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Click on a thumbnail picture below to see the full size version. 73 Entries.
Sunday, March 15 View Page
I'm back for '20 after a step back in '19. To recap, brought a kin to the state fair last year to add one of their ribbons to my collection. However, the decision to grow in flag and lackluster early weather kneecapped my season and I ended up with a pumpkin half the size of my PB. Got most of the garden cleared out early, added some 'paca poo, and threw on a cover crop. Things have thawed out in back temporarily after a nice warm stretch, but temps have dropped back into the seasonal 30s-40s range. It has been dry, and I was able to get some soil samples pulled and should drop them off at the U on Tuesday after letting them dry out a bit (assuming the testing lab is open still). I'm on the fence about exactly what I'm going to grow. I had a few conferences scheduled for May-June, one of which has been cancelled so far, so I may go for the 1810s. No second plant this year, no fooling around with making crosses. Pick a prospect and self it is the name of the game.
Wednesday, March 25 View Page
Test seeds are up. Only planning on starting 2 this year. Added foam helping to keep everything nice and toasty.
Wednesday, March 25 View Page
Shelter at home pumpkin science for the kiddos. Growing 2 seeds, one in the starting area, one just on the window sill.
Friday, March 27 View Page
Picture 2 in our pumpkin science series. Soil test is back, need to up OM the most (at 2.2%). Will have to get compost in a few weeks, other amendments either on hand or ordered. Biggest add other than the compost is adding in some perlite.
Saturday, April 11 View Page
I'm still waiting on the compost I paid for to show up. Perlite was delayed by a week but is here now. Snow forecast does not make my happy and I hope it's overstated and melts fast if it does show. Otherwise, I have everything I need to amend now and want to get the coils out ASAP. I'm impatient and started a seed today. I plan to stagger the germination attempts and see if I can get by without double planting or not.
Monday, April 13 View Page
The abomination. I guess life finds a way? Until I kill it in a few days at least.
Friday, April 17 View Page
1810 looks good so far! The mutant test seed...its there. Started a backup this AM. Compost should come today.
Saturday, April 18 View Page
Cables in! Still need to do a good deal of tilling, but am incorporating 2 cu yards mushroom compost, 10 cu ft perlite, 5 lb feather meal, and a bit of borax. Letting the seedling soak up some natural rays this afternoon.
Friday, April 24 View Page
The news said the upper atmospheric weather conditions are switching to a warmer long term trend. Solution? Plant out. Was going to wait until Saturday but forecasted rain for today disappeared. Erected structure for phase 2 hot house as well. 2112 backup is up but I am a klutz and tore off a cot removing the shell. Started some backup backups yesterday.
Saturday, April 25 View Page
Installed the drip irrigation system today. Added a few drip lines, which secondaries should all be parallel to. Added a few valves so system is going to have a few zones for early/late season.
Tuesday, April 28 View Page
0.92 inches of rain today. Thankfully temps stayed reasonable. Unfortionately after the rain my heating cables are tripping the outlet. Will troubleshoot when its light out, hope think sort out when things dry off.
Saturday, May 2 View Page
Nice weekend temps. Looks to be cooling down next week somewhat after a rainy spell. Backups are doing OK in their pots for now.
Tuesday, May 5 View Page
The backups
Friday, May 8 View Page
Like most everyone on the eastern side of the country, were contending with record near cold temps. Thankfully, we've had good or forecast to have good daylight sun. Forced work from home means I can wait to uncover the plant till the sun is fully on it in the AM.
Thursday, May 14 View Page
Phase 2 hoop house is up, tomatos are in the ground. Warm weather is in its way!
Thursday, May 14 View Page
The 1810.
Thursday, May 14 View Page
Decided to put one of my 1937 Werner self backups out in the garden since the 2112 is really struggling. Have two if these beautiful starts going.
Sunday, May 17 View Page
3" of rain today. Thankfully it was spread over 24-36 hours and we really were getting to the point where we needed it. Unfortunately, cables are shorting out again. At least overnight temps are around 50 now. Hot air, 60 degree nights next week?
Tuesday, May 19 View Page
The 1810--getting closer to vining. Hopefully by the end of the week with the warmer weather.
Tuesday, May 19 View Page
The backups to the backup.
Monday, May 25 View Page
Got my fence up today.
Monday, May 25 View Page
2019 state fair backup (1937 werner X self). Outgrew its hut today, not that that's saying much.
Monday, May 25 View Page
1810 Werner should touch down in the next day or two. Slower going than I had hoped but the vine is thick.
Sunday, May 31 View Page
1810 Werner, unleashed. Current temp of 61 is the lowest in the foreseeable future, so the hot house came down. Hoping to start seeing some secondary growth. Backup has a wee female flower on her tip, need to figure out what to do with that plant.
