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Click on a thumbnail picture below to see the full size version. 253 Entries.
Thursday, January 7 View Page
Off to a fantastic start here too.
 
Friday, January 8 View Page
That was an attempt at humor. Maybe it flopped... idk. This tree looked unusual but I couldnt figure out what it was until I got closer. Turns out it's got a very heavy crop of crab apples all still hanging in the tree from last year. I noticed one other tree like this. Very good pollination of the apple trees last year.
 
Friday, January 8 View Page
The cilantro project was a success. Just keeping them cool so the dont bolt too fast. The indoor spinach bolted very fast. The kale did better than expected but its redundant to grow it indoors when it grows just fine outdoors.
 
Saturday, January 9 View Page
When I say I value freedom, I MEAN MY OWN freedom not yours."
 
Saturday, January 9 View Page
It's hard to appreciate how much harder 3000 is vs 300 or 5000 vs 500. I did this 3000 one as teenager. The sky was almost impossible. I think it took 200-300 hours but I wasnt keeping track exactly. Wixom your dirt is gonna be 60 degrees by the time you finish that one.
 
Thursday, January 14 View Page
Was wondering what species of tree has such dark/black bark. Anyone know? Hint: I am in California.
 
Thursday, January 14 View Page
More hot dogs.
 
Friday, January 15 View Page
Portland. Portland was not a beautiful city to begin with. Notice the ladder.
 
Friday, January 15 View Page
Part of the solution has been to limb up all trees so that the "problem" cant hide in the bushes. Wish granted... the problem is not hiding in the bushes anymore.
 
Friday, January 15 View Page
No comment.
 
Friday, January 15 View Page
A tidy public dwelling. A little too tidy? If these dwellings were allowed to be too nice and comfortable the people paying rent in the neighborhood would start to feel envious??? I assume greed and envy have played a role in creating a permanent ecomomic aparthied. More economic freedom, a little less capitalism? I think Bidens plan to raise the minimum wage is good on the surface but it underneath that, it will really only reduce employment and speed up the capitalist's conversion to automation. I dont think capitalism made America great. Equality, economic freedom, justice, and lack of tyranny is what made America great.
 
Sunday, January 17 View Page
Enough with the political crap. Its time to grow... pumpkins. Testing my homemade potting soil vs standard "M---cle Grow" products purchased at Walmart. Six Atlantic Giant seeds in each pot here. The moisture was about the same but my mix was just slightly heavier because it contains some real dirt. (My mix was about 40% garden dirt 60% composted fir needles. I added some lime and diluted liquid plant food. For the lime I probably should have used Dolopril but I used Calpril. Nothing scientific here... just my usual garden-monkey-nonsense!) The deli container lids are an easy way to keep the soil close to the right moisture without watering during the germination. I suppose carefully watering just around the outside of the pot wouldnt rot the cots but really there is nothing easier than setting these deli lids on the pots. They fit just right. They wont stop the pumpkin from sprouting up. They only keep the soil from drying too much. I did not presoak these seeds so they do need to absorb enough moisture from the soil to be able to sprout.
 
Monday, January 18 View Page
First spring blossom. Warmest winter I've seen... Its far from over, but I feel like we are a full month ahead of normal.
 
Tuesday, January 19 View Page
This wont offend anyone.
 
Wednesday, January 20 View Page
Happy Inauguration Day! (Or unhappy. Whichever...) Congrats on the puzzle wixom.
 
Wednesday, January 20 View Page
Rising out of the err swamp *ahem* the wet dirt... we have new life. Awwww. Love the deli container lids they worked perfectly.
 
Wednesday, January 20 View Page
My alter ego is now reporting LIVE from Washongton DC: "The stench out here is fantastic! "
 
Wednesday, January 20 View Page
I spread some calpril and about 40 lbs of feather meal over 2000 sq ft. I think it will be smart to get the organics fully decomposed before planting. I want the nitrogen to be there. It will take a few months to fully decompose. I think I should wait until march to spread chemical fertilizer. We probably still have two more feet of rain on the way. Plus it sublimates. Thats more nutrients than I want to lose. I should have waited until midsummer to use the Calpril.
 
Wednesday, January 20 View Page
"Doh! I forgot my mask!" Yeahhh Shhh Utup Kermit.... We dont want get kicked off bp.
 
Thursday, January 21 View Page
Left to right: 1-- Miracle grow regular potting mix 6/6 (including a triple cot!) 2-- My mix 5/6. 1 not rotten but did not germinate. 3-- My mix 3/6. 1 slow/struggling, 2 rotten. 4-- Miracle grow "moisture control" 2/6. 2 slow/struggling, 2 not rotten but did not germinate. I will continue to grow these to see if there are any further differences in health and vigor. There's two ways to look at this: one is that you can baby your plant with a good sterile potting mix and "keep it away from the real world" as long as possible so it doesnt get sick from pathogens in your soil. The other is, maybe its best to throw a half dozen seeds in and see which will tolerate the pathogens in the soil. The tough love route... see early on which seed has "the right stuff" in it to make it in your patch. Pumpkin parenting. Hmm. Which route is best?
 
Friday, January 22 View Page
More notes on my silly little potting mix trial: So, I don't know what happened with the "moisture control" potting mix. I don't why it underperformed. I want to note here that the seeds were a few years old and they were not presoaked. No special tricks or assistance so I was not expecting to get perfect germination. 6/6 using their regular product was a lovely surprise. I think presoaking in some dilute H202 would have helped get better results overall.
 
Saturday, January 23 View Page
I lost track but there are six or seven blooming now. (Snow in the forcast though.) Ps rotten pumpkin might be a great food source for those interested in growing worms. AG may be perfect a food for white worms/pot worms especially if cut into thin pieces and frozen until needed? Could grow a lot of worms. I will say no more and not post any pictures!!!
 
Sunday, January 24 View Page
Practice plants... because we both need practice!!! She really enjoys cutting things and today was the first day she really got the whole two hands hold-and-cut technique right. I am a proud dad...
 
Wednesday, January 27 View Page
Two are certainly looking unwell. Closer onspection shows they have both been vhewed on by bug(s). I think the culprits are chewing the roots of these two plants also. But the third plant looks great, apparently they are leaving it alone. So is this survival-of-the-fittest genetics here or just random bad luck? I can eliminate the pests by freezing the soil... but then would I also eliminate valuable info about which of the three was actually the best plant? The "non-sterile soil method" has revealed that probably only one of these was a good choice planting in the garden.
 
Wednesday, January 27 View Page
Edit to previous post: "Closer inspection shows they have both been chewed on by bug(s)." Its difficult to see here but there was a lot of "dampening off" of the sprouts in this tray. I've always believed dampening off was caused by a fungus but THIS dampening off I am pretty sure was caused almost exclusively by soil invertebrates. When the plants are this young, it takes only one bug bite out of their taproot to doom them because they pretty much have only one root at this stage. I didnt freeze-sterilize this soil. I usually get great results with freeze sterilization. After this picture was taken I dug the dirt out of this tray and I did all the usual suspects crawling around. About 5 species of dirt dwellers. I am not sure which ones do the most damage but they all got tossed outside and replaced by a deep-frozen tray. Starting over! I dont know what temperature my freezer is set at but it works... The soil critters dont survive.
 
Thursday, January 28 View Page
Wire Grass shishkabobed these. Its probably the worst weed to have in the potato patch. I bet it could do this to a pumpkin vine too but I havent seen that yet. The strain of comfry I have is a good companion plant for potatoes. Not sure why. Maybe it repels pests or bring nutrients up to the surface. I will try to save some seed from it for next years seed exchange. The comfry is basically a weed but in stark contrast to the wire grass its probably the best plant you could possibly have in a patch of potatoes.
 
Friday, January 29 View Page
One last picture of the cilantro and green onions which were a such a success. All of this cilantro was planted from the seed saved from just one or two plants last year. Considering that the heat from the LED's is also warming my house, I think this basically costs me nothing... It would be nice to run enough LED's during the winter to heat the entire house? I dont have a basement but I think it would be one big garden if I did. With the cilantro I am leaving the stems because I think they can continue to photosynthesize and they are a reservoir of nutrients and energy for the plants to use to push more new leaves up. So I only decapitate just the leaves from the stems. There are so many stems I think the tray would still be completely green even if I cut every leaf off. The plants would be able to recover by using their stems as leaves. Whereas if I did cut all the stems then they would have much less ability to recover. I think the same thing is true in pumpkins. Their leaf stalks are a reservoir of evergy and nutrients.
 
Monday, February 1 View Page
I call this "1st leaf stage." Its time to get dirty.
 
Monday, February 1 View Page
Roots look good. This is about the stage when they can be potted up or planted out. I call this a gallon size... its a 6" pot. I find these pots get them to the first leaf stage very well. The extra roots from the weaker seedlings actually helps hold the rootball together nicely. I would call the seedling mix I made a success although it might be high in calcium and low in magnesium. A 50/50 blend of my mix with standard peat-based potting mix would probably be even better.
 
Monday, February 1 View Page
The bitten leaves was the result of a tiny slug. Such a warm winter I doubt even one slug has died.
 
Monday, February 1 View Page
Here in Pacific Northwest... its Happy Groundslugs Day! If it sees its slime trail, then there will be just six more months of rain.
 
Thursday, February 4 View Page
1.5 billion facemasks are polluting the ocean. Its time to go fully compostable.
 
Thursday, February 4 View Page
No longer polluting a galaxy far far away... I call dibs on the Vader mask.
 
Friday, February 5 View Page
But three much better protection.
 
Friday, February 5 View Page
Thank goodness I made it through Covid-19, 20, 21, 22 , 23, 24, 25, 26 with my sanity intact! (And my gender unchanged.)
 
Saturday, February 6 View Page
The miracle grow potting mixes grew bigger better looking leaves. I noticed some rot on the roots using my own mix. I think the pot treated with Rootshield had better looking roots and the plant looked better than the one given Azos. Its interesting that I can run cheap controlled experiments. I dont really need to pay for laboratory results when I can figure the results out myself. Just taking a shovel of dirt out of the patch and throwing some seeds in it seems very useful. I can probably fine tune my soil and identify lots of problems and figure out ways to correct them by "planting seeds in my soil samples" rather than sending them away. Thats the end of the first trial.
 
Thursday, February 11 View Page
Three & 1/2 weeks (not days) later some giant celery pops up...
 
