Home What's New Message Board
Select Destination Site Search
Thunderhill Giants - 2020 Grower Diary Point your RSS aggregator here to subscribe to this Grower Diary.

Show Entries in

Grower Diary Menu
  Back to Previous Page
List Other Grower's Diaries
Submit to Your Own Diary

Click on a thumbnail picture below to see the full size version. 39 Entries.
Tuesday, April 21 View Page
Well, the weather hasn't been great, but it is supposed to warm up a little for a couple days. I guess that means it's time to get the seeds out! Don't want to fall behind!
Wednesday, April 22 View Page
A good day pumpkin wise! Kat wise :( Warm day today - melted snow and a black garden. Peeked at the seeds just before bed. The 1543 Carley has a root tip poking out. Germination!! I decided to start with two 1543 Carleys and two 1126 Dixons. For germination, this year I used a heat mat and the paper towel baggy method. Seeds were filed and soaked for 8 hrs.
Sunday, April 26 View Page
Took the seeds out of the paper towel and baggy - not the best results. 3 of the 4 look like they may not make it. Only 1 of the 1126 Dixons had a nice root growing. The others seemed shriveled up. Next year, I will germinate in soil with a germination station. Used a small one on the spaghetti squash in yogurt containers and it seemed to work a lot better. Planted another 1126 Dixon and 3 of the 402 Dixons (1684.5 Delaney X 1421 Stelts). Fingers crossed!
Monday, April 27 View Page
The 1126 A is poking out of the dirt! This is the one that had the good root. Woo hoo! We will see what happens with the others. Hopefully they are not too set back or dead.
Tuesday, April 28 View Page
A 1543 Carley is out! Yes! Seems to be growing very fast actually. On the 1126, the end of one of the cots is yellow and hard. Maybe it was stuck to the hull?
Saturday, May 2 View Page
Was quite happy to see the first true leaves forming on the seedlings, but upon closer inspection it looks like the 1543 has a problem. Four leaves are growing at the same time. Not sure what this is, but I will let it grow and see what it does.
Tuesday, May 5 View Page
All seeds germinated from both batches. The 1543 (B) was the last to pop, but that was because of the root problem in the baggy. For next year, plant 2-3 seeds of each pumpkin and look for the best plant. Sometimes they grow and are defective. If I use the coffee cans for pots again, cut off the bottom and put the rim and lid on the bottom. I thought I could slide everything out the bottom come planting time, but the weather didn't let me get them outside soon enough. They were too big.
Tuesday, May 12 View Page
The weather is still very cold. The last two nights have been around -8/9 degrees C. Just south of us they got 4 inches of snow! Not a great way to start the growing season. It is coming down to the 1126 Dixon and 402 Dixon. Despite being started 5 days later, this one 402 is growing quite well. It has bigger cots and first true leaves than the 1126. Going to be a tough call for which gets the prime spot in the garden!
Saturday, May 16 View Page
Well the 1126 Dixon better behave and grow me a nice BIG pumpkin! She's the one that gets to grow in the garden and get all the "extras." The rest get to live in the field (402 Dixon, 1543 Carley, 1126 Dixon B) This year they will only receive water for the most part. I am going to see if there is a true difference between getting all the goodies and growing in the regular soil here. Cornie Banman of Schanzenfeld, Manitoba says he grew his 1660.5 (2019) without any fertilizers. Hopefully they like the first part of their lives in the hoops!
Sunday, May 17 View Page
It may be windy, but the hatches are battened down and we're holdin' on! 40 km/h winds for the next few days. Had to take the plastic off the hoops and build some make shift wind blocks because the wind was getting way to strong.
Saturday, May 23 View Page
We've had a few nice moments the last couple days - sun shine and warmer temps - and the 1126 finally appears to be settling in. In fact, today I found some real evidence of it vining out - a tendril! So exciting! Up to this point, it seemed to be a little sensitive to the heat and flag easily with wilting leaves. After some reading, it sounds like it just takes some time for the roots to get established in the new ground and supply enough water to the rapidly growing leaves. Today marks a week since the plants went into the ground; so, the 1126 got its first application of fertilizer (25-10-10).
Wednesday, May 27 View Page
