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Click on a thumbnail picture below to see the full size version. 13 Entries.
Thursday, March 25 View Page
Here we go – 2021 season. Anything could happen. Patch wintered well, covered with maple leaves in the fall – well rotted and ready for tilling. Soil report back – great shape except for pH of 7.3 – gotta knock it down to 6.5. Spread 12 lbs of 90% S 2 days ago before the soaking rain yesterday – might be 6-8 weeks to lower the pH, but at least got it started.
Thursday, March 25 View Page
My reconstructed absolutely leak proof, drip proof irrigation set up. Can’t believe how many patches and fixes it had along the way. 3 hoses run from the pipe, each with its own spigot. Very excited to start over. It slaves of my garden sprinkler, both on timers, running undergrown from the spigot at the back corner of my house. Squandered some of the family fortune on an overly opulent standing water spigot – cool.
Thursday, March 25 View Page
El Cheapo up and ready to go. Left the frame up all winter and so MUCH easier to put the reinforced plastic cover over and stake and tie it down. Bigger tie down effort this year, after 2 prior examples of El Cheapo either blowing away or collapsing with a big wind. They could have alternately sold it on Amazon as a light weight parachute.
Sunday, March 28 View Page
The Teams have been separated from the pile of great stuff I’ve managed to collect by overbidding at several BPA’s auctions, segregated by orange potential (L column) and giant potential, (R column) and order of starting (row) depending on failure of higher row candidates. Since I only have room for 2 vines in my 850sf patch and will invest an amount of time only comprehended by other addicted to this take-no-prisoners sport, I’d better wind up with a good one from each column by Sept. Hard to know when to pot the first 2 seeds. Gotta anticipate they will be the ones delivering the Sept prizes, but more likely will crump along the way, requiring a genius-like set of back up plans. Last year got off to a late start for a variety of reasons, most notable applying for payroll protections loans for my wife’s swim school business (took a full week – and yes, we survived despite all prediction) and my first 2 seeds pots planted 4.10, never sprouting. Started team 2 pair 4/18 – the 1780 Wagner 1797 Checkon – both sprouted but never flourished. Finally got the same pair that grew till season’s-end in 2019 – the 1613 McCracken (produced a 1291.5 lb) and 1501 Wagner (produced a bright orange 500 lb.) potted May 1 and in the ground over cables on May 15 – Month behind!! – still the vines collapsed before end of season with a 705 on the orange Wagner and 750 on the yellow McCracken. Maybe it makes no difference when we start. Plan April 10 – from the L column 1464 Brown (1501 Vanderwielen x self – 2019 HD Winner) From the R column 2015 Ford ’20 (1938 Sperry x 1872 Sipple – 30% heavy) April 17 Orange Column 1263 Montsma ’20 (1872 Sipple x self – HD winner) Big Column 1822 Sipple (2145 McMullen x self) April 24 Orange 1002 Ailts (1211 Aits x self) Looked REALY orange on the Big 1632 Steltz ’17 (1803 Steltz x 2143 McMullen) Plant all survivors side by side in 2 directions and cull when brave enough.
Sunday, March 28 View Page
Reserve team– details available for readers willing to pay large sums because they never managed to get good seeds this year. Includes 2 HD winners and 4 of the 6 non-orange from 1500-1900 lbs. donors
Saturday, April 3 View Page
Patch all set. Tilled in amendments today – the 13 lbs of S I put out 2 weeks ago plus 3 more lbs today, 10 lb of N and 10 lbs of K in the form of 18-2-18 fertilizer to start working on the 55 ls of N and 50 lbs of K expected to consumed this year. And 0.6 lbs of Boron (6 lbs of Borax) Will start seeds soon. Took note of my soil report that pH is too high (7.3 from Midwest labs and 7.5 from Penn State) and that I have waaaaayyy too much organic matter 13% instead of about 5%. May be an issue with fungus again and hold on to too much water. Need beneficial bacterial (in the mail) to break it down to N. Will start seeds soon.
Sunday, April 4 View Page
Couldn’t wait – started a couple of 750s I grew from the 1613 McCracken last year a month ago just to see if it would sprout.( I knew they would, just couldn’t wait, No plans to put it out – maybe just let it grow to the ceiling like last year.
Sunday, April 4 View Page
Goes with April 4 entry
Monday, April 5 View Page
Started the 1st team: 1464 Brown (2019 HD Winner) and the 2015 Ford ’20 (just plain BIG)
Monday, April 5 View Page
Goes with 4/5
Sunday, April 11 View Page
We’re in business! Let the season begin!
Sunday, April 11 View Page
We’re in business! Let the season begin! (photo didn't publish on 1st try - some of the above as well. Anybody else having that issue?
Monday, April 12 View Page
Day 2 for 1464 Brown and 2015 Ford. Started 1263 Montsma and 1822 Sipple today. Threw out my plan of dates to start the series of starts – just couldn’t wait. The heated green house is all set to set out there any time.


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