Sunday, February 14 View Page
Drifting snow this year rather than branch-breaking snow. Every year is different. This drifting snow has inundated the interior of my little barn which means everything will be wet soon. So, a different headache than dealing with broken branches. I figured the dandelion pics might jinx the early spring...
 
Friday, February 19 View Page
Birds are a little slow about eating the berries this year. Four kinds of berries to choose from. What lucky birds. I wonder if this is also due to the excellent pollination by the bees last year?
 
Sunday, February 21 View Page
2nd Trial 3 seeds each pot: 1) Miracle grow moisture control potting mix 2) Fresh worm castings from the garden 3) My homemade fir needle compost mix I am going to add some ammonium sulfate later to the fir needle compost because I think that's what it lacks. Just doing this because it doesn't cost me anything and I might learn something. Not intending for these to get planted out in the garden it's too early for that.
 
Sunday, February 21 View Page
1st Trial Despite ample magnesium sulfate there was a lot of yellowing in the composted needle mix. (Partly due to low light levels because the LED's didnt last long they are all halfway burned out now.) The miracle grow potting mix benefited from more fertilizer also. It's not very nutritionally rich to start with. The needle compost had even less, it was like starting from zero.
 
Monday, February 22 View Page
Gritty's secret to big pumpkins: When my old photo models get too big, I just return them to the dealership & lease a newer smaller model. Shhhhh... my secret to appearing successful in 2021 is sleeping.
 
Monday, February 22 View Page
Gritty's secret to big pumpkins: When my old photo models get too big, I just return them to the dealership & lease a newer smaller model. Shhhhh... my secret to appearing successful in 2021 is sleeping.
 
Monday, February 22 View Page
Testing... testing... 123
 
Monday, February 22 View Page
CAPTAIN WIZZY: "You are without a doubt the worst pumpkin grower I’ve ever heard of.” GRITTY KINS: “But you have heard of me.”
 
Thursday, February 25 View Page
Breakfast of champions? If your brain is low on fuel honeycomb might be the healthiest & fastest way to charge it back up.
 
Monday, March 1 View Page
East Lewis County forecast: Sunny and warm. With a slight chance of large moles.
 
Tuesday, March 2 View Page
I've calculated that for 150 square feet to water 1" onto each half every other day would require a 55 gallon drum per day filled with 47 gallons of water. I think during the summer, if the roots are healthy 1 inch on half the patch every other day would be reasonable. I could do a less deep 1/2 inch watering across the entire patch. This might be even better. Looking back at my previous diaries I am not impressed with my growing. I am really unimpressed. I am inclined to think 1/2 inch spread evenly over the entire patch would be best. If I wanted to get very fancy I could alternate the "fertigation" between chelated water soluble chemical fertilizer and the other half of the plant getting manure/compost tea. It might be easier to play around with watering/fertilizing schemes on tomatoes rather than pumpkins. Hmm. Heaven's Door... Knock, knock, knocking. Still so far from getting in.
 
Tuesday, March 2 View Page
0/3 so 100% rot on the "worm castings" from the garden. 6/6 on my composted pine needle mix and the store bought product.
 
Tuesday, March 2 View Page
Corn and potatoes companion planting was quite successful. The kale and collard greens did ok too. The only thing tricky about corn/potatoes is the corn needs full sun as a seedling. They cant be planted at the same time unless they are about 3 feet apart or maybe just 2 ft apart if corn transplants are used. Potatoes do thrive in the dappled shade of the corn plants. I pulled more than a pound per sq ft of bed here despite being surrounded by corn. Most companion planting is tricky and doesnt impove yields but this one I may try again.
 
Wednesday, March 3 View Page
An arugula plant made it through winter and is the second plant to bloom this year (well, tied for second with a hazelenut/filbert which is technically blooming also). Some willows and an Indian plum are coming into bloom also. We had one week of very wintery weather and a few frosts one badly broken pipe but I dont think we got below mid twenties. Some romaine lettuce survived and the overeontered garlic is already well established so--- tempting fate by making my assessment a couple weeks early--- winter temps have been a bit above average this year.
 
Wednesday, March 3 View Page
Sunny day. Time to sequester some carbon and get rid of the excess organics. There is an idyllic balance here where the hay or straw protects the soil and loses its nutrients down into the soil during our excessive winter rain then the top burn will speed up the replanting and releases more nutrients and spreads the black carbon which is good for the soil and perhaps its better for the atmosphere too. Early March seems to be a good time. Because the soil should need less protection soon. I need to get the ground warmed up and not create habitat for the wrong bugs. The two main drawbacks of using thick straw or hay...
 
Wednesday, March 3 View Page
Creating my own terra preta. Trying adding ammonium sulfate to the charcoal. Maybe this will fuel the correct slow release soil biology. I have good ideas but I am also such a dummy. Killed the goodclam #$(&%! apple tree the cage didnt protect it and I was a few seconds too slow with the garden hose.
 
Monday, March 8 View Page
This is one first leaf that I thought indicated freeze damage to the seed embryo. Admittedly it could be a nutrient problem in the early development. In some cases a nutrient burn could end up looking like this. The other leaf which had an odd missing-piece shape may have just been the kids of all things. Last of all, it could just be inherent defects/a poor batch of seed.
 
Tuesday, March 9 View Page
Getting bindweed out and making rows. Cant combine garlic and potatoes here because my garlic will be too weak. It would take strong bulbs planted much earlier for them to compete successfully with potatoes. These 150 sq ft plots are just about the right amount of work, when doing things by hand. I got 100 tomatoes started using a new method of starting them en masse on a tray then moving them to little peat pots. It's a bit more labor in the short term but not really because planting a small seedling isnt that much more work than planting a seed. Now the trays end are 100% perfectly filled in which actually will save labor and energy costs and it wont waste any peat pots and starting mix too.
 
Thursday, March 11 View Page
Looking forward to trying some new companion planting. Going to try carrots and garlic together. And onions and beets together. I figured out a compromise with the potatoes and garlic, which was to use all the mini potatoes and bits of damaged and rotten potatoes. With the largest garlic bulbs together with the weakest potatoes the garlic should be able to compete. The largest garlic bulbs are about the size of the smallest potatoes. Now I just need to make sure I can flood irrigate between the rows. Theres much less point in increasing density unless you have excellent irrigation. One last thought... potatoes can be spaced widely approxinately like corn, or at a medium spacing, like 4 cabbage. If I did every other row garlic that would be a medium spacing or two rows of garlic, every third row potatoes... that would be a wide spacing. I wonder if I could run pumpkin vines under the potato vines. A pain in the rear but pumpkins are a pain in the rear no matter what... the tendrils would love to grab the potato vines. I will have to stick with corn and potatoes as companions (at a wide spacing). Why are you reading this nonsense!
 
Saturday, March 13 View Page
Test results... lol. I know these arent professional level, but for instant results and $4 worth of test capsules what else compares. I always have phosphorous read low using these things. Here you can see nitrogen is way high and potassium is low. Ph is about 6.0 which for me is normal. This test was done on water leached out from the potted pumpkin.
 
Saturday, March 13 View Page
The victim of my "more-on" affection. Ok, so maybe no more nitrogen... lol. Potassium never reads very high on these DIY tests but I think the low reading is accurate. Photo does seems to show a potassium issue with the leaf edges being particularly yellow. I suspect low boron and copper, and maybe low sulfer, also. Poor thing. I am like a four year old with a hamster... sometimes things are just lucky to even survive. I will say that the grocery bag handles are awesome and I have no fear of the bags ripping this year because I used five or six bags. (Five or six plastic ones... no matter how many paper ones you use the paper handles are no good as soon as the paper touches the soil the moisture weakens them down to nothing.) So anyhow, the plastic handles worked well. Still a million things that could go wrong... but I will try to make a go of it with this plant...
 
Saturday, March 13 View Page
Trying something new this year. In some areas I am raking off all the debris remaining from over the winter. The worms did a great job so there is not too much left to rake away. Appears weed free only because bindweed killed all the other weeds.
 
Thursday, March 18 View Page
My Saint Patrick's Day green. The Cilantro survived a few freezing nights. Last night was 27 degree F. It's still healthy and hasnt bolted. I dont have five gallons of tomatoes but I suppose I could try preserving it until then. Some peppers have germinated. I've not used greenhouses much but I would love to try some peppers and a cantaloupe, and some tomatoes in a greenhouse this year.
 
Thursday, March 18 View Page
So far I like the peat pots better than these standard plastic ones. You can see the reason, which is the moisture doesnt wick through plastic so some get too dry others can be too wet. I think with the peat pots I may be able to achieve the correct moisture easier.
 
Thursday, March 18 View Page
Moisture is continually even-ing out. Trying my best to screw up somehow of course... I do have a plan for getting megas I will post to the tomato board maybe
 
Thursday, March 18 View Page
What the heck I will just say my plan is too boost ammonium during the earliest bud formation (use bloom booster because it is almost entirely ammonium). The reasoning is that this will inhibit calcium and (perhaps in combination with low zinc?) cause the buds to not separate fully... And perhaps most importantly I will keep the under a semi stress of low temps ideally 60/40 to 70/50? I dont really want to stress the plants but I do briefly want to cause the blossoms to aggregate I'm not sure when this is timing wise. My guess would be at the first visible appearance of the third, fourth or maybe fifth leaf, the cells for the first bloom may be dividing although minuscule (microscopic)... my guess is this is when the blossom shape could be influenced. Once the blossom is visible its far too late to influence the shape. I can then switch to higher calcium & avoid the nitrogen (ammonium anyhow) because in a couple weeks it will be critical that the bud not abort. Enough about that... My own theories which should not be taken seriously until after I grow a monster tomato. I dont know why the bloom booster has ammonium maybe it's meant for a much different kind of megabloom.
 
Friday, March 19 View Page
Possibility #3. Three plants contending for one ultra early spot. Soil is terrible. I need to throw some more stuff on it and retest? Rain washed everything out. The covered areas may have fared better, but even those areas probably lost nutrients before they were covered. Watched the rest of the Cal growers talk. I think I understand all the concepts well enough to hit 1600 lbs but a lot of it is over my head still. I need to implement what I do know and not worry about the things I don't know.
 
Saturday, March 20 View Page
C'mon spring. My LED lights arent the only thing half burned out, hanging by threads. I feel 4 ya big moon a rough start here too verticulum or pythium or whatever in the tomatoes already... overwatered them just once and that was enough. So a few weeks and a few hours of work wasted. A whole new batch going in today or tomorrow.
 
