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Click on a thumbnail picture below to see the full size version. 84 Entries.
Saturday, January 12 View Page
Soil pH (1:1, H2O) 4.7 Buffered pH (Mod. Mehlich) 5.8 Est. Cation Exch. Capacity 11.1 (cmole+/100g) Exch. Acidity (meq/100g) 9.1 Element ppm Soil Range Boron (B) 0.0 0.1 - 2.0 Copper (Cu) 0.1 0.3 - 0.8 Iron (Fe) 9.5 1.0 - 40.0 Manganese (Mn) 3.6 3.0 - 20.0 Zinc (Zn) 1.1 0.1 - 70.0 Sulfur (S) 14.3 10 - 100 Aluminum (Al) 162.6 10 - 300 Est. Total Lead (Pb) low Base Saturation % Suggested Potassium 1 2.0 - 7.0 Magnesium 5 10 - 30 Calcium 13 40 - 50
 
Saturday, January 12 View Page
In my previous entry I posted my soil test results on the new patch. I tried to cut and paste it. It didn't work as well as I had hoped and it is a bit confusing to look at. For example when looking at a specific element it will show something like this. Iron 9.5 1-40 . The first number is the result from my soil test, The next two numbers show the ideal soil range according to the lab. SO in this example, the iron tested at 9.5 and the lab states that the ideal range for growing is between one and 40. In a nutshell my soil test results were pretty bad. This is what happens to neglected field soil over time around here. I will need to add lots of lime to get the pH right. Getting the soil right is a big investment. It is like a down payment. The nice thing about it is that it will pay for itself over time.
 
Sunday, April 14 View Page
I plowed up a different spot in a new location. The last spot I tilled up came back with a 4.7! I decided not to mess with that spot. (at least not with pumpkins) In my new patch I took a soil test, it came back at 5.7. .... much better....(pH is measure exponentially sort of like the richter scale. So each decimal it goes up is significant.) I added some hydrated lime, for a quick pH boost. Magnesium is always high around here. Which is weird because the only lime you can find is dolomitic. Calcitic is what we need for the type of soil in this area. It is fascinating to me to see how different the soil types are around the country. In the midwest, and parts of New York and Canada your new soil contains much higher natural calcium levels. We have to work, work, work to get it up. Gypsum becomes a necessity too. It would be impossible to get enough calcium with lime alone. Our pH would get crazy high.
 
Saturday, May 4 View Page
Planted four pumpkins today. I am growing in a new spot, the soil is a little bit wetter than what I am used to growing in. We have had excessive rain so I think it will be fine if things ever dry out. It has been the cloudiest coolest spring I can ever remember. I planted the pumpkin on slight hills for drainage. I didn't make soil ring around them either. I planted them A little bit higher than normal. Maybe an inch or two higher than the soil line. "plant it high and it will never die" Plant it too low and hope it will grow". I have four total. A 1436 Pappas 1503 Pappas 1342 Terry 1742 Terry All have big and orange potential. I am hoping for a personal best this year. Right now it doesn't seem likely, but if the weather breaks my spirits will rise. Right now I am just praying nothing gets root rot! We will see, Hopefully in my new spot I will leave disease and YVD in the dust. No manure or composts were added either. The soil just needed Lime. The Starting pH was 5.7. I used hydrated lime to get it up to where it needs to be in a hurry.
 
Tuesday, May 21 View Page
I planted five 175 Ciesielski 18 watermelons. Two are on Shintosa rootstock, two are on Bushel Gourd and one is on C. ficifolia. Each plant is spaced 30' apart in a long row. These melons are being grown in an isolation plot far from any other melons that could cross with them. I am very excited to see how the melons will look this year, they are the f2 generation from a cross that Chris Kent made a few years ago. ( CC x JBD) Will they look more like CC's or JBD's? Last year they were a gorgeous mixture of both varieties. Three miles away at my home patch, I planted two 146.5 Young C.C. melons. The weaker one will be culled once I see which one is better. There will likely be no difference. They are on Bushel gourd rootstock.
 
