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Click on a thumbnail picture below to see the full size version. 290 Entries.
Saturday, January 13 View Page
Hi & Welcome to my 2018 diary!!! Starting it out here with one that did not get included in my 2018 diary. 406.5 Clayton grown bottom down, on display at a restaurant. I finally got the seeds back from this one! The cross is 811.5 Schweigert x 1462 Gibson... Both parents orange. Last year I said I had a nice one coming up, and, well... I didn't have a picture of it to post. But here it is. The missing 3rd blossom down pumpkin of 2018! This is a picture of the picture the restaurant owner sent. The pumpkin looks like it's been well loved lots of kids and adults alike probably enjoyed seeing it and touching it. I'm happy that it was very well loved! (Before the inevitable journey to Pumpkin heaven.)
Saturday, January 13 View Page
How many seeds in the two jars??? My guess is 900. Anyone else want to take a guess? These all came from one pumpkin, one of my 1505.5 Haist plants from last year. I was pulling the seeds out of this one and I was thinking 'wow is this ever going to end? This one has a lot of seeds...' I will count them and post the result soon! I think it might be some kind of a record. (W/Every other pumpkin I could fit all its seeds in a single quart jar or less.)
Saturday, January 13 View Page
How to grow blossom down in 2018... The hose is the vine... the bucket is the 10 DAP pumpkin. By 10 DAP the pumpkin will bend down on its own, you don't have to worry about that part, you just have to worry about supporting the vine. But this can be done cheaply and easily. Hopefully the next few posts give you an idea of how it can be done, call me crazy this is how I will be doing all of mine in 2018!
Saturday, January 13 View Page
Yellow mark is the flower, vine is fully supported, tendrils will be left on because they will grab the hay and help hold the vine in place.
Saturday, January 13 View Page
Explaining the previous photo... A gap is created (a little carefully because they hay can scratch the pumpkin) for the pumpkin to hang down. The pumpkin can hang until it weighs about 15-25lbs then it should be supported so the vine does not kink or so it doesn't tear itself off the vine. The way this is set up even if I'm out of town for a week the pumpkin should come to rest on the four stacks horizontally positioned hay flakes below it at just the right size that requires support, even if I'm not there to fiddle with it... Prior to touchdown I will probably throw some ceyenne pepper into the hay just to make mice think twice about moving in, but I don't think it will be an issue I didn't have bite marks until late in fall and that was voles not mice, but still it's something every grower needs to be cautious about. But the four hay pad stacks under the pumpkin are temporary, and will be pulled out one flake at a time from each corner under the pumpkin to lower it as needed, so they would be unwise to make this their home...
Saturday, January 13 View Page
Last photo. The vine has grown out of the amended compost pile to the left. The pumpkin is set. Beneath the hay padding it a pallet, which is where the pumpkin will come to rest after all the hay is pulled out from under it. As you can see, this setup could accommodate a four ft six ft or even (world record) seven or eight ft diameter pumpkin. The hay is nice because a little bit can be removed at a time, it can be removed to provide the necessary space for the pumpkin to grow but the rest of the hay can remain in place to support the vine. Lastly, if the vine dips slightly down when the pumpkin is hanging and weighs 15-25 lbs this is great because this will give the shoulders of the pumpkin just enough room to grow upwards a little. I hope you have some ideas now on growing blossom down and are inspired to try to win the 2018 "Ben Franklin's BlossomDownsters(s) Competition"...! See the posts on the main board and follow the BlossomDownster(s) diary (which will be up soon) for updates on the competition.
Wednesday, January 17 View Page
870 seeds + 2 split seeds + 3 empty shells. Not quite as many as my guess of 900. But still... A lot. Had to add an extension my to my desk to count them all. (87 piles of ten... plus a few...! Wow!!!)
Wednesday, January 17 View Page
Apparently, I'm also trying to win the bees per flower contest?? (You name it... I'm gonna try to win it!)
Wednesday, January 17 View Page
Another pic this is what 875 seeds looks like. It was a long kin and a six-lober so it had an extra ovary more than a usual five-lober.
Wednesday, January 17 View Page
This is the pumpkin the seeds came out of... This is a mid season pic. & the plant was never more than 100 sq ft. It did very good for a small plant it reached 366 lbs Est. (1505.5 Haist x 1415 Haist.) The hay on it was to reduce the sun this was the hottest part of summer. Unfortunately it was just a little too heavy to drag out of the patch and it did not make it to its intended weigh off (Christianson's). I went to the weigh off without a pumpkin.
Wednesday, January 17 View Page
Free mycorrhizal colony. Last year the hay/straw mulch I added helped improve the tilth of my soil a lot. It's a tricky balance between nutrients and organics but I'm gonna keep trying to get it right. I doubt anyone else thinks exactly like me. I think these giant pumpkins really like the various mycorrhizae that are naturally associated with rotting straw...
Wednesday, January 17 View Page
U.R.O. Unidentified rotting object.
Wednesday, January 17 View Page
"Dead but not gone." 1103 Zaychkowski and mostly gone... 263 Est. Clayton (1103 Zaychkowsky x 1462 Gibson). I've been spelling Eddy's name wrong for awhile. Hopefully correct, now. Sorry, man! I just like how the pumpkin plant seems to have a skeleton. To me it looks like more than a dead plant, it looks like bones to me. I like how the flower has five lobes and petals and the vine has five sides, just like a human hand. And there are usually ten ribs in the pumpkin, which is not a common number in nature, its more of a humankind number. Even the uppermost weights of the pumpkin were, until very recently, comparable to the uppermost weights of a human. (Although it's certainly more admirable in a pumpkin.) I just feel a bizarre innate connection-in-design to this species... It probably doesn't help that my grandfather farmed maxima squash, probably for baby food or pie. I feel a connection to this plant, regardless of whether it's alive... or dead.
Friday, January 19 View Page
I was doing some calculations and realized that although i did not impress anyone with the results from my season last year. . . I did hit 3.33 lb. per sq. ft off many of my plants. It was a slow start and a short season and the nodal rooting was poor and the nutrients were not perfect . . . But I feel like hitting mid-3 lbs per sq ft shows it was not all bad. For me this was actually a good result! I do have ways I can improve though so I'm excited for 2018...
Wednesday, January 24 View Page
Just playing around with some floor sweepings. 3 plants in the 1 gal pot. One is much bigger... I like the idea of planting multiples in one pot to get an early start on selecting the best one.
Wednesday, January 24 View Page
Roots look good on this one. Having 3 in one pot adds some extra roots... which helps hold the soil together for transplanting.
Wednesday, January 24 View Page
Eliminate the others... and the remaining one is ready to go in the ground...
Wednesday, January 24 View Page
But I'm going to keep it inside for now. At first I was concerned about how leggy the seedlings were, but the way this one bent down would make it less trouble... it is ready to run. Too bad it's not May. I think this would be a healthy trouble free plant... I think it looks good. Not sure which seed it was unfortunately!
Wednesday, January 24 View Page
Same pic again. The plants in the background was an experiment to see if the young seedlings would get root rot from a rotting pumpkin stump. I looked at the roots and it appears they did. Kind of a no brainier, but sometimes you gotta just try and see, or you won't really know the answer.
Thursday, February 1 View Page
Trying something a little new. About 400 lbs of leaves added. Not expecting much nutrients from them. The other half will get rotting hay. The hay smelled like ammonia so I think it's got the right amount of nitrogen already, but I spread ammonium sulfate on the leaves. I want to add alfalfa also. I'm going to try to keep phosphorous low because I've ready how harmful it is to the mycorrhizae (so not going to use chicken manure.) Ammonium sulfate, dolomite lime, and alfalfa plus the hay and leaves, will get me close to where I want to be, I think.
Thursday, February 1 View Page
The key to orange pumpkins is orange mycorrhizal colonies. Lol... I know mushrooms are a different type of fungus than endo-mycorrhizae... I'm just joking around. Although, I do think there must be some cross compatibility in the types of substrates that help support healthy endo and ecto mycorrhizal activity. In plain English... I think straw/hay is a perfect amendment. I don't get why everyone else has so much trouble with weeds. I think less tilling must equal less weeds. Thick organics is a bad place for most seeds to try to get started. I have perennial weeds like blackberries and bindweed and grass, all of which can be (mostly) killed with round up. Other than that, I basically don't pull or hoe at all. The pumpkin plants just shade the annual weeds into submission (and they get severely eaten by bugs and slugs). Anyhow weeds is a big zero on my list of concerns. Overall, a thick layer of hay or leaves will reduce weeds far more than increase them, in my experience.
Thursday, February 1 View Page
Another pic of the mushrooms. Lots of rain lately... Much warmer than last year... (Buds on the apple tree are swelling!) What's under that rotting pumpkin? Lots of worms! I have found that worms just love rotting pumpkins and congregate abundantly under them. They are eating them fast. Speaking of the rotting pumpkins, it's one of my 2017 'should haves': I should have disposed of the rotting pumpkins better, I should have dug the potatoes earlier, I should have planted the garlic early... at the time that I should have been harvesting the potatoes.
Thursday, February 1 View Page
And speaking of the potatoes, I've pulled out half the potatoes from the 811.5 Schweigert patch. This 150 sq ft patch produced a 400 and 100 lb pumpkin, and about 100 lbs of potatoes. Maybe I should not give up on mixing potatoes and pumpkins... It's possible since potatoes like phosphorus they might steal the extra phosphorus out of the soil and make it more mycorrhizal-friendly? My soil was good this year... Not great, but it was good. I do think I would need richer soil for this two-crop system to really work. If I had a little bit richer soil... And spaced the potatoes (2 ft. apart...?) it might just work.
Thursday, February 1 View Page
Here is the same patch June 10th last year. (The potatoes were overly dense so it was not a perfect combo, they held the pumpkin vine up too high, but if they were less dense, plus if I added a little more nutrients later in the summer... Well... you get the idea... It could be a great success??) It's hard for any weeds grow here, obviously... lol.
Sunday, February 4 View Page
Calling all doctors... Here is the patient.
Sunday, February 4 View Page
Old leaf... Dark veins I think indicating a calcium shortage or low ph. Peaty potting mix seems to get more and more acidic over time, plus my water is 6.0 ph. But could this also be from too much water? If it's a magnesium deficiency, which I don't think it is, it's certainly different than the 'yellow rain-spots' type of magnesium deficiency seen with heavy rains in late spring.
Sunday, February 4 View Page
New leaf... I applied a solution of wood ash and Epsom salts and the new leaf got glossy almost overnight and doesn't look bad to me. The growth of this plant is slow to moderate, not great, not all that bad. I should have applied just one substance at a time. Now I don't know which had the positive effect. Was it the calcium? Was it the increased the ph? Interestingly, this plant shows that a 'miracle grow' type fertilizer is probably much better for plants outdoors on high calcium soils, because (I think) these types of soluble fertilizers simply don't contain adequate (or any...) calcium. They try to bypass the normal uptake of important minerals by chelation, rather than promoting the uptake of minerals via the natural manner, which is through healthy roots. However cheated fertilizers can work well and be cost effective. I find them useful when foliar feeding makes the most sense. I wonder if a very light foliar feeding of phosphorous heavy bloom/finisher type mix would be wise, if done so in a way that it doesn't even drip off the leaves, which would help to keep the soil level low, and therefore the soil ecosystem healthy.
Monday, March 12 View Page
I decided there was way too much organics on the soil considering the ground need to be ready in a month or two. Burning some off should help accelerate things and may keep things a bit healthier.
Monday, March 12 View Page
The hay and leaves both burned superficially... leaving about half the material behind because only the material on top was dry enough to burn. It was easy to control but the fact that the fire spread easily in mid March is a reminder to me that as I really should put serious work into maintaining fire breaks around my entire property.
Monday, March 12 View Page
Biochar from the burn... when straw or leaves burn cool and quick it leaves behind a lot of charcoal. Iíd guess where it burns fastest itís up to 90% charcoal left behind and just 10% ash. The ash wonít hurt either because the soil here is acidic and ash is mostly calcium and potassium and sweetens the soil. Generally, slash and burn agriculture on acidic soil might work well for one year but beyond that itís terribly unsustainable and hard on natural resources. Adding old hay or leaves to a garden is reasonably sustainable though right?... so maybe the use of Ďslash and burní here is different / not all bad...??? Again, I would not recommend adding uncomposted lawn clippings because this will feed legions of pests rather than the plants. I think browns like straw/old hay and dead leaves is safe even when not composted because there is not enough energy or nutrition in them to directly feed the worst garden invertebrates (bug pests).
Monday, March 12 View Page
Burned area. Black = charcoal. White= ash. Looks like itís mostly charcoal. I donít know if anyone else has tried this... but let me say this about it: there were no visible weeds before I burned this area but I feel really good about killing the invisible ones, too! (Am I crazy???) Crazy or not... I WILL be doing lots of things very different from everyone else... Iíll be taking non-conformity to the C. Maximus this year, hopefully with good results.
Tuesday, March 20 View Page
ďCultural practices, which help maintain mycorrhizal fungi, include proper crop rotation, minimum tillage, and use of cover crops. Detrimental practices include flooding, burning, chemical fertilizers (manure is preferable), liming, systemic fungicides, and fallow fields.Ē Well... maybe the fire thing wasnít all good. I suspect they mean more extreme fire like a forest fire, though. I wish I could test the currently available mycos products, each one on a different plant. But thatís the problem... each plant is so different it would be easy to come to the wrong conclusion. When I used no mycos last year, some plants were very healthy and some were not. So many variables, last year there were at least four I could identify: 1) moles are very bad 2) more fertilizer is sometimes good with maybe one exception 3) good genetics is good 4) more vine burying/more roots... would be... really good? (There were probably also a dozen factors I was completely unaware of.) This year, even if I was totally certain about which additional products would help, maybe there are natural (& cheaper) alternatives?? I like that Joel had his roots examined by a lab. But itís still frustrating that there is no certainty about many products and practices. The only real certainty is that... your average dirt will not grow a world record. With so much variability within a seed and between seeds... short of using cloned hybrids how can I test to see what helps and what does not?? I trust the guys who have really devoted themselves to growing because I think ďdevoted intuitionĒ can match or beat science but still Iím struggling to figure out how to learn more from my own experiences. I guess, since I do have a good microscope, Iíll be looking at a lot of roots this year!!! Last year I learned a lot about flowers... ps yes my ramblings would be excessive even for a 2k grower. Iíd like to try for a big one but it would take my entire garden... Again. Another sanity test. Iím pissed about not having a regular garden though so sanity will probably actually win.
