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Click on a thumbnail picture below to see the full size version. 94 Entries.
Tuesday, January 1 View Page
Happy and Healthy growing to everyone in 2019 and best of luck at the scales. We will be growing for orange and big and ugly this year. Final seed selection is happening now.
 
Tuesday, February 12 View Page
Let’s move back to Vancouver Island where we can golf in winter...we got hammered with winter.
 
Tuesday, February 12 View Page
Snow like we don’t normally see, and unusually cold.
 
Tuesday, February 12 View Page
Guarding the patch is a regular visitor, atop the highest tree in our forest.
 
Thursday, February 14 View Page
About 2 feet of atmospheric nitrogen has been added to the patch so far this week, with another storm happening now.
 
Friday, April 12 View Page
On the advice from BC Hall of Fame, and record holder Scott Carley (Spambie) I mowed down the cover crop to a manageable level to make the rototilling easier and more efficient. We have spread “some amendments” as per the soil test results and recommendations from other grower mentors on this site. The soil is in amazing condition and requires only a bit of tweaking to get the numbers in order and where we’d like to see them. 0-0-50, Kmag, Calpril, magnesium, boron, bat guano, kelp meal, alfalfa meal and multi purpose micronutrients have been meticulously weighed, measured out and spread over the freshly cut cover crop and everything will get tilled by “Rototiller Rob” this coming Monday. After that, heat mats will be installed, hoop houses built and heaters installed this year for the chilly overnight lows that we still get till it’s June. Seed selection has been narrowed down, seed starting mix and lights are ready to go. That’s enough work for today, I golf 18 holes this afternoon to relax after a few hours playing on our land.
 
Friday, April 12 View Page
Looks like the old sign needs a sanding and refinishing, but the message remains the same!!
 
Monday, April 15 View Page
Rototiller Bob came today and made pretty quick work of the cover crop and amendments. Heat cables will be installed, hoop-houses built, electrical installed for heaters and we will be ready to go. Seeds will be soaked and started in a day or two and it’s pumpkin season. Will only grow 3 competition plants this year along with one Field Pumpkin.
 
Wednesday, May 1 View Page
Some of the seedlings we have started, 2255 Eddy Z and 1043 Chan by far the stars of the show and are the ones that will get planted. We are considering growing 2 of the 2255 EZ plants and doing a sub cross the reinforce the great cross that Eddy did into these seeds. The 1043 Chan, just has a great track record for growing monster fruit, and I’m growing it for my buddy Dave, since he is taking the year off to pursue travel.
 
Wednesday, May 1 View Page
Two of our 3 hoophouses are up and will get wired for power soon. The seedlings will get planted this weekend, then later I’ll start a field pumpkin in an effort to dethrone Jeff Pelletier as the current B.C. Champion in that category. 3 giant pumpkins and 1 field pumpkin this year, with a much larger vegetable garden will keep us busy in the patch this year. I golf 4 times a week, so if the weeding doesn’t get done...I’m golfing well.
 
Sunday, May 5 View Page
Wired, watered and ready to roll! We’ve planted 2 x 1043 Chan plants and one 2255 Eddy Z.
 
Monday, May 6 View Page
Two regular heat lamps and one infrared heat lamp are keeping the small hoophouses above 60 degrees at night even when the overnight temps are dipping down into the low 50’s. The seedlings have settled well into their new homes, and while we are about a week behind our normal schedule, we are looking forward to our second year with our new patch. It’s been really dry, so the patch has been easy to work in and get things ready.
 
Sunday, May 26 View Page
We are stockpiling compost closer to the plants, in preparation for covering and burying vines. We mix the compost with Premier Promix High Porosity Mix with Mycorrhizae. I’d say we use about 4 large bales per yard to get the right consistency. This year a pinch of Gaia Green 4-4-4 might just get added to the mix, when we put it in 5 gallon buckets to use. Plants will be out of the mini greenhouses in a few days, they are all off and running with the 2255 Eddy Z leading the pack.
 
Thursday, May 30 View Page
Front and rear plastic ends off the hoops now as the plants reach out for more ground. 2255 Eddy Z on the left and one of our 1043 Chan plants on the right. The other Chan plant has the entire upper patch to itself and I might see if I can get 2 pumpkins to set on it. Need to do a little weeding, test watering system and put out some more walking boards.
 
