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Click on a thumbnail picture below to see the full size version. 102 Entries.
Sunday, February 18 View Page
Kaz fired up the Gin distillery yesterday.
 
Wednesday, February 28 View Page
I've just put this on my diary to thank Wizzy for being a very dear friend. Four Presidents together. Ian, As a grower you have brought much to our growing community. Skills, advice, experience, and friendship. As a GPC president you brought vision, leadership, and inspiration, but YOU gave far more. TIME. YOU GAVE TIME. Time is the most precious resource in our lives. In our time poor world you gave the gift of time. And for that, we owe you. Volunteers don't get paid, not because they're worthless, but because they're priceless. Those who can, do. Those who can do more, VOLUNTEER. Volunteers do not necessarily have the time; they just have the heart. And you my friend have a WORLD RECORD heart. On behalf of the GPC committee and the grower community.... In the words of William Shakespeare > " I can no other answer make, but, Thanks, and Thanks."
 
Saturday, March 3 View Page
At last the real diary begins. Sinclair our compost supplier has sponsord buy giving us 20 pallets off mainly Coir compost. We generally call coir a compost but it is infact shreaded cocconut that has not been composted. For me the best thing about coir is that all of the vascular bundles remain intact like thousands of drinking straws.(vascular bundles are the parts of a plant that move, lets say, all of the stuff up around a plant) These straws realy help aerating the soil.
 
Saturday, March 3 View Page
We've got a small digger to start spreading the top layer around and we will till this in with no amendments. No amendments because we will add these with liquid feed through the year. A bigger Man toy will follow.
 
Saturday, March 3 View Page
The line up this year looks like it will be somewhere on the money. We also have plenty of great back ups from Andy and Ruben as we were looking for 2145 sibs.
 
Tuesday, March 20 View Page
This is one third of one of our patches soil and it is looking very good. Next year we're thinking that we would like to add perlite to really open up the soil. We just need more air in the soil full stop.
 
Tuesday, March 20 View Page
Our new lily variety Perfect Joy is going very well.
 
Tuesday, March 20 View Page
And so is Sunset Joy.
 
Saturday, March 24 View Page
Clive at XL is Kindly sponsoring with his Bio products again this year. Wherever you get your bio products make sure the boss is as passionate as Clive or Ron: that way you know your stuff will be packed full of fresh goodies.
 
Thursday, March 29 View Page
After a week of digging you can see the little straws of coir.
 
Saturday, March 31 View Page
We've decided to have yet another huge change, despite already spending five days double digging the whole patch. Stuart was thinking back to 30 years ago when we made our propagating soil for chrysanthemums out of a high percentage of perlite and how amazing the roots were. I then added that if we run out of poinsettia peat we bung the last couple of thousand into lily peat. These plants always struggle to grow as the peat is not open enough. So the long and short of it is that we are going to add around 20% perlite and re-dig the whole patch.
 
Saturday, March 31 View Page
We will be using a coarser perlite than this sample but it sort of gives an idea of our finished soil. Yes it's a lot of work but in our eyes this is offset by the excitement of a better patch.
 
Monday, April 2 View Page
I've been getting the Big Guns ready for a trip to Oman. The trip was organised a long time ago and were after the Holy grail, a 100lb plus GT. Just eight days to go.
 
Wednesday, April 4 View Page
Our hydrangeas are looking fantastic this year.
 
Wednesday, April 4 View Page
Some of the Mop head varieties are a little too big.
 
Wednesday, April 4 View Page
I made, fired up the grow chamber and put a few seeds in to make sure that everything is tickety boo. As Stuart is Salmon fishing in Scotland and I'm GT fishing in Oman our brother Rory will have the unenviable job of looking after our seeds.
 
Saturday, April 7 View Page
Our first soil sample of the year is looking very good but it may change a little once we add 24 pallets of perlite. As the phosphate will need bumping up over the growing season we will take the opportunity of adding some super phosphate as were about to dig the whole patch again.
 
Monday, April 9 View Page
Even if I say it myself, this is a great line up especially as we will only end up with six of these in the patch. The big dig starts tomorrow when Stuart adds the Perlite.
 
Tuesday, April 10 View Page
22 pallets of super coarse perlite arrived this morning and Stuart got back to work digging the whole patch again. In volume it works out at 5940 litres.
 