Wednesday, March 21 View Page
Saw first daffodil and first dandelion yesterday... Kinda cold for the past month lots of snow in late February, finally some nice weather last week. Bees were getting pollen last week and yesterday also. I donít have any hives ... they all died. Some bees living in the walls of the chicken house and pump house survived.
Wednesday, March 21 View Page
Flat backed millipedes (after nearly an hour of searching the internet... lately my search results seem to be sorted by popularity rather than informational value.). These guys perished one of the burned areas. I guessó from the little information I foundó they are not big into eating plants or roots which is good because there are lots of them in the rotting straw. I have seen many other bugs. Iím interested in learning more... I was trying to figure out the effects of burning and it did seem to kill half the bugs. Since nothing eats charcoal (not even bacteria) and since it has interesting chemical filtering properties... I wonder what benefits there might be in having it in the soil. I wonder if a thin layer of black carbon would help the ground heat fast when itís sunny. I can imagine it might. Maybe there would be a nice synergy in solarizing if plastic is placed atop the black charcoal. But maybe since black radiates more at night ó so maybe not much net gain. Not wanting to add to atmospheric pollution. But... Iím not wanting to use chemical pesticides and deal with that kind of pollution... been there and done that & not going back!
Thursday, March 22 View Page
16 free plant markers
Thursday, March 22 View Page
162 days / 23 weeks until the Washington state fair... August 31 this year. I hope everyone makes it including Josiah. :) 186 Radach (1561 Reeb x 1912 Carter) and 1472.5 Sherwood (Anna) might find a home maybe somewhere in with the tomatoes! Anna is off to a great start... 48 tomatoes started and she would have started another 18 but I stole some spots in her tray :(
Thursday, March 22 View Page
Ok... got it!!!! My other Ďsave a dollarí project today was a disaster... we wonít go there please.
Monday, March 26 View Page
Rainy day & we r stuck inside with flu. So now the plan is 3 pumpkins for the fair. Itís doubtful but worth a try. Rosyís choice: 504 House.
Monday, March 26 View Page
More than a radicle... this is a Radachle! 186 Radach @ 96 hours (4 days) no pre soak. I am moving it into a gallon pot, which is heavily lined with burned straw and a clump of rye with garden dirt pressed down in the middle. I think the transfer went better because I compressed the seedling mix more than usual, in the small pot when I planted the seed. The seedling mix held together when transplanting to the bigger pot. Maybe this was just luck or maybe I compressed it the right amount when planting the seed... I know itís strange to not use potting mix for the transplant into the gallon pot, but Iíve had good results this way. Compressed rotted straw is a good potting medium because itís lightweight, holds together very well for transplanting, and has some nutrients. And it canít get waterlogged the way peat can. Iíve found it to be cheap and effective. Itís sustainable. Peat is like coal, thereís a lot of it and itís cheap, but... ultimately itís not renewable any more than coal. And: This method would probably give really amazing results if mycho was added. The past 4 days our germination chamber has got a mind of its own, the heat mat decided to stop working, & itís been between 90 and 60. (Welcome to the real world, babies!) Some of Annaís competition tomatoes came up today. No peppers yet...
Monday, March 26 View Page
There it is... Pic for the previous post! I made sure to rub it in w/Anna the fact that my kin appears to be ahead of her Sherwood at the moment. I trust she will beat me in the end so I have to make fun of hers while I still can. The 1472.5 Sherwood was a huge seed so I'll be surprised if the Radach stays ahead.
Saturday, March 31 View Page
Anna got 36 of 47 tomatoes 77% germ. Onions are doing well. (They were also started in the 90/65 degree temp range.) Cauliflower is too thin and tall. Sherwood is a stocky seedling. Itís looking like a cold spring no sun in the forecast. I will try for an early June pollination but... it will take three weeks of nice weather in April and May. Chance of that: about 20%. On the other hand I do have an extra LED light. Hmmm...
Thursday, April 5 View Page
Hi again from Glenoma. Interesting result from the pots in front... pot 1 sifted driveway dirt pot 2 garden dirt pot 3 sifted and fertilized driveway dirt. Two seeds in the third pot rotted. I think the fertilizer activated the growth of some bad fungus or bacteria. This was a surprise. It's clear to me that for soil that is not sterile adding fertilizer might throw off whatever natural biological equilibrium (resource neutrality?) the soil is at. This soil is probably very depleted so it does need fertilizer but for good results I think the fertilizer can be added at about one or two weeks when the first or second leaf starts growing out. I think this is a game changer in my understanding of how to grow these in my own dirt. Thanks again for the germ. box Cindy! I like it! It's working! Good results on peppers and tomatoes and lettuce and onions. And pumpkins too!
Sunday, April 8 View Page
The ďcountdown to divorceĒ begins... plants and grow lights top middle and bottom I literally have grow lights under the kitchen table. Also you can see Iím using a glass pan from the kitchen (but the extra plants fit perfectly perfectly in it.). One of the things I love about Hollandís videos is when he uses kitchen stuff (like their oven). Makes me smile. Anyhow it turns out I did not get any tomatoes planted yesterday or today. I did fix the tail on my daughterís pink monkey! Maybe tomorrow for the tomatoes. Should have tilled when Cindy tilled!!! And Radachís Daletas looks great! And... Ryan tilled his, too. (How do they do it??) ...I canít keep up! Oh well... as long as I beat Ron B. for second-to-last place... Iíll be happy.
Monday, April 9 View Page
Nice day everything out. The 186 Radach looks the best so far. Just one more leaf... and some nice weather. Itís only 18 days old. Speaking of old: one plant seems like the perfect number!
Tuesday, April 10 View Page
So... best kin is at exactly 2 1/2 weeks since the dry seed went in the dirt and now it has two leaves... Iím thinking 2 1/2 to 3 weeks might be just right for an AG pumpkin in a gallon sized pot if I want the roots to hold the soil and straw medium together when transplanting. Or maybe whenever the second leaf exceeds the size of the first leaf? I could probably just barely get the 186 in the ground right now without damage to the rootball... so I guess right now would be optimal for the best root development. Iím excited about this plant. Annaís 1472.5 is on the right.
Tuesday, April 10 View Page
Better picture.
Tuesday, April 10 View Page
186 Radach goes in! It should have gone in yesterday a few roots went all the way across the bottom and had inched up the other side. Yesterday would have been best. Trying clear plastic on the soil for extra heating of the soil. I wonder how long will it take to outgrow this 4í enclosure.
Wednesday, April 11 View Page
Looks like more than 100 Watts of alien energy here. 101 at least... I donít know what that one extra watt in the picture is... Creepy things never show up in photos. About 47 degrees at three in the morning feels like about about 39 and thermometer confirms itís 39. Good guess. My prize is: I get to feel tired tomorrow.
Wednesday, April 11 View Page
Clarificationó 47 degrees F inside the mother ship. 39 degrees F outside. Not a huge difference but... sufficient.
Sunday, April 15 View Page
Not what you usually see on this site... Worldís smallest pumpkin? Or thatís the worlds largest coke can lol. It has about 25 seeds that look viable...
Sunday, April 15 View Page
I was surprised it had any seeds at all. Also it did not rot even though it was sealed in a humid jar at room temperature. But... itís little thin on the blossom end...
Sunday, April 15 View Page
Not sure exactly, but it feels like weíve had three hours of sun in the past four days. I planted the 186 Radach directly into this most miserable stretch of weather. Iíve already had a mole appear out of nowhere so I set out 10 traps. I added a lot of granular mole repellant to the planting hole. (This may have saved it from a direct hit...) I wonít be able to tell if the plant is still healthy until the little greenhouse gets up to 80 degrees, but itís still growing slowly and still ahead of Annaís plant which has been indoors (but not at 80 degrees either...) I have the lights on it 24 hrs a day. I added a 5000k LED light bulb only nine watts though lol it might raise the temperature one degree at most. Temp has been 42-60 inside the cover... about five degrees above outside temps. That should spike a lot higher when the sun finally comes out. I put a 500 watt light in which quickly boosted the temp to 100 degrees and damaged the new leaf a little. I put my hand in front and thought ďthatís not too hotĒ but I didnít realize it gets hotter and hotter and radiates more heat after the fixture heats up. So I averted a lot of damage/a complete loss by checking back an hour later. Then, feeling timid, I decided to put in the woefully inadequate 9 watt bulb instead! (109 watts totaló around 200 would probably be better but oh well.). And I have a 300 watt LED that could go in... but soon the sun will come back and everything will sort out.
Sunday, April 15 View Page
Not sure exactly, but it feels like weíve had three hours of sun in the past four days. I planted the 186 Radach directly into this most miserable stretch of weather. Iíve already had a mole appear out of nowhere so I set out 10 traps. I added a lot of granular mole repellant to the planting hole. (This may have saved it from a direct hit...) I wonít be able to tell if the plant is still healthy until the little greenhouse gets up to 80 degrees, but itís still growing slowly and still ahead of Annaís plant which has been indoors (but not at 80 degrees either...) I have the lights on it 24 hrs a day. I added a 5000k LED light bulb only nine watts though lol it might raise the temperature one degree at most. Temp has been 42-60 inside the cover... about five degrees above outside temps. That should spike a lot higher when the sun finally comes out. I put a 500 watt light in which quickly boosted the temp to 100 degrees and damaged the new leaf a little. I put my hand in front and thought ďthatís not too hotĒ but I didnít realize it gets hotter and hotter and radiates more heat after the fixture heats up. So I averted a lot of damage/a complete loss by checking back an hour later. Then, feeling timid, I decided to put in the woefully inadequate 9 watt bulb instead! (109 watts totaló around 200 would probably be better but oh well.). And I have a 300 watt LED that could go in... but soon the sun will come back and everything will sort out.
Monday, April 16 View Page
2018 List of Problems... already in the past week... Mole Calcium deficiency Leaf fungus/blight Bindweed coming up Treated the blight with chlorothalonil. Moved the 300 watt LED in which boosted the temps by 10 degrees. Trying to dry things out to get transpiration up to get over the calcium issue. The 186 may have sustained mole damage. I donít have a backup plant so... I guess not planting a backup was a mistake? Iím not sure if tilling earlier would have been a mistake. The amount of rain recently... could have caused over-saturation and leaching. Maybe the best thing would have been to have tilled at the first of the month and then to have covered the whole patch with a plastic sheet. But that would have chopped up the bindweed and delayed the growth of the bindweed. Instead, maybe I can kill most of it with glyphosate... and then till. I might not till the whole garden. I think I will just till the pathways. Maybe I will do a till/no-till comparison.
Tuesday, April 17 View Page
Modern agriculture: god or bad? These strawberries went with my daughter to school. Then they came home. Then they sat in a sandwich bag at room temperature for three days. Then they sat in the fridge for a week. The one in the middle even has a bite out of it. And here they look almost as good as new. There is no rot where the bite mark is. Impressive... now if only California would do a study to see if they cause cancer... Theyíd have to put that silly label on them.. know the one Iím talking about? :) These must be GMO... But ignorance is bliss.
Tuesday, April 17 View Page
Ok no more gross strawberries yeah that bite mark looks kinda rotten but itís actually just scabbed its totally dry no slime at all. Hmm... maybe when I run out of Daconil I can just blend up some California strawberries and use the purťe to treat vine rot or pumpkin rot or blight. Ok, never mind. You all have no sense of humor. Pumpkin update: 60 and ďsunnyĒ inside the plastic 42 and dark outside... it has grown only one leaf in the past week. I can sense the competition catching up ;)
Thursday, April 19 View Page
Correction: the size pot I use is 1/2 gallon not 1 gallon. I try to not give out blatantly bad info!! Sorry. I finally realized the dirt from a five gallon bucket would fill ten of these pots and confirmed it by pouring water from the gallon jug into the plastic bag into one of the pots I use. I do like the 1/2 gallon size and certainly would not go with anything smaller. If theyíre set out any smaller a slug can eat most of the plant overnight but at the 1/2 gallon size the slugs start to leave them alone. Iím curious about the larger grow bags some folks use (like Mr. Muddy Waters...!) I donít know how these go in the ground with no root damage (or maybe a little root damage doesnít slow the plant down... Its certainly possible that a small amount of damage would have almost no negative effect on a healthy plant in a good environment.). Iím happy with the half gallon pots just didnít realize they are not full gallon size! Plants on left is garden soil plants on right is the sifted driveway dirt. I think every grower can do an easy free test of their soil by comparing their garden soil to their potting mix or to any other soil in a trial like this one. The results may range from frustrating to surprising.
Thursday, April 19 View Page
Some other photos for my fellow pumpkin addicts. I pulled these weaker plants out and was surprised by the variation in roots. It could be genetic. Presumably the plant on the right would have wilted on a sunny day... whereas the other might have been prepared for adversity. But on top they looked very similar.
Thursday, April 19 View Page
Here thereís a row of duds (or I forgot to plant the seeds) but ignoring that one row... see the horrible (old disease-infected and highly acidic?) potting mix on the left? And the new sterile black gold seedling mix on the right? I needed a small amount of dirt to complete the tray so thatís why I added the dirt that I suspected was no good... (again, it grew the unhealthy plants in the left two columns).
Thursday, April 19 View Page
This is far worse. I was trying to start some pumpkin plants for the club sale. I mixed the dirt and by accident I added a lot of natural lawn fertilizer (I though it was a bag of potting soil). They were good seeds and the seeds did try to sprout but they rotted instantly. 0 of 72. I donít know how it happens exactly but pathogens plus fertilizer can be just horrible. Itís upsetting. They might have have survived a nuclear blast better.
Thursday, April 19 View Page
Radach took a beating this week. Iím pretty sure the main problem is severe root damage. I caught the mole. I added these backup plants in case theyíre needed and to have a comparison going forward... these are unknown seeds that were not meant to become competition plants but if they rock and the 186 doesnít well then thatís the way it is! I should have planted a lot more plants so I could have hit the best window of opportunity. (Aka... right now? Good forecast... finally.) Btw these got some goodies added... so desperate to try anything to get them going so thereís a little Wallace and Holland magic hopefully at work soon. And maybe some calcium nitrate soon. Maybe this early effort will be a total bust... canít say I didnít try though.