Thursday, May 30 View Page
SoCalGrower’s new patch sign looks great, made me realize the old sign could use a new coat of paint and some stain to freshen it up. It sure was made well and has lasted all these years out in the elements year round. Made of cedar, so it won’t rot anytime soon, but a new coat of paint will bring it back to life. Love your new sign Chris, and look at those monster plants you have already, nice!!
 
Saturday, June 8 View Page
2255 Eddy Z is starting to stretch out a bit. Removed an early female in the tip, plant needs to be larger.
 
Wednesday, June 12 View Page
2255 Eddy Z is starting to chew up the ground. Removed another female in the tip, hopefully we get more to appear for us to pollinate in the next few weeks, and a June pollination is still possible. The two 1043 Chan plants are also ripping along, vine mix is being made and trenches will need to be raked in for the secondary vines to settle into.
 
Friday, June 14 View Page
2255 Eddy Z enjoying the nice weather.
 
Friday, June 14 View Page
Lower 1043 Chan starting to stretch out a bit too.
 
Friday, June 14 View Page
Upper 1043 Chan is the dark horse. In the best spot for Sun, in August, September and October but has had a slower start than the other two due to less sun earlier on in May. For whatever reason, the upper Chan plant has me thinking we might be onto another good one from this seed.
 
Tuesday, June 18 View Page
2255 EZ. There is a female flower in the main growth cluster, and I’ve been pruning off females from all the secondaries, so all systems seem to be on go with this plant. Will update in week or 10 days, once we are at pollination. We started later this year, but might be earlier pollinated than our usual July 1-4th target date. I’ll start one earlier next year and hope for the May and June we’ve had this year. Both 1043 Chan plants (Named Janet & Dave) are on pace for regular pollination date also.
 
Tuesday, June 25 View Page
Hope to pollinate soon, they will not be at the same time this year. Janet (1043 Chan) in the foreground is escaping through the garlic and down into the lower garden. Then past Janet is the 2255 EZ plant, 5-7 days to pollinate. Guess we will have to name the resulting fruit Edwina. Then lower garden next to Eddy is Dave, (another 1043 Chan plant). Plan is to get a massive plant and pollinate 2 on one of the 1043 plants, Janet has the most room, so likely her plant. There is the Saanich Fair September 1st weekend, and we’ve got to make an appearance this year to let the Victoria growers see what can be grown up Island, in Mill Bay.
 
Tuesday, June 25 View Page
2255 plant. Yes, Andrea and I weed by hand. We have an assortment of weeding implements and devices, luckily for me Andrea has mastered a couple of them and makes short work of it after I use the broad fork to loosen everything. Also, it’s dry and that is helping keep the weeds down. Once we start watering more area...the weeds will return.
 
Tuesday, June 25 View Page
Dave, the 1043 Chan plant, will get the rub and tickle in about a week. Broadfork is an awesome patch weapon, deeply loosens and aerates the soil in advance of the secondaries. Custom made, has 7 x 13” tines that are spaced 4” apart. When the soil is dry like it is now, it works amazing. Andrea has not mastered the broadfork yet, it is very heavy and been deemed my job.
 
Tuesday, June 25 View Page
Janet, the other 1043 Chan plant escaping down past the garlic into the lower garden. She’s ramped it up and is growing 6-8” a day now. Super busy with summer stuff, kicking dirt on my secondaries like Spambie this year, see if his technique works for me...sure does for him.
 
Sunday, June 30 View Page
2255 EZ pollinated by 1043 Chan (Dave) this morning at 6:30am. Eddy and Dave met at Convention in Portland a few years ago and seemed to hit it off, so I don’t feel bad about the union between the 2255 and the 1043. There were no flowers available on the other 1043 Chan plant (Janet), or I would have used her pollen, which EZ would have most likely preferred, but you get what is available. More pollinations next week.
 
Wednesday, July 3 View Page
1043 Chan (Dave) in foreground with a flower that will get pollinated in a day or two. 2255 EZ with the umbrella in the upper patch looks to have a fruit set. And the other 1043 Chan (Janet) upper left, has a flower to pollinate a few days after the other one. Plants are filling in, it’s go time!! Note to self, plant 10 days earlier next year.
 
