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Click on a thumbnail picture below to see the full size version. 43 Entries.
Sunday, January 1 View Page
Happy New Year to all of you. Look what I´ve found in the basement a couple days ago. It has been there since quite a while, and it was me who should have known that it was there (I dug it out of the ground this summer, and haven´t taken much notice, I brought it into the basement and again I haven´t paid much attention). Now I´ve found it again, and I´m happy.
Tuesday, January 17 View Page
Look what I´ve found in my mailbox today, that´s amazing :) Seeds have been sent off on the 12th and arrived today (17th January), only five days from Canada to Germany (incl. weekend in between). Miracles happen. Thanks heaps Ryan.
Tuesday, May 16 View Page
Plants today :) This year there´s only one spot for two plants (back to back). I have sent two of my 706 (uow) Wagler 15 and two of the 1803 Hoelke 16 into the race. Currently it looks like the 1803 is systematically more aggressive than the 706, but their leaves seem to be a bit more light sensitive as well. In case of the 1803 I have a clear favorite (plant 2), but in case of the 706 I have no clue, they are so similar to each other right now. It may take a while before I will make a final decision.
Wednesday, May 31 View Page
My plants today. This year I can clearly see the advantage of double planting (same site, same seed, the two strongest plants out of 3 or 4 seedlings went into the patch next to each other). In case of the 706 Wagler it was very hard to tell the difference between the two plants around mid May, but now I can see that one of the two plants seems to be a bit more aggressive (two excellent plants though, same color of the vine, similar development of secondaries, both of them show the first female in the main vine tip, and the baby pumpkins are very similar to one another both in color and shape and stem length, as far as I can see it right now). In case of the 1803 Hoelke it is easy to tell which plant will be removed soon (it is much shorter and it had developed some sections of flat main vine, although not turned into a ribbon vine plant yet).
Tuesday, June 6 View Page
Such a lovely female, so cute, so beautiful, so fragile, but also so strong, so precious, full of surprises, a real gem. This beauty just survived a heavy rainstorm spiced with some hail. This beautiful gem is like an opal, so interesting, precious and fragile, needs some water to reveal her full potential and can be so colorful. Oh yes, *‘opal’ is perfect. Eight months of waiting. 8 for the guy who´s waiting and 3 for the female, and so many days, weeks, months of trying to do the right things, of trying to make the best decisions.
Thursday, June 8 View Page
Today (8th June) is ‘Best Friends Day’. Best Friends, that´s like two streams joining, no matter how different they are, they become one, inseparable, they share their fate. In times of flood their combined power can move mountains, in times of drought they share their last drops of water which saves the stream from running dry. If one suffers pollution, the other helps dilute, if one is getting too hot, the other helps cool and save its life, whereas the individual streams would freeze much earlier, the heat of their combined bodies helps survive the cold.
Monday, June 12 View Page
Today (12/06) I made the positive experience that the male parts of the plants should be fine (no sterile plants, what a relief). Everything else?...time will tell...nothing happened yet, looking forward to maybe 1207.
Tuesday, June 13 View Page
No, I´m not going to advertise any products here, but when I visit my pumpkin patch I happen to think of this lip balm. Beeswax and strawberry. Although bees are so cute and helpful, basically as helpful as strawberries are great and yummy, our pumpkin plants are less helpful for the bees. No open pollinations, and if we need to spray insectizides we better remove the male flowers before they open, because at least we don´t want to kill the bees. This year, however, my pumpkin patch should become a great place for bees. Whereas in past years I had sown corn along the perimeter of my patch, this year I have sown Phacelia. Bees love it (in addition to the pumpkin males, which are available for the bees on my patch)!!! Now the first couple of Phacelia flowers have opened, and a good bunch of bumblebees can be found already. It´s probably just a matter of another couple of days and then the honeybees will find my patch, too. Well, the lack of corn certainly limits the possibilities of making jokes of things like corn cobs and rape fields, but the 'bees and flowers' topic isn´t bad either, is it?
Tuesday, June 13 View Page
Today the first females opened, one on the 706 and one on the 1803 plant, each of them was a five-lober at about 6 or 7 ft down the main vine. Hence, I removed them and decided to compare their cross sections. It looks interesting how different the symmetry inside such a five-lober could be, doesn´t it?
Tuesday, June 13 View Page
AG plants today :)
Monday, June 19 View Page
1803 Hoelke x self (had only one male available this morning).
Friday, June 23 View Page
Pollination today: 706 Wagler x 1803 Hoelke
Tuesday, June 27 View Page
The first set of pollinations, it looks like they want to grow.
Tuesday, June 27 View Page
It´s been a rather warm and dry spring so far, there isn´t much water in the nearby river. Fortunately, this river has a nice section which is somewhat deeper, good for a little swim on a hot day :) If you look carefully, you may find the spot where there´s the deepest point. (Hint: It´s where on the water surface it looks like there had been a mermaid just a second before.)