Thursday, April 19 View Page
Seeds from the Ďworlds smallest pumpkiní germinating well (...100%?!?). I only planted half of them. I figure density will help me get some more rediculously small pumpkins. Sad that Iím actually going for small (& not orange!!!) pumpkins isnít it but sometimes you gotta be happy with whatever...
Thursday, April 19 View Page
1442.5 Hoomis 1724 Schmidt and 3 of my best from 2017... These went in the dirt yesterday. Excited about these! Canít wait to see how many come up!
Thursday, April 19 View Page
Forgot one... Closest pot was Fossís Red Kuri x AG from the seed exchange... my youngest wanted a red pumpkin and she doesnít care if itís exceedingly big!
Friday, April 20 View Page
Fried my plant?!? I was did some late night research and another likely cause of this plantís misery is light-burn. The light I was using was supposed to be twice as far away. With LEDís light burn is a real thing, I guess. The light I was using was a 900 watt equivalent and it was only about 18Ē away from the center of the plant and I was running it 24 hours a day. This would cause the yellow color. I do not believe there is a nitrogen deficiency or iron deficiency because the leaves have the rumpled appearance of excess nitrogen and my soil has tested high in iron. AnyhowóI think itís possible the nitrogen is adequate and that the leaves got this blanched-yellow appearance from the excess light. Anyhow, this plant has multiple issues, making it a tricky one to diagnose! It could still just be some other kind of plant shock. But 1st things 1st: No more 900 watt LED! Next year: more heat, less light, and start with a bigger plant in better prepared ground. A plan for next year: build a 4ft x 4ft box with 4ft x 2ft foil coated styrofoam sides and a double layer of plastic for the top... prop it up on sunny days and drop it down at night. Probably could get something like this up to 70 degrees with one (not 900 watt!!!) lightbulb.
Saturday, April 21 View Page
Annaís tomatoes. Planted on March 22nd. Moved into the 1/2 gallon size pots on April 21st. She is having a good year so far except when I try to help her. Whatís the opposite of the Midas touch? Thatís what Iíve got. I cracked a rib coughing. Which is just great... how am I supposed to rototill or broadfork? In moderate pain I guess! Was thinking about calling it quits today. Pulled my Radach plant. It wilted in the sun today and I just figured it was worth more dead than alive. I wanted to examine the roots. Turns out itís roots were not healthy. They were basically all dead or damaged except for some new ones emerging from the stem near the soil surface. I could have replanted it and it might have survived. I did not have any H2O2 on hand though to treat the root rot. Lack of oxygen was probably a big part of the problem. 1724 Schmidtís are alive 3/3 coming up. 1442.5 Hoomis is 0/4. One tried to grow but rotted. I am making all the same mistakes Iíve made in the past. I planted them into garden dirt, which works great for solid seeds from the previous year. I didnít have any more seedling mix on hand, and I figured if I planted four (cracked) seeds in loose garden soil at least one would come up. The soil funguses can kill these older and/or damaged seeds quickly. The one that sprouted would have made it in sterile soil. Wasting a good seed is no fun at all. The Schmidt seeds I planted were all damaged also (cracked from getting rolled in the mail) but all three are coming up... so I guess age is a factor more than damage since theyíre younger. Or maybe the amount of damage matters. Overall, the Hoomis seeds were more damaged than the Schmidt seeds, and five years older. It was a mistake to put any of the cracked Hoomis seeds in unsterile soil. Have I done ANYTHING right this year...? Uh, no...
Saturday, April 21 View Page
The Red Kuri x AG are up a day ahead of the others.
Sunday, April 22 View Page
1724 Schmit... this has to be a great seed. 2106 papa + 18% Hvy momma = 2485 if you got a lot lucky seed containing both the traits for size and % hvy.
Sunday, April 22 View Page
Anna may be too busy to grow one herself this year. I planted a backup for her in case her 1472.5 doesnít make it. She may decide not to only do tomatoes. Iím happy to help her. Itís not like I do everything myself... who was looking for my H202 today;). She wants to be like Cindy. Well, hmm... our family membership to the PGVG did include a 2002 Tobeck. I forget if we already committed our 2002 Tobeck to the Blossom-Downsters competition.
Monday, April 23 View Page
Not sure if Iíll do a square 12.2474ftx12.2472ft (3.733 meters x 3.733 meters) or a rectangle 6ft x 25 ft for the 150 sq ft competition. For the square: itís 1/32 of an inch shy of 12 ft 3 in x 12 ft 3 in. I suppose 12 x 12.5 would work, also.
Monday, April 23 View Page
1916 Barron and 2002 Tobeck and 1812.5 Sherwood... sorry we could not put together a better prize pool with a 2145 or 2624.6 in it. Maybe next year! Grow one blossom-down this year because maybe weíll replace the Benjamin with a bitcoin! (Yeah right... lol) but who knows... If you donít give it a try this year you wonít be ready for next year!!!
Monday, April 23 View Page
Wrong diary post there, oops;). But while Iím on the subject of blossom down growing... yes I WILL be growing blossom-down this year. And yes I have no shame: I will be entering the blossom-down competition (even though Iím running it) because I think it will be fun. Itís 150 sq ft compatible! Hopefully I win both:).
Wednesday, April 25 View Page
Trying to figure out the setup for some 150 sq ft plants. Each square represents 3 ft x 3 ft. Alternatively, I could maybe run a straight 6x 25 patch (and use soaker hoses to water.) It seems unlikely Iíll improve much over last year if I donít get my act together. I donít think Iím going to win so I think instead of trying to win Iím gonna just have fun instead.
Wednesday, April 25 View Page
Who wants to grow awesomely!?
Wednesday, April 25 View Page
No till fail? I think no-till might work better in places that freeze hard or dry out to an extreme. I think Iíve got blight spores and root disease from last year and there is just not a harsh natural cycle to break the disease here. Weather has been great so these look ok but Iím seeing signs of disease... Itís awful early for that! I think I could do no-till... if I rotated crops. But if I donít rotate... then I guess no-till just means more herbicides and pesticides and fungicides?! That just makes money for the farm-chemical industry... I wouldnít be surprised if they LOVE no-till agriculture. 2 words: Rotation & solarization.
Thursday, April 26 View Page
Only got 100 frost free days last year... but starting out right this year. 80 and humid today. The weather went from too bad to too good.
Thursday, April 26 View Page
Working on the 150 patches. Some funky shapes using 6x6 ft cedar fencing and 3x3 ft cedar fencing. I got four beds laid out. Going to be adding potatoes again this year. ...Some things never change.
Thursday, April 26 View Page
1639.5 Sherwood x 2 Pollinator was orange and hvy. 186/187 Radach x 3 Try again. Germination chamber is full now. No word from the 1297 Holland yet. Next in line some Gerry seeds. And another 1442.5 Hoomis. (Try again...) I wanted to plant some older seeds to compare so maybe Iíll see if any of those older seeds germinate but Iím pretty much maxed at six plants. The older seeds and the 1195 Kaminski and 1774.5 Carter might be the lineup for next year. 186 Radach 343 Gerry 406.5 Clayton 1724 Schmit 1639.5 Sherwood 1442.5 Hoomis Six plants and only four spots... Iíll make two more I guess. All these plants will be 150 square foot plants.
Thursday, April 26 View Page
Ok well I think these plants came from one seed line normal ones got potted up to half gallon size (on right). The one next to this never had an apical bud beyond the first leaves. The others found weak side shoots to continue growing but anyhow Anna has nearly 30 good plants so these will probably get composted or left to natureís whim somewhere. 90 degrees here today btw.
Sunday, April 29 View Page
Iím not going to try to overthink this one but it sounds fun. My bet is on another big west coast one but I donít know who it will be... Maybe Urena?! Had to cut some guys from the team. Donít let me down Patons :)
Sunday, April 29 View Page
Re Previous pic... See Qtips diary. Some thoughts: I find the same thing every time I compost grass clippings... hottest clippings turn brown and are presumably rendered sterile they are 150 degrees or so. Then there is a zone of fungal growth which can appear in less than 24 hours and sometimes becomes so white it looks like ash. Finally on the outside is a zone where no decomposition has occurred and the clippings are the same as when they first went in. The heated brown clippings can make a tea which is almost black. Itís hard to get many nutrients out of the other portions because the fungus has absorbed them or they are still locked in the grass.
Sunday, April 29 View Page
One of the women in charge. 504 House. Good luck Rosalie.
Sunday, April 29 View Page
Someone is out of shape or getting old. But I'm stronger than the boss. The stump is out and I'm still alive... Daddy wins... lol. It did start to take the skin off my hands. I think we can get a 300 lber... maybe more if she waters it and fertilizes it. If she loses interest well-- that's ok too... We'll see.
Monday, April 30 View Page
Plant on the left is about a month old. Plant on right is a few days older and yet lagging a little behind... Vine on left is about 10-12Ē. It will need support/to be planted within a few days. The pot on the right is a one gallon pot (I think... But pot sizes are like lumber. They are sometimes nominal not real dimensional apparently.). Its 7 1/2 inches x 8 1/2 tall. Iím calling it one gallon. The middle pot is 6Ē or so x 7Ē tall. Iím calling it 1/2 gallon. The last is 8 1/2 or 9 x 8 1/2. Iím going to call it 2 gallons. I think the roots in the one gallon pot will be sufficiently developed to get it in the ground without trouble. The two gallon pot could work also...If it had two more plants in it. Otherwise, I donít think the two gallon size would transplant well. Theyíre easy to handle at the two leaf stage in 1/2 gallon pots but I like the extra size weíre getting without doing much more work when we start early and pot up one more time to the one gallon size. The larger gallon size looks like itís a good value in terms of getting another 1-2 week head start without much more effort. Lastly, in some situations it could be an advantage to grow 3 plants in a 2 gallon pot, for selection purposes. The extra two plants would provide more roots to hold the soil together until the final selection.
Monday, April 30 View Page
Correction: pot on the LEFT is one gallon... I think. Pot on the right is 2 gal. Pot in the middle is 1/2 gal... although Iím sure Iíve seen plants in these advertised as one gallon, and the one gallon as 1 1/2 gallons... etc. Anyhow since Iím on here let me post a real topic of discussion: Why is the soil along the fences and around the trees so loose and everywhere else itís compacted? 1) There were cattle here and the animals did not step in those areas 2) The people here including myself never stepped on those areas 3) Those areas never got tilled... ever... so the soil particles never had the opportunity to form any sort of dense aggregate. 4) No one spread cheap nitrogen fertilizer on those areas or left them barren, so there is no calcium deficiency, but there is a calcium deficiency elsewhere... Or there was less irrigation with acidic water which might also leach calcium out... but wouldnít it leach magnesium first? 5) These areas are simply never exposed directly to pounding by heavy rain/ there is always leaves or brush or some obstruction that deflects the impact of the rain. I donít know which of these things is the cause. But it is clear that something HAS damaged the native soil. Itís very noticeable when rototilling. Its so noticeable that Iím astounded. I know heavy rain (month after month unless weíre lucky) can eventually cause the soil to set up hard. But I also suspect an excess magnesium or depleted calcium. The native soil is so light and fluffy its unlike any soil Iíve ever seen. (Other than lightly damp seedling mix.). But then in the disturbed/ cultivated areas the soil has completely changed. Itís definitely lost its lighness and Iíve got work to do to keep it from behaving like clay even though itís loam. I hope I figure it out.
Monday, April 30 View Page
Plant on the left is about a month old. Plant on right is a few days older and yet lagging a little behind... Vine on left is about 10-12Ē. It will need support/to be planted within a few days. The pot on the right is a one gallon pot (I think... But pot sizes are like lumber. They are sometimes nominal not real dimensional apparently.). Its 7 1/2 inches x 8 1/2 tall. Iím calling it one gallon. The middle pot is 6Ē or so x 7Ē tall. Iím calling it 1/2 gallon. The last is 8 1/2 or 9 x 8 1/2. Iím going to call it 2 gallons. I think the roots in the one gallon pot will be sufficiently developed to get it in the ground without trouble. The two gallon pot could work also...If it had two more plants in it. Otherwise, I donít think the two gallon size would transplant well. Theyíre easy to handle at the two leaf stage in 1/2 gallon pots but I like the extra size weíre getting without doing much more work when we start early and pot up one more time to the one gallon size. The larger gallon size looks like itís a good value in terms of getting another 1-2 week head start without much more effort. Lastly, in some situations it could be an advantage to grow 3 plants in a 2 gallon pot, for selection purposes. The extra two plants would provide more roots to hold the soil together until the final selection.
Tuesday, May 1 View Page
"Build it and they will grow!" That's what the voices in my head told me... They told me to use about $2 worth of materials I already had on hand... so I thought oh what the heck... nothing bad could happen. I gotta keep up with Cindy --SOMEHOW-- ??? To be continued...
Tuesday, May 1 View Page
Double walled plastic and the plastic acts as a hinge between the sections... No hardware necessary. 3" x 6' cedar fencing about 10 cents if you live near the mill... Using pneumatic staples on the ends of each triangular frame and a staple hammer to secure the plastic on both sides... which is very easy because cedar is so soft. Nothing bad so far...
Tuesday, May 1 View Page
More photos. Teepee cover. Plants which had outgrown the previous ďspaceship cover.Ē Well that was a nifty upgrade to my patch. Thanks voices in my head!! ďMaybe you should put the grow light in...Ē Uh... should I? Ok!
Tuesday, May 1 View Page
Oh no... The voices... They were not trying to help. Looks like I've been duped... Into building a portal for illuminati aliens. I was really hoping to stay ahead of Cindy this year! Lol... Excuses, excuses... its just not fair. I mean, I'm pretty sure I caught them diverting energy from my pumpkins a few weeks ago in the in the "spaceship" photo. And now this?!? Well, I'm writing this all down for Joe Ailts... because I think this CLEARLY SHOWS that illuminati aliens are a major pest when it comes to growing giant pumpkins. That's it for today. Gotta go set some mole traps... And if anyone knows how to catch these kind of aliens please email me.
