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Click on a thumbnail picture below to see the full size version. 73 Entries.
Monday, March 9 View Page
80 cu ft of Perlite ready for the patch. Good luck to all!!!
 
Tuesday, March 31 View Page
The fall rye cover sowed in October last year is really starting to grow. Giving it a cutting before we cultivate in a couple of weeks.
 
Friday, April 3 View Page
Soil sample taken March 1 2020. Last year nothing was grown on the pumpkin patch except a fall rye cover crop. It would seem like the soil is in pretty good shape for this year with some simple amendments to be added soon.
 
Friday, April 3 View Page
Just for the fun and curiosity, I ordered the Complete test plus Soil Solution test. Usually all I get is the complete test. Seems it shows all the nutrients are available to the plants and not "locked up". A good start!!
 
Saturday, April 4 View Page
My seed selection for 2020 will be a Barron 1984 DMG. I met Don at the Vegas convention and he kindly offered some seeds. With this seed he grew the Barron 2118, a Michigan State record. A big shout out for Don who is currently on the front lines of a Detroit hospital emergency room. Don...stay healthy, be safe and good luck !!
 
Tuesday, April 7 View Page
One of the great things about going to conventions is meeting really nice people and getting different ideas. One of the 1st people I met was Don Barron at the registration desk in Vegas. A big shout-out to Don who is in the front line at an emergency ward of a Detroit hospital. Good luck Don !!! Because of the uncertainties surrounding the virus I have changed my plans for what and how I'm going to grow this season. one large plant and 2 - 150 sq ft plants. This seed of Don's grew his 2118 lb Michigan State record last year. The 150 sq ft plants will be the Love 892 and the Chan 1202....both HD winners. Good luck to all.
 
Wednesday, April 8 View Page
This is the year I'm going to be doing a little experimenting. Usually we would subsoil the patch, add amendments and cultivate. This year we already subsoiled and will cultivate a few times. This is the 1st cultivation of the rye cover crop.
 
Wednesday, April 8 View Page
Now we added our amendments including a bale of ProMix and a bag of Perlite.
 
Wednesday, April 8 View Page
Mixing the amendments into the 1st cultivation with a little tiller. Now all the top layer will be removed and set aside.
 
Wednesday, April 8 View Page
So the top 8 inches or so was removed and then the next bit of soil was cultivated. More ProMix and Perlite was added and.....
 
Wednesday, April 8 View Page
....cultivated again. This should give the plant about 16 inches of depth to grow deeper larger roots...I hope. I'm following the suggestions of the Patons only they do their whole patch and I'm doing an 8 foot square planting site.
 
Wednesday, April 8 View Page
The double soil heating cables was laid on the 2nd cultivation and the top soil was replaced on the heating cables....by hand! By this time in the process I'm thinking I'm going a bit crazy...more than a bit actually.
 
Wednesday, April 8 View Page
Top soil has been replaced and some hoops erected.
 
Wednesday, April 8 View Page
A temporary shelter to begin the process of warming the soil. The heating cables have also been plugged in. It's Miller time!!
 
Wednesday, April 15 View Page
Amendments added and a few more bags of Perlite for the 1984 Barron.
 
Thursday, April 16 View Page
The positioning of the 2nd set of double soil heating cables. This is an experiment to see if heating the soil in the late summer will extend the growing season and size of the big one.
 
Friday, April 17 View Page
The 5th 48 ft heating cable
 
Friday, April 17 View Page
The 6th and final 48 ft heating cable. So when the plant outgrows the small hoop it will be removed and it will continue to grow in the larger hoop. When it out grows the large hoop the plastic will be removed. Then when the night time temps start to get low in mid to late August, I will replace the plastic and turn on all the heating cables.
 
Saturday, April 18 View Page
The Barron 1984 looking very nice.
 
Monday, April 20 View Page
Preparing the 150 sq ft site. Can you use too much Perlite??
 
Monday, April 20 View Page
Looks like ProMix !
 
Monday, April 27 View Page
This is the layout of my 150 sq ft plot. Since Janet will be growing her own 150 sq ft'er, I'll post her patch separately and later. In my patch I'll be growing her Love 892.
 
Monday, May 4 View Page
This 1 of the 150 sq ft patches. The arrows are pointing to the rebar that delineate the corners of the patch. These pieces of rebar will remain in place for the duration of the season.
 
