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Click on a thumbnail picture below to see the full size version. 42 Entries.
Saturday, January 29 View Page
Here go – another season of frustration, bewilderment, persistence, believing, sacrifice, excitement and continued wonderment of exactly why do I do this.?! PGPGA Auction last night went well, more pricey than willing to tell wife, but I got some REALLY great seeds: 4 from >2000 pounders, a bunch from > 2000 crosses including the 2624 Willemijns and a total of 20 first or 2nd generation 2000 +. All for 2 vines in a 900 sq ft patch – a big guy and a bunch of orange. Somehow I wound up with 6 seeds from 20’ sunflowers. Cool. We plant a line of sunflowers out back each year – this line will be awesome! Best bet for BIG is 1893Daletas by 2469Daletas x 2624Willmijns and best bet for Orange 852Toboyek’21 by 1785 Ford x Self HD Champion. So let’s see what the season brings. Good luck to all!
Thursday, February 10 View Page
The Team – don’t know where to start! – with the 20’ sunflowers for sure. Wife found out what I spent so I’m not allowed to attend another auction for 3 years. Nuts
Friday, March 11 View Page
Just couldn't wait. This sport is a disease.
Monday, March 21 View Page
El Cheapo ($141 on Amazon a couple of years ago) – also locally known as “The Kite”, the predecessor having taken a 400’ ride on a stiff puff of wind last year, getting crushed against a neighbor’s fence posts, is up and firmly staked and lashed to the dirt. Installed the heating controls and temperature recorders to get them up and running and ready for the seedlings to get hardened off a bit before moving to the patch. Will get the vegetable garden stuff going there too. Patch still wintering – will gather the amendments, fire up the tiller and put in the cables over the next few weeks. Starting first pumpkin seeds 1st week in April. And off we go!
Tuesday, March 22 View Page
Based on Western lab results – which I find very confusing – did the best I could and assembled 10 lbs 10-10-10; 8 lbs potash; 9 lbs 18-0-5 turf builder; ½ lb borax; ½ lb MnSO4; ½ lb MgSO4; 2 lbs gypsum and spred over the 900 sf patch
Tuesday, March 22 View Page
Added the remnants of my daughter’s prized sea shell collection hidden in a closet for the last 35 years. At least they’ll get recycled and visible from time to time. Wish I could do the same for all those thimbles.
Friday, March 25 View Page
Green House equipment – Commercial thermostat, 3 heaters, digital temperature logger.
Friday, March 25 View Page
1st Team – always worry about 1st into the pots – they always crump. So will start my best big seed 2nd, a week later for side-by-side planting – best vine wins. Going with best orange first Order of big seeds: 2174 Daletas ’20, then 2374 Bayuk DMG ’21, then 1883 Bayuk (all from >>2000 pounders on both sides) Order of Orange Seeds: 1579 Greathouse HD Winner; 1114Brown’18 HD Winner out of the 2363Holland Reviewed 2021 diary. 4/5 -Seed in pot; 4/11 – sprout; 4/13 – cute little 2” seedlings; 4/29 in ground in heated greenhouse; 5/30 – 2 vines in opposite directions outgrew 15x7 green house; 6/10 – 13’L, 14’W; 6/22 – 1st pollination. In 2020 started 2 seeds on 4/10 and both seedlings failed before the 3rd true leaf – put me way behind for the season. 2nd set of 3 seeds started 4/18 which were also declared failures by 5/4 and then planted for 3rd time. Finally, in the ground in the GH 5/15 over 2 weeks behind 2021 and a month behind 2019. Outgrew GH 6/5, 1st pollination 6/30, and weighed a beautiful 700 lb in the fall of 2020. 2019 seed-in-pot 4/3, germinated in 4 days and outgrew GH 5/17 and weighed my PB at 1291.5. Sooo – 6 weeks from start to outgrow the green house, which needs to be after May15-20 – So Start April 3
Monday, March 28 View Page
The Muzlets are up! – Spaghetti sauce only 4 months away !!
Monday, March 28 View Page
Maybe some monster sandwiches as well
Monday, April 4 View Page
Started the 2174 Daletas ’20 and the 1579 Greathouse in a moist baggy today
Monday, April 4 View Page
Temp log show variations of 18 to 80 deg prior to turning on heaters on 3/30 – then minimum night temps 56 deg – warm daytimes up to 92.
Sunday, April 10 View Page
2nd Start –2376 Bayuk’21 by 2294 Noel x 2350 Gienger; and for a few big orange the 1114 Brown by 1317 Clemetz x 2363 Holland; and for good measure 4.72 Brown Giant Eggplant (Minnesota State Record)
Tuesday, April 12 View Page
1st sprouts 2174 Daletas ’20 and the 1579 Greathouse. The sprout on the R was just a tiny green knuckle 8 hours before this photo taken. Expect the L with show leaves by morning. ASTOUNDING plants!! Will move “2nd Start” from baggy to pot tomorrow
Sunday, April 24 View Page
Cables in – ready to move green house over patch when weather improves
Sunday, April 24 View Page
Team 1: 2174 Daletas & 1579 Greathouse – day 20 from Seed start on 4/4; Team 2: 2376 Bayuk’21 1114 Brown day 14 from seed start – looking a bit leggy – will have to carefully manage stems so they don’t kink and bury deep. Moved to a south facing picture window with some humidity. Better light may lessen stem growth.