Friday, May 4 View Page
Only thing really noteworthy here is that the 1297 Holland is huge... something special here maybe? 2363 is the father... first row, 4th pot (single plant). 1442.5 Hoomis in the first pot in the second row... barely alive. I also started an 1195 Kaminski. If itís a good plant it will be my first choice as a pollinator for everything else this year... Itís got orange and heavy 1495 genes in it and itís been selfed 2 generations... and it grew to 1696 which is good for a pure 1495 lineage. So itís like the 1625 Gantner. Only two 1625.5 Gantnerís have gotten bigger than that... and the 1625.5 has been grown much, much more. If it sprouts and looks good Iíll use the 1774.5 Carter to pollinate it which is the 1756xself (had good shape) as a pollinator in the hopes of obtaining an ďorange McMullenĒ...
Saturday, May 5 View Page
11/11 on Eric Gerry seeds... 343 Gerry is awesome and the others are crossed to this one, so gonna try to get the genetics (all recessive 4 warts?) I will try for selfed 200 lbers off these plants then for warts I will have to grow them again. http://www.bigpumpkins.com/Diary/DiaryViewOne.asp?eid=287108 Nice guy & good seeds!
Saturday, May 5 View Page
Wow! These things love the Illuminati portal. I may never be a top grower but I feel a lot of pride and accomplishment here. Just the day before yesterday they had some blotches on the leaves. I gave them a light dose of Epsom and then calcium nitrate or ammonium sulfate. I forget which!!! I burned some other plants a little... but these look great. I guess my record keeping needs to improve... a lot! Of course, this is an almost totally artificial environment but Iím still proud. A big improvement over last year. And... I already know I can do better next year.
Saturday, May 5 View Page
This was a few days ago. I propped it open to get direct morning sun. Later in the afternoon the wind blew it over. The plants were brushed as it fell back but they were unharmed. I'm thinking stakes could be used to hold the corners down or the plastic could be lengthened along the bottom edges and covered with dirt. My daughter wants one for her plant. I will probably help her make one and I'll make a couple more and when the pumpkins grow out of them I can use them for some peppers or tomatoes maybe...
Sunday, May 6 View Page
The ground here won't be 40 degrees anymore... The other way of removing a stump. Heating cables???? Not any more this is way more fun. Tell your neighbors you're roasting a pig Hawaiian style & they will think you are less crazy. Maybe.
Sunday, May 6 View Page
This was a little tricky but it worked. I successfully hit the bindweed a week before the potatoes came up. There's only a 1-2 week window of opportunity for this. I'm not terribly concerned about glyphosate. I don't trust Monsanto but I don't trust any of the articles I've read against it either. The worst problem with glyphosate seems to be that our wheat is sprayed with glyphosate so farmers can hit a specific harvest window. A dead plant equals dry wheat. There is a problem with this however, which is that immature wheat is not as healthy as naturally matured wheat. Like an unripe nut or tomato... you don't really want to eat immature wheat it's just not good for you. Any study of glyphosate itself would have to take this into account, which would be hard to do. I think glyphosate works so well it's an existential threat to natural farming, and that's why it's "scary". What if it's harmless? Its hard to know the facts but it seems like the only people attacking glyphosate are the people who are in direct competition with it. No one who lacks an ulterior motive seems to be attacking it. I am open to being informed maybe I'm really being a fool to use this chemical... If you are certain you know something bad about it... Let me know!
Sunday, May 6 View Page
Second year I've saved a seed with rotting cotyledons by removing all of the seed coat, then planting in the "already sprouted" position. For an older, or damaged seed, I think this can really make a difference, because any rot stops when exposed to dry air and sunlight. I think this 1442.5 will make it. 1442.5 is a 20% heavy 1161 Rodonis x 1623.5 Wallace, and I think it's recessive for very good color. I just like the cross, the genetics, and the possibility it will throw a beauty. The 1195 is up so I'm putting in a 1774.5 Carter. Current 150 sq ft and production plant lineup: Gerry x 11 186 Radach x 3 366 Est. Clayton x 2 406.5 Clayton 1195 Kaminski 1297 Holland 1442.5 Hoomis 1639.5 Sherwood x 2 1724 Schmit x 2 1774.5 Carter Ps I think it was the ammonium sulfate which did not burn and worked well for the blotchy leaves and the calcium nitrate was what burned the leaves.
Monday, May 7 View Page
Rosieís pumpkin looked dead today it was wilted so badly. While she was at school I ran the hose on it for two hours at a slow rate. Hopefully during the summer break she will be doing all the care. What an amazing recovery!
Monday, May 7 View Page
Baby kin on her 504 House plant!!!
Wednesday, May 9 View Page
150 square ft plant for 2018... 406.5 Clayton (811.5 Schweigert 2015 x 1462 Gibson 2007) vs 300 est. Clayton (1505.5 Haist 2012 Ďwhiteí x 1462 Gibson 2007). If these fail the backups will be the 1442.5 Hoomis or a 203 est. Clayton. I had trouble deciding what to plant. I decided growing my own would be the most fun, even though others might have been more competitive. Not doing well Iím 2 days behind last years planting date.
Wednesday, May 9 View Page
Patch layout from backside. There are three 6x6 squares and four 3x3 squares for a total of 144 sq ft. Just letting the extra six square feet get absorbed into any small gaps or misalignments. Also I might have a minuscule vertical advantage as Iím getting the vine to grow over the pumpkin, so that it will end up blossom-down. I donít need to worry about small advantages though. The real story is: I didnít till this patch fully and itís half planted with potatoes already. I guess what Iím saying is... itís a disaster. I will never hit 1000 with this patch. Iíll try for 600-800.
Wednesday, May 9 View Page
From the front/other side.
Wednesday, May 9 View Page
The seeds from the 203 Est Clayton have sproute (with help & lower left in the pic) these were was from a pumpkin harvested at 32 DAP. The pumpkin sat in the shade for another four weeks to help the seeds mature. A little over half the seeds are good, but weak. They seem to have less energy than normal seeds. I expect they will not store for many years like a normal seed since they are already low on energy. If I had removed the seeds at 32 DAP maybe none would have been mature enough to sprout like this, but even these required assistance. Leaving them in the pumpkin as long as possible probably helped???
Friday, May 11 View Page
I see some growers getting much better results, faster growth rates. I didnít bring my A game to my latest couple rounds of plants. Some sat here for a week with almost no growth. The weather wasnít all that bad. Now the weather has turned to crap so I put a lamp on them. A bunch got leaf burn on the smallest new 1Ē leaves a week ago and Iím still unsure why. Itís just discouraging that I put so much effort into this and three weeks later Iím an oaf riding a tricycle in the Tour de France! Losing really sucks. Getting smoked right out of the gate sucks.
Friday, May 11 View Page
Oh boy. I sure donít know much! Never knew we were strangely similar to plants... heme is part of hemoglobin and look how similar it is to chlorophyll. Plants create energy and the same molecule they create energy with helps us burn that same energy. Wowóreal life is stranger than any fiction!!!
Friday, May 11 View Page
Upgraded from a three sided tetrahedron triangle-pyramid to a regular square-pyramid. This doubles the area inside.
Sunday, May 13 View Page
366 EST. in 150. I am playing with some other 150 square foot layouts which ought to be borderline illegal because the way the leaves will fill in will nearly double the effective size of these patches. A 12x 12.5 patch has a perimeter of 49 ft. This patch has a perimeter of 72 feet. The leaf area can exceed the perimeter, so the length of the perimeter matters! I couldnít resist coming up with these less-fair designs. My competition patch was the most fair design I came up with... with a perimeter of 66 ft.
Sunday, May 13 View Page
Awesome start here. Unknown seed. Might be a squashkin. Just had to show you guys that even a blind squirrel can find a nice big acorn sometimes. Yay me! I believe I can do even better next year...!
Sunday, May 13 View Page
Good friends and good weather. The latest rounds of plants were not so good the 1724 Schmit and others planted at the same time ran out of nutrients quickly. Still viable though and will hopefully see dirt tomorrow. The next roundsóopposite problemóI burned with calcium nitrate. This stuff is not to be confused with a timed release fertilizer... looking back... as the roots hit it the leaves burned. Credit goes to Mike for sharing his wisdom about this! I wonder if ammonium sulfate would have been a better choice although I donít need the ph any lower.
Sunday, May 13 View Page
1724ís on the right, little 203 Est Clayton plants on left. Weíll see if these are good plants. If both look good in a couple weeks... Iíll run mine out to the left and subtract those nine feet and add nine more feet somewhere else so the 1724 Schmit will be in 150 ft.
Monday, May 14 View Page
Another late night pic after working late into the evening.. When the camera flashed something ran off into the woods. It looks like I caught someone checking out the 1639.5 Sherwood x 2 in 150 ft. The footprints were large so whoever it was... at least they brought their patch shoes! Lots of healthy roots on these two starts... The pollinator for this one grew the orange and 17% hvy 1702 Sherwood. I donít know why I planted an extra seed here... these are both good plants. Maybe a waste... One tipped over when planting though so itís kinda nice to just have two. I donít think the damage was significant. Maybe one will tolerate my soil better than the other.
Tuesday, May 15 View Page
I thought if I played with the contrast and zoomed in we could get a better look at those 1639.5 Sherwoods...:)
Tuesday, May 15 View Page
1297 Holland goes in w/ Hollandís Biogrow Endo. About a 1/3 or 1/2 cup. Doing a terrible job of keeping records. It will be hard to tell if the myco makes a difference. He said the 1297 was off a large healthy plant... it might have had two pumpkins on itólooks like the 627 might have been the other. Itís been a superior seed thus far I might have to leave an extra empty 150 feet for it. Itís possibly my best plant.
Tuesday, May 15 View Page
1297 Holland goes in w/ Hollandís Biogrow Endo. About a 1/3 or 1/2 cup. Doing a terrible job of keeping records. It will be hard to tell if the myco makes a difference. He said the 1297 was off a large healthy plant... it might have had two pumpkins on itólooks like the 627 might have been the other. Itís been a superior seed thus far I might have to leave an extra empty 150 feet for it. Itís possibly my best plant.
Wednesday, May 16 View Page
186 Radach x 3 goes in today. All my posts are after 9:00 which makes the post a day later than when they went in. The moat is to monitor for mole activity. Only finished half the moat. Iíll have a couple hundred feet of trench dug everywhere just to monitor for moles. To make the moat I loosen the dirt with the rototiller then use it to fill in the raised beds. I throw some potatoes in here and there. Itís too much work. Iím a couple days behind on some other work.
Wednesday, May 16 View Page
Never mind they do all have the correct date stamp. I wish all my plants looked like this. Looking & growing like a perfectly healthy plant now. Cooler weather in the forecast should slow it down. It still has healthy cotyledons.
Saturday, May 19 View Page
Mikeís question about what crosses we want to make got me thinking I should try to add at least one old genetics seed to my mix. So... 636 McIntire Ď99 in the coffee lid pot. I love my little 1442.5 Hoomis. Itís growing like a champ! Late tomato starts went in yesterday... should be coming up in a few days.
Sunday, May 20 View Page
Greenhouse perimeter guy-wire up. It took all day. I guess Iím a slow worker but itís mostly done and no injuries. Some notes for myself in case I grow again next year: Next year I need to focus on: Getting the soil balanced well ahead of the season. We often get one nice day in January. I should till on that day (lucky me I have perfect drainage so just two days after a heavy rain the soil is ready to go). Then collect soil samples. Then prior to any heavy rains... cover part of, if not the entire, patch area with clear plastic to prevent further leaching, soil damage, and to begin soil warming & get the soil biology going and to kill weeds too. Actually I should collect soil samples then amend when I have the results and then till. I donít want to till twice for no reason. I have played around enough and learned enough about every other aspect of growing... So I should now be able to concentrate all of my effort into getting my soil balanced just right, in order to get off to a good start. And if I get my soil balanced just right, I could start lots of plants in a garden soil mix and not need to buy seed starting mix. If I start lots of plants, I can hit the perfect weather window AND select for the best plants & ones that will do well in my patch soil because that will be the soil they are already in! I would also like to try direct seeding some, to compare with with the transplants. In a 6x6 starter hut I could direct seed 16 plants or so and cull the worst and keep the best two then transplant out two good plants, and then see which of the four do the best. Possibly I could leave all four plants and have four separate areas for them to grow into, which would give the best comparison. Two seed stocks could be used... choosing the best respective direct seeded plants and transplants. So the 4 plants: Seed 1 direct seed (best of 8); seed 1 transplant (best of 8); seed 2 direct seed (best of 8) seed 2 transplant (best of 8).
Sunday, May 20 View Page
...Contíd. Itís hard to tell if my soil fertility is right when I till on the same day Iím transplanting & the weather gets cool. First, the nitrogen gets locked up as everything breaks down and by the cool weather too, and the calcium and magnesium both seem to be getting locked up by the cool weather. The only thing Iím good on is potassium. I think Iím good on everything but itís temporarily locked up. I would like to give them a temporary boost. ...But I might do more harm than good. Rosalieís 504 House is the most vexing plant itís growing but it does not look great. (First male flower today, first female tomorrow.). But healthwise, itís been struggling it must have a root issue because Iíve tried everything. Usually they will respond to something. ...Unless itís a root issue. All the other plants are progressing well enough... the 1724 Schmits are the slowest I think they are homesick for Markesan. The 1639.5 Sherwoodís look the best healthwise, followed by the giant amongst my little plants: the 1297 Holland.
Tuesday, May 22 View Page
1770.5 Lieber (1495 Stelts x self) goes in on left. 1774.5 Carter (1756 H/J x self) on right. This will be the second year I have grown the 1774.5 Carter. It was a good plant and fast grower last year and the pumpkin had the right shape and thickness although it was white. Hopefully some color this year. I watered these in with some H2O2 hopefully this will make the transplant shock less. This ground was totally unprepped and I think the oxygen in the soil gets depleted after tilling because of the decomposition of organics... whereas ideal soil has oxygen. Just a hunch! (A little H2O2 is cheap and it wonít hurt... So will it help? I donít know!). Two more plants 2095 Stelts and the 186 Radach I pulled out earlier... and then the four pots of Gerry plants. Those should go in quick... less roots in those patches hopefully.
Wednesday, May 23 View Page
I got a watermelon in today.
Wednesday, May 23 View Page
Rosalie pollinated her little 504 House plant. This one has been a less than healthy plant in every other way. I did not till the ground for her, which could be part of the problem. Possibly it was hit by a mole. If this one sets on such a small plant... it might hit 50 lbs. No other May pollinations in the pumpkincast... itís warm enough and sunny enough though. No weeks of cold rain so a good year to be in the ground early, unlike last year.
