Home What's New Message Board
Select Destination Site Search
Saswampo - 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. 77 Entries.
Sunday, January 1 View Page
Giant Tomato Growing, Season 3 Primary Goal: New Personal Best, >5.48 lbs Secondary Goal: New CA Record, >6.20 lbs Stretch Goal: >7 lbs
Wednesday, January 18 View Page
Ended up shutting down my indoor tomato grow experiment. Plant looked sickly and the blossom's keep aborting after dropping pollen. Still not quite sure what the cause was as I *thought* I was pretty meticulous. Very humbling experience. Nonetheless, it'll be nice to take a forced breather while awaiting the new season.
Sunday, February 26 View Page
The gnarly SoCal storm finally cleared out. Had a sunny, warmish afternoon. Choose today to apply amendments according to the Langley calculator, after weeks of playing with the #s. Primary goal is to begin the process of lowering my soil pH (currently 7.9) which will likely be a multi-year process and along with tuning the elemental ratios. Gotta be very precise as many of these elements are toxic, even in small quantities. Hope i don't screw things up. Note to self, next time wear rubber gloves when applying elemental sulfur. I can't seem to wash that rotten egg stink off, yuck. Will be an interesting day in the office tomorrow, lol. Slowly narrow down my tomato seed starting line-up. Great options this year.
Wednesday, March 1 View Page
About a month away from the official start of the my grow season. Testing out and tuning my upgraded germ chamber setup along with checking the viability of tomato seeds I harvest last season. Still pretty cold in the garage, 40s at night. Added an extra heat mat and a heating element to increase the ambient air temp to mid-70s.
Wednesday, March 8 View Page
Small sample sized, but had 100% germ rate. So far I'm loving the new LED grow light. Last year my seedling were pretty leggy, these are looking much healthier. I exercised extreme patience and left the front right sprout alone while it struggled to break free of the seed coat which held together the cotyledons. Wile Coyote taught me to be patient with the process. Oh how badly I wanted to intervene. Just potted up the test seedlings to straight 707 soil, true leaves are just showing. No amendments yet except for some microbes that have trace NPK. Will introduce them to a diluted NPK solution in a few days when the true leaves get a bit bigger.
Saturday, March 25 View Page
Transplanted and moved my test seedlings outside yesterday. Still pretty chilly here, daytime highs in the 60, nighttime lows in the 40s-50s. Put the seedlings into 5-gallons of my "Langley" adjusted soil. Kinda doin' a canary in the coal mine test. Thank you to Materdoc and Joe Ailts for the amendment advice. If they survive this next phase of testing AND get T1 megas, they could become default candidates for the 5-gallon challenge. I think I've got my upgraded germ/seedling chamber dialed in now. Happy with the results except for the purple hue on the leaf undersides. I'm told its a pretty common occurrence. Ready to start my competition seeds next week.
Thursday, March 30 View Page
A wake up call cocktail for a few older VIPs and the WR.
Saturday, April 8 View Page
Potted up my competition plants today & put them into fresh potting mix. They'll reside in these nursery pots & in the chamber for ~2 weeks before moving them outside. The four test plants I put outside two weeks ago are looking healthy, but they're very slow growing due to the cold (40s) nighttime temps. Amended soil seems to be okay so far. Looks like 2-of-4 Truss 1 megas.
Wednesday, April 12 View Page
Received this awesome package today from Porkchop. Wow, very generous... he self-funds the awards and donates his time. Such a great contest & a really neat way to connect with growers that share the same passion. Also, a big thank you to Ron Wallace for the WoW stuff. BTW, the candy was a nice touch!
Friday, April 14 View Page
Comp seedlings are now ~1.5 weeks old and looking good. This is half of them. Giving them their first afternoon sun w/ a light SoCal breeze and their first taste of diluted NPK and microbials today. Plan to move my favorite 8 to their final destination next weekend, which are large fabric pots. Will "call up" a few runner-ups to go to 5-gallon pots and then give the remainder away to friends/neighbors. I've got a great looking T1 mega on an early 5-gallon plant from my own 5.54 seed. Also culled a underwhelming Big Zac plant w/o no T1 mega and replaced it with a perky 5.42 Faust that earned a spot.