Thursday, July 4 View Page
Well, in turn the 1043 Chan (Dave) was pollinated by the 2255 EZ this morning by a bunch of eager male flowers. I was told by my good buddy (Dave Chan) that the optimum timing for pollinations in British Columbia, was between 6:30am and 7:00am, so I’ve always tried to follow that rule and have had great results because of it. I always pick the flowers, set them in a sunny location for a few minutes to get warm and dry, and follow the rub and tickle method employed by most giant pumpkin growers. I’m not going to tell pollination stories on the golf course any longer, most non-growers just don’t understand. Now we wait a day or 2 more to pollinate the other 1043 Chan (Janet) as she will be ready soon and is ripping along with growth.
 
Sunday, July 7 View Page
Pollination day for Janet (1043 Chan) with the always ready and wiling 2255 Eddy Z plants pollen. This plant successfully grew down over top the small retaining wall and down into the open area that was going to rest this year. She has loads of room to stretch out and keep growing.
 
Sunday, July 7 View Page
1043 plant at top, 2255 EZ with the grey and purple umbrella, and the other 1043 plant in he lower section with the blue umbrella.
 
Sunday, July 7 View Page
2255 Eddy Z plant with 7 day old baby fruit. I’ve started the vine turn away from the pumpkin, but will wait for a super hot day and an extra set of hands to swing it further away and into position. Swinging the main vine onto the opposite side of the fruit always means losing a secondary or 2 due to crowding, but the plants are pretty large this year and I want to make sure I can continue growing the main vine and see if we can get a PB in our new patch.
 
Monday, July 8 View Page
Nice warm humid day today, vine burying and vine adjusting at 10am doesn’t usually happen in our patch. Nice fresh rain yesterday meant we couldn’t golf, but the plants really enjoyed it.
 
Monday, July 8 View Page
Took advantage of the warmer than usual morning hours and adjusted the main vine on the 2255 Eddy Z plant. Got it swung wide and into place. Now we will allow tertiary vines off the last secondaries on each side, after allowing sufficient room for the sun cover that we will soon install.
 
Friday, July 19 View Page
Pumpkin on the 2255 EZ is starting to rise above the canopy of leaves, and will be day 20 tomorrow. 1043 Janet upper left with pumpkin at day 12 and 1043 Dave in the lower portion has a fruit at day 15 today. All three pumpkins have a different shape, and I can see the classic colour and mottling influence from the 1495 Stelts pollination that Eddy did worked.
 
Saturday, July 20 View Page
Day 20 for the fruit on the 2255 Zaychkowski (now named Edzina) and measures at 56-38-38 OTT. We’ve installed our sun/rain protection hillbilly huts over the pumpkins, brought out the bigger sheets and everything seems happy.
 
Wednesday, July 24 View Page
Day 20 for 1043 Chan (Dave) now named “Davina”, and she is a glossy yellow measuring in at 55-38-38. The other 1043 plant (Janet, will remain named Janet) will be at day 20 in a few days and she is ripping along nicely too. The 2255 Edzina fruit on the 2255 EZ plant is on day 24 and is now doing over 20 lbs a day and increasing that number each day. It’s our second year in this new home and patch and it looks like we’ve got things dialed in properly for now. Tissue testing will help me with my fertigation program, and both Spambie (Scott) and the good Doctor (Richmond Dave) are being super supportive as per usual and help me with advice and council without hesitation every time I ask. Same for my buddy, Chris in California (SoCalGrower) who spends time feeding juicy details to his Northern friend across the border.
 
Saturday, July 27 View Page
Day 20 for the upper 1043 Chan plant (Janet) and I love the football shape this one has got starting out. A modest 55” in circumference on day 20 is honestly about average for our patch, and we are just happy to have 3 pumpkins set on three very large and healthy plants. The other 1043 Chan plant (Dave) is ramping up the growth curve and did 21 lbs in the past 24 hours on day 23, and the 2255 EZ fruit ((Edzina) will get the tape wrapped around it in a few days on its day 30, but I’d bet it is doing 25-30 lbs a day right now with the way it is shape shifting and outgrowing it’s smaller blankets.
 
