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Click on a thumbnail picture below to see the full size version. 456 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 “no’s” 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 I’ve always been an open book in my diary, so here is what it is so far. I’ve 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 I’m hauling is from a friend’s micro green business. It’s a high porosity, vermiculite and peat based media that has just a touch of perlite in it. I’m adding a 2” 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 don’t 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 isn’t always greener in your neighbors’ 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 I’ve been getting. It’s got me thinking about things...
 
Sunday, January 27 View Page
I’m posting this for discussion on the use of silica as it seems to be a recent trend around here. I’m on the fence right now, so let’s 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 she’s just resting... the calm before the storm.
 
Tuesday, March 19 View Page
Last few days I’ve had that itch... where it’s time to get the last minute details sorted out and get in gear, Winter is on its way out! Figured I’d make sure my little soldiers were alert.
 
Tuesday, March 19 View Page
These ones got some extra cardboard caps. They love the channels once they’re wet well, and they seem to like breeding on the top layer. If you can zoom, I count 7 eggs in this picture. Hint, they’re 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 I’ve 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. 4” hole in middle for air and misting top layer, super manageable even when wet. Scrounge around for worms, don’t 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 I’ve 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 it’ll be worth the extra effort.
 
Tuesday, April 2 View Page
Got everything run through a 1/2” screen so I never have to deal with jabbing a rock in here. The bed is 30” 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, I’ll 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 I’ll be getting the mountain side in order... don’t 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 weren’t 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 I’m ready to buckle down!
 
Saturday, April 27 View Page
Let’s start seeing some 150 patches! :)
 
Saturday, April 27 View Page
10 wide by 15 long, same as last time, nothing special. Still haven’t 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, “FAT bottomed girls make the ROCKIN world go round!”
 
Tuesday, April 30 View Page
Damn right I’m proud of her! Let’s go! 750 sqft.
 
Tuesday, April 30 View Page
Quinn pretty much guaranteed me “SUPER DUPER” results on this one... Glenna backed him up on it... I’ll see you two in October to talk about it :) 750 sqft
 
Tuesday, April 30 View Page
Grower’s 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 Gantner’s 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 I’m 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!? Let’s 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 :) Jay’s 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 “guttation” in plants. When evenings are cool, and you have a powerful root system that doesn’t 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 don’t blow up.
 
Wednesday, May 8 View Page
2152 Gantner showing the same. “Hydathodes” 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 didn’t 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. President’s 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, they’ll 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 they’ll 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 Mother’s 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 day’s 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, won’t be long until worlds collide! :)
 
Monday, May 20 View Page
Having trouble with moles this year, they’re 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 wouldn’t 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 I’m 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 haven’t 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. They’re 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 didn’t get all the way against the glass, OR look down!
 
Wednesday, May 22 View Page
Getting it done in Seattle! Great food scene here :)
 
Wednesday, May 22 View Page
Bout to make a cocktail :)
 
Friday, May 24 View Page
Seattle was a blast, and I even got to visit a pumpkin patch while I was there. My new friend Dawn was a loving host, and it was great to meet another grower from across the country!
 
Sunday, May 26 View Page
Suffered some casualties while on vacation, but that’s just how it goes sometimes. These used to be my chrysanthemums, but I got em all cloned before I left, so hopefully I’m not down and out on these.
 
Sunday, May 26 View Page
Got some bait out before I left in hopes it would work while I was gone...
 
Sunday, May 26 View Page
Got the one underneath the 1337, and she’s bouncing back nicely.
 
Sunday, May 26 View Page
Think I got the 2152 on track in the 150 patch.
 
Sunday, May 26 View Page
2416.5 Haist is nice and strong, starting to run.
 
Sunday, May 26 View Page
982 didn’t fare so well. Seems the pretty ones are always the tastiest too.
 
Sunday, May 26 View Page
Is all that was left on this one.
 
Sunday, May 26 View Page
Backed up the 982 before I left with the 1567 D. Gantner. Seems to be doing well, so we’ll just change up pollination plans I guess.
 
Sunday, May 26 View Page
1810 Werner with what used to be the stump. Wanted the 1810 x 982 this year, apparently the moles did too?
 
Sunday, May 26 View Page
1337 B as backup for the 1810... back on track in all spots!
 
Sunday, May 26 View Page
Heavy cukes are doing well.
 
Sunday, May 26 View Page
Heavy Lopes are doing well.
 
Sunday, May 26 View Page
Heavy carrots are doing well :) Super happy I took the extra time to put critter wire on the bottom before I filled it.
 
Sunday, May 26 View Page
Still on the offense!
 
Sunday, May 26 View Page
So is she :)
 
Sunday, May 26 View Page
Me and Pops :) Happy Memorial Day everyone, hope you’re all with family and good food this weekend!
 
Sunday, June 9 View Page
Team Sauce is doing ok so far, Lambchop on left, Strickler middle, Pork Chop right. Nothing special on the first trusses, but looking good overall.
 
Sunday, June 9 View Page
One of my two 65.9 Vesters.
 
Sunday, June 9 View Page
Cukes are ok, I broke the tip off the one on the left trying to weave it in the trellis. All of these are from my 11.77 in 2017. 1567 Gantner is behind, and 1337 B is in the rear, both backup plants that replaced critter damage.
 
Sunday, June 9 View Page
1337 A
 
Sunday, June 9 View Page
2416.5 Haist
 
Sunday, June 9 View Page
Carrots are getting chunky :)
 
Sunday, June 9 View Page
2152 Gantner in the 150 spot.
 
Tuesday, June 11 View Page
Bout to hit the turbo on Friday! :)
 
Sunday, June 16 View Page
Same old story here, maybe July will bring some sun with it...
 
Sunday, June 16 View Page
Figured I’d pick up a new hobby since the weather hasn’t been cooperating this year. Three a couple pork butts on the smoker yesterday while catching up around the house.
 
Sunday, June 16 View Page
Did ok for my first run, but ran into a heavy case of the meat sweats...
 
Sunday, June 16 View Page
The only dry day we had in the last couple weeks, I figured I’d keep going until I couldn’t see. Late nite drench of some “fix it right up” and an overnight rain to drive it in, life is beautiful here in the hills!
 
Friday, June 21 View Page
June 21, burying vines with a hoodie...
 
Friday, June 21 View Page
 
Friday, June 21 View Page
No bells ringing today, no voles in the traps... you hear it? It’s just the calm amongst the storms...
 
Friday, June 21 View Page
Been busy with heavy duty stuff in and out of the garden this year, hope to get wrapped up before my last semester starts!
 
Friday, June 21 View Page
Put about 10 miles on this thing in the last couple weeks, but we’re stacking up a good base...
 