Wednesday, June 28 View Page
Blümchen, poppende
Wednesday, June 28 View Page
It looks like my giant pumpkin season 2017 is over now :( We´ve had an inch of precipitation within few minutes, and as you can see a good load of it came down as hail (some pieces larger than an inch in diameter).
Wednesday, June 28 View Page
This year is the first year that my kids are growing their own giant field pumpkins. Oh well, these are their FP plants, most of the vine tips got shredded by hail. We will let the plants try to recover, perhaps a good fraction of tertiaries is still alive and could fill the patch within a few weeks. Still 3 or 4 weeks before we will call pollination an urgent matter.
Wednesday, June 28 View Page
This is my 1803 Hoelke plant :( Most of the secondaries are severely damaged (vine tips and leaves shredded, holes in leaf stalks, marks of heavy hail impact all along the vines) and even the pumpkin got hit by some hail (although I had covered it with a garden chair).
Wednesday, June 28 View Page
This is my 706 Wagler plant, doesn´t look any better :(
Wednesday, June 28 View Page
These are the shredded vine tips and leaves with perforated stalks, all the stuff which had to be removed because it would cause rot very soon. It was a strange feeling to see those dead parts of the beloved plants this evening, I was whishing I´ve had the right mortician next to me (someone who sort of has the capability of feeling the feelings these plants must have had during their life, someone who knows to appreciate the soil they were growing in...) to give those leftovers the appropriate funeral.
Wednesday, June 28 View Page
No, my Dearest, I don´t give up on you, I won´t let you fall, I´ll be patient, I´ll be trying to do the best I can do for you right now. You want to raise your baby and I´ll keep on praying that everything will work out fine for you :)
Friday, June 30 View Page
Baby pumpkins today
Monday, July 3 View Page
Baby pumpkins today.
Monday, July 3 View Page
These marks are leftovers from the hailstorm, I´m already wondering if they would make any troubles as the fruit grows and how large they might be on the fruit at weigh-off time.
Wednesday, July 5 View Page
A while ago I got this beautiful shiny selenite as a gift. It represents the moon (which is good, because from my balcony I can easily see the moon in so many nights, but I can´t spot the Northern Star in this direction, because my balcony is facing South). This selenite has so much in common with pumpkins, especially with MY pumpkins, its place on the shelf is in front of a beautiful little pumpkin carriage and next to some opals (perfect place in my opinion), chemically it is calcium sulphate, which is good for pumpkins (for the development of their belly, i.e., the fruit), its name hints at selenium, which is good for pumpkins, too (for the development of their babies, i.e, the seeds), and from South it will shine onto my pumpkin plants at night (like the sun will do during daytime) in order to give them some light and hope for they will recover from hail damage. I´m so glad I got this lovely little gift a while ago, it means so much to me.
Sunday, July 9 View Page
Baby pumpkins today
Sunday, July 9 View Page
Full moon tonight, as if it wanted to invite to a walk through the garden, along the pumpkin patch and along the river side...
Wednesday, July 12 View Page
Baby pumpkins today. Did I mention 1207 a month ago? Today´s the day, and things aren´t looking as joyful as I had been hoping for a month ago. Anyway, I´ll do what I have to do. Who knows how things will look in another month...
Thursday, July 13 View Page
Today was a very special day, very important things happened today...time will tell :) This pic shows my kids´ FP plants, growing back to back in our neighbor´s old potato patch. The plants seem to have recovered a bit from the hail damage two weeks ago.
Thursday, September 7 View Page
Helene´s FP plant grows three pumpkins, two of them finished growing some days ago, it´s time to take them to the next best weigh-off.
Thursday, September 7 View Page
A third fruit, still green, is hiding in her FP plant.
Saturday, September 9 View Page
Weigh-off in Fambach, Thuringia, Helene´s first FP...European Record, 181.7 lbs!!! (BTW, the other FP in the background is her 175.5, EXH fruit, also slightly heavier than the previous European Record from 2014).
Thursday, September 14 View Page
Today we picked the FPs from Wendelin´s plant. His plant covered ca. 270 sqft and grew 9 pumpkins with a total weight of ca. 770 lbs. The interesting thing about these nine FPs is, they can give you an impression of the variability of deviations from OTT chart among fruit grown on the same plant.