Friday, June 5 View Page
Pulled the backup today. #allin
Monday, June 8 View Page
2020 planned growth pattern: the Topped Tree. I'm on a suburban lot with only about 400 sq ft of space in a rectangle. In 2018, I grew in a swept back Christmas tree growing west to east, with the stump centered at the eastern third of the garden. This resulted in my PB but I felt the first secondaries were terminated too early and had issues with many of the other secondaries being too cramped next to the fence on the north or south of the patch at season's end, promoting some PM issues. In 2019, I tried a flag pattern with stumps in the northwest and southeast corner, planning to pull the NW plant after successfully crossing it with the SE or when the SE plant was well established. I'd intended to train the secondaries over the main, but ended up cutting them when this proved to be impossible. Unfortunately, the secondaries growing nearest the fence were the ones that grew best (radiant heat from the silt fence?) and the other secondaries were slow to establish and the SE plant never filled out the patch post-pollination. This year I'm growing one plant in the illustrated modified Christmas tree pattern. I should be able to get at least 12 secondaries in the 15' range behind the pumpkin. I haven't decided yet whether I'll keep the main after the eventual fruit set or cut it after the 'kin to minimize stem stress.
Monday, June 8 View Page
Mini heatwave in the twin cities the last two days. Hot and windy, topped out at 96 today. Cool canadian air will sweep in tomorrow with a lot of rain. Secondary growth is ramping up and will have to get serious about vine burying later this week.
Wednesday, June 10 View Page
Option #1 sighted.
Tuesday, June 16 View Page
Dry and windy. Split a secondary in the breeze since I didnt have it pinned down right. Should heal OK. Happy with progress so far. Should polinate this weekend or early next week. Another female in the tip may be somewhat more desirable for a late june early july polination.
Friday, June 19 View Page
Spring slipping away.
Friday, June 19 View Page
First main vine female. I'm guessing she'll open on father's day. Either a touch of chemical or sunburn on the vine and her leaf. Will see if she takes, plant its solid behind her. Two more girls after her, next up in a week I'm guessing.
Saturday, June 20 View Page
2020 summer solstice picture. I think I've got the most developed plant I've ever had. Fingers crossed for good pollinations in the next few days.
Sunday, June 21 View Page
2020 fruit set stress--first main vine female isn't going to open. Had this same issue for early pollination last year and am wondering if there's too much nitrogen in the patch . Can't rule out potential involvement of damage to the plant at that leaf, which is about 20% burnt and the vine/node (shown, more concerning). Maybe sunburn, possibly chemical (candidates would be foliar kelp, H/F application Monday, merit drench Tuesday, or Foli-Cal on Thursday [maybe Friday]). Two more main vine females coming up, going to watch closely and keep a secondary with females on-deck as a possible alternate main. Quite a few secondaries have had females, though many have been aborting early.
Wednesday, June 24 View Page
1810 X self. 4 lobe, not the prettiest flower you'll see but she's polinated. 2nd flower on the main, 1st did not open (was a 5 lober). 22ish secondaries behind this flower, next female is 5 nodes down so would probably be a last chance at a June pollination. Other news--still pretty dry, got 0.1" in a nice afternoon shower yesterday. Ideal polination conditions with a high of 78 and sun today. Temps have been around the 80s lately. Caught first SVB of the season today, will reapply Seven soon.
Saturday, June 27 View Page
4 dap 1810xSelf. She may have taken, put plywood out for her, but am not all in by any means. 2X secondary options would grow in the same spot, so the board is for them as well. Next main option is probably Monday or Tuesday, starting vine training on her partially out of necessity. Secondary fruit should be soon after. We need rain. Plant gets at least 100 gallons a day and it still flags severely on the main midday. Also suspect secondary formation is slow due to insufficient moisture. Had to cut a nonessential secondary that had flopped over and split. May add more overhead watering if weather pattern doesn't change.
Monday, June 29 View Page
New toy came today so time to flower purge. 1.4" of rain overnight, we needed it and thankfully did not get inundated like our neighbor growers did. Next female opens in the AM!
Tuesday, June 30 View Page
0.2 " of rain overnight. Flower at an estimated 25 ft, beautiful 5 lober. Forecast high of 90 so hopefully she takes! Have an ice block out with her.
Tuesday, June 30 View Page
Option #1 at 7 DAP.
Thursday, July 2 View Page
9 DAP on the first 1810 X Self pollination. I know its not how you start, but this is the slowest kin I've set. Will see how it is after the weekend, but will probably cut in favor of the second 5 lobe on Monday if that one has taken.