Friday, June 21 View Page
Hit it with some science for Bart, I know he loves himself some Pythagorean’s Theorum :)
 
Friday, June 21 View Page
Yep, still trudging through the weather, no quit in this kid!
 
Friday, June 21 View Page
Lotta hard work showed up a few days ago...
 
Friday, June 21 View Page
Operation Level Patch under way, stay tuned!
 
Friday, June 21 View Page
Porky isn’t the only one out there with luscious!
 
Friday, June 21 View Page
NOT the keeper...
 
Friday, June 21 View Page
But I DO have a HONKER on the hook this year ;)
 
Friday, June 21 View Page
Pumpkin boards help you learn life skills :)
 
Friday, June 21 View Page
Carrot
 
Friday, June 21 View Page
CARRRRRROOOOOTTTTT!!!
 
Friday, June 21 View Page
Boom! 2416.5 Haist bout to throw a humdinger!
 
Friday, June 21 View Page
BAM! 1337 Trychta ready to go!
 
Friday, June 21 View Page
POW! 150 patch with the 2152 D. Gantner ready for the front right corner, mostly terminated now.
 
Friday, June 21 View Page
1337 B with a broken tip, backed up 1810 Werner in late May.
 
Friday, June 21 View Page
1567 D. Gantner backs up 982 Trychta in late May, almost ready to go, and the one with the perfect blossom ;)
 
Friday, June 21 View Page
982 that got saved from critters for potential pollen donor. Materkins in the back.
 
Friday, June 21 View Page
3 x giant cukes over 16 x 4’ cattle panel. Two ends are set, middle plant waiting for the right bloom.
 
Friday, June 21 View Page
Team Sauce Maters across 8 feet of raised bed.
 
Friday, June 21 View Page
Other Team Sauce maters... sorry guys!
 
Friday, June 21 View Page
WR lope seed
 
Friday, June 21 View Page
Nother one :)
 
Friday, June 21 View Page
Peas are popping out too!
 
Friday, June 21 View Page
Just a beautiful day to slap some updates in the diary. Happy Summer Solstice everyone!
 
Monday, June 24 View Page
Good ol’ docrodebaugh caught me making tags off of bad memory... seems I was cheating by a pound. Good thing he’s here to keep me honest! Cucumber is 4 DAP x open (all 3 plants are 10.7 Trychta, so either self or sib?)
 
Monday, June 24 View Page
Oh the irony this season...
 
Thursday, June 27 View Page
Just about to the point of the season where I start asking myself why I love this hobby so much...
 
Thursday, June 27 View Page
Been hard to keep cleaned up with steady rains all season so far, but I want future Dustin to see how perseverance was a big amendment that paid off well this year!
 
Thursday, June 27 View Page
Field mouse...
 
Thursday, June 27 View Page
I believe this is a Woodland Vole...
 
Thursday, June 27 View Page
A reminder to all to clean your equipment periodically:)
 
Thursday, June 27 View Page
Helped change some convection tubes at the greenhouse couple days ago
 
Thursday, June 27 View Page
Found my favorite color under all that dirt!
 
Thursday, June 27 View Page
Also, don’t forget your PPE as spray season kicks into full gear.
 
Thursday, June 27 View Page
Trying to get a clean set on a cantaloupe is about as hard as the cucumbers, but I’m gonna give it a bit of practice. The two bits at the bottom are male blooms with the petals removed to try to get in there.
 
Thursday, June 27 View Page
Sick of the rain too, but still using the walking boards ;)
 
Thursday, June 27 View Page
And I’m squeezing inside June with my third of five in a tough year.
 
Thursday, June 27 View Page
Sun came out hard for two days...
 
Thursday, June 27 View Page
So I got some shade cloth put up just in time for the cloudy rainy weather to come back. Team Sauce Maters are doing well behind the carrots.
 
Thursday, June 27 View Page
5.0 Strickler Megazac in the middle is the only thing going right now, but we’re not too far off on the others.
 
Thursday, June 27 View Page
My friend Andrea who helped me harvest that beautiful 982 is the new greenhouse manager at WVU. We had a great time and worked really well together to get the place cleaned up for the new semester :)
 
Friday, June 28 View Page
America knows what time it is ;)
 
Saturday, June 29 View Page
7 DAP on cucumber plant “C”
 
Saturday, June 29 View Page
Turkey Vultures are getting fat and happy in the hills, and I’m making steady progress on getting my garden back in top shape after the year off.
 
Tuesday, July 2 View Page
Fried my plants with a spray yesterday... just how it goes sometimes.
 
Wednesday, July 3 View Page
Time for a round of updates to kick off the holiday weekend! First up is... the cocktail everyone is asking about. I believe it was the Cyonara as I’ve used both of the other products before without I’ll effect. Got banged up on this one but we’ll hopefully out-grow the damage and press on.
 
Wednesday, July 3 View Page
Gonna hit it with the compliance check on the 150 patch since were all terminated and tucked in for the long haul to 1K! Back side with cucumber trellis on right.
 
Wednesday, July 3 View Page
Cucumber side view of border
 
Wednesday, July 3 View Page
Front side of 150. Cross is 2152 Gantner x 2416.5 Haist @ 9 DAP and 27” cc.
 
Wednesday, July 3 View Page
Bit of a blowout on the main, and a wonky lobe, but I’m out of room so I’m gonna run it. Split should stay clean and dry once pumpkin shade is up. I’ll be looking to keep the visible ribs at 10 and 2 o’clock positions in the very same spots until the flat bottom develops.
 
Wednesday, July 3 View Page
I’ve been following lobe orientation for a few years now in regards to overall pumpkin shape. I believe that how the initial flat spot forms within the first two weeks determines how gravity will settle the final shape. The board on the right is not only propping up the main vine to keep it level, but it is also tucked tightly to the pumpkin to hold the right side slightly higher until that center lobe on the bottom stays put. The wonky lobe on the left will distort the shape a bit, but you gotta take what you can get in the 150 spot. I’m looking for the two points on top to form the center hump that I like. I feel this picture is a clear representation in how the lobes correlate to ribs, and how the different sections of the pumpkin begin to form. Follow the points of the lobes outward...
 
Wednesday, July 3 View Page
1337 A is doing well :)
 
Wednesday, July 3 View Page
Cross is 1337 A x 2416.5 Haist and 29” cc at 10 DAP.
 
Wednesday, July 3 View Page
Will be giving this a slight twist to the right, but the stem is strong and I don’t want to stress it too much.
 
Wednesday, July 3 View Page
1567 Gantner is doing well after a later planting. Cross is 1567 x self and a few days old at the front.
 
Wednesday, July 3 View Page
1337 B with the broken main. Little behind but healthy and almost ready to go.
 
