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Click on a thumbnail picture below to see the full size version. 55 Entries.
Friday, March 25 View Page
Winter thaw has begun and thoughts of planting something soon is also on the mind. Happy growing everyone!
Friday, March 25 View Page
Planting spots have been amended, soil heat cables installed and will put the ends on and seal up the hoophouses to start retaining some heat. Will also have heaters with thermostat set at a comfy temperature, especially over night.
Friday, March 25 View Page
1911 Chan is the chosen seed to represent us this year at the Saanich Fair. We have started seeds about a month early and will have these in the heated soil for the first week of April. That is a full month early, but the Saanich Fair is a month earlier than all the other local Weighoffs, so Iíd like to have a 90-100 day old fruit by the time the Fair rolls around ar the end of August.
Sunday, March 27 View Page
2 days later and the 1911 Chan seedlings look like this! Another 4 or 5 days under the lights and Iíll start hardening them off to be planted outside first week of April. Will get the soil cables plugged in and warming the soil in advance of planting day.
Wednesday, March 30 View Page
Going all Richmond Dave this year, here are 2 of his 1911 Chan seedlings with the Saanich Fair plant being planted today. Heat cables and a small heater will keep things toasty warm inside here. Earliest planting by far, I sure hope the heat cables do their job.
Monday, April 4 View Page
Yup, bringing out the big guns now. Richmond Dave generously gave me the seed that grew his British Columbia record 1911 Chan. I see this seed has done well in many patches in many places by many growers, so Iíll try my best. Again, starting competition plants a bit earlier this year in hopes of earlier pollination and longer growing time.
Sunday, April 17 View Page
Yeah, my plan to build another more permanent larger hoophouse around the lower hoop is gonna wait till we find some more time. Instead, We are making each end of the lower hoop longer to give the already growing back to back 1911 Chan plants more room to lie down and expand.
Monday, April 18 View Page
End product is suitably longer and will do the trick but talk about some hillbilly building and engineering techniques, man that is a lot of clips! You can see both 1911 Chan seedlings are happy and healthy. Without heat cables and a heater, there is no way I could start this early.
Saturday, April 23 View Page
As usual for me, the kickstand leaf (2nd true leaf) was removed for interfering with the vine and growth cluster to land safely on the ground. Also trimmed some early secondaries that would have been eliminated later anyways. Seeing tendrils, always a good sign. Been cold overnight, frost and iceÖsome slight yellowing but as the soil heats up, that will not be an issue.
Thursday, April 28 View Page
Off and running, the 1911 Richmond Dave plant is doing well. The 2118 Barron was just planted in its mini hoophouse a few days ago, no heater in there, just the soil cables. We are also going to plant a patch later on of prizewinner plants again and grow a few biggies of those.
Wednesday, May 4 View Page
And away we go! 1911 Chan stretching out and looking for more room, a low rider so it looks easy to tame. Bring it on Saanich Fair.
Sunday, May 8 View Page
1911 Chan South is 3 or 4 days from out-growing itís end of the hoophouse with main vine and secondaries.
Sunday, May 8 View Page
1911 Chan North settled down and heading towards its end of the hoophouse also. Cleaned up a few strangler leafs and did some early vine and rooting burying along the main and secondaries. Irrigation system getting set up, but now that Iíve got multiple pumps, Iíll hook one up to the 50 gallon tank and water by hand when the plants are smaller. For the first year Iíll be adjusting the PH of my tanked warmed feritgated water. When I need the 250 gallon tank, Iíll use it.
Friday, May 13 View Page
So, another hillbilly fix for extending the hoop using remay so that we can hold some heat in at night. Like others living in the Pacific Northwest, the weather is unusually cold, wet and unpredictable. We had frost this morning, but things are looking good for the weeks ahead.
Friday, May 13 View Page
A little early, at about only 7í on the main vine. Hoophouses will need to be taken off in the next five days as the plants are widening faster than they are lengthening.
Friday, May 13 View Page
Maybe I should waterÖIíve been very stingy with H20 inside the hoophouses, since so much has fallen everywhere else. The roots must be finding enough, but Iím still so tempted to start with kelp, humic, Ureamate, and our other rotation of goodies. Nothing so far, so Iíll wait on my temptation until the hoophouses are down and I can fertigate a larger area around the plants like my pal So.Cal.Grower. Reminds me, another coat of paint and stain needed on my patch sign.
