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Click on a thumbnail picture below to see the full size version. 59 Entries.
Thursday, January 12 View Page
New year, new start. I always like to start with the past line-up of fruit for quick reference. The 1463 line will be prominent again for me this year and it will be interesting to see what it produces with the 1495 Stelts line in it. It's interesting to see how the parents show through on the next generation. This was 2013's 922 Hoelke. It's a 1778 Daletas x 2009 Wallace. It was 8% heavy and I do believe the 1778 was an under-rated orange seed. They're all round, orange and heavy.
Thursday, January 12 View Page
Second plant of 2013, and this was the 1351 Hoelke (1146 Hoelke x 2009 Wallace).
Thursday, January 12 View Page
I went 3 for 3 in 2013 and finished with the 1463 Hoelke. It's a 2009 Wallace x 1778 Daletas +4%. This seed has grown great every time I've planted it.
Thursday, January 12 View Page
I lost 2 of 3 of my plants in tough 2014 season. I ended up with this one, the 1379 Hoelke (1985 Miller x 1789 Wallace).
Thursday, January 12 View Page
2015 was tough. I split 2 of 3 and couldn't get one pollinated on the third plant. Nothing to a weigh-off. This was the 1503 Hoelke DMG (1676 Daletas x 1873 Steil) weighed with a digital crane scale.
Thursday, January 12 View Page
This was another 2015 heart-breaker than split underneath in late August at Day 60. Weighed with a scale at 14% heavy and 1572 pounds with lots of time to grow. It was my first look at what the 1463 seed could do. You can see the orange from the 922 (1778 Daletas) come out. Brilliant colour, a tough loss. 1572 Hoelke (1463 Hoelke x 1873 Steil)
Thursday, January 12 View Page
After three years I finally got back to going 3 for 3 with pumpkins to weigh-offs. 4746 pounds on three plants were weighed in the fall. This is the 1143 Hoelke (1725 Harp x 1625 Gantner) picked early at Day 64 since I had a late pollination.
Thursday, January 12 View Page
1800.5 Hoelke (1625 Gantner x 1725 Harp). This was a fun ride. It grew late into the year, still moving at Day 100. I didn't know what to expect with the heavy % since it was a 1625 and could be anything, but I ended up with 10% heavy and 1800 pounds.
Thursday, January 12 View Page
The final fruit of 2016 is the 1803 Hoelke +14% (1463 Hoelke x 1625 Gantner). This one sort of flew under the radar. I didn't expect the 14% over the chart. I should have, since the previous year I grew the same seed to the same 14% heavy. I'll be growing this one this season, and it will be interesting to see what the 1625 Gantner adds to the already thick line. Hopefully some orange will show up since the 1495 Stelts had some orange in it's history. We'll see...
Thursday, January 12 View Page
Family photo. I finally got my seeds organized. I got lucky with good seed counts on 2016 fruit.
Thursday, January 12 View Page
Bubbles are going out now. European bubbles left today. USA bubbles next to go in a day or two and then Canadian bubbles to follow. I have a new found respect for the top growers who get way more bubbles than I ever would. There's some work there in filling out the envelopes and custom sheets. Much appreciated.
Tuesday, January 31 View Page
All seeds are finally shipped so if you don't see your seeds in three weeks let me know. The last group of Canadian envelopes went out yesterday. American and European envelopes have been sent now for 2 weeks. Everyone should have their seeds soon. Let me know if you don't get them. I've been ice fishing when I can get out this winter. This 35" lake trout was a fun battle on the 32" rod. I released it back under the ice, maybe some day we'll tango again.
Monday, February 20 View Page
Final group of late seed requests is in the mail tomorrow. You should get them in two weeks since most are international. Lots of snow this year. It will make for an interesting spring. Here's a shot a hundred feet from my garden back in January.
Sunday, March 26 View Page
Lots of snow this year. Still going to be a while until it's all gone. Weather seems to be finally starting to warm after a cool March.
