Home What's New Message Board
BigPumpkins.com
Select Destination Site Search
 
jimp - 2017 Grower Diary Point your RSS aggregator here to subscribe to this Grower Diary.

Show Entries in

Grower Diary Menu
  Back to Previous Page
List Other Grower's Diaries
Submit to Your Own Diary

 
Click on a thumbnail picture below to see the full size version. 31 Entries.
Thursday, March 2 View Page
First Entry of the year - Yahoo! Tested germination of potential main plant a 1389McCrackinxself'15 that produced a beautiful orange 454 lb fruit. put up 4 - first 2 germinated yesterday (4 days) and the other 2 have split the seed
 
Thursday, March 2 View Page
the 454 from 1389McCracken14 grown 2015
 
Thursday, March 2 View Page
100% germination Muzletxself big heart-shaped solid tomato, not weighed but about 2 lbs
 
Thursday, March 2 View Page
Typical Muzlet tomato (seeds smuggled in from Sicily 2008 by John Muzlet)
 
Monday, April 10 View Page
Ain’t no prettier picture than that – 1000 sq ft of rototilled patch. Let the Season Begin !! Fall Prep: 3 – 4x8 trailer loads of mushroom soil topping with an additional trailer load piled in the middle for spring topping after rototill; 1-2” grass clippings; 4” maple leaf mulch. Fall Soil Test – pH – 7.5; exceeded recommended levels of phosphate, potash, Mag and Calcium Spring prep before rototill: 40 lbs of granular gypsum, 20 lbs 10-10-10 – forgot to send a spring soil test before adding this stuff and rototilling. Plan to get a disease test from Western Laboratories in Parma ID. After taking soil samples for disease test, will top off with the pile of mushroom soil.
 
Wednesday, April 12 View Page
First Team: 2624 Willemijns'16 +21%- 2145Mcmullen x 1872Willemijns 2048 Willemijns'16 +5% - 1861Cutrupi x 1872Willemijns (only going with 2 vines this year - 3 drove me and the family crazy.)
 
Wednesday, April 12 View Page
Second Team: 1st back up: 1795McCracken'16 - 2145McMillen'15x1625Gantner'13 2nd back up: 1389McCracken'14 - 1744Fulk'13 x 1882Bryson'11 3rd back up: 1218Snyder - 1744Fulk'13 x 2323 Meier 4th back up: 1495Snyder - 1463Hoelke x 1177Clementz (Orange) Grew the 1389McCracken 2015 and got a beautiful round 454 orange. also tried the 1218Snyder with poor results (my fault) Sent off sample for soil fungus test (pricey) P.S. Auction price I paid So Ohio GPGs for the 2624Willemijns available upon request - if my wife finds out, a 47yr marriage and future attempts at giant pumpkin growing probably finished.
 
Wednesday, April 12 View Page
Muzlet Heart Shaped Giant doing nicely. Several more under light. Goal: 5 lbs
 
Saturday, April 15 View Page
Final topping of mushroom soil and layout of irrigation. Stakes for hoop houses. Team 1 right back growing southeast, some extra room to extend patch if needed. Team 2 left forward. Took out that volunteer junk evergreen. A nuisance last year, too big and irregular to transplant – so it’s another sacrifice to the sport.
 
Sunday, April 16 View Page
Starting Team 2 tonight – Team 1 will be next weekend – spread the risk of a planting calamity or doing something systematically dumb. Seeds rubbed with peroxide (afraid to do the 5 min soak suggested by others), filed edges (see next photo) and put up in moist towel in sandwich bags for next 12 hours – put in incubator to keep warm.
 
Sunday, April 16 View Page
Filed edge of seed on right to facilitate swelling and splitting, just down to the line marking the interior seed cavity, careful not to damage root end.
 
Sunday, April 16 View Page
Wet paper towel sandwich bags Into cheapo greenhouse at 80 deg along with everybody else till morning when they go into pots – also warming in incubator. Very exciting. ----- Quandary for tomorrow morning – do I set the seeds to reside at 0 deg, 45 deg or 90 deg?? Just too many decisions here – how does ANYBODY get something to weigh in Sept ? !!.
 
Saturday, April 22 View Page
Quiet – outright boring – week waiting for Team 2 to sprout. 5 days of lookin’ at dirt. Worse than watching paint dry. And Halleluiah!, McCracken 1795 moved the dirt today! Couldn’t stand to not know what was going on in the other 2 pots and so scratched away the dirt down to the seeds, and both have germinated, included the $35 2048 Willemjns. Should see them above ground in a couple of days. Plan to plant Team I (2624 Willemjns; 1389 McCracken; 1218 Snyder) in 2 days after a 12 hour soak in tissue paper in plastic sandwich bag.
 
Sunday, April 23 View Page
So here we go today with Team 1 : 2624 Willemijns, 1495Snyder (Winner of the MidAtlanticPGA Howard Dill Award for the Most Beautifully Orange Specimen of the Year), and the 1218 Snyder out of the 1744Fulkx2323Meier. Edges filed and carefully placed in sandwich bags cuddled in warm wet paper towels. All auspicious representatives of the species. Holding and gazing upon the 2624, I appreciated that I am holding the container for a mixture of brand new DNA that has never been available on this planet over its entire 4 ½ billion-year history. Just think of that. The potential in a few grams of casement to produce the largest pumpkin ever grown on planet earth (no proof here) and maybe in the 13 billion-year history of the Milky Way. Whew – just too much to get my head around. Yeh, sometimes I just wax inordinately philosophic.
 
