Home What's New Message Board
BigPumpkins.com
Select Destination Site Search
 
Dustin - 2019 Grower Diary Point your RSS aggregator here to subscribe to this Grower Diary.

Show Entries in

Grower Diary Menu
  Back to Previous Page
List Other Grower's Diaries
Submit to Your Own Diary

 
Click on a thumbnail picture below to see the full size version. 89 Entries.
Saturday, January 5 View Page
No better way to start the year than to push some weight and see what she can do :)
Saturday, January 5 View Page
8 yards of potting soil for the cost of a tank of gas... part of working on a budget is being resourceful. Took me about 15 ďnoísĒ to find a good source. I have a goal this year, and giving up is nowhere in the plans!
Saturday, January 5 View Page
I see a lot of chatter about the study, and Iíve always been an open book in my diary, so here is what it is so far. Iíve looked at a ton of fancy nutrition for my garden, but at the end of the day, the ingredients are what they are. I decided to go to my limited local market and get what I can off of the shelf to start.
Saturday, January 5 View Page
25 lbs for 3 starter holes, and 150 lbs of vine bury ferts for about a dollar per pound should be enough to get all of my vines buried over 2700 sqft. Saved about 30% by grabbing a sale, so both me AND the wife are happy :)
Saturday, January 5 View Page
Soil Iím hauling is from a friendís micro green business. Itís a high porosity, vermiculite and peat based media that has just a touch of perlite in it. Iím adding a 2Ē layer to 3,000 sqft total, so about halfway to 15 yards. Full of fresh sprouts and partially digested seeds to add to my organic matter, though the peat will be the big addition.
Saturday, January 5 View Page
May your trucks look like this come October...
Tuesday, January 15 View Page
I donít think you can post pictures to the forums for discussion so the next few possessions are for reference. Thankfully, I have not had to deal with phytophthora, but there are a number of growers here that do face it. I found this article recently and thought it was a thorough enough explanation of the disease without being too scientific to understand. I will start a thread in the Pest and Disease board so that anyone looking for a fast reference can find it. I hope this helps anyone and everyone who may need it.
Tuesday, January 15 View Page
I find charts like this to be incredibly helpful when trying to deal with something specific. With the cost of chemicals, it sure helps to be able to see side by side which groups different chemicals are in. Once I know the active ingredient, I look for the generic version in a similar concentration.
Tuesday, January 15 View Page
This article is from a state of the industry report for 2018 across America. I found it interesting how many of my friends who test for this disease live in one of the states listed in it. It shows that the grass isnít always greener in your neighborsí yards.
Tuesday, January 15 View Page
Sorry to spread over 4 posts... advertisements and all... at any rate, it was a good read and may help some with their management programs. Good luck not needing it, but if you do, there ya go!
Sunday, January 27 View Page
This is the type of soil Iíve been getting. Itís got me thinking about things...
Sunday, January 27 View Page
Iím posting this for discussion on the use of silica as it seems to be a recent trend around here. Iím on the fence right now, so letís chat it out on the message boards?
Friday, February 1 View Page
Happy Groundhog Day! Stills cooking here even after the deep freeze. Hope everyone is bundled up like a pumpkin in late September!
Sunday, February 3 View Page
Fur die deutsch! :) 1 liter right, 2 liter left, 3 liter center. All served full, all enjoyed thoroughly. Proud to be an American, but we could step up the beer game a bit! PROST!
Tuesday, February 26 View Page
Win some... lose some I suppose... tell you what, got my heart racing when I walked up in it! First time with one of these, and hopefully the last.
Friday, March 1 View Page
Wrapping up a couple projects while I wait for the weather to break.
Monday, March 4 View Page
My monster chimes were still in the front patch from 2017, so it was time to haul them up the hill to the back patch. Still one of my favorite garden accessories :)
Monday, March 4 View Page
Anyone remember my ladder extender from years past? Had to get Kirsha to help me lift them up, 50 lbs is a bit awkward 10 feet off the ground. Should soothe my new raised bed nicely.
Wednesday, March 13 View Page
She may look a little sad right now, but sheís just resting... the calm before the storm.
Tuesday, March 19 View Page
Last few days Iíve had that itch... where itís time to get the last minute details sorted out and get in gear, Winter is on its way out! Figured Iíd make sure my little soldiers were alert.
Tuesday, March 19 View Page
