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Click on a thumbnail picture below to see the full size version. 59 Entries.
Friday, January 13 View Page
First Diary Entry! I will be growing 2 plants this year. The 2,230.5 Wallace (2009 Wallace x 1916 Barron) and the 2,261 Wallace (2009 Wallace x 1790 Wallace). I have two separate patches, this one pictured is roughly 1,000 square feet and receives roughly 10 hours of sun a day. While the other patch is about 400 square feet and receives around 7 hours of sun during the peak of the summer.
Friday, January 13 View Page
Here is the view of my smaller size patch,Like I said this patch receives 7 hours of sun although you cant tell because this picture was taken in the fall when the sun is lower in the sky behind the neighbors trees. This picture was taken after I finished adding my fall amendments. I feel the a smaller amount of sun in this patch will be more helpful than bad. It can easily reach a real feel temp of over 100 degrees for days and transpiration can be a problem causing droopy leaves during the heat of the day. I have overhead misting system that will be in place and 30% shade cloth will be put over both patches
Friday, January 13 View Page
Fall soil test of 1000 square foot patch. I really need to work on the organic matter level and the pH. Iíve been adding huge amounts of yard waste compost yearly and its taking it time to go up. I hear tilling soil lowers organic matter levels, so I will reduce tilling to twice a year.
Friday, January 13 View Page
Fall soil test of smaller Patch. Itís Loam :) but the ph :(
Friday, January 13 View Page
From where I started the soil is a lot better in texture. Itís not heavy clay. It drains better and has a lot higher nutrient values than when I first started. Almost every macro nutrient was very low and calcium 500 ppm. Now itís better I just want to get that nitrogen up, itís been a constant problem every year.
Friday, January 13 View Page
For anyone that has puddling problems in there patch use perlite, itís amazing what it can do! The soil will resist compaction, it will drain like potting soil and itís cheap! Just check your local hydro store for chunky perlite I added 1 cubic yard for every 1000 square feet.
Friday, January 13 View Page
Hereís what I did after taking my soil sample this fall. I planted Mighty Mustard Trifecta Blend and was able to get it 2 feet tall before the first frost came. I mowed it down and chopped it up fine with a lawn mower. I added the perlite like mentioned above, coconut coir, vermiculite, 1 yard of very well composted chicken manure for every 1000 square feet and huge amounts of shredded leaves. I know some are against adding uncomposted leaves to your patch, but it works well for me in my soil. In the spring they are completely gone, and the soil is full of worms, I added 16 lbs. of elemental sulfur to the 1000 square foot patch with a ph of 7.6, and 7 lbs. of elemental sulfur for the 400 square foot patch at a ph of 7.8. Letís hope is down by spring. All of this was followed with a deep till.
Friday, January 13 View Page
Iíd also like to mention this will be my third year growing. My first year weighed 420.5 lbs and was grown in poor soil and the plant was not big and thriving. Last year I was lucky to get anything to the scale and only made it to 300.5 lbs. this was due to ribbon vines and stump rot. Every side vine decided to terminate themselves in this bundle of flowers and I lost the stump mid-season due to rot. This year I am mounding the stump up and using a cover starting in June. Strangely enough after taking seeds out of my 300 pounder and germinating a couple. One grew 4 cot leaves, the other one grew a ribbon vine instead of a first true leaf. This leads me to say the ribbon vines had something to do with genetics. Attached is a picture of the ribbon vines/flower vines last year from one of the secondaryís.
Friday, January 13 View Page
Besides Giant pumpkins I will also grow Giant tomatoes, tall sunflowers, field pumpkin, and sunflowers for head diameter. Last year was my first try at a giant tomato.
Tuesday, February 7 View Page
Here was the picture of the main patch. For some reason it didnt post
Tuesday, February 7 View Page
Here is a glimpse of some of the products I will be using.
Tuesday, February 7 View Page
Closer views
Tuesday, February 7 View Page
Closer views
Tuesday, February 7 View Page
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Tuesday, February 7 View Page
Was busy the last couple of days. It was in the high 50s and I took advantage by getting a head start on some patch assignments. Got the shade cloth hung and the fogging system almost done. After fighting the heat for 2 years I feel this will be a better way to go
Tuesday, February 7 View Page
Here is another view, I'm not the best at hanging it, I had to pull it tight down the sides. I used 1" conduit as post. It's holding strongly
Tuesday, February 7 View Page
View of foggers from dripworks, this year I'm switching to overhead misting. Putting them on risers was impractical due to how high the leaves got
Tuesday, February 7 View Page
This year I'm switching to T5 grow lights. My old set up worked great, I want to see if I can get an more aggressive plant before setting in the patch. These old lights will be out within the next couple of days
Tuesday, February 7 View Page
Here is a pic of the germination chamber. It's controlled by a thermostat, I usually aim between 85 to 87 degrees
Tuesday, February 7 View Page
Here's is a picture of the ez flow I will be using. I have one for each zone
Tuesday, February 7 View Page
The past 2 years I was relying on 2 gallon pump hand sprayer. I just got this battery powered sprayer. I have connected it to a gas powered leaf blower. Works just a sthil blower!