Tuesday, April 10 View Page
We now have the most amazing soil possible. It's light and full of air. It's very well drained but able to hold the moisture the plant needs. Our fat "N" chunky but delicate roots are going to love hunting through this stuff. It's well worth all of the extra hard work.
 
Saturday, April 21 View Page
I've just got back from a week in Oman fishing and it was "Brutal" casting and popping back these enormous lures all day in 95F plus.
 
Saturday, April 21 View Page
Finally on the last day Graham got his dream fish, a 103lb GT.
 
Saturday, April 21 View Page
It was just one of those weeks for me when you come off the water and say, "That's fishing". I did get some very nice other fish like this Bonito and on light tackle are fantastic fun.
 
Saturday, April 21 View Page
Probably my best fish for the week was this Queenie.
 
Saturday, April 21 View Page
The patch is now finished and soil is now perfect in our minds and very deep.
 
Saturday, April 21 View Page
I think we have 3 of the 4 2145's up and 1 of the 2624's. We have 13 plants for 12 spaces so were off and running.
 
Monday, April 23 View Page
It's a good job mum isn't in her house yet because we had a massive thunder storm on the weekend and a bolt of lightning blasted the end off.
 
Monday, April 23 View Page
All the good stuff is ready to go in.
 
Monday, April 23 View Page
We planted today but were not sure what will end up as our final plants yet. We will select in a week or so and pick the strongest plants.
 
Friday, May 4 View Page
It's taken 6 days t get all the drip tubes down but we do have them very close together as we don't like to lose root space with the "cone affect". We will still be watering by hand to mix things up a little.
 
Friday, May 4 View Page
I have a nice collection of primula auricula's and they look outstanding at this time of year.
 
Thursday, May 24 View Page
After some debate we have ended up with Two 2145's One 1875 Mendi One 2624 And two 2363's It's never nice to pull top seeds out but we just went with what we felt were the best plants. This is one of the 2145's
 
Thursday, May 24 View Page
And this is the 1875 Mendi. It's a 2145 sib and unfortunately there are not many seeds.
 
Sunday, June 3 View Page
The patch is looking fine at the moment and there is not a day that goes by when we don't talk about feeding. We've just started doing a soil sample every week for a few weeks to get everything right for launch day. You can clearly see some genetic differences between plant habit of same parents Here is a cracking looking 1875
 
Sunday, June 3 View Page
Next in line is a particularly skinny 2145
 
Sunday, June 3 View Page
And last in that line is a nice fat 2145.
 
Sunday, June 3 View Page
On the opposite side we have a very nice 2363
 
Sunday, June 3 View Page
A slightly skinnier 2363
 
Sunday, June 3 View Page
And a little lopsided 2624. There is no doubt that the longer you grow these animals the more critical you get of your own plants. Going back over your last years diary normally puts things in to perspective. So, with that in mind, we are a country mile better than last year
 
Tuesday, June 5 View Page
I would say if you ever wanted a photo of a perfect plant this has to be the one. Not to fat and not to thin. Not to green not to yellow. The 1875, just right.
 
Tuesday, June 5 View Page
I had a lovely morning down at the lake and I was delighted with this Bream just under 5lbs.
 
Tuesday, June 5 View Page
I put some floating dog biscuits in the margins next to me and this 25.5lb old girl graced my net.
 
Saturday, June 9 View Page
This is what were looking for.
 
Saturday, June 9 View Page
The plants are very happy at the moment but the soil samples show that we are low in nitrogen. This is partly down to the new soil being "SUPER" well drained and us trying to learn how to feed it. It is also down to the fact that we are trying to keep the nitrogen down so that hopefully our plants will live in better shape for longer. If you look back at last years diary you can see that the nitrogen in the soil was bang on but in the leaf it was very high. This is basically down to the fact that leaves are just pigs.
 
Saturday, June 9 View Page
My garden is looking awesome.
 
Saturday, June 9 View Page
And we are shipping a huge amount of gear at Pinetops.
 
Friday, June 22 View Page
Stuart did some plant moving today to get as big an S bend as he dared. This is one of the side vines that he removed. You can see two roots forming on the top of a root node.
 
Friday, June 22 View Page
And two out of the bottom, so were very happy about the pot system.
 
