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Click on a thumbnail picture below to see the full size version. 77 Entries.
Sunday, January 1 View Page
Let's have some fun. I did not grow in 2016. Focused on improving my soil. Brought in 10 yards of aged yard waste compost and grew 3 successive cover crops.
Sunday, January 8 View Page
I don't know about you but I need a target to work toward. So I created 2000 lb. benchmarks for 2017 that provide a target zone for pumpkin estimated weights (2013 GPC chart) for days 30-40-50 and 60 (and anywhere in between). So my target is to work hard to get in the orange powerzone starting on DAP30 and stay in the zone until after DAP60. That gets me to September on a winning trajectory. *The powerzone represents the growth pattern of 11 pumpkins over 2000 lbs. All 11 traveled through the zone on their way to 2000 lbs. (2009/2075.5/2624.6/2261.5/2307ouw/2032/2328d/2230.5/2109/2252.3/2106)
Sunday, January 8 View Page
The painful truth is that I have never grown a pumpkin that at any time has hit the zone. That's the bad. The good news is that I am seeing progress and getting closer. I will begin now to think about Day 30. Why have my pumpkins not been big enough? Spring amendments? Plant size? Water? Nutrients? Biologics? All things to improve.
Friday, February 24 View Page
Another 60+ degree day here in February. I don't think I have ever started my mower in February. Mowed the winter rye this morning. Nice brown layer of rotting material which is the peas, clover and ryegrass that were planted in the fall with the winter rye
Wednesday, March 1 View Page
I have a cracked seed that I want to grow this year. So I did a germination test run using some damaged seeds that I have received over the last couple of years. All seeds were stored frozen. Normally I soak the seeds for an hour in dilute H2O2 or dilute Humic/Fulvic then 12 hours in a damp paper towel then into jiffy mix in a peat pot at 89 degrees. With these seeds, I skipped the 1 hr. soak to avoid filling the seed with liquid. So 12 hours in a damp paper towel then into the jiffy mix. Of 6 seeds started, 5 popped thru soil and were moved to light between 108 and 132 hours. The only seed that did not germinate was a seed from 2011 that had a pretty mean looking chunk broken off. Picture tells the story. Look closely and you can pretty much match up little cot bruises to where the seed damage was. Of the 5 that germinated, 4 are nice looking. One is malformed.
Wednesday, March 1 View Page
I was curious to know if comments made here regarding germinating seeds with the pointed side facing down or seeds placed on their side made any difference. So I germinated 6 identical seeds. 3 planted in Jiffymix with the pointed side down and 3 on their side. All 6 popped at around 96 hours. I had to remove the seedcoat from 1 seedling from each group. Can't image it makes any difference.
Wednesday, March 1 View Page
This is a chart showing the in-season estimates of 13 amazing pumpkins that I could find data on. The colors are hard to differentiate but believe me when I tell you that Wallace 2307 could be something special.
Thursday, March 9 View Page
I had a group of 6 seeds from 2007 that I germinated this week. All seeds were soaked for 1 hour in liquid then moistened paper towel for 12 hours then into Jiffymix. Wondering whether 9 year old seeds would germinate, I used a gibberellic acid solution for soak and paper towel with 3 seeds (3 seedlings on the right). I used a dilute humic/fulvic solution for the 3 seedlings on the left. Watching the action closely in the incubator, I could not tell any difference between the 2 groups. All 6 seeds popped through soil between 60 and 96 hours and were moved to light. The 3 seedlings on the left look quite normal to me. The gibberellic acid treated group on the right looks leggier and less "normal". All seedlings subject to identical conditions.
Tuesday, March 14 View Page
It is roughly 7 days since these seedlings have been placed under T5 lights. The 3 untreated seedlings on the left continue to look nice to me. I can see 2 major differences with the 3 gibberellic acid treated seedlings on the right. They continue to be leggy despite keeping the lights only a couple of inches away (with fan running). Development of the first leaves is slower in the treated group. The untreated group has emerging 2nd leaves where the treated group only smaller 1st leaves. Eddy Z has commented that in his experience this type of behavior is consistent with seed treatment with GA that is too concentrated. I used a 0.1% gibberellic acid soak (1000PPM). So I assume that anyone who intends to use gibberellic acid to try and germinate some old seeds needs to be well below this concentration.