Friday, March 3 View Page
Last weekended I added 5 yards of compost per 1000 square feet, I added more perlite, and turned over the patch to a depth of 12 inches. Today I am sowing winter rye, its suppose to be above freezing for the next couple of days. I added extreme gardening Mykos to the winter rye. Now I'm going to water in.going to take a soil test towards the end of march. I want to let everything sink in so I don't get off the chart numbers that would be artificially high
Friday, March 3 View Page
Here is bigger patch, getting more worms as the soil is gradually warming up.its been an unusual warm winter. Got the foggers set up on both patches
Friday, March 3 View Page
Here is the foggers!
Friday, March 3 View Page
This is my first year making planting mounds. Im not sure if this is how most do it. I'm thinking off flattening them out slightly
Friday, March 3 View Page
New T5 light, with test germ seeds under. They just popped out this morning
Friday, March 3 View Page
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Friday, March 3 View Page
I want to try to get a better picture of the mounds, hard to get on camera
Friday, March 3 View Page
Next project is too construct two of these hoop houses, I'm using 6mil plastic after hail nearly collapsed 4 mil last year
Friday, March 3 View Page
Good results back for giant field pumpkins!!!' I still need to check the ratios, looks close
Tuesday, March 21 View Page
Testing make shift sthil blower
Tuesday, March 21 View Page
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Tuesday, March 21 View Page
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Tuesday, March 21 View Page
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Tuesday, March 21 View Page
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Tuesday, March 21 View Page
It works perfect:)
Tuesday, March 21 View Page
Winter rye is coming in!
Tuesday, March 21 View Page
Didn't think it was going to make it. After sowing it the weather decided to take a spiral in the mid teens. We're in a warm spurt again. Only 3 days old!
Tuesday, March 21 View Page
Soil samples to be sent out this week
Wednesday, April 5 View Page
Received my soil test results back a week ago, surprisingly Most nutrients came pretty low across the board. Going to work on lowering this ph, ever since i added Lime in my first year of growing to raise my PH, there has been a decent percent of free Lime in my soil. I'm not expecting it to lower into the 7's, but by adding elemental sulfur it will keep ph from going any higher. At this point nutrient values are locked up so John From western Labs Advised me to use chelated nutrients in season, and I will be taking a tissue test some time mid season to know what my plant is taken in. John advised me to add more than the standard recommendations to the patch for micro nutrients, Here Is What I am adding per 1000 Square feet in my main patch: 20 Lbs Elemental Sulfur 35 lbs of cotton seed meal 10.1 lbs of 0-0-50 22 lbs of Epson salt 4.6 lbs of Ammonium Nitrate 30 lbs of Kelp Meal 0.6 lbs of Borax 2.25 lbs of Zinc Sulfate 3.3 lbs of Iron Sulfate 0.6 lbs of Copper Sulfate 3.25 lbs of Manganese Sulfate I ran these numbers through the Soil estimator on the team pumpkin website, the estimated end values look like this Nitrogen 35.9 ppm Phosphorus 125 ppm Potassium 269 ppm Calcium 2821 ppm Magnesium 212.9 Boron 1.6 ppm Copper 3.9 ppm Manganese 23.8 Iron 27.1 Sulfur 500.6 Zinc 18.7 ppm And once I get the plant growing it will probably drain the nutrients in a month. a lot of trickle feeding this year!