Wednesday, July 3 View Page
2416.5 Haist needs to be re-set, but should be ready in a couple days.
 
Wednesday, July 3 View Page
Cross is 2416.5 x self, but it developed a bit of a stem/vine crack that won’t work out long-term.
 
Wednesday, July 3 View Page
Lope B
 
Wednesday, July 3 View Page
Lope A got fried too, but we got one around a week old, so we’ll see what happens. Cross is 65.9 Vester x self.
 
Wednesday, July 3 View Page
Fried green tomatoes :’)
 
Wednesday, July 3 View Page
Cucumbers went from gorgeous to looking like hell in just a couple days... we’ll see if I can salvage something, otherwise they’ll just get pulled to keep things tidy.
 
Wednesday, July 3 View Page
Cucumber A is 17” long and 10” cc
 
Wednesday, July 3 View Page
Will have to grow longer arms to keep giving the same shot, but cucumber C is 24” long and 9” cc @ 12DAP.
 
Wednesday, July 3 View Page
Carrots are still going strong despite the spray. Lost some leaves that stayed wet on the bottom, but for the most part, they pulled through. I’m thinking the sun had a bit to do with the chemical burn as well...
 
Wednesday, July 3 View Page
No clue what’s underneath, but she’s a chunky one!
 
Wednesday, July 3 View Page
Materkins are in top shape!
 
Wednesday, July 3 View Page
Things are getting curiouser and curiouser...
 
Wednesday, July 3 View Page
Been a crazy year so far, so we’re just going to embrace it and be crazy!
 
Wednesday, July 3 View Page
My “little” sister just finished a 30 day exercise with the Army, and she missed out on the first BBQ with the new smoker, so I promised to make it up to her when she got home.
 
Wednesday, July 3 View Page
Super proud of this little carnivore :) Her wolf will enjoy the rib bone!
 
Thursday, July 4 View Page
That’s right people, the Pumpcone 3.0 shares a birthday with America!
 
Thursday, July 4 View Page
Only slight modifications from the 2.0 version from 2017. As you can see, I went with 2” foam instead of 2 x 3/4”, so I’ll have another 1/2” before I hit the board.
 
Thursday, July 4 View Page
Outside diameter went from about 8” to 12”. Inside diameter remains the same as I used the same glass for the trace. Just a touch off a good circle, so may get tweaked before it goes out now that I see the picture.
 
Thursday, July 4 View Page
The drainage holes got put in after Patience was on top, so without risking drill marks on the side of her, several never made it all the way through. They were placed ahead of time for this version.
 
Thursday, July 4 View Page
5.71 Lambchop for Team Sauce
 
Thursday, July 4 View Page
Right behind on same plant.
 
Thursday, July 4 View Page
5.29 Porkchop for Team Sauce
 
Thursday, July 4 View Page
Another prospect not far behind on the Pork. Both plants are Domingo.
 
Thursday, July 4 View Page
5.0 Strickler megazac isn’t not growing, but it’s not growing well. Try to say that 3 times fast.
 
Thursday, July 4 View Page
Got a prospect at the tip though if they can push through my mistake.
 
Thursday, July 4 View Page
1337 B was a little slow to pick back up after the break, so she’s going skyward! Blooms have been coming out fairly symmetrical, so let’s give it another try. Upward tip is the foremost side vine about 6 or 7 from the stump, and I’ll let a few tertiaries run forward from it to fill in.
 
Sunday, July 7 View Page
July soil test comes in looking pretty good. Manganese has been up and down this year, but another dose of Mn Sulfate will bump it back up. One pound over 3k sqft usually gives me around a 20 ppm boost in the soil, and I tend to lose about 10 points per month. Calcium and Boron will get bumped up as well.
 
Sunday, July 7 View Page
Lost my wonky mater with a soft spot, but I wasn’t too surprised on this one. Couple good blooms at the top, just hitting the reset button is all.
 
Sunday, July 7 View Page
1337 Trychta A is doing well at 14 DAP. She is 45” in cc and her name will be Rosie :) cross is 1337 Trychta x 2416.5 Haist. Inspiration for the name is how I feel when I’m pollinating... been a tough year so we gotta get some energy in the patch! https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=QMvE0yFnR0I
 
Sunday, July 7 View Page
2152 Gantner x 2416.5 Haist at 13 DAP in the 150 sqft patch. Her name will be Molly, because good golly Molly, the girl’s got a rhythm! https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=U4lPIehyj8A
 
Sunday, July 7 View Page
1567 Gantner x Self is all set in the front and center spot if the patch. It is right in line with Kirsha’s favorite spot on the couch (next to Elvis) so she gets to name this one. Meet Sweet Caroline :) https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=1vhFnTjia_I
 
Sunday, July 7 View Page
Watch this maneuver...
 
Sunday, July 7 View Page
FLOOP!
 
Sunday, July 7 View Page
The leaves will be trimmed back once they’re done assisting the vine downward. I learned in 2017 that it is incredibly hard to keep a straight vine and get the bend to lay opposite, the natural tendency is to take the path of least resistance which is a twist. This year we are embracing the nature of the plant and allowing the twist to happen over a longer distance to relieve stress. Sounds crazy, but I embrace crazy too.
 
Sunday, July 7 View Page
Out there looking for a girl... https://m.youtube.com/watch?feature=youtu.be&v=8W6htRe993Q
 
Monday, July 8 View Page
Hey! I’m gonna get you too! https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=rY0WxgSXdEE
 
Wednesday, July 10 View Page
Hawk keeping my carrots safe :)
 
Thursday, July 11 View Page
Been a busy and very wet year. Having trouble getting one going on this one, and with no pumpkin to push into, the heavy rains finally blew my first stump ever... not a good day, but a good learning experience.
 
Thursday, July 11 View Page
Got her scraped, pounded with peroxide inside and out, then dried off.
 
Thursday, July 11 View Page
Dusted liberally with sulfur, and started praying as advised by a trusted mentor. We’ll see where this goes and learn what to do or at least not to do for when one is on the hook that I DO need to save. You can see on the next node in how badly the rain is eroding the mounds around the nodes.
 
Thursday, July 11 View Page
Got almost 5 inches today :(
 
Thursday, July 11 View Page
Just flooded out everywhere. First time in a long time I had to turn around and take a different route home.
 
Friday, July 12 View Page
We have pumpkins to talk about now, so let’s get back to my theory on the “perfect” pumpkin for those who love the pretty ones. This is my 2152 Gantner named Molly, and she is 65” in cc at 18 days old. It is about this point that you can no longer lean/tilt/manipulate the pumpkin, so I’ll go over how I feel about the set. I’ll be discussing the ribs at 9, 10, 2, and 2:30 positions, but first note how the deformed lobe is playing into the top hump.
 