Friday, May 24 View Page
I planted my bushel gourd yesterday, the plant was from my 200" bushel gourd in 2016. I hadn't planned on growing a bg this year but I happened to space out when grafting my watermelons and grafted a bushel gourd to a bushel gourd. So I will give it a try. I have seen studies done with watermelon, in which a watermelon was grafted to another watermelon and it outperformed the same variety of watermelon on it's own roots. This is a link to a picture of the 200"" BG used for the rootstock and also the scion. http://www.bigpumpkins.com/Diary/DiaryViewOne.asp?eid=267924
 
Saturday, May 25 View Page
146.5 Young on bushel gourd rootstock
 
Friday, July 5 View Page
A row of Jubilee 2 and Allsweet melons on grafted rootstock. Some are on Shintosa, some are on Bushel gourd. They are beginning to take off now that summer is here.
 
Friday, July 5 View Page
Some more garden pictures; tomatoes are on the left, a row of cucumbers and two rows of peppers. It's nice to finally have some decent weather to hoe out the weeds in. You can't effectively hoe or cultivate a garden if it rains right after and re-roots the weeds. A sunny hot day is what you need to kill the weeds after they have been hoed.
 
Friday, July 5 View Page
A patch of winter squash and field pumpkins. This had winter rye growing in it. Two rows were formed and the rye was left standing in between the rows. It was disced down right before the rye's seed heads were mature. I was hoping to maximize weed control and also organic matter.
 
Friday, July 5 View Page
Two double rows of carrots. The ones that are going to seed are the white colored carrots. This will probably be the last time I grow them. I wanted to grow white carrots, not Queen Anne's lace.
 
Friday, July 5 View Page
'Carolina Nugget' sweet potato on the left Broccolli on the right.
 
Friday, July 5 View Page
Lets try this again. Hopefully I can get the picture to go through this time. A weed free garden. (for now) It is important to keep the weeds out for the first half of a plants life. once they have some size they can handle the weeds a little better.
 
Friday, July 5 View Page
Here is what my spring garden looks like. It looks like trash. But trust me the productivity from it has been outstanding. The plants are doing ok despite the weed pressure. If the weeds become too much I can weed whack off the top of them just above the crop. Sunlight will be then be able to get through.
 
Friday, July 5 View Page
Now for some AG pics. I have four plants this year, they are being grown in a new patch with unamended soil. I had a starting pH of 5.7 so I added some hydrated lime, but only half as much as I needed. This was done back in April. I will re-check the soil this fall. I hope I got the pH above 6. This plant is the 1436 Pappas. It is slightly behind my other three because it got planted later. My first seed rotted. All of my pumpkins have small sets going on them. I have not chosen which ones I am going to go with just yet. This year I have been too, too busy to give these plants the proper care. I have had to skip vine burying and pinching. I am still optimistic for a personal best. (1,063 is the number to beat) New soil means less weeds, (only crabgrass) and less disease and insect pressure. I believe you have about two years out of a soil before you really start dealing with maximum weed insect and disease pressure. I am hoping for some nice looking orange giant pumpkins. I love taking the gamble with a seed that could go either way.
 
Friday, July 5 View Page
This is the 1503 Pappas. I am excited to see how this plant does. The 1503 was a gorgeous pumpkin. All of my pumpkin sets are Open pollinations from the last couple of days in June and first few days in July. I will get pictures of the pumpkins when they are big. I am watering the plants at noon every day, I am trying to keep down the wilt on the tips. So far I have been successful keeping torched leaves out of the patch. The 1503 seems to need the cooling water the most.
 
Friday, July 5 View Page
1342 Terry, these plants are really taking off now. May and June were very cold and rainy and I opted to go with out a cold frame. I used a piece of row cover tossed over some wire hoops. These plants were cold and wet. Luckily they pulled through and now have some good growing weather.
 
Friday, July 5 View Page
1742 Terry, this plant is the most vigorous in the patch. We will see if that translates to the biggest pumpkin.
 