Tuesday, April 11 View Page
This cover crop was planted on Sept 1 last fall. Johnny's Fall Green Manure Mix. I blasted it with Ammonium Calcium Nitrate in mid- Sept and a good dose of ureamate in early October. The winter rye seems to have loved the mild winter and the cool wet spring. I mowed this crop as low as I could on Feb 24 and again today. Cuttings removed to the mulch pile and tiller ready.
Tuesday, April 11 View Page
Finally was able to get into the dry patch today. Great sun-filled morning with almost no wind. Great day to put down some amendments. Dense cover crop not giving up without a fight. Areas for 2 greenhouses tilled and amended this morning. Will count on mother nature to water it all in tomorrow.
Wednesday, April 12 View Page
Seeds started tonight. Soaking in a dilute WOW Humic/Fulvic bath. Soil is inoculated with WOW Mykos and Azos and is warming. Goal for this season is 2009 x 2145 and back. Don't know if I can pull it off but that's the goal.
Saturday, April 15 View Page
One of life's little pleasures. Tulips of Skagit Valley in Washington State. Happy thoughts to all celebrating Easter and Passover this weekend.
Sunday, April 16 View Page
Easter Sunday. 85 degrees and full sun. Cables buried and greenhouses in place. Plan is to grow 2 plants back to back this year 950 SF ea.
Monday, April 17 View Page
All seeds germinated and moved to light yesterday. All popped between and 84 and 96 hours from initial seed soak. Very consistent this year with cooler at 89 degrees.
Thursday, April 20 View Page
All 4 seedlings developing nicely. T5 lights doing their job keeping the plants nice and compact. Plan to plant outside on April 29. Looks like weather will cooperate.
Thursday, April 20 View Page
Will up plant to larger pots in the morning. Soil mix prepared and warming overnight. Promix with Humic/Fulvic, Mykos, microbes and Pumpkin Power.
Thursday, April 20 View Page
Got 9 days to get the soil warmed. Greenhouses rebuilt and in place. Mid 50's is where we are today.
Friday, April 21 View Page
Today I transferred seedlings to 2 gallon pots. Here is a look at the root systems after 9 days (from initial seed soak)in a 5 in. peat pot. I was able to remove the pots without any visible damage to the delicate roots. My notes from previous years say that 8 days in a 5 in. peat pot is the ideal time to up pot.
Saturday, April 29 View Page
Warming soil and gradually getting the seedlings introduced to their new greenhouses. Spending a few hours a day here.
Saturday, April 29 View Page
Heating cables have been "on" for 8 days and have made absolutely no progress in warming the soil. So I ripped them out this morning from both greenhouses. In my hands, these thinner blue cables are useless. I replaced them with some older thicker cables I had from a couple of years ago.
Sunday, April 30 View Page
Planting day today. Here is a nice happy looking 2009 seedling. My fault that the kickstand leaf is stunted. Got to close to the new T5 lights. Could be a good thing.
Sunday, April 30 View Page
Many thanks to the Wallaces and the SNGPG for the opportunity to plant this great 2009 seed. Here I am using a soft paintbrush to "dust" the rootball with AZOS in preparation for planting. Nice way to get direct root contact.
Sunday, April 30 View Page
Here are a pair of 2145 seedlings just after planting. I thank Gene McMullen for the opportunity and hope I don't screw it up. The seedling on the left is really one of the nicest plants I have ever put in the ground at this stage. Some slight sunburn on the kickstand leaves of both seedlings despite being conservative in the hardening off process. Should have gone even slower I guess.
Sunday, April 30 View Page
Here you see the 2145 greenhouse at high noon on planting day. I have added some 40% Sunblocker which I will use and taper for a few days. Same on the 2009.
Monday, May 1 View Page
First full day outside. Using these little personal Vornado heaters to try and buy a few degrees.
Friday, May 5 View Page
Will try to keep plants healthy and happy through this cold and sunless stretch. Plants have been out for 5 days. Here is a look at the 2145 greenhouse showing progress since Tuesday. Slow progress. Hoping that Matt D is correct when he says there is more going on underground. Soil temps are nicely controlled by cables. Don't blame the plants for the 2 scorched leaves.