These ones got some extra cardboard caps. They love the channels once theyíre wet well, and they seem to like breeding on the top layer. If you can zoom, I count 7 eggs in this picture. Hint, theyíre yellow.
Tuesday, March 19 View Page
I use these natural fiber mats on top for moisture retention. A better look at 5 eggs... the soldiers are rallying! :)
Tuesday, March 19 View Page
These buckets are the only way Iíve ever been able to make them stay put. 2 gal icing bucket from Wally World you can get anywhere for $1 a piece, sometimes free. Another good place was local doughnut shop. Used to use big totes, but the gasketed lid is key, otherwise they get through. 4Ē hole in middle for air and misting top layer, super manageable even when wet. Scrounge around for worms, donít buy them. I went to the local manure pile and got about 500 for free, added some peat and a pinch of lime to what they were found in to start the bins. They will double every 3 months when happy. Great low attention winter hobby that gives you the freshest castings possible ;)
Tuesday, April 2 View Page
Couple weeks of work has me a little behind, but I finally built a deep raised bed Iíve been wanting for a few years now. Dug about a shovel depth below grade to get the rocks out.
Tuesday, April 2 View Page
Got some critter protection put in.
Tuesday, April 2 View Page
A bucket of my natural soil next to the mix I used for the bed. Hopefully itíll be worth the extra effort.
Tuesday, April 2 View Page
Got everything run through a 1/2Ē screen so I never have to deal with jabbing a rock in here. The bed is 30Ē wide and about 16 feet long.
Tuesday, April 2 View Page
Put a good dose of my happy helpers on top...
Tuesday, April 2 View Page
And tucked em in with a good layer of fresh winter compost. Raised bed, Iíll see YOU in a few weeks! :)
Tuesday, April 9 View Page
Stupid gravity...
Tuesday, April 9 View Page
Sorry, I suppose gravity is king here... stupid hillside...
Friday, April 12 View Page
The local boys want to know when Iíll be getting the mountain side in order... donít worry fellas, got on your tails!
Friday, April 12 View Page
We have the soil rattlers here too :)
Friday, April 12 View Page
Grabbed the carrot transplanter just as it started to pour, but they had to come out of the pots. Borrowed some hoops from the organic farm that werenít being used. Will put a deer cage up tonight if the rain lets up.
Friday, April 12 View Page
Whoops!
Friday, April 12 View Page
Going to do three this year to see what happens.
Monday, April 15 View Page
Getting ready to go here, sifting out the soldiers for my first harvest just in time.
Monday, April 15 View Page
Recycling the larger bits. They get mixed with clean coco fiber and re-run until they come out smaller. The larger bits also help a bit with aeration and draining.
Monday, April 15 View Page
Lotta worms fit in a 2 gallon bucket.
Monday, April 15 View Page
Moving to some cement trays now that the population is up a bit, as they typically only go about 3-4 inches deep. The trays give more surface area to the material.
Monday, April 15 View Page
Pretty good haul for the first 2 months. Should have enough soon for monthly harvest for teas.
Saturday, April 20 View Page
Saturday, April 20 View Page
Saturday, April 20 View Page
Thursday, April 25 View Page
Carrots still the only thing of note around here, still got a naked patch. Last couple weeks has them pushing out nicely, and I was able to get some nice bark mulch for it.
Thursday, April 25 View Page
Middle one is in the lead so far with the standard unit of reference helping out on a chilly, rainy day in the hills. Had my last class of the semester today, finals next week, and Iím ready to buckle down!
Saturday, April 27 View Page
Letís start seeing some 150 patches! :)
Saturday, April 27 View Page
10 wide by 15 long, same as last time, nothing special. Still havenít decided who goes in, but I will shortly.
Tuesday, April 30 View Page
Did a root check on a cull, seemed the perfect time to get going.
Tuesday, April 30 View Page
Proud to have my seed holding its own amongst this crowd... hope to get the gloss back to the finish line this year.
Tuesday, April 30 View Page
Without further ado, 982 Trychta in 600 sqft. No Cinderella this year, gonna see what she has. Everyone knows, ďFAT bottomed girls make the ROCKIN world go round!Ē
Tuesday, April 30 View Page
Damn right Iím proud of her! Letís go! 750 sqft.
Tuesday, April 30 View Page
Quinn pretty much guaranteed me ďSUPER DUPERĒ results on this one... Glenna backed him up on it... Iíll see you two in October to talk about it :) 750 sqft
Tuesday, April 30 View Page
Growerís Tip: Never wear a pumpkin suit, or you will be asked all day long to get on top of the biggest pumpkin around... thanks for a magical return from Disney Karl, sorry about the scratches!
Tuesday, April 30 View Page
Soon as this one hits the scale, Karl has first dibs on the climb :) 750 sqft
Tuesday, April 30 View Page
Last in the pumpkin lineup this year is Deb Gantnerís beautiful monster, 150 sqft contest plant. Watch out for this one!