Saturday, July 27 View Page
Day 20, 23, 27. Weather forecast is good and evenings have warmed up considerably. We are near the ocean in a coastal valley area, in a very unique micro climate that has daily winds that we can set our clock to. Right now those winds are warm one minute and cool the next.
 
Sunday, July 28 View Page
We’ve been hand watering under the canopy in the mornings, then following up with the rest of a feeding in the evening. We try and time it right so that there is ample time for the leaves to dry before it gets dark. With the tradewinds we have here anyways, things dry out pretty quickly.
 
Tuesday, July 30 View Page
Day 30 today for Edzina on the 2255 EZ, and the numbers are somewhat disappointing in that she did not make 100” or better in circumference and only averaged 16.5 lbs per day in weight gain from day 20-30. I don’t want to change anything significantly in my system, but I’ll likely change back from watering twice a day, to watering each plants allotment of water and nutrients all at once in the early evening.
 
Wednesday, July 31 View Page
One of these pumpkins gained a fantastic amount of inches and pounds in the past 24 hours, or I measured wrong the previous time.
 
Wednesday, July 31 View Page
At day 27, the lower 1043 Chan plant has taken over the lead from it’s older patchmate above. All three pumpkins are doing well, not quite full throttle yet, but I can tell it will be soon. Blankets are getting smaller on the pumpkins, always a good sign. Had a great chat with Scott Carley this morning, but he didn’t offer any OTT details from his patch. What he did offer was great advice and shared some more knowledge on a few topics that I needed clarification on, thanks Scott.
 
Saturday, August 3 View Page
Day 30 for the lower 1043 Chan plant, it hit 107-66-73 OTT this morning, gaining 38 lbs in the past 24 hours and is up 278 lbs for the past 10 days, so a nice average of 28 lbs a day from day 20 to day 30. Ramping up the daily growth pattern is a good step forward, will be interesting to see the next 10 day average if the pattern continues.
 
Sunday, August 4 View Page
Good morning! I enjoy this part of the growing season the most. Check the blankets and replace if wet, look at stems and blossom ends, do any grooming as necessary, go golfing and then in the evening water as usual.
 
Monday, August 5 View Page
Looks like we will have 2 nice orange coloured pumpkins this year, and Dave on the lower 1043 Chan plant. Upper left 1043 Chan plant, pumpkin is a fat lowrider that is getting wide and deep but will no doubt be orange. Upper 1043 Chan gained 22 lbs a day past 2 days, 2255 EZ pumpkin did 32 lbs a day and lower 1043 Chan pumpkin ramped up to 38 lbs a day last 2 days.
 
Monday, August 5 View Page
Lower 1043 Chan pumpkin has done everything right, except be orange. With limited planting and growing, Dave’s 1043 Chan seed has done extremely well on the scale and has grown some of our Province’s biggest pumpkins consistently.
 
Tuesday, August 6 View Page
Day 30 for Janet, the upper 1043 Chan and she is 94-61-57 OTT or 217 lbs from the chart we use. She is up only 167 lbs over the past 10 days, but the last 3 days have been up around 22 lbs a day, so that is a good trend.
 
Friday, August 9 View Page
Day 40 for the fruit on the 2255 EZ plant. Growth has slowed to 15 lbs per day for the past 10 days so it looks like this will be the Saanich Fair Pumpkin that gets picked early for the Fair starting August 31. It will then likely be put on display at The Old Farm Market in advance of the Weighoff there in October.
 
Saturday, August 10 View Page
In memory, fondness and pride in my father...he would love this pumpkin stuff. In the early 1970’s when I was a boy, my Dad grew a big pumpkin like the Saanich Fair has never seen. It must have been 150 lbs and we delivered it in the trunk of our 1952 Dodge 2 door coupe. Unfortunately for Dad, it had a small amount of rot on the bottom and was disqualified from competition and would have clearly been the winner. My Dad taught me a lot of things and I think of him every day. One of the lessons in life he taught me, was how to turn $1 dollar into $2 dollars over time. Well, I’m gonna gamble (invest) this old 1972 $1 dollar bill and try to increase its value by 5 to 800 times, by entering one of the pumpkins in the Saanich Fair in honour of my Dad, Norm Dixon. There are 2 special prizes that I’m gunning for. $100 for a 400-800 lb pumpkin and $500 for a pumpkin over 800 lbs. Based on the growth of our slowest grower, we won’t make 800 lbs by the end of August, but we should have 2 fruit well over 400 lbs by then.
 