Little did I know that the 40 km/h winds we had at planting time were a practice run for today. 73 km/h according to the Weather Network. My little weather station only registered at 59 km/h, but regardless the wind sucks. I am glad I saw this coming and was prepared. However, I was pleasantly surprised at how much protection my big spruce trees provide and how far that protection reaches. Lots of dust in the air, but no casualties to report here.
Thursday, May 28 View Page
I must say I am very happy with the amount of growth that has been taking place with the 1126 Dixon the last couple of days. It is really picking up the pace. I think it is even growing through the night! Speaking of nights, looks like we have a few cold ones coming up - down to 2/3 C. I find a lamp and a few blankets to be quite effective in keeping the pumpkin nice and cozy. The tomatoes even got tucked in tonight, as there is a risk of frost!
Saturday, May 30 View Page
Started foliar feeding the 1126 in the morning using fish emulsion - 1 tbs in 740 ml of water (1:50). Definitely looks like it is enjoying it. After a couple days of this, it maintained its "happy stance" throughout the day.
Wednesday, June 3 View Page
I really like what the 1126 is doing so far. Some nice growth, the main vine laid down easily, and secondaries have started growing quickly! Got all caught up with covering the vines to promote root growth. I can see why this will be a big job as the plant grows to be 900-1000 ft2. I decided to only cover the vine where the leaf nodes are. Some people make a trench and bury the vine completely. Although this would be a good way combat the on-going wind, I don't want to risk having the vines rot. My soil is on the heavier side and holds moisture well.
Monday, June 8 View Page
April showers bring may flowers? Not this year. This weekend was the first time we got rain. I haven't seen puddles in my yard since the snow was melting. The air is so refreshing! That being said, my first male flower opened today and it looks like another will be opening tomorrow. Within the next day or so the hot house will have to be removed and the 1126 will be free-birdin' it. I had to put it on the diagonal to make a bit more room for it as we are at a vine length of 7 feet now. I would have just taken it off completely instead of fussing with it, but looking at the temps for Thursday night, June 11th, we are back down to 4 Celsius. Today is only Monday; so, it's definitely going to be pushing it. Might have to do some adjustments. Also got the drip tape laid out over most of the patch this weekend. I am just waiting for the hot house to be moved off before I move the tape around the plant. I know that it is a little late and not how it is usually done, but it took some time to get everything together. Quite excited to try this out! Thank you Tim at Flamans for helping me out with supplies.
Wednesday, June 10 View Page
A pot of gold at the end of the rainbow? Nope! Even better! The first baby pumpkin showed up today!! Off with the hot house tomorrow as well. We are maxed out corner to corner and nights are getting warmer.
Tuesday, June 30 View Page
Pollination day! I have been waiting in anticipation for this day for a while. Very excited! The 1126 opened up this morning and was cross pollinated with the 1543 Carley at about 11 feet out on the main. I was worried I wouldn't have a male flower from the 1543 ready, but I had the first and only one open just in time. It has been raining the last couple days as well. So, I did not have to battle the heat and risk losing the pollination. I am very happy about that as there have been a few days in the high 20s and low 30s lately. But of course with rain, comes weeds. I am debating how I will get them out of there without interfering with the 1126's roots. In addition to damaging the roots, walking on the soil while there is moisture increases the amount of compaction significantly. I will likely use a few walking boards and pull as much out as I can while they are still small.
Wednesday, July 8 View Page
I pollinated this little guy on a secondary for the purpose of looking at the lobes a little more closely. From what I am reading, growers want pumpkins with more lobes (4-6) and to be as "normal" as possible. The reason for this is that it creates more structure inside the pumpkin (more seed chambers) and therefor, it is less likely to collapse. It is also thought that the greater the number of lobes, the heavier the pumpkin. It makes sense because it takes more flesh, to create more structure, and more structure adds weight.
Friday, July 10 View Page
Pollinations on the 1126 Dixon (~16 feet) and 1543 Carley (~10 feet).
Tuesday, July 14 View Page