Saturday, May 26 View Page
19/25 76% germ. of my tomatoes. No 7.10 Foss... it was the oldest of the seeds I tried to germinate. Made one mistake already the starter tray is a rigid type & extracting the seedlings will be difficult. Helping Anna put her tomato fence up. Itís a lot of work. Tomatoes are making growing pumpkins seem easy. Hopefully it pays off. Her plants are huge & beautiful but totally rootbound they should have gone in two weeks ago. We got eight of them in a week ago. About 15 more to go... maybe Monday.
Tuesday, May 29 View Page
Wanted to post a comparison between last year and this year for the 150 sq ft. plants. I can't right now... having family issues can't use Anna's phone she decided "it wasn't working" between us (whatever that means in female language) and I'm totally broke so my posts will be less frequent... like if and when I can make it to the library. The 'countdown to divorce' was not a joke. I'm smart enough to know that there is only so much they will put up with... However, I also know that all these female complaints are just shallow excuses and they like to attack anything that makes you happy (when they are not happy) and there is some other deeper issue. Its very negative and passive aggressive and its been that way with her for as long as I've known her. I'm so depressed when I think about it... I want to keep doing what makes me happy and hopefully close the book on that horrible chapter of my life. About the 150 patch... I can say though that the leaves are bigger and the plant looks healthier and happier than last year, but its about the same progress on length and number of leaves as last year. Cool weather ahead so the plant will be on standby mode which is fine it can make up for it later, if I can afford to keep at it. Wish me all of God's grace in getting through this rough patch, thanks. PS... Eric I will get your plants today (178 is already in) although I didn't get the patches prepped as well as I wanted. No gas money for the tiller... so I guess I'll try broad fork & compare. My life is not getting any easier :(
Thursday, May 31 View Page
Unless its deemed unfair--I will help Anna keep her tomatoes going. I am a 'c' grower also ... pb 1.5 lb. Is that fair to everyone?? She just really cant at the moment and I want to help so that she does not let her team down and hopefully she can do some work on her tomatoes when she drops the kids off... or on her days off. Plants look very good... Go team Mammoth! Sorry she is requiring assistance from another grower at the moment...
Thursday, May 31 View Page
Rosalie's did not set. Pollinated another yesterday for her on her plant. Anna has the only good set so far. Still dealing with moles under the big plant maybe thats why that set failed. Anna's was on 6/15. Beat our previous early set by 15 days and her plant never had a cover on it. Maybe that fire really did warm the ground?
Monday, June 4 View Page
Smallest plant. But if the genetics are good they will shine through eventually...
Monday, June 4 View Page
Same plant two weeks ago. It had a disadvantaged start to life because most of the cotyledons were lost to rot.
Monday, June 4 View Page
Biggest plant. First pollination is maybe seven days out... Maybe June 11th. Growth has been only 5" per day. Caught two big moles (totally explains its symptoms) but also fertilized, and buried vines. This plant could easily make a pb so I want to get it back up to speed.
Monday, June 4 View Page
No excuses for coming up short in the tomato department. Oh man I would not want to be on my team because where is mommy... These guys found a nice new home by the river... Next valley over. Oh but I did read that they don't like Epsom salt so there's a tip for you soak em maters in Epsom salt. There was one other thing they didn't like might have be ammonia but I think Epsom would be less harsh on the plant and/or tomato.
Monday, June 4 View Page
406.5 Clayton vs 300 Est. Clayton. The 300 Est. probably has better genetics but it's white x orange and the 406.5 is orange x orange. What to do... What to do.
Monday, June 4 View Page
1639.5 Sherwood vs 1639.5 Sherwood. Total waste of a seed here because they are identical. Just waiting for the deer to come back and step on one or the other!
Monday, June 4 View Page
203 Est x 2 and 1724 Schmit x 2. I think the Schmit seeds would be fast growers in the right soil. Its time to give them a really big nutrient boost... I'm usually on the minimal side, maybe I should try to max these ones out!
Friday, June 15 View Page
I set the big squashkin up to grow blossom-down. It has a pollination coming up in the correct location over the pallet.
Friday, June 15 View Page
But it also has one blooming tomorrow... I may scrap my blossom down plans for this plant and just go for size and an earlier pollination. Forecast is perfect and this plant needs to set a fruit ASAP or itís growth will be out of control.
Friday, June 15 View Page
Here is the pano pic. A side vine is also set up to grow blossom-down.
Friday, June 15 View Page
The reason the plant is wet and greasy too is because I emptied an entire container of Sweeneyís castor oil on it to try to drive the last mole(s) out. With thick straw everywhere and baby-sized moles itís hard to find them but I can still find them by covering everything with a layer of fine dirt, watering, then looking for cracks. Itís tedious setting traps every day and hopefully the greasy mole repellent does not harm the plant at all. I also have an electric buzzer type repeller but it really only works if they have somewhere else to go where the food is equally plentiful. They have been enduring the repeller buzz noise this year, unfortunately.
Friday, June 15 View Page
The next four or five pics is how I set the blossom down setup for the side vine. Sand...
Friday, June 15 View Page
Hay bale and dirt ramp...
Friday, June 15 View Page
Notice orientation of the hay in the middle of the bale here... I cut the bale strings and turned the flakes the other way and retied the bale. Also I removed a few flakes to use on top, which makes it possible both to retie the bale and gives a gap for the pumpkin to bend down after the blossom sets. ...Later the horizontal hay flakes under the pumpkin will be pulled out one at a time as the pumpkin gets bigger. This will allow it space to grow down. Seems like a lot of work, huh?
Friday, June 15 View Page
Plus, the length of the vine growth to the pumpkin must be estimated correctly. But a week later the little pumpkin is hanging (way high) over the gap. No hot weather here yet to bring the vine down, but as long as there is no sharp edge it should eventually bend down on its own without any trouble. More posts tomorrow.
Saturday, June 16 View Page
Another way to set up the vine to grow blossom down. It's like a suspension bridge... This is Rosy's 504 House plant. I asked her if she wanted the stem on the side or on top. She said on top. Obviously she is getting some help now at this point but in terms of adult level effort it wasn't too hard to set the vine up like this...!
Saturday, June 16 View Page
The important thing is to tie around each leaf also or the whole vine could tip to either side. Pollinated 6/13 x to self. Pollination may not be successful because of light rain on the stigma and/or poor pollen... the male was open indoors for two days.
Saturday, June 16 View Page
6/13 picture is 1 DAP: 504 House x self (Rosy) Very round. Howard Dill Award genetics rather than size here.
Sunday, June 17 View Page
Annaís tomatoes are towering over mine. Can hardly see mine in the next row. What a great year to have started early... Hers are looking great! Beginners luck is her secret!!!
Thursday, June 21 View Page
I do NOT want to be this mole.
Thursday, June 21 View Page
Annaís 1472.5 Sherwood pollinated on 6/15. This pic is @ 6 DAP. Plant is about 100 sq ft. Not a huge plant but it could still make a personal best. Lots of weeds and potatoes not worried about it though theyíll get smothered with dirt when she buries the vines...??? This worked well last year. No other pumpkins set but I helped pollinate one on Rosalieís plant yesterday. Iíve got three on my big squashkin opening tomorrow and another that may end up being keeper in maybe 3-5 days.
Thursday, June 21 View Page
This post was misdated and incorrectly got posted in May... Rosalie's did not set. Pollinated one on the 20th for her on her plant she was not here to do it herself. Anna has the only good set so far. I was still dealing with moles under the big plant maybe thats why that set failed. Anna's was on 6/15. Beat our previous early set by 15 days and her plant never had a cover on it. Maybe that fire really did warm the ground?
Friday, June 22 View Page
I think I got all the moles out from under the big squashkin finally...3 in the past 3 days. I noticed a big improvement in how the plant looks last night. Earwigs are damaging the big squashkin plant I saw numerous earwigs eating it tonight and they seem to like all parts of the plant. I used to think they were benign. Gonna try diatomaceous earth. Maybe the year that I have no moles will be my best year?!
Monday, June 25 View Page
Removed the hay. It was useful in terms of getting the vine up but the bugs in the hay were eating the leaves, roots, stems, everything. I tied the vine up with the suspension-bridge method. It withstood some gusty wind yesterday with no damage. Pollination was on 6/23. I don't know if I will put the hay back, maybe with a sheet between the hay and the pumpkin. And I don't know if I will grow it on the pallet. I'll probably give it a try growing it on the pallet but not directly because water will pool on the pallet maybe if I tilt it 5 degrees or drill holes in it the water will not be an issue. I have some mill fabric. Not sure what to do... This the hard part about growing blossom down!!!
Monday, June 25 View Page
Front view.
Monday, June 25 View Page
Oblique view? Is that the right word?
Thursday, June 28 View Page
Finally got all the tomatoes planted. Around 50 plants but most may be infected with viruses. I put the seedlings outside and the aphids etc were getting on the plants during this time. Anna's plants are also badly affected. She has a few set but the viruses have destroyed the bulk of her plants.
Thursday, June 28 View Page
Pollinated the 1297 Holland today. Everyones plants look really amazing... Mine are a little ahead of last year bigger leaves and mains are about 8ft... A couple feet ahead of last year. But I still am not doing well on having enough healthy roots and the leaves and vine tips are showing multiple deficiencies. My soil aint so great...
Saturday, June 30 View Page
Rosy's 2nd attempt 504 House... 14 inches cc. 7 dap. Anna's 1472.5 Sherwood... 27.5 inches cc. 15 dap. Plants are close to 150 sq ft and not all that healthy... Just cant seem to get enough of the right nutrients into them. The good news is the 504 looks to be a stunner for shape and color! Not so for the Sherwood but Anna likes to win and doesnt pick for color.
Saturday, June 30 View Page
I dusted all the tomato plants with diatomaceous earth to try to make the flea beatles less happy. My 8.22 Marley looks healthy so thats a bonus. Drip line installed yesterday but my well water is very cold. I'll have to be careful maybe water on only the hottest days... Anna has a few set although there were many big blossoms some did not pollinate and the plants especially the ones that we got in the ground last which were root bound they did set a few big mega tomatoes but they were not in the ground early enough to have the roots they need. More roots and more foliar feeding and she could have had many... Instead she really only has one right now.
Monday, July 2 View Page
Here is the tomato that Anna lost the whole plant.
Monday, July 2 View Page
Same. Stem rot took out the entire plant. She had a lot of good-size blooms but few that set very well. Not seeing ANY second tier megas worth considering. But that's probably a pruning and fertilizing issue... The top growers can get these plants to grow in ways we ordinary schlubs can't? I guess so... Bummer. Having viruses infecting (the tops, mostly) of nearly every plant doesn't help either.
Saturday, July 7 View Page
Looking very orange this year in Glenoma! Like a triple hat trick 9/9 are going orange so far... Even Anna's 1472.5 Sherwood is going orange despite not having orange parents and the 366 Est. Clayton looks like it will go orange without either parent being orange. Of course the 504 House is the only super-orange one and some of the others may be only mildly orange but... Still totally happy with this. The picture is more for comparing shape and thickness. Most of these are too small to see the start of any real color... Just comparing the shapes out of curiosity.
Saturday, July 7 View Page
Thickness... Not much, if any, noticeable variation this early on. I'd give the 1639.5 Sherwood the best wall thickness here but it's so close it's hard to say. I wonder if thickness is a trait which doesn't express itself this early... or maybe I need some precision calipers? Not seeing much difference here...
Saturday, July 7 View Page
Lengthwise. I like the acorn shape I think these will have better shoulders. I like the length of the 406.5 Clayton. I don't know where the extra length came from genetically as the parents were not that long... But truly all the baby pumpkins look like this on the 406.5 plant... I'm happy with the extra long shape. I think the heaviest ever grown have all 3 traits: Length & thickness & shoulders...
Saturday, July 7 View Page
Into the pan! I don't know why I planted a zucchini again this year... These are better. The bad news is I'm not probably not going to get bigger pumpkins than last year... The big squashkin is a huge plant but it is a dud for any large pumpkins. Why? Maybe because I didn't get a pumpkin set on the earliest two opportunities, and I am far behind on the pruning and vine burying. The rest of the plants look good out about 8-12 feet but certainly not growing as fast as everyone else's. They are growing well though (except compared to everyone else...) On average, I'm a few days ahead of last year, but yeah, I don't even really know how to get the kind of results everyone else gets. Oh well.
Saturday, July 7 View Page
Todayís patch helper. Love u baby boy.
Saturday, July 7 View Page
Terribly slow blossom down pumpkin on the big squashkin main set maybe 17 ft out this is 14 dap picking up speed though. But...
Saturday, July 7 View Page
Stem cracks are more than I want to deal with. I have four others set on this plant.
Saturday, July 7 View Page
Do you want to see how much weight a large vine can hold? In other words how heavy can a blossom down pumpkin get before it breaks from the vine? My guess is this one will hit 190 lbs before it breaks off. If it touches the ground before then I might keep it, although last year one of these stem cracks caused one to rot. The supports will need reinforcement. Stay tuned...!
Thursday, July 12 View Page
Turns out this is the fastest grower so Iíll put up with the stem cracks and see what it does. The two out on sidevines were pollinated a day earlier and are slightly slower growers this one is now enjoying the benefit of placement on a huge main. Early growth was slow though so I need to think about a better vine configuration or better roots or a pollination closer to the stump in the future. So how will I support this pumpkin...!?
Thursday, July 12 View Page
Plain old sifted dirt medium dry. Zero percent chance of rain in all of the next ten days so rot wonít be an issue. Huge blossom button on this one so I did not break it off better just to leave it and it will tuck up into the underside of the pumpkin eventually... a cull from the 504 House next to it for color comparison. 504 has way more color probably the most early color Iíve ever seen.
Saturday, July 14 View Page
I can't highly recommend the straw bales for getting a pumpkin in the blossom down position,anymore. The three problems I've found are 1) the straw will get wet if you overhead irrigate... Or if you living in a wet summer climate subject to the other kind of overhead irrigation. I was thinking I would not irrigate where the pumpkin is but that complicates things for me. 2) the straw invariably scratches the pumpkin. Very small scratches, yes, but little imperfections wont help win a Howard Dill award. 3) the straw does have to be removed and if the vines get a little out of control... You will wish you went with the suspension bridge tie-the-vine-up method .
