Home What's New Message Board
BigPumpkins.com
Select Destination Site Search
 
Boston2021 - 2023 Grower Diary Point your RSS aggregator here to subscribe to this Grower Diary.

Show Entries in

Grower Diary Menu
  Back to Previous Page
List Other Grower's Diaries
Submit to Your Own Diary

 
Click on a thumbnail picture below to see the full size version. 107 Entries.
Wednesday, March 22 View Page
A Quetzal in San Gerado de Dota, Costa Rica. We also caught Tico Trout in the Savegre River. About 7,000ft above sea level.
Saturday, April 15 View Page
Hi, I hope everyone had a good winter. Today was opening day at the community garden and was spring clean up. We raked a lot of leaves. I finally sharpened the mower blade and gave the grass the first cut of the year. The garden is very dry and the Winter Rye is more patchy than last year at this time.
Saturday, April 15 View Page
My girlfriend's vegetable garden. We also took soil samples from both plots and dropped them off at UMass in Amherst on 4/22. Routine analysis and organic matter, $26 each.
Monday, April 17 View Page
Boston Midnight Marathon Bike Ride. Our first year doing this ride. The picture is at the finish line on 4/17/2023, 2:20am.
Saturday, April 22 View Page
I started two Connolly 1375 150 sq ft Challenge World Record seeds on 4/11. As we know that plant grew super well in a small plot just a few miles down the road from here. It should be a great fit for my community garden plot this year.
Tuesday, May 2 View Page
My soil test results came back today from UMass. Nice to see a big improvement from the spring of 2021.
Saturday, May 6 View Page
I cut the Winter Rye today in both of our plots. The seaweed has really decomposed, and the soil looks great. A bit later tiling this year, we are planning to till next weekend.
Tuesday, May 9 View Page
A combination of the grow bulb and sun. Are we getting a bit leggy here? Perhaps. I am working on gently angling the main vines down to make transplanting easier. This is kind of an experiment as it will be 5-6 weeks or so from seed starting to outdoor transplant. Since germinating these plants have been kept at indoor temps generally in the 60s-low 70s. On a side note, there is a frost advisory tonight here in MA just outside of the I-95 belt.
Saturday, May 13 View Page
Today was tilling day. We rented this Mantis mini-tiller and it did a great job. It only weights 20lbs so I just carried it into the garden. Super easy to maneuver and way less clumpy than last year.
Saturday, May 13 View Page
This shell was pretty much all that remains from the four wheel barrow loads of seaweed from last October.
Saturday, May 13 View Page
I also tilled my girlfriendís vegetable garden. A lot of manual work was required along the edges with the rocks. The gardens are very dry and it was a pollen and dust heavy day. I donít think we have ever been so dirty as today.
Thursday, May 18 View Page
Transplanted both plants into the garden this evening. In the planting hole I added two WOW Starter Paks, WOW Mycorrhizal Fungi Espoma Blood Meal, and Espoma Bio-Tone. Watered with WOW Seaweed and Humic Fulvic.
Wednesday, May 24 View Page
Marigolds really come back. Two of these seedlings were in the middle of the vegetable garden. I moved them to the perimeter.
Wednesday, May 24 View Page
As expected, with the cool weather the last week and no green house/heat the pumpkin didn't do much since planting. I am pushing it a bit harder this spring with more nitrogen.
Thursday, May 25 View Page
We dug trenches tonight for the vegetable garden. We started a number of seeds indoors this past winter. Tonight we transplanted Impala Hot Pepper, Intruder Bell Pepper, Pink Berkeley Tie Dye Tomato, Beira Kale, and H-19 Little Leaf OG Pickling Cucumber seedlings. (Things got a little crowded under the grow light. Hopefully the peppers straighten up with a few days of sun. The stems are solid and the roots look good.)
Saturday, May 27 View Page
One of our favorite places to bike ride. Edgartown to Oak Bluffs bike trail along Beach Road, Martha's Vineyard.
Saturday, June 3 View Page
Only 52 degrees in this part of Boston with a strong Northeast wind.
Saturday, June 3 View Page
The plant is about 3.5ft long. Unfortunately plastic fences are not allowed so I canít set up a wind guard.
Sunday, June 4 View Page
I started 18 of the Titan Sunflowers today indoors. They are from Dr. Tom Heaton in CA. These seeds remind me of the generic Atlantic Giant seeds. Donít worry Hayden, I think your MA sunflower record is safe. I also started 12 giant Marigold seeds.
Saturday, June 10 View Page
The view from the second floor deck of the Seafood Shanty in Edgartown. One of our favorite views of any bar/restaurant in MA.
Sunday, June 11 View Page
Spoon fed this morning. We also fertilized the vegetable garden. The plant is up to about 4.5ft. The weather looks good this week and based on previous years the plant should double in size this week. Hopefully I can get an early pollination than the last two years-7/6 and 7/1.