The June 30th pollination on the 1126 ended up aborting. It stopped growing and started looking iffy around day 10. Too bad because I had the S-curve setup beautifully on this one.
Monday, July 20 View Page
10 DAP on the 1126 and 1543.
Saturday, July 25 View Page
15 DAP for the 1126 and 1543. The 1543 is passing the 1126 in terms of fruit size. It's kind of surprising because it was the smallest of the plants and the last to sprout in the spring. The plant is a lot bigger on the 1126; so, hopefully it kicks it into gear soon.
Thursday, July 30 View Page
20 DAP on the 1543 Carley. OTT is 64+42+42 =148" for 80 lbs. She gained 16 lbs in the last 24 hrs and passed my pampered 1126 in the garden by far. I guess you just never know what these things will do!
Thursday, July 30 View Page
20 DAP on the 1126. OTT is 38+33+30=101" for 30 lbs. I thought this was going to be a nice round pumpkin, but its looking kind of ugly. Its sibling out in the field is looking beautiful however. Will post a picture of her on Aug 1st.
Saturday, August 1 View Page
DAP 20 on the 1126B. OTT: 59+41+41 = 141" for an estimated weight of 70 lbs.
Wednesday, August 5 View Page
Noticed that a couple white spots formed on the 1126 on Aug 1st. Today she had to come off the vine as it was clear there would be no chance in saving my odd shaped pumpkin. Not very good luck on my biggest plant, but as Bill Foss would say, "it is what it is."
Thursday, August 6 View Page
1126 Dixon (B): DAP 25 today with an OTT of 199" and she looks like she is going to be a really nice orange pumpkin. Pollinated with the 1543 Carley. 1543 Carley: Surpassed my PB today!
Tuesday, August 11 View Page
DAP 32 on the 1543 Carley. Had to do surgery and remove the blossom end nub. It was getting a soft spot on it and I did not want that spreading into the kin. Sprayed with peroxide and put a fan on it. Averaging 29.3 lbs a day in the last week on this one.
Tuesday, August 11 View Page
DAP 30 for the 1126 Dixon (B). OTT is at 241" averaging 28 lbs a day in the last 5 days. Excited to see how orange she gets. She is starting to glow!
Saturday, August 15 View Page
Had to do a little bit of adjusting today, but I had a problem... The lawn mower was too light! I was ratcheting for a while and still no movement on the kin. Looked over at the mower and saw that despite having the parking brake on and wheels chocks placed, I was pulling it and not the pumpkin! Seems like a good problem to me.
Friday, August 21 View Page
The 1543 Carley is at 42 DAP and still is growing! Weight increase has been maintained thus far and she averaged 31 lbs a day in the last 7 days. I may just achieve my goal yet!
Friday, August 21 View Page
She turned 40 today and is getting better looking with age - a nice complexion and wide hips too! The 1126 Dixon (B) averaged 33.3 lbs a day in the last 7 days.
Monday, August 31 View Page
52 DAP for the 1543. Nights are getting cooler and the forecast looks to be getting worse. It is getting hard to measure the kins by myself now, especially since they out grew my tape and I can't find my second one!
Monday, August 31 View Page
50 DAP for the 1126 (B). Still growing nicely and will soon pass the 1543 on the chart now that it has slowed down considerably.
Monday, September 7 View Page
Surprise!! First frost of the year wasn't supposed to happen until tomorrow night. Glad I was prepared and covered just incase. Ice on the leaves of the 1126 in the garden. Forecast shows there will be a few more nights like this coming up in the next week or so.
Friday, October 2 View Page
Let the fun begin! Getting all loaded up to take the kins down to the Roland weigh off! This was the first time using my homemade lifting ring and she held together nicely!
Friday, October 2 View Page
All loaded up and ready to hit the road in the morning. Taking the two 1543 Carleys and my 1126 Dixon (B). It's going to be an early departure, 5:00 AM, if I am going to make it to the weigh off in time. Off to bed I go!
Sunday, October 4 View Page
An end to a great growing season! I started this year with the hopes of hitting 500 lbs (double my 2018 record of 232 lbs). Well, I am so excited to share that I grew three even bigger than that! My top three that I took down to the weigh off came in at 519 lbs (1543 Carley Ribbon Vine), 979.5 lbs (1126 Dixon B), AND 1029 lbs (1543 Carley)! I made it past the 1000 pound mark and won the Howard Dill Award for the best looking pumpkin grown in Manitoba. A GIANT thank you to all the people that helped me out along the way!


Top of Page

Questions or comments? Send mail to Ken AT bigpumpkins.com.
Copyright © 1999-2021 BigPumpkins.com. All rights reserved.