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Click on a thumbnail picture below to see the full size version. 94 Entries.
Sunday, March 1 View Page
A rare glimpse of the sun, its been a very wet winter here. I'm still undecided as to my plans for this coming season but I never had any plans to replace my poly tunnel sheet. I do know that this will be my marrow/field pumpkin patch and I'll be running 20 plants here but how many of each I don't know yet. Good luck to all!
 
Saturday, March 7 View Page
Big thank you to the GPC for my fantastic award, and thank you to Ian and Stewie for picking it up for me in Vegas ang getting it to me so quickly. WELL HAPPY!.
 
Wednesday, April 1 View Page
I think I've finally settled on my plans for this coming season after changing my mind several times, i had initially planned to grow an ag in this tunnel but given the uncertainty of there being any weigh offs to take them to this fall due to coronavirus I've now decided to use this area to grow food for this season. It'll be nice to rest this area and grow a non cucurbit crop anyway as its been either Marrows or pumpkins here for years now.
 
Wednesday, April 1 View Page
So I've decided to just concentrate on what I consider to be my strong points, Marrows, cucumbers and field pumpkins. Never grown a field pumpkin before but from what I gather they are very much like Marrows and some say they don't suffer splits quite as bad. Weigh offs or no weigh offs coronavirus won't stop me growing. Here's my little cucumber tunnel, currently growing some new potatoes in here. Unheated, just been touched by the frost but that's OK they'll come back.
 
Thursday, April 9 View Page
The weather is warming up now and the first early potatoes are growing away well.
 
Thursday, April 9 View Page
I saved some of the kondor potatoes from last year which I'm planning to grow again this year, not growing for competition just to eat. They were hit bad with blight last year and some of them went rotten but these seem to be OK.
 
Monday, April 20 View Page
I've put the green shade netting on to the polytunnel frame this year, I had this net over the top of a makeshift frame last year but it was far too low and was hard work on the ole back after a long session working underneath it. This year I'll have 10 plants growing under shading and 10 plants growing with no shading. I went to the trouble of making up some timber frames at the ends with the idea of holding the netting in place with timber battens but it was far easier just to cable tie it on to the hoops so that was a waste of time.
 
Friday, May 1 View Page
I've put up a wind fence of sorts, hoping it will slow up some of the low level wind but I'm well aware that we'll still take some wind damage but that's all part of outdoor growing.
 
Friday, May 1 View Page
Line up for this year, not starting them just yet. 165 Baggs x 5 220 Baggs uow x 5 217 Baggs uow x 2 198 Baggs x 2
 
Friday, May 1 View Page
I've got a nice line up of cucumber seeds, Heavy, 10.34 kg Thomas plus my own 26.2 lb and 25.4 lbs. (10.34 was the mother of my three largest last year) Long, Ian Neales fourth place at Malvern last year and Derek Hulme 2018 seeds - cross 'A' grew 1st and 2nd place at Malvern last year, cross 'B' is from another cucumber with the same genetics. Thanks to David, Ian and Dereck for the trades! Planning on growing 10 plants for weight and 5 for length and will make more of an effort to do some controlled crosses.
 
Friday, May 1 View Page
Also very happy with my field pumpkin line up, planning to grow 6 plants. 205 Wursten 165 Schenk 123 Kloch The other three will be from MacKinnon seeds. Thanks to Brad, Patrick, Kevin and John MaKinnon.
 
Saturday, May 16 View Page
Had a nice evening mackerel fishing down on Chesil beach. I had a full set of six and thought it would make for a good picture but one of the buggers came off before Jack could take the photo.
 
Saturday, May 16 View Page
Jack had a few as well, he's growing up but still needed his old man to cast for him as they were a bit out of his casting range. He uses a spinner on a light rod if they are in close enough but that wasn't the case this time. Can't wait to get growing again, seed starting day not too far off now.
 
