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Click on a thumbnail picture below to see the full size version. 82 Entries.
Monday, June 24 View Page
I wanted to start my diary this year with this lamp that I think is fascinating. It's a glass jug that my mom put dirt and sprigs of the vine through the narrow opening then sealed 45 years ago. It has NEVER been watered in 45 years.
 
Monday, June 24 View Page
When I decided where to put my new patch last fall, my divining rod must have been a little off. I dig all my patches by hand with a shovel. The patch is just rocks held together by heavy red clay.
 
Monday, June 24 View Page
The 1937 started slow but is getting it's legs under it now. Thick, full plant. Hope to have one set at 13 feet.
 
Monday, June 24 View Page
The 1342 likes to stretch out. It has an open growth habit, with good space between the leaves. Maybe one set at 13 feet.
 
Wednesday, June 26 View Page
Had the privilege of visiting Andrew Vial's patch today. He has put in a lot of hard work in setting up his patch and it shows. Inspirational.
 
Wednesday, June 26 View Page
He's one of those secretive melon growers. You wouldn't believe the waiver I had to sign before I could take pictures. Just kidding. Andrew is one of the most laid back, easy going people full ever meet.
 
Wednesday, June 26 View Page
Impressive plants.
 
Wednesday, June 26 View Page
I don't know if the picture does the melon justice, but very impressive fruit for 37 days old.
 
Monday, July 1 View Page
If the belly button is any indication, she should have some real potential. Day 16.
 
Thursday, July 4 View Page
1172 Haist. Many thanks to Karl for the great squash seeds. Got a late start with this plant, but that was by design.
 
Thursday, July 4 View Page
Happy Independence Day to everyone. Our vegetable garden is doing well this year. I plant in old pumpkin patches and rarely use any supplemental nutrients.
 
Saturday, July 6 View Page
Our 1342 is growing well for now. White like it's mother.
 
Saturday, July 6 View Page
The 1937 looks like it is going to have some color.
 
Saturday, July 6 View Page
The vole tunnel is going right under the castor bean plant. The roots are supposed to repel them.
 
Saturday, July 6 View Page
The 1937 is filling in its space. Nice view from our deck. Very understanding wife.
 
Saturday, July 6 View Page
View of the 1342 from our deck.
 
Monday, July 8 View Page
Bad thunderstorm last night. Pumpkin plants got roughed up, but faired better than the corn.
 
Sunday, July 14 View Page
1927 at 24 days. Happy with her progress.
 
Sunday, July 14 View Page
1342 at 29 days. 278" = 496 lbs. Not impressive by many people's standards on this site, but by far my fastest growing pumpkin to this point.
 
Sunday, July 14 View Page
She is long and wide, but not very tall at this point.
 
Sunday, July 14 View Page
She is long and wide, but not very tall at this point.
 
Wednesday, July 17 View Page
Twin boulders.
 
Thursday, July 18 View Page
Our 158 bushel gourd. It grew our 251 last year, and also another on the same plant that measured just 3 total inches less. It was never weighed. I wish I had gotten this one started about two weeks earlier.
 
Thursday, July 18 View Page
1172 Haist. Two problems: Her leaf stalks are weak and break if you so much as sneeze, and she is running out of real estate and showing no interest in putting on a squash. I'll give her every chance to succeed until it's time to pull her.
 
Thursday, July 18 View Page
Our 1050 from two years ago that went so heavy. It's hard to get a fruit set in this oppressive heat wave.
 
Thursday, July 18 View Page
My first attempt at a giant marrow has been less than stellar. The main vine dead ended itself by doing a gnarled twist back on itself at about 8 feet.
 
Saturday, July 20 View Page
I've ridden this roller coaster for 32 years now. We all know we are subject to get kicked off the ride at any time. But I've never been on one travelling quite this fast.
 
Saturday, July 20 View Page
DAP 35. 317 total inches = 734 by the 2017 GPC chart. I'm just closing my eyes and holding on tight.
 
Saturday, July 20 View Page
Our 1342 is running scared. The 1937 is 5 days behind but pushing hard. DAP 30 is 294 total inches or 587 by the 2017 GPC chart. I never suspected this out of the rocky, sticky clay soil I started with.
 
Wednesday, July 24 View Page
Well, I flew too close to the sun. Four blossom end splits. She was doing better than 40 a day. We had a long string of mid 90 degree days and very little rain, then a cold front came in with highs in the low 70's and lows of 50's. The front dumped several inches of rain and voila.
 
Wednesday, July 24 View Page
I cut off the back third of the plant in an effort to slow the growth rate and relieve a little pressure. Not easy to destroy a healthy plant you've worked so hard to nurture to this point.
 
Wednesday, July 24 View Page
The picture won't show it, but the stump was still constantly dripping 24 hours after being cut.
 