Monday, March 22 View Page
This plant grew 2 full leaves in nine days. Not too impressive but it does mean it will need an outdoor home in a week or so. Hmm. I do have a good spot for it & I think this might end up my official 150 ft plant. The forecast is cold so some electricity will play a factor. It can share space with all my other plants??? Spring cleaning. Awesome possum. Soil temp prob. 40 so we'll see. Where the there's a will there's a way... Where there's a madness there's a method?
 
Wednesday, March 24 View Page
Picking up the pace. Adds a leaf in 2 1_2 days... The biomin manganese is what made the final difference. It was hard to diagnose the final problem I was having with the leaf color but I think I nailed it. Now the color is great. I doubt everything else is perfect. Gonna do a half diamond 150 sq ft plant and maybe use John Butler's feeding schedule as a reference. I will run my field kins in 150 ft patches also. I may do a single 500-600 ft AG plant and some long gourds. I also want to do tomatoes and a big cantaloupe. Unfortunately that puts me short of a master gardener but oh well I can only do so much.
 
Wednesday, March 24 View Page
That was supposed to say 2 1/2 days. Coldest temp. here this winter was 20 degrees. Its still very cool (high of 43 today) so it will be a big challenge to hit the ground running. I am going to need to use every trick in the book. Feels a bit quixotic.
 
Friday, March 26 View Page
I hired an earthworm expert and soil compaction specialist.
 
Saturday, March 27 View Page
The plastic bags gave me just a bit of trouble until I pulled them just the way they wanted to be pulled. Then they all came free easily from under the plant. It was good practice... but with my limited prep. and the iffyness of starting in March my confidence is low for this plant. It went relatively well though. I tipped the entire plant forward and the vine is already going the direction I want and its propped up nicely by a leaf where it should bend the rest of the way down with no further fiddling. The wire is for a temporary double plastic layer. This will buy me a week of time and if the plant looks good a week from now, only then will I bother with a real hoop house for it. As you can see the roots penetrated the paper bags easily. So I did not remove the paper. The rootball held together even though the paper has almost no strength. I want to try this method with my long gourds.
 
Saturday, March 27 View Page
Oh that picture didnt show the wire. So here it is going all out with the plastic. Soil temp is in the 50's now. No heating cables I just dumped a barrel of warm water under the plant and then used a barrel of warm dirt to fill in around it. Instantly fixed that problem. It's not in the mid 60's or 70's though so the growth will be a bit slow but slow is ok. Dropping a huge plant into the ground in March lol... that gives you a whole lot of time to kill. The idea here is to get a fully mature pumpkin to the fair at the end of August. Last time I figure I cost myself 200 lbs because the pumpkin was still growing. This time I want to give it the full 100 days on the vine!!
 
Monday, March 29 View Page
Wheel barrel. I never knew I needed one of these until I had one. The lawn clippings have now met their match, ha. Pumpkin update... Ironically I almost cooked my ultra early plant. It's ironic because we had a cold windstorm. However, with a heater set on low it got quite hot in the hoop hut today. 100+ degrees maybe. I will only run the heater at night. Later when I put a big hoop up I will try heating it with black barrels of grass clippings or of sun-warmed water. (I am not gonna go buy more heaters and extension cords. The little fan heater sure works great though! A little too well, in fact.)
 
Tuesday, March 30 View Page
"Peel-up bud graft." The advantage here is the cut in the rootstock holds the bud.
 
Tuesday, March 30 View Page
Electrical tape works.
 
Tuesday, March 30 View Page
Once the bottom is secured tight with tape then the bark flap holding the scion can be chopped at the top. To get better success the tree should be pruned down so that the newly grafted bud becomes the uncontested new apical bud. In other words, all buds/suckers that would immediately compete for apical dominance should be removed. Cherries are easy. This is a wild cherry that is getting a larger variety grafted onto it. Not sure what the best variety is for Western Washington but the Bings and Royal Ann's will produce medium sized cherries that taste good.
 
Tuesday, March 30 View Page
In case a picture is better than words.
 
Wednesday, March 31 View Page
Four layers of plastic no heater tonight. I planted the 1621.5 Marshall in the hut in addition to the 145 Est. Clayton.
 
Saturday, April 3 View Page
Patch tour 150 ft patch.
 
Saturday, April 3 View Page
Mow, sesame! Now that's more like it.
 
Saturday, April 3 View Page
I planted three good seeds in one pot (probably unwise) the 1927.5 Daletas '18 I have a great feeling about this plant. So it got faced the correct direction. The 1810 Bernstrom and 2174 Daletas will hang out as long as possible. I very much wish I had a better spot for this 1927.5 because I think it wants to kick butt. Unfortunately it will also only get 150 square feet. Poor thing.
 
Wednesday, April 7 View Page
The good and the bad... the good is it's the best mix I've tried. Jiffy owes me 4 more quarts though. Its packed in Canada so they must mean metric quarts lol. I will probably mix some clumps of garden dirt in. Maybe 50/50 a mix w/clods of garden dirt? I want to retain the physical properties of both so I wont mix it well I'm gonna try more of a chunky brownie recipe.
 
Wednesday, April 7 View Page
Previous post is in regards to the 5 gallon tomato challenge. Sign up is on the tomato board.
 
Friday, April 9 View Page
If this was true it would match the coldest temp we have had all winter. My guess is the actual will be 5-7 degrees warmer... They seem to be using a mountaintop weather station as a guide. The Daletas/Bernstrom plants are relatively happy. My ultra early 145 Clayton looks ok but growth has stalled. Temperatures have been too inconsistent both too high and too low. I need to try harder to stay in the 60/80 range. I could pull the plant and focus on the Daletas plants.
 
Friday, April 9 View Page
I like these. Anyhow it's not winter but if it did hit 20 degrees then spring would be officially just as cold as winter here. I dont think it will. My 145 Est pumpkin vine grew only 8 " in 1 week. Was 25" now 33". So... multiple issues going on it's been a moderate failure so far. Will apply what I learn to next year.
 
Sunday, April 11 View Page
Summary of some mistakes I have made this year. First was pot knats. I brought in some plants without freezing the dirt first and this got the little knats going. I should have kept my house sterile. They did a lot of damage they spread disease readily I think these bugs are designed to spread disease so that their grubs can feast on freshly dead roots. 2nd is the ultra early plant which could still recover but I think I will pull it. I didnt do much patch prep here. It was all good for a few days but not only was the ground too cold but the plant also got cooked when the heater didnt shut off. I thought this heater shut off at 90-100 but it was a out 120 degrees in there this morning. So that brings me to my last mistake which has been to trust weather.com at all. Their forecasts have been very lousy this year. They said 20 or 21 degrees last night and it was 29. So putting five layers of plastic on was silly or just plain stupid. But I'm using a different method of heating the Daletas plants and the look good. In previous years the air heat worked great but the shape (teepee) and size of the plastic tent was different and I used only one layer of plastic. That was a much better approach for using an air heater that wont shut off, apparently. Anyhow... I've done some things right, too. But I will save those for another day. Lots to do today! If you plant early this is what can happen! Ps... Started a 1068.5 Theil squash not sure where it will get planted but it is one that I want to grow so we'll see...
 
Tuesday, April 13 View Page
Bernstrom is actually the healthiest looking plant at the moment. Seed was a year older and slower to germinate. But it could end up the keeper. Gonna dump a bunch of fish fertilizer on and see how they respond before picking a keeper. They are getting plenty of sun, too much in fact, so it's not hurting to have three plants bunched together. Later if the weather changes and I the plastic up then maybe there could be some competition for light but right now having three plants is working alright.
 
Wednesday, April 14 View Page
I got this far into the turnip cover crop and then I realized "Hey I am mowing good food!" Silly American who was raised in the suburbs (me). No one I know eats this stuff but I tried some and it's a really good antidote to Easter candy. If you havent had them before they are a bit like kale or broccoli.
 
Wednesday, April 14 View Page
"If ya got the cash I've got the kilos." Kilos of turnip greens... Ooo isnt that exciting. I hope they freeze well & stir fry ok. I froze about 10 lbs which was only about half of what was there. I think 150 sq ft could yield 30 lbs and this was sowed in early fall. If it was sowed earlier in late August and picked multiple times it might yield 5x that. Way more than the biggest family could possibly eat.
 
Sunday, April 18 View Page
Quite an odd assortment?... plus a whole variety of corn started too. I have way too many watermelon and bushel gourd seeds... if anyone needs some. I'm considering reneging on my early 150 ft setup and doing these squashes or the 113 Gerry in 150 instead. I kinda want to try for 1,000 lbs in 250 ft. I dont think I can do it in 150.
 
Sunday, April 18 View Page
"It's a sunny day on the farm!"
 
Monday, April 19 View Page
Color has improved a lot. Its pushing secondaries out which is good sign. Plant was nearly dead about five days ago. Some of the issues I had with the early start was a severe phosphorous deficiency. I think nitrogen and maybe calcium uptake went to zero also when the roots got too cold. The roots may have been attacked by unfriendly "wet-weather soil biology" in addition to being too cold. But I'm curious to try an equally early start next year and see if I can use more bio-available fertilizers like fish or prep the ground better and control the temps better.
 
Monday, April 19 View Page
A couple ideas... one is that a shallow root system would adapt better to spring weather. I dug into the hill where the pumpkin was planted and saw new root growth 3-4 inches deep but not any deeper. So the deeper roots are not at the correct temp, or the ground doesnt dry out, or it's just too anaerobic this time of year. So the idea I'm thinking of is to layer first a sturdy tarp or mat that could be lifted, then a mat of plastic about 2 ft x 3 ft with perforations in an X shape directly under the plant, (to make it easy to tear out from under when planting) then multiple paper bag (newspaper?) layers to give a structure to the mat of soil but quckly degrade thereafter and let roots and water through, and cover it all with dirt about 4" deep. This would be 2 cubic feet of dirt and would require two people to lift. Perhaps pre-forming everything to a hammock shape or some 1/4 inch plywood would be part of the process. Really sounding crazy now but I will understand what I meant. Gotta write it down now. It wont make sense to you until I do it next year & post pics. The point is, to put all the roots in the zone where they can actually grow so that the plant doesnt effectively lose 80% of its roots. This is a big part of what could make ultra early planting successful. I've seen lots of success using heating cables but I have to try this alternative method next year, just to show you all something you've never seen before. It sounds like a bunch of nonsense but you'll see it actually work. Next year :) My other ideas will have to wait I need to go to bed.
 