Tuesday, May 26 View Page
Been busy getting the patch rotavated this past weekend, first I got the tractor in
 
Tuesday, May 26 View Page
I did all I could but I didn't have the height to get under the tunnel hoops
 
Tuesday, May 26 View Page
Made a nice job
 
Tuesday, May 26 View Page
Then I set about the area under the hoops with my little rotavator
 
Tuesday, May 26 View Page
Weaving my way around the hoops
 
Tuesday, May 26 View Page
It's obviously not as good as being able to use the tractor but this little machine is pretty handy around the garden
 
Tuesday, May 26 View Page
4680 ish sq ft of soil ready to go! Plants will be slightly larger this year 13 ft x 18ft (234 sq ft per plant). After one of the wettest winters I can ever remember we have now had one of the driest springs I can remember, my soil is sandy and it's like walking on the beach at the moment so no worries about soil compaction
 
Monday, June 1 View Page
Oi! Get out of there!
 
Monday, June 1 View Page
Seeds started here this morning, was thinking of starting a little later this year but decided to get them in today.
 
Saturday, June 6 View Page
Well not quite the start I was hoping for, I had a little set back with my first sowing of seeds but I did get enough field pumpkin plants and a few marrows to go so I've had to re-sow marrows and cucumbers. The problem (i think) , my propagators are basic heated propagators but have no thermostats fitted but have always given me good success so I think where I went wrong was to have them in front of a window on a couple of hot sunny days and basically cooked them. 100% fail on the cucumbers that were on the window sill. The good news is the cucumbers I planted on the 4/6 are showing signs of life this morning and I'm expecting the marrows to follow in the next few hours. I was originally thinking of starting the marrows a few days later anyway.
 
Saturday, June 6 View Page
I've put an improved frame up to hang the cucumbers off of this year
 
Wednesday, June 10 View Page
Well I think we're just about doing ok here, the field pumpkin plants germinated pretty well for me with the only real casualties being Brad's 205 and John's 181. I'm very happy to have these plants going in to the patch! Original plan was to plant 6 field pumpkin plants but I may well be tempted in to growing a couple extra now.
 
Wednesday, June 10 View Page
After a shocking start with the cucumbers my second batch germinated at 100%. Disappointed to lose the first batch of seeds but I'm now going with a line up that is all my own 26.2, 25.4 and 23.25 UOW.
 
Wednesday, June 10 View Page
The biggest disappointment has been the marrows, I've now planted 3 batches of seeds and each time germination has only been about 40 - 50% and the plants aren't exactly flying but I've heard mainly good reports from other people so I'm miffed as to what I've done wrong. The good news is I have enough for my line up now and they are looking better every day.
 
Saturday, June 13 View Page
Marrow germination assessment 2020. Batch 1, sown 1/6 can't remember how many I started but this is what I got. I started them in a heated propagator like normal, they did get some exposure to the sun which provided some additional heat. My assessment of this = not happy lol.
 
Saturday, June 13 View Page
Batch 2. Started on 4/6 when I realised I had problems with batch 1, this time I put them in the kitchen somewhere out of the sun but had the heat on and ended up with 6/12 = still not happy!
 
Saturday, June 13 View Page
Batch 3. Planted in a panic in case batch 2 failed, Ended up with 4/8 again I had the heat on and kept out of the sun.
 
Saturday, June 13 View Page
Batch 4. Started 7/6 this time I put them back in the original place in front of the window but this time I left the propagator turned off so they were at room temperature. 10/10 = happy days I've never had problems like this before so I don't know what's changed, I usually expect to see them pop in 3 days and if they don't show I dig and see what's going on as anything that doesn't come up in 3 days always rots with the heat. Without heat they have taken 5- 6 days and I have no rotten cots, I don't understand what's changed this year but I'll know what to do next year.
 
Sunday, June 14 View Page
Planted the field pumpkins out this evening, 205 + 165 Schenk 123 Kloch 211, 175, 174, 163, 103 Mackinnons. I'm very happy with how these have got going.
 
Monday, June 15 View Page
Well more problems! 24hrs in the patch and birds have taken the 165 Schenk out
 
Monday, June 15 View Page
The growing tip was taken clean out, replaced with a 2nd 163 mackinnon
 
Monday, June 15 View Page
They also had a bit of a go at a couple of the other plants but these should be ok
 
Tuesday, June 16 View Page
8 marrow plants planted out, all plants now have a CD hanging over them. Will have to hope this is enough to keep the buggers off.
 