Monday, May 4 View Page
This is the 2nd 150 sq ft patch. It's the same as the 1st one except upside down. Rebar on 1 patch are sprayed red. Other patch is sprayed green.
 
Monday, May 4 View Page
Barron 1984. Growing but very slowly.
 
Sunday, May 10 View Page
My Barron 1894 was not doing so well and my hoop was not staying warm at night so I came up with this idea. Last night I had a senior moment. I placed the Styrofoam box over the plant but forgot to close the hoop ends. Outside the box(lol) it was 51 F. Inside the box was a balmy 62 F. I've used the box for only 3 nights and the plant is starting to look much better.,
 
Sunday, May 10 View Page
Barron 1894
 
Sunday, May 10 View Page
Love 892 transplanted to the 150 sq ft patch
 
Sunday, May 17 View Page
An overall patch pic. It also shows my drip tape system set up into 3 zones. This way you don't have water the whole patch when the plant is small.
 
Sunday, May 17 View Page
Same pic as the previous entry. This one shows the (red) incoming supply line with 3 (green) valves supplying 3(yellow) zones. The good thing about this system is that during the later stages of plant growth, the older part (stump and 1st few secondaries) won't need as much water as the newer young parts and can be controlled with the valves.
 
Sunday, May 17 View Page
The big hoop got installed over the Barron which is starting to run.
 
Sunday, May 17 View Page
The 2nd 150 sq ft challenge plot has just received it's baby ....a Chan 1202. The goal for this baby is to become the 3rd generation of Howard Dill winners coming from a Nana Rea seed. Thanks Nana.
 
Tuesday, May 19 View Page
I think it's getting too hot in here !!
 
Tuesday, May 19 View Page
Remay cloth is my very inexpensive solution. Our roll of Remay is 12 ft wide. Tie the corners to the base of the hoops and throw a rope over the greenhouse to drag Remay over. Outside Lux reading over 100,000. Inside without Remay over 85,000. With Remay around 50, 000. Temperature was 83 F within 1/2 hour.
 
Sunday, May 24 View Page
Just diarizing the size of the plants on May 23rd for future reference. Days = Number of days since transplanting.
 
Tuesday, June 2 View Page
This water meter is my new toy that tells me how much water is being used. It has hose type fittings so it can be used if you're hand watering plants. Also, today was the day I started a diamond pattern on the Barron 1984. The 1st secondary was terminated after the 3rd leaf.
 
Tuesday, June 9 View Page
The Chan 1202 - 25 days post transplant.
 
Tuesday, June 9 View Page
The Love 892 - 31 days post transplant
 
Tuesday, June 9 View Page
The Barron 1984 - 42 days post transplant. Trying to create a diamond pattern but after terminating the 1st and 2nd secondaries at the 3rd and 5th leaf, I've been reluctant to terminate others. Yesterday I culled a female at 9 ft. My goal is to get a female at 15 ft. My usual is 12 -13 ft. The leaves of all 3 plants are surprisingly large and green given that my soil analysis recorded "very low" nitrates. It could be that the cover crop of fall rye is breaking down very well or the addition of " Gaia Green"(4-4-4) to my vine burying mixture.
 
Sunday, June 14 View Page
First termination of the Love 892 150 sq ft challenge
 
Tuesday, June 16 View Page
Chan 1202 Day 32 post transplant. Plants are very healthy but a little behind schedule. We've had a bit of a cold...ish spell. Yesterday last year, we ate our 1st blueberries and raspberries. This year no sign of ripeness yet.
 
Tuesday, June 16 View Page
Love 892 38 days post transplant. A 150 sq ft challenge plant.
 
Tuesday, June 16 View Page
Barron 1984 49 days post transplant. Hoop ends are wide open with sides rolled up to let the secondaries escape. About 14 ft no babies.
 
Friday, June 19 View Page
I washed off my burying mixture by accident while spraying compost tea. The secondary roots are amazing and confirms that the burying mixture is working nicely. This is the main vine close to the stump of the Love 892.
 
Wednesday, June 24 View Page
Chan 1202 40 days post transplant. Janet is officially tapping out of the 150 challenge. I will pull the boundary stakes this morning and let it grow.
 
Wednesday, June 24 View Page
Love 892 46 days post transplant. A female at 13 ft that may get pollinated within the next couple of days.
 
Wednesday, June 24 View Page
Barron 1984 57 days post transplant. A female at 18 ft ready to be pollinated today... hopefully. This is the longest main vine pre pumpkin I've ever had . I'm sure it's due to early terminations of the 1st 2 secondaries. Will be doing this on all future plants.
 