Sunday, April 16 View Page
Got a nice T1 mega developing on a 5-gallon 5.54 Greene. Still in the low 50s at night here. My new soil test showed my pH went from 7.9 to 6.7, stoked! Happily surprised it dropped so quickly. I had added elemental sulfur and drenched regularly with 6.5 pH treated water. Just finished making my round two soil tweaks. Soil will rest for a 5 days before my seedlings go in.
Sunday, April 16 View Page
Here's that 5.54 Greene mega...
Tuesday, April 18 View Page
Conscripted a few more plants for the 5-gallon challenge. Surely Murphy's Law is bound to kick in... they'll have the best megas of the bunch and no root system to support the fruit.
Tuesday, April 18 View Page
Unfortunately, the lone 5.71 Lamphop I started didn't germ.  I fished it out of the plug and let it dry out for a few days.  Now trying a Hail Mary by soaking in a 40/60 bleach/water solution for 1 hour and will try to germ again.  Thanks Materdoc for the suggestion.  Nothing to lose. My hopes of making a 5.71 Lambchop x 5.95 Konieczny cross are fading.  The 5.95 Konie germ'd, so maybe I'll cross it with the 11.65 Faust or the 9.06 Brown or something else, it'll all be dependent on the bloom timing.  I have two seeds left of the 5.71 & 5.95 and might try again later in the season.
Tuesday, April 18 View Page
Lamphop, lol. My bad... Lambchop.
Wednesday, April 19 View Page
So I asked ChatGPT how to grow a world record tomato & its response below... bruh, this is going to be sooooooo easy now! Looks like my only change is adding in some 10-10-10. My favorite part is the pruning, "remove the suckers that grow in the crotch", hahahaha. ******************************** Growing a world-record tomato requires a combination of factors such as selecting the right tomato variety, providing optimal growing conditions, and careful cultivation techniques. Here are some tips to help you grow a heavy world-record tomato: 1. Choose the right variety: Choose a variety of tomato that is known for producing large fruit, such as Beefsteak, Brandywine, or Mortgage Lifter. 2. Soil preparation: Ensure that the soil is well-draining, nutrient-rich, and has a pH between 6.0 and 6.8. Mix in organic matter such as compost or aged manure to improve soil fertility. 3. Location: Choose a sunny spot that receives at least 8 hours of direct sunlight per day. Tomatoes need plenty of sunlight to grow and produce fruit. 4. Planting: Plant the tomato seedlings deep in the soil, burying the stem up to the first set of leaves. This will encourage the plant to develop a strong root system. 5. Watering: Water the tomato plants deeply and consistently, keeping the soil evenly moist. Avoid overwatering, as this can lead to root rot and other problems. 6. Fertilizing: Apply a balanced fertilizer, such as 10-10-10, every 2-3 weeks to provide the plants with essential nutrients. 7. Pruning: Remove the suckers that grow in the crotch between the main stem and branches. This will help the plant focus its energy on producing fruit. 8. Support: Use a sturdy stake or trellis to support the plant as it grows. This will help prevent the fruit from touching the ground and reduce the risk of disease. 9. Pest control: Monitor the plants regularly for signs of pests and diseases, and take action promptly to prevent damage. 10. Patience: Growing a world-record tomato takes time and patience. Be diligent in caring for your plants, and don't be afraid to experiment with different techniques to find what works best for you. Remember, growing a world-record tomato requires a combination of factors, and even with the best care, there is no guarantee that you will achieve a record-breaking tomato. However, by following these tips, you can increase your chances of growing a healthy, productive plant with large, delicious fruit.
Tuesday, April 25 View Page
Pulled the plug on the 5.71 Lambchop seed. Wasn't meant to be. Only two left now.
Thursday, April 27 View Page
First mega of the season that's worthy of posting. This is a test plant from my 5.54 Greene that's in a 5-gal grow bag. Got another 5.54 plant w/ another mega that looks identical that's ~2 days behind, also in a 5-gal grow bag. So far my soil amendments seem to be on target, plants look great. We'll see if these megas set.