Friday, April 23 View Page
Hoop is only about 5 ft high and 10x10 on the inside. This replaces the smaller hoop. Very easy setup two crossed pieces of PVC (1 1/4 think?), 4 pieces of rebar in the ground in the corners, and one bungee cord, and of course the plastic which is 15 x16 ft or so. I dont have a door and dont really need one... I'm using metal pipe that is heavy to secure the plastic. Just roll the pipe off and lift the plastic and clamp it up temporarily as needed. It's not going to survive a blizzard but we mostly have mild weather.
 
Friday, April 23 View Page
We had a stretch of sunny weather of unprecedented dryness. Its cooling off again now. I did see a baby pumpkin about 2-3 weeks away. We'll see if I can match my previous record early pollination (May 15th). But they dont really like to set fruit that early they are prone to aborts so I really doubt it will be a keeper. I might try setting on a secondary. I need to keep disciplined and stay in 150. And yes the prev. pic of the 10x10 hoop is the original 150 plant... my 145 Clayton. I still have the plot boundaries marked with small marker flags. My only regret is pruning off all the growth at the stump the old leaves are tattered already so I will have to direct a tertiary to the back of the plant to make use of that space. Cant really afford to have any bare dirt areas (area with no leaves) when growing in 150 ft. Getting busy, but I will try to do weekly updates...
 
Saturday, April 24 View Page
Proof the plastic lids dont crush the sprouts. It's always nice to have redundancy in your system in case you fall behind. 1701 Jutras in front next is the 113 Gerry 1068.5 Thiel's in back... havent helped them get their seed coats off I've been too busy.
 
Saturday, April 24 View Page
The lids dont fit tight but they do keep the soil from drying. It's good if no watering is necessary during germination. (When they start pushing the first leaf or so... then theres less risk of excess watering).
 
Saturday, April 24 View Page
150 ft plant. It's getting some 52 degree rain. I will cover it back up when it drops to 48 degrees which seems to be one of the cutoffs for cold stress, the other is about 38 degrees... (and the final one is 31 degrees, lol.) Anyhow... back to business... I will be trying using hot grass clippings to keep it warm in the hut. That's what the black barrel is. Killing two birds with one stone trying to get the vine to turn to the right also by putting a very dark object for it to avoid. It very stubbornly wants to grow due south and I want it to grow southwest. Not sure this will work.
 
Sunday, April 25 View Page
"Oh no they're catching up to me!"
 
Thursday, April 29 View Page
Banana Slug of the Pacific Northwest. Yet another native animal still alive in the suburban greenbelts. They have a big forehead, and they are a disgusting color, obviously.
 
Thursday, April 29 View Page
Precocious B Gene showing. Not sure if this is from the 2363 Holland or the 2469 Daletas side of the family. I've never grown a 2K seed before the 2174 Daletas here will probably get pulled. Go figure. But the 1927.5 is going the correct direction and looks fantastic. The 1810 Bernstrom is sandwiched between them and it will probably be my backup plant for awhile. No fun pulling a 2K seed with rather amazing genetics. I'm happy with how the 1927.5 Daletas looks.
 
Thursday, April 29 View Page
Here is a better picture of the precocious B gene. All three seem to be expressing it? Mostly the 1927.5 Daletas, however. It's got it for sure.
 
Thursday, April 29 View Page
No precocious B genes here in my 145. Regrettably I dont know the lineage on the male side. The maternal side is 1610 Lieber & 1662.5 Stelts. I cant believe how much better this plant is doing! A miracle! No heating cables and it was just about dead. It's on a roll now. Good secondaries but the flower buds are weak, so it may be low on phosphorous still? I didnt cover it the past couple nights so the soil temps probably got low again. April has been way more dry and a bit more sunny than usual. The big beekeeper brought his bees into the valley nevertheless mine are humming along very well. Perfect weather overcast only about 70 farenheit. The scent of the apple blossoms is very strong. When the air smells like perfume that's a good indication that there is quite a lot of food for the bees.
 
Friday, April 30 View Page
One last note: I like how the pumpkin is growing over the grasses (oats and wiregrass) and I think I want to try this again in the future (preferably w/ONLY oats, no wire grass). It seems like this will give the plant and soil a very healthy start.
 
Sunday, May 2 View Page
A couple things have gone ok. First I got a pickup load of very old horse manure. It was mostly sawdust which could be bad but its aged enough it's not killing the seedlings. Its looking like it could be a viable substitute for the peat moss based starting mixes. Second, I trimmed the 2174 Daletas way back. It was possibly the best plant but it was getting too big in the wrong direction. I left enough of it to use it as a pollinator. Long story short what I may do is get an early tissue test. The problem with this is the patch is not evenly amended so the data will be of minimal use but the concept is great... tissue test a plant that you cull to get an early reading on your patch... you cant exactly tissue test any other way this early... it would remove too much of the plant to test the keeper at this stage of the game. Some nutrients affected by cool temps and transpiration so that would have to be taken into account. Other than that, it could give an extra month to tweak the nutrients in the right direction. One more thing I started a bunch of seeds the most relevant ones would be some field kins, a couple marrows. 62 Chandler and 53.6 Schlafke. Field kins were 100# Daletas 2016 and 129.5 lb. Daletas also 16.5 Peine. ....And a couple of agteacher's cool oddballs from the seed exchange. The 42" pepo and the green warty pumpkin. Imagine if I crossed those. Strange new things that I hope will turn out well.
 
Monday, May 3 View Page
Tempting. About 8 ft out. But I think I screwed myself on the male blossoms. Good shape but very greenish... now wondering if this is a squampkin. Best plan is probably to wait for the next one... looks like I'll have to wait awhile though.
 
Monday, May 3 View Page
Best tomato plant a.t.m. at the moment. Planted five out on May 1. Frank the Tank, 2nd generation I believe. But I've not been very careful about keeping track of things... Weeds are gaining ground I will be surprised if I get anything as nice as Jack or Cindy at up this year. No progress yet on the Cantelope & Tomato greenhouse.
 
Monday, May 3 View Page
Seed exchange oddball. 2009 Wallace x Buen Gusto de Horno. This should be really interesting. Good luck everyone.
 
Monday, May 3 View Page
One last update! 54 degree rain here... which means pretty warm soil now. Everything should be happy with that. After about the driest April ever. We had three full weeks of dry weather??? Kinda crazy for western Washington. Normal... is three days.
 
Thursday, May 6 View Page
More 54 degree rain. & Temperature is dropping but I think I will leave everything uncovered tonight. I have a suspicion that my well water is not very good for the plants. It seems to be, like, "anti-magnesium" water? Call me crazy!!! Anyhow the plant looks good & the little pumpkin looks like a winner. But there will be no boys around. Live & Learn. Next year I can make sure that wont be a problem...
 
Thursday, May 6 View Page
113 Gerry is in, for a potentially orange H.D. winner? However, my state and the state below me both need to go to the shrink for covid psychosis! Can we get back to normal...? ...Please? As long as someone is making $$$ billions off of all this nonsense we can just kiss normal goodbye! The only person I heard of who died "of covid" really died of a blood clot associated with being put on a ventillator. Did I just tell the truth? F acebook & co., are going to protect their Big pharma advertising dollars and send me off to "Digital Siberia!" Boo hoo!!! In other news, the "compost heater" did work. These quacky ideas, you never know until you try them. But I would say the black barrel put off heat for about a week. I didnt measure it but it was decent amount of heat probably 400 watts at the peak??? It may have raised the temperature in the hut by 5 degrees or so. So it wasnt huge, but it wasnt nothing. The main problem is there isnt much in the way of grass clippings available in March. So April might be the only month this trick would be useful. Idk... but it worked well enough I will try it again next year. Maybe the compost heat is better for the environment than burning coal to make electric heat...
 
Thursday, May 6 View Page
Pull Yer Head Outta Yer Massk! Say no.
 
Friday, May 7 View Page
Social Media Schmocial Media... Kiss my rear facebook :(
 
Friday, May 7 View Page
Final of the maxima types. Squash... 1701 Jutras x 1. 1068.5 Thiel x 3 of which I may choose the best 2. That would make 8 plants, all of which will have just 150 sq ft. So the final lineup for AG's 1) 145 Clayton (462 Clayton x open) 2) 113 Gerry (Prizewinner x warty ) 3) genetics plant (2009 Wallace x Lumpy Green squash) 4) 1810 Bernstrom 5) 1927.5 Daletas 6) 1068.5 Thiel 7) 1068.5 Thiel 8) 1701 Jutras Possible pollinator plants: 1) 1621.5 Marshall 2) 2174 Daletas Crazy lineup! Sorry if your seed didnt make it into my lineup!!! This is gonna be a ton of work.
 
Sunday, May 9 View Page
150 sq ft patch, orange flags in corners. The plant will outgrow the hut this week. I'm turning the whole area bit by bit into one big cow patty. Nitrogen may be a bit high now, so probably gonna focus on calcium, magnesium, and micronutrients. Later I can push potassium more. Good forecast, this should be a good week! Its unreal how this plant turned around from being nearly dead to looking pretty decent. Having my nearly dead plant come back to life is pure joy! I think I will call this pumpkin Lazarus.
 
Tuesday, May 11 View Page
About 3 ft out on the 1810 Bernstrom. This plant is slower but I can already tell it's got some orange genes. The 1927.5 Daletas next to it is doing really well. It's looking like it could be one of the nicest plants I've ever grown.
 
Tuesday, May 11 View Page
Its June 11th. It's time to pollinate. Correction ....its May 11th. It was a bit iffy but really happy with the early start. At 800 ft elevation in Washington State! At the beginning of a sunny stretch of weather so this one could have been be a viable option... The boys, however (the ones I didnt cut off) are still feeling a bit cold & shrivelled. Poor lonely girl. Anyhow she was also a bit cold. Took the cover off the past couple nights she was not sure she should open today. But either way she is ahead of my previous ultra early start, by 3-4 days. She looks like a pale one. Long gourds are in... 130 Yohe x 2. 113 Gerry is the star of the week... I'm thinking I'll grow some nice 500-1000 lb pumpkins this year!
 
Tuesday, May 11 View Page
THIS was the picture I wanted to post.
 