Monday, April 24 View Page
Astounding! – 48 hours since appearing. How can anything grow that fast?!! Team 1 – 12 hours in the dirt after 12 hour soak. All 3 seeds plumped up with the soak, although the 2624 seemed a little compressed at the distal end, almost a little empty. Uh oh.
 
Wednesday, April 26 View Page
3 days post emergence – these guys are getting’ away from me. No electricity in patch, heating cables in the mail, fungicide to be obtained and applied to deal with massive fusarium and high Pythium infestation of the patch (looking for some azoxystrobin that I can afford) and very low boron levels reported to me by Western laboratories. Spoke to their Director, Harry Kreeft, at length yesterday for advice – good advice. He was appalled at my fungus report - very high fusarium (441 cfu) and high Pythium (139) and phytophthora (25), and thrilled with my 0 verticillium. Went over an overly complex soil micronutrient report full of reds, blues and blacks and tells me all is fine except low boron. Who wudda guessed? Didn’t help that I collected the soil samples a couple days after adding 40 lbs of gypsum – oops. I guess that’s why they have a 5 star rating. Great service. Weather greatly improving this week predicted to hold through early May.
 
Wednesday, April 26 View Page
Good progress today. Sucked it up and took my medicine – spent 100 bucks on 4 oz of powder azoxystrobin. 10 doses for 1000 sq ft. It’s in the mail – fusarium; Pythium; phytophthora – you’re history. Got electricity to patch and hoop house starting to warm the 57 deg soil with a heating lamp – rather anemic attempt. Heating cables should be here in a day or so.
 
Saturday, April 29 View Page
The potential monster emerges day 5 after planting. WHEW !!!
 
Saturday, April 29 View Page
Soil Heating Cables in (24’ spaced 3-4” in a 3x4 hoop house 4-5” deep) – easily heated soil to 78 deg – in fact had to turn off during sunny day to keep from going higher. The heating grow light brought temp in hh to >100 deg and so turned off during day. Chose the 2048 Willimejns and 1795 McCracken to carry Team 2 forward – but there seems to already be a mismatch 7 days post appearance (7 DPA)– maybe my $35 auction bid was a bust.
 
Tuesday, May 2 View Page
Hmmm – seems to be a clear winner here already. Will give 2048 some rope to catch up in deference to my 35 bucks. The 1795 was free in the MAGPA 2017 seed packet. Go figger. McCracken is an awesome grower! Alex collects only the best DNA. Heat cables (a mere $29.95 JumpStart Soil Heating; Amazon) are doing their job. I actually followed the installation instructions – a transient point of weakness-except I put them deep enough to avoid damage planting
 
Tuesday, May 2 View Page
Team 1 – all have appeared. 6 out of 6 seeds germinated. Will keep that planting ritual intact for the future. 2624 already with the clear edge (D---- well oughta, given the price I paid !)
 
Thursday, May 4 View Page
Strong wind found an opening in hoop house and lifted the PVC hoops and plastic. The 1795 McCracken is history (Sorry, Alex). I have another 1795 McCracken seed and will restart. Lost 3 weeks. This gives life to the lagging 2048 sharing the refastened hoop house – better put up the wind protective full fencing before risking putting out the 2624.
 
Thursday, May 4 View Page
Yeh – what’s wrong with this picture. Nuts
 
Friday, May 5 View Page
Horse --- Barn ----. You know the rest.
 
Tuesday, May 9 View Page
2624 not a lot bigger than when I put him in 4 days ago – these cold nights down to low 40’s and high 30’s must be turning off the juice, even in a green house with a heating lamp and heating cables. Ground up to 78 and air 70 by morning. Going up to >100 in the sun during day. Little guys just doesn’t know what to do. A replacement 1795 should pop above the potting soil in a day or so.
 
Tuesday, May 9 View Page
At least somethin’s growing in the cold wet weather
 
Thursday, May 11 View Page
Oh no! wasn’t this way this morning. Now what? Finished? Any suggestions.? How did this happen? – stem was supported all week by a plastic bubble. Nuts Please Comment - anybody.
 
Tuesday, May 16 View Page
Decision time – kept that 2624 Wjns in the heated cold frame despite the split stem for no good reason at all. The stem has turned into a flat ribbon, but the plant is growing normally. No future that I can imagine. To replace with a 7-day-old 2nd attempt at the McCracken 1795, but couldn’t bare to just discard the 2624 after what I shelled out for it – so moved it into another open place in the patch with some wind protection and wrapped the stem with Saran Wrap to keep the dirt and bugs out, but not much else. Maybe I can give it to somebody who has a good home for it. Any takers? Right off US Rt 78.
 
Tuesday, May 16 View Page
Replaced the $265 2624 with a free 7-day-old McCracken 1795. Planted with 2 WOW started packets and an extra handful of Myco + Kelp meal.
 
Tuesday, May 16 View Page
The 2048 Willeminjns has grown a huge leaf and the new leaves behind that one look good. Early leaves suffered from drastic temperature changes in the germination indoor facility and outdoor hoop house last few weeks. Its previous companion wind-destroyed McCracken 1795 will be replaced in the hoop house with the 7-day-old 1218Snyder - 1744Fulk'13 x 2323 Meier next week. (not putting all the pumpkins in the same basket, transplanting right before the 87-90 deg weather forecast rest of week.)
 
Wednesday, May 17 View Page
Now I have a competitively large hoop house – can’t believe how much trouble that was. But it’s all staked down and tight, hoping not to see it flying over a neighbor’s house during the upcoming thunder storms. Also planted the last back up in there – was getting too tall to leave in the hot house.
 

 

Top of Page

Questions or comments? Send mail to Ken AT bigpumpkins.com.
Copyright © 1999-2017 BigPumpkins.com. All rights reserved.