Friday, June 22 View Page
This the 2363A. At 11 days old I don't think you could ask for more. Long stem and a perfect shape. I have put a couple of photos and short videos on Instagram if anyone is interested.
 
Monday, July 2 View Page
The fuses are smouldering on most and a couple are on the way out of the blocks. First up could be a sensational cross, 1875 x 2145A (2145 x 2145 x 2145) Poll 20th June at 18ft. Love the shape of this one.
 
Monday, July 2 View Page
And the plant is the best one I have ever seen.
 
Monday, July 2 View Page
The 2145B is an okay plant but has always been a little thin-isssh. 2145B x 2363A pollinated 13th June at 17ft
 
Monday, July 2 View Page
The plant is in very good condition but the pumpkin could be a better shape.
 
Monday, July 2 View Page
Next up is the 2145A x 2624 pollinated 20th June at 19ft This is a back up in front of our selected one which decided to stop growing. In moving twice we did end up with a small mark on the top but it's a great shape.
 
Monday, July 2 View Page
The plant is awesome which is why were using it as a pollinator.
 
Monday, July 2 View Page
The 2363A x 2624 pollinated 11th June at 16ft is spectacular. Just day 21 she's 205lbs
 
Monday, July 2 View Page
It's another fantastic plant and why we're using her as another pollinator.
 
Monday, July 2 View Page
The 2363B x 2145A pollinated on the 24th June at 25 ft. Trying to find a sensible shape pumpkin and then get it pollinated has been difficult to say the least and I'm not going to hold my breath with this one,
 
Monday, July 2 View Page
Problem child.
 
Monday, July 2 View Page
Last up is the 2624 x 2145A pollinated 14th June at 19ft. A perfect looking pumpkin.
 
Monday, July 2 View Page
And the plant looks great. We're in much better shape than last year and very happy with the six engines (plants) We started giving the plant 50 gall of water three time a day on Sunday. Most will be underneath with some over the top to mix it up a little.
 
Wednesday, July 11 View Page
Were happy with the way that the patch is looking and it should look good because were averaging 5 hours a day at the moment. These were the measurements for last Monday. Our 2145B DAP26 is 266lbs
 
Wednesday, July 11 View Page
DAP 28 our 2363 is 475lbs. Don't ask me how a pumpkin two days older can be over 200lbs heavier but there you go,
 
Wednesday, July 11 View Page
Last for the week DAP26 is our 2624 with is 208lbs. All the plants look tremendous and very fresh.
 
Wednesday, July 11 View Page
After two and a half years in our bottom lake we decided to see how big they were. This gem was 23.5lbs
 
Wednesday, July 11 View Page
And this little darling was 11lbs.
 
Wednesday, July 11 View Page
I also went fishing with my buddy Derek on the river. Believe me, there is nothing more rewarding than stalking a fish like this clonking 5.5lb Chub under a tree with just a hook and a loaf of bread.
 
Wednesday, July 11 View Page
And there's always time to get a toothy critter.
 
Monday, July 16 View Page
I think on the whole I have a good trip for you around the patch today. First up is the 1875 and on DAP26 is 384lbs. She's a great shape and will have a little colour. All of our plants look superb at the moment and the photos don't really do them justice.
 
Monday, July 16 View Page
The 2145B DAP33 is 496lbs and averaged 33lbs a day for the last 7 days.
 
Monday, July 16 View Page
The 2145A DAP26 is 373lbs and a nice solid shape.
 
Monday, July 16 View Page
Our 2363A suddenly started to get a load of netting about 9 days ago which is way to early. Dap35 she's 748lbs and averaged 39lbs a day for the week. Although probably no record breaker she needs to be looked after like the rest. Stuart and I are both putting this down to genetics because the plant is a beast.
 
Monday, July 16 View Page
The other 2363 is a bit of a runt but is growing.....slowly. Last up is our 2624 and DAP32 is 480lbs and averaged 39lbs a day last week. All told were reasonably happy but time will tell.
 
Monday, July 16 View Page
And a photo.
 
Monday, July 23 View Page
What a week. The plants look fantastic and I'm giving the star of the week to the 1875. DAP 33 she's 762lbs up 378lbs and averaged 54lbs a day for the week. The next week should be the big one.
 