Wednesday, May 10 View Page
Finally some blue sky. Good day to knock down and remove cover crop. Hard work. Plan is to amend and till remaining cover on Saturday and looks like mother nature will soak it all in on Sunday.
Wednesday, May 10 View Page
Despite the fact that I am "helping" these plants to grow, they seem to be doing fine. Could use some more sunshine and some less cold nights. But not unusual for New England spring. Trying to stay right on the OVGPG spray program, plants received Cease/Talstar/Induce tonight.
Wednesday, May 10 View Page
Cover crop cut, removed and mowed. Plants sprayed and put to bed. Good days work. Looks like we will start to see sunshine next week.
Saturday, May 13 View Page
I am trying amending and tilling in 3 sections this season. First section done on April 11 in and around greenhouses. We are expecting some heavy rain so I tilled the second section ahead of the rain today and amended with gypsum/composted chicken manure/kelp meal and crab meal. Let mother nature soak that stuff in. Will add the more soluble stuff next week when the weather is expected to improve significantly here. Plants are growing slowly. Here you see a pair of 2145 plants that have been outside for 13 days now.
Sunday, May 14 View Page
Cold and rainy day. Didn't even go near the pumpkins today. Good day to start tomatoes. Some of the seeds I started come with a guarantee! How can it get better than that? I ordered a couple of bags of WOW Starter Paks just in case. Here you see my best tomato from last year.
Thursday, May 18 View Page
Plants have been outside for 18 days now. Today is the first hot sunny day. Good day to grow some new bugs. Added Mammoth P to the microbe rotation. Plants got their second Mammoth P drench this morning. This is the 2145 greenhouse. Most cooperative plant I have ever grown. Nothing bothers them. They like cold. They like sun. They like when I spray them. They like when I overwater them. They lay right down. Here they are out a bit over 3 feet. All plants have been receiving 3 g. of ureamate (most) every morning since day 5 in their water. They seem to like that amount. Leaves do not look overly large or overly green or puckered. Ceiling fan installed this morning and Shadeblocker up for the day.
Thursday, May 18 View Page
This 2009 plant in the foreground has really come alive over the last few days. Plant is a slower starter than the 2145 but I think that is normal. Has worked through some initial sun issues. Don't think the plant liked the cold sunless stretch of weather we had. My electric meter has been spinning wildly trying to keep this greenhouse happy. Will work hard to make a 2009 x 2145. Long way to go.
Thursday, May 18 View Page
Got to do something productive with all my winter rye cuttings. So I went to the general store and a nice man sold me some salt marsh hay and a compost fork. Said "mix it all together". Sounds like a plan for the weekend.
Saturday, May 20 View Page
Bugs for breakfast. Each greenhouse got 2 gallons this morning watered in with an equal amount of rainwater.
Saturday, May 20 View Page
I have pretty much kept my distance from the plants. They like that because they don't get stepped on or have stuff dropped on them. Here is the 2145 looking nice and sending out top and bottom roots. Time to get in the greenhouse and remove these big tendrils that seem to have appeared overnight. Then get the nodes dusted with AZOS and buried.
Tuesday, May 23 View Page
Here you see my weeding assistant having a snack after weeding the 2009 this morning. As you can see the monkey is trained to sit on the walkboards.
Tuesday, May 23 View Page
This is a tissue test I received today from a 2145 plant 3 weeks after planting outdoors. Believe me when I tell you that this is a major accomplishment for me. Very pleased to see the plants getting the "right" balance of nutrients. Boron is always hard to retain in my soil. I was anxious to get an early look to answer 2 important questions. I have been trickling in Ureamate at a rate of 3 grams per greenhouse (almost) every day since day 5 outside. The results tell me that that rate is not too much. Also, magnesium, manganese and boron are chronic problems for me and hard to retain in the soil. The test tells me that I can continue with the Ureamate and supplement additional Mg, Mn and B.
Wednesday, May 24 View Page
With the benefit of a tissue test from yesterday, I went ahead today and added the soluble stuff to the second area of the patch that is amended and tilled. I increased the amount of Mg, Mn, B and Cu by 25% over the first area.