Tuesday, August 13 View Page
Dave 40 today for the lower 1043 Chan pumpkin and it hit 141-84-95 OTT this morning. Gaining 39 lbs in the past 24 hours and 382 lbs for the past 10 days for a nice steady 38 lb average from day 30-40. This is our largest 40 day pumpkin ever and also the longest sustained daily growth we’ve ever managed in a giant pumpkin plant. Interesting to note, we grew another 1043 Chan in 2014 that was our biggest day 40 right up until today. Other growers out there better contact Richmond Dave, he still has some 1043 Chan seeds available and they might really do something special in a Heavy Hitter’s patch if they do that well for me and Dave here in British Columbia.
 
Friday, August 16 View Page
Day 40 today for the upper 1043 Chan plant (Janet) and she continues to pack on the pounds, just not at the same pace as the lower 1043 plant. She gained 211 lbs over the past 10 days for a moderate 21 lbs per day, but gained 22 lbs in the past 24 hours, so maybe the growth curve is still on the upward trend. Smooth, round, orange and not a rib to be seen yet. This one is for you Mr. Dill.
 
Friday, August 16 View Page
We switched from the RAW Grow formula to the RAW Bloom formula about 2 weeks ago and the plants seem to be very happy. We are still supplementing with other products in the rotation and keeping a watchful eye out for any Powdery Mildew that could pop up at anytime. We don’t seem to be bothered by PM, and my advisor Scott Carley is a big part of that success in avoiding it like the plague...thanks Scott.
 
Friday, August 16 View Page
It’s a quick blankets off, photo opportunity before the blankies go back on. We’ve got an extended nice stretch of weather, but the evenings are cooling down a little and that usual BC growth pattern might take over. 2255 Zaychkowsky on the upper right, 1043 Chan upper left and in front.
 
Monday, August 19 View Page
Day 50 for the 2255 EZ pumpkin, the chosen one for the Saanich Fair on August 31st. Has gained 115 lbs in the past 10 days and predictably the growth pattern is slowing down and the skin is cantalouping quickly. We will likely harvest and clean up the plant area a few days early and park her in the truck at The Old Farm Market on display, so we can raise awareness and promote giant pumpkin growing on Vancouver Island.
 
Wednesday, August 21 View Page
Two good problems to have when your blankets/quilts get too small and when your rain/sun covers gets too small also. We have an engineering and pre-growth strategy discussion every year before we put our hoop covers up again over the young pumpkins. Almost every year we get one pumpkin that won’t grow inside the hut like we want. The lower 1043 Chan continues along at a great pace and will be day 50 in a couple days. Bulging out and growing tall, we may need to upgrade the accommodations for the last 6 week push to Weighoffs.
 
Wednesday, August 21 View Page
Two good problems to have when your blankets/quilts get too small and when your rain/sun covers gets too small also. We have an engineering and pre-growth strategy discussion every year before we put our hoop covers up again over the young pumpkins. Almost every year we get one pumpkin that won’t grow inside the hut like we want. The lower 1043 Chan continues along at a great pace and will be day 50 in a couple days. Bulging out and growing tall, we may need to upgrade the accommodations for the last 6 week push to Weighoffs.
 
Wednesday, August 21 View Page
1043 Chan that needs bigger blankets and an expanded rain/sun cover.
 
Thursday, August 22 View Page
Trying to push the local awareness and interest in giant pumpkin growing, CTV Vancouver Island came to our pumpkin patch and did a a quick story. https://vancouverisland.ctvnews.ca/video?clipId=1759468&binId=1.1180928&playlistPageNum=1
 
Friday, August 23 View Page
Day 50 for the lower 1043 plant and it’s gained 331 lbs in the past 10 days for a good 33 lb per day average. Sits at 161-108-96 OTT. Weather forecast is good with warmer days and warmer nights for the next couple weeks. It’s been cooler in the evening, prompting me to spray a preventative fungicide that I usually slip into the rotation around this time of the year. No aphids, but it’s been 6 weeks since my last preventative drenching for bugs when we had an invasion of whiteflies.
 