Monday, July 23 View Page
A little slower but still way in front of our 2252 DAP40 our 2145B is 755lbs up 259lbs and averaging 37lbs a day.
 
Monday, July 23 View Page
The 2145A is looking a little feisty. DAP 33 she's 694lbs up 321lbs for the week and averaging 46lbs a day.
 
Monday, July 23 View Page
The 2363A DAP 42 is 1051lbs up 303lbs for the week and averaging 43lbs a day which is more than we expected so happy days.
 
Monday, July 23 View Page
The 2624 is a cracking shape shifter and has done brilliantly this week. DAP 39 she's 819lbs up 339lbs for the week and averaging 48lbs a day. You may not believe me but we're more excited about our plants than the pumpkins at the moment. You all know my diary is always honest, good or bad and it's plants that make big pumpkins. Look after your plants and the pumpkins will look after themselves.
 
Wednesday, August 1 View Page
Again a little late with Mondays results but better late than never. All in all it's not been a bad week and the Star of the week is going to the 1875 which is SMOKING. DAP just 40 she's 1110lbs and averaged 50lbs a day for the last week. That's just 17lbs behind our best last year.
 
Wednesday, August 1 View Page
Dap 47 the 2145B is 947lbs up 192lbs for the week and averaging 27lbs a day.
 
Wednesday, August 1 View Page
We were hoping for a little more out of the 2145A this week but on DAP 40 she's going well at 986lbs and averaging 42lbs a day.
 
Wednesday, August 1 View Page
The 2363A has also done okay and DAP 49 is 1222 and averaged 24lbs a day last week. We might well be very happy with this shape shifter at the end of the year.
 
Wednesday, August 1 View Page
The 2624 had a fantastic week and DAP 46 is 1118lbs and averaging 43lbs a day. I love this shape shifter she's gorgeous.
 
Wednesday, August 8 View Page
Quite a good week in the patch this week with no major dramas. DAP 47 our 1875 is 1393 up 283lbs for the week and averaging 40lbs a day
 
Wednesday, August 8 View Page
The 2145B DAP 54 is 1085 up 138lbs for the week.
 
Wednesday, August 8 View Page
How different can seeds be from the same pumpkin? DAP47 the 2145A had a very good week and is 1284lbs up 298lbs and averaging 43lbs a day.
 
Wednesday, August 8 View Page
DAP 56 the 2363 also had a good week and is 1384lbs up 162lbs and averaging 23lbs a day.
 
Wednesday, August 8 View Page
Six days older than the 1875 and DAP 53 the 2624 is the same weight at 1393lbs. She put on 275lbs and averaged 39lbs a day last week. She is one awesome shape shifting pumpkin and gets star of the week.
 
Wednesday, August 8 View Page
Six days older than the 1875 and DAP 53 the 2624 is the same weight at 1393lbs. She put on 275lbs and averaged 39lbs a day last week. She is one awesome shape shifting pumpkin and gets star of the week.
 
Monday, August 13 View Page
All is well in the patch with just a couple of split stems that are under control. The star of the week is going to the 1875 which at DAP just 54 is 1670lbs up 277lbs for the week and averaging 40lbs a day. She is just 40lbs behind last year beast and the plant is in much better shape. The 2145B DAP 61 is 1248lbs up 163lbs and averaging 23lbs a day. The 2145B DAP 54 is 1496lbs up 212lbs and averaging 30lbs a day. The 2363A DAP 63 is 1515lbs up 131lbs and averaging 19lbs a day. Finaly our 2624 DAP 60 is 1592lbs up 199lbs and averaging 28lbs a day. It's always nice to have a nice steady bulk standard week without dramas.
 
Tuesday, August 21 View Page
We sort of know what to expect out of our pumpkins from now on but this is the time to force yourself to up your game. Getting 50 and 40lb a day weight gains is the impressive stuff but getting the last 10lb in a week is the important stuff. DAP 61 the 1875 is 1838lbs up 168lbs for the week. If we get this one over the line it will rock the scales and is our best chance of a pb. DAP 68 the 2145B is 1311lbs up 63lbs for the week. That's okay because everyone can't be a rock star. DAP 61 our2145A is 1611 up 115lbs for the week. DAP70 our 2363A shape shifter made us tape in a slightly different place and put on 155lbs this week to make her 1670lbs. She's my star of the week because she has been no trouble at all. Last up DAP 67 our 2624 is 1748lbs up 156lbs for the week and realistically will be our second 2624 to tape over 2000lbs.
 