Friday, July 12 View Page
I always like to check my stem to blossom level line from a distance, as you can only see so much from close up. Here, I like how the rib from the 2:30 position is parallel with the ground and level to blossom and stem despite it being slightly higher up than its opposite rib. Having trouble straightening this one and she needs to be squeezed in anyways, so she’s good for now.
 
Friday, July 12 View Page
The 9 o’clock rib, also parallel and level. These are good markers to look for when setting the flat spot on the bottom. The better you can balance the top humps, the less gravity will distort the end fruit.
 
Friday, July 12 View Page
A top view shows the 10 & 2 o’clock ribs evenly spaced on the sides and one chunka punkin dead center. She’s picking up a bit of color already, so let’s hope this one makes it!
 
Saturday, July 13 View Page
Kirsha and I are taking the day off to break in the new roller coaster at Kennywood today. It’s where we grew up, and also got engaged, so this park has a special place in the Trychta family :)
 
Sunday, July 14 View Page
Stopped by our little spot for a 10 year update photo. We must be getting old because it was hard to believe how much life we’ve lived together since that scared young man took a leap of faith. Glad to not have a ring box jammed in my sock all day today ;)
 
Monday, July 15 View Page
Stump on the 2416 blew out further over the past couple days, and just didn’t seem worth the effort.
 
Monday, July 15 View Page
It was a good choice as the inside was shot. You can see behind that the roots were dying off as well.
 
Monday, July 15 View Page
Everything was ok about halfway down the plant, but not enough left to mess around with, so I decided to pull the whole thing so I can focus on the rest.
 
Monday, July 15 View Page
Good news is, I’m doing fairly well with getting the weed population down here. Suppose it’s just about time to start looking into cover crop seed.
 
Monday, July 15 View Page
Cucumber C is ok, but the plant never bounced back from the bad spray in June. I normally like to let a plant recover prior to fruit stress, but this bloom looked special so I kept it. The growth has suffered as a result, but she’s still moving the tape so she gets to stay as long as she likes. 24 days old, measurements are 12.5” cc x 31” long, so probably around 9 pounds or so.
 
Monday, July 15 View Page
Cucumber A is a little chunker on a bit better plant. Also 24 days old, measurements are 15.5” cc x 25” long.
 
Monday, July 15 View Page
And we have our first matured materkin! These things are just comical. Type of eggplant that is more commonly called “pumpkin on a stick”, they can be plucked and given as “pumpkin party favors” or cut a whole branch, remove the thorny leaves, and spice up your fall floral bouquets. The skin and fruit are rather firm, not at all like a ripe tomato, so they travel and store well. Might be my favorite plants in the garden this year :)
 
Monday, July 15 View Page
This looks suspiciously like two little hands were recently where they shouldn’t have been...
 
Wednesday, July 17 View Page
Been a busy year with house projects going on. This is pretty much what’s underneath everything here, so it’s been a challenge getting the patch in order, but we’re building better soil every year.
 
Wednesday, July 17 View Page
One plant worth of cantaloupe culls for the last few days. Bloom booster is in full gear!
 
Wednesday, July 17 View Page
Been a lone black bear roaming the property recently, I think a lone male about 2 1/2 years old and recently separated from mama, as we saw cubs with her last year. Found a hornet nest in my bio char cooker that’s been sitting idle for the last year.
 
Wednesday, July 17 View Page
Musta packed a whallop, cause there’s chunks of nest everywhere!
 
Wednesday, July 17 View Page
This was a low spot in my footer that’s been flooded with the recent rain. A very fine layer of wet clay settled on top of the sand and silt. These are mud wasp tracks, I watched one scrape and gather it’s ball of house putty and fly off... busy little things :)
 
Friday, July 19 View Page
Rosie is moving nicely at day 26 (1337 A x 2416.5 Haist)
 
Friday, July 19 View Page
Just a tiny bit of inconsistency in the growth, but overall I’m happy with the placement. I like the blocky shape that having two of your 5 lobes on top forms.
 
Friday, July 19 View Page
Nice bell shape to her so far, and she’s coloring up in the ribs. Proud papa here.
 
Friday, July 19 View Page
1567 settled in nicely as well with the blocky top.
 
Friday, July 19 View Page
Just over a couple weeks old on Sweet Caroline (1567 Gantner x Self)
 
Friday, July 19 View Page
And Molly is no superstar in numbers, but she’s shaping up to be a beautiful pumpkin (2152 Gantner x 2416.5 Haist)
 
Friday, July 19 View Page
The carrot to the far left just isn’t doing much. It shows just how beginning plants can be deceiving. The three carrots that got planted were the best 3 sprouts out of 24 seeds...
 
Friday, July 19 View Page
This one was pretty much identical to the others through the time of planting, and also the one with the spiral tap root from early in the diary where it missed the bottom hole in the pot. Same treatment throughout their 169 days so far. Sometimes, a lucky seed is really all you need.
 
Friday, July 19 View Page
It’s pretty suspenseful and exciting when the top of the plant is bigger than you’ve ever grown before, but you have no idea what’s actually underneath.
 
Tuesday, July 23 View Page
Rosie is the first to hit day 30 this year
 
Tuesday, July 23 View Page
OTT comes in at 286.5 for roughly 545 pounds
 
Wednesday, July 24 View Page
Molly is the second to hit day 30 this year
 
Wednesday, July 24 View Page
OTT is 238.5 for roughly 310 pounds. This pumpkin at day 30 is on the same pace as my last 150 patch.
 
Wednesday, July 24 View Page
Cucumbers are wrapping up here, just a bit more to go on the bottoms. Heading out tonight to make our way into Michigan for the patch tour this weekend, so will probably be ready to harvest when we get back.
 
Wednesday, July 24 View Page
I’ve liked this one from the start. On the smallest plant that I broke the main early on, it was the only plant of the three throwing females off the stump. Board is a 30” 2 x 6 for reference.
 
Thursday, July 25 View Page
Little pit stop for some fun in Sandusky on the way to Michigan. Looking forward to some thrill rides!
 
Sunday, July 28 View Page
Back from Michigan and happy to check on things. A huge thank you to the whole crew up there! Had a great time getting to know people better, meeting lots of new people, and getting to see some monsters.
 
Monday, July 29 View Page
I take a ton of pictures of my garden because I just love plants. Once in a while, a picture just stands out as a favorite above the rest. I think the gradient of ripening here from the bottom to the top is just beautiful.
 
Tuesday, July 30 View Page
Sweet Caroline turns 30 today and comes in at 274.5 OTT for roughly 475 pounds.
 