Sunday, August 25 View Page
Day 50 for the upper 1043 Chan and isn’t she a beauty!! Very orange, round and smooth. She will get the tape wrapped around her tomorrow for the official 50 day numbers and another photo opportunity with the blankets off. My suspicion is that the growth curve is still not backing off on this one,but never got the huge numbers that it’s patchmate got during July and August. Still a very good chance that this one will surpass 1K, but imagine she will be in the running for “prettiest” anywhere we take her.
 
Monday, August 26 View Page
Day 50 is today for the upper 1043 Chan pumpkin. She tapes in at 139-87-83 OTT this morning. Steady grower has gained 219 lbs in the past 10 days for an average of 22 lbs per day. Won’t need any olive oil, tea tree oil or buffing to be a brilliant orange come Weighoff time.
 
Saturday, August 31 View Page
Getting a nice drink of water with 200 ppm kelp and 350 ppm of Growth Products 0-0-25. Pumpkin continues to outgrow its sun/rain cover, and tapes 1250 lbs today. We’ve never had a pumpkin this large at the end of August, so we are gonna do our best to keep it growing for another 6 weeks till we take it to Weighoff.
 
Monday, September 2 View Page
JenSue4386 recently asked in a posting about cupping leaves. To show an example of what happens here, we have reached the overnight dew points in our weather pattern (fall is coming) so, the leaves had some morning dew on them and we’re cupped a little, and to that I added a foliar feeding of some goodies before the sun dries everything out. The plants have reacted with “give me more” and leaves have reacted that way in anticipation of being watered to funnel the water where they want it at the base of the leaf.
 
Monday, September 2 View Page
Blankets off for a little show and tell/photo-op session. Upper and lower 1043 Chan plants and pumpkins doing well.
 
Monday, September 2 View Page
Upper plant will excite the orange crowd, 1043 Chan almost always throws big and orange.
 
Monday, September 2 View Page
The Canadians in the crowd will spot the telltale maple leaf shapes in the mottling pattern, so neat!!
 
Monday, September 2 View Page
Very recently totally smooth, the lower 1043 Chan is starting to muscle up and starting to get a bit lumpy now...bring it on September. Also getting more and more orange, but will not be the brilliant orange that the patchmate is.
 
Monday, September 2 View Page
Lower 1043 Chan is day 60 today and the tape says 175-112-101 for a total of 388” OTT. Has gained 202 lbs in the past 10 days for a nice 20 lb per day average. Have sprayed for Powdery Mildew and will likely do one more application before the season is done. Bugs have not been an issue this year, but we did keep on top of it rather than waiting for them and treating afterwards. Congratulations to Andrew Hawthorne for besting us at the Saanich Fair this year, you guessed it...Ole North Shore Boyz ran second again. The 2255 EZ pumpkin weighed in at 544 lbs (right in the chart) and is now on display at our Weighoff Sponsor’s place of business, The Old Farm Market.
 
Thursday, September 5 View Page
Day 60 for the upper, shiny and gorgeous orange, 1043 Chan. She measures up at 147-95-90 or 796 lbs. Has gained 149 lbs over the past 10 days for a decent 15 lbs per day. Still feeding both plants on my rotational basis with various products but nothing this year over 500 ppm. Thankyou NPK Canada, great Products, great company and proud you are one of our top level Sponsors.
 
Tuesday, September 10 View Page
While Andrea gets the finer, more detailed pictures of the 1043 Chan, I wanted to show where the pumpkin is covered by both the rain cover and blanket it is very white in comparison to the rest of it which gets sun and daylight.
 
Tuesday, September 10 View Page
We’ve got another 10 days of predicted sunshine after a few days of mixed clouds/misty rain and much cooler temperatures, especially overnight. Pretty sure this fruit will go to Krause Berry Farm Weighoff on October 5th, but I’m considering other options since it is still growing at a pretty good rate. Day 70 in a few days, we’ve had them grow past day 90 in previous years and I think this one will do it also.
 
Tuesday, September 10 View Page
Not a day of sunshine or daylight on the skin of this 1043 Chan, and look at the colour. Would it have been even darker orange if we had exposed it to the sun? We will never know cause I’m not gonna change anything now.
 