Wednesday, April 5 View Page
Smaller patch soil test, pretty much the same story, not as high of a ph. Calculations For 1000 sq ft, its only 350 sq ft so I need to do some math: 10 lbs of Elemental Sulfur 10 lbs of K Mag 28.1 lbs of 0-0-50 4.5 lbs of blood meal 25 lbs of Cotton seed meal 4.9 lbs of Ammonium Sulfate 1.5 lbs of super Phosphate 15 lbs of Kelp Meal 0.35 lbs of Borax 0.6 lbs of Copper 2.95 lbs of Manganese Sulfate 1.5 lbs of Zinc Sulfate Estimate of end result: Nitrogen 37.8 ppm Phosphorus 128.2 Potassium 357.3 Calcium 2494 ppm Magnesium 163.9 Boron 1.1 ppm Copper 4.3 ppm Manganese 23.5 ppm Iron 25 ppm Sulfur 281.9 ppm Zinc 15.9 ppm Might have problems with magnesium this year being so low, I might include Epsom Salts in a regular feeding schedule to avoid a deficiency. For all of you taking soil samples: Don't use Galvanized shovels to take a sample, it will make you zinc look super high, you can compare the zinc from last falls soil test to now, there is a big difference
Wednesday, April 5 View Page
Going to start seeds April 13th, I changed the line up to the 2261 Wallace and the 2624 willjiems. Both will be reversed cross with each other. The most aggressive seedling will go into the bigger patch, and the least aggressive will go into the smaller patch. Hoping to get a huge forest of leaves before fruit set, looking at previous years plants they were very deficient in Nitrogen
Wednesday, April 5 View Page
Got walking board made, still have a lot to do including hoop houses, soil heating cables, digging the stump sites up, tightening up the shade cloth, finish the fogging system, installing drip tape, and tilling under the winter rye within 10 feet of the hoop houses etc... with all the heavy down pours the past couple of days it been nearly impossible to get outside for a second. A couple 10 hour days outside and I should finish in time. Lets hope the rain stops soon:)
Sunday, April 16 View Page
Seed Starting Time! All are soaking in 1/2 strength seaweed and humic wow products Left to right 46.5 Ives field Pumpkin 2624 willemjins 2261 Wallace 146.5 Razo field pumpkin
Sunday, April 16 View Page
Nice and cozy in the incubator
Monday, May 8 View Page
All seeds ended up popping a root in 24 hours. After putting them in 2 gallon grow bags they broke the surface in 48 hours. Here is a picture of them yesterday hardening off
Monday, May 8 View Page
Field pumpkins hardening off, you can see the winter rye in the background, this will all be tilled in within 2 weeks
Monday, May 8 View Page
Here is a picture of the 2624 willemjins root system upon transplanting today. This is by far more aggressive than the 2261 wallace so it is going in the 1000 square ft patch
Monday, May 8 View Page
And here is picture of it in its new home. Hopefully it will take off fast and keep its aggression
Monday, May 8 View Page
Size comparison
Monday, May 8 View Page
After a brutal 12 inches of rain, the patches are just starting to become tillable, I'm tilling the patch which will be the future home of the 2261 wallace tomorrow. All ferts went down today on that patch. I've loosened the main patch 3 feet down in the stump site and 12 inches else where and will do the same in the other patch.
Monday, May 8 View Page
I did already prep both stump sites. After digging down 3 feet I installed soil heating cables, and mixed the soil dug out with 1/2 bag pro mix, 1 bag worm castings 1 bag ancient forest 2 bags ocean forest potting soil After backfilling I put a mound on the stump site. I was able to stick my whole arm down to my shoulder with out any resistance
Monday, May 8 View Page
Patch view this evening
Tuesday, May 9 View Page
Finished tilling for 2 weeks. After 2 weeks I will till in the remaining winter rye
Tuesday, May 9 View Page
2261 wallace is in smaller 400 square ft patch. Although the 2624 was a bigger more aggressive seedling above, the 2261 is more aggressive below. Can't wait to see how they do in the next few weeks!
Wednesday, May 24 View Page
2261 wallace update: By far the best looking plant, has thickest main, and is starting to through out secondaries. I've been feeding lots of N, and it is showing in leaf size. By far the biggest leafs I ever had, biggest being 22". I tried to get it more green in color, but I don't think pushing it with more N will be the answer, it's been a low of 50's in the morning and I don't feel the it's warm enough to get enough vigor so I'll let it play out. She gave me a hard time about laying down, but she wasn't as bad as the 2624 which has a different story
Wednesday, May 24 View Page
2261 wallace
Wednesday, May 24 View Page
2624 willemjins update: The main is 51" as of today, secondary's in their first leaf, I would say this plant is more aggressive, but I'm trying to slow it down. The leaves are getting so big they are snapping the stalks with their own weight with no wind in the closed greenhouse, luckily I just lost one leaf and the other ripped as it fell on a stake holding the main. I'm holding back on all ferts on this one, The main grew 16 " last night and I can see this one will be a salad and not a fruit pretty soon if I don't slow it down. This one would not lay its main down without a battle, she went 2.5 feet straight up and wouldn't budge in the heat of the day. I managed to get her down without any major damage. I thought she was kinked after I seen her go down abruptly as I was trying to train her down. I got really lucky and what I thought was a kink wasn't as the main bulged itself round again in a couple days. So there is no retraining a secondary, and she has not slowed down since then which was a week and a half ago! She has a baby coming in at 5 feet, I'm not pollinating that one.I probably won't do anything till 9 feet, just in case anything farther out wouldn't take. My goal is to get something 13 to 15 feet out, as I feel that will bring a big one in conjunction with everything else I'm doing.This plant has the most aggressive tap roots coming out of the leaf nodes. I will be inoculating them with marks root keeper soon. Still got to get some merit drenched, before the cucumber beetles come
Wednesday, May 24 View Page
2624 willemjins

 

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