Tuesday, July 30 View Page
She has the most peculiar little beauty mark on one side. No deformity at all to the skin, just a little patch of deep green pigment. These things just love to surprise us each year :)
 
Tuesday, July 30 View Page
Sad state of affairs on some of these stumps, but I’m doing everything I can to save them. If not, I at least have some practice for carving season :)
 
Tuesday, July 30 View Page
Thanks for the advice Quinn, got it hooked up already. Also, thank you Bob Liggett for the tip on finding stronger peroxide at the pool store.
 
Tuesday, July 30 View Page
Does a great job getting the junk out of there!
 
Wednesday, July 31 View Page
Caroline’s sister (the 2152) has the most peculiar little red beauty mark... guess they’re two peas in a pod!
 
Wednesday, July 31 View Page
Went ahead and had some fun today... took stumpy to get a weight.
 
Wednesday, July 31 View Page
Final measurements were 26 3/4 inches long, 17 1/2 inches in circumference at 40 days old.
 
Thursday, August 1 View Page
Just getting pounded left and right this year... even the driveway gives up!
 
Thursday, August 1 View Page
Never a great way to start the morning walk. Caroline was the last one standing without issues, so it’s par for the course this year I suppose.
 
Thursday, August 1 View Page
Figured I better get ahead of the rush and grab my hauling harness early, might need it early at this rate. Thank you Ron for supper fast service!
 
Friday, August 2 View Page
Day 40 numbers are in for Rosie at 334” OTT at roughly 855 pounds. Pretty consistent gains from day 30-40 so I’m happy :)
 
Friday, August 2 View Page
Aside from the stump, she still looks pretty healthy to start August. Starting to have trouble keeping to the spray schedule with hot sunny days and rainy evenings, but we’ll get em squeezed in somehow.
 
Saturday, August 3 View Page
Day 40 numbers are in for Molly at 273.5” OTT for roughly 470 pounds.
 
Saturday, August 3 View Page
Slow and steady on this girl, but she’s just beautiful. It looks like she’s winking at me with that tiny lobe ;)
 
Saturday, August 3 View Page
For some reason, my pretty ones always have the ugliest stems... she’s had this blowout full term, and my experience tells me she’ll have the same problem Patience did in 17, but time will tell. Skin on the stem end is drying and cracking a little from the fan, but there’s no way I’ll turn it off with this going on.
 
Saturday, August 3 View Page
She’s bursting from the seams, and again, aside from major blowouts looks ok, so we’re staying the course!
 
Saturday, August 3 View Page
Got Stumpy all cleaned out last night.
 
Saturday, August 3 View Page
Pretty good haul of seeds. They’re a bit of a pain, as they have the jelly sack on them like tomato seeds, so they get to sit for a day before cleaning.
 
Saturday, August 3 View Page
Got another one going on her plant since it’s still in pretty good shape and they only take about 40 days to mature. This one is 6 days old.
 
Saturday, August 3 View Page
Wasn’t sure at first if it was deformed or fused... still not too sure to be honest, but I like it!
 
Monday, August 5 View Page
:)
 
Monday, August 5 View Page
Other cuke came in at just over 12 pounds, final measurements 34” long x 14” cc, so still better than my 2017 run.
 
Thursday, August 8 View Page
Decided to pop the cage and make sure everything was ok in there since I couldn’t reach well.
 
Thursday, August 8 View Page
Carrot B looks fine
 
Thursday, August 8 View Page
Carrot C looks great!
 
Thursday, August 8 View Page
Everything looked good underneath the thick canopy, popping out new growth all over
 
Thursday, August 8 View Page
Also got a few dandelions coming around. This is on the 5.0 Strickler Megazac.
 
Thursday, August 8 View Page
Another on the 5.0 Strickler.
 
Thursday, August 8 View Page
5.29 Porkchop Domingo
 
Thursday, August 8 View Page
Backup fruit on the plant that produced the 15.39 is hooked up in the hills at 11 days old.
 
Saturday, August 10 View Page
Day 41 for Sweet Caroline, and she’s taken a commanding spot in the canopy :)
 
Saturday, August 10 View Page
She is at 329 OTT for roughly 820 pounds. We’ll see if the skinny bottom on this girl throws that off a bit or not. Still get a chuckle out of that beauty mark!
 
Sunday, August 11 View Page
Materkin :)
 
Monday, August 12 View Page
Day 50 for Rosie on the 1337 Trychta :)
 
Monday, August 12 View Page
She needed another round of peroxide and sulfur yesterday, but the stump is still fairly solid and the numbers are decent for some overcast weather lately.
 
Monday, August 12 View Page
Sitting beautifully at 364.5” OTT or right around 1100 pounds.
 
Tuesday, August 13 View Page
Day 50 for Molly in the 150 patch and she comes in at 298 OTT for roughly 610 pounds.
 
Tuesday, August 13 View Page
Might be harvesting her soon as there’s a tiny hole in the center of the stem... tiny... but DEEP! Will have to keep a close eye on her regardless.
 
Tuesday, August 13 View Page
This chunker is on the plant that grew the 15.39 and is 16 days old. Plant is showing some age but I’m hoping to finish this one out well.
 
Friday, August 16 View Page
Been getting a little sidetracked here doing some home improvement
 
Friday, August 16 View Page
The boss even stepped in to help out for a day :)
 
Friday, August 16 View Page
Got some steps built finally
 
Friday, August 16 View Page
Been riding El Toro a good bit lately
 
Friday, August 16 View Page
But we’re getting some much needed drainage on the hillside
 
Friday, August 16 View Page
Carrots are still going strong... one more so than the other ;)
 
Friday, August 16 View Page
Lil’ fatty chunk chunk is 20 days old. Hoping for another good 25 out of her.
 
Friday, August 16 View Page
Team Sauce has been quiet, but we’re ready to go!
 
Friday, August 16 View Page
Couple days old on the 5.29 Porkchop Domingo
 
Friday, August 16 View Page
We got some good ones on the 5.0 Strickler megazac
 
Friday, August 16 View Page
Another on the 5.0 Strickler
 
Friday, August 16 View Page
And we have this lil lady on the 5.71 Lambchop
 
Friday, August 16 View Page
And a better shot of the bigger carrot :)
 
Friday, August 16 View Page
Still putting pounds on the ground baby, both feet on the gas!
 
Saturday, August 17 View Page
Straggler in the patch this year is Alice on the 1337 backup plant who turns 30 today
 
Saturday, August 17 View Page
She’s 248.5” OTT for roughly 350 pounds.
 
Sunday, August 18 View Page
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=UrGw_cOgwa8
 
Monday, August 19 View Page
Caroline looks sweet from the front at 50 days old...
 
