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Click on a thumbnail picture below to see the full size version. 29 Entries.
Wednesday, February 1 View Page
2023 will be my third official year growing AG pumpkin in central Arkansas on the 7b to 8a hardiness zone line. The first year in 2014, I used generic seeds from ParkSeed and scored my current PR of 215lbs on 400sq ft of vine in a 45DAPish pumpkin: http://www.bigpumpkins.com/Diary/DiaryView.asp?season=2014&grower=69841&action=L The second year attempt was a dud in 2015. I did get better genetics from a grower here on bigpumpkins.com, but I aborted that grow when the vine was very young in favor of filling the garden space with vegetables: http://www.bigpumpkins.com/Diary/DiaryView.asp?season=2015&grower=69841&action=L My true second year attempt was last year in 2022. Still starting on a whim, I tried last minute and got on a state 4H mailer and obtained AG seeds (the ones I saved from 2015 failed to germinate). Or what I thought were AG seeds; in fact turned out to be Florida Giant pumpkin seeds. That pumpkin only reached 125lbs on 200sq ft of vine in 55DAP: http://www.bigpumpkins.com/Diary/DiaryView.asp?season=2022&grower=69841&action=L At the end of September 2022, I cleaned out my 1,000sq foot garden patch. Gazing over the bare plot, I stood there proud of the work done and the lessons learned. What if, just; what if......
Friday, February 3 View Page
The new growing season technically started when I added 20cu yd of compost to the patch last year in September. Along with 200lbs of pelletized gypsum, everything was tilled in deeply with my front tine tiller, and evenly raked out before sowing the cereal rye seed.
Sunday, February 5 View Page
The cereal rye handled the December cold snap really well. We got down to 3F for the coldest night. It turns a dull dark green when temps go low, but bounces back a beautiful bright green when it warms up. I wont be long before it really starts to stretch. This is my first time growing cereal rye.
Sunday, February 19 View Page
The rye is really growing aggressively. With all the rain weíve had, I have to mow it every 5-7 days! Awesome stuff, the clippings have dried and formed this dried carpet layer. I cant wait to till it in next month.
Sunday, February 26 View Page
The results are in! Not too bad at all!
Tuesday, March 7 View Page
I spent some time using the Langely soil calculator with my test results. I got pretty comfortable with keeping the base saturations in the middle while lining up the micros ratios. I had the awesome opportunity to review it all with Cecil Weston, he got me dialed in on a lot of things!
Monday, March 20 View Page
Spring break brought warm temperatures to the homestead. We took advantage of the good weather to plant native and fruit trees, blueberries, and other ornamentals. Using post hole digger for the first time made me feel like a pro; these 4x4s went down 3ft before getting cemented.
Thursday, March 23 View Page
The hard reality is, this vine will be taking up the entire plot this year. Go big or go home. That means no maters for mama, so she insisted for a fairy flower garden instead. I was happy to oblige.
Saturday, April 15 View Page
Got the 12ga cross wires tensioned, and the 40% shade cloth hooked up with D spring clips at each grommet. Iím able to extend and retract the shade using a leader rope with ease. Last year we hit 105F for a two week period and the vine didnít wilt under this shade.
Sunday, April 16 View Page
This years line up. I have a hot orange 1883 Bayuk as a plan C, but the 1885 Werner line is where I want to be at.
Monday, April 17 View Page
The magic moment starts tonight. Filed edges with 120grit. 85F water soak (with a drop of kelp extract) for 8hrs, then moist paper towel inside of a ziplock for 48 hours and we see what happens.
Wednesday, April 19 View Page
Both 1752ís have popped after 36 hours; into quart pots they went. My potting soil mix consists of oranic potting soil, worm castings, perlite, and a little dried kelp and mycorrhiza. Fingers crossed the 720ís show me a root.
Sunday, April 23 View Page
The first 1/3 is ammended and tilled, the soil feels and smells incredible.
Wednesday, April 26 View Page
You know how fast it goes : the Kisamoreís are already in 3 gallon pots and the Bayukís are 5 days behind breaking dirt.
Thursday, April 27 View Page
I love the cotyledon swell. Switched to ProMix BX as I sized up pots, adding mycorrhiza, azos, dried kelp powder, and just a little worm castings to spice it up.
Sunday, April 30 View Page
Both 1752ís hit the ground. We got 1.5Ē of rain earlier that morning and I was able to work the soil 6 hours later - a testimony to how well things drain.
Monday, May 1 View Page
I have a clear frontrunner but I promise not to get too attached. They both are settling in nicely. 80s/60s comming up in the 10 day outlook.
Sunday, May 7 View Page
A little second true leaf bloat but no worries, the kickstand will get pruned sooner than later. We hit 90F this past weekend, and itís staying warm over the next 10 days.
Sunday, May 14 View Page
Progressing well. They really appreciate the sunshade as we touch 90F. Keeping SEVIN on them for now. Fluffed the next soil permiter band, the weeds have sprouted so itís time to get to work. Its holding moisture very nicely, smells of sea kelp and chicken litter, amazing. 1752 Kisamore.
Wednesday, May 17 View Page
And then there was only one. The favored strongest vine kept growing directly away from the backup vine (planted way too close) and not in the direction I tried training it: so it was time. Roughly 45 degrees off still but ill correct that with more vine length.
Sunday, May 21 View Page
Growth tip seems good!
Sunday, May 21 View Page
Off to the races as she leaves the 5íx5í starting area. First round of systemic (1tbsp Dominion 2L drench) going out but not seeing any bug pressure yet. At this rate Iíll probably be ammending and tilling the second 1/3 of patch next weekend.
Tuesday, May 23 View Page
The patch is all weeded and Iím staying ahead of the growth with the broadfork. The alternating leaves did a wonky reset so I have 2 secondaries on the same side. Hope sheís settled into the stretch now. No rain forseeable in the 10 day forecast, looks like Iíll have to water soon.
Thursday, May 25 View Page
Plenty of room for this vine!!!
Saturday, May 27 View Page
Ammended and tilled zone 2/3. Im absolutely in love with the soil, it holds moisture but drainís extremely well.
Sunday, May 28 View Page
Happen to look down as I was tilling and what do I see : freshly pupated vine borer moth. I didnít even kill it lol.
Tuesday, May 30 View Page
Secondaries starting to bolt! She got a nice Maxsea and 5-2 Wonderblend drench this weekend. Painted my first nodes with CloneX, dosed mycorrhizae and azos, and covered with soil.
Wednesday, June 7 View Page
Secondaries are not consistent in how they bolt : ill be lucky to have 12-15 behind a 20í pollination it seems. Beautiful plant though! I broadcast 1lb of 10-20-10 granular to keep things moving, weather has been hot, consistently 90+/70 with zero rain for 3 weeks now.
Wednesday, June 7 View Page
I have my first main vine pumpkin on at 15í. Another baby 4 nodes later. I am worried - since I dont have many mature secondaries, hoping I have enough males blooming at the same time as the kins. Weíll see eh.

 

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