Thursday, May 13 View Page
My truck is a champion dirt hauler! My vine burying mix. The amendments are getting mixed in as I unload the dirt. Girl power! Truck power! Pumpkin power!
 
Thursday, May 13 View Page
Photo.
 
Thursday, May 13 View Page
Vine burying mix. I'm also trying to smother the grass as the same time. It may help the grass push back up if its cut short so instead I've bent & buried the longer grass under the plant with the hope that this will be the most stressful on the grass... it's both kinda tedious and kinda efficient. The dirt I'm using should be mostly weed free. I dont really care if there are a few weeds but a healthy mat of weeds might steal a pound or two a day from the pumpkin.
 
Thursday, May 13 View Page
Trellis to get it blossom down. The next pumpkin is two weeks from blooming so I've got to start getting the vine up... Then I will try to get it to grow blossom down. Looks like a phosphorous deficiency again... The shape of the growing vine I'd say has a scruntchy appearance. It's a subtle thing that I think adequate phosphorous might correct. It has been getting low on magnesium too. Hogs for magnesium here, it seems. I'm not doing any testing dont have the budget for it but if things get way out of order then I will test.
 
Friday, May 14 View Page
A few days under two layers of plastic did wonders to the east end of the garden. It looks freshly tilled but it's not. No till corn & potatoes going in soon hopefully. Sure would make a nice pumpkin patch. Awesome weather 150 plant is responding great to fertilizer and just cranking along.
 
Monday, May 17 View Page
Carrots and garlic companion planting trial. It will end up a 3 way planting in the back is the 2009 wallace x buen gusto de horno it will grow atop everything else. I should probably try an "every other" secondary pattern to let more light in. Now that I'm describing it I'm realizing its a bad idea to try to grow 3 crops in one spot.
 
Monday, May 17 View Page
1927.5 Daletas (left) and the 1810 Bernstrom which has always been smaller. I couldnt ask for a better plant than the 1927.5... but I want to see what colors show on the pumpkins they both should bloom in a week. I can look for trace streaks of canary yellow at the stem edge to guess if they may be orange. I was thinking the Bernstrom would be a better color than the Daletas. But if the Daletas keeps going really great like this, then I certainly wont complain about whatever the color will be. Also going to try a Dahlia/potato companion planting. I already know there are some possible issues (like stepping on the potato vines to cut the dahlia flowers, and not harvesting the potatoes early) but there may be some compatibility in the ground prep and giving the potatoes just a little shade. As far as ground prep I actually do want to till the ground, to level it and obliterate some old mole tunnels. This is a bit unorthodox for me because no-till (for example, with corn and pumpkins) has given me noticeably better results.
 
Wednesday, May 19 View Page
Possible keeper on the 150 plant? Dead ended the main... Probably a mistake. I should have waited 3-4 weeks for the next blossom which would have been 8 nodes farther out. The nodes are short... I dont think I've given myself enough room to get this pumpkin blossom down.
 
Wednesday, May 19 View Page
Picture. I will leave the secondary at the pumpkin, however.
 
Wednesday, May 19 View Page
I could have spaced this giant German garlic at 8" rather than 6 or 7. Chicken doo and wood ash mostly here. A small amount of blue fertilizer and manganese but I havent fertilized recently just fertility from last year. No till. With a mild winter like this past winter I could probably plant the bulbs pretty shallow and add some mulch prior to dry weather. Fun plant to grow it's pretty quick to tell you it's not happy so it might be a good indicator plant for whether patch conditions are optimal.
 
Thursday, May 20 View Page
Drying mint. Homestead project of the day. I got some fresh manure to make tea with... mint tea for me, manure tea for the plants... A bit senile already... some day, I may forget which tea goes to where... lol. Congrats on the excellent pumpkin season early starts especially Dale & Eddy very impressive! A day of winteresque rain here... The first really poor weather day since about mid April. Things are going very slow here now!
 
Friday, May 21 View Page
Not too happy with the whole vine burying thing. I think I would rather cover the whole patch in a thin layer of straw then put (barely sufficient) dirt ahead of the vines for the roots to take hold? If this was only at the nodes it wouldnt require much dirt. Of course later in the year (fall) there seems to be an advantage to have the vines fully buried because the ground temps are warmer than the air temps and the phloem can keep flowing. I would like to flood irrigate and if the nodes were more like "set on dirt pontoons" then I wouldnt get the vine excessively wet.
 
Sunday, May 23 View Page
I'm pretty sure I just fed these bloom booster. So I would normally say this looks like a lack of nitrogen but I've seen this before and I think maybe it's really a lack of magnesium. Everything is a hog for magnesium. Probably calcium also...
 
Sunday, May 23 View Page
Lack of calcium?
 
Sunday, May 23 View Page
5 gal tomato blossom. I dont know why but the dirt sank down so far in the bucket that it's more like a 4 gallon challenge now ha ha.
 
Sunday, May 23 View Page
This first truss mega is 100% of the truss all into one gob. Really good megas but my patch prep and plant care has been lacking. I dont think I will get any of them to set successfully except the one in 5 gallons I will try to set. I'm gonna have to up my game quite a bit otherwise I should resign myself to mediocre results.
 
Sunday, May 23 View Page
About half the cherry tree grafts took. I thought I'd get better results than that but I cant complain. I'll have to redo a few trees next year.
 
Sunday, May 23 View Page
Feathermeal minus the meal. I'm pretty sure no one has ever tried this.
 
Sunday, May 23 View Page
200 sq ft of feathers. It's a dark corner with trees on two sides. I think you can see why this might help.
 
Monday, May 24 View Page
Smooch! 145 Clayton is kissed by 1927.5 Daletas. No orgy here... two lonely fools in the misty rain. 4 lobes 5 sepals.
 
Tuesday, May 25 View Page
Prep for next year... starts today. I do want to "do everything right" in one spot next year, including soil tests! ....It will be a yearlong process. Corn & hvy mulch this summer... Maybe oats in the fall & ryegrass in the spring. Dry weather this spring has hastened the demise of my soil, this year??? Well its wet again now. Back in business maybe.
 
Tuesday, May 25 View Page
5 gal sunflower. I measured the dirt using the 5 gallon bucket because I wasnt sure the pot was 5 gallons and in fact it was the same volume although a bit shorter and wider. I mixed all my sunflowers together unlabeled so I'm not sure which ones I picked. I'm curious to see who wins this... Trying something new is fun.
 
Wednesday, May 26 View Page
Star of the week goes to Dennis Jr. from grown from Dennis the Rod x self. There's a strong possibility I will burn out early & have a terrible season... getting behind everything. But even if I burn out completely... maybe I can still grow a pb zucchini. This plant has the right look!
 
Thursday, May 27 View Page
Odd way to start tomatoes???
 
Thursday, May 27 View Page
But the transplanted out very easy, actually. And they look a lot healthier than the ones in my other tray (probably because when their dirt is only 1/2 inch deep a little epson salt gives a really quick boost). They dried out really fast but I'm quite please with this method. A great way to do some heavy natural selection without using much potting mix... plus I love the way the roots are spread perfectly in the ground now. I'm gonna have to try this method again!!!
 
Thursday, May 27 View Page
Red Cocks Comb... "You sent us to Gritty Kins??? Why, why, why, Porkchop!" Fish fertilizer added. "Oh never mind. We'll be ok"
 
Friday, May 28 View Page
Gave away my daughters pumpkin seeds. I make lots of mistakes but unless I accidentally drop a pumpkin on myself... I think this is going to be my biggest mistake of the year.
 
Friday, May 28 View Page
The 1927.5 Daletas '18 looks great. Good genetics... not a good pumpkin grower :). I can barely see the keeper. Looks like June 18-20 pollination... Very tiny... guessing it needs 20 days or so. So that's perfectly on track. Add a load of manure... and I might hit 1k this year? Hopefully??
 
Friday, May 28 View Page
I think theres a chance of frost tonight. But I know it will be sunny tomorrow so I'm leaving it open on the east end. In case I'm not feeling well tomorrow morning, the plant wont get cooked. Thinking one move ahead, in order to not lose against Murphy's law.
 
Monday, May 31 View Page
Possible 150 sq ft keeper, possible dud though. She was big and beautiful... the males were small and impotent. Tissue test results may reveal why. I used some pollen from some expired flowers and one that may have been viable. 145 Clayton x self most likely but I added old pollen from the 1927.5 and 1810 Bernstrom plants also. I should have refrigerated some males or asked another grower.
 
Monday, May 31 View Page
Corn and potatoes is an excellent combo so far. It was last year, so trying it again. The corn started in 2x2 inch dirt cells is ahead of the bare root transplants. Transplanting corn may seem crazy to those who can direct seed it, but it does help get perfect spacing and an earlier start to use transplants. Our spring climate is slightly less than corn-friendly plus our growing degree days are barely sufficient for the longer season types... direct seeding doesnt really guarantee a good crop here. Some of these varieties need a 2-3 week jump start. The corn is no till & the potatoes are trenched in by hand. About 400 sq ft. 30" square grid pattern for the corn. Last of all the plant in the background is my 150 sq ft plant which I may or may not have gotten a good pollination on today.
 
Tuesday, June 1 View Page
This one was growing on the 150 plant but in a bad position. Looks like I'll be lucky with orange color again this year? I think I can tell by the yellow pigment that this plant could end up having a nice orange color pumpkin. The yellow pigment isnt foolproof though because I think the "ugly" pink/green color scheme can show a little yellow pigmentation also. I think this guarantees it wont be white/creme... and the large amount of yellow really does indicate it will end up orange. We'll see...
 
Tuesday, June 1 View Page
Tissue test results... Now calcium is fairly low here oddly magnesium is not low and nitrogen is not high. So overall what was causing the split leaves? I think since I noticed the leaf splits after they happened (not as they happened) the nutrients (calcium) may have been lower on that day. The fact that boron is low isnt helping the calcium. I'm surprised manganese is low because I thought I overdosed them and burned the leaves with it. The only thing I 100% correctly guessed was low phosphorous. Most of my male blossoms were impotent on this plant. I guess because of the low phosphorous and micronutrients. I'm not going to apply much nitrogen I think that was a cold weather fluke I think there is plenty. Glad nothing is terribly in excess. Easier to add than remove!
 
Wednesday, June 2 View Page
This was May 20th the tissue was sampled on the 24th. We had a couple cool but drier days prior to taking the sample which may be why the calcium was back up to adequate (but still quite low). I think the calcium must have dipped down into the red zone for just a day or two when it was cold and rainy, which caused the splits. Interesting that excess nitrogen did not play a role in this.
 