Sunday, July 5 View Page
Fourth of July trip to the north shore. First time I've been past Duluth since high school. Lake Superior is an awesome place. Pseudo-ocean in the opposite ways of Puget Sound. At the Sound, you get the smell, sealife, and tides in a body of water that has no buisness being ocean at that particular place. Superior had the scale of the ocean and a horizon that blends with the sky but is comparably dead. Flip a rock and nothings there, no sea smells, etc. Really cool string of state parks with waterfalls, gorges, cliffs, etc. Also bought four pies.
Sunday, July 5 View Page
This is 1810 Open (presumed self). Opened on the 4th, perhaps a backup.
Sunday, July 5 View Page
I culled the turd of a 6/23 pollination. Had stopped growing since I left on Friday and looked to be aborting. 6/30 polination looks awesome and will be the chosen one, fingers crossed.
Sunday, July 5 View Page
Set up the keeper. Noticed the main partially split past the stem and has healed, presumably from turning the vine. My plants are always super brittle. Need mill fabric, hate maneuvering the board in place. Doesnt look like she got too stuffed up in the process.
Tuesday, July 7 View Page
"Monster Punk Punk" at 7DAP.
Wednesday, July 8 View Page
One of those up and down days. Got my first tissue test back and the numbers aren't far off from where they need to be! Unfortunately, it was also one of those breezy Midwest days and the boy's sunflower mostly lost it's head. Splinted it back up mostly to try and raise his spirits a bit but the thing's almost certainly toast.
Friday, July 10 View Page
10 DAP. Really happy with how she looks so far. Shown next to '18 and '19 kins. The main snapped after one other female during the last windstorm, so I cut it after that last candidate backup. I'm debating retraining one of the last secondaries as a new main to keep growth hormones growing when the rest of the plant is terminated, or just cutting off after the keeper and letting another secondary keep growing.
Saturday, July 11 View Page
Last flower on the main opened today. Really fortunate with the keeper-- best of the lot by far.
Tuesday, July 14 View Page
Monster Punk Punk @ DAP14 (1810 Werner X Self).
Monday, July 20 View Page
1810 Werner X Self DAP 20. Monster Punk Punk. 198" OTT. Time to go #allin
Monday, July 20 View Page
1810 Werner X Self DAP 20. Monster Punk Punk. 198" OTT. Time to go #allin
Saturday, July 25 View Page
Monster Punk Punk. DAP 25. 97" cc, 235" OTT, est at 295 lbs.
Monday, July 27 View Page
Minor intervention. Decided to take leaf off at stem. Was starting to rub against the kin too much. 70 lbs up since the last OTT measurement!
Monday, July 27 View Page
Noted these growths today. Look to be the upper nodes on the main vine, which mostly went unburied. Don't recall them in previous years, but don't seem to be something worthy of concern.
Thursday, July 30 View Page
Sunflower update! No special numbers here. Was 80% decapitated by the wind, broke the boy's heart, so I sprinted it and let nature do its thing. Sure enough it found a way and we have a nice little flower!
Thursday, July 30 View Page
Monster Punk Punk @ 30 DAP (1810 Werner X Self). OTT of 268", cc of 111". Estimated weight of 444 lbs, averaging just shy of 30 lbs for the last 5 days. Will pass my 2019 state fair kin this weekend.
Saturday, August 1 View Page
Pulled her back an inch or two using the winch. Went smoothly, was able to use the lifting straps to wrap her and the big walnut that acted as anchor. Growth rate is steady, past 500 estimated today. Weather is going to be a touch cool but sunny this next week. Probably better than too hot.
Tuesday, August 4 View Page
35 DAP. 290" OTT, est 563 lbs. Cooler weather the last few days have translated into slower gains for the last 5, only averaging 24/day. Hope things pick up with warmer climate over the weekend! Could also use some rain.
Sunday, August 9 View Page
Monster Punk Punk turned 40 DAP today. 309" OTT for an estimated weight of 680 lbs. PB pace for sure, very excited about her color too. 24 lbs a day for the last 10 days. It's been dry and unseasonably cool. We just had a nice little shower come through and drop almost an inch in 30 minutes, hope that and the returned heat helps growth pick back up again. Dug out a side vine borer earlier but the foliage looks real healthy still.
Monday, August 10 View Page
Big storms last night. Went to bed thinking I dodged a bullet, with a severe storm passing 5 to 10 miles south. Woke up at 12:30 to madness outside and a warning for 2" hail on top of us. Thankfully I don't think the hail was much larger than pea sized but there is a fair amount of damage. Will see how the plant looks tonight. Haven't dumped the gauge but probably got 3-3.5" total yesterday.