Monday, April 25 View Page
Given only 1 of 4 starts being a really good vine, started the last reserve today. The 1579 Greathouse all leggy and small leaves, the 2376 Bayuk has really long stem and looks ripe for kinking any time and the 1114 Brown looks like somebody stepped on it. The 2174 Daletas will likely have to carry the flag for the early starters. Started Mr 1883Bayuk (F-2350Gienger; M Self) today. Will start weekly side by side plantings on my 2 mounds over cable in El Cheapo greenhouse later in the week when night temps are better, and let the better 2 vines win – eastern growing vine for Orange and western growing for the monster. Spring hopes are high for everyone on these diaries – lets see who’s still grinning come the 1st of October.
Tuesday, April 26 View Page
Moved operations from the back lawn to patch. Already tilled and cables in place under prepared mounds with Myco, beneficial bacteria, 10-10-10. Will check air and soil heating parameters over a week or so before risking moving any vines to the dirt.
Wednesday, April 27 View Page
0730; Soil temp 65 deg at a depth of 4” with cables down about 8-9”, air temp in tent – 67 deg; outside 42 deg and a bit windy. Will check temperature log for overnight and if OK – IT’S INTO THE DIRT!
Monday, May 2 View Page
In the Dirt - The 2174 Daletas looking great coming at us, The 1579 Greathouse HD Winner not so great (yet). Back up 2376 Bayuk’21 by 2294 Noel x 2350 Gienger is a monster, but back up (orange) 1114 Brown still a pigmy, but finally showing some growth. All 4 of the giant eggplant seeds failed. Warm weather predicted for now on.
Friday, May 6 View Page
First catastrophe of the season, and as usual, it was all my fault. Shoulda supported the 1579 Greathouse with sticks when transplanted. Staked up now but probably too late. Transplanted last reserve next to it today, the other orange seed, 1114 Brown. Will be more careful.
Saturday, May 7 View Page
The side-by-side 2174 Daletas and 2376 Bayuk, a week apart in age are doing nicely (and now well staked). Always asource of great anxiety to cull the loser, especially if the dominant vine is the younger, as may be the case here.
Thursday, May 12 View Page
Stem on the big boy 2376 Bayuk is deformed – growing flat and looks to have 2 symmetrical vertical ribs up the edges – wonder if it’s growing 2 primaries. Read another grower had the same issue with the same seed and pulled it. Nuts. Also, that kink in the orange Greathouse, splinted and straightened for the last 6 is split in 2 directions – culled. Nuts. Leaving the first planted 2174 Daletas – really growing – splinted in all directions, and the pigmy 1114 Orange Brown.
Thursday, May 12 View Page
Day 30 2174 Daletas
Sunday, May 22 View Page
Day 40 for the 2174; Growing normally but has a 2” longitudinal spits where it curved over to lie down. Planted last back up next to it just in case – 1883 Bayuk from 2350 Gienger x self. The 1114 Brown growing nicely in the other directioin. 2174 escaped the tent yesterday, and so door remains open from now on. Constructed a hoop house for it to grown into and set up wind breaking fence around the entrance. Timers set to soaker hoses. Removed heaters and set up 3 fans and opened back 4 windows– still the temperature in there of >100 today. Wow, it’s hot.
Thursday, June 2 View Page
Day 50. 2174 Outgrew the tent while away on vacation. 1st secondaries climbing the walls. Vine kinda screwed up. 13’ long with 6’ and 7’ 1st secondaries, several missing secondaries along the way and several starter secondaries. Good roots set. Maybe the vine figgered it should limit secndaries, already encountering limits of available space and concentrate on length. Makes sense. At least 3 male flowers and 4 female flowers which were culled. Last night leading tip just inside the triangle, this afternoon 9” passed it. Will start pollenating after 14’ on the main if males available. The orange 1114 Brown growing in the opposite direction has finally started to pick up the pace. Moster hot weather this week has turned to cool drizzle. Turned off soil heating cable and put up the permanent fence yesterday. Starting to think, neglect is the way to go.
Friday, June 10 View Page
1st female (self) pollinated at 15 ft Day 60 – 2174 - earliest ever! By almost 2 weeks !! Have another open on that vine – 10 ft out on 1st secondary – pollinated that one from 1114 orange Brown. The 2174 growing tip has a tiny female at 19 ft – that’s about the limit of the patch and hopefully will become my PB by Sept. Great year so far.