Tuesday, June 16 View Page
Funny isn't it, all the issues with germination and I've got marrows popping up on there own in the patch. I never harvest seeds in the patch so can only assume these have come from marrows which split/rotten in the patch (immature seeds I didn't save) . 6 months of wet weather last winter didn't rot them but 3 days in a heated propagator can lol
 
Friday, June 19 View Page
The CD 's have been doing a good job keeping the birds off my plants having seen no further damage as yet. This is one of my best marrow plants, a 220.
 
Friday, June 19 View Page
It's been a little windy, I've got the plants tucked in behind a piece of ply to keep the prevailing wind off them but have found a tyre to be good wind protection as well but they soon outgrow this.
 
Friday, June 19 View Page
Planted out the last of the marrows out in to the patch this evening, this 165 wanted out!
 
Friday, June 19 View Page
The cucumbers are out too. Last year I had 6 plants on each side and a row of 8 tomatoes up through the middle, this year I've got 4 on each side and 4 up through the middle. Hoping for a bigger one.
 
Monday, June 22 View Page
Well this one's toast, last night I noticed the cot leaves were rotting on this one but the rest of the plant looked healthy so I removed them and thought it would be OK. This evening the whole plant has collapsed and not sure why. Removed this and replanted another plant about 18" away from this one just to be safe. Everything else looks good.
 
Tuesday, June 23 View Page
Problem of the day, this 165 forked in to two heads, I had two choices to pinch out one of the heads of this two headed monster or replace it with a bit of a pot bound back up and I went for the latter.
 
Tuesday, June 23 View Page
Field pumpkin update, all growing fairly well and looking good. Here's John's 174
 
Tuesday, June 23 View Page
Kevins 123
 
Tuesday, June 23 View Page
And Patrick's 205. The other fp plants are all similar
 
Saturday, June 27 View Page
Put up the strings for the cucumbers today. Happy with the plants so far.
 
Saturday, June 27 View Page
Marrows are doing OK I think, we've strong winds forecast for the next few days so I've got them staked down fairly well.
 
Saturday, June 27 View Page
Marrows
 
Saturday, June 27 View Page
Another problem plant, this time the 205 Schenk. I think it's growing in to a ribbon vine and will likely have to be taken out. I planted a 220 marrow plant next to it a couple of days ago which will likely be its replacement
 
Monday, July 6 View Page
First casualty of the season (all back ups now gone) This 23.25 cucumber plant went down to some sort of stem disease, stem went all slimy and horrible so I yanked it out. The remaining 11 seem fine at the moment so I'm hoping it stays that way.
 
Monday, July 6 View Page
Cucumbers
 
Monday, July 6 View Page
Starting to climb
 
Monday, July 6 View Page
The plants outside have had quite a bit of wind on them last week but we've come through it relatively unscathed, I think this is one of the 165 marrow plants
 
Monday, July 6 View Page
And this is one of John's 163's (I think)
 
Monday, July 6 View Page
Marrows
 
Monday, July 6 View Page
Ive had very little to do as of yet but the next month or so is going to be quite busy vine burying for me now that these are starting to take off. I normally try to get to each plant every 3rd day (main vine more often) so it'll be just under 7 plants a day to sort out. (need to get that marrow record back so that I can cut back next year lol).
 
Monday, July 6 View Page
Pollenations are starting to happen in the marrow/fp patch I think I've done 7 out of the 20 so far. This is the 175 Mackinnon at 2 dap (picture taken yesterday) looks as strong as an ag squash at this stage.
 
Tuesday, July 14 View Page
Everything's moving along nicely here, no more issues with the cucumbers yet.
 
Tuesday, July 14 View Page
A marrow plant, most of the plants are looking very nice but as always I do have a couple of 'problem' plants which are not producing side vines as yet - always seem to get a couple plants like this.
 
Tuesday, July 14 View Page
Marrows
 
Tuesday, July 14 View Page
163 mackinnon field pumpkin plant looking very nice
 
Tuesday, July 14 View Page
Field pumpkin plants
 
Tuesday, July 14 View Page
And the picture
 
Saturday, July 18 View Page
First time using the sprinklers today, I tried to hand water as long as I could but I hand balled over 600 liters of water yesterday and the soil still looked dry. Now the weeds will come. Mackinnon 174 closest to the camera.
 