Friday, May 5 View Page
5-gallon plant.... 1st mega of the season to set. Seems to be a triple or maybe even a quad. It's from the 5.54 Greene (DMG/UOW). I have several 5.54s going and they all have big T1 megas. Will def' grow these again.
Monday, May 8 View Page
A fruit from my 2nd 5.54 test plant. It's two days behind the fruit that set on my other 5.54 test plant, but already 4x bigger. The picture shows a 24hr diff' between today & yesterday. Today is DAP 3, wow. This one is a real go-getter, unfortunately it's also in a 5-gallon pot as they both were germ/seedling chamber & soil test plants. Hope this trend translates to my competition plants. I can now see that 80% of those competition plants have T1 megas, some are looking very promising.
Sunday, May 14 View Page
Here's an interest double-barrel mega also from a 5.54 Greene. Prob not conjoined twins though. I'll let it ride until I can get a better look.
Sunday, May 14 View Page
A Truss 1 9.06 Brown mega that has got my full attention. Actually, both of my 9.06 Brown plants have fantastic looking megas. Go figure, last year the 9.06s only pushed out singles for me. Fingers crossed.
Thursday, May 18 View Page
Another 5-gallon update since not much else to share yet. The two 5.54s are still chugging along, both approx DAP 14. Growth is pretty slow as night temps are still in the mid-50s. Plants look great anyway, lots of healthy foliage to push the fruits when it warms up. A handful of my competition plants have been dropping pollen the past few days so hopefully things will pick up soon.
Tuesday, May 30 View Page
A very nice Truss 1 mega set on a 6.23 Konieczny (Domingo), DAP 3. Unfortunately, it's in a 5-gallon grow bag limiting its potential. I suppose it's good news for the 5-gallon contest, but gosh dang it.
Friday, June 2 View Page
DAP 3 fruit from a gigantic Truss 1 mega on a 9.06 Brown. This plant was originally in a 5-gallon grow bag, but the baby mega looked so promising that I transplanted it to a starting spot. Made room for it by culling an underwhelming plant that had no T1 or T2 megas.
Sunday, June 4 View Page
From one of OG 5-gal 5.54 plants. ~30 DAP, taping at 15.5" [big yawn]. No BER, so that's a good thing. Are Warblie26 & I the only ones doing the 5g contest??
Tuesday, June 6 View Page
My 8 Zeke Team Challenge plants have reached the height (~48"), girth and fullness I was seeking. They're all in 45-gallon fabric grow bags. The past 2 years I've obsessively pruned every single sucker except letting one sucker just above Truss 1 grow. Some call this the "two leader" approach. This resulted in a very lean plant with modest foliage. This season, I'm trying a hands off approach. Until now that is. Over the next few days I'll be snipping ALL growth tips and eliminating any small suckers. 6 of 8 plants have T1 megas that have set and are buried within foliage on what was once the "main vine". Two plants didn't have T1 megas, a 6.32 La Rue and a 11.65 Faust, but I'm letting those plants go for now in hopes something shows up higher (still not pruning these 2 plants just yet).
Thursday, June 8 View Page
1st cull of the season from one of the OG 5.54 plants. Didn't like the boring growth rate & needed the valuable space. Been gray and cool here seemingly forever. It's what we here call lovingly call May Gray & June Gloom.... but dang, really? The coastal marine layer has never been this prevalent. Come on already sun, I've been paying exorbitant dollars into my sunshine taxes. Whatever & wherever you're growing, I wish those of you impacted by the Canadian wildfires/smoke the best.
Saturday, June 10 View Page
My new home away from home (and the office). After many months on the waitlist, I finally got a small plot (100 sqft) in a local church's community garden. My backyard is typical SoCal... small & hardscaped, which is why i've been limited to growing in pots. Just sent a soil sample to Western Labs to see what the baseline is. Very exciting as I've never had a real garden. Will strive to get some tomato plants in there by mid-july.
Sunday, June 11 View Page
Still no sun or warmth here. So annoying. Here's a 6.23 Konie (Domingo) in a 5-gal pot. DAP 13. Trending to be my best 5g fruit, so far.