Friday, April 7 View Page
Hopefully the last blast of snow. It's been a cold spring. I'm soaking seeds tomorrow.
Saturday, April 8 View Page
Seed soaking day. A week earlier than in the past. In order to hit 2k I need to be in the ground earlier and pollinated earlier with a huge plant. It's hard to add 200 more pounds any other way to what I did last year. I believe an early start is critical, but it could be costly and wipe me out completely. Love it. Taking the best two of my own 1803 to the patch. This was a nice plant last year, perfect shaped fruit, good colour and thickness. Going with Steve Geddes 2066 from last year. I like the cross and the 1727 Pierpont was a well behaved, beautiful plant. 1625 Gantner on each side. Thanks for the seeds Steve. The third plant will be the 1810 Werner. I like both parents on this one. 22% heavy and orange. Thank you for the seeds Quinn. All three 2016 class seeds and unproven, but I see it as more potential as well.
Friday, April 14 View Page
Seeds germinated after 48 hours in heat chamber and moist paper towel on April 10th. Placed immediately in promix media and kept in heat chamber. Plants sprouted on the 13th and placed under lights. This year I replaced my lighting system with this LED set-up. I always had a poor system and my plants were leggy and weak each season.
Saturday, April 15 View Page
Heating cables buried and ready. Very wet this year and cool.
Thursday, April 20 View Page
Love these lights. Plants have only been above ground for 7 days. I re-potted to large pots after a couple days up.
Saturday, April 22 View Page
Getting some sun. Hoping to go into the garden soon, but the days and nights have been chilly. Keep watching the weather forecast. Did I mention I love those LED lights.
Monday, April 24 View Page
All 5 of the 1803's look very similar. Planting soon.
Monday, April 24 View Page
The two 2066 Geddes look good. The one on the left seems to be more aggressive. Both will get planted side by side.
Monday, April 24 View Page
1810 Werners ready to go.
Tuesday, April 25 View Page
Planting day was April 25th. I would have liked to have gone in the ground earlier, but the weather has been poor. This is the 2066 Geddes. It's only been in this pot for 8 days. Love the roots on this one. I cut all of my pots in half and taped them back together but after the first one went in with a juggling act, the other 5 were simply dumped out of the pots....no problem. Worked great.
Tuesday, April 25 View Page
The end result of transplanting. These are a pair of 2066 Geddes. All three plots are planted with doubles. Will cull as soon as I get them down safely on the ground. Could be a battle this year with the forecast looking terrible.
Monday, May 8 View Page
This has been a really cold and wet spring. Starting to get sick of it. 3 sunny days in the last 10 and lately all cloud, and hovering around the freezing mark during the day and below freezing at night. 5 inches of rain in the last 3 days. Plants still kicking though.
Friday, May 12 View Page
Last year I took pictures on the 13th of may. I won't be around on the 13th so I snapped a couple pictures on the 12th. I like to compare to past years. This has been the worst weather I've ever grown in to open a season, but plants are actually making good gains. I'm way ahead of last year's mid may photos on all plants. This is a pair of 2066 Geddes.
Friday, May 12 View Page
A pair of 1810 Warner's. All plants could be a little more green, but that's just what comes with this very cold and sun-less weather.
Friday, May 12 View Page
And finally, a pair of 1803 Hoelke. The mother plant, my 1463 was always the most aggressive and first put of the cold frames. It seems the 1803 shares that same trait.
Monday, May 15 View Page
Down to one with the 1803. I had a kink in the main of the other. Thankfully this is the one I wanted to go with. It is nice to have backups, that's for sure. The other two plants are both still airborne. Hoping they start to drop now that it's sunny for a few days. Time to get growing and get some colour. Looks like some welcome heat coming.
Monday, May 15 View Page
Slowly laying down some minor ammendments and feed around the plants for the final till. The right cold frame may have to be removed in a few days, which is a good thing....until frost shows up on the report.