Thursday, September 12 View Page
We’ve had a small weather shift to coastal fog, misty rain and cool overnights. That will change again in a few days, back to sunny days but continued Collier overnight lows. Day 70 today on the lower 1043 Chan and it sits today at 185-119-106 for 410” OTT or 1467 lbs on the chart I’m using. Has gained 217 lbs in the past 10 days for a nice average of 22 lbs per day.
 
Sunday, September 15 View Page
Upper 1043 Chan pumpkin is day 70 today and sits at 875 lbs, up 79 lbs in the past 10 days or around 8 lbs per day. Kind of to be expected with the weather cooling down but this one slowed down much quicker, and never hd the explosive gains that the lower patchmate had. We usually get good sustained growth on our pumpkins in the month of September and this year is no different. Upper 1043 pumpkin has gained 153 lbs so far in September and the lower 1043 Chan pumpkin has gained 295 lbs so far this month.
 
Wednesday, September 25 View Page
This upper 1043 Chan plant just won’t give up. We still have the main vine and 1 secondary growing, and each vine is still throwing out male and female flowers...these plants continue to amaze us. I wish I had pollinated 2 pumpkins on this plant, I will plan better for next year. Day 80 today and she sits at 158-98-94 for about 928 lbs. She has gained 68 lbs in the past 10 days for a nice little average of about 6.5 lbs per day.
 
Saturday, September 28 View Page
Nice little 4 lobe flower opened this morning with the encouragement of some sun. Harvest time for the other pumpkin in a few days. I’m going to have to cut and load for the Vancouver Weighoff at Krause Berry Farm a few sooner than anticipated due to rains that are coming that could stop me from getting in and out of the patch. I’ve bought a bunch of 1” plywood’s d and have a sufficient “driveway” that I can use, even if we have to use a pallet jack first to move to the truck. So I’m in Windsor Plywood, talking with the guy and of course he asks “what are you building?” Answer “a pathway to my pumpkin patch”, he says “oh my Dad used to grow giant pumpkins” Long story short, those of you that remember IslandOrange aka Craig Sandvic, it was his son at the desk. When Craig gave up growing, he gave me his lifting tarp and lifting ring, the same lifting ring I’ve been using ever since, and the lifting ring we’ve used at all our Weighoffs. Small, small world!
 
Tuesday, October 1 View Page
Time to prep for lifting and loading. With the threat of rain over the next few days, we had to act fast.
 
Tuesday, October 1 View Page
Plywood road, teamwork and good thoughts got it done. Just Andrea and I doing the task. Note to self (Dave, Scott, Jeff) I need better straps for my lifting ring. We got it done, but these alligator clasps on my strap adjustments had me peaking and freaking.
 
Tuesday, October 1 View Page
I couldn’t do it, nor would I want to do this hobby all alone, and can’t thank the lovely Andrea enough for all her help, guidance and assistance. We got this beast loaded successfully, look out Vancouver!!
 
Wednesday, October 2 View Page
Even worse than golf, this can be a cruel, unforgiving hobby. This pumpkin will be a DMG entry, no doubt a PB by a country mile, but none the less has failed the probe test and will get no ribbon or bling bling this year. Getting ready to strap it down and we noticed that dreaded black hole inside the stem split. Sure enough, it failed the probe test as is well into the cavity. We will either unload and bring our other fruit, or show up in Vancouver as scheduled and get a DMG weight. Now, I hope it’s an airbag and weighs light, I don’t need another kick while I’m down. Oh well, we’ve got our soil figure out and have popped a few big ones in a short period of time at our new property, onward and upward.
 
Saturday, October 5 View Page
2nd time we’ve had the largest pumpkin but suffered a DQ in the process. 1361 lbs is a New personal best so we are happy about that. The Vancouver Weighoff at Krause Berry Farm was another huge success with huge crowds, overflow parking and the busiest day of the year in sales for our location/host sponsor. Lots of personal bests and a few records came tumbling down on the weekend. Scott Carley with. 111 lb Field Pumpkin, a new Provincial Record and he also snagged a new Squash Record at 1066 lbs by smashing his old record of 725 lbs. Jeff Pelletier set the pace and got a Provincial Record in the process for his massive bushel gourd at 219 lbs. The Old Farm Market Giant Pumpkin Weighoff is on Saturday October 19th with $750 cash for the winner, $500 for second and $250 for third, there are also gift certificates and prizes all the way down to 10th, including amazing starter packs from RAW NPK Canada.
 