Friday, July 5 View Page
An overview of the entire patch. From foreground to background it goes 1742 Terry, 1342 Terry, 1503 Pappas and last but not least the 1436 Pappas.
 
Friday, July 19 View Page
The thunder showers have all missed us and we have been very dry. THe lawns around here are all dormant or going dormant. THey will be fully brown after this weekend. With temps in the mid 90's and a heat index of 110. I have decided to nurse my four watermelon plants through this weekend by hand watering everyday. I have the melon patch in the middle of a big field. No access to water. I hope we get some rain soon. The melons look good. I am down to four 175 Ciesielski '19 plants, two are on Shintosa and two on Bushel gourd. I lost my plant on C. ficifolia, I have had poor results with C. fic. The grafts don't like to take and then if they do take they fail to thrive like the BG or Shintosa. I have some nice variation in shape, size and color. I will get some pictures up at some point. I am only growing one melon per plant so I hope to see some bigger sizes this year. I have put very little time into them so far. The plants are growing on plastic and are being trained to be long and skinny. It has mad it easier for culling melons as I don't have to walk into the center of a wide plant. The current plant dimensions are about 30' long and 6' wide. I have been turning all the vines in to help keep the melons on the 12' wide sheet of plastic. So far I am pleased with how they are doing with such little effort.
 
Tuesday, July 23 View Page
Showers moved in last night, got some much needed rain! No watering needed today.
 
Wednesday, July 24 View Page
Overview of the patch, all filled in now. Four plants in the patch. New soil, so the only weed in it so far is crab grass. I don't mind it. I am used to dealing with pigweed that can grow 6' tall and turn into a tree in the garden!
 
Wednesday, July 24 View Page
1436 Pappas, I am not sure what caused the spot on top. This one is the youngest in the patch. It was pollinated sometime in the first week of July. It is a fast grower. I left the main to grow after the pumpkin on this one. I think it could turn out orange and pretty. But no guarantee yet. I like the plant too, it had to come from behind and catch up to the others.
 
Wednesday, July 24 View Page
1503 Pappas, I like the longer low shape on this one. For some reason it isn't growing as fast as the others. The plant looks healthy. I am hoping it can pick up some steam. So far it doesn't seem to be aborting. But I would be lying if I said I am not concerned about it. Just in case I have a blossom that is coming out soon further down the main. I may let that one set as a potential back up. Maybe the threat of having a competitor in the patch will inspire the other one to grow.
 
Wednesday, July 24 View Page
1342 Terry, This one is a fast grower. The vine was dead ended at the pumpkin. The pumpkin is starting to get a little bit misshapen as it continues to pack on the pounds, which is ok with me, as long as it makes it to the end. This may be the biggest in the patch so far, but the 1742 Terry and the 1436 Pappas are right behind and seem to be gaining on it.
 
Wednesday, July 24 View Page
1742 Terry. This is going to be a pretty one. I like the plant too. The 1742 could be quite the seed if you are looking for big and orange. I am super excited to see how this one finishes out.
 
Wednesday, July 24 View Page
This is my bushel gourd, it's grown off of one of my seeds. It is grafted onto another bushel gourd as a rootstock. That doesn't seem to make any sense. They have done some research with melons and found that melons grafted to other melons, outperform melons on their own roots. Maybe the same will be true with bushel gourds. So far there are no set bushel gourds, but the plant is huge and I hope to be able to stay on top of the culls. Normally I just let my plants load up with gourds. They seem to top out at about 175-200 pounds with that technique.
 
Wednesday, July 24 View Page
Tall corn from the seed exchange. Someone donated a packet with different types of tall corn, it was a generous amount of seed. I don't know which grower the seed is from or I would give him/her credit for the seeds. It got planted sometime in early June, so I am not sure how big I will be able to get it, since it went in so late.
 
Thursday, July 25 View Page
I am not sure why some of the pictures aren't posting, hopefully these pictures go through. This is a 175 Ciesielski on a Shintosa rootstock. the plants are now just about touching at a 30' spacing. they are long narrow plants which make accessing the culls very easy.
 