Sunday, September 17 View Page
The 689.7 Wagler (706 uow Wagler 15 x 1803 Hoelke 16), weighed at Sächsische Meisterschaft in Görlitz, nice surprise: HDA :)
Sunday, September 17 View Page
Wendelin took two of his FPs to the weigh-off in Goerlitz (Saechsische Meisterschaft), 111.5 lbs and 95.6 lbs :)
Sunday, September 24 View Page
Here´s another beautiful baby grown off my 706 uow Wagler 15 seed, the 1116.6 Krengel 17. Also, the current Taiwan record (weighed at a non-GPC event, I call it 1148 Hsu 17, grown by "pumpkin prince" Jack) came from that seed. Looks like I´m the one who is growing the smallest pumpkins off the 706, LOL. No worries, last year it was just a late pollination on a 150 sqft plant, and this year the plant was almost dead after hailstorm on 28th June, so the 689.7 was actually a big surprise. This picture shows the (so far) officially weighed offspring of the 706 uow Wagler 15 seed (1223 Radach x 1495 Stelts). In 2015 a very dear friend was keeping fingers crossed for one of the plants/pumpkins in my patch, and by the end of the season I got to know it was the 706 (grown on the 1123 Radach plant). At that time my friend had the impression of having picked the wrong plant/fruit as personal favorite. No, it was a good choice! Thank you for having so much confidence in the 1223 plant in 2015, even though it was a rather small pumpkin the seeds are awesome and produce nice offspring. Sometimes it just takes a while.
Sunday, September 24 View Page
Last chance for getting a pumpkin to a weigh-off (won´t be at home the next two weekends). Third fruit on Helene´s FP plant was as big as it simply had to go to a weigh-off. Surprise: 182.1 lbs. Helene set a new European Record. Wendelin is sitting on his 92.6 lbs fruit.
Saturday, October 21 View Page
Helene´s 181.7 became a nice lantern :) (similar things will happen to many of the other FPs)
Saturday, December 23 View Page
Probably my best cross this year: The 104(uow) and 204(uow) Wagler 17. Both are 1803 Hoelke 16 x 706 uow Wagler 15. This year I had started 3 plants from 1803 Hoelke seeds, two of them (plants 1 and 2) went into the competition patch next to one another, and plant 3 (started a couple of days later, just meant to be a back-up) was such a strong and beautiful seedling and therefore I decided to keep this plant in a little corner of my garden, maybe for using it as a pollinator plant. So what happened to plants 1, 2 and 3: Plant 1 developed ribbon vines and was a slower grower, hence it was culled and plant 2 was allowed to grow in the competition patch. In summer plant 2 turned out to be horribly sensitive toward sunscald, and the fruit it produced (in spite of the severe hail damage) was smaller and lighter than the fruit grown on my 706 Wagler plant, and it went 11% light with respect to the new (2017) OTT chart. Plant 3 had been almost dead after the hailstorm on 28th June, but it recovered and the picture basically shows the size of the plant (it merely consisted of a couple of vines which were allowed to run across the lawn in my garden) and the two little genetics pumpkins on it, pollinated on 20th and 21st July. This plant never had any sunscald issues, and those fruit went 13% and 19% heavy (in the cross sections you can see why...this stem end is amazing). In summary: This little genetics set consists of a mother which was the best out of three 1803 Hoelke seeds and a father which produced my best of patch this year (and, without hail damage, this pollinator plant must have had the capability of growing a new personal best for me under otherwise similar circumstances). In both years 2016 and 2017 my own seeds produced my best of patch, hence I will stick with the "tradition" of growing one of my own seeds every year, and I already know which of my own seeds will be in my line-up in 2018 :)
Sunday, December 24 View Page
Merry Christmas to all of you. Here´s a little Christmas song by my second-dearest Aussie girl https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hZoPEy6c0wI (this very cute video clip is a must see) Take some time for the ones you love :)
Friday, December 29 View Page
Can´t wait to get my hands dirty again...and again...and again...
Sunday, December 31 View Page
"PB" this is 4 YOU. We haven´t met in 2017, it was a year of good things, a year of demanding things, a year of nerve-wracking moments, a year of many positive surprises, a year of despair, a year of patience. I haven´t had a chance to catch up with you in 2017, and I haven´t sent you any Christmas Greetings. Anyway, I still want to conclude my year 2017 with my best wishes to you for 2018. May you always have strong roots, reliable support whenever you need it. May you grow with every step you take. May you cope with the challenges 2018 will be bringing about for you. May these challenges help you rise above yourself. May 2018 be a shiny year for you, rays of sunlight without excessive heat and drought. May 2018 be a refreshing year for you, be refreshed by a friendly creature of water without being drowned in a flood. May you always kick into the right gear at the right time...as if you were driving automatic rather than manual. May you have the strength to survive and the patience to keep good things going. With friendly eyes I´m looking forward to catching up with you in 2018, Maybe...
Sunday, December 31 View Page
For those lovely people who just set a bookmark to my 2017 grower diary (rather than accessing my diary from the BigPumpkins home page), here is the link to my 2018 grower diary ;) http://www.bigpumpkins.com/Diary/DiaryView.asp?season=2018&grower=58180&action=L


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