Sunday, June 18 View Page
Looks like this male on my main plant will be opening soon. Already looks better than last year.
Sunday, June 18 View Page
As of today my girlfriendís garden is pretty much fully planted. With the exception of some of the lettuce row that didnít make it. In addition to the plants I mentioned we are also growing a row of Celebrity tomatoes. We have never grown determinate tomatoes so this year will be an experiment. The pepper plant in the foreground is a Peri-Peri, usually associated with Africa, Portugal, and Portuguese immigrant communities in the US.
Sunday, June 18 View Page
I buried vines today with WOW Soil & Plant Booster, Mycorrhizal Fungi, and Espoma Bio-Tone.
Sunday, June 18 View Page
The back up plant doesnít like to run. I guess it thinks it is a Wee-B-Little/Jack-B-Little, or perhaps a bush. It has had three or so male flowers already open though.
Wednesday, June 21 View Page
Ouch. It appears raccoons or some other animal destroyed the Peri-Peri pepper, a couple Celebrity tomatoes, and three Heirlooms. Frustrating as we started these from seed. Perhaps the blood meal we used in the planting holes attracted them?
Wednesday, June 21 View Page
But overall the vegetable garden looks great. Itís not like we lost a world record pumpkin.
Sunday, June 25 View Page
Up to about 9ft. Nice color. The plant is smaller than previous years at this point though with the cool spring. We are assigned taking care of the rose bush garden. That is looking pretty good.
Sunday, June 25 View Page
We have the first female about 9ft out. The plant is producing normal male flowers this year and so is the back up plant. I know on the larger plants there is some debate about how far out to pollinate and number of sides. I wonder if on these smaller plants that doesnít matter as much as regardless of where pollination occurs, the plant will fill the entire 250 sq ft plot.
Thursday, June 29 View Page
We attended a Bonsai Bar event in Boston last evening. They host events at breweries and distilleries in NYC and New England. The trees are Dwarf Jades. The event lasted about two hours and it consists of repotting, breaking down the root ball, trimming roots, securing the plant, adding bonsai soil, wiring, and shaping. The trees will need to repotted in about 10 months. So different as progress is often measured in years. Highly recommended if one of these events is near you.
Thursday, June 29 View Page
I thought pollination would be this morning but not quite there yet. Looks like Friday morning.
Thursday, June 29 View Page
Planting was fully completed, yet again, this past Sunday in my girlfriend's vegetable garden. A Jalapeno Pepper and Sweet 100 Tomatoes replaced the plants that were killed by animals. Spinach was also added.
Thursday, June 29 View Page
The cucumber, kale, broccoli, and lettuce rows. These rows have a bit more shade.
Friday, June 30 View Page
I self-pollinated this morning. This is my first June pollination, made it by one day. Not too bad for no heating cables, hoop house, and a cold spring.
Friday, June 30 View Page
I made the fertilizer switch today too. Pollination was 9ft out and the plant is about 11.5ft in length. It might be the smallest pollinated plant on here. It will be interesting to see how things play out...
Friday, June 30 View Page
Side view of the plant facing South. The pollinated flower is on the walkway side of the main. The plan is to curve the main and terminate it in the Northwest (bottom right from this angle) corner of the garden. I am growing the plant diagonally to maximize the length of the main in this small 250 sq ft plot. When I grew my 274 in 2021 I went straight down the middle of the plot. The growth rate of the plant has really picked up in the last few days. I have also stepped up pest and disease control as I saw a squash vine borer the other evening.
Saturday, July 1 View Page
Happy 4th of July Weekend!
Tuesday, July 4 View Page
DAP 4 and it has landed.
Tuesday, July 4 View Page
Yes, I know, the second plant should have been removed a while ago. It is going to a new home Friday in Boston after work-at least it will not be composted.
Tuesday, July 4 View Page
We are using an electric toothbrush to help pollinate the tomatoes. Learned that tip from The Millennial Gardener on YouTube-an informative channel that breaks a lot of myths around gardening. This row is two Beef Steaks, two Big Boys, and two Jet Stars.
Thursday, July 6 View Page
I transplanted six of the Titan Sunflowers into the front yard this morning. Not exactly the best looking transplants. Will start some more seeds today/tomorrow.
Sunday, July 9 View Page
DAP 9. The plant is smaller than the one from 2021, but the pumpkin is bigger.
Sunday, July 9 View Page
Not exactly a text book S Curve, but the pumpkin has space, a nice stem, and shape thus far.
Sunday, July 9 View Page
I pollinated another flower this morning just in case something goes wrong with the other pumpkin. But, it will most likely be culled in a few days when the other one gets to the size of a basketball. This plant is throwing off a lot of flowers.