Saturday, June 27 View Page
Barron 1984 today. First pollination at 15 ft with 12 secondaries on the right and 11 on the left. The 12th secondary is right on the main vine and stem of the pumpkin. Should I try to keep that one or not? Please email me your thoughts. Thanks
 
Friday, July 17 View Page
This is my 150 challenge plant, a Love 892. The space is full and there is a pumpkin at 10 ft.
 
Friday, July 17 View Page
Love 892 DAP 20 150 sq ft challenge
 
Friday, July 17 View Page
Real cherry picking !!
 
Wednesday, July 22 View Page
Love 892 DAP 25 150 sq ft challenge OTT 142
 
Thursday, July 23 View Page
Chan 1202 DAP 10 This is the plant/seed that DAP 1 was July 25 and grew a 1202 pounder.
 
Friday, July 24 View Page
Barron 1984 DAP 10 This is the 4th female to be pollinated . The first 3 aborted hence the small size. This is the largest plant I've ever had with the latest pollination. Let's hope it will catch up.
 
Friday, July 24 View Page
Patch pic 1984 Barron
 
Monday, July 27 View Page
Love 892 DAP 30 OTT 175 It's growing some pretty weird ways
 
Monday, July 27 View Page
This 1 of the weird ways it's growing. 2 stem cracks, although this shouldn't be a surprise as mama had them as well.
 
Tuesday, July 28 View Page
Love 892 150 sq ft challenge is done!!! Stem split right through into the cavity. There is a female on the primary and I will let grow wild to see what happens.
 
Thursday, August 6 View Page
Chan 1202 DAP 24 OTT 195 The perfect pumpkin .....except the stem crack !!! Seems to be my fate this year. The 1202 had stem cracks and healed some I'm trying to be mildly optimistic. Would have been pretty good for about 200 sq ft.
 
Monday, September 7 View Page
In mid August the 2nd Chan 1202 had a huge stem split and was pulled.
 
Monday, September 7 View Page
This is the Love 892 plant participating in the 150 challenge. Amazing how much growth was squeezed into the tiny plot. A beautiful plant.
 
Monday, September 7 View Page
From that beautiful plant I grew the ugliest pumpkin that also split !!!
 
Monday, September 7 View Page
Another view of the Love 892. I couldn't have grown an uglier pumpkin if I tried. Hard to believe that it was an HD winner which produced another HD winner, the Chan 1202.
 
Monday, September 7 View Page
The Barron. It's the 7th pollination on the main vine. the first 6 did not take. It's been 1 of those years !!
 
Monday, September 7 View Page
Luckily I had my 65 Valiant V8 4 speed to keep me busy throughout the pandemic. Unfortunately there was no where to drive. Hope all growers are safe and well. Wear a mask and keep a safe distance.
 
Friday, October 9 View Page
This is what a pumpkin patch looks like when it hasn't been treated with fungicides, pesticides or fertilizers since July 25th. Maybe I gave up too soon. It's been one of those crazy years !!
 
Friday, October 9 View Page
The Barron 1984 just kept growing and growing....and aborting, until finally I gave up hand pollinating to allow nature and the bees to do their job. This main vine is 30 ft long.
 
Friday, October 9 View Page
Usually I would ask one of the neighboring farmers to help me with the lift. I just wanted to see what the little Kubota could do. It was about all it could take.
 
Friday, October 9 View Page
Since Covid caused the cancellation of all the official weigh offs, the only event to occur was the weighoff in Jim's barn. Liquid refreshments, hot dogs and a lot of BS(aka camaraderie) made the weigh off a huge success.
 
Friday, October 9 View Page
The final unofficial weight of the Barron 1984 was the Chan 794, 75 days after pollination. Amazing for giving up on July 25th !! Hmmmm......what are we going to grow next year??
 
Wednesday, October 14 View Page
Preparing the soil for next year I added a thin layer of turkey manure followed by some oyster shells for calcium and micro nutrients. Then I sow a fall rye for a winter cover crop.
 
Wednesday, October 14 View Page
This is half of the pumpkin patch that was used to grow the unsuccessful 150 sq ft challenge plants. Plants were pulled early and fall rye planted only 23 days ago. Growth has been amazing.
 
Saturday, October 17 View Page
A sign of the times !! Where a mask . Be safe. Stay healthy......please !!
 

 

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