Wednesday, June 2 View Page
The length to the first leaves is 10.5 inches. I have another @ 11 inches to the first leaves. I dont think I like sunflowers much anymore... I already feel as short as Napoleon.
 
Wednesday, June 2 View Page
It's a good thing I'm NOT doing the main tomato competition! Because I've got yet another competition going here. 20 ft in 20 gallon competition.
 
Wednesday, June 2 View Page
Helpers measuring the dirt :) Should I put the one that measured 11" in this competition?
 
Sunday, June 6 View Page
If you grow slow then I dedicate your space to other projects! I think I will cramp the Daletas plant into 150 ft and not really try for 1000 lbs. Short on garden space :(
 
Sunday, June 6 View Page
20 gallon sunflower. Not sure this is going to turn out well. Some companion plants too so I can do a better visual diagnosis of the soil conditions.
 
Sunday, June 6 View Page
20 gallon sunflower. Not sure this is going to turn out well. Some companion plants too so I can do a better visual diagnosis of the soil conditions.
 
Sunday, June 6 View Page
This was dense healthy grass like in the back right a week ago. I mowed it and solarized it. The corn transplants could be healthier. I'm a week behind on getting them in. One (good?) idea I'm trying here is that I sowed 1-5 seeds per pot. Some pots had multiple plants. Rather than thin them I've planted those on the outside where they may get adequate light. The single stalks I've tried to put in the middle where there will be less light hence I want less competition. 24" spacing here.
 
Sunday, June 6 View Page
It has the look of being pollinated successfully. Just prior to the weather taking a turn. I should probably keep the plant dry to boost the calcium. Spring weather--summer wont start here until mid June, as usual. This ones 4 u Marv.
 
Sunday, June 6 View Page
Woh...
 
Sunday, June 6 View Page
I've only got six competition plants, but four megas three of which were open today (a cold & rainy day). The plants dont look too good. I've given them some stinky fish fert and calcium nitrate. I'm not going to worry about magnesium at the moment (or ever, perhaps). The mega blossom in the previous pic is probably the best I've ever gotten. Its just too bad the poor soil prep and plant care here will not be adequate. I simply not making a sufficient effort. But I think the 5 ft spacing here will be perfect... on the other hand, if I was only going for first truss megas I guess I could cut that spacing in half.
 
Monday, June 7 View Page
Closer up. I dont have good records of what I did to get this kind of blossom. Neglect and abuse mostly. It was in the greenhouse with the 1927.5 Daletas so it was warm some days and cold some nights. It probably got bloom booster a couple times but I was really just trying to keep the plants alive I got just a rickety skeleton of competitive focus. My focus has been elsewhere. These are descended from Porkchop's Frank the Tank. 2nd generation (grandchild plants) I believe.
 
Wednesday, June 9 View Page
I dont have a pic but my "outdoor" plants with no heat assistance are actually a couple weeks behind my outdoor plant last year (June 9th, 2020 Diary). I'm not sure why this is but we had a warm March and April but it's been cool and wet for the past week.
 
Monday, June 14 View Page
The white circle is where the pumpkins are growing slowest! The coldest spot in the U.S. now! Should change this week... Forecast looks great. But I've gone from front of the pack to back-of-the-pack... I could be doing things a lot better. The plants would benefit from being drier and warmer. We've had enough rain that the ground is fully saturated. It should be a really good year but it's been cool and wet so other than potatoes and garlic things have been going quite slow.
 
Monday, June 14 View Page
Corn is doing ok it could use twice the soil fertility but first I'm having an issue of wire grass/ canary grass being very resistant to polarization. It's natural habitat is areas that burn so its rhizomes are adapted to store energy and nutrients at a safe depth. I'm going to mow between the rows. 24" spacing is a bit close for the mower to go between. I need to plant them really precisely if I'm going to mow between them at 24" spacing.
 
Monday, June 14 View Page
Mowed and mulched.
 
Monday, June 14 View Page
Dang it. Dang it. Dang it. Had one I really shoulda kept it opened today but it got rained on. The previous pollination looks like it's not viable. Poor weather or poor pollination. It was cold on the pollination day I dont think it got above 60. In the background the potatoes are almost going to smother the corn but I think the corn will pull ahead in the nick of time. The switch to warm weather should favor the corn. One last note I did eat all the popcorn I produced last year. It was quite good. One last idea... as much as I hate roundup I wonder if I could kill the wire grass with it then burn the residue off so that less roundup would get into the soil. If it rains then a lot probably goes into the soil. But during a dry stretch of weather it could be applied then all the dead dry plant residue could be burned off and only a small amount of systemic herbicide would remain in the ground & the rest would burn away.
 
Monday, June 14 View Page
Green, green, green! It's Irish here. This is the potatoes smothering the wire grass and the wire grass smothering the corn. I cleaned the rows up a bit after this picture so that the corn can push ahead in the next week. The solarization here was only temporarily effective against the perennial weeds. Plus the annual weeds came back with a vengeance. But it helped a lot with insect control. Im now more interested in solarization for insect control than for weed control. I'll show you in the next couple pics.
 
Monday, June 14 View Page
Corn eaten by bugs, location not solarized. And this is where my pumpkin is growing from! I am sure my pumpkin plant's roots look like this!).
 
Monday, June 14 View Page
This is in the solarized area. Water droplets, yes, bug bites, no.
 
Tuesday, June 15 View Page
New blossom down idea. Pretty sure the suspension bridge idea is better but oh well... gotta try new things...
 
Tuesday, June 15 View Page
5 gallon tomato. Look how small that bucket is... nice size bloom but I dont think if everything goes well maybe 4 lb? Its one if my healthiest plants!
 
Tuesday, June 15 View Page
I watched mobeymikes YouTube video and he has some interesting (and good) logic about removing secondaries that are lagging because of a bad connection. I think he might agree that in this case the shorter secondary isnt really lagging it's actually normal. The secondary in front of it is exceptional because the plant tried to produce a fruit there. And this often seems to create a "super secondary" that is stronger than the rest. In other words, the nodes that had female blossoms tend to send out extra strong secondaries. It seems like if a grower lost their main, one of these extra strong secondaries would be a good place to set a pumpkin. Anyhow, I wont be culling the slower secondary behind this extra strong secondary. As far as I can tell the slower secondary here is really just an ordinary secondary that's being made to look like a dwarf by the extra strong "female node" secondary in front of it. Just thought it was worth digging down a bit deeper into this debate.
 
Wednesday, June 16 View Page
7 sepals.
 
Wednesday, June 16 View Page
Six lobes. (I gently opened it a day early to make sure there were no seeds in the blossom and then closed it back up for the night). That's a lot of pumpkin. A flower like this is rare. I'm curious to see how it turns out. No males today... go figure. So some bees went to Tobeck patch to gather some pollen (and visit their friends up in Olympia.) I forgot to warn Cindy that I have absolutely no patch etiquette. Next time I'll stay in my truck :(
 
Thursday, June 17 View Page
5 gal tomato. Not sure its pollinated.
 
Thursday, June 17 View Page
150 sq ft. 145 Clayton x big boys.
 
Thursday, June 17 View Page
Suspension bridge method, 150 sq ft plant, trying for blossom down! I think I have some fusarium or phyto so my hope has been cut in half but other than that things look good. It's the first intense sun in a few weeks. If you use a lawnmower to do your weeding you might not hit 2k... lol.
 
Thursday, June 17 View Page
1927.5 Daletas. A more civilized plant very small stature I'm worried it will abort because of the heavy genetics and smallish plant size. Probably gonna hit it with everything calcium nitrate boron biomin manganese and Epsom salt. I wont use any potassium until well after its growing a pumpkin. I dont want to give it any reason to abort. Excess potassium can interfere with calcium. I have to do a lot of guesswork because there is so much I do not know.
 
Thursday, June 17 View Page
Peas and garlic. Peas are on the shady side. Helps them endure an intensely sunny day like today. Two thumbs up.
 
Thursday, June 17 View Page
Potatoes and multiplier onions getting along better than I would have expected. I'm interested in companion planting, obviously. I was going to post a couple more pics but it's dark so I'll just say it... carrots and garlic was problematic in that I cant control the weeds very well. Garlic and potatoes was a fail too for the same reason. Potatoes got overtaken by weeds and kale of all things??? I can normally count on potatoes to be somewhat vigorous but they were small ones and they got hit by frost as they were emerging. Frost didnt harm the kale. The kale and garlic seem to be getting along. This might be a good combo (...except that I'm not short on kale or garlic). ...Strawberries and garlic would be worth a try. I could use 20x more strawberries!
 
Sunday, June 20 View Page
Dap 3. Stigma is firm. That's the best indicator I know of that the pollination was successful. Thank you so much for the help with that C2K. I'll probably not post much. This is the halfway point for my season... glad to have made it this far but I'm needing to focus my full attention elsewhere. The poly line will mark every circumference measurement, starting at DAP 0. I've wanted to do this for a couple years but I usually forget to measure the first 10 or 15 days. This year I will measure every day. It's very fast to do with the poly line. I just crimp the new measurement into the line. This is my version of having the pumpkin on a scale. I will be able to see changes in weather, moisture, etc. because it's very accurate if done right. I use a formula to convert the circumference to pounds. It's been spot on to the actual weight in the past so I dont use the OTT method. I just focus on the circumference. I'll update this diary 100 days from now! Looks good only 30 ft or so left in the 150 patch. Timing is everything in life! Thanks to a little help... I think we got this pollination timed just right!
 
Sunday, June 20 View Page
Deer or elk thought 24" spacing is too close so they decided to space the corn a bit farther apart by eating a few here & there. I'm thinking the solarization may lock up nitrogen/ volatize some ammonium? The solarized areas seem quite low in nitrogen. Have a great season everyone :)
 
Monday, June 21 View Page
One last item... 130 Yohe LG's. Hopefully pb long gourd this year?
 
Monday, July 5 View Page
Companion planting: companion corn and potatoes doing very well together. This is such a good combo maybe it should be done this way commercially.
 
Monday, July 5 View Page
It held up to 100 degree weather, but then along comes a pleasant 75 degree day and the leaf looks like this??? Granted, a mole has been active in the area for the past few days so maybe the roots are stressed now.
 
Monday, July 5 View Page
Reaching for Cindy's record...
 