Wednesday, May 24 View Page
Another stretch of dull cool weather. Have not watered pumpkins in 2 days. Good day to plant marigolds and zinnias
Monday, May 29 View Page
Here is a bright spot on this cool and sunless day. First female of the season. 6 feet out on 2145.
Monday, May 29 View Page
Today we honor our heroes. They have fought for our freedom and our peace.
Monday, May 29 View Page
Looks like a nice African Kettle Gourd seedling. But this is the first one I have ever seen so really I have no idea. I started 2 of these seeds soaking on May 14. This one germinated and here we are 2 weeks+ later. I'm growing it.
Thursday, June 1 View Page
Brewed 5 gallons of compost tea overnight. Diluted 1:1 with rainwater so each plant got 5 gallons this morning. The ugly thing about brewing tea for me is cleaning the brewer when I'm done. I show this KIS brewer because it is really easy to clean.
Thursday, June 1 View Page
The greenhouses are just shy of 6x8 feet. I removed the plastic from most this morning. Reluctant to remove the greenhouses just yet given our iffy weather pattern. So will leave them in place to provide some wind and shade protection and let the plants grow out. Here the 2145 is growing nicely. Removed the pumpkin from the tip. Waiting for a warm afternoon to bury vines and do some cleanup.
Thursday, June 1 View Page
Both of my plants have a few battle scars on leaves. Other than that they look like happy plants. Here is the 2009 looking for more room to grow.
Thursday, June 1 View Page
49.8 Goell African Kettle Gourd in the dirt.
Wednesday, June 7 View Page
Here is my 2145. Removed greenhouse this afternoon and installed a silt fence. Buried all nodes and removed all weeds. All things considered, the plants looks good. Some bumps and bruises from being stuffed into the greenhouse too long hiding from Mother Nature. Main is just a tad over 9 feet measured from the stump. Ron Wallace has written that he likes to have the main showing a female at 12-15 feet by June 11 or so. So I am going to gently push the plant to see how close I can get by Sunday. 11 feet is probably a good goal for now.
Sunday, June 11 View Page
2009 Wallace moving along nicely at its own pace. Main is just over 10 ft. this morning. I expect this plant has a second gear which I'm hoping to shift into shortly.
Wednesday, June 21 View Page
Welcome to summer 2017. That means tomorrow marks 100 days to the Topsfield Fair. Makes me nervous. Here is my 2009 Wallace plant which has really turned it on and I believe is ready to support a substantial pumpkin. First female visible this morning at 14 feet. Won't get a June pollination but hoping for July 4.
Wednesday, June 21 View Page
2145 is a monster. Should get a June pollination at 15 feet. Another female in the vine tip at 16 feet+. Goal remains 2145 x 2009 and 2009 x 2145. Will try hard to make it happen.
Saturday, June 24 View Page
Soggy start to Saturday. Spent the afternoon burying vines. Saw my first troublesome insect of the season. A cucumber beetle landed on a leaf. Stayed for a short time and left. Don't want to spray because I expect my first pollination on the 2145 on Monday AM. Plants have received Merit/Safari/Talstar and Cyonara on a schedule so I am confident they are well prepared to protect themselves.
Sunday, June 25 View Page
Disappointing start to the day. I was looking forward to this female in perfect position at 15 feet on the 2145. Just plain ugly. Next up at 18 feet. Getting late.
Sunday, June 25 View Page
Got tomatoes in the ground today. 2 WOW packs in each hole.
Thursday, June 29 View Page
Nice looking female opened this morning in a nice spot on the 2009. A little over 16 feet out on the main vine. Plenty of plant behind this one. 19 sides. This is the first female on the main vine for this plant. Lots of 2145 pollen around this morning so here is the 2009 x 2145. Looks like mother nature will cooperate with mid 70's temps today. Will try hard to make this one work. Fingers crossed.
Thursday, June 29 View Page
Public enemy #1. Checked the traps in the morning. Empty. By evening this one appeared. I am in Essex County, Massachusetts.
Saturday, July 1 View Page
Nice way to start July. 2145 4-lober opened this morning. Pollinated with 4 hearty 2009 males. So 2145x2009 just short of 18 feet on the main vine. Weather should cooperate today.
Saturday, July 1 View Page
This mornings 2145x2009 all zip tied. Been working on this vine bend all week.