Tuesday, June 13 View Page
From my T3T seed (MegaDom cross). In keeping with its namesake, this prospect showed up on truss 3. It's one of my 5-gallon conscripts so growth will def' be limited though.
Friday, June 16 View Page
My 11.65 Faust plant had mostly singles and a few small doubles. After some feedback from a grower that's a member of the 9 Pound Club, I decided to prune it back plant and give it a 2nd chance. I'll withhold the club members name in case it doesn't work out, lol. Here's a pix moments before the pruning.
Friday, June 16 View Page
Just a little off the sides.
Wednesday, June 21 View Page
DAP 49 and 18.5". It's from the 5-gallon 5.54 Greene. Should be in the 2 pound range. Still green, BER free and expanding slowly. Never had a fruit go this long without blushing. I'm convinced that the lengthy exposure to cool temps and endless gray days is why this fruit is maturing in slo-mo. We've finally had a string of 4 days with sun & temps in the low 70's. I'd expect it to flash any day now.
Saturday, June 24 View Page
A few seedlings hardening under 30% shade cloth. For this round of plants, I'm targeting the Irvine Park Railroad’s Great Pumpkin Weigh-Off in late Sept. It's about 1.5 hours from San Diego. By far the closest weigh off near me. Never been to a weigh off, hopefully my son's club soccer schedule doesn't prevent me from going this year. Seeds are from 2022: 5.48 Greene 5.54 Greene M2D Greene There's also a 5.37 MacDonald clone in there, the bigger one.
Saturday, June 24 View Page
A few culls that didn't make the cut. All were emergency reserve fruits up higher on the plant in case the Truss 1 megas got BER. Thankfully I'm 100% BER free this season, so far. Last season I had devastating BER issues.
Saturday, June 24 View Page
Last seed starts of the season. Targeting a mid-Oct harvest. They're getting a nice warm soaking overnight in a Costo egg tray. Seeds include: 9.06 Brown (2) 8.58 Porkchop (2) 5.54 Greene (2) 5.30 Butler (2) 5.37 MacDonald (2) 4.80 Strickler (2) M2D Greene (2)
Sunday, June 25 View Page
Spent several hours at my new 10x10' plot at the community garden. Met some really nice folks. It's on church property, only 5 mins from my office.
Sunday, June 25 View Page
Attempting to turn dirt into soil. Also added the Langley adjustments.
Sunday, June 25 View Page
My back is trashed, but it's looking much better.
Wednesday, June 28 View Page
Well, my attempt to cut back the 11.65 Faust plant to a 8" stump and give it a second chance was a total bust. It wasn't able push out any new growth so I pulled. Would have waited longer, but I needed the space. On another note, I did decapitate a 18" growth tip from the top plant and jam it deep into a 5-gallon grow bag. It looked like it was on its deathbed for about a week before perking up. That new clone plant is pictured.
Tuesday, July 4 View Page
Happy 4th to all those growers in the USA. This is from my early start 5.54 Greene, the same 5-gallon plant I've been tracking here. Finally ripened, perfectly timed for Independence Day burgers. Seed germed 124 days ago & fruit set a whopping 61 days ago. Never had a fruit go that long before ripening. This year's cool, gray Spring weather def' had a big impact. Things have finally warmed up (70s) w/ lots of sunshine now. Got several more 5-gallon plants with fruits that should be heavier, currently all healthy & BER free.
Sunday, July 16 View Page
Got back late last night from a long planned 10-day vacation to Puerto Rico. Beautiful island. Left my tomato plants under the care of a nice, responsible neighborhood kid. He's been in training for a few weeks. Brewed my morning coffee and went out back to check on the plants. Next entry shows what I saw....
Sunday, July 16 View Page
Oh, the agony. As Murphy's Law would have it, we had a mini heatwave with super dry conditions. My apprentice didn't account for this and religiously kept to the watering routine we practiced. The soil was bone dry. In addition, a whitish/gray powdery substance showed up on most lower leaves and stems. I don't really understand what caused this yet. I spent several hours today pruning back all the damaged plants including their leaves/stems. Most plants lost at least one third of their foliage. Finally, just about every fruit blushed as well, prob due to the heat and dry soil. They were due though, all were 50+ DAP. Unfortunately, I likely won't be setting a new PB with this first batch of plants, hopefully will get something in the 4-5 lbs range. My round 2 seedlings are ready and will go in after harvest in a few days.