Monday, August 27 View Page
I'll start this week with the 2145A in the photo. Although not exactly a "looker" DAP68 she's 1768lbs up 157lbs for the week. Our 1875 DAP68 is a whacking 1979lbs up 141lbs this week. This means that DAP just 69 plus 3hrs 47min she will tape exactly 2000lbs. DAP75 our 2145B is 1403lbs up 92lbs for the week. DAP 77 our 2363A is 1699lbs just up 29lbs for the week but I did say last week that she might have been taped slightly differently. Last up our 2624 DAP74 is 1848lbs up 100lbs for the week. I think with a good following wind we could end up with three pumpkins taping 2000lbs or more which would be really cool.
 
Tuesday, August 28 View Page
DAP 69 and taping 2000lbs. Very happy
 
Monday, September 10 View Page
First of all Stuart and I have a new way of drying out cracks and it works a treat. We have an airline from our air compressor folded over with a couple of holes and we just stuff it into the offending hole. Anyway back to the fun stuff. I was on holiday last week so you get two weeks for the price of one today. DAP 82 our 1875 is 2122lbs up 143lbs for the last 14 days. Her waist is a staggering 19ft 6inches which has to be some sort of record. DAP 89 our 2145B is 1468lbs. DAP 82 our 2145A is 1868lbs up 100lbs for the last 14 days. DAP 91 our 2363A is 1798lbs up 99lbs for the last 14 days. DAP 88 our 2624 is 1959 up 111lbs for the last 14 days. And guess what? Do you remember the 2363B AKA "The Runt". I taped her just for the hell of it today and she's 1204lbs
 
Monday, September 17 View Page
Apart from the Runt giving up the ghost we've had another very good week in the patch. DAP 89 our 1875 is 2204lbs up 82lbs for the week and averaged 12lbs a day. DAP 96 our 2145B is 1496lbs up 20lbs for the week DAP 89 our 2145A is 1928lbs up 60lbs for the week. DAP 98 our 2363A is 1818lbs up 20lbs for the week. DAP 95 our 2624 is 1989lbs up 40lbs for the week. Hopfully we will end up with three tapping over 2000lbs and a couple of good back ups.
 
Monday, October 1 View Page
We had a fantastic weekend in Belgium and Holland and our 2624 won the Dutch GPC weigh off at 2070lbs. I can't thank everyone enough for making us so welcome and the weigh off was seamless. Back at the patch things are going very well. Our 1875 has put on 61lbs in the last two weeks and now tapes 2269lbs. The 2145A has put on 51lbs in the last two weeks and is 1979lbs. She will be off to France this weekend. It's nice to have the other two in the patch as back ups (1800 and 1500 plus)
 
Sunday, October 7 View Page
I'm in love again with my first granddaughter. Martha was born early on the 4th October and Sarah and I are so excited. Our 2145A won the French weigh off at 1984lbs so just a little under chart.
 
Sunday, October 14 View Page
What an amazing day. So many personal bests, so many freinds and a new sponsor, Canna. Of coarse a massive thank you to Dave, Caroline, Edd, Clive, and Scot for all your help. And another massive thank you to all our growers and their families. To be honest it is just like one big family and one I'm very proud to be a member off. So what could be better than to weigh the third biggest pumpkin in the world with their company and my brother Stuart.
 
Saturday, October 20 View Page
Sarah and I took our last pumpkin to "Wooky Hole" where they held their first ever pumpkin weigh off. It's not a GPC weigh off but perhaps next year. Our pumpkin family has got bigger and is probably the most fitting location ever. Our 2363A grew us a very heavy 2034 Paton.
 
Saturday, October 20 View Page
This is such a cool photo and why I hope, Wooky Hole, will be a GPC show in the future. The BBC asked Stuart, "Why do you grow these beasts?" "It's the third biggest fruit ever to sit on this planet, how cools that?" Perfect answer. We've had a great year and are racking up some great pumpkins. 2433lbs 2269lbs 2157lbs 2070lbs 2048lbs 2034lbs
 
Monday, December 31 View Page
Happy New Year
 

 

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