Monday, August 19 View Page
But it’s business on the back end with those chunky ribs :) OTT of 356.5 for roughly 1030 pounds
 
Tuesday, August 20 View Page
Team Sauce is on the board with an embarrassing entry, but one that gets us started. Nowhere to go but up gentlemen!
 
Tuesday, August 20 View Page
No worries about a wet rainy moist humid overcast year, keeps my inconsistencies in watering way down... temps have been real nice too :)
 
Tuesday, August 20 View Page
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=4VKy69sE4VY Little more to the soundtrack of my season :)
 
Thursday, August 22 View Page
The biggest carrot of the year started acting up a few days ago
 
Thursday, August 22 View Page
Did some investigating and found a soft center
 
Thursday, August 22 View Page
It was rotten around the center core but inside the outer core...
 
Thursday, August 22 View Page
It was a fun ride all year long. Bit disappointed with what I pulled up, but the anticipation added to it a lot :)
 
Thursday, August 22 View Page
Rosie turned 60 days old today If you can zoom in, you’ll see how the bottom lobe that is centered is getting swallowed up. There are two factors I believe at cause here: a slightly smaller lobe to begin with compared to the others, and friction from a lack of sand underneath early on that hindered the stretch.
 
Thursday, August 22 View Page
She’s holding her shape well and getting a bit deeper in color
 
Thursday, August 22 View Page
Tape measure says 386.5 OTT I like this shot a lot when talking about lobe expression through the life of a pumpkin. The divot in the middle was just the slightest deformity on the bloom, but you can see where the two top lobes sit when you get them centered well on a 5 lobe bloom. Still at 10-2:30 positions :)
 
Friday, August 23 View Page
Day 60 for Molly in the 150 patch
 
Friday, August 23 View Page
The plant itself shows the least amount of wear and tear, mostly because it’s the only plant I haven’t had to go inside of to tend issues and prune
 
Friday, August 23 View Page
Still battling early season issues here. In the past, I would have thought this is ok, but for newer growers, look at the dark spot at the 8 o’clock position. This needs removed as well.
 
Friday, August 23 View Page
Once the top is open, you’ll need a drainage hole at the low point as well.
 
Friday, August 23 View Page
Sitting at 316.5 OTT, still getting couple inches per day despite the issues. I expected to lose her by now, so I’m happy to still have her :)
 
Friday, August 23 View Page
It’s also blanket season in the hills
 
Saturday, August 24 View Page
Must be a patch party brewing somewhere
 
Sunday, August 25 View Page
Pops takes pretty good care of me. He knows I like my pumpkins pretty, so he sewed up some custom strap wraps for my new hauling harness.
 
Sunday, August 25 View Page
He put faux lambs wool on the outside for a nice soft cushion :)
 
Sunday, August 25 View Page
Removable and machine washable
 
Sunday, August 25 View Page
They wrap around and attach to self with Velcro
 
Sunday, August 25 View Page
Custom :)
 
Sunday, August 25 View Page
Forgot to get a picture with Albert and Chris Rodebaugh yesterday, we were all fired up talking pumpkins at the picnic. Was happy they made the long haul up here for the patch tour. In place of those two guys, a brisket and a butt, you can decide who is who :)
 
Thursday, August 29 View Page
Straggler in the patch this year is Alice who just turned 40 days old
 
Thursday, August 29 View Page
Also on the 1337 Trychta, she’s right on 600 pounds and starting to show some freckles :)
 
Thursday, August 29 View Page
I almost pulled the plant, but got that late set to take, so she stayed. A good reminder to young growers, don’t bee too upset if you’re not keeping pace with those early June pollinations, you can still get some good ones out of a late July pollination. Cross is 1337 x self.
 
Thursday, August 29 View Page
Sweet Caroline hit 60 days old today
 
Thursday, August 29 View Page
She’s just shy of 1200 pounds now and thumping as thick as can be. This one might be my wildcard this year...
 
Friday, August 30 View Page
Lots of weights coming in... To the old timers, the first year growers, and everyone in between: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8fPf6L0XNvM
 
Monday, September 2 View Page
Happy Labor Day everyone, time for some updates:) First up is Porky
 
Monday, September 2 View Page
Next is Stevey
 
Monday, September 2 View Page
Lil’ Lamby is still trying to squeeze another quick round in
 
Monday, September 2 View Page
Mostly just big singles on this Domingo, but we’ll rock it if it takes!
 
Monday, September 2 View Page
Alice (1337 Trychta x self) is starting to peek above the canopy:)
 
Monday, September 2 View Page
The biggest pancake I’ve ever made, but she’s pretty :) 45 Days old and roughly 675 pounds
 
Monday, September 2 View Page
Molly is up next in the 150 patch. Thought she was gone a couple weeks ago, but she’s still moving the tape slowly.
 
Monday, September 2 View Page
Roughly 800 pounds at 70 days old.
 
Monday, September 2 View Page
Caroline (1567 Gantner x self) is up next. Kirsha is super happy with her choice in the patch this year and loves the ribs. She thinks Caroline has one of those bouffant hair styles :)
 
Monday, September 2 View Page
Every year there’s at least one that’s hard to measure well. These bumps and lumps have been changing how the tape slides and where I stick the painter’s tape to hold it. Best I can tell, she’s around 1250 at 65 days old.
 
Monday, September 2 View Page
Rosie (1337 Trychta x 2416.5 Haist) is up next and still stealing the show! Wasn’t sure what to expect on this one to be honest. The parents couldn’t have been more different in shape and color, but both in my patch have solid Calai patterns and smooth glossy skin minus growth cracks on both sides.
 
Monday, September 2 View Page
Rosie, with Caroline in the background, was sitting just shy of 1400 at 70 days old yesterday. Adjust that -10% that my patch typically goes and I’m still on track for a personal best this year, and on my own seed no less. Doesn’t get much better than that!
 
Monday, September 2 View Page
And we’ll end with Lil’ Fatty Chunk Chunk who is 36 days old. Good luck to everyone on the home stretch! I’ll see many of you soon!
 
Monday, September 2 View Page
As I was out tidying up today, I thought of some things I’ve learned along the way, so I thought I’d share my thoughts with the newer growers watching my garden this year, and future Dustin, because he always needs reminders ;) Now that I have another year looking at lobes and how they mature, I’ll talk about what I look for throughout the year. Here, a near perfect blossom from the 1337. Notice the daylight on one lobe.
 
Monday, September 2 View Page
When choosing a keeper, you should know the minute you see it, if it will be an odd shape or not. I give this a 9.25 out of 10 for symmetry and form, suggesting a great choice provided it remains level and parallel to gravity. -0.25 for the daylight, and - 0.5 for the minor lobe deformity on one lobe. This odd lobe is similar to the lobe that caused the dented rib on the top of Rosie, and is common in her babies.
 