Sunday, July 16 View Page
Finished pruning the carnage. My garden waste bin was the fullest ever for pick up tomorrow. This is precisely why i don't get any greenery compost from the city. Spent the afternoon at my new community garden plot setting up the irrigation system. It's all systems go. Six seedlings will go in tomorrow.
Monday, July 17 View Page
Seedlings made it in today. Should be able to harvest T1 megas by mid-October, I've heard some unsavory stories about community gardens, but will take my chances. The weekend warrior gardeners that I've met so far have been very pleasant. We'll see what i can do in the earth vs. grow bags. Seedlings are: M2D Greene (Top Left) 5.30 Butler (Middle Left) 5.54 Greene (Bottom Left) 4.80 Strickler (Top Right) 8.58 Porkchop (Middle Right) 9.06 Brown (Bottom Right)
Monday, July 17 View Page
Gonna give wide head sunflowers another go for kicks. Was pretty cool last season. Will try to beat my PB of 24.5", measured over-the-top with "petals" . My daughter and I are going to compete against each other. Direct sow seeds are in, 5 seeds in each pot. It'll be a bake off between the following seeds. (1) 27" Brown (Yellow Straw) (2) 21" Scherber (Pink) (2) 24.5" Greene (Purple) Thought about starting a few wide head sunflowers in the community plot, but didn't want to draw unnecessary attention to my tomato plants.
Tuesday, July 18 View Page
Harvesting a respectable fruit from a 5-gallon plant this morning. Seed is from the 6.23 Konieczny (Domingo). Note the lava rock acting as a counter weight, lol.
Tuesday, July 18 View Page
The 5-gallon grow bag fruit. 3.71 lbs, not too shabby!
Tuesday, July 18 View Page
Reposting w/ the correct date. Not sure what happened. This is the WR 11.65 clone plant. Recall, I saved a 18" growth tip from the top of the OG 11.65 seed plant and stuck it deep into this pot a few weeks ago. This plant is seemingly doing okay, yet isn't thriving. Had a similar experience last season with a 9.06 Brown clone. IMHO, the jury is still out WRT tomato clones, I've had no success after two seasons. Between the "meh" growth factor, compounded with another round of nill T1 or T2 megas, I've lost interest. In addition, seemingly a case of powdery mildew running through the backyard "garden" is now affect this plant (see bottom left branch) & many of my older plants. I've seen enough and am aggressively clearing things out for the next round plants. Will likely try the 11.65 seed again next season, hope others lucky enough to get a few seeds at auction have better luck.
Thursday, July 20 View Page
This one is from the 9.06 Brown seed. Biggest one so far, but only by a skosh. Was grown in a 45-gallon grow bag. Had a prime sunny spot and got all the goodies. I must admit, I'm supremely disappointed with the results so far. I'll regroup and make some adjustment. New seedlings (no clones) are ready to go. Not giving up on the season so easy. FWIW.... I won't be taking this one to a state certified scale or officially registering any of the earlier fruits with the gpc. As Wayne & Garth would say.... "I'm not worthy", hahaha. Will roll the dice & save my "early tomato" submissions for round 2 plants.
Thursday, July 20 View Page
On a positive note, I've a had a nice early harvest and will make lots of tomato sauce this weekend to share with friends and family. All organic. Beauty is def' in the eye of the beholder, but for those not familiar w/ growing giant tomatoes and as ugly as they may be.... Domingos (and legacy Big Zacs) are actually quite delicious and have Michelin quality, 5-star flavor. Don't get me wrong, I'd still prefer to grow heavier, but at least it's a humble concession. Ha!
