suppose that will be a keeper and the rest culls.
 
Saturday, July 22 View Page
Seeing a lot of squash bug eggs. I treat weekly with Bayer advanced, so I think perhaps these are from new arrivals hoping to start a family who havent tried the local cuisine yet. I havent noticed an infestation, but do find 1 to 4 a week when I'm working the patch, so I'm sure there are more. I may try a fast acting but short life contact kill pesticide and begin treating 2-3 times weekly just to kill anything that moves. Of course, I will need to begin keeping up with the make flowers and begin removing them diligently to protect the bees. As it is using the Bayer, I feel guilty because work prevents me from exercising proper control and keeping bee exposure to the nicotinoid of Bayer to a minimum.
 
Sunday, July 23 View Page
202 OTT on the Steil today for a 20 lb gain from yesterday.
 
Tuesday, July 25 View Page
Checked the Stiel this morning and noted only a 6 lb gain. Well within the margin for measurement error. Not good. Hopefully the high heat and high heat index is not causing it to abort and its just a temp slowdown. The previous day was a 20 lb gain. The Geddes plant has a side vine pumpkin about 15 feet out. Currently taping at 76 lbs. I've started dressing witn 0-0-22 weekly 2 weeks ago. Hopefully this has not been a mistake.
 
Saturday, July 29 View Page
Geddes taping out to 282 lbs this morning. Gained 36 lbs in 24 hours. Weird growth with one day a 6 lb gain, then 21 lbs the next, now this 30+ gain. Its not consistent, but it IS getting progressively higher. Seeing powdery mildew move in so time to switch up chem controls. Geddes pumpkin needs a measuring, but should be around 110-125 lbs.
 
Saturday, July 29 View Page
Steil at 246 lbs.
 
Saturday, July 29 View Page
Geddes at 96 lbs 2 days ago.
 
Saturday, July 29 View Page
Above should read STEIL taping out to 282 lbs
 
Saturday, July 29 View Page
More work in the patch. Powdery mildew is setting in so switched fungicide and lots of squash bug eggs so switched to Sevin pesticide. "Iron Man" aka the Steil could hit 300 lbs by morning. "Wimpy" aka the Geddes is at 128 lbs. The Steil should hit it's big growth period starting now. Getting LOTS of folks slowing down and staring as they drive by. Cop stopped today checking em out. First pic the Steil, second Wimpy, third Wimpy.
 
Saturday, July 29 View Page
Geddes at 128 lbs
 
Saturday, July 29 View Page
Geddes
 
Sunday, July 30 View Page
Steil is taping out to 303 lbs.
 
Thursday, August 10 View Page
Been battling powdery mildew and an influx of squash bugs for about 8 days. Despite regular spraying with Immunox and Daconil the mildew is spreading and beginning to kill leaves. The Steil plant suddenly stopped growing new vines and leaves, with the tips of existing vines turning yellow then turning brown and dying off. Same happened to all new secondaries before they could even begin running. Despite this and around only half as much plant as I should have, the Steil is at approximately 400 lbs, but growth is slow now, perhaps 10 lbs daily. The skin is hardening so I expect it to stop very soon. The Geddes is likely finished at about 225 lbs, with a nice split having opened at the stem end. Oh well, was fun while it lasted, and I knew going in that without a soil test the chances of a good season were slim.
 
Thursday, August 10 View Page
Steil at approx 400 lbs from afar with easily notable powdery mildew. Not a great shape.
 
Thursday, August 10 View Page
Geddes from afar. Too bad it split. Although this plant has PM as well, it is not as bad as the Geddes and it continues to throw new vine and leaf growth like crazy.
 
Saturday, August 12 View Page
So I go out this morning not expecting much. First I note that the PM looks significantly better than it did yesterday. In fact, much of it appears to have literally washed off many of the leaves. Next I find that the split in the Geddes apparently doesnt go very deep, and in fact appears to be sealing up and healing. Geddes at 250 lbs. The capper? The Steil gained 42 lbs from yesterday, its biggest gain yet. So it is now at 468 lbs est, which is my new personal best. I'm attributing the gains to the last two days of badly needed rains.
 
Saturday, August 12 View Page
The Steil up close. Starting to get some skin hardening even with the shades. The creases are alarming, but its holding together so far. The other half named this plant "Iron Man". We'll see if it lives up to it.
 

 

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