Sunday, May 15 View Page
Busting out, both plants are a little hardened off, no heat overnight in hoops for the past 2 nights and they seemed to flourish.
Sunday, May 15 View Page
Iíve been mowing the cover crop around the hoops, now I will begin working the soil and adding the prescribed final amendments to the soil that Richmond Dave and I discussed at length, thanks Dave.
Friday, May 20 View Page
Well, we once again had our seasonable expected swirling coastal windstorms and we were yet again unprepared. Some hastily thrown up snow fencing was employed as a wind break, but it didnít stop the plants from getting beaten up pretty badly with twisted and broken leafs and stalks. It will of course repair, but next year we will be more prepared for the inevitable winds.
Sunday, May 22 View Page
1911 Chan is self repairing from the wind damage and like Cindy, my most unfavourable task in the patch of vine burying has begun. Is funny when you adjust, amend, bury, bamboo stakes only to look at the plant the very next morning and wonder ďdid I miss a day?Ē Secondaries are outpacing the main, so this will be a low riding, thick and wide plant that will tolerate my butchering and thinning out. Andrew Hawthorne who?
Monday, May 23 View Page
First male flower to show up today, there will be a steady stream from now on and looking back from previous years, We will need about 2 weeks more growth before Iíll get a female flower in a good spot for pollination.
Friday, May 27 View Page
So, we decided a larger hoophouse is needed for the early Saanich Fair plant, and more effective wind breaks need to be installed ahead of time in future years. Pretty happy with this plant, time will tell.
Thursday, June 23 View Page
Pollination day for one of the 1911 Chan plants, itís the second pollination on the main vine and Iíll make the cut down to the chosen one, once the plant has filled out a bit more and things are fully set.
Tuesday, June 28 View Page
In the ďbetter late than neverĒ category, we had 15 yards of premium compost delivered today.
Tuesday, June 28 View Page
With precision accuracy, the operator flung the compost over a couple of plants (yes, the have some yellowing) and made piles for us for top dressing and vine burying.
Tuesday, June 28 View Page
Never again will we order any soil products and simply have them dropped in the driveway for us to move and spread. This was the smartest $160 per hour I have ever spent on the deliver of compost and soil to our new location.
Tuesday, June 28 View Page
Never again will we order any soil products and simply have them dropped in the driveway for us to move and spread. This was the smartest $160 per hour I have ever spent on the deliver of compost and soil to our new location.
Tuesday, June 28 View Page
Never again will we order any soil products and simply have them dropped in the driveway for us to move and spread. This was the smartest $160 per hour I have ever spent on the deliver of compost and soil to our new location.
Wednesday, June 29 View Page
Photo, for the last double entry.
Wednesday, June 29 View Page
Photo, for the last double entry.
Wednesday, June 29 View Page
Well, my photos arenít showing but here goes another try. A newer grower from BC was asking and here is my example. I culled down to one pumpkin today and eliminated this pumpkin based on a few things. Short stem, bad angle, more secondaries and bigger plant behind the next one down the main.
Saturday, July 16 View Page
Day 23 for this 1911 Chan (Richmond Dave). Over 60Ē in circ and growing fast, Iíve not done OTT yet but will begin that on day 30.
Saturday, July 16 View Page
2 pollinations on the 2118 Barron, one of them will get the cut soon. This plant is a few weeks late, but is filling in quickly and will be the last pumpkin harvested for Weighoff with its placement in the patch.
Sunday, July 17 View Page
Well, when I said that Iíd cull one of the pumpkins on the Barron plant, I didnít really mean the next day but I looked at the calendar and realized Iím 10 days to 2 weeks behind where I want to be for pollination dates. Despite my own advice to newer growers, I went ahead and chopped the bigger/older fruit and went with the 4 day old freshly pollinated pumpkin. The plant itself is in hyper growth mode and secondaries are grasping at the soil with plenty of upper and lower rooting along the vines. We got a good initial bend in the vine and have great positioning for this pumpkin to grow big. Will grow tertiary vines on the opposing secondary to fill in that remaining space.
