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Click on a thumbnail picture below to see the full size version. 23 Entries.
Wednesday, January 1 View Page
Happy Growing to everyone in 2020. Donít you just love a bright orange pumpkin...
Wednesday, January 15 View Page
Happy New Year everyone, 2020 is going to be an adventurous year!! Vancouver Island, Vancouver and Coastal British Columbia is experiencing yet another major snowfall, Washington State getting hit hard too. Free atmospheric nitrogen, weíll take it. See you in Vegas.
Friday, March 13 View Page
Not a gas powered blower, but this battery powered sprayer will really help us save time. Iíve almost always just used a 2 gallon hand pump sprayer when foliar applying products and now that we have the bigger patch this will be great. We are also going to plumb the 1000 gallon warming tank directly to the lower 250 gallon distribution tank and to a new drip system into several spots including the pumpkin patch, vegetable garden and some fruit trees and berry bushes. Already have needed to cut the lawn twice, Spring is here flowers up and trees flowering.
Wednesday, April 1 View Page
First pass on a nice April day. We didnít get the patch tilled and cover crop down till mid-November, so itís not as thick as weíd like but it will get the soil so8ng as th8ng warm up. Weíve added a few bags of gypsum, Kmag, O-0-50 and a balanced 10-10-10 of urea, feather meal/bone meal and potash.
Wednesday, April 1 View Page
Done. Amazingly all the rocks are gone but as we know, they always seem to grow back again. Weíve mostly figured out our growing patterns and how many pumpkins will be grown. Soon the walking board will be put in and the growing spaces allotted according. We have a few options and may grow Christmas tree pattern, flag pattern, spider pattern and might even try a diamond pattern this year. Good luck to everyone this year.
Wednesday, April 1 View Page
Hopefully this photo is not flipped. Patch done, the real work begins.
Wednesday, April 1 View Page
Kinda got my before and after photos mixed up. Sure wish my cover crop was like Richmond Daveís, wow!!
Wednesday, April 8 View Page
Seed starting time and Iím inoculating the starting mix with RAW Grow Stage Microbes. A mix of beneficial bacteria and fungi that we we also use in the planting hole along with some Wallace WOW and Wallace Starter-Packs. We will use the Grow Stage Microbes and switch to Bloom Stage at the appropriate time. If you havenít used or looked at the RAW products from NPK Industries, check them out. Canadian growers that are interested please contact Mark Hooper by email at mark@npkcanada.com and request more details. Tell him you are a pumpkin grower and he will offer you the best pricing available as he is the distributor/wholesaler.
Thursday, April 9 View Page
2 out of 4 hoophouses are ready for action. Paper towel and zip lock bag seed germination went great, 3 out of 3 in 36 hours. Weíve got 1928.5 Daletas in soil and under lights along with 2363 Holland and 2416.5 Haist. Richmond Dave and I are going Heat to Head and Seed to Seed in the 150 sq ft contest with a seed from Janetís 892 Love. I see on his diary he is going Stage 3 confinement crazy with his planting sites, bring it.
Friday, April 17 View Page
Haist, Holland and Daletas under the lights for a couple more days but I will put them in the hoop shacks during the day to get them used to real sunlight and warmer temperatures. Iíve been monitoring the planting sites soil temperatures and things are warming since our overnight lows are not under 50 degrees. Iím waiting for seeds from Richmond Dave, try and beat him with one of his own seeds. Well, Janetís seed from the 897 Love which produced their 1202 Chan. Both the 897 Love and 1202 Chan were Howard Dill Winners, hoping for big, round, orange and heavy. I think a lot of local growers will be growing the 879 seed since Dave and Janetís 1202 lb grew in only 70 days. http://www.bigpumpkins.com/Diary/DiaryViewOne.asp?eid=310392
Monday, April 20 View Page
There is a discussion on the message board right now about club footed seeds so I wanted to post what Iíve just observed. I started my 4 plants for this year successfully with the paper towel, zip lock back on a heat mat method. Second round of seeds, I figured Iíd grow a bunch of our 1068 Dixon seeds. Same seed starting method, 100 % club footed roots!! Genetics or environmental? We will plant them anyways and give them away because I know they grow nice big porch pumpkins. Will do another round of the same seeds, plus a batch from another one of our seeds, and see what happens.