Thursday, July 25 View Page
I have four 175 Ciesielski plants. Two on shintosa and one two on BG rootstock. This fast growing long, skinny melon is on a Bushel gourd rootstock. It is young perhaps 10-15 days old. I liked this one so much I culled an older one that was twice it's size today. I am being dilligent this year, one melon per plant!
 
Thursday, July 25 View Page
175 Ciesielski on Shintosa rootstock. This is a big boy. Fat and wide. All black, no stripes.
 
Thursday, July 25 View Page
175 Ciesielski on Shintosa rootstock. This melon is a little square, normally I would cull this type of shape. It was on a main vine that looked good so I figured I would give it a shot. This melon plant makes really round looking sets. Almost like a Crimson Sweet.
 
Thursday, July 25 View Page
175 Ciesielski on Bushel gourd rootstock. Overall I would say that the Shintosa rootstock is slightly more vigorous than the Bushel Gourd. Let's see how things weigh out in September.
 
Thursday, July 25 View Page
A close up of the rind on the previously pictured melon. You can see some light spots on the rind, that is from the Carolina Cross lineage in it's background. The dark color from the Black Diamond does tend to dominate over the lighter C.C. rind.
 
Thursday, July 25 View Page
These plants are far away from any water source and growing in the middle of a big field. It got very dry here for a bit and I decided to make the effort to add water. I took some five gallon buckets and drilled a hole and used a special fitting to mount a spaghetti line to. The spaghetti line goes right next to the stump of the melon and slowly trickles the water around the plant. I am starting to get these melons figured out and may have to give them a real shot next year in a location where they can get lots of love. I am pretty sure no one does less for their melon plants than me. For the first month of these plant's lives they were lucky if I checked on them once a week. After that first month I was encouraged by what I saw, so I have been paying a little better attention to them. They bring far less trouble than AG's in many respects.
 
Thursday, July 25 View Page
These are the plants on Bushel gourd rootstock.
 
Thursday, July 25 View Page
These are the plants on Shintosa Camelforce rootstock.
 
Thursday, July 25 View Page
1436 Pappas, It is hard to see in this picture but I think it will be orange. It is a fast grower. If I were to guess, my biggest will either be from the 1436 or the 1742 Terry.
 
Thursday, July 25 View Page
1342 Terry, Pretty sure this will not be a big and orange. It is currently the biggest in the patch. I don't think it will be able to stay in front of the 1436 or the 1742 though.
 
Thursday, July 25 View Page
My Bushel gourd,Nothing set as of yet, this plant is huge. I have identified the main vine and I hope to grow one on the main this year. Just one.
 
Thursday, July 25 View Page
Tall corn
 
Thursday, July 25 View Page
I like other things that are big, like this big old tulip tree. Ever since I was a kid I have always been fascinated by the biggest apple, potato, pumpkin, tallest corn, tallest tree. Hopefully these pictures go through this time, I am not sure what I have been doing wrong. This is the first year I have been using the "new" diary function on google chrome. I never had troubles with the old firefox method.
 
Friday, July 26 View Page
This little melon plant is a 146.5 Young. This melon is growing in a different location than the Carolina Cross x Black Diamond It is growing in a spot with a little too much shade which has limited it's vigor. I still expect a 100#plus melon from this plant. I hope the plant can put some more size on, if it doesn't... that is ok too. I grew a melon last year that weighed about 140 pounds on a little plant like this.
 
Saturday, August 10 View Page
I didn't effectively treat this stem split in time. Perhaps there was nothing I could have done. At least that is what I will tell myself. 1342 Terry R.I.P cause of death, stem split into cavity.
 
Saturday, August 10 View Page
1342 Terry, final measurements are as follows Circumference 140" Blossom end to stem end 84" Side to side 84" Total OTT 308" Not bad for an open pollinated pumpkin, pollinated the first week in July.
 
Saturday, August 10 View Page
They say if you aint blowing 'em, you aint growing 'em. First year in a new patch for me, I am swinging for the fences.
 