Friday, June 10 View Page
Cut those tendrils! Snip those tertiaries, Shape that vine! Bury secondaries!! Snip, snip snip. Repeat, repeat, repeat for 4 more months. Just lovin’ this sport (so far this season).
Friday, June 10 View Page
Cut those tendrils! Snip those tertiaries, Shape that vine! Bury secondaries!! Snip, snip snip. Repeat, repeat, repeat for 4 more months. Just lovin’ this sport (so far this season).
Monday, June 13 View Page
At 20’ with a factory 23 secondaries behind her on the 2174, the first two of which are 10 and 14 feet (both have pollinated fruits at their tips too). That should do.
Sunday, June 19 View Page
2174 Daletas Day 69 26’L x 23’W (limit of fence) with cantaloupe size 1st secondary, a grapefruit size on main 20’, a lemon size at 23’ and a starter at 26’. Almost all the secondaries have females near their tips. This is one amazing vine! I think I’ll open the fence and let it grow out onto the grass to see what she’s got. The 1114 orange Brown(day 63 slow starter) in other direction 16’L x 21’W, 1 pollinated at 13’ and several babies on the secondaries. Only fertilizer has been spring amendments and a mix of 10-10-10, kelp meal, mycorrhizae, beneficial bacteria, Jacks dry 20-20-20 at each buried node, and 2 waterings of Jack’s 20-20-20. Tomorrow 2nd app of Heritage and Merit. Have seen almost NO bees all year – just a rare bumble bee. Not good. Anybody else?
Sunday, June 19 View Page
Cantelope on 2174 1st secondary. Likely a future cull
Saturday, June 25 View Page
DAP- 76; 2174 kin was 36” circ yesterday and 39” today after a full watering last night. The guy at the end of the south 1st 2ndary is 40”. Fence extended and vine finally terminated at 29’. A new female at 27’ pollinated by 1114 orange, but on the main vine with the big guy, so just an insurance policy. Another starter in between. Total of 2 full size and 5-6 starters on 2174 – great. 1114 has a few starters going – a week younger than 2174. Patch just about full. 1114 has a week to go.
Sunday, June 26 View Page
Patch just about done. Ready to switch from Jacks 20-20-20 to 10-30-20. 2174 put on another 4” circ. 10-30-20; Heritage -2nd app; Cu++ a week ago
Friday, July 1 View Page
July 21, 2174; DAP 21, Est wt by OTT 106 lbs. Mother and baby doing fine. Still have that 80 pounder of 1st secondary – suckin’ pounds out of this guy. Gotta decide whether to cash in that insurance policy soon. Culled a nice 15 lb from 1114 – biggest fruit on the vine – was on main vine 13’ short of the end – deep in the foliage and likely to overgrow main vine with 3 nice prospects further out. DAP 4 at 19' with S curves out to 24’ at the tip is a female ready to pollinate in 2-3 days. Many females on all the secondaries- all candidates. Plan is for 3-5 orange 500-600 pounders from the 1114 HDW for the kids outside the swim school. >1500 lbs from the 2174, Several 26” leaves on 1114. Fat and happy so far.
Tuesday, July 5 View Page
DAP 28 – 191 lbs -gained an average 23 lb/day for the last 3 days – that’s 18%/day. At that rate, it will weigh 14,124 lbs by the end of July, 2,386,504 lbs by the end of August and 404,289,983 lbs by the weigh-in. Maybe I don’t need 18%/day all season. Oh, the idle rich.
Friday, July 8 View Page
DAP 26, Est 266; Concerned Rocco is a definite “innie” – is that a problem? All secondaries on both vines terminated - there just ain't no more space Multiple starters on the 1114 HDW - 5-20 lbs - hope for 4-5 500's at end of season (yeh, right) Heritage, Merit, Jack’s 10-30-20, StarPhite 0-0-26; CalVantage today
Tuesday, July 12 View Page
2174 Dalates DAP 32 –OTT est. 382 – averaged 29 lbs (11%) a day for 4 days. Holy Schmolly – that’s almost 400 lbs the first month !! Hmmmm, maybe I ougtta try that concoction again next week. That “innie” is a full 5” and appears to be getting deeper. Concerned the structural integrity of the flower end might not be sufficient to support all that weight going forward. Any comments?
Tuesday, July 12 View Page
Starting to lose leaves with rot developing around a hole at their base – see this every year but never knew the cause – thought vine borer, but never found a critter in the leaves. Everybody’s got this – what is it?
Friday, July 15 View Page
2174- DAP 35 – 460. No special attention since additives 7/8, except water. Maybe less is more. This is the least tinkering I've ever done.
Wednesday, July 20 View Page
2174 now 587 lbs – DAP 40. Still gaining about 25 lbs/day. Vine showing signs of deterioration. Lost my insurance pumpkin on the first secondary – was away and didn’t see it coming. Now I gotta move about 200 lbs of mush outta here.
Thursday, July 21 View Page
Heritage, Merit, Daconil, Jacks 10-30-20, Starphite liquid (0-0-26), Calvantage


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