Monday, September 2 View Page
This angle shows the slight deformity a little better against the parallel lobes in the back. Being picky here, but just what I look at if I think it has HD potential. In addition, I feel watching these “cull fruit” after fruit set gives you a good indicator of overall plant health if you cannot afford regular testing. If the blooms come out wonky, your plant (and set fruit) is missing something, warranting a test if you wish to save it. If they come out looking like this, your nutrition is good, and the gains are what they are.
 
Monday, September 2 View Page
For those who need or want to test, this is how I do it. Learned from a bunch of diaries, but I think Ron Wallace might have shown first a few years back. Most important thing is follow your chosen lab’s procedures, be consistent, and stay with same lab as every lab tests and reports differently. Select new growth that is fully formed, usually 4-5 leaves back from the tip. In late season, if I want to test, I let a tertiary or quaternary vine grow to remain consistent, and it is always after the fruit.
 
Monday, September 2 View Page
Lab will want 3 or 4 leaves to get enough juice to rock and roll. I pull one leaf from 4 fruiting plants to get an average of my whole patch. If one plant is off (disease, color, size) I do not sample, and keep testing to healthy plants for good growth. If testing for disease, keep samples to affected plants only.
 
Monday, September 2 View Page
They test the base of the leaf where it hits the stalk, so I trim stalks and tops to fit in priority envelope, as I usually have soil going in at same time. Grab, squeeze, slice. Back and forth on whether to do so depending on lab and who you ask, but I always wash my leaves to get rid of surface nutrients and “thingicides”.
 
Monday, September 2 View Page
Ran out of paper bags, but any paper works. No plastic because it doesn’t breathe and will cook to soup in the heat of a mail truck. Nothing like having the lab say sample was no good, send another.
 
Monday, September 2 View Page
Last one of the season is out. Make sure to label everything well, as things get moved around at the lab sometimes.
 
Monday, September 2 View Page
Also want to share some useful tools of the patch that cost almost nothing and take up no space... contradictory to most giant pumpkin supplies.
 
Monday, September 2 View Page
Rosie has a concerning spot where I extended her leveling pad. The board was about 1/8” proud of the pad, and she got some road rash. Here, the board is removed for inspection.
 
Monday, September 2 View Page
Tiny mirror is all it takes to get allupin’er where you can’t see. Speaking of inspections, they are only as good as they are thorough. Check something different every day, but cover everything in a week, and repeat until harvest.
 
Monday, September 2 View Page
Again with the mirror, use a flashlight with the other hand if necessary. Actually inspect, don’t just glance and figure it’s good. Alice needed some attention today.
 
Monday, September 2 View Page
BOOM! Another awesome tool! Normally I like a dry paint brush to apply powders, but sometimes you just can’t get to where you need to be. Simple condiment bottle allows you to tip and blast a bit of dry fungicide into those hard to reach spots.
 
Monday, September 2 View Page
This picture is from 14 days ago when I decided to cut the blossom off due to pressure at the 2 o’clock position. Normally it is best to leave a dry, healthy blossom, but certain circumstances will lead to rot.
 
Monday, September 2 View Page
This was 2 weeks progression after the main push had started slowing for the season. A lot of “tricks” to get to the scale are simply having seen it in the past, understanding that early detection and mitigation are important, and having the courage to make hard decisions.
 
Monday, September 2 View Page
A shot from underneath. I didn’t get the whole thing because it was already hard to get a knife in there, but I took enough to relieve the pressure and did it early enough for it to heal before closing shut, should I be lucky enough to get that much more growth.
 
Wednesday, September 11 View Page
Rosie turned 80 days old today and is 2” shy of a personal best on the tape :)
 
Wednesday, September 11 View Page
Lil’ Fatty Chub Chub went down, held a bit too much moisture in the hammock I built. All good, this was a second round, so no harm no foul.
 
Wednesday, September 11 View Page
20 5/8” circumference
 
Wednesday, September 11 View Page
19 5/8” long
 
Wednesday, September 11 View Page
Came in at 16 pounds on the nose. This will be considered 16.0 Trychta Dmg, so the 15.39 should stand for the new State Record
 
Friday, September 13 View Page
Someone turned Summer back on
 
Friday, September 13 View Page
Materkins throwing megas and everything :)
 
Friday, September 13 View Page
So... the last couple credits of this degree are pretty complicated... these are my “mind maps” for 3 of 15 weeks that we have to compile into a poster for peer review...
 
Friday, September 13 View Page
Learning more about CEC and nutrient exchange, so I’m doing my best to keep pace. Here’s a... really simple breakdown... of some of it.
 
Friday, September 13 View Page
Still inspecting... every two or three days now being busy with homework, but you just take a little extra flesh when you find it and keep on the gas!
 
Friday, September 13 View Page
And the Chrysanthemums started to bloom :)
 
Friday, September 13 View Page
This one a little deeper red. They got neglected this year with too much going on, but did ok in the off-season patch.
 
Friday, September 13 View Page
Some did ok, some are making a deer sick right now. We have some young ones around, so they’ve probably accelerated their own learning curve here.
 
Friday, September 13 View Page
Groundhogs are getting big too! Must be something in the water here. Sorry Brandon, struck out on Cinderella’s this year.
 
Saturday, September 14 View Page
Good enough to send it North a bit
 
Saturday, September 14 View Page
Some day I’ll be like Chris :)
 
Monday, September 16 View Page
Let’s hit it with the first Chrysanthemums for the year :)
 
Monday, September 16 View Page
Two relatives, kinda like them both for who they are. One a little washed out, but orange, and only washed out next to the other. One a stronger color, but my heart lies with the color it lies with.
 
Monday, September 16 View Page
CHUNKA! :)
 
Tuesday, September 24 View Page
Just tell the boys that I’m gonna be BACK IN BUSINESS AGAIN! Feels like forever ago since I set one on a scale, so it feels awesome that Alice is ready to go tomorrow. 1337 Trychta x self, pollinated July 18.
 
Wednesday, September 25 View Page
Happy guy right there! Got bumped out of a paycheck, but grabbed my second Howard Dill award, so all is well :) saw some old friends, met some new ones, life is great!
 
Thursday, September 26 View Page
I want in on this tomato game, TEAM SAUCE coming from WAY behind :) Hit it with a 5.0 Strickler Megazac single
 
Thursday, September 26 View Page
Hit it with the toppus to bottomus for the mater nerds
 
Thursday, September 26 View Page
Bottom was resting on a nub from a stem I pruned poorly, couldn’t hold until the weigh off.
 
Thursday, September 26 View Page
Previous PB was 3.0, so thanks for the great seeds Materdoc!
 
