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Click on a thumbnail picture below to see the full size version. 48 Entries.
Sunday, February 5 View Page
Hello 2023 season! Planted my cover crop today. The house blocks the sun and the patch is mostly in the shade all winter but itís getting better each day now. Planted red clover this year. We will see how it does!
Sunday, March 5 View Page
Sunrise in Danvers! Great convention. Really happy to have met so many great growers this year! Thank you all for making me feel welcome.
Tuesday, April 4 View Page
This yearís lineup!! Many thanks to Don, Steve, Andy and Glenna for the generosity!!!
Wednesday, April 5 View Page
Go time! My earliest start date ever.
Sunday, April 9 View Page
Tiger Lily is first to break through! Happy Easter!!
Wednesday, April 12 View Page
This is not good. This critter is way too comfortable on the wall next to my patch.
Sunday, April 23 View Page
Two 1634 Rea plants and the 2425 Daletas made the finals. I will let these battle it out a while before culling to one.
Monday, May 1 View Page
Planted the pollinator today. 2200 Wolf got The spot. Itís 40 square feet lol.
Wednesday, May 10 View Page
Thereís been some concern that Hydrogen Peroxide could damage plants. Thought I would run some tests on a spare plant. Meet Crash Test Dummy. CTD was drenched yesterday with Zerotol at a 1:200 ratio. Soaked it thoroughly; soil was relatively dry at the time. Hereís the before photo.
Monday, May 15 View Page
This is crash - test dummy, 5 days after the Zerotol drench. No ill effects whatsoever. Plant looks better now than before.
Tuesday, May 16 View Page
And then there was one. Culled the Daletas 2425 today. It was growing well but had some malformed growth. I could have grown it for sure, but the 1634 Rea is a perfect plant. Main is at 5í.
Tuesday, May 23 View Page
The 1634 Rea is coming along nicely. Today is day 30 in the patch. No sign of any females yet. Weather has been cool and overcast for the most part.
Tuesday, June 6 View Page
Pollinated the pollinator today. This 3 lobe opened at about 9 feet out on the 2200 Wolf. Crossed it with the 1634 Rea.
Thursday, June 15 View Page
First and hopefully only pollination on the 1634 this morning. Partial 6 lobe? 5 and a half? You decide. She is at 15í. Crossed with the 2200 Wolf; there were two flowers on my pollinator plant (60 sq ft). 99 days until harvest!
Monday, June 19 View Page
This is the shortest (and thickest) stem Iíve ever seen. Going to create some challenges for sure.
Wednesday, July 5 View Page
Day 20 and the patch is nearly full now. Iíve got a little room left to fill out 500 square feet.
Thursday, July 6 View Page
Day 20 of the Rea 1634. She should be round and Orange by the looks of her.
Saturday, July 15 View Page
Day 30 and the 1634 Rea is looking a whole lot like her Momma. Slowest start ever but sheís starting to catch up.
Tuesday, July 25 View Page
Day 40 Still growing well with daily gains in the low 30ís. The 1634 Rea has been a joy to grow and has PB potential for me.
Sunday, July 30 View Page
Day 45 update- the 1634 Rea is growing at a personal best rate. She is still gaining 36 plus pounds per day. Now all I have to do is not screw it up. I had to move her again yesterday as she keeps pushing toward the stem.
Monday, July 31 View Page
The 2200 Wolf was grown as a pollinator to the 1634 Rea. This is a true flowerbed plant, with only 40 square feet of dirt to root in. There is about another 30 square feet of vine on the concrete walkway. A female showed up at 7í and is growing into a white porch pumpkin. Taping close to 300 lbs now.
Friday, August 4 View Page
Day 50 and the 1634 is growing very well. Still doing 33 lbs per day which is nearly 10 lbs a day better than last year.
Monday, August 14 View Page
Day 60 - the Rea 1634 has pushed past my personal best and grew 23 lbs Per day since Day 55. 39 days to harvest day. Plant is showing signs of aging but still plenty of good foliage.
Sunday, August 20 View Page
Things got a bit askew yesterday.
Monday, August 21 View Page
Hurricane Hilary changed course when it got to the patch. This pumpkin is the Chuck Norris of fruit.
Friday, August 25 View Page
Day 70. Still getting decent but not spectacular growth. Never imagined I could get to 1500 pounds in my little patch. Itís been a heck of a season. Harvest is 29 days away.
Thursday, August 31 View Page
Day 77 - the 1634 Rea is still showing signs of growth. 22 days left until harvest. Iím going to need a crane to get it out of the back yard.
