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Click on a thumbnail picture below to see the full size version. 9 Entries.
Thursday, March 4 View Page
Having trouble getting other diary to load promptly. Maybe Ken doesn't like me... Anyhow, here is a possible 150 setup for this year. Wait... nevermind... my woman says I need to be as successful as Joel Holland or to quit doing pumpkins! Fair enough. Well then, I guess this plan can go in the trash bin.
Thursday, March 4 View Page
Plan B... B might stand for Beat Joel. Unconventionally, of course. I am going to test the soil using a seed-into-soil test in the best possible spot and see if I can improve things. I could grow a plant out to about 5 leaves in the soil taken from this spot then do a tissue test. I think this would be more helpful to me than doing a soil test.
Thursday, March 4 View Page
The soil is warming in the germination chamber. The seeds are under the paper towel soaked in a mild H202 solution. The seeds will be ready at the same time the soil is warm. I did not deep freeze this soil, so this pot is going to test the soil exactly as it is in the patch right now, bugs included. In order to do a pre-planting tissue test, the test plant must be started about 6 weeks ahead of the planting date. Then the test plant will be large enough to send in for the tissue test. If by some miracle plant looks perfectly healthy after 6 weeks I wont bother with the tissue test. Dont try to fix what ain't broke, I say. But since my soil probably is broken... I should do both a soil and a tissue test pre-season? So I will go collect a soil sample from the that same hole and then I will be armed with some real info prior to the start of my "Plan B..."
Thursday, March 4 View Page
Toys that might get played with.
Sunday, March 7 View Page
Planting three seeds per pot really saves the day. Only one has not suffered fertilizer burn. This wasnt my fault I dont think because I didnt add any fertilizer. It's the potting mix being right about at the threshold for calcium nitrate that does this. Anyhow the other two plants are useful because they will have put down a lot of roots and transplanting this should be easy. I think I will transplant this one to a five gallon grocery sack just in case by some miracle a window of good weather opens up and I get all the necessary layers of protection in place. It's always fun to push the envelope even though this was meant to be a practice plant.
Sunday, March 7 View Page
Seed lineup 2170 Daletas 1810 Bernstrom 1927 Daletas 1927.5 Uhlmeyer for backup plant. We'll see if any of these make it into a greenhouse. Ultra early start. Not too worried about failure... if nothing looks good by April then I will start long gourds or a bushel gourd instead.
Sunday, March 7 View Page
Ps... thanks RMGVG for tossing in the 2170 Daletas. Awesome:) Grocery sack method. I didnt realize this but almost all of the strength of a plastic grocery sack comes from this band of plastic down the middle. I figure if I cut this I can pull all the plastic out easily from under the "grocery sack pot". I've put together multiple paper and plastic sacks to create a free 5 gallon pot which should give the roots space for about three more weeks. I will be able to move the plant and then pull all the plastic and some of the paper away and voila have an large plant already vining down going the direction I want.
Sunday, March 7 View Page
Using an extra pot to create the correct sized hole for the pumpkin plants when they go in. For me this "grocery sack method" is also a lazy and cheap method of getting ahead of the slugs and past less-than-ideal spring weather conditions. It seems sketchy but it has worked in the past. I also put a cardboard base under the paper to keep the soil and roots from ripping out when I rip the plastic out from under it. I just leave the cardboard because worms like it and the roots can go around it. The roots penetrate the paper easily, so it can be removed or left in place. Only the plastic has to be removed, really. And I think that will be easier now that I figured out the trick about cutting the middle strip. I could probably turn this into one of those 30 minute youtube videos where you get five minutes of actual info lol. Someone else try this, and feel free to make the video version of it.
Sunday, March 7 View Page
Planted. Good to go for 2-3 more weeks. I added 10 grams of balanced granular fertilizer with micronutrients. Mostly used my crappy composted pine needle potting mix. I will probably switch to Scarecrows Pride dairy compost for the next batch. It is a lot like peat but doesnt require mining carbon from the ground... This was my 145 Est. Not one I especially wanted to grow. I need to make a point of only using seeds I really want to grow for my experimental plants because they may indeed see dirt! The roots were only an inch or so longer than the bottom of the pot so the rootball barely held together. Having the extra roots from the two straggler plants helped. I will leave the stragglers in for now because they are a diversion for roaming children armed with scissors. The best plant is the farthest away from their easy access. Maybe I will notice the sound of scissors before any critical damage is done. They are purposefully stealthy when getting into trouble. So, that's all I will hear. Just that faintest little blip on my "parent radar."


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