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Click on a thumbnail picture below to see the full size version. 47 Entries.
Saturday, February 19 View Page
Firmly caught by Storm Eunice yesterday, forced the hoops to a convex curve! Whole structure will need to be dismantled and attempt to re-bend hoops to correct profile. Going to delay my patch progress even more....
Saturday, February 19 View Page
Nursery took a big hit as well. Eight tunnels lost their polythene and plants strewn everywhere. Wind speed below 7mph needed for re-cladding, which is sadly not forecast for the next two weeks.
Sunday, March 20 View Page
Bit of patch progress this weekend... Most of the soil-warming cables installed, attached to reinforcing grids this season to give a more uniform result, should allow an early planting date whatever the weather has in store.
Sunday, March 20 View Page
Around 250 cubic yards of coir compost moved into the new polytunnel, once levelled will give a bed about 40 inches deep.
Sunday, March 20 View Page
Glorious, almost windless day allowed the tunnel cladding. That's the last weather-dependent job on the new polytunnel completed. Levelling, irrigation lines and sprinklers next.
Thursday, March 31 View Page
Barely 50% germination in the propagator last year. 90% germination above the hot water tank in the airing cupboard this year this year! 9 spaces to fill, AG & squash, so will have plenty of choice in a week or so. Final patch preparations in earnest now.
Tuesday, April 5 View Page
150sqft patch is ready to go. Soil heating cable in, topped up to a depth of 4ft with spent coir, drip irrigation installed and fertiliser applied. 934.3 Leach 2021 (HDA) will be planted in about 10 days time with a mini hoophouse to raise air temperature. Still lots to do elsewhere, but reassuring to get something completed.
Tuesday, April 5 View Page
Cabbage, kohlrabi and red beetroot planted out yesterday. Total wire mesh enclosure to keep out the pesky pigeons...., woven groundcover to keep down the pesky weeds......, and a couple of pounds of pellets to kill the pesky slugs...... isn't nature wonderful!! Auto drip irrigation installed, they won't be getting much attention save an occasional spray for Caterpillar etc.
Friday, April 22 View Page
150sqft entry, 934 Leach 2021, planted today, a week later than intended, but been too busy on the nursery with a mini-heatwave coinciding with the Easter weekend.
Monday, April 25 View Page
150sqft entry, 934 Leach 2021, planted last Friday, a week later than intended, but been too busy on the nursery with a mini-heatwave coinciding with the Easter weekend.
Wednesday, May 11 View Page
150sqft, started vine burying today, daily growth increasing, now only around 3 days behind last year's progress.
Tuesday, May 17 View Page
Early female on the 1552 Young. Only 6ft out, so won't be a keeper, but will pollinate for practice. All pumpkin & squash plants growing well, reasonable day temps and plenty of sunshine, and thankfully, nights have been mild too.
Tuesday, May 17 View Page
Rooted sideshoots from early sown tomatoes. So easy to propagate, gives me a dozen or more plants from just one seed. These cloned plants are aimed at weigh-off season.
Tuesday, May 17 View Page
Seed-raised plants for "early tomatoes" and team competition. Mainly Doug Smith and my own seed with a few guest appearances from Brown, Lyons & Larue
Saturday, May 21 View Page
Looks like it will be opening tomorrow, but won't be pollinated......not a male flower in the patch anywhere!
Saturday, May 21 View Page
First fruits on a Doug Smith mega marv cross, 8.07 x self. Don't believe he's even tried them himself, so hope to do them justice.
Saturday, May 21 View Page
Leader of the pack this week is the 1490.5 Leach, my own seed, although others are not far behind.....early days yet.
Sunday, May 22 View Page
Ladybird larvae pupating on the roadpins supporting the cabbage cage. They must be drawn to the rough rusty surface, 10-20 on every pin, 50-odd pins; that's a lot of free aphid predators! Will hold off any pesticide sprays and use bacterial spray for caterpillar that won't harm them.
Thursday, May 26 View Page
First pollination this morning, but still no ag males, choice between a squash and a dandelion! Still, I'm growing fruit not seeds, if it takes it will be 11 days earlier than last year.
Tuesday, May 31 View Page
150sqft plant, 934.3 Leach 2021, nearly reached the end of the bed; now for the tricky right-angle bend!.......
Tuesday, May 31 View Page
.......and to add to the problem; the 1st female flower is forming on the wrong side of the stem . I'm slowly forcing a 180 twist in the stem so the fruit grows on the outside of the plant. Wouldn't be a problem in a normal plot, but need to keep within the 150sqft boundaries.
Wednesday, June 15 View Page
150sqft at DAP 5, set looking hopeful, but it's in an awkward position so......
Wednesday, June 15 View Page
......I've had to reduce the width of the growing area to allow me to extend where the fruit will grow. This gives me a total of around 12 sqft for the pumpkin to lay....... ofcourse, it will all have to change again if the fruit aborts! Backup pollination tomorrow, but really hoping I won't need it.
Wednesday, June 15 View Page
This is my method of keeping the pruned vines within the boundaries after they've been trimmed. One of the advantages of the raised bed is being able to see right through the plant, underneath the leaf canopy. Mind you, it's a bugger for vine burying and fruit taping!!
Wednesday, June 15 View Page
Patch progress: looks like I have a set on all 4 plants in the Polytunnel, and a backup pollination on each for insurance. Mini heatwave currently, ag's are loving it, sprinklers come on every 30 mins, 8am-8pm, to cool things down. Not started taping yet, but the 1552 increased 2 inches in diameter over the course of the day.
Sunday, June 19 View Page
I've been in denial for a week or so, but I think I have to accept I'm growing one less squash than I planned this season! On a positive note.....
