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Click on a thumbnail picture below to see the full size version. 25 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."
 
Tuesday, June 22 View Page
5 1/2 DAP. Needs to bend down 45 degrees more at least. Gravity will be hard to overcome tomorrow so it will bend down or will it break???
 
Thursday, June 24 View Page
150 sq ft blossom down. Added the flagging tape for support. I cant support the pumpkin itself because I need the stem to bend and weight is what will (I hope) make it bend. This is not my first rodeo getting them to bend down isnt usually difficult but this one has such a formidable stem. The easy ones start to bend at DAP 4-5. Now at DAP 6 so this one may not be as easy. The growth is superb. Plant looks just fantastic. Weather forcast is super sunny. I may have to adjust the original 150 boundary. The plant went due south more than expected. I really wanted to keep within the original boundary but one of the flags got pulled out and the whole plant is off a bit. I can keep it in 150 but not the original 150... the whole plant is off by a couple feet. The growth is increasing every day its putting really nice notches in the poly line. The goal will be to reach 20 lbs per day. I successfully got a strong secondary to run back up the middle (on top of the main vine) so I should not have a lack of leaves. The old leaves in the back will be 100% replaced by the end of the year by the healthy new vine.
 
Thursday, June 24 View Page
1927.5 Daletas will be open today. Everything's perfect here too. Except I may have to cut a bigger hole for it to bend down into.
 
Thursday, June 24 View Page
It's already longer than a well fed 1701 Jutras squash. And the squash here is 24 hours older. So it looks to me like the 1927.5 Daletas is a full-barrel shaped flower with the genetics to go heavy. This seems like a winning combo. I saw the 2469 in person and it had a nice barrel shape. Maybe it started like this? Because that's how it ended up.
 
Friday, June 25 View Page
A razor blade turned this male into... a refined pollinating tool? Gets into the small corners...
 
Monday, June 28 View Page
I'll be the first to report an abort :( Daletas blossom-down falls victim to 102 degree weather. Being a dummy who is used to cool weather... I focused on protecting the leaves and forgot to shade the 3 DAP pumpkin yesterday morning. Its toast. The Israel-made sprinkler did great really love it look at how it doesnt oversaturate the base of the sprinkler like all my cheap impact sprinklers.
 
Tuesday, June 29 View Page
Lost a really nice crop of apples to the heat yesterday. More disappointed about this than the pumpkin!
 
Tuesday, June 29 View Page
DAP 12. Growing well but the cell division took a hit because it's already got a shrivel line or two. Trying adding some boron and calcium today... But it may be beyond my control. I sort of understand the issue but I still dont know how to fix the problem other than to have perfect roots and soil/moisture. Calcium binding to phosphorous may be my biggest soil problem. Probably a ph issue. The kind of problem that takes a year to fix, maybe .
 
Tuesday, June 29 View Page
Trying a mechanical calcium boost. (Fan). Vine path marked in pink. Pumpkin has enough room to get to 4 ft diameter. I'll have to make changes if its gonna get bigger than that. Blossom nub is tucked down into a small void in the dirt. Call me crazy... But I've never had the blossom nub rot even when stuck in the dirt. I guess I've got clean dirt. But later I may dig a hole under the pumpkin for ventilation, and blow sulfer under the pumpkin. (This might help if there was minor cracking where rot could get started.)
 
Saturday, July 3 View Page
More heat damage. The extent of the damage wasnt clear right away. Not just at ground level, the tops of our tallest trees have been scorched on the southwest side too. Most trees in the valley here show some damage... In the hills there is far less damage. It may have been hotter than 102 but that was what my thermometer said. Cant say that I enjoyed it. But... a good reminder that one day in hell is quite bearable compared to an eternity.
 
Saturday, July 3 View Page
Still growing no full improvement. I think the plant looks great. But it wasnt quite ready to grow a pumpkin. It was risky to grow in this area. The soil was very poor. The main vine looks very robust. This is on a secondary. Apparently the soil wasnt ready. If there is some way I can cut corners and fix this... wsu_brandon@hotmail.com
 
Tuesday, July 13 View Page
"Green warty" field kin has warts!
 
Tuesday, July 13 View Page
Buen gusto de horno x 2009 Wallace looks like it may get lumpy. Perfect... except it looks like it will only reach 50 lbs or so. It may only reach 15 lbs. Not sure which genetics will prevail it seems strange that a squash x 2009 could possibly be green. Maybe this cross was not controlled. Maybe this is really a buen gusto de horno x self...
 
Tuesday, July 13 View Page
No clue what is going on here it looks like it's on the worlds best soil plus it hasnt been irrigated. A little bit low in calcium but wow! Why is it doing so well...
 
Thursday, July 29 View Page
Who says "blossom down" cant grow an ugly pumpkin contest winner...
 
Wednesday, September 8 View Page
Others have posted these example pics already... but here again you can see the difference a covering could make (in this instance a t-shirt). The color is more of a vibrant forest green, less of an army green. It's also got less cantelopeing where the t-shirt was...It looks to me like the skin retained its moisture better where it was against the double layer of cotton .
 

 

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