Saturday, May 20 View Page
All cold frames are off today as all of the plants have filled the area, frost last night so i left them on as long as possible. This is two 2066 Geddes. The lower one is more aggressive but it has a small split in the stump area. Not a big deal but I'm going to play it safe and take the slightly smaller 2066 on top with clean vine.
Saturday, May 20 View Page
Here is that 2066 alone that will be the one. All out in the open now, so hopefully no tough weather.
Saturday, May 20 View Page
Here is the final 1810 Werner. Both plants were similar in size so an easy choice here keeping either. I forgot to get a picture of the 1803 but it was out in the fresh air a day earlier. This is exactly two weeks earlier than last year to have a six foot vine and be out of the cold frames. I'm quite happy with that since this was the worst spring I've ever grown in. Now the next plan is a June 20th-25th pollination date on an absolutely huge plant. I want to bump that pollination date up these two weeks that I've gained. I had all July pollinations last year on both 1800 pounders. I want around June 20th this year.
Monday, May 22 View Page
I spread some amendments today and tilled in what I had time for. I didn't think I had much to spread but I had a lot of bags stacked in the garden shed over the winter and picked up more this spring. My soil test came back excellent, so I was just adding some minor additives. Nothing ground breaking. Humic acid, oyster shells, jersey greensand and some Green Gro products which have become a staple for me. The rye was mowed for the second time this year and then the amendments spread. Soil is still very moist, so much different than last year when I had to wear a dust mask from the dry soil dusting up.
Monday, May 22 View Page
I got a good perimeter tilled in around the 1810 Werner on the left and the 1803 Hoelke. Its incredible how nice this soil has became with balancing and the leaf compost added each fall. This garden is five years old now and has come along way.
Monday, May 22 View Page
Here's the 2066 Geddes alone in this large plot 20 feet away. This soil has a more brown tone to it while the double plot has a more black tone. This garden is one year older than the double plot and was trucked in from a different aggregate company. Even with the different geographical areas of soil and tone, both soils are now nearly identical in soil tests. I could slowly see the gaps close each year on soil tests and now they are almost the same. It's amazing what composting and balancing will do. Both soils have a nice fluffy feel to them now.
Friday, June 2 View Page
Finally got the one patch fully tilled. It's been really cold and wet, and also windy as my rough looking and neglected wind fence shows. Risk of frost tonight believe it or not. What a year. It was cold last spring but worse this year. May had the most rain ever recorded. I've hand watered twice in a month and both times watering was very light. Can't really feed. I'm probably about 9 feet on the longest plant (1803) and way ahead of my best ever but it's still frustrating with only a foot of growth in the last 3-4 days. I don't even have to move the bamboo sticks after two days. The cold night have been the culprit. Warm weather really would have put me out to a fast start. Oh well. Not much I can do. Hope there's no frost tonight, I didn't even think of taking the time to cover anything.
Wednesday, June 7 View Page
Drip tape is laid in 2 of 3 patches. Still have a little tilling to do in the third. Finally some heat today even though tonight is going down to 4 degrees above freezing. The cold wet weather has things growing very slow over the last week. This is the 1803 at just over 11 feet, flagging in the heat. It's the largest plant.
Wednesday, June 7 View Page
Patch looks nice now but will be full of weeds in a week.
Wednesday, June 14 View Page
I had to add another layer of plywood to my patch shoes. They're good for another 20 miles of vine burying. I hate vine burying.
Sunday, June 25 View Page
The weeds and vine burying got away on me this year. I haven't spent much time in the garden. We had a baby june 19 and that has pretty much filled my time. I think I could have managed to work a couple plants but living 20 minutes away from the garden just doesn't work well. All is good at home, but the patch was in tough shape after I didn't go there for 10 days. Up until this point I have not buried a vine on any plants. The groundhogs have eaten 8 secondaries and the main of the 1810 Werner.
Tuesday, July 4 View Page
I didn't have the time or to be honest the want, to hand weed 2500 feet so I pulled out the round up. I knew the power of the product but I went with it. I got a little too close to the growing tips and zapped all of the plants on most secondaries. The vapour and I'd say even the scent of roundup is enough to stunt and stop vine growth on those delicate ends. It's did a great job inside the mature growth. I knew it was a gamble and was comfortable with either outcome.