Tuesday, April 30 View Page
Temp of soil today
Tuesday, April 30 View Page
That deep... no cables or anything, just where Iím at.
Tuesday, April 30 View Page
Overview of my little hideaway. Couple lopes go in the front right, 100 sqft each, 150 patch front left.
Tuesday, April 30 View Page
Does this look like someone ready to rest!? Letís go!
Thursday, May 2 View Page
A happy 10th anniversary to my beautiful wife Kirsha, I love you sweetheart!
Saturday, May 4 View Page
Rainy day in Appalachia, but always great to meet a new grower! Great chat with Kerry today, hope that 2003 Haist treats you well!
Sunday, May 5 View Page
Another rainy day so the wife and I took a road trip to see some baby goats :) Jayís patch looks great this year, will have to tighten up a bit here.
Wednesday, May 8 View Page
Ok plant geeks, here we go! A beautiful example of ďguttationĒ in plants. When evenings are cool, and you have a powerful root system that doesnít want to slow down, some plants will exhibit this, and pumpkins are one of them. When there is too much turgor pressure within the plant, this is a defense mechanism of sorts so the leaves donít blow up.
Wednesday, May 8 View Page
2152 Gantner showing the same. ďHydathodesĒ are specialized cells at the tips of veins in the leaves, that when forced with too hard, act like the pressure relief valve on your hot water tank. Note the consistent drops at vein edges, not the full wet blanket.
Wednesday, May 8 View Page
One last example in case you didnít catch it. This is a normal process, but can become detrimental if too many mineral and salt rich fertilizers are pushed, as they will build up upon evaporation, and burn the margins. If you are pushing ferts and you see this, rinse your plants with clean water in the morning and put that back into the soil.
Thursday, May 9 View Page
For some reason, the volunteers always seem a little cuter.... maybe because they try harder?
Thursday, May 9 View Page
Wife surprised me with a great bottle of wine for a semester well finished. Presidentís List again this round, one more to go!
Thursday, May 9 View Page
Been wrapped up in some housework, so plants have been suffering in the recent heat...
Thursday, May 9 View Page
Yeah, you heard me right Chris, theyíll be ok...
Thursday, May 9 View Page
Got some new lights put up for late night patch viewing and a new dedicated circuit for the patch and electric fence. Wish I could say no more extension cords, but at least now theyíll all be shorter.
Thursday, May 9 View Page
Also found a little albino seedling hiding under the carrots today. Busy day all over!
Sunday, May 12 View Page
Happy Motherís Day weekend to all!
Tuesday, May 14 View Page
Can... o... worms...
Tuesday, May 14 View Page
Sigh...
Tuesday, May 14 View Page
Sigh number... I dunno, 12?
Tuesday, May 14 View Page
Whole dayís work for a third of the patch, but I got it done today. Lopes are in, cukes are in.
Tuesday, May 14 View Page
Materkins are blooming, wonít be long until worlds collide! :)
Monday, May 20 View Page
Having trouble with moles this year, theyíre under just about every plant in the patch.
Monday, May 20 View Page
They did a number on my roots, this is my 1810 Werner. Orange flags are bait markers, so there may be time to bounce back.
Monday, May 20 View Page
Out of town this week, so backups went in just in case. 1567 Gantner backs up my 982.
Monday, May 20 View Page
1810 after a 30 minute storm... healthy, just lost too many roots to stand up to the heat here. Either been cold and rainy, or 88 and sunny, not much in between this spring. Got backed up with another 1337 I had in the background as I shared my other 1810 with another grower last week thinking everything was good and I wouldnít need it.
Monday, May 20 View Page
Carrots are starting to separate a bit in size, but all three are in great shape. Super happy I took the extra time to put some critter wire in the box now that Iím having mole problems.
Monday, May 20 View Page
Three maters in the box for Team Sauce! Next to the carrots is 5.71 Lambchop.
Monday, May 20 View Page
Monkey in the middle is 5.0 Strickler.
Monday, May 20 View Page
Far end from carrots is 5.29 Porkchop. Three plants in the box should be good insurance in case I keep having critter troubles in the patch. Will have a few plants in-ground as well.
Monday, May 20 View Page
And just because I love these so much! Usually come out a little darker, but i havenít looked after them in a couple years. This year I will dig up this clump and divide them to allow a bit more room for the roots. Theyíre in lousy rock hard soil so no moles digging around here.
Tuesday, May 21 View Page
Greetings from Seattle everyone!
Tuesday, May 21 View Page
Still a punk when you get me off the ground... took 5 tries and I still didnít get all the way against the glass, OR look down!

 

Top of Page

Questions or comments? Send mail to Ken AT bigpumpkins.com.
Copyright © 1999-2019 BigPumpkins.com. All rights reserved.