Friday, July 21 View Page
A fun 9.06 Brown fruit that was buried deep in the foliage. I culled the 9.06 plant today. Also harvested a heavier one at 2.73 lbs, will post pix in the next entry. Only posting for record keeping purposes, as I will still save the seeds. I only have a few OG 9.06s left & Chris is out of them. If you have some OGs, cherish them.
Sunday, July 23 View Page
All Round 2 tomato plants are in, I've got 14 total going. 8 are in 45-gallon pots on my patio, 6 in my new community plot. Both of the early start "Railroad" weigh-off plants have nice T1 megas, both dropped pollen this weekend. This is a mega on the 5.54 Greene. Captured lots of pollen in a spoon & applied w/ a Q-tip to a fresh M2D mega that's pointing straight upwards & had very little pollen. If successful, it would make for dirty (non-precise) cross... MegaDom-Dom x Dom = MegaDom-Dom-Dom. With the warm weather, the Blossom Midges are thriving and hungry. Had to deploy blossom flak jackets.
Sunday, July 23 View Page
This is the railroad M2D mega, recipient of the 5.54 pollen. Okay, so it's not pointing straight upwards, but def' far from optimum.
Sunday, July 23 View Page
A happy fence lizard at the expense of a nasty hornworm.
Monday, July 24 View Page
Last of my 5-gallon plants, 2.88 lbs. This one is from my 2022 T3T Cross. Second heaviest of my 5-gallon harvests. The blossom was impressive & well formed. It's hard to tell, but it's a tightly wrapped caterpillar. For anyone still participating in the 5-gallon challenge, looks like my earlier 3.71 lbs diary submission on July 18 sets the bar. Good luck to all giving it a go!!
Saturday, July 29 View Page
I guess I'm not the only tomato nut in San Diego, lol.
Sunday, July 30 View Page
Decided to try to "train" this one into a better growing position. Will do it daily, maybe 2-3mm per day. It's a Truss 1 linear triple, but the middle section either didn't set or is lagging. Looks similar to a baby "Wilson" right now. From my 5.54 seed.
Sunday, July 30 View Page
My technique.... borrowed my son's sunglasses strap, hehehe. Will pay the toll tomorrow.
Thursday, August 10 View Page
Here's the one that I've been slowly repositioning. It's in a much better spot now with plenty of room for growth. Will happily bust out the bolt cutters in a few days for a jail break.
Saturday, August 12 View Page
Hide the children before viewing... I thought I had BER in check, but then this junk. Nasty!! There's a truss three mega w/ promise on the same plant, which helped comfort the culling promising fruit.
Thursday, August 17 View Page
I've lived in San Diego for 25 years and have never seen one of these issued before.... Tropical Storm Hilary The National Weather Service has issued a Tropical Storm Advisory for San Diego. A high wind advisory is in effect beginning Friday, 18AUG23 starting at 1200 and is expected to last until approximately Monday, 21AUG23 at 1100. Expect heavy rains, high surf, and sustained winds of 10 to 20 MPH, gusting to 45 MPH. For more information, visit the National Weather Service San Diego website. POTENTIAL IMPACT: Southwest wind 10 to 20 mph, with gusts as high as 45 MPH. Gusty winds could blow around unsecured objects. Tree limbs could be blown down, power outages may result, and areas may be flooded. PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS: All commands, ships, and personnel refer to your severe weather plans, prepare for heavy weather, drive safely, and expect traffic delays. Recommend placing storm lines and monitoring ship's mooring lines. All personnel should look around work centers and residences and secure loose objects, as well as properly secure all doors and windows. If you are in need of sandbags, contact your NAVFAC FOS, via your building manager, for assistance. NAVFAC has 200 available sandbags, with 200 already delivered to OTC and 70 delivered to NMC.
Saturday, August 19 View Page
Spent the day out back prepping for the Tropical Depression. Only gave one tomato plant the VIP treatment, garden taped the heck out of others to the cages and stakes. This plant is from my 5.54 Greene (DMG) has a fruit at 24 DAP taping 23.5". Could very well be my best chance of the season at a new PB so had to go big to protect it. That's a spa cover on its side, on the top it's solidly wedged under a pergola beam. Hope my predicted wind direction is accurate. Also moved my two wide head sunflowers (~2.5') to the side of house, protected by the house on one side and a 6' cedar fence on the other. My 6 tomato plants in the community plot are totally exposed to the elements. Zero protection. Fingers cross this is just another over-hyped, grossly exaggerated weather event.