Saturday, August 10 View Page
1342 Terry last picture. I have two pumpkins left in the patch. One is on the 1436 Pappas, that one has a stem split, I hope I can figure out how to contain it. The other is on the 1742 Terry a bright orange beauty.
 
Saturday, August 10 View Page
I am consoling myself with my melons. This is the 146.5 Young, it is finally filling out the patch space.
 
Saturday, August 10 View Page
Here is a picture of the melon on the 146.5 Young. My only Carolina Cross this year.
 
Sunday, August 11 View Page
I was in the melon patch today and noticed many large sections of the plants were wilting. I did some investigation and found that mice have been nibbling on the vines and in some cases they even severed the entire vine. I put out some bait, hopefully that will get them in check.
 
Thursday, August 29 View Page
My melon patch is still looking green. There are four plants in a 175 foot row. I started out with five and lost the one that was on the C. ficifolia rootstock back in June. Plants are big and are filling out the row nicely. The plastic strip up the middle is 12' wide.
 
Thursday, August 29 View Page
Up first is my 175 Ciesielski Plant D which is on a Shintosa rootstock. This plant has two melons on it about the same size. They are truly the shape and size of a giant beach ball. I have picked a few little fruit off the plant to display the shape of the young sets. If you want a big and round melon this melon will produce the right seeds for you to attain that goal.
 
Thursday, August 29 View Page
I mentioned that mice were eating my vines. They were able to eat this one all the way through. Most of the vines are covered with bites, yet somehow the vines and melons are still managing to survive and grow. I wish I had caught this problem earlier. I will be ready next year. It doesn't take a brain surgeon to realize that voles are going to be a problem when you grow in the middle of an overgrown field.
 
Thursday, August 29 View Page
My big boy melon. This is one for those who want length and width. This is my best melon. A nice solid dark color too. This one's seeds could hold the future of the hybrid cc x jbd melons. Lots of potential here. Once these hybrids stabilize we are going to need to pick a good name for them.
 
Thursday, August 29 View Page
The last plant was the 175 Ciesielski plant C. It is on a Shintosa rootstock. Shintosa seems to be compatible with these hybrids in my experience. Perhaps they are not so compatible with the Carolina Cross?
 
Thursday, August 29 View Page
Another plant that throws big fatties is my 175 Ciesielski plant b. This is on a bushel gourd rootock.
 
Thursday, August 29 View Page
175 Ciesielski plant A. This one throws Looong melons! They are really impressive to behold but they need that width to really be competitive at a weigh off. This one is really pretty to me and is also one of the youngest in the patch. I am not sure how old but I figure sometime in Mid July.
 
Thursday, August 29 View Page
A shot of the patch facing the other direction. (to the North) This patch is a nice peaceful spot to be. There is nothing better than being out in a garden and looking down a long straight row that you have cultivated. It truly is an inexplicable joy.
 
Thursday, August 29 View Page
I went away for ten days and when I got back, I had my share of culling to do. There had to be at least a couple hundred pounds worth. I had them stripped down before I left, but the weather must have been good while I was away. It is a lot of work to grow these things the right way. I hope I see some better weights at the weigh offs because of the extra trouble of culling so rigorously. Last years 175 was on a plant that was left alone and was loaded up with melons. It didn't seem to slow it down much. The best melon and pumpkin growers pour out the love for their plants and their dedication is payed off at the weigh offs. It is so hard to know which of the cultural details that they perform make the difference. I am sure that the difference is in the details. Just not sure which details.
 
Friday, August 30 View Page
I just bought a house with this japanese maple on the property. Does anyone know what cultivar it is? Close up picture of the leaf in my next entry.
 
Friday, August 30 View Page
Here is the close up.
 
Friday, August 30 View Page
I planted some daikon radishes in one of my garden spots. These are pretty much the same thing as the "tillage" radish.
 
Saturday, August 31 View Page
This pumpkin was grown off the 1742 Terry. It is time to lift it and bring it to the Goshen Fair.
 