Sunday, April 26 View Page
In the morning, 48 degrees outside. Inside this hoop we have a 175 Watt Infared heat lamp hung above at 36Ē with a large aluminum reflector (used in photography and film) like a chick brooder. The probe on top of the soil in front of the plant is the centre of the heat area under the lamp and is nicely at 81 degrees and the ambient air temperature inside the hoop is at 62 degrees. I always turn the heat lamps off in morning and open both ends of my hoops, no matter what the weather and eliminate the chance of an oopsie while Iím out golfing. When we no longer need the heat lamps, I swap them out for small fans until the hoops come off and they are freestyleín it.
Monday, May 4 View Page
150 square foot entry will be grown in an area 15 feet by 10 feet. Exact plant pattern not yet full chosen, however I will likely grow in a a flag pattern with 15í for the main and 10í secondaries. I might however, grow 15í secondaries if we pollinate a fruit at or before 10í on the main vine. Iíve left myself room to adjust for a decision once the plant decides for us. So from the in front of the bag of calpril there is a bamboo stake, 15 feet to the bamboo stake with the orange pot on top.
Monday, May 4 View Page
150 square foot entry showing possible 10í secondary vine limit. I see Richmond Dave is gonna use some kinda special celestial constellation pattern that perhaps has something to do with power from Orionís Belt for his 150 square foot entry, heís always got something up his sleeve. Harnessing some special powers in relation to his pumpkin patch and the stars...tricky Dave. http://www.bigpumpkins.com/Diary/DiaryViewOne.asp?eid=313481
Monday, May 4 View Page
2363 Holland is sharing the hut with the give-away seedlings that weíve sprouted to encourage more growers in the area. Weíve got a very active farming community in the Cowichan Valley, and we will offer up seedlings on Facebook through a pretty neat community group page that is set up. Iíve got a second and third round of seedlings and seed starts and will giveaway plants until they are gone.
Sunday, May 17 View Page
There are many growers whoís say that pumpkin roots stay mainly in the top 6 inches of soil, and Iíve always thought that just not to be true. As this 9 inch pot shows, there are roots 3-4 inches below the bottom of the pot that escaped into the soil below. Keep your soil loose, the roots will go as deep as they can.
Sunday, May 17 View Page
The 1928.5 Daletas is off and running. You can see I needed to remove the ďkickstandĒ second true leaf, as it was stopping the vine from lowering down safely to the growing. With the kickstand cut off, the plant lower down and is a runner now.
Sunday, May 17 View Page
Same with the 2363 Holland, kickstand leaf was taken off a few days ago and this plant is showing me that it will be a monster, and wonít be inside the luxury of a hoophouse for much longer. 150 square foot challenge plant (892 Love) has been planted freestyle, no hoophouse, no heat cables, no heat lamp ..... gone commando and itís looking great!!
Wednesday, May 20 View Page
1928.5 Daletas will be busting out the front end of its hoop in a few days and the heat lamp will be unplugged. Same for the 2363 Holland, we are at about the same or a little ahead of usual years. The Haist plant is suffering transplant shock or cold soil or something else and Iíve planted a freestyle backup just in case I give it the chop. I like having so much extra room that when this happens and a plant goes south early, still have backups ready to compete. 1068 Dixon was unpotted and planted yesterday.
Saturday, May 23 View Page
So today is the day that the 2363 Holland gets the front door taken off itís hooptiehouse and in that process I uncovered another photo opportunity to show how far out the roots go in the soil and surrounding area. Please look at the next photo entry.
Saturday, May 23 View Page
So here is the growth tip, and in front and on the sides of it you can clearly see roots by the plastic of the door where itís buried that Iíve not yet taken away. I see this almost every year and try and chronicle it here with photos to demonstrate how extensive the root system is on these plants, even when they are small like this and just starting out.
Wednesday, May 27 View Page
Plants are starting the sprint for growth and today they are getting some fish, calcium nitrate and a touch of Ureamate. Vegetable gardens are in full swing and weíve just started harvesting strawberries.
Thursday, May 28 View Page
After a good watering and some nutrients, boom the main vines are growing 6-8Ē a day. We will remove the hooptie houses completely as the secondaries are forming fast and there will soon be no room. Weíve got 5 plants going right now that might get culled down to 4, but weíve got plenty of time to decide that and Michu just try and get pumpkins set on all 5 plants and let 2 of them fight it out for dominance.


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