Thursday, August 31 View Page
I like seeing the growth cracks.
Friday, September 15 View Page
One week until harvest! The 1634 Rea has been my best grower ever. Sheís still eeking out a few pounds a day on day 92. The plant canopy is about half gone now. Maybe disease or maybe just age. Canít wait for next weekend!
Sunday, September 17 View Page
View from our Patio. Day 94.
Friday, September 22 View Page
Lifting day!! 99 DAP
Friday, September 22 View Page
Bottom looks great!
Friday, September 22 View Page
Up and over the house!!
Friday, September 22 View Page
And on the trailer ready for the road. Perseverance on the trailer and Ugly Batty is on the truck.
Saturday, September 23 View Page
Strapped up for the big event! Taped 433.5 inches OTT for an estimated weight of 1,734 lbs. she will be last on the scale which I suppose is a good thingÖ
Saturday, September 23 View Page
Jim Fredricks is the king of SoCal and the reigning record holder in these parts. He came in with a 1,690 lb BEAST off the 1953 Daletas. She went heavy to chart. Wow Jim!!!
Saturday, September 23 View Page
Next up- Vince George - a great grower and former champ. Heís got a HUGE fruit off the 1977 Rea. Only 82 days old!! She comes in at 1600 lbs for a new PB!! Great season Vince!!!
Saturday, September 23 View Page
Finally my turn on the scaleÖ
Saturday, September 23 View Page
And she comes in at 1,708!! The 1634 Rea x 2200 Wolf is now the Donahue 1,708. Sheís the new Southern California record! As a bonus she won the Howard Dill award!
Tuesday, September 26 View Page
Do the little things. Right up through the end. We put the stem in water as soon as it was cut and kept it there until it was time to trim it and move it to the scale. It drank about 1/2 gallon. The 4 lbs was the difference between the old SoCal Record and the new one!!
Wednesday, September 27 View Page
Top Three from the Irvine Park Railroad Great Pumpkin Weighoff on display.
Thursday, September 28 View Page
The stump stayed intact for the full season. It was actually pretty small considering the size of the fruit. Another myth seemingly busted: you have to have a huge stump to grow a big pumpkin. Nope.
Saturday, September 30 View Page
That long skinny thing is a node root- a top one. Burying vines with the right treatment paid off this year. I found several top node roots that were over 4í long before they broke off pulling them up. This plant was the best rooted plant Iíve ever grown. Those healthy top node roots are key in my opinion. Even though everything looks healthy, I have a history of high disease levels. Pythium, Fusarium and phytophtfora are all present. A disease panel will be the first part of next years plan, so a tissue sample has been sent to Western Labs.
Saturday, October 7 View Page
Perseverance, my wife and I made it to Scottsdale safely. Sheís on display at the Westin Kierland Resort now until her final days.
Saturday, October 7 View Page
Goodbye 2023 Season! It was a great year. So much fun with my pumpkin community and family! My little brother made this ďpound cakeĒ to celebrate. So cool.
Sunday, October 8 View Page
Perseverance, itís time to say goodbye. You brought a lot of folks a lot of joy. Donahue 1708 (1634 Rea x 2200 Wolf). Thank you to Glenna and Andy for the seeds. I hope I did them justice.
Monday, October 9 View Page
Itís time to get started on 2024. Watched Travis set the new World Record today and you canít help but get motivated. Congrats also to Ron Root and Nick Kennedy on setting the new California State record!! Tilled and then planted mighty mustard. Itís a good time to add some sulfur since it takes a while to break down and become available to the plant.
Sunday, December 31 View Page
I think looking back to reflect on what I did right, and wrong in 2023 is important so here we go. First, the good: I went to the GPC convention in Danvers. This was only my second one but it's so great to meet other growers. Sitting at a table with guys named Paton and Daletas is a huge gift. The information I gathered changed my season. I started learning more about fungicides. What works on certain diseases, what products can (and maybe should) be used together. I read all the labels. I developed a program of applying them. I continued refining my watering system and my fertilizing protocol. With all of this, I worked harder. I buried every node (well maybe I missed a couple LOL) and my plant rooted better than it ever has. Ever. I am convinced this is why the season turned out so well. Compost tea was brewed weekly and fortified prior to application. I took vigorous notes of everything I did. Miscues: For the first season in a while, I didn't have any major miscues. I overwatered a time or two but that is just par for the course. At the end of the day, I added 468 lbs. to my personal best, an increase of 38%. Having a crane take the pumpkin over the house was definitely a bucket list item! The final take away: I can still do better!! Off to 2024!


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