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Click on a thumbnail picture below to see the full size version. 25 Entries.
Sunday, January 22 View Page
Unsurprisingly the artificial parthenocarpy project ended in failure for various reasons, including a nutrient solution with a ppm in excess of 6000 (500 scale). However, the sunflower hasn't missed a beat and is now in the Floral primordial stage.  A few updates to my system later mean that I'm now recirculating the nutrient solution (1.7 EC) and heating the water to around 22 c. Third time lucky I hope!
Wednesday, February 22 View Page
For my own future reference... This is the root mass of my 560m Sunflower from 2022 that I saved and overwintered, taken at a spades depth. I was actually expecting a huge tap root, but this wasn't the case, in fact, it was anything but huge, consisting of more fibrous roots, having tapered off at about 30cm.
Sunday, March 12 View Page
Time to wake the plot up after the first snowfall in Shropshire this winter... Treated the soil with Basamid (soil sterilant) last autumn, although, and on the basis I didn't have time to work it, I doubt it served its purpose. Soil sample taken and ready to be posted.
Sunday, March 19 View Page
Soil Analysis results are in from the patch. Here’s a comparison between 2022 and the more recent 2023 report. Having recorded **most** of my in-grow amendments from 2022 I’ve also shared a further comparison (last column) that considers my 2022 fertiliser regime. Note. 2022 soil analysis taken *after* annual patch amendments were added to the dirt.  General Observations, - Calcium levels have increased between 2022 and 2023 - expecting the opposite since I had a Ca leaf deficiency in 2022  - K usage seems high for what I grew, perhaps a consequence of leaching and not plant utilisation  - Fe and Mg usage seems about right (I think) - Zn and Mn have increased, although in excess of in-grow amendments !! I did mulch the patch with milled straw, which may explain **some** but not all of the nutrient increases that fell outside of the expected norm for this grow.
Thursday, April 13 View Page
Have changed my mind several times in the last 6 weeks, here are my picks for 2023... Pumpkins  - 1586 Guns - 1989 Conway - 1584 Martin - 2003 Kisamore  - My 470 Wheel.  Wide Sunflowers - 30" Rose - 27"/28" Mace - My 18" (25 Rose x Self) Tall Sunflowers - Giraffe - 21ft 2" Mace - 23ft 7" Mase - My 550cm (20ft 3" Brown x Sib)  Marrow - 136 Timmins (Unknown x Baggs 201)
Thursday, April 13 View Page
The main 900 sqft patch, enough for 2 plants this year. Double dug followed by 2-3 passes of the rotavator and some light amendments watered in overhead i.e. Mn, Mo, & B. I also added 5ltrs of non-sulfated molasses and tilled 100ltrs of perlite into the bottom half of the patch. Finally, I will grow a plant on my other plot for the 150sqft competition.
Wednesday, April 19 View Page
Tall sunflowers are go !
Wednesday, April 19 View Page
Repotted the 1584 Martin from a 5" to 8" pot @ 7 DAE
Saturday, April 22 View Page
Progress in the grow pod, although, and after a little seed anxiety (if that's such a thing?) I fired up the 2350 Gienge. DAE = Days after emergence 10 DAE - 1584 Martin 10 DAE - 30" Rose Sunflower 9 DAE - 30" Rose Sunflower (triple cot) 7 DAE - 1989 Conway 5 DAE - 470 Florendine A 5 DAE - 470 Florendine B 5 DAE - 1586 Guns A (damaged cots) 1 DAE - 153 Baggs Marrow 0.5 DAE - 2350 Gienger
Saturday, April 22 View Page
I also repotted the 1989 at 7 DAE from a 5" pot to an 8" one. Here's a comparison with the 1584.
Saturday, April 29 View Page
Repotted both the 1989 (14 DAE) and 1584 (17 DAE) from their 8" pot to a 15ltr one. Interesting to see the different root architectures between each plant. Each 15ltr pot adopts the pot within a pot system, for what I hope will be an easy transplant in 10/14 days' time.
Saturday, April 29 View Page
No space in the grow pod so the greenhouse floor it is. 1584 is the larger plant, but has 3 days on the 1989. 2350 Gienger is probably destined for the 150 sqft competition as I bust the growing tip on my 470. Marrows are doing well (Baggs and Timmins), as are the Sunflowers, although the lights have produced compact plants.
Monday, May 8 View Page
Plants are moving on nicely with both the 1584 Martin and 1989 Conway approaching the 5ft vine mark. Focus now shifts to how I get them down to the plot, safely.
Saturday, May 13 View Page
Plants are in the dirt although regrettably, we took a casualty in the 1989. Moving a 5ft plant was not a straightforward procedure and while the 1584 landed mostly unscathed - mostly through luck, the large leaves on the 1989 made the plant top-heavy, causing a twisted stem, multiple vine splits and snapped leaves. A huge shame as the 1989 was in good shape prior to the move and just wanted to throw out roots and shoots.
Saturday, May 13 View Page
The 1584 Martin (1141.5 Lehrer x 2112 Skinner) survived the move. While smaller than the 1989, it's still 2x or even 3x larger than my plants at the same stage and age compared to last year.
Saturday, May 13 View Page
The 1584 Martin and a 15ltr pot full of roots! Should have been in the ground at least 5days earlier.
Sunday, May 14 View Page
Sunflowers are 20 days after emergence and ahead of last year's plants. But will it be a PB year?
Wednesday, May 24 View Page
Day 30 after emergence in the Sunflower patch, and things are looking up. Compared to 2022, we're 5 days ahead in terms of height at the same DAE milestone, and the plants are looking in excellent shape, the 21ft Mace especially. Hoping this nice May weather holds out. Here are my day 30 numbers. 5.5m Florendine: 88cm 23ft 7" Mace: 88cm 5.5m Florendine: 84cm 21ft 2" Mace: 93cm
Wednesday, May 24 View Page
The wide-head sunflowers are also progressing well and are benefiting from the great May weather. The Rose 30" is my main plant (centre), followed by my own crosses, last year's Rose 25" selfed. Having the plants at the bottom of my garden means they get daily doses of attention, wish I could say the same about the Pumpkins.
Thursday, May 25 View Page
The 1584 Martin. Had a bit of a kicking early on. I was away with work for a couple of days and it suffered from excessive heat under the cloche and lack of water. Heading into June its doing OK now. I'll let it run it's own race.
Monday, May 29 View Page
Marrow Update - 100 Timmins (80 Timmins x Baggs 201) Hoping for some hybrid vigour with this cross.
Monday, June 5 View Page
I'm delighted with how the 1584 Martin is coming along. I hope the May/June weather continues, although maybe a few days of rain please.
Monday, June 5 View Page
1584 Martin female.
Monday, June 5 View Page
The wide-boys.
Monday, June 5 View Page
The wife isn't happy with the new garden vistas. I, on the other hand, beg to differ! Here are my day 40 numbers. 5.5m Florendine-A: 155cm 23ft 7" Mace: 162cm 5.5m Florendine-B: 160cm 21ft 2" Mace: 170cm


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