Thursday, July 25 View Page
Back in the land if the giants today. Helping Andrew Vial load a watermelon for the Raleigh Farmer's Market.
 
Thursday, July 25 View Page
Many nice melons.
 
Thursday, July 25 View Page
Many good prospects for a personal best this year.
 
Thursday, July 25 View Page
He has three nice 302 Kent's going, but his largest for now is on a 255 Mitchell.
 
Thursday, July 25 View Page
He has two nice long gourds. One is 103 inches and still growing.
 
Thursday, July 25 View Page
The NC melon growers were out in force. Nice weigh-off with a little drama. They pay for 4 places. 4th. Danny Hester 165 3rd. Larry Boyette 166 2nd. Todd Dawson 223 1st. Andrew Vial. 223.5 Todd and his second place melon is far left front. Andrew and his first place melon is far right back.
 
Thursday, July 25 View Page
The 223.5 winner. Andrew did not expect to win. It went 10 % heavy. He had lost the stump, so he took this one, but I believe he has 5 larger than this one.
 
Thursday, August 1 View Page
Our 1937 Urena has slowed way down from 40+ a day to 20. She is at 755 lbs in this picture. The next picture will show why I think She is shutting down.
 
Thursday, August 1 View Page
The 1937's stump started foaming about three weeks ago. I cleaned it, treated with Captan and kept a fan on it. It seemed to dry nicely, so I didn't cut it loose. Whatever caused the stump to foam tracked out the vine causing it to shut down. Two years ago the same thing happened with the 1756 H/J we were growing. Danny Hester and Rick Jolivette encouraged me to cut the stump and two side vines on each side loose. It saved our season. It grew our largest pumpkin ever, even though we lost about one fourth of the plant. I say all this to share that my advice is to cut your stump loose if it is foaming before it tracks out the vine.
 
Thursday, August 1 View Page
The vine is yellowing out as the issue progresses out from the stump. When I cut this stump no water dripped from it at all. When I cut the stump on a healthy vine next to this it dripped for a full 72 hours. That shows the circulatory system had been gummed up and shut down and the stump wasn't doing the pumpkin any good. Note: The stump was cut on the healthy vine because of blossom end splits on the pumpkin, in an effort to slow it's expansion down.
 
Thursday, August 1 View Page
My poor 1172 Haist squash plant that had no interest in setting a squash finally had one open for pollination yesterday. It was apparently too much for a deer to resist. This plant is cursed. I can't pull it up now. I'm a sucker for an underdog.
 
Sunday, August 4 View Page
In a moment of lifting the sheet 11days ago, my season transitioned from swinging for the fences to a salvage operation. Cut the back third of the vine off and stopped nutrient drench and only minimally watered. She went from 40 to 27 a day. She is North of a quad, which is an accomplishment for me.
 
Sunday, August 4 View Page
The 1937 is limping along at 20 a day. She is at 870. Still have an outside shot at getting her to 4 digits. Named her, THUD because she's a tall round ball, but she is no beauty queen.
 
Sunday, August 4 View Page
THUD has only half a plant left. I waited too long trying to save a foaming stump. By the time I finally got the knife out, the decline had tracked way out the vine.
 
Thursday, August 8 View Page
The bone pile. I've never seen anyone else show theirs on their diary, but if you are a grower just starting out in this hobby it may be the most important picture you see on my diary. It's a lesson that took me many years to learn, but proactive pruning and proper vine training are essential to keeping pumpkins going into the fall. Here in the south where powdery mildew thrives in our heat, humidity and heavy dews it vital to have your plants open to allow for good air circulation.
 
Thursday, August 8 View Page
This is my late plant from our 1050 that went so heavy. Plant still looks decent.
 
Thursday, August 8 View Page
Day 29 is 272 inches or 464 lbs. The mom had extra thick walls, but this one has a paper thin blossom end, like I can flex it in with my finger. So it's slow and steady with this one. Didn't realize how thin the blossom end was until she was about 70 lbs and the plant just would not set another pumpkin.
 
Friday, August 9 View Page
To loosely quote Quinn from Jaws, "We're gonna need a bigger bread."
 
Sunday, August 11 View Page
I call this one Buffalo Mountain because she has had a distinctive hump on her back from early on. Buffalo Mountain is not far from where she is growing. It was notorious for moonshining and violence until a minister named Bob Childress changed all that. If you enjoy an inspirational story of faith read "The Man Who Moved A Mountain".
 
Sunday, August 11 View Page
THUD is just shy of a grand but thumps like she has thin walls. Hopefully she can push a little past the mark, because I'm pretty sure she'll go light.
 
Friday, August 16 View Page
North of a grand. THUD
 
Friday, August 16 View Page
Who parked this freakin Cadillac in my pumpkin patch?
 
Sunday, August 25 View Page
Back in the land of the giants today, the Vial wonderland. It's inspirational to be among so many huge watermelons.
 