Saturday, July 14 View Page
Missed my last important pollinations too tired to go out last night and tie them and get males. I will have to wait a week for the next ones but thats ok the plants in question have plenty of space and the pumpkin weight will be the same on a bigger plant --they will make up for it by October. But its interesting to me that last year I had all my 'important' plants pollinated on the 14th. I've got some 'pariah' plants and many non-competition plants too. I did get the tomato patch fertilized... Plants are about to get huge... Diseased & huge plants there's a megabloom here-n-there so we'll see. The mid-planting is doing best. Small late planting was damaged the most by flea beetles. The early plants have not forgiven me for keeping them in mini cells for over a month.
Monday, July 16 View Page
Big emotional highs and lows in the pumpkin growing... Looks like I'll be on track to a new pb off the squashkin. The low was trying to get a lovely little pumpkin on a side vine of the 406.5 to grow blossom down. It was too old maybe ten days old already too big to reposition. Crimped and split the vine in three places. There is a better possibility set on the main already so no great loss. But this came after trying to get the Holland set up and damaging the pumpkin and the critical section of the main right before the pumpkin. But that damage was from fertilizer I broadcast. I didnt notice it got on the main and one speck got on the little pumpkin at the tip of the vine. Rather than wash off when I irrigated it stuck and burned holes!! The little pumpkin now has a blemish that will be huge later. Oh I put all the work in to selecting the seed, caring for the plant and then one little speck ruins any chance it will look good! I know it sounds silly to anyone who grows for weight but... to me its a ruined pumpkin.
Tuesday, July 17 View Page
I love blossom down! Here's the easy part... They bend down on their own! No daily adjustments needed... Once the vine is tied up its done. Although if you want to keep all the secondaries they should be tied to avoid the area where the pumpkin will eventually sit. Obviously haven't done a good job of that here:)
Tuesday, July 17 View Page
Here is my squashkin... Unknown Clayton x open 23 DAP 55 lbs... Growing 6" cc now per day. When I was helping adjust Anna's 100 pound pumpkin (1472.5 Sherwood @ 30 DAP) I thought how I really don't enjoy adjusting them. Hers is on its side. It is requiring two directions of adjustment as the pumpkin grows. I like having just one direction, up. Look how I have excavated the loose dirt out from under this pumpkin. No pressure on the blossom all the weight is on the sides.
Wednesday, July 18 View Page
Share a Coke with... Peggy The Pumpkin. Miss Peggy Who... Who? Well we don't know her lineage. She is gaining 5" per day, she likes long walks on the beach and she doesn't date pumpkin-heads, so back off dudes!
Wednesday, July 18 View Page
"Why doesn't she like me..." Dude... Uh nevermind.
Wednesday, July 18 View Page
That guy started out like this. I tried redirecting the vine backwards but then the vine ended up going straight into the pumpkin. It's almost impossible to get it to grow blossom down if the vine is straight into the pumpkin stem because the vine would have to hang down from like six feet in the air. Yesterday was not his lucky day.
Sunday, July 22 View Page
Lots to muse about... Roots of the big squashkin plant were found 22' from the base of the plant. Total surprise. I have vastly underestimated the needs of the roots. Elsewhere I am seeing the best results on the deepest and most humic soil. Since my soil is not very deep I have a lot of work to do. For better results, a deeper area of mounded soil or a much greater area prepped around the base could make up for my lack of soil depth.
Sunday, July 22 View Page
The plant I am in love with this year is my 300 Est. (1505.5 Haist '12 x 1462 Gibson '07). It is the most orange has the biggest leaves and the pumpkin shape is a symmetrical barrel. It appears to be more disease resistant than some of the others.
Tuesday, July 24 View Page
Hit a personal best 20 lb. per day today on Peggy. 18 yesterday and 15-16 before that. It has taken the plant awhile to realize I culled the other pumpkins. 90.1 high here today 49.1 low last night. 20 is small to the big growers but I am happy with her numbers so far. She was super slow to start maybe it was water or nutrients or it was cold at night hanging up high off the ground with more radient heat loss the plant was going slow because of the moles. Down to one mole... none for almost a month but individual moles sometimes roam about looking for new territory.
Wednesday, July 25 View Page
Peggy with her blossom down... 32 DAP 21 lb gain weather is great 91.8 high 49.1 low Can't complain...
Thursday, July 26 View Page
Time to get caught up on the diary. Starting with some blossom down observations... Very short stem on this one, grew up a fence on its own, the interesting thing here is the shape of the pumpkin was distorted by the stem pulling on the top and pushing on the bottom. The pumpkins are somewhat plastic and it's good to be aware of any pressure that is distorting the pumpkin in an undesired way. ...Kinda hard to see here but pressure being applied at the stem from hanging sideways is definitely distorting the shape of the pumpkin itself.
Thursday, July 26 View Page
Another one hanging out sideways is getting stem crack in response to pressure...? Not all stem cracks start as a result of pressure but some do...??
Thursday, July 26 View Page
...And finally breaks at about 8 lb. It's a large side vine growing vertically and it can't hold a bowling ball straight out to the side.
Thursday, July 26 View Page
I think I found some myco on the 1297 Holland roots. I used his myco product on this plant. Not sure exactly how much it's helping but it's got one of the bigger pumpkins and the plant is not wilting... Nutritionally the plant is deficient but that may be a separate issue. This was a taken out of the ground a couple feet from where I originally spread the myco. Maybe it spreads as fast as the roots??? Or maybe I already have myco in my soil... Lots of idk's.
Thursday, July 26 View Page
Anna lost her second best tomato. I think it would have gotten to about three pounds.
Thursday, July 26 View Page
A better picture of the slightly distorted pumpkin... & That's all for now!
Saturday, July 28 View Page
Peggy is making me a proud pumpkin pappa... She measured 30 lb gain today 25 lb avg. over the two previous days. @ DAP 35 over 100 circ. Didnt think she would do so good so slow at first I almost gave up. Glad to have reached 30 lb. gain a big milestone for me but she may even hit 35 before the weather cools down. How awesome!
Sunday, July 29 View Page
Down a little bit today on squashkin Peggy. 27.5 lb. gain. Dap 36... I think it is normal for them to peak at around day 35 and her peak gain so far was yesterday precisely on day 35. I wont push for higher gains I think the time for that has passed just take a relaxed ride... Ride the curve back down now. I hope she has a couple good days left in her though. She may not hit 35 lb per day but it was a fun ride just to 30...
Monday, July 30 View Page
Ideal weather 55 last night full sun yesterday a little hazy and muggy today AND watered both sides of the plant yesterday... 28 lb. gain. She could probably use a little fertilizer boost but I think the real issue is she is getting old... 37 dap skin is firming not like butter any more. Interesting to note that the early hints of orange are turning to the pink /white/green color. Not orange so those early orange hints at the top of the pumpkin near stem cant be trusted...!
Monday, July 30 View Page
Black bumble bees everywhere especially on the California poppies but and a few on the tomatoes... They are doing a great job of pollinating although I think they prefer the single blooms. Some plants are growing and setting lots of tomatoes despite the viruses. Annas tallest are 6' tall now! I gave up on helping with the pruning because there were no good second tier megas. Pollinated a long gourd this evening.
Tuesday, July 31 View Page
The 32 tomatoes I started June 14th are starting to bloom so they will do alright. It will get harder to ripen them successfully when the weather gets wet but the plan was to cover any real contenders. Best plant is the 3.47 Terry I think it may just be lucky I spilled extra fertilizer on it I wish I remember what because it hit the right spot.
Tuesday, July 31 View Page
28.5 lb. gain today its getting very hard to measure and the 120 inch ruler will only last till tomorrow... she is getting very big. 60 degrees overnight... This may have boosted the weight. My measurement accuracy is decreasing she might have done 30 lb again. 114.5 circ. Plant looks very healthy despite earlier castor oil mole spray damage. Terrible stuff that had no emulsifier so it couldnt be washed off. That took out 30 leaves. Probably cost me 3lb. per day. Large leaves divided by ten equals pounds per day... under ideal circumstances...
Friday, August 3 View Page
Humpty pumpky sat on a wall... And she took a great fall! An accurate measurement has her gaining only 21 lb. today. We are picking all of anna's first truss tomatoes tomorrow... For those of you who are can keep a secret for one day... How does 24 inches sound... We will weigh them tomorrow!!
Friday, August 3 View Page
Correction-bp let me post that a day later its midnight eastern time and 9:00 pm here anyhow we will be weighing them today. She goes by the screen name sleepingbeauty official contest pics will be there but I will post a pic here also...
Friday, August 3 View Page
Hereís our mommyís first truss tomatoes! The one on the table on the left is over 2 lbs the one on the ground is way over 2 lb. Off to the supermarket...
Friday, August 3 View Page
Seventeen something lbs today on Peggy the unknown formerly referred to as the squashkin. Email me and let me know how much the clouds are affecting you?? Annas tomatos are way better than store bought even when only half ripe. Way to set the bar for me I will try to beat her but I dont have much at all yet. I dont think I set any of the big first truss blooms.
Saturday, August 4 View Page
Peggy... 125.5 circ. 21.5 lb. gain. Switched from about an hour of sun over two days to full sun today . . . What will her numbers be tomorrow with the big sugar boost from today? Already a slight boost in the numbers--yay! Its a very accurate setup a poly line taped around her crimped each day at the same time of day... Measured her a half hour late tonight though. I guess that would put the accuracy off by a pound... Oops... I think my measuring is accurate to within an eighth of an inch.
Saturday, August 4 View Page
1/8 inch equals 1.2 lbs at this circumference. So I will be extra careful and try to keep the accuracy to within 1 lb. of error. Before I put the tape on (with eyelet holes for the string so it does not move) the accuracy was probably 1/4 inch or a half inch. Its possible her highest gain was about 28 lb per day. I'm a strong believer in the 'highest daily gain x 40 = final weight' formula so the highest daily gain and the accuracy of the highest daily gain are important to me.
Sunday, August 5 View Page
This 504 House cull sure had a lot of color. A different one... The keeper... Is much more yellow and less intense I don't know if this has to do with vine position, sunlight, earlier vs later pollination, nutrients or what.... Unfortunately although Rosy's is an ok orange... it's bland compared to this one.
Sunday, August 5 View Page
Actually had to chainsaw this kale plant down. Look it even has rings. It been there in the garden two years maybe three? Lots of baby kale everywhere... seems a shame to cut the old mommy plant. Oh well she can resprout from the ground if she wants to. Meanwhile I can stop tripping on her.
Sunday, August 5 View Page
Peggy stopped dead. To add insult to injury my awesome measuring showed she actually shrank a half inch. Plant was behaving weirdly today leaves majority of leaves curling down around the edge... I either shocked the plant with a ph or fertilizer change... or the change in weather shocked it or it realized there was a young 10 dap set way down at the end of the strongest side vine and it loves that new baby... Dang no pb no nothin... Shoulda not changed the tea recipe!!! I think I made a bad batch or they just got affected by those cloudy days some others are going down also... :/
Sunday, August 5 View Page
Another possibillity is disease but the plant did not wilt. It was holding up much better than the others during the transition to sunny weather. I think the osmotic pressure between the roots and the pumpkin must have reversed. Low sugar or low potassium in the pumpkin... Or a calcium disruption. Maybe a leaf analysis would help. I think the fertilizer was the mistake. 20 lb one day and negative five the next. That was not fun.
Monday, August 6 View Page
ok the heat has gotten to me... What an idiot there was a crimp in the line which shouldnt have been there. The gap in the dirt against ol' peggy was from an earlier excavation/adjustment. Not sure about the leaves but its probably related to spraying milk for powdery mildew. Poor plant... I think it would prefer me to use a real powdery mildew product. Anyhow it measured 16 but I think 18 lbs is the correct gain since I measured 40 min. earlier last night. With perfect weather and lots of water I think she might be back up to twenty or more today. Who else needs a vacation...
Monday, August 6 View Page
I was seriously ready to pull the whole plant... Yesterday was chaos also pruned off a real good looking three-or-four fused tomato. It was just a bad day oh well it happens... What doesnt kill you makes you stronger...
Monday, August 6 View Page
Measure mania! Peggy @22.5. This is the part I enjoy. Rollercoaster Peggy... On track for a pb in the next day or two and hopefully she keeps it up her little baby sister is gonna need to be fed also but that sidevine is like its own main so no worry really. Plant is probably a good 600 ft... all my other plants are 250 or less... Some struggling to even grow a pumpkin.
Monday, August 6 View Page
August 5th dap 50: Canteloping begins on the 1472.5 Sherwood. A very healthy plant with peachy yellow orange color... I like having some seeds I myself would never have picked out there... Its very interesting to see and compare the different plants... Also I don't regret growing my own seeds... Its interesting to see two plants from the previous year uniquely combined into one plant... Each plant is special and unique and there is a bit of beauty in the uniqueness of each and every plant... which is easily overlooked in the all-consuming quest for weight. Hmm... Should I grow for fun or to win...
Sunday, August 12 View Page
Peggy's plant is 24' x 36' wide. 850 ft approx. But she is only gonna weigh 800-1200 at most... which equals 1.0 to 1.5 lb per sq ft... Very low conversion rate of plant to pumpkin. A couple of the outer secondaries wrapped around from the back to the front... They are 30+ ft long still trying hard to set pumpkins... I think these are doing their own thing & not contributing to Peggy. In hindsight, either 1) not getting good conversion efficiency from the size of the plant into the growth of the fruit or 2) the fruit is genetically where it wants to be size-wise... the growth of the fruit itself is maxed out. I think I'm getting only about half the "pumpkin potential" out of this plant. I desire to do better next year. But I can't complain. She is 51 days old and a pb. Lookin' good.
Sunday, August 12 View Page
You would think there was a nutritional difference here... But these plants are next to each other and the roots surely overlap. The difference here is one is a healthy cherry tomato (right) and the other (left) is a virus infected "big" tomato plant. Apparently it's hard to accurately tell what sick plants really need, nutritionally... The nutrients for "green" are available but the sick plant can't get them?? Yes --they both lack something... But what? The difference in leaf color is actually not nutritional? It's hard to believe they lack the same thing are next to each other in the same dirt! Based on the leaves you would think that the nutrition here was not the same.