Sunday, July 17 View Page
Now this is the 1911 Chan (North) and finally got a baby on the main vine after refusing to produce one earlier. Female flowers all over the secondaries, was just stubborn on the main, but finally pollinated on July 12th with 14 secondaries on each side all at 15í each. Here is the brain teaser, the 1911 Chan (South plant) has regular sized leaves and some moderate yellowing (early cold I believe) and the 1911 Chan (North plant) is a very delicate plant with small, abundant leaves, incredible rooting but has very yellow leaves (also I believe because of the cold June). The ďB GeneĒ is possible since all 3 of our plants are displaying the same characteristic, and are all from the same lineage.
Sunday, July 17 View Page
Now this is the 1911 Chan (North) and finally got a baby on the main vine after refusing to produce one earlier. Female flowers all over the secondaries, was just stubborn on the main, but finally pollinated on July 12th with 14 secondaries on each side all at 15í each. Here is the brain teaser, the 1911 Chan (South plant) has regular sized leaves and some moderate yellowing (early cold I believe) and the 1911 Chan (North plant) is a very delicate plant with small, abundant leaves, incredible rooting but has very yellow leaves (also I believe because of the cold June). The ďB GeneĒ is possible since all 3 of our plants are displaying the same characteristic, and are all from the same lineage.
Tuesday, July 19 View Page
Shape changer alert! If you look at the picture from July 16, we had just put down the board and sand and adjusted the pumpkin so the vine entering and blossom end were equidistant from the ground. We also made sure we blocked up the extra slack in the vine, a great practice taught to me by SoCal Chris. I always admired his diary photos of perfectly placed and supported vines, and we spent considerable time at one of the conferences and online, about this technique. But Wow!! 3 days later and many inches in circumference, this fruit became a shape changer and needed to be adjusted again, but down this time, eliminating some of the blocks in the process. We had a great conversation with Chris (including photos) and we devised a plan to adjust this pumpkin before it was too late and it became more unmanageable.
Tuesday, July 19 View Page
We took out the vine support nearest the stem, and went from this angleÖ..
Tuesday, July 19 View Page
Öpushed the pumpkin back forward, filled in the back end with stockpiled sand and got the main vine back down towards the ground. Now, why did we do this? As this pumpkin continues to grows in height and width, it will re-raise the vine slack that we just lowered and will not cause or add to any pre-existing stem or vine stress.
Tuesday, July 19 View Page
Öpushed the pumpkin back forward, filled in the back end with stockpiled sand and got the main vine back down towards the ground. Now, why did we do this? As this pumpkin continues to grows in height and width, it will re-raise the vine slack that we just lowered and will not cause or add to any pre-existing stem or vine stress.
Saturday, July 23 View Page
Day 30 for the 1911 Chan (south) and pretty happy with it so far. Iím lagging behind Richmond Dave again, and until I build and grow in an indoor setting, Iím afraid 2nd is the best most of us in British Columbia can achieve at the scales. Planted early this year and got later than normal pollinations, go figure!! Day 13 at 21Ē circumference for the 1911 Chan (North) and Day 12 at 25Ē circumference for the 2118 Barron. Both these pumpkins (if they make it to October) will entered in the later Weighoff.
Sunday, July 24 View Page
Someone was recently asking about vine burying and weeding, so I wanted to follow up with a photo to illustrate what we do. Yes, we weed and prep the soil in front of the secondaries with a broadfork. Then, with stockpiled compost/peat moss and perlite mixed, we perform a vine burying method somewhere between the Patonís pot method and Richmond Daveís vine burying method. Then, after that if weeds grow, then they grow under the pumpkin leaf canopy.
Thursday, July 28 View Page
2118 Barron at day 15, will get a tape put around it in another few days. Put down a piece of plywood, some pulp mill belting and a little sand to help it slide along as it starts to expand. Iíll use sand around the base of the plywood when it starts to grow over. We did a cool cross with this pumpkin, pollinated with Richmond Daveís BC Record 1911 Chan (2118 Barron X 1379 Chan).
Friday, July 29 View Page
1911 Chan in front and 2118 Barron in the back. The 1911 pumpkin is evolving in shape, I think we dodged the bum over blossom, but time will tell. Consulted with my buddy SoCal Grower for advice on stem/vine adjustments and sliding the young pumpkin backwards to straighten up a main vine. Thanks Chris!!