Tuesday, July 4 View Page
Happy 4th! Really just getting underway here. This female had seeds in the blossom and I expected this fruit to abort but she is looking for some attention here and I'm watching closely. Will start to raise the fruit tomorrow as it is growing toward the blossom.
Tuesday, July 4 View Page
The 2009 plant is a very nice healthy plant but has not given me any (attractive) option except this one female at 16 feet on the main vine. 5 days is early to declare victory but the fruit has that nice look to it.
Tuesday, July 4 View Page
Weather has been nice and the 2009 is throwing a lot of healthy looking males so I'm hoping this one takes.
Wednesday, July 5 View Page
This is my first pumpkin to reach the 10 day mark. She looks more comfortable raised a couple of inches.
Wednesday, July 19 View Page
This is my first to reach day 20. Nice shape. Healthy plant and fruit. Great cross.
Saturday, July 29 View Page
My first plant to reach Day 30. Nice long low shape. Healthy looking plant and fruit. No complaints here. OTT 275 or 480 lbs.
Monday, July 31 View Page
I have been relying on driptape for most of the month on an auto schedule due to travel and work issues. Tonight I discovered that I left one drip line on the 2145 wide open at the end. I'm sure this has wasted lots of water and nutrients. Despite the grower stupidity, the 2145 looks happy. Working hard on 2145 x 2009 and reverse.
Sunday, August 6 View Page
Moving day for the 2009. I did not do a good job with a vine bend on this plant so my goal today was to move it out 2 inches since there was stress on stem/vine. Thanks to a Bubba video and a Rhody trunk which just happened to be right where I wanted to pull toward, the pumpkin is in a better spot for now. The pumpkin is a really pretty long shape and was 321 OTT yesterday. Like me, it is showing some signs of a bulging waistline which would be nice (for the pumpkin).
Monday, August 7 View Page
2145 x 2009 at Day 37. So far not impressive. OTT 242.
Tuesday, August 8 View Page
My 2009 x 2145 has reached day 40. OTT 334.5. Somewhere around 830-860 lbs. Too many charts to choose from. I dug out the old record player and now have Martha and the Vandellas HEAT WAVE playing 24/7 in the patch. Mother Nature needs to turn up the heat! It's August after all.
Thursday, August 10 View Page
2009 plant looks healthy. 80+ degrees helps. Nice day for growing here today.
Thursday, August 10 View Page
Here is the 2145 x 2009 on day 40. I will not ever call my own pumpkin ugly. But here she is at Day 40. OTT 257.5 or roughly 393 lbs. She is growing at 22 lbs. per day.
Saturday, August 12 View Page
Day 42 Patch update. 2009 x 2145 at 1002 lbs. Having to get lower and lower to include the blossom in the image.
Sunday, August 13 View Page
Day 42 patch update. 2145 x 2009 at 265 OTT or 430 lbs. on the new GPC chart.
Wednesday, August 16 View Page
My 2009 x 2145 is growing long and low. This shape and a short stem combine to put a lot of pressure on the main vine so I am constantly moving the pumpkin away 2-3 inches at a time. Today I waiting until 80+ degrees and tugged again. I hope this continues too be a problem all the way to Oct.
Sunday, August 20 View Page
Here is the 2145 x 2009 today on Day 50. 289 OTT or 557 lbs on the GPC chart. Happy robust healthy plant with a fruit that is just very slow to get going. I'm probably growing the smallest 2145 in history.
Sunday, August 20 View Page
Today I waited for 85 degrees+ and tugged for the third time on the 2009 pumpkin to move it out about 3 inches. I think the stem stress is relieved. You can see some nice color developing.
Wednesday, August 30 View Page
Wednesday hump day update. I want to thank the New Hampshire growers (NHGPGA) for a great time last weekend hosting the New England picnic. Great time to see friends and make new ones. You can see just some of the feast that we all enjoyed. If you are a vegetarian, you might want to move along to the next post. 2009 x 2145 was at day 60 on Monday and is at 1400+. Today was day 60 for the 2145 x 2009. 680 lbs and no sign of any orange. Not the size or shape that the 2145 is capable of producing. Oh well. Weather is getting cooler and things are slowing down except for the butterflies. They are lovin' the marigolds.


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