Monday, July 20 View Page
The cucumbers having an early morning mist
 
Thursday, July 23 View Page
Things are moving along quite nicely here although I think I'm running a week or so behind last year. I thought the plant in the centre was one of my 165's but looking at the plant label it turns out that's its a 165 Schenk fp.
 
Thursday, July 23 View Page
123 Kloch, behind it a 163 Mackinnon, behind that the 174 Mackinnon
 
Thursday, July 23 View Page
The smallest plant in the patch this year a 220 Baggs which was planted out late as a back up, a fine looking plant none the less throwing sides at every leaf node.
 
Thursday, July 23 View Page
211 Mackinnon, behind it the 175 Mackinnon and behind that the other 163 Mackinnon. Plant maintenance is taking me about 3 hours a day every day.
 
Thursday, July 23 View Page
Ian Paton kindly sent off a soil sample for me, I've not actually had a test done for years, but things are looking in pretty good shape.
 
Saturday, July 25 View Page
What's this John? LOL My 174 plant has always been the most advanced plant in the patch in terms of vine length but the longer the vine gets the thinner its getting. It actually grew close to 1ft in length over the last 24 hrs but there's not a lot of meat on it. Will be interesting to see how this plays out.
 
Saturday, July 25 View Page
Problems with one of my 198 plants, This main vine tip appears to have fused itself to itself causing the head of the main to double back on itself
 
Saturday, July 25 View Page
I've done a little surgery and am hoping it can grow on again as normal but will have to wait and see
 
Saturday, July 25 View Page
And this main on one of the 217 plants has also gone a little strange on me and twisted up but it's not fused this time. There's one flower before the problem but it's only 6 - 7 feet out so I may likely have to go with that. Things like this are why I grow so many plants!
 
Sunday, July 26 View Page
A better picture of the cucumbers
 
Sunday, July 26 View Page
Here's a picture for those of you growing cucumbers in pots, found these two roots at the surface of the soil about 30 inches from the stem. Last year I made the mistake of bringing a hoe in here to deal with the weeds and destroyed roots, this year I'm doing the painstaking job of hand pulling every weed seedling that germinates but it should help the roots. That being said I'm still about a week behind last year due to the germination issues I had early on and cooler days so we're trying to play catch up.
 
Wednesday, July 29 View Page
165 Schenk fp. Plants are quickly filling up their patches now.
 
Wednesday, July 29 View Page
Cucumbers are growing well too, they'll be up to the timber in a few days and then I'll be able to start thinking about pollenating
 
Sunday, August 2 View Page
Plants are growing along OK, now starting to select female flowers on some plants.
 
Monday, August 3 View Page
Here's a little 'old school' mackinnon the 103 plant which is looking very nice.
 
Thursday, August 6 View Page
Cucumbers are looking great, first female flower will open tomorrow. I'm just going to leave them to do there own thing again and open pollinate, I only get so much time in the mornings before work and I have to give priority to the marrows/field pumpkins as I certianally don't want these cross pollenating!
 
Thursday, August 6 View Page
The leaves are looking strong and healthy.
 
Friday, August 7 View Page
First cucumber flower open.
 
Friday, August 7 View Page
175 fp at dap 4 looks perfect
 
Friday, August 7 View Page
Not the best photo but the 165 Schenk fp at dap 2 is a longer shape. Very nice my friend!
 
Saturday, August 8 View Page
I had a visit from Carl Lamborne and Tim Saint today.
 
Saturday, August 8 View Page
I think they liked the look of the plants
 
Saturday, August 8 View Page
After we had a little look around the patch and lunch down the pub Carl wanted a bit of manure so I loaded him up like us farmers load up dung lol
 
Saturday, August 8 View Page
But Carl got worried that he would get pulled over for being over loaded so insisted he leveled it off, I tried to convince him that 'she'll be alright' but he wouldn't listen. Nice pins carl
 
Saturday, August 8 View Page
Carl
 
Friday, August 14 View Page
Cucumber plants are still looking good, last female flower was pollenated yesterday and I've taken the growing tips out of some of the main vines.
 
Friday, August 14 View Page
My first set cucumber DAP 7 has certianally altered in a week.
 
Friday, August 14 View Page
I found this feller lurking around in amongst the fp's.
 

 

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