Monday, July 5 View Page
This is the buen gusto de horno x 2009 Wallace. It looks green. (More green than the picture.) It's got huge leaves and small but long vines. Crossed it with the 113 Gerry. Hopefully a warty atlantic giant? It's a good plant. Seed was from the seed exchange way back when Phil was running it. I have some other seed exchange items going and some other fun crosses I am making but that's plenty of posts for now.
 
Thursday, July 8 View Page
This says it was 110 for a few hours on Monday. Probably more accurate. I dont think a mere 102 would have scorched all the fir trees... I think my thermometer was reading some cooler air temps coming from inside my house! Anyhow... 150 sq ft competition is now gaining 12 lbs per day only weighed 65 lbs DAP 20. I'd like to be at 100 lbs on DAP 20. It was deficient in phosphorous and maybe nitrogen (amongst other things). Growth improved immediately when I added ammonium phosphate. I'm realizing how poorly I've been feeding my plants. Generally speaking only thing they have enough of is potassium and iron.
 
Saturday, July 10 View Page
Trial. The plant on the right was given only 1/2 inch of dirt to germinate in. Seems like a terrible idea but it turns out it's an exceedingly good idea and I cant wait to try it next year. Renember which plant looks best here. The next picture will explain.
 
Saturday, July 10 View Page
Tray method vs standard pot. I would never have thought of this on my own because its just nuts but earlier this year I had tomatoes grow way too long in a tray that was only meant for germination. And they ended up quite healthy. So I decided to try it with pumpkins. Indeed, one of the plants that was in the tray is now the best plant. (Its the one on the right in the previous photo. The potted pumpkins are the one on the left.) Anyhow... the tray and the pot both contain the exact same quantity of starting mix (I made sure of this for the sake of the experiment) and, surprisingly, the plant was able to grow in the tray even though it's only 1/2 inch or so deep. The advantage is the roots form a thin mat so when it gets transplanted out the roots are all at the optimal depth for oxygen & temperature. Overwatering is pretty much impossible, and this makes fertilizing easier. Like I said it looks stupid. But the results confirm it and starting in a tray makes sense. Standard pots look stupid to me now... How strange.
 
Sunday, July 11 View Page
The one good thing about the 110 degree weather... was I think it killed some of the moss on my roof. This week no such luck:
 
Sunday, July 11 View Page
Some people take this hobby a lot more seriously than I do. It's... just a hobby dude.
 
Monday, July 12 View Page
150 sq ft @ 15 lbs per day. Shape improving, but it was really terrible. It got calcium shocked in the hot weather so it got some shrivel-butt. I've been so itching to cut this one off I do have a blossom in an excellent position but it would be a mid July pollination & this patch will be partly shaded in September.
 
Monday, July 12 View Page
150 sq ft plant. I think it grew over the boundary by a foot or two where the flag came out. The leaf at the lower right perfectly hit the (northwest) corner. I wonder if I could get it up to 20 or 25 lbs per day. It has some energy pushing the outer tertiaries still. What a fun hobby!
 
Tuesday, July 13 View Page
This is what happens when you leave garlic in the ground a second year. I have found this year that: Peppers and carrots are a good combo. Garlic and tomatoes are good companions. Tried Dalhlias and cucumbers... they are getting along well but eventually the cucumber vines will make it hard to cut the dahlia flowers. So that's an example of one that doesnt work.
 
Wednesday, July 14 View Page
Geranium likes extreme dry/ wet cycles. Which makes it a good plant if you ever want to go on vacation for a week or two. It like bloom booster fertilizer.
 
Friday, July 16 View Page
Dug a small hole to reach under and feel the blossom end. Everything is firm and healthy despite sitting atop (still) damp dirt. It's not super wet dirt but, total guess here, it's probably at 65-70% of 'field capacity.' Growth is good, steady. Will do the 30 day numbers very soon. I'm not too worried about rodents they have better things to eat this time of year plus the fan is blowing and I will dust sulfer into the hole which should make it an unappealing home. Later in the fall is when I need to worry more about rodents looking for warm nests and food.
 
Friday, July 16 View Page
Prep for next year. Once again I'm realizing I only have time for 1 or two plants. I might be able to start 6 or more plants but they get neglected. The prep work for next year has to start now: Perennial weeds, bugs, annual weeds & soil fertility... and irrigation. One or two plants is the most I can do...
 
Saturday, July 17 View Page
150 sq ft competition @ DAP 30 Averaging 15 lbs per day. Best day was yesterday (DAP 29) it gained 20 lbs. Plant looks great. Going to give it an amino acid bath this afternoon. See if that moves the needle on the pumpkin growth. Easy part of the year now... the plants energy is mostly going into the pumpkin. Now its just a balancing act to keep the fertilizer ideal/sufficient and not excessive.
 
Saturday, July 17 View Page
Oats and garlic have matured at the exact same time this year. Makes me wonder if they would be a good companion crop??? It's completely insane to do small grains. But oats perform so well on horrible soil with no irrigation. Supposedly they increase the diversity of micorihizae and reduce the soil minerals (redox reactions). Weird stuff.
 
Saturday, July 17 View Page
1927.5 Daletas is just hanging out. I've dealt with these heavy genetics plants before... they are a pain. They seem cytokin dominant when they should be growing plant material and then they seem auxin dominant just as soon as you want them to grow a pumpkin. Pain in the rear. Worth it in the end Im sure but I prefer the plants that are easier to work with. The only good news: Its showing some color so theres a chance it could be orange.
 
Tuesday, July 20 View Page
"Children, behave!" All the squash have very long stems. Since they are all planted in the same hill it's making me think this could be nutritional. But they are also genetically related... Many of the descendants of the 1844 Holub may have long stems? Also, one of these blossoms was smaller than the other (they bloomed on the same day though) Now they appear to be equal. So this deflates my "choosing the largest flower @ pollination" theory.
 
Wednesday, July 21 View Page
Interesting juxtaposition of stories... coincidence? Or does someone have a deft & wicked sense of irony.
 
Wednesday, July 21 View Page
Turning heater on I am cold. Global warming, Washington style: Summer is now 110 degrees... but it still doesnt last more than two weeks.
 
Thursday, July 22 View Page
Kale and garlic have proved themselves to be good companions. Kale is amazingly drought tolerant. No irrigation necessary for this combo. Best to use the largest cloves for this one. The kale can smother small garlic plants. This could be a good combo for tilled soil. Or trenched. The garlic got damaged by pebbles where the ground was too hard. Fall, winter, or early spring. Perhaps these would rotate in nicely following corn/potatoes.
 
Thursday, July 22 View Page
Happy 8th to my daughter. Miss u. Family courts are rife with injustice... they're a disgrace to everything America is supposed to be.
 
Friday, July 23 View Page
Can hope for a pb here. Tried foliar feeding with a focus on spraying only on the older leaves. The idea is that the newer growth will rob the calcium out if its stimulated whereas the older leaves will suck nutrients in but they're already mature so they shouldnt pull calcium out of the plant. It's a challenge to feed these things in a way that doesnt cause BER. This is the last time this tomato will get wet. I dont plan to feed heavily, but I would like to keep the nutrients sufficient and give it the best shot possible. Plenty of plant so that wont be the issue.
 
Friday, July 23 View Page
Previous post... also carefully removed all buds and small tips but left many blossoms. Ideally want the plant to switch to reproductive mode, so sort of forcing it in that direction. Not sure this will actually have the intended affect though. Here: 5 gal tomato looks like I need to set a new one. Pollination & watering issues...
 
Sunday, July 25 View Page
150 sq ft... Did the weekly measurements yesterday. Its up 110 lbs or so... gaining a steady 15 lbs per day... the plant looks great. I think with better watering and fertilizing it really ought to be at 20 lbs per day. I'm afraid to push the ferts really hard though when I do not really know precisely what it needs. And I have some mild phytophthora so I'm afraid to be generous there also.
 
Tuesday, July 27 View Page
DAP 40 on the 150 sq ft plant. Which is probably more like 180 sq ft. Kellogg's Tomato is doing well... looks like it wants to try 150 sq ft too. I bought it because I wanted to try the variety and it was a sickly looking plant. I know how fast tomatoes can turn around but the general public doesnt so it probably would not have found a home.
 
Tuesday, July 27 View Page
My pumpkins are good at hiding deep under the leaves. ...Here she is. I think the color is better than it shows on my phone. I got lucky there because this wasnt orange x orange. The momma pumpkin was light yellow.
 
Friday, July 30 View Page
Pumpkin was set when the plant was about 120 sq ft. That seems perfect in hindsight. Very little pressure from the tertiaries now, but it filled into 150 ft very well. Maybe a little too well. Weather has been fantastic. No rain in July. No days over 90.
 
Sunday, August 1 View Page
Dennis the Rod Jr. is a big boy!
 
Sunday, August 1 View Page
Despite not getting much help from me until today. Theres plenty of potential in this stock for someone to grow a bigger one!
 
Monday, August 2 View Page
5 gallon sunflower. Cool pano if it posts... looks tall but it's only 8.5 ft maybe 9 ft. Its taller than the 20 gallon one... actually it may be the taller than all the ones in the ground, too! Everything budded up a lot shorter this year...
 
Tuesday, August 3 View Page
https://www.niehs.nih.gov/health/topics/agents/endocrine/index.cfm Something to care about. Is it just me or are we all pretty unhealthy at this point...? Time to sober up and take action.
 
Thursday, August 5 View Page
Might get planted if it rains. 6 weeks with no rain but it's in the forecast. We get good gains in August as things dry out and soil temps get above 60. I wonder if high soil temps might be part of my phyto problem though... I havent exactly been tracking the soil temps. More likely its 1) contaminated well water 2) excessive duration 3) uneven application 4) contaminated mulch I've had it in three spots. Another factor that ties it all together is this... all three spots are closest to the same large cherry tree. The cherry tree is healthy but I wonder if its roots are serving as a host. If so then eliminating tree root hosting of the disease could help. There are also turgor issues and heat stress issues. I'd like to monitor the plant's leaf temperatures during the day AND the soil temperature. I can use a systemic treatment (a phosphous acid one like TKO). But I'd like to understand & solve the underlying problem not just treat the problem. Gains are unimpressive... will have 50 DAP #s on Friday. I think it's probably dropped down to 10-12 lbs per day. Perhaps less.
 