Saturday, August 19 View Page
Here's that hidden 5.54 Greene fruit.... 24 DAP, 23.5". Plant is looking pretty robust, a touch of Powdery Mildew showing that i'm countering with a copper foliar spray. Fruit is looking flawless.... so far, lol.
Monday, August 21 View Page
Storm aftermath...
Sunday, September 3 View Page
Here are a few tough upper culls that got snipped today. Was waiting for several truss 1 fruits to mature and earn their "BER-free" ticket. So far this season only one fruit has succumbed to BER. Years past have been devastating. Taking notes.
Monday, September 4 View Page
Was very excited about this one. Made it to 24" pretty quickly (25 DAP) and then totally stalled out there. Powdery Mildew knocked out all foliage on the bottom half of the plant, I guess that could be a contributing factor. I dunno, gotta figure this out. Grrr.
Monday, September 4 View Page
My best of the year so far... the 4.49 Greene. Grown from my 5.54 Greene (DMG) seed. Will register this one with GPC.
Saturday, September 16 View Page
Though this was a pretty cool picture. It's a Chris Brown wide head.
Saturday, September 23 View Page
Attended my first GPC event today.... Irvine Park Railroad’s Great Pumpkin Weigh-Off. What a fantastic experience! Beautiful location, wow. Met several other SoCal growers that share the growing passion, was pretty cool. Big thank you to Chris Dunn and Kevin Donahue for orchestrating such a great event. It was flawless. I'm positive there were many others involved and I wanted express my appreciation to them too. Big CONGRATS to KC Kevin for taking 1st in a very competitive field. I hope i get the opportunity to grow AGs some day.
Saturday, September 23 View Page
I took 1st in the tomato category! Hard to lose when your the only tomato entry, lol.
Friday, October 6 View Page
Both wide-head sunflowers took bird damage this morning. Covered the heads with burlap while waiting for the mesh laundry bags to arrive. I think maybe another week until the seeds are mature enough for the beheading. Will submit the measurement from the biggest one to Chris Brown's new giant vegetable database.
Saturday, October 21 View Page
Final Brown wide head sunflower measurements.... Circ 44", Over-The-Top 20", backside diameter 15". Plenty of pix ever needed.
Saturday, October 28 View Page
Ugh, it was a supremely disappointing and humbling season. Met NONE of my goals. Licking my wounds and regrouping. It's play time now. I'm now experimenting with various seed soaks. These seedlings are all from the exact same Domingo seed lineage (my offspring from the 6.23 Konie). All started on the same day & under identical conditions. Goal is to promote massive truss 1 megas.
Monday, December 25 View Page
Well, it's official.... my family thinks I'm nutz, lol. OK, so maybe a little. Best Christmas gift ever!
Wednesday, December 27 View Page
OK, here's my 2023 year-end giant tomato growing season 3 summary... Epic face plant! I've failed miserably on achieving any of my goals. Has been a very, VERY humbling season. My best was 4.49 lbs. FAIL --> Primary Goal: New Personal Best, >5.48 lbs FAIL --> Secondary Goal: New CA Record, >6.20 lbs FAIL --> Stretch Goal: >7 lbs Seemingly, less is sometimes more. Yup, the mor'on principle. Will def' revisit what worked in previous seasons & dial back things that didn't work this season. Will still look to experiment & push certain limits, otherwise I'll lose interest in trying. I'm positive Powdery Mildew also played a significant roll in the results too. Leave health suffered greatly & generally plants didn't look as robust. Will adjust my pruning method as well. I intentionally let the plants go a little wild to get more foliage in order to push the single, chosen fruit. Not doing that again. I'm not throwing in the towel just yet & will be back in '24 with lessons learned and new ideas.


Top of Page

Questions or comments? Send mail to Ken AT bigpumpkins.com.
Copyright © 1999-2024 BigPumpkins.com. All rights reserved.