Thursday, September 26 View Page
Hit it with the 5.29 Porkchop Domingo single
 
Thursday, September 26 View Page
Toppus to bottomus
 
Thursday, September 26 View Page
She behaved badly during a chilly night, so she too would not hold for a weigh off.
 
Thursday, September 26 View Page
New PB on the scale, thanks for the great seeds Porkchop!
 
Sunday, September 29 View Page
Patch feels lonely without their little sister, so a final update while the rest are still together. Molly in the 150 patch is next to go and should be a PB for me In the 150 by almost 1 pound per square foot.
 
Sunday, September 29 View Page
She’s put on some serious splits in September, but the stem is dried again and she’s still moving the tape.
 
Sunday, September 29 View Page
Just a girl and her pumpkin :)
 
Sunday, September 29 View Page
Might be number two in the patch, but it’s number one in her heart!
 
Sunday, September 29 View Page
Rosie is drinking in the beautiful sunsets here
 
Sunday, September 29 View Page
Holding watch at the top of the patch... proud of this one right here.
 
Tuesday, October 1 View Page
Had a mouse fall out of Caroline’s blankets when I lifted them today. Wanted to dry her out after a heavy rain, so maybe it got flooded out. It scurried under the pumpkin, so I had to do some rather unexpected investigation last night. Found this under a deep rib, so happy that it didn’t cause a soft spot underneath.
 
Tuesday, October 1 View Page
Had to look further after I found that, so up she goes even though she’s pretty close to the finish line.
 
Tuesday, October 1 View Page
Found 3 more underneath. Not good, but way better than a hole in the pumpkin. All is well underneath, so bait is out, traps are still out, and the cat has been fired.
 
Tuesday, October 1 View Page
Not the whole thing, but I bet it’s learned its lesson! LETS GOOOOOOOO!
 
Wednesday, October 2 View Page
Autopsy completed on Alice, everything was super clean inside :)
 
Wednesday, October 2 View Page
Nice load of seeds on this girl, should be some beautiful monsters hiding in there!
 
Friday, October 4 View Page
Plans sure change quick sometimes... Let’s Go Rosie!
 
Saturday, October 5 View Page
We all know what this means...
 
Saturday, October 5 View Page
Well folks, lost about 45 pounds since lifting on Thursday, but we at least got her to a scale and gave the crowd something to talk about today. Was a fun ride with Rosie, she just couldn’t hold out for me.
 
Saturday, October 5 View Page
Call me Johnny Punkinseed cause I was planting monsters the whole way home! Watch out for those highway heavyweights come springtime :)
 
Saturday, October 5 View Page
It is a beautiful home to come home to after a difficult journey...
 
Monday, October 7 View Page
And then there were two...
 
Monday, October 7 View Page
We have some new Chrysanthemums starting to show up which lifts my spirits at just the right time. This is ‘Golden Rain’ for a little blue and gold love :)
 
Wednesday, October 9 View Page
Molly, on the 2152 D. Gantner was a trooper! I tried to weigh her in August but the local fair couldn’t handle her. To my amazement, she moved the scale into October. Not much of what I do is pretty, but taking a pumpkin full term with a bullet holed stem like this is gratifying. Don’t give up newer growers, listen to the advice given. Keep the fans on, wet spots dusted, and attitudes positive!
 
Wednesday, October 9 View Page
Got that back seat rhythm for sure!
 
Wednesday, October 9 View Page
Seasoned forklift director right there...
 
Wednesday, October 9 View Page
Final weight was 839 in the 150 sqft patch. Huge thanks to Bart for organizing the contest each year, it’s been a lot of fun.
 
Monday, October 14 View Page
Last one standing gets harvested tonight at 110 DAP. Been a long year, and I’m ready to get this girl on a scale! Kirsha’s excited for this one too :)
 
Monday, October 14 View Page
Flew the new flag for the harvest :)
 
Monday, October 14 View Page
Sweet Caroline is ready for Raleigh! Cross is 1567 D. Gantner x self.
 
Wednesday, October 16 View Page
Little past midnight, but we’re tucked in with a birds eye view and a dry bottom.
 
Wednesday, October 16 View Page
Did everything I could on this one, let’s see how it shakes out!
 
Wednesday, October 16 View Page
Team Trychta geared up!
 
Wednesday, October 16 View Page
Little short of the goal this year, but a new personal best, and my first ever win at a weigh off.
 
Wednesday, October 16 View Page
Congratulations to Danny Vester for a new North Carolina record pumpkin!
 
Wednesday, October 16 View Page
Was a great group of people today, lots of friendships strengthened this trip!
 
Thursday, October 17 View Page
Longest trip I’ve ever made to a weigh off with the largest pumpkin I’ve ever put on a scale, but we’re home safe and sound.
 
Friday, October 18 View Page
A beautiful day in Pittsburgh, come join the fun this weekend if you are in the tri-state area :)
 
Friday, October 18 View Page
Got the Michigan Monster here to keep things under control
 
Monday, October 21 View Page
Dean Murray with Robocop carved into Chuck Greathouse’s monster
 
Monday, October 21 View Page
I believe this was Silence of the Lambs going onto Quinn Werner’s “little” one
 
Monday, October 21 View Page
Beetlejuice with carver Danny Kissel and Dave and Carol Stelts
 
Monday, October 21 View Page
Monster makers Karl and Beverly Haist stopped by to support the event.
 
Monday, October 21 View Page
My mom even came out to play. Looking at this picture, I wonder a little less where I get my crazy dress habits from :)
 
Monday, October 21 View Page
Yep, Don Barron looking like security on Champions Row. Had his crew in tow to see his WR Jack.
 
Monday, October 21 View Page
We counted about 3 families per minute got through the big ones, and was constant from 8AM Saturday until we closed the gates Sunday evening.
 
Monday, October 21 View Page
There was a square pumpkin
 
Monday, October 21 View Page
And even a triangle pumpkin :)
 
Monday, October 21 View Page
Looking at this picture, I 100% prefer to fill the bed of my truck with ONE pumpkin... it is a beautiful shot of the city though.
 
Monday, October 21 View Page
The finished Flashdance pumpkin at the end of the evening, from Jerry and Jerry Rose’s patch.
 
Monday, October 21 View Page
The only pumpkin not carved to a specific movie. This one and the Flashdance were done live through the event for people to watch.
 
Monday, October 21 View Page
Dave Stelts looking 12 years old... this guy is in his zone playing with big equipment and even bigger pumpkins! The 2517 Haist on its victory dance :)
 
Monday, October 21 View Page
BON VOYAGE!!!
 
Monday, October 21 View Page
:)
 
Sunday, October 27 View Page
She misses patch time already :)
 

 

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