Thursday, August 5 View Page
The oomcyte problem. This isnt normal old age... Wilting is the first symptom? Anyhow its gonna crimp my season I may only get one month of growth before the plant is kaput. I can try treating but it's a bit too late. Half the damage is already done.
 
Thursday, August 5 View Page
Redug hole under kin. I reached under and felt around and everything was dry. Not sure how much rain to expect but we usually dont get any heavy precip. until late in the fall. I wish it was growing at 20 lbs per day but I'd be lucky to get just 200 lbs more for the rest of the year. She is a beauty tho!
 
Friday, August 6 View Page
150 sq ft DAP 50 gained 14" circ. for about 13 lbs per day. First rain in 60 days... it's more of a maritime mist but it feels great!!! Will see if it changes the numbers. The plant has energy. Most is going into the pumpkin but theres a lot of room for improvement. Some of the energy on the periphery of the plant has reached escape velocity so to speak. Better phloem transport needed? I could complain about slow growth and small sizes but let's face it my soil just isnt stellar yet. It's kinda hard to get amazing results without amazing soil... so I guess I've got work to do. Even WITH amazing soil it's still a challenging sport. Tons to do.
 
Sunday, August 8 View Page
I marked in blue where the water puddles on top. Its dry at the moment but I wanted to take a moment post about this 'problem'. Blossom down isnt any more difficult than a regular pumpkin once you get over the initial learning curve... except possibly in this one feature. The puddling of the water hasnt caused me problems.. but I do blow the water off. I use a battery operated leaf blower. It's a small chore. But I do enjoy working on this plant it probably takes a half hour a day to dote on this plant/pumpkin. I did put a couple drops worth of daconil in the crease at the pumpkin and I'm using a box fan when the humidity is too high and when things get wet. Anyhow... thought I would fully explain this whole issue for those who are curious!
 
Sunday, August 8 View Page
150 sq ft DAP 52 or so. Lots to worry about but right now things are happy.
 
Wednesday, August 11 View Page
BP is the best. It keeps the hair from coming out of my ears!!!
 
Thursday, August 12 View Page
Logically, I suppose google thinks a cloth condom would work, too. And they wouldnt allow you to say otherwise!!!
 
Friday, August 13 View Page
Someone wants to compare cucumbers. Well this is my neglected plant. I'll water & fertilize this and see what it does. Seeds from the seed exchange not sure whose seeds.
 
Saturday, August 14 View Page
I've found August 15th to be the latest day I can get viable seeds. This plant has sneakily pushed past its boundary on two sides so its prob. 200 sq ft at the moment. I really ought to trim it back to stay in the contest but right now I'm seeing if I can get another pumpkin going. Probably a fools errand on a plant that has phyto. I'm a fool, yes... but I'm too wise to be a doubting Thomas. You never know anything until you try!
 
Saturday, August 14 View Page
Pushing new growth everywhere (including this growth just past the pumpkin) and packing on ~10 lbs per day. DAP 58. Short on magnesium but I got that dialed back in. Visually looks a bit boron low too I think. Playing whack a mole trying to address the deficiencies. I dont think magnesium helps pack pounds on directly itself but I think it will add longevity to the leaves and keep the plant from tanking early. Magnesium helps with aluminum toxicity in both plants and animals. Aluminum does nothing good and causes aging in both plants and animals. The other deficiencies I've had have been, well, pretty much everything. I'm less certain about what excesses I may have, but I know I'm at the edge where I dont want to push any harder, except maybe calcium/silicates.
 
Saturday, August 14 View Page
I'm trying some new things. The phyto problem has me wanting to separate heat & moisture. Apparently it replicates/spreads better above 59 degrees. I watered early this am with 51 degree water and it was 57 or so outside. So if that water soaks in and dissipates by the time the ground temps edge back up, maybe I've closed the window on phytophthora. Also I've switched heat stress refuction to applying a minimal film of water on the leaves using the coldest water possible. Trying to avoid having moisture together with heat. But I think the downside of this is the plant knows its roots are a bit dry and it fails to open the stomata fully, or as quickly. So I'm going to try misting the plant in the evening which will hopefully trick it into opening the stomata wide open all night long. I dont have great control of CO2 but I do have some control over the stomata. I really think this will gain me an extra 10-15% or so. Normally I would want the leaves dry but I think the boost in efficiency is worth it. If I time it right, I can probably get the stomata open earlier in the evening AND the leaves dry by nightfall. If the photoassimilates depend on getting created and transported in a certain time frame, the earlier you start that clock then the farther they can travel in the plant, and the more that can reach the pumpkin before the next cycle begins. I think this makes sense. I think this is the way to go. If you get an early evening thunderstorm why do the plants go bonkers? Is it the ph adjustment of the rainwater, the atmospheric nitrogen, the negative charge/electron boost, or just that the stomata open earlier and double the CO2 intake vs normal dry weather. Maybe I can recreate those conditions where the plants go bonkers.
 
Saturday, August 14 View Page
*reduction So 57-59 degree ground temps wont give me fantastic root growth but if the plant has sufficient nutrients and water then how can roots be my limiting factor? Are they an energy storage organ? I do know cytokines are created in the roots and probably other important plant chemicals, so maybe roots dont just gather water and nutrients maybe they also manufacture chemicals like the leaves do. Well... optimizing the roots... sounds like a good project for next year. For now I'm happy with my progress on figuring out the leaves.
 
Monday, August 16 View Page
If you "hate" government idiots forcing their self serving and/or psychotic agenda on you... then this is a list of your friends. Your local physician may be your friend also... stand up for your local doctors who dont want medical experiments performed on themselves... they are under a lot of pressure to conform to the agenda of the pro vax wackos. If this gets me kicked off bp then oh well...
 
Monday, August 16 View Page
In their minds we are supposed to love being guinea pigs. And if you dont love being a guinea pig then you are "hateful." And if you complain about having your freedom taken away you are also... "hateful". Long story short, if you dare to use your own brain in any way then you are hateful. I think this is country has been overtaken by Cambodian style communism. God help us.
 
Monday, August 16 View Page
Eve covering herself with a leaf... not taking a picture of THAT spot I guess :) I'll let her be modest for now. Never had spectacular oomph! She gained just 10 lbs per day the past 10 days. "150 sq ft" entry DAP 60.
 
Wednesday, August 18 View Page
I thought the heat burned apples would abort but they didnt. I wonder if heat/sun has an unseen aging effect on all competition fruits and veggies. Direct sun gets things a bit warmer than they want to be, sometimes...
 
Thursday, August 19 View Page
150 patch from the south-east corner. Judging by the plant pushing tertiaries a bit too well, there isnt much energy going into the pumpkin anymore. I dont see anything wrong with the pumpkin. I guess I will leave it sit on the vine for a month. Getting zero growth from mid August to mid September wasnt the plan lol. The baby pumpkin on the other side of the plant might be messing up the entire plants hormones? It's less than 10 DAP old but maybe the plant knows its pregnant so to speak and is weaning the older child off so it can successfully grow the new one. Oh well.
 
Thursday, August 19 View Page
Looks about right for 5 DAP. Plenty of time still. Orange x orange. 145 Clayton x 113 Gerry. Smallest crossweight average ever but it will a good cross for <1000 lb. porch pumpkins anyhow.
 
Friday, August 20 View Page
On our way. Phone got the color accurate which is unusual. She will be on display it's not a weigh off. I left some vine I thought it made sense for an agriculture display to show kids/ the public a bit more.
 
Friday, August 20 View Page
Prime display location @ at the heart of the fairgrounds. Im a fumbly, bumbly, not-great pumpkin grower... I'm a goof. Nevertheless it's actually a dense, perfect pumpkin & there are no flaws on the underside. 590.5 Clayton UOW.
 
Friday, August 20 View Page
Underside. Not much to see. I suspect the 1223.5 Gansert I grew in 2017 to be the father because of the lumpy trait it has acquired.
 
Friday, August 20 View Page
A bit damper than I thought. A bit of a soggy diaper under this girl. But there was no rot. Now that I hacked off 40 sq ft of plant while removing the first pumpkin... the next pumpkin... might be on a legitimate 150 sq ft plant! No more 190 sq ft plant!
 
Friday, August 20 View Page
Fyi the light color areas is sulfer not mold.
 
Saturday, August 21 View Page
4 gallon square buckets are good for scrubbing produce. The square sides catch the produce (potatoes, beets, carrots, whatvever) and churn them nicely against each other. It doesnt get things 100% clean. But it helps get things out of the garden and into the kitchen.
 
Saturday, August 21 View Page
:)
 
Tuesday, August 24 View Page
Eve #2. 150 sq ft plant. 145 Clayton x 113 Gerry. Parents are both lovely orange! 10 DAP... Looks good. I should be able to get viable seeds. Kellogg's Tomato is loving the spoils of its proximity to the pumpkin stump.
 
Wednesday, August 25 View Page
Best animated satellite I've ever seen. It shows wildfire smoke moving around plus fog burning off plus high level clouds up to the jet stream. The ground imagery is up to date also the burned areas appear blackened if you look closely. It may not work well on every device. There are some options for other views but the west coast was pretty neat looking today. Sorry I cant save the animation just a screenshot. Found at: https://www.eldoradoweather.com/satellite/goes/goeswest-large/pacific-northwest-geocolor.php#
 
Wednesday, August 25 View Page
Ok I'll admit it... I think she is pretty.
 
Thursday, August 26 View Page
The blossom down beauty contestant #2 Busty Herstem. On that note, I think I will sign out for awhile...
 
Friday, August 27 View Page
Bee on the milkweed from the seed exchange. A better way to end this year. Hopefully next year I will be helping kids or wife grow one. I want to retire for a few years.
 
Wednesday, September 1 View Page
The Beach Boys also wrote hit song about a pumpkin. "Im round, round, round, and I get around. Wah wa ooh..." Cinderella style/ blossom down. Will not competing for prizes.
 
Friday, September 3 View Page
No 10 lb Jack La Rue tomato at the Washkngton State Fair. Bummer...
 
Saturday, September 4 View Page
21 DAP probably 50-60 lbs. Shade most of the day now... it gets an hour of sun in the morning plus a few hours in the late afternoon. The end... (Eventually there will be an end.)
 
Thursday, September 9 View Page
1701 Jutras and 113 Gerry and 130 Yohe
 
Sunday, September 12 View Page
This was the most beautiful evening I've ever witnessed. Heavenly. Truly perfect.
 

 

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