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Click on a thumbnail picture below to see the full size version. 21 Entries.
Monday, January 16 View Page
Here's to 2017! Unusual to have snow on the ground for a month or more in western Washington. The hill to the left of the contraption is a new mulch pile. This is where I grew 2 plants last year with 11 fruits totaling 2400 lbs. A great first year success! The largest were 462 and 441.5. 50 lbs of potatoes also from the same hill as the pumpkins. I used the 1122 Emmons (1662 Stelts x 1610 Leiber) and the better of the two plants did produce about 1500 lbs of fruit so I think the genetics in some of the Emmons seed is as good as its parents. I did not prune tertiaries but I did prune the vine ends. The plants were about 450 and 350 sq. ft. 800 total. Why the second plant produced less lbs per sq foot I'm not sure, but it also had smaller leaves and wilted sometimes... The first plant never wilted much at all! An excellent plant!
 
Thursday, April 6 View Page
Annakin's tomato starts... My pepper starts. Less than 50% germination so far.
 
Thursday, April 6 View Page
Too much water / rotten roots. A dampening fungus I'm guessing perhaps also caused also by inconsistent temps. It did not freeze - just looks like it. Having the same problem in the peppers and tomatoes. But we don't need 40 tomato and pepper plants. Those which germ. will be the ones we grow. Also lost were all three of my (811 Gerhardt x self) Schweigerts. Bummer.
 
Thursday, April 6 View Page
Wilted pumpkin is my daughters. She is taking it well we already planted a couple 334 House seeds. Her first plant is dying...but her new plants will emerge soon. It's the circle of life. I asked her if she wanted to grow a big pumpkin or an orange pumpkin. She said "Big AND orange!"... but she is gonna have to be happy with orange this year. Might have put a 1775.5 Sperry in if she had wanted big. I let her look at my collection of House seeds and she chose the 334. Thank you Mr. House!! My other daughter is a year younger and too young to grow a pumpkin... She is growing a giant radish. It's doing ok so far... Everyone is very excited and hopeful.
 
Friday, April 7 View Page
Seed weight vs seedling size. Germinating seeds ranging from .27 to .72 grams. The difference would be more pronounced but I threw in some medium sized seeds in the last nine cells on the right so the heavy seed weight plants are still visibly standing out but those some of those farthest to the right and half of the row second farthest to the right are medium seed weight (.5 grams or so). This initial variation in size does NOT actually show which plants are superior genetically. See next post... However the smaller plants are about a week behind or so and will not catch up until six to eight weeks later. See next post!
 
Friday, April 7 View Page
About 8 weeks later half of the seedlings in the picture in the previous post have rotted away. There is no connection between the current distribution of health and vigor and the original seed weights. The tray is reversed in this picture. There may still be slightly more plant material on the left (still) but in terms of numbers and percentages of healthy surfing seedlings from the original setup there is no anomaly which would indicate that the smaller weight seeds were genetically inferior.
 
Friday, April 7 View Page
Another pic. They look terrible but they are actually doing surprisingly well for their circumstances. Considering they are in my care they should all be dead by now. Good genetics...
 
Monday, April 10 View Page
334 House looking GREAT. Will not cull one instead will leave the second as a "for her little sister" pumpkin. Growing two plants out of the same pot worked fine last year.... 2400 lbs of pumpkins!!! I don't have a dump truck load of goat manure mixed with alfalfa (then left to compost for 2-3 years) to plant into this year, though, so it will certainly be a challenge for me to be that successful again. In the ground yesterday... (2) 1775.5 Sperry (1813 Northrup x 1676.5 Daletas) 1293.5 Benson (2145 McMullen x self) 903.5 Schweigert (811 Gerhardt x 1610 Lieber) HD winner
 
Monday, April 10 View Page
My job is to eat critters that eat pumpkins. Sometimes my name is Pumpkin, sometimes it's Kitty.
 
Monday, April 10 View Page
Feed me now!!!
 
Monday, April 10 View Page
I'm the one who actually catches some voles. Everyone calls me Max. If a pumpkin-monkey yells "C. Maximus!" I wag my tail and get excited... because I love pumpkins. But may I please confess to you that I don't love Pumpkin-the-Kitty.
 
Wednesday, April 12 View Page
...Feed me too! (no pic with previous post...)
 
Thursday, April 20 View Page
1775.5 Sperry rescued. One of two cracked seeds, the other rotted completely. With this one the cots started to rot so I removed the seed coat, cut the rot off, and positioned it in an "already sprouted" position with its small root in the dirt. The cots were still totally white when I did this and had not separated. A mist of water a few times a day to keep the premature cots from drying out... & now it's looking well.
 