Saturday, August 31 View Page
What a beauty! Thank you Jason for the seeds! This one is a real bright orange, almost red.
 
Saturday, August 31 View Page
Another shot of the 1742 Terry. A nice straight healthy stem. I loved growing this pumpkin. Right from the start I knew it would be a looker.
 
Saturday, August 31 View Page
Loaded and ready to go.
 
Saturday, August 31 View Page
The 1742 Terry weighed in at 996 pounds. So close to 1,000. It was an early July pollination, so it was nice and young if I had waited another day it would have cleared 1,000 easy.
 
Saturday, August 31 View Page
Another blurry shot of the fair.
 
Saturday, August 31 View Page
Gary Vincent's 1586 dmg. It was a beast.
 
Saturday, August 31 View Page
Bob Eliis' 830 pound pumpkin.
 
Sunday, September 1 View Page
1742 Terry Blossom end. This pumpkin was grown on a dead ended main. The dead ended mains are easy to set up and care for. However they are risky, if your pumpkin aborts you are without options, plus it seems many growers tend to think it is not the best way to maximize pumpkin weights.
 
Sunday, September 1 View Page
The eating melons did great this year. The two melons in the foreground are 'Jubilee II', 'Jubilee II' is supposed to be a more disease resistant and improved Jubilee variety. They didn't get quite as big as the regular Jubilees I grew last year. However, they still exceeded the weights that the catalog said they would attain. The ones in the picture have to weigh over 50 pounds. (They grow big on the Bushel gourd and Shintosa rootstocks) Plus, you need to give them room to grow. Don't crowd them, mine were spaced 5' apart in the row with 15' on each side for them to grow into. The melon behind the two Jubilees is an 'Allsweet'. It is the first time I have tried this variety. A taste trial will have to be done. Lastly the round melon is a Farmer's Wonderful' a seedless type.
 
Sunday, September 1 View Page
The 'Allsweet' vines in the patch still have a little life left. Not much though.
 
Sunday, September 1 View Page
I always do a late crop of green beans. They grow great in the cooler fall weather. Plus if you like to do canning, it is not such a horrible job in September, October.
 
Sunday, September 1 View Page
A Globe artichoke flower. They are truly beautiful. It would not be a bad idea to grow them just for their ornamental value. The one downside is that spider mites seem to love them.
 
Friday, September 6 View Page
1436 Pappas all set to harvest for the Bethlehem Fair. A very young pumpkin as it was an open pollination between July 7-10. It was still growing 20 pounds a day at harvest. Taping 390", my biggest ever in measurement.
 
Friday, September 6 View Page
Another shot of the 1436 Pappas. This is a nice looking pumpkin but doesn't compare to Ed's 1503 that he grew off this seed last year. Thanks for the seed Ed! I think that the 1436 is a great seed! Especially for someone that might want to grow something that is really nice to look at.
 
Friday, September 6 View Page
Here it is all loaded up on a special 4'x4' pallet.
 
Friday, September 6 View Page
I allowed some new growth in late August. This plant is extremely healthy for so late in the year.
 
Friday, September 6 View Page
Another shot of the extremely healthy 1436 Pappas' foliage
 
Friday, September 6 View Page
Bethlehem Fair results will be posted later, it was a close weigh off.
 
Monday, September 9 View Page
I brought my 146.5 Young melon to the Bethlehem Fair. It was a slow grower on a small plant due to the afternoon and morning shade that the plant received. The melon weighed in at 142 pounds. Not too bad for such a late pollination. (MID JULY) It will likely be very good to eat because it was so young.
 
Friday, September 13 View Page
146.5 Young, now the 142 Ciesielski. My only Carolina Cross this year. My CC x JBD hybrids are out in a far off field. So the pollinations will all be sibs or selfs thanks to the bees. I will hopefully get some weights for them at the Durham fair.
 
Friday, September 13 View Page
I picked what was left of the eating melons today. Jubilees are on top Allsweet are below. The Allsweet were surprisingly more disease resistant. I still need to do a taste test though.
 

 

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