Sunday, July 9 View Page
I worked on vine positioning today and the main is being curved. Roots are everywhere.
Sunday, July 9 View Page
The vegetable garden has really taken off.
Sunday, July 9 View Page
We added an extra row this year in the vegetable garden. The cucumbers are taking off.
Friday, July 14 View Page
Terminated some secondaries today and more vine burying. I like how the plant is set up. Culled the second pollinated pumpkin today and removed almost all of the remaining flowers. Off to the races...
Friday, July 14 View Page
DAP 14. The main is up now on three stacked bricks on each side. I might have brought it up a bit too high.
Friday, July 14 View Page
The vegetable garden looks a bit different. We did the Florida Weave the other now for the peppers and Celebrity Tomatoes. Added mulch too as the garden gets a lot of sun and the soil dries out very quickly.
Tuesday, July 18 View Page
A change of scenery this week. We hit Salamanca, Spain today. This is the Roman Bridge of Salamanca over the Tormes River. 97 degrees here today. We also toured the local university and saw classrooms from the 1500s.
Thursday, July 20 View Page
Porto, Portugal. Walked around and also toured the Ferreira Cellars and sampled some Port Wines.
Thursday, July 20 View Page
While having lunch, the garden coordinator and another gardener let me know the pumpkin has outgrown the small plastic covering. The plant is being watered while I am gone. I also added a couple different types of granular fertilizer last Friday before we departed.
Thursday, July 20 View Page
A plastic table was added instead to provide shade for a few more days. I did not want to use a white sheet when I was gone as I was worried about rot and poor ventilation once it got wet.
Monday, July 24 View Page
First day back in the patch after nine days of vacation. I know, I know, giant growers are not supposed to take vacations during growing season. Overall the plant looks very good-I am pleasantly surprised. When you go away, you have to let the coordinator know ahead of time so you plot will be watered.
Monday, July 24 View Page
I saw a couple Cucumber Beatles this morning and it looks like some bacterial wilt on one of the secondaries. Removed it and will be monitoring daily.
Monday, July 24 View Page
Inspired by Connolly Landscaping and Exterior Design, Sharon, MA.
Tuesday, July 25 View Page
DAP 24. Measurements coming on Sunday for DAP 30.
Tuesday, July 25 View Page
The blossom end is pointing down a bit, but looks good overall. (Probably the result of raising the main a bit above stem level before vacation, but I didn't want it being pulled down while away.)
Tuesday, July 25 View Page
I am still feeling that five hour time change so might as well go down to the garden early to bury vines before work. Here is the main running parallel to the back walkway.
Tuesday, July 25 View Page
I am trying to get more efficient with vine burying. Where space allows, I carefully use a larger shovel. With just one small plant I like being able to really pay attention to details. Some top roots were exposed that were already buried. On those I add a teaspoon of vine burying mixture and then more soil.
Tuesday, July 25 View Page
Corner shot of the vegetable garden.
Tuesday, July 25 View Page
Vegetable garden looking West. The mulch does make trench watering a bit more involved, but we really wanted to maintain moisture while we were away. We generally use a lot more water than some of the other gardeners.
Tuesday, July 25 View Page
The hot peppers are loving this heat.
Thursday, July 27 View Page
Summer in the city. Stay cool today and tomorrow everyone.
Thursday, July 27 View Page
Any minute now. 6:05pm. Batten down the hatches.
Sunday, July 30 View Page
DAP 30. OTT 195, estimated at 173lbs.
Monday, July 31 View Page
The good news is despite some severe storms over the last few days, the plant has escaped major damage. A couple bent stems and some small twigs pierced a couple leaves.
Monday, July 31 View Page
And now the bad news. Disease continues to spread on this secondary. It is the first secondary on the plant. I removed another part of it today and three leaves.
Monday, July 31 View Page
I pruned back to the green part of this secondary. Hopefully it hasnít spread further into the plant. We shall seeÖ
Tuesday, August 1 View Page
The main was terminated and buried today next to the bush. I am hoping to fill out three more areas of the plot: A tertiary between the pumpkin and the walkway. U-Turn that secondary in the foreground and run it parallel to the stones to replace part of the other secondary that was cut off due to disease. I might have to backfill the open space near the bush. The secondaries growing toward the wall have barely grown in a few weeks. There are two new secondaries growing straight back towards the rest of the plant.
Tuesday, August 1 View Page
The terminated piece of the main looks very healthhy.