Monday, August 10 View Page
As expected, the hail damage is a lot more obvious this afternoon. Laid down a coat of fungicide and we'll do what we can from here. Nice recap of the overnight storms below. Hope other guys in the metro faired better than I did and I hope that folks in Iowa and Illinois made it through their storms today ok. https://www.mprnews.org/story/2020/08/10/a-months-worth-of-rain-giant-hail-and-crop-damage
Friday, August 14 View Page
2nd severe system of the week moved through so no official D45 data. Growth had been down to about 20/day after the hail on Sunday. Little bit of hail today but it was small stuff that I'm not particularly concerned with. Probably in the 0.5" range for rain, 5" on the week. In other news, turkey families paid up a visit.
Thursday, August 20 View Page
Monster Punk Punk @ 50 DAP (1810 Werner X Self). OTT 331", estimated @833 lbs. I'm still running about 8-10 days ahead of where I was at with my personal best. However, gains have really dropped off since hail damage on the 10th and/or since I last pulled her back: only about 60 lbs of gain in the last 5 days. 35ish more days to go, I'm optimistic that I will beat my PB and land in the 1000-1200 lb range. PM has been spotted on the pumpkin leaves, though nothing too severe yet. Unsurprisingly, the out of control cucumbers were the source. Fungicide regimen has been aggressive and varied so hopefully I can keep it under control.
Sunday, August 23 View Page
The Calai spotting is becoming more pronounced. 100 lbs to go to beat the PB.
Tuesday, September 8 View Page
DAP70. Still here, still have a pumpkin. Colder weather forecast, but not a freeze. Got my travel straps (thanks Lee!), and am looking forward to weighoffs soon. Home stretch.
Friday, September 25 View Page
State of the patch at harvest. On one hand, the urban heat island kept our plant alive while people outside the city had one or more frosts before the 25th. On the other, hail damage left our leaves very aged by the end. Will have to plot the final projected growth curve, but gains plummeted after the hail.
Friday, September 25 View Page
The primary vine, as it was. Fruit was set at 24'. Liked the general pattern, but may try and set the fruit at the opposite side of the garden next year.
Saturday, September 26 View Page
It's official! 1025 Bierle 2020 (1810 Werner 2016 X Self), HD winner at the River Prairie Ginormous Pumpkin Weigh-Off!
Saturday, September 26 View Page
The HD Seal of Approval. More pictures and the season wrap soon.
Saturday, September 26 View Page
A few of the other HD contenders. 691 Ailts (740 wolf X 1211 Ailts) has the vibrant red color but was damaged by cucumber beetles. Next to it was the 728 Johnson that I believe was off the 1040 Fehr.
Saturday, September 26 View Page
The line up. Altoona has an outstanding venue for this weigh off and the volunteers and organizers all did an outstanding job unloading, weighing, and reloading. Was able to get back to the cities and have everything unloaded for a restful evening and some bride was able to have her wedding without a bunch of pumpkins in the background. I enjoyed meeting with all the growers there, participate in my first WGPG-sponsored event, and get a rookie friend to his first GPC event. Also thanks to the Wisconsin and Southern Ohio clubs for having the 1810s available this winter (not sure which one I ended up growing).
Saturday, October 10 View Page
First time at Stillwater as a grower, though as an exhibition entry for the regional HD contest. Despite the temporary location and lack of spectators, it was a great experience. HD lineup for the regional competition is shown. From left to right, we have: 1) Gale Woods: 1,054 Brown (1464 Brown X 1212 Brown), 2) Cedarburg: 1,263.50 Montsma (1872 Sippel X Self), 3) River Prairie Ginormous Pumpkin Festival: 1025 Bierle (1810 Werner X Self), and 4) Stillwater: 683.50 Hawes (1002 Ailts X 1211 Ailts). The 683 ended up with the regional crown. The two selfed 1501s, 1464 Brown and 1872 Sippel, seem to have come through with solid color. The weather for the event was outstanding--hope it is as nice next year. I'd love to be back with a fruit that could contend for the top 10.
Saturday, October 17 View Page
The weather is taking a turn for the colder. First flakes of the season yesterday and it looks like our overnight temps will be consistently below freezing. Ripped the annuals out yesterday, put some bulbs out, and harvested seeds. Big seed cavity, explains why she went light. Also need to work on my concave bottom--it's been a persistent issue.
Saturday, October 17 View Page
There were a good number of nice, mature looking seeds inside. Will get a better idea of the count in a few days.


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