Sunday, June 19 View Page
.........this would make my early 1552 pollination now appear to be a thoroughbred not a mongrel?
Friday, June 24 View Page
150sqft, DAP 15, looks like this is going to be the keeper and partially severed the backup today... so I'm committed now! Will get a board underneath it tomorrow.
Tuesday, June 28 View Page
1552 Young, DAP 33, 214 lb. Can't imagine this is going to yield a PB, but will keep it growing anyway. Few other chances in the patch, but nothing worth taping yet.
Tuesday, July 5 View Page
Suffering terribly from ber on early plants, only managed a couple of singles to the scale thus far, 1.3 lb and 1.22 lb. Few others to come, and June planting looks healthy at the moment.
Tuesday, July 5 View Page
1552 DAP 40, growing steadily, charting 369 lb today. Been away for 4 days, so returned to vine chaos! Hacked back some growth but the rest will have to look after itself.
Tuesday, July 5 View Page
150sqft entry, plant filled in the last space 10 days ago. This is the only pumpkin I have time to train & trim properly(ish). DAP 26, charts at 146 lb, 23% up on last year
Wednesday, July 6 View Page
Better result today off the 9.06 Brown, 2.16 lb UK "heatwave" coming next week, went to tell the watermelons to get ready to grow! Found a rodent had been chewing some of the secondaries so the bait has gone out tonight. Otherwise, both those and the canteloupe are looking strong.
Monday, July 11 View Page
2.55 lb off my own 4.2 from 2020. Still moving in the right direction even though it's only a single.
Monday, July 11 View Page
Don't believe the giant cabbage, beetroot and kohlrabi are appreciating the heatwave so they've been treated to some shadecloth and daily overhead watering. Ten weeks 'til the weigh-off and the butterflies are queuing up to lay their eggs!
Monday, July 11 View Page
Has anybody mentioned marrows.... still on the GPC list isn't it? Six various Baggs and one Tim Saint, being grown to the "Baggs winning formula" (I wish!!!). Sown last day of May, planted out mid-June, pollinate from early August, 6-7 week sprint to the finish line...... Growing in my new deep raised bed, what can go wrong?!
Tuesday, July 12 View Page
1552 at DAP 47, charting 523 lb. Weather really hot and dry, but sprinklers keeping the plant healthy; growing so fast I can't keep up with the trimming, and vine burying is just a distant memory.
Tuesday, July 12 View Page
150sqft entry, now this is the important one! DAP 33 for 323 lb, 25 lb/day and 30% ahead of last year. Going by the previous two years, the coming week is the growth peak..... looking forward to next week's figures.
Thursday, July 14 View Page
2.8 lb today off an unknown Domingo. Early tomato plants are almost over now, just a few fruit remaining to ripen, but nothing to impress. Been fighting a losing battle with BER all season. Weigh-off season plants are looking much better with changed feeding and watering regime, and growing in a slightly shaded tunnel to reduce stress (the tomatoes and mine!).
Tuesday, July 19 View Page
1552, DAP 54, charting 694 lb, 24 lbs/day for the last week. Was hoping for more, but, it's still the fastest weight gain so far. No idea whether I'm watering too much or not enough, it's been very hot (by UK standards) for around 10 days, and likely for the next ten too.
Tuesday, July 19 View Page
150sqft entry, DAP 40, charting 464 lb. Little disappointing, 20 lb/day down from 25 last week. Had to slide the fruit forward on it's board last week to relieve pressure on the stem.... hope I haven't caused any damage? Glad I set aside the extra space for the fruit this season (not just wishful thinking!)
Tuesday, July 26 View Page
Bit late, but .... 150sqft entry, DAP 46, has squeaked over 600lb now, 21 lb/day last week. Forgot to take a photo, but 1552 just slipped past 800 lb. Marrows and fp's look healthy, will start pollinations now, as soon as suitable females appear.
Tuesday, August 2 View Page
DAP 68 the 1552 (pictured) has slowed right down, charting at 893 lbs. Lovely colour though, reflecting it's parentage. I think perhaps I should have allowed the plant to grow larger before setting a fruit? 150sqft charting 700 lb, has likewise slowed.
Tuesday, August 16 View Page
Photo of display plants for customers to look at.... already creating a bit of interest. Grass in the foreground showing effects of prolonged drought. Plants started to fail now, not helped by me going away for a four-day break during a heatwave! If the patch was chaotic before I went, it was apocalyptic on my return. Spent several hours hacking back vines and removing unwanted fruit. I fear I'll be paying the penalty come the weigh-offs.
Tuesday, August 16 View Page
Pleased to have pollinated both BG's, actually achieved it myself rather than hoping for nature. Growing on the raised frames gives me a fighting chance of keeping the plants under control. Struggled with germination, finally managed a 384.5 Terry and a 247 Kent, each crossed with the other. Whatever else is miserable in the patch; at least the BG's are happy with the heat.
Tuesday, August 16 View Page
Long gourd beautifully trained on it's frame. Again had endless germination troubles. Finally managed a single 103 Maydan, so it didn't even need to share the space! Please don't ask why I need a 13ft structure when my PB is less than 5ft ........ one day.
Tuesday, August 16 View Page
Marrows......... is ANYONE else growing them? Or perhaps they've grown so big the photos are too large to upload!! Anyhow, the top fruit was an early set for our local show later this month. About 30 ins long, should be a decent size in 10 days time. Kinda ironic that the bottom fruit is just a set I missed amongst the foliage; it's longer, fatter, and more uniform! Both are on the 202 Baggs. Target this year is to get one over 100 lbs, and I have seven plants to achieve it.

 

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