Friday, October 11 View Page
Getting ready to lift and load the last remaining pumpkin in the patch. We cut away all the secondaries, but still have it plugged into the main vine for as long as we can. Gotta get the patch tilled and cover crop planted, I’m a few weeks later this year but hopefully we can still get a decent cover crop established before any winter weather sets in.
 
Saturday, October 19 View Page
We were very lucky and thrilled to have Pumpkin royalty at our little Vancouver Island Weighoff. A pretty familiar face showed up with “her small pumpkin” and took home first place with a 1541 lb pumpkin. It was great to have time to spend with Cindy, such a nice person and a great representative for our hobby/sport. After the Weighoff we enjoyed a nice meal at my golf club and actually talked about other things than pumpkins. Looking forward to seeing you at Convention Cindy.
 
Saturday, October 19 View Page
After the Weighoff, we settled Cindy into our little guest cottage for the night and she made her way back to Washington State the next morning.
 
Sunday, October 20 View Page
Why change now, bridesmaid and runner-up bridesmaid this year. $20 cash money for second place at the Saanich Fair and $250 cash money for 3rd place and our 1116 lb Pumpkin at The Old Farm Market Giant Pumpkin Weighoff. A great year (despite the weather) and a bunch of Personal Bests, and records for my fellow growers, congrats everyone and thanks for the help, every step of the way.
 
Tuesday, October 29 View Page
Our MC and a top grower in our Province, Jeff Pelletier (ww5flute) holds up the still coveted 1/2 Ton Pumpkin Club badge. There have only been 12 growers to officially weigh a pumpkin over 1000 lbs, but it was a slam dunk for Joe Hanrahan (joecoyote) with his 1130 lb personal best. Who will be number 14 in British Columbia to grow 1000 lbs plus and earn the badge? My money is on Kate (kmumford) for next year.
 
Tuesday, October 29 View Page
The Old Farm Market owner, location sponsor, our friend and all round good guy Lorne Campbell, with Cindy and her winning 1541 lb entry. A highlight for the BC Growers was the absolute honour to present Cindy with her 1/2 Ton Pumpkin Club patch.
 
Tuesday, October 29 View Page
Our 1116 Dixon, this one was 8% heavy. The pumpkin behind on the raised pallets is 1361 Dixon dmg was a little light. Both pumpkins from the same seed, 1043 Chan. You’d never know by looking at them, other than both are orange, that they are from the same seed but on different plants. One tall, wide and narrow and one low, wide and deep and super smooth.
 
Tuesday, October 29 View Page
Thanks NPK Industries for all the information at NPK University on utube. New growers that want to learn or experienced veteran growers can all benefit from Harley Smith tips and tutorials on utube.
 
Friday, November 8 View Page
Solid as a rock and as thick fleshed a pumpkin as we have ever grown. The 1116 lb Dixon (grown from 1043 Chan) sits awaiting its destiny, but I harvested some seeds before the deal was done.
 
Friday, November 8 View Page
A nearby farm eagerly accepted the offering for some quality feed for the pigs.
 
Friday, November 8 View Page
They certainly didn’t need any coaxing, and tucked right into the first piece we threw in. Once the dominant breeders got a taste, all the 35 piglets were lucky to get a bite. They were going to chop it up and separate the piglets, so that they could get a taste too.
 
Monday, November 11 View Page
First pass, we are about 2-3 weeks behind this year prepping for next, but better late than never. With our mild climate right now, the cover crop should germinate quickly anyways. Newer equipment with a better tilller being used this year, took about 1 hour to do 2 complete passes on the entire patch.
 
Tuesday, November 12 View Page
Done, winter rye and hairy vetch cover crop planted (3 weeks later than last year) so I’m hoping for the best before we get down to winter. 1361 lb, 1116 lb and 544 lb pumpkins this year, not bad but just like golf, can always do better.
 

 

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