Sunday, August 12 View Page
"Knucklebone" grown off my 366 est. When it comes to pumpkin shrivel lines... photos are brutally honest. This is a healthy plant without much water stress that I know of. It's clearly not able to keep up with the demands of the pumpkin though. It looks better in real life. But photos don't lie when it comes to pumpkin energy/water/nutrient supply...! What is the issue here??
Sunday, August 12 View Page
Here's a maybe-Howard-dill-award-looker (186 Radach). It has two "shrivel" lines barely noticeable. They are basically invisible in person... but I take picture and hold it at and angle... I can see 'em. Some pumpkins seem to be more immune than others. I'm not sure if it's genetic or just a water/ nutrients / sugars ratio thing.
Sunday, August 26 View Page
43 degrees a couple nights ago... Drizzle for most of the day today and cooler. Some of the orange cosmos volunteered again in the spot it was planted last year...
Sunday, August 26 View Page
The plant in the center is growing out of the same half gallon pot as the one farther away. I never culled one or the other. I cut away most of the middle plant because it was aborting it's sets and it looked like it wasn't going to be orange. The part I left then grew better... turned a more healthy green. I expected the water supply would be greater but was not expecting the nutrient levels to change so much...Hard to tell from the pic but the nutrient levels in this remaining portion appear to have increased and appear be adequate whereas the other plant in the same dirt is still showing deficiencies. So, the root system was able to supply the small remaining portion with adequate nutrients because the size of the root system changed (increased proportionally to the amount of plant) NOT because the nutrient levels in the soil changed. Interesting!?
Sunday, August 26 View Page
A pumpkin I could sell for display. 406.5 Clayton (x 504 House!)
Sunday, August 26 View Page
And: a pumpkin I could sell for pig food.
Tuesday, August 28 View Page
Best tomato is toast. Stem got too moist maybe and pulled away from the fruit. It was growing fast. It was huge mistake to not cover the plant and keep the tomato dry. Easily a six pounder... Perfect shape. Huge healthy plant. From 'a' grower back to 'b' or 'c' grower... Bummer for my team!
Saturday, September 1 View Page
Didnt look as big as some of the others but came in after Joel and Cindy. Yay Peggy you made it to the podium!!! Ron had a huge white one which weighed heavy even though it looked like a big bubble. He is doing something right this year also and deserved to be in the top 3. His split though so we got to place after with Joel and Cindy... what as an honor!
Saturday, September 1 View Page
795.5 Clayton Blossom-down. Not quite 800 lbs. but... close.
Monday, September 3 View Page
Helps to have a small truck... definitely makes a pumpkin look bigger!!! Who is that in front of me? Hint: heís currently the worldís #2 pumpkin grower! :)
Monday, September 3 View Page
Peggy was a no till / no prune plant except some of the secondaries where I tied the vine up were removed. I dead ended the main four or five nodes after the pumpkin and let a secondary replace the main. Overall, this pumpkin was positioned too far out. As I said earlier, the conversion of square footage of plant to pounds of pumpkin was very low. So many things I need to do differently / not do wrong... I can hardly keep track of them all. I have enough material to build one more tripod if anyone near me desperately needs one... please inquire.
Monday, September 3 View Page
Cya next year everyone. We really appreciate everyoneís contributions to the weigh-off.
Saturday, September 8 View Page
I found a picture of me and my 406.5 (811.5 Schweigert x 1462 Gibson) on the PGVG website. The plant I am growing this year from this lineage is VERY similar... Adding the 1462 Gibson had zero effect? Its like I'm growing the exact plant I grew last year...! The orange might be a little more solid this year, though. Two pumpkins on one plant this year so they are a bit smaller but the same shape. My only 'true orange x true orange' cross this year will add Rosy's blazing orange 504 House with Calai dots to this lineage... Maybe it will make some real beauties some day.
Saturday, September 8 View Page
162.5 Clayton EXH pumpkin (186 Radach x 1442.5 Hoomis). In case I never get a chance to put a better photo up: This was off the original 186 that was supposed to go where the unknown seed that grew the 795.5 was planted. This plant got sick (shown in pics posted sometime back in April?) then held on for a few days with roots totally exposed and then was repotted out of pity and a few weeks later it was replanted with the pitiable 1442.5 I also showed earlier (about 100 posts back lol). Its looking a little more yellow than I would like but I picked it much earlier than I should have, the skin was still very soft DAP 50 or so. It might have gotten darker orange I just wanted the seeds and to get it out of the way. Probably a mistake to pick it so early I bet the seeds are not as mature as as they could have been. The pollinator aborted early but it looked like it would have been similar in color with a very high wheel shape and very long stem. So, I take it back...a second real orange x real orange cross in 2018. If I want a big low cinderella pumpkin in the future, I should try this one!
Tuesday, September 11 View Page
Back to the market again... letís see what weíve got. Two are mine... two are Annaís. And all those little green ones were one truss of zachhearts but one broke off.
Tuesday, September 11 View Page
Over five pounds of Zachhearts on the one truss. Not bad. But...
Tuesday, September 11 View Page
My official entry is kinda small. They were all about the same weight probably there were two that weighed 1.25 lbs. but baby was puking on the floor of the meat department and Iím figured it didnít matter since all would put me in last place. Might have been a different story if I had a megabloom instead of five singles :) Notably one featured a nearly perfect oxheart shape. I got the oxheart part of the cross. Cool... but not big. My assistant forgot to include the tomato in the picture... Oops!!!!! Anna!!!!
Tuesday, September 11 View Page
With the cruddy fall weather starting I figured I better get something weighed. The odds of getting good tomatoes is rapidly diminishing here. Cold cloudy and wet does not grow big red tomatoes. I will try to bring something better to the weigh offs these two entries here are just in case nothing else goes right.
Tuesday, September 11 View Page
This was a nice single off the 8.22. Fantastic plant just lost/ partially lost the big megas (the one with blossom end rot lost a lot of mass due to rot... kinda hanging in there but sad compared to what it could have been) The megas would have been 6 lbers or better. Bummer!!! This is just a single that was sharing a truss with two other large singles. One of the others rotted recently so, to be safe rather than sorry, I picked this one early. Feels like an air bubble unfortunately.
Tuesday, September 11 View Page
Sorry about the sideways photos and lack of pumpkin posts! One more tomato post: Clayton leaderboard: Brandomatoes: 2.94, 2.98 (c grower, Rebels Team) Annamatoes: 4.16, 5.01 (c grower, Mammoth Team) Go Rebels & Mammoths...
Tuesday, September 11 View Page
The black-on-top tomato was not rotten the skin just strangely turned black. Sound fruit and connected but it does look like I interpretted the half inch stem rule loosely. But in a loosely defined sense they are not exceeding a half inch beyond the tomato.Anna has a pic of the bottoms... I dont. Hopefully her pics will be up on her diary 'sleepingbeauty' soon.
Friday, September 14 View Page
Thinking about next year... I have a 1774.5 Carter x 1992.5 Vincent from last year. They were good plants. Not very orange but the selfed x selfed ones do seem to perform well.
Saturday, September 15 View Page
Pic will prob. be upside down. Saving seeds from the 8.22. One is via ferment the other thin slicing and picking. Tedious. But these domingos really pulled their weight. My expensive-seeded hybrid momotaro tomatoes are running and hiding... they have been put to shame by the 8.22 and by Anna's 4.80 Strickler plants.
Friday, September 21 View Page
Itís blossom-down, itís orange, and itís... very small. Ready, set, fun!!!
Friday, September 21 View Page
Try again... weíre not going to Australia.
Friday, September 21 View Page
Still not as cool as So.Cal. with the Eddy strap but... a little less gimpy... & Tape is getting trashed by rain. Riding in style might not happen. Oh well.
Sunday, September 23 View Page
Had to use the smallest model I could find and bribe her with sweetened goat milk. Its the biggest I've grown by far but its only slightly larger than store bought. 26.5 lbs. Gonna flip a coin about whether to do a big melon or a big pumpkin next year.
Monday, September 24 View Page
Comparing a field kin to a small orange AG.
Monday, September 24 View Page
Field kin is a good color reference?
Saturday, September 29 View Page
Tomato fail. Blossom end rot so it only developed half way then the center rotted and fell out before being weighed. Still 3.79 lbs. Nice shape, I think this blossom in more capable hands should have reached at least 6 lb though. Instead, it's D.Q'd.
Saturday, September 29 View Page
Just one of many good tomatoes on my one 8.22 plant...! (Four picked & two yet to pick...) This plant really did everything it could. It sure tried to hand me some nice ones. Seed was from the seed exchange. Simply awesome plant! Thank you Mr. Porkchop!!!
Wednesday, October 3 View Page
Not appetizing but thought these were very interesting... These are examples of four lobe tomatoes where one lobe was pushed away from the stem and stopped growing. Inyerestingly while one ripened early, the other appears to have remained more immature than the rest of the tomato. The sections that separated are the smaller sections (middle of photo, left side). These were grown outdoors in our unforgiving late summer and fall weather and both DQíd due to rot.
Wednesday, October 3 View Page
Flipped over... I was very excited by the shape of the one on top especially. So solid underneath and with the four lobes I actually thought ďgee this is the kind of shape that could grow a 6-8 lb tomato.Ē I was really hoping for six pounds. It weighed 4.06. The otheróalthough larger in diameteróweighed only 3.79. They might have weighed the same if a rotten portion hadnít fallen out of the lower one. Neither will count. Three still left to weigh and then the season is over!!!
Thursday, October 4 View Page
33 degrees last night. Half the plants are ruined. I could have prevented this if I had a pumpkin worth pushing further. Rosyís plant near the trees survived but her pumpkin has a small rot spot. I concerned by how fast a quarter inch wart turned into a quarter-sized rot spot. Good luck everyone.
Friday, October 5 View Page
Marina di Chioggia. Itís a C. maxima and could cross with an AG.
Friday, October 5 View Page
ĎRed Warty Thingí also a C. maxima. I donít know if this photo has been doctored. Itís certainly very red in comparison to the field pumpkins in the background. ...Another potential source of AG pumpkin warts?! Or maybe itís a spontaneous mutation. Is it heritable?? Is it a heritable susceptibility to some other causative agent like a virus?
Sunday, October 7 View Page
Happy Hayloween!!!
Sunday, October 7 View Page
We found a big one...!
Sunday, October 7 View Page
Yep too many kids... the blossom-down thing has been fun. Hopefully I can try again for a much bigger one... or some better grower than myself will try it. I do expect a lot of pancakes once they get bigger than this but until some more people try it... itís hard to know that for sure. The heavy/thick genetics might stand upright better. My goal of a really big blossom down pumpkin is out there still... did not make much progress this year, but I made a little progress Iíve weighed three so far this year. Peggy was the largest at 795.5 lbs. A couple growers did well this year, but Peggy is the largest blossom-down this year. Baby Sweet Roll and an yet-unnamed entry from a grower in my area will probably round out the top 3... Weíll see soon.
Sunday, October 7 View Page
Mine were the two green ones in the front row. Itís a good thing they are in front because the others were larger. Congrats Jeff Treece a new Oregon state record (pictured far right) and my awesome team leader has some green nuggets in the mix here. I brought a typical 10 oz or so ďstore boughtĒ beef tomato. Itís in the middle and, well, we made it look like a cherry tomato. Congrats guys! Thank you for the pictures Rick. Glad you are on my team.
Monday, October 8 View Page
I saw something buried in the weeds in a neglected area of the tomato patch. Are these all... On one truss??!
Monday, October 8 View Page
I remember seeing this blossom cluster earlier this year but I ignored it because there were no mega blooms. It was a numerically impressive truss of flowers with around 40 individual blossoms. Indeed these are all part of that original truss. The plant was unpruned and neglected. Hence, they were buried in weeds. This plant had other tomatoes on it as well...!
Monday, October 8 View Page
Total: 7.81 lbs on one truss. I think it was a LaRue seed.
Tuesday, October 9 View Page
My diary post #12O should have said the 1195 Kaminski (1770.5 Lieber x self) was planted here. Not the 1770.5 Lieber. Anyhow, this is one of the areas where I got nothing. Shallow soil and hot afternoon sun and something was just not right here. Flowers did ok though... The 1774.5 Carter planted here also failed to perform... Nothing...! So my plans plan for an orange McMullen failed. As far as I could tell from the aborts, neither plant was going to throw an orange one. So the extra effort to plant these was very literally not fruitful and without any luck getting orange genetics, it was a lost cause from the get go. Horrible.
Saturday, October 13 View Page
Late tomato patch. Didn't get any good tomatoes for eating. Also they didn't do well as far as size goes. Soil is probably not totally balanced for micro nutrients. And still too low in potassium in some areas. Lesson learned! For pumpkins and tomatoes, start early. The late-start goal here was large first truss tomatoes... but I did not get any good blooms. Lots of effort here, no ripe tomatoes and no amazing results. So... I'm back to square 1.
Saturday, October 13 View Page
These are the Gerry pumpkins. Trying to get warty here. 492 x 343 is the largest one its on the left. This is the only controlled pollination here it's crossed with the white one beneath it. Some ripples in both but no big warts yet. Hopefully if the genetics are simple a quarter of the seeds could throw warty ones. I don't plan to save the other seeds. I see I could have tried to nail both the color and the warts. Too many missed pollinations. I will get an official weight on the one pictured upper left and put the seeds in the "exotic seed exchange." Who knows what colors it could throw? As long as it does warts I don't care about the color. I think with these mongrel looking light-pink/orange ones... There is always hope these ones will throw a nicer orange someday?
Saturday, October 13 View Page
Here's some orange. 504 House. Kept growing and growing. Nice growth considering it was on a small secondary. Could be 400+ which is good for me... Even better because it was Rosalie's. This was grown no-till except for removing a small stump. A good plant.
Saturday, October 13 View Page
This is the second pumpkin on my 406.5. Set two on this plant. Totally happy with the color! Made the effort to cross this plant with the 504 so plenty of future orange... Unless the mice get the seeds first. Hopefully not.
Saturday, October 13 View Page
Nice October weather again this year. A better year for apples this year. The Braeburn quarter of this grafted tree performed the best. It's on the east side of the garage it does not get any sun past about one but it did benefit from some of the best special fertilizer I've used getting spilled nearby... (dead bees are a very good fertilizer.)