Wednesday, July 5 View Page
The one positive to killing these plants was that it meant I didn't have to try and somehow bury a mile of grown vines and tramp through the plants. Oh well, time to cover crop and relax.
Sunday, August 6 View Page
It's been a while since I've posted. There must have been a slight East breeze when I sprayed round up because the right side of this plant lost almost all secondaries, the left side maybe a third. I have mostly third stage growth on the right side and even some fourth stage growth. Some vines are actually forked (doubled) to fill in dead spots. Since this year was dealt the set-back, I wanted to try something different by trying to have all the plant behind the fruit. You can see that I still have 17 secondaries running up the garden. Nothing to the outside, they were all curved to go parallel with the main vine. I'll walk in along the main vine this year instead of along a secondary from the outside of the patch. I still have a good 8-12 feet to grow secondaries before they reach and fill the 1200 square feet. Of course, the fruit growth is slow. This is my first Day 30 under 300 pounds in a while. It's to be expected as it's just an experiment to see the late season growth that I get. I believe I'm too far out of the perfect pruning point, but I want to see how this does. I have only dead headed the first secondary on each side, all others are running and growing. In a perfect world, I'd probably dead head the first 4 to 8 and then fork the others up the garden. Like I said, this will be a test. I don't think it's the best way to go, but I also don't think stopping all vine growth at pollination on a puny plant is the way to go either, like some say. This plant in the 2066 Geddes which has my good friend the 1625 Gantner on both sides of the parents. Plus, this one looks round and orange, so there's that. Another change this year is that I'm using up all of the growing supplies in my shed, ha. I figure my vine burying mix has times the materials in it. I'm sick of looking at half full bags and pails of product, so this year they're all gone. That alone may end my season, but I'm going down swingin'.
Friday, August 18 View Page
Almost fully grown into the 1100 foot patch. Trying to get these long secondaries from behind the fruit to the far end of the patch takes a long time. Too long, but it's an experiment. All secondaries should be dead headed by early next week. I have to dead head, regardless of where they are. The vines never really slowed down which is good when you're trying to fill 1100 square feet, but bad when you're trying to grow a large pumpkin. The pumpkin never took over the plant. I'm too far past the "good days" of fruit set to see huge gains, but hopefully it goes steady on the gains and slow on the taper over the next 30-40 days. This fruit isn't worth talking about. I've been stuck in the 20-29 pound range all year. Boring. We'll see how slow it can taper with a huge young plant.
Friday, August 18 View Page
Stump end of the plant. 2066 Geddes x 1803 Hoelke. Day 49.
Monday, August 21 View Page
Day 52. Finally have the plant fully grown into the plot. Way too late but we'll see what happens. I'll post an overhead drone photo of last years plant and why this year I'm trying to fork 90% of secondaries from behind the fruit.
Wednesday, August 30 View Page
Took some overhead photos of the fully grown plant (2066 Geddes).
Wednesday, August 30 View Page
Last year I took an overhead picture of my plant and noticed a distinct change in leaf appearance just after the fruit. Those leaves past the fruit were very fresh, while the vine next to them behind the fruit had much more tired looking leaves. I couldn't see it from ground level. This year I decided to run 90% of my vines from behind the fruit, which is what you see here. I'll post full overhead views of this years and last years plants.