Friday, July 29 View Page
2118 Barron after vine/stem adjustment, will get a measurement soon.
Friday, July 29 View Page
1911 Chan (North) also got a major vine adjustment, pulled the pumpkin back to straighten the main vine and adjusted the blossom and stem end so that they are equidistant to eachother from the ground. We didnít do the adjustment on the other 1911 Chan (south) early enough and that is why it is tilting back somewhat and too late now.
Saturday, July 30 View Page
1911 Chan (south) is ripping along at 33 lbs a day and rising. Showing a nice orange starburst on its rather unimpressive small stem.
Saturday, July 30 View Page
Our 1911 Chan (south) is not quite the bum-over like Richmond Daveís 1911 pumpkin, but it is trying. Day 40 soon, so hopefully the numbers are good enough to justify a new posting.
Sunday, July 31 View Page
Having a text conversation with Richmond Dave today and he was mentioning the dreaded Powdery Mildew and the fact that ďso farĒ neither of us has seen it in the patch this year yet. Weíve got it big time on all the neighbourhood maple trees, so itís no far away. So, we did a foliar application of Bravo and Merit, mixed with a little Ureamate to make sure the plant got greedy and would suck it all in and distribute it around the entire plant.
Monday, August 1 View Page
So, the hooptie-house goes back up and a rain cover installed. We also the cover the unit with remay or a shade cloth to keep the heat down. Itís mainly to keep the pumpkin dry since we overhead water. Day 40 today and the numbers indicate a good trend upwards, we always get our best sustained daily gains from day 30-50 and then the fruit follows a descending pattern r daily gains. Goal is to keep plant as health as possible, filling in all available soil space with foliage. 116-77-72 for 265Ē total.
Monday, August 1 View Page
2118 Barron at day 19 with a 61 inch circumference. The 1911 Chan (North) is day 20 and an unimpressive 42 inches in circumference and not photo-worthy. There has been a lot of time and work on our property this year including the pumpkin patch, now we can sit back a little, water and feed and go golfing.
Sunday, August 7 View Page
This photo is for Andy H in Nova Scotia to show what is happening to the last few secondaries on our 1911 (North) Chan plant. With a hungry 26 day old pumpkin on the main vine, this plant is shutting itself down. Yes, a mild dose of Calcium Nitrate might be in order and Iíll likely throw some in with the next feeding along with the usual dose of Ureamate. Once a plant either shuts down on its own, or youíve terminated all secondaries, the likelihood of addition second or third stage growth is unlikely. Ive never had tertiary vines pop up on me, but Iím also fastidious about nipping tertiary vines and unneeded flowers once Iíve got fruit set.
Sunday, August 7 View Page
This photo also to show Andy H the other spectrum of what some plants will do. This is the last secondary on one side of the 1911 (south) plant that Iíve allowed a few tertiary vines to grow to fill in an area thatís free. My point is, unless youíve got active growing tips or hastily trimmed secondaries or tertiary vines, the likelihood of new vines or 3rd stage growth popping up is unlikely and any deviation from your feeding program could bugger things up. Stay the course and keep the current plant and leaves healthy.
Tuesday, August 9 View Page
Good thing we pushed this one forward and re-adjusted the vine early, but alas I think this fruit just wanted to be a bum-over like itís sister over on the Mainland of Vancouver, in Richmond Daveís patch. Will get an OTT now, but in all fairnessÖwhere would you measure the circumference of this pumpkin? No wonder these shaped pumpkins tend to go heavy, plus Iím still stuck on the 2005 Estimation Charts.
Tuesday, August 9 View Page
300-ish inches OTT and has gained 165 lbs for the week, not setting it on fire, but a solid 23.5 lbs per day. As Porkchop pointed out in the discussion board, the pumpkins grow on a trajectory that is pretty predictable when youíve grown for a number of years. For us, this pumpkin has peaked and is on the down trajectory, today is day 47. We try and now pay attention to keeping the plant as happy and healthy as we can to maintain a slow and steady downward trajectory of weight gain. Next week when we measure, I would expect the daily growth average to be down to 18-19 lbs per dayÖ.and so on for the weeks going forward.

 

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