Sunday, August 25 View Page
You can't spit in any direction without hitting a 300+ watermelon.
 
Sunday, August 25 View Page
This is one of the "babies" of the patch. Can you read the scale?
 
Sunday, August 25 View Page
Andrew has a really nice late pumpkin going. She is young and already better than 600.
 
Sunday, August 25 View Page
He has recorded daily gains in excess of 50 lbs. I've never had one grow like that. She's going to be a force to be reckoned with by scale time.
 
Sunday, August 25 View Page
Here is Andrew's true love. She is a classic beauty with great skin tone. Oh yeah, and Andrew's wife is in the picture also. Just kidding, Heather, just kidding. Oh my God, I'm in so much trouble right now. It's going to be a loooong trip to Knoxville. I guess this will be the last time I'm invited to the Vial patch. All kidding aside our spouses do put up with so much having mates with this crazy obsession. You are our heroes.
 
Sunday, August 25 View Page
This one is giving Andrew some sleepless nights, and with good reason. That's a 242 lb full grown man being dwarfed by a watermelon. Seeing a melon this big up close is surreal. You just know a melon shouldn't be able to get this big, and it's still growing!
 
Tuesday, August 27 View Page
This is classic yellow vine disease. I had a surge in squash bugs about 5 weeks back. I eventually got the upper hand, but they had done their damage. They are bad for transmitting YVD. Our Haist squash is toast. I think it is important to show the failures as well as the successes because that is going to be a big part of about every season.
 
Tuesday, August 27 View Page
My bushel gourd. The plant looks healthy but don't let it fool you. It had a disease issue that tracked from the stump out the main and leaves wilted then died and no fruit would set. I grew it like a pumpkin, burying and training vines and pruning all tertiaries. I gave up on it and the tertiaries and whatever comes after tertiary have exploded, making the plant look healthy. Bottom line, if you want your bushel gourd to set fruit, turn you back on it. I can't cut them off fast enough now.
 
Tuesday, August 27 View Page
This is the Buffalo Mountain plant showing the old scraggly growth and the fresh young vines I have let fill in at the back of the plant where I removed the stump and several side vines early in the season. It is a strategy that Danny Vester is also using and we hope will provide some late season gains for our pumpkins.
 
Saturday, August 31 View Page
Buffalo Mountain.
 
Wednesday, September 4 View Page
Evacuating Buffalo Mountain in front of Dorian.
 
Wednesday, September 4 View Page
She's headed west for higher ground.
 
Saturday, September 7 View Page
We headed to Tennessee to escape Dorian, but evidently we didn't go quite far enough.
 
Saturday, September 7 View Page
Had a wonderful trip with good friends.
 
Saturday, September 7 View Page
Ate way too much good food.
 
Saturday, September 7 View Page
Finally got her safely to a scale. Mid-season didn't like my chances of ever seeing this day.
 
Saturday, September 7 View Page
She was still doing 10 lbs a day when I picked her. I know people think I'm crazy for taking one that's still growing, but......
 
Saturday, September 7 View Page
Our marriage counselor advised it might be best to get that pumpkin weighed as soon as possible. See, don't we look happy together now?
 
Saturday, September 7 View Page
Susie Zuerner did a great job emceeing the weigh-off. Many thanks to David Cantrell and his crew for putting on such a nice event.
 
Saturday, September 7 View Page
It was a special day to be privaledged to see two of the three biggest watermelons ever grown weighed in. Congratulations to Frank Mudd on his personal best, Kentucky State record, third all time Hogg!
 
Saturday, September 7 View Page
Bruce Terry, the patriarch of the Terry juggernaut clan won the Howard Dill Award with his beauty that went really heavy to the chart. Oh yeah, he also took second place in the competition.
 
Saturday, September 7 View Page
Andrew and Frank provided high drama with two watermelons that taped only an inch and a half apart. Congratulations "Cornfed" on growing the second heaviest watermelon in history!
 
Saturday, September 7 View Page
Also, forgot to mention that Andrew's melon was a new North Carolina record. Congrats!
 
Tuesday, September 10 View Page
THUD. I finally put a shelter over her and she felt so special that she grew a little more.
 
Tuesday, September 10 View Page
I've been spoiled lately with pumpkins going a little heavy to the chart at the scales. I think this one is going to buck that trend. She thumps light. Where is Bruce Terry when you need him? For those of you who don't know, Bruce is the pumpkin whispered. He can thump your pumpkin and tell what she will weigh within 10 pounds.
 
Sunday, September 15 View Page
David Cantrell and his crew made a really nice display with the giant vegetables. Many thanks to David for helping us pick up our pumpkin. He's a class act. I do have a bone to pick with the Tennessee Valley Fair though...
 
Sunday, September 15 View Page
There is something just plain wrong about their chicken making our 1500 pound pumpkin look small.
 

 

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