Friday, September 1 View Page
Here's my 1625 Gantner from last year that grew to my 1800.5. This is the same patch my 2066 is growing in this year. When I took the overhead photo I noticed a pretty distinct change in leaf quality past the fruit. I grew a standard Christmas tree pattern with a slight forked angle forward. You can follow the vines. I couldn't notice from the ground as much, but the leaves past the pumpkin are clearly in better shape. It would be understandable for the leaves near the end of the patch to look great since they're quite young, but the first couple vines past the fruit are much better looking than the leaves just before the fruit. As the plant grows, those vines and leaves would really only be separated by a week or so on the calendar during fast vine growth, yet I believe there is a clear pattern in hard worked leaves behind the fruit and fresh looking leaves that seem to be just sitting there relaxing and being worked as hard. It goes back to the age old question, does the vines ahead of the fruit feed the fruit, and if so how much? There's a lot of online reading on this, but the picture sort of suggests that maybe the plumbing of the plant is more of a one way flow. Certainly the back leaves are older, but there seems to be too much age change in the leaves near the line of the fruit.
Saturday, September 2 View Page
And here is this years plant (2066 Geddes x 1803 Hoelke). If you read earlier on this season, you'll see the Round-Up issues I had. That ended two plants and left me with this stalled plant with burned tips where I had to get a lot of third and even fourth stage growth growing to become my new secondaries. At that point I wanted to try an experiment and push all secondaries from behind the fruit, up the garden. This was after I noticed the leaf change in last years plant over head photo. I kind of over-did it and think I'm on the far end of the spectrum regarding plant size to fruit growth. It was an awful and terrible cold wet year but I think having 17 secondaries running down the patch until mid August really stole from the fruit and never really got that sink going. I only dead-headed the first secondary on each side off the stump, then ran all 17 secondaries from behind the fruit way down to the end of the plot. All secondaries on this plant range from very long at about 45 feet to the shortest being about 20 feet. That's a lot of root base and leaf power behind the fruit, but I need a fully grown photo like this on August 1st, not September 1st. Not sure how to pull that off. Too bad it wasn't better circumstances to find fruit growth results. I wish I didn't Round-Up the plant which cost me over a week in stalled growth. Also the year has been awful for many growers in this area who are reporting not the best weights this season, so it's tough to read. I'm at about 1000 pounds with the 2066. It never hit 30 pounds a day all year but I guess it has been consistent. What I'm hoping this plant pattern does, is give me a very slow taper down in weight as the leaves look great BEHIND the fruit this year. Just wish it was better weather to compare numbers.
Monday, September 4 View Page
Here's a quick video from the drone a couple days back when I took those pictures. https://vimeo.com/231797189
Friday, September 8 View Page
I talked my parents into growing long gourds. The cold wet weather hasn't helped, but these things are fun to watch when they get going.
Friday, September 8 View Page
It's hard to get a picture of these in a landscape photo needed to post on BP. The two plants growing are the 107 Kline (in the background) and the 118 Nieuwenhoff in the foreground. The 118 has been aggressive since germination. It's Day 28 and has crossed the 100" mark. It's still doing about 3" a day but I don't know when these things taper off. Hoping to hit 120" with 12 or so more growing days, but we'll see. Cold nights coming up.
Saturday, September 9 View Page
With the new baby I pretty much haven't done much fishing. But I have done some dock fishing. Dock fishing is when I stand in the boat that's tied to the dock and cast for 20 minutes before heading back in the house for the evening. The fish have been biting. Got this 9 pound catfish. These things stink. I saw on tv some crazy Americans catching these things by sticking their hands into riverbanks and letting the fish bite their fingers. They can have them. I released it.
Saturday, September 9 View Page
10 minutes later I caught and released this 6.1 pound large mouth. That has to be a personal best. It was hard to get perspective of the size of it with no camera person but that's a size 12 sandal. I walked back up to the house after one of the more successful fishing "trips".
Wednesday, September 20 View Page
Zinnias are in full bloom. I first heard about Zinnias from Ron W when he talked about them being a great mycorrhizae host. Who cares about that. These things just know how to bloom. They don't stop. Great colour show all season. Hairy Vetch in the background with some random compost tomatoes growing as well.
Wednesday, September 20 View Page
Best part about having zinnias on hand is using them to score bonus points. When you're in the garden too late one night after work, and are late getting home, just cut a hand full of flowers off as you're running for the truck to head on home. Drop them in a vase on the kitchen table when you get home and you're good to go - well almost good to go.


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