Thursday, April 20 View Page
150 sq ft patch not quite ready. Four-leaf-clover layout... 3 or 4 plants will grow out from shared dirt & manure pile (to be created in the center at the location of the yellow bag). The short transit from where I will start the plants, one from each corner of the mound in the center, to the main patches, will be about three feet (an allotment of six square feet for this is seen roughly marked by the smaller boards). The main portion of each patch will each be 12x12 for the remaining 144 sq ft. I'll have up to four identically shaped patches in the end, but as of now I have not planted or fully completed any of them yet and in fairness to the "only one patch" rule I will declare now that my 150 sq ft competition entry will be grown in the only area with both lower and upper railing--in this picture it's the area in the upper right corner. This will be my competition patch. It will be easy to distinguish because it has a cherry tree growing in it and some other small shrubs too. And I don't think any of the the other patches will get the upper second railing.
 
Thursday, April 20 View Page
A plastic cucumber container spreads granular fertilizer perfectly through the holes in the bottom. The fertilizer comes out evenly & comes out only when I shake it. Any clumps will either stay in the container or break apart. I may put up to two lbs on each patch to establish some baseline fertility. I don't want them getting too much nitrogen but oh well this was the bast value with the least nitrogen. I may add some Dolomite lime product too. Maybe some Epsom salt too. That's it for fertilizer. It's gonna be compost tea and low nitrogen chelated foliar fertilizer from now on. Hopefully that's all they're gonna want.
 
Thursday, April 20 View Page
150 sq ft plant & The main lineup. 1992.5 Vincent from Alaska Seed Giveaway... thanks, PatrickW. This will be my seed of choice for the 150 sq ft competition. Hopefully the fact that it was free, (other than postage), levels the playing field. Also I think if I say this is the plant I'm going with before I compare it to all the others I am growing will also help level the playing field with anyone who is growing less pumpkins. I will have about twenty different seeds and nearly 100 plants to choose from by planting time so with just the root tip out on the 1992.5 it's time for me to say I'm going with this one. I know the root is out because I planted them at an angle, upside down, and it's easy to brush away the dirt and see who is germinating and who is not. 1533.5 Kline squash 1047 Barlow pumpkin/squash 1929.5 Barlow pumpkin 993.2 Vincent/McGill 2008 1462 Gibson 2007 1653 Foss I'm not sure the older seeds will sprout. The seeds with no year listed will be emerging soon... The plant markers are from a cut up plastic container, marked with permanent marker. Not the best system maybe but it's free. These markers happen to look like tombstones. What else is in the graveyard: Some glass gem corn and some low germ. seed from a pumpkin that rotted.
 
Sunday, April 23 View Page
Pic that was supposed to be with the previous post.
 
Sunday, April 23 View Page
Arrgh! This seedling mix is not all good. Let me rant because it's not the only one. This is a ball of pure sand in a mix that is already too sandy. Another seedling mix I bought had sticks and wood which were also big enough to make me think, "Isnt it their job to sift this stuff?" I guess not. Like everything available at your local big box store, more than half of it is no better than garbage we just keep putting our faith in the wrong place... Except the "sand ball seedling mix" came from a local growing store. The best of the three has been the Black Gold brand. Garden & Bloome was the sandy one. The overly-peaty one which I had rot issues with was Jobe's. The price was about the same for all three. Maybe the others are normally good. I'm not comfortable endorsing any product just ranting... A good company can make a bad batch sometimes I'm sure--but with something as simple as sifting dirt--it's so basic... how do you mess that up? I guess by simply not doing their job.
 
Sunday, April 23 View Page
Pic which goes with previous post. Ball of sand I just broke apart. Seedling mix I purchased was not sifted at all... How could there be a ball of soft, pure sand if it was sifted? Why would more than one brand sell me seedling mix that seemed to be unsifted? Maybe there is some reason--besides the very minimal cost--they don't? I just don't understand this... I guess next year I will make my own instead.
 
Sunday, April 23 View Page
Arrgh! This seedling mix is not all good. Let me rant because it's not the only one. This is a ball of pure sand in a mix that is already too sandy. Another seedling mix I bought had sticks and wood which were also big enough to make me think, "Isnt it their job to sift this stuff?" I guess not. Like everything available at your local big box store, more than half of it is no better than garbage we just keep putting our faith in the wrong place... Except the "sand ball seedling mix" came from a local growing store. The best of the three has been the Black Gold brand. Garden & Bloome was the sandy one. The overly-peaty one which I had rot issues with was Jobe's. The price was about the same for all three. Maybe the others are normally good. I'm not comfortable endorsing any product just ranting... A good company can make a bad batch sometimes I'm sure--but with something as simple as sifting dirt--it's so basic... how do you mess that up? I guess by simply not doing their job.
 
Sunday, April 23 View Page
Seed Bingo. Rows are by .1 grams, columns by .01 grams. If a seed weighs .69 grams it goes in row ".6" column ".09". The scale is fast and accurate. The drop test or any other method is just a guess. This really tells you what is inside the seed the only guess is how much of the weight is the seed coat itself so strip off some seed coats and weigh them. Small profile seeds can weigh just over .3 grams and still be very good seeds. I now have a .366 gram 1109 Borgers up and doing well. Seeds with large seed coats ideally are at .6 grams (or more) but there may be a lot viable seeds in the .4's and .5's.
 

 

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