Saturday, October 13 View Page
I figured something out about using hay... So hay is back on the menu! Yum yum. You just gotta season it right. A little salt, a little pepper. And when everything is done the goal is... a pumpkin as big as the bale... Because it ate the bale. 2019: haydroponics is going to double my pb. I know. Why can't I just be like everyone else?! But just think if we all tried the same thing, year after year, that would get us nowhere. I keep seeing things that make me think this hay thing might work. Anyhow, if it fails... At least the hayters can say they were right. It's a $20 gamble x 2 bales = $40. Laugh with me or at me... I don't care. I think it's boring to do things the same as everyone else. I'm gonna saturate these babies with dolomite and Walmart miracle grow and wood ash. I think that's the plan but I don't really have a plan. Anyhow if I get the ratios right and put stuff on in the right order, I can do well. I think I can at least break 1,000 next year. But my goal is 1600...
Saturday, October 13 View Page
My fantasy pumpkin team is doing well. 2153.5 lb average! Paton/Holland/Haist/Wallace... good job team!!! I'm playing against myself so hmm... did I win??
Monday, October 22 View Page
My biggest of the year weighed on the 20th of October at Terminator in Tualitin. 5.04 lbs. Never would have guessed Iíd beat Sleepingbeauty.
Monday, October 22 View Page
Bottom.
Monday, October 22 View Page
Here is the the 8.22 plant. The 5 lb tomato was about 4 ft up a six ft plant. I was looking around with the intention of clearing out vines soon... I noticed the plant to the left did not produce the tomatoes that appear to be on it actually the 8.22 snuck a vine up into that plant... so the 8.22 was bigger and busier than I thought and the tomatoes pictured here were on the 8.22 also. (Add that to the many errors I made this year.)
Monday, October 22 View Page
Big pig 5.04 plus 7.98 lbs of piglets accidentally left on the plant at the same time. At the end of the day, I canít really say that I learned much about tomatoes other than they are, in their biological concept, very similar to pumpkins. Everything about growing pumpkins seems to be the same in tomatoes. No huge differences, lots of overlap. It was fun. The fresh salsa was awesome. I canít imagine ever going back to a regular variety beef tomato.
Monday, October 29 View Page
Germination chamber makes a good tomato ripening chamber. Thanks again, Cindy for out successful start to our tomato growing this year. And now a successful finish too? Hopefully... itís dry and warm and I figure the lights wonít hurt since tomatoes are green maybe they can absorb the light and it will improve the seeds. Seems to be working overall they are ripening door is open to keep humidity and temp lower but they are still 75-80 in the germination chamber not rotting too badly. Seems to be working. I will only send seeds from the 5.04 on the left although most of the others in here are off the 8.22 also I would like everyone to get the seeds from the same pollination.
Monday, October 29 View Page
Peppermint celery.
Wednesday, October 31 View Page
Happy Halloween...
Wednesday, October 31 View Page
Trick...
Wednesday, October 31 View Page
ĎRrrí treat! Some of the pumpkins (like this one) which were picked at the end of August... remained good off the vine for almost two months.
Wednesday, November 7 View Page
Pacific Northwest scenery about ten miles travel by car. I just like this picture for some reason.
Wednesday, November 7 View Page
I had a bad time selling pumpkins this year. Flakey customers... Enough pumpkins left that we held our own weigh off. Rosyís 504 House weighed 404 lbs. Not bad. Nice stem. Nice pumpkin. I used hers to cross with some others and I couldnít ask for a better plant to use really.
Wednesday, November 7 View Page
Anna always picks good seeds! She came close to a pb on this one (1472.5 Sherwood) coming in at 541 lbs. A very good conversion of sq ft to pumpkin on this one, because the plant was small... it could have fit in 100 ft or so, it was sparsely spread over 120-140 ft. Iím not sure why this one did so well. It must have had good genetics, and it was entirely pruned... it had good leaf longevity, and it was pruned in the same manner as her 559 last year (main dead-ended except for one secondary past the blossom). This seems to be a foolproof way to get slightly better results on a small plant. I would not recommend this pruning scheme in attempting to get a full size AG pumpkin but it seems to give good results when space or resources are limited. But for small inadequate areas... it seems the energy and resources are balanced and perfectly focused on the pumpkin when theyíre pruned this way.
Wednesday, November 7 View Page
1st Mommy crushes! 541 lb 2nd Dad...(me) 432 lb 3rd Rosyís orange monster 404.5 lb The scale was easy to use and goes to above 2k (1000 kg) it was over $100 but thatís ok... I look forward to using it to measure daily gains next year. Regrettably Iím not sure if this unit measures lbs hopefully it does... so far itís only showing kilos. 1472.5 Sherwood was the seed Anna used to crush her competition!
Wednesday, November 7 View Page
Moss killer? No thanks. Here is our moss soccer field. Yes, I actually mow the moss (and what little grass is in it) with a lawn mower. Itís softer and cushier than grass. Itís better than grass... Sometimes itís better to NOT wage a war against nature. Couldnít ask for a better year-round ďturfĒ... it gets afternoon shade so stays somewhat green all year even our long summer drought. Zero water or maintenance other than mowing just a few times a year.
Thursday, November 8 View Page
Blossom down. Itís very surprising to me that the blossom nub can sit in the dirt without rotting. Rot only seems to be an issue when the ground or skin is completely wet for a prolonged time. Same thing with potatoes... in standing water a potato will begin irreversible total rot in about 24 hrs. Whereas in normal damp dirt not exceeding the holding capacity of the soil, they basically never rot. 120 DAP here. The bottom is NOT flat. I want to try to get the bottoms flat, or nearly flat!
Thursday, November 8 View Page
Blossom end of the 541 Clayton (1472.5 Sherwood). The interesting thing about this one is its 140+ DAP. I was worried that we would have to try to get this one to an early weigh off but in fact it might have lasted a couple weeks past Halloween... The stem rotted in the rain recently, but the pumpkin itself survived the most recent week of rain. If I had covered the main vine with blankets or something to protect against frost it could have reached 150 DAP with no issues??? I feel like the long time this pumpkin was on the vine was part of the reason it achieved a relatively good conversion of sq ft of plant to lbs of pumpkin. From this observation, Iím guessing there are main three factors that are most important to getting a top result: 1) the health and size of the root system, 2) the inherent cellular potential of the baby pumpkin, and 3) the health and longevity of the leaves.
Sunday, November 11 View Page
Some notes for myself really... but I'll try to say them in a way that makes sense. My observation of some hills with multiple plants suggest to me that the basics of nutrient availability, via water and soil, seem to be areas where I should try to increase my results. My soil drains so well it does not hold much water or nutrients because its sandy loam atop pumice... that 'flood irrigation' might be the way to go. Drip irrigation seems inferior for my situation and flooding is easy... Let a trash can warm for a day mix in fertilizer and dump the water out. If I had a really big plant in hot weather it might take four barrels or trash cans per day. This would eliminate a few issues with overhead and drip irrigation. I might get some nice gains if the roots were a little warmer. Smaller plants could use one barrel per day. The root zone will still be limited though by the distribution of the water.
Monday, November 12 View Page
We cut off the permanent marker then ran this tomato and the others through the expeller press / sauce maker. I ran the little 8.22ís first. I can use the seeds someday perhaps. I picked the seeds out of the 5.04 by hand which really was not much work. Those seeds are already dry. But here the goal was to make soup. Since the 3.47ís went in after the 8.22ís they got contaminated with 8.22ís ... oh well. There are limits to how much perfect seed saving I can do. This would have been a great tool for turning all the split cherry tomatoes into pizza sauce. Other than that itís not a necessary tool the giant tomatoes donít have excessive skins or seeds so they could be processed easier by hand. The press made a huge family sized pot of soup in a reasonable amount of time but itís not necessary.
Wednesday, November 14 View Page
Winter tomato started. Mold, bugs, pollination problems... Here I come. Using the 5.04 Clayton domingo in about 5 gallon plastic tub of rotten straw, dirt, ash, blood meal, bone meal, which should be plenty of nutrients. Hope the ash stops surface mold but it could very well be a disaster. I dont have a goal or ambition other than to observe what happens.
Thursday, November 15 View Page
Headed for an extra week of warm weather thank you global warming... already feels like a nice day in April...
Wednesday, November 21 View Page
Ready for the holiday... grew this off the ď50 lb butternutĒ seed from one of the previous exotic seed exchanges. Probably weighs half that... but hey, it was not in a perfect spot... I canít complain! The weather is different every year, of course. This year is the nicest ďpre-Thanksgiving weatherĒ years I can remember... a couple wet weeks since September but it seems like about twice the usual amount of sun, this year. Happy Thanksgiving! PS Please consider joining the exotic seed exchange. Look for it in the seed exchange forum!
Sunday, November 25 View Page
Anyone else ready to skip straight to April? My sanity is very questionable to be working on pumpkin stuff year-round especially since Iím not the best grower... not even close. Some basic pumpkin watering calculations...gotta post em so I donít forget... if I wanted to water 150 sq ft with a half inch of water daily 24 half inch x 1 ft x 1 ft per 7.5 gallons = 3.2 square ft per gallon @ 1/2 ď = 47 gallons... I could see watering a larger plant with twice or three times this amount. Canít wait to make some changes to my watering I might want to water different areas in the evening and in the morning so the overall watering is steady but still as infrequent as possible in any one area, to keep the soil and roots where I want them in terms of disease and nutrients. I should try this in my regular garden also... I could try flood irrigating every other forrow. Ought to work well. Not really a fan of the various types of sprinklers any more. Iím excited to try something new next year!!! The flood irrigation I did on Annaís 1472.5 Sherwood plant turned out to be a real success. I tried it on Rosyís plant a couple times also. I also tried it on my 8.22 plant which grew the 5.04 lb tomato and probably would have had a 6+ pounder if I had set it up earlier with careful flood irrigation then I think I would have avoided blossom end rot on a much larger blossom than the blossom which grew the 5.04. There is no question sprinklers are bad for tomatoes and without a special setup the drip irrigation gets cold. The drip irrigation worked good though but Iíll save that for production... the competitive ones maybe Iíll just water by ďsmall scale flood irrigationĒ aka dumping out water from a barrel or buckets. I think this might be a positive edge for my competitive growing... This allows a lot of precision and options, like to water half the plant every other day so calcium uptake is more even. Or, like the pumpkins, water half the root zone in the evening, half in the morning. Worth a try, so really hope I get the chance to try to improve a lot in 2019. I hope that I will only be watering my OWN plants next year.
Sunday, November 25 View Page
Going with a lot of old hay again, instead of a cover crop. But this time I will spread it thick but loosely. I threw whole flakes on the ground previously and this did not work only half as well as I expected. I will again burn off the excess in March or April. The coarsest remaining hay will burn clean and fast if I spread it evenly. The remainder will be ready to till... Or not. I dont think not tilling is my biggest issue. I think lack of water and fertilizer are bigger issues for me than till vs no till. Two biggest pumpkins this year were no till. Hard to believe. Biggest last year was no-till. My biggest every year has been no-till. Call me confused it makes no sense right!
Thursday, November 29 View Page
Luke... and 2469 Daletas. It must have been thick. I didnít see it get cut open but, yes it certainly did appear to be thick everywhere, and thumped heavy (I had to do a very gentle pat-the-pumpkin test). The gpc stats have it recorded as the heaviest of the ďextra large class pumpkinsĒ at 18% Heavy. Quite an excellent accomplishment there, Mr. Daletas!
Monday, December 3 View Page
4.16 for the tomato contest. I did not realize Anna and I hit the same exact number. Hers was weighed way back in early September. Mine was entered at Baumans in October. Hers was red, off one of her 4.80 Strickler plants. Mine was green off the 3.47 Terry. Both 4.16 lbs. Strange coincidence, and strange that I did not notice it.
Monday, December 3 View Page
4.16 for the tomato contest. I did not realize Anna and I hit the same exact number. Hers was weighed way back in early September. Mine was entered at Baumans in October. Hers was red, off one of her 4.80 Strickler plants. Mine was green off the 3.47 Terry. Both 4.16 lbs. Strange coincidence, and strange that I did not notice it.
Sunday, December 23 View Page
There should be a tomato plant here but instead it's mostly lettuce. I poked one of Anna's 5.01's into the ground to restart my winter grow since everything in the middle got toasted. It did germinate... saw it coming up today but I don't think I can grow a winning tomato in just 90 days... So I concede. Not meant to be. Fun though... Harvested one "free" salad so far.
Sunday, December 23 View Page
Oops... Sorry. If it's not right this time I give up.
Sunday, December 23 View Page
I have done a fairly good job of spreading hay. I'm close to ready for next year. I know most growers use rye but I get such heavy rain and cooler temperatures being more in the mountains here. A weak cover crop is not enough to protect the ground. The soil texture is really great here but not when the rain pounds the soil to death. I should try a mix of rye and straw but basically I can't use just rye because it doesn't sufficiently protect the soil. I need to improve the tilth and that means I can't have four feet of rain land on my soil. The way it works around here is... After four or five feet of rain land on bare soil, you end up with dead soil... no tilth. And missing nutrients. I will burn the excess hay off in March or April. And fertilize then! It is pointless to fertilize now with anything soluble with three more feet of rain on the way. I will have to do some research to figure out if some cheap phosphorous would be better applied now though... due to low solubility.
Monday, December 24 View Page
Merry Christmas... to those who celebrate Christmas in various ways! Alas I am compelled to write just a little more about the past season before the new season begins... Seems to me that adding leaves did me no good. They are just a big zero as far as amendments go although they can nicely balance compost towards 'browns' they dont seem to be a worthwhile soil amendment even when nitrogen is added. I think plants like leaves and nitrogen as much as a person might like sugar and cardboard.
Saturday, December 29 View Page
1500 watt equiv.led white 5-6000k plus 900 watt equiv. led mixed /full spectrum... So now I can grow a tomato maybe? My lettuce is 12 inches below the light hopefully it will act as an early warning if its too intense. Btw the led was a flood light like those used at a gas station or convenience store parking lot... It was only sixty or eighty bucks there are grow stores that would charge ten times that...or more?? Dont get ripped off... it seems to work fine. Anyhow its a $200 setup 2400 watts and wont require anything else. I take that back a $300 setup once the broken ikea closet is factored in. I just paid 3.65 for a rather tiny little head of lettuce at the store...

 

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