Tuesday, August 1 View Page
It is starting to color up a bit. The Connolly 1,375 had great color last year. I was looking back at my 2021 journal and my plant really went south in August. Part of it was storms, and part of it was grower error. Hopefully I can keep the plant fresher this year for August and September.
Wednesday, August 9 View Page
DAP 40. End to end 63 inches, side by side 62 inches, circumference 106, OTT 231. Estimated weight 284 lbs. 10lbs a day average over the last 10 days.
Saturday, August 12 View Page
A hint of fall in the air this morning. Southwest Corridor Park, Jamaica Plain, 5:55am.
Sunday, August 13 View Page
Visible growth every day.
Sunday, August 13 View Page
Corner shot of the plant.
Sunday, August 13 View Page
There is a lot of disease pressure in this garden. Some gardeners have cucurbits without any pest control so they attract cucumber beetles and vine borers. I might be pruning this disease off very soon.
Sunday, August 13 View Page
Powdery mildew is spreading too, despite the use of two fungicides.
Sunday, August 20 View Page
DAP 51. OTT 237, estimated weight 307 lbs. Just over 2lbs average for the last 11 days.
Tuesday, August 22 View Page
Steve Connolly visited today and saw the community garden. My pumpkin appears solid. The plant is quickly fading. Thinking about logistics for September and which weigh off. Hopefully the pumpkin holds up.
Tuesday, August 22 View Page
The first picture this year with the pumpkin. Photo credit to Steve Connolly.
Thursday, August 24 View Page
Watered this morning.
Thursday, August 24 View Page
Vegetable garden corner shot.
Thursday, August 24 View Page
We had some tomato disease earlier and pruned it off. The determinate tomatoes are definitely more resistant. The pickling cucumber plants are getting tired. Another round of plants coming soon for the fall.
Sunday, August 27 View Page
Corner shot of the vegetable garden.
Sunday, August 27 View Page
Sunday's harvest.
Sunday, August 27 View Page
The Celebrity tomatoes have been a success. Low maintenance, no pruning suckers, and no need for tall stakes. All they do is grow tomatoes!
Sunday, August 27 View Page
The weight from the Celebrity tomatoes and plants has bent the stakes with the Florida Weave.
Sunday, August 27 View Page
The powdery mildew has been stopped.
Sunday, August 27 View Page
DAP 58, OTT 240, estimated weight of 319lbs. 1.7lbs a day average for the last week. Chugging along.
Wednesday, September 6 View Page
The vegetable garden continues to produce. The soil was very dry today with temps pushing 90 for a few degrees in a row.
Wednesday, September 6 View Page
All but one of the Sweet 100 tomato plants are still in great shape. Production has been great on these plants. They are my favorite tasing tomato. Hopefully they keep producing through the end of October.
Wednesday, September 6 View Page
On Sunday 9/3 the pumpkin measured out the same as Sunday 8/27. 319lbs ish.
Wednesday, September 6 View Page
Getting tired.
Wednesday, September 6 View Page
The base of the plant is still solid though. Can it eek out a few more pounds with this hot weather, or is it done?
Saturday, September 9 View Page
I planted a row of Collard Greens today. They did very well last fall.
Saturday, September 9 View Page
The Jalapeno plant and the Impala plants continue to thrive.
Saturday, September 9 View Page
A bright harvest today.
Saturday, September 9 View Page
With the storms coming I didn't water today. A bit surprised that stake on the Florida Weave hasn't snapped yet. Next year we need to add another stake or two.
Saturday, September 9 View Page
The pumpkin appears solid. Hopefully we can get it out of here and to a weigh off soon.
Friday, September 15 View Page
The last photo of the pumpkin in the patch this year. Lifting tarps are very hard to find these days, but this heavy duty tarp with four handles worked very well.
Friday, September 15 View Page
Getting the pumpkin out proved a bit more difficult this year. This pumpkin feels a lot heavier than my 274 from two years ago. We dragged the pumpkin to the gate, and then put it on its side to get it through. From there we used a furniture moving cart and brought it next to the truck. We placed it on the pallet and all helped to lift it-I was lucky to have great helpers.
Saturday, September 16 View Page
On Friday night we stayed over in Concord, NH to break up the drive. From there it was about 2:45 to the VGPGA Weigh Off at Sam Mazza's Farm Market in Colchester. What a neat spot.
Saturday, September 16 View Page
We were right on the edge of the clouds from Lee. It started off cloudy and then the sun came out.
Saturday, September 16 View Page
The pumpkin went heavy and weighed in at 367lbs. It was great to meet members of the VGPGA and we stayed for the pizza lunch.
Saturday, September 16 View Page
We stayed over in Burlington and enjoyed walking around and dinner.

 

Top of Page

Questions or comments? Send mail to Ken AT bigpumpkins.com.
Copyright © 1999-2023 BigPumpkins.com. All rights reserved.