Home What's New Message Board
Select Destination Site Search
jimp - 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. 41 Entries.
Monday, February 27 View Page
Couldn’t wait - 1501 Wagner19 – started in the family room to work it’s way up the curtain cord, across the top of the curtains, over the chain to the hanging lamp, back to the curtain rod and finally over the corner cabinet by spring. Hopefully, will again have loads of flowers along the way. Also got my seeds from the auction today - 9 seeds all from >2,000 pounders - A couple from >2,500 lbs!! unheard of 5 years ago. What a dynamic sport!
Tuesday, February 28 View Page
My Home Depot Germinator – where it all begins. A few pots of basil starting for spring cooking. Kins seeds to populate the top shelf end of March to go into the Cheapo 7x7x15 outdoor pipe and plastic heated (3 small heaters off a commercial thermostat) greenhouse in early April and in the patch over cable 2 weeks later. Well, that’s the plan, anyway. My Night Blooming Cereus winters well here – water it monthly. The issue is getting it in and out the door spring and fall - now a 5 year old monster – judged one of the 10 most beautiful flowers on the planet – blooming repeatedly all summer on my deck. What a treat.
Thursday, March 2 View Page
Team 2023: 8 on the first team, and those below the pencil 5 on the bench. Additional reserves in the mailing envelop. Plan to germinate 2 seeds each week for 3 or 4 weeks, working from top pair down, thus leading to planting 2 vines in opposite directions over cable in heated tent about April 15. Then another sprout side by side those the next week, etc. As usual, some will be lost along the way – stepped on, kinked, split stems, screwed up stem, froze because the breaker blew in the middle of a cold night etc. A “next up” will be available, hopefully leading to the difficult decision which one of opposite growing pairs will be culled to commit the season (Hate that day!). Sometimes method results in the 2 vines being as much as 2-3 weeks different in age. Careful reread here reveals my first 2 seeds rarely make it to May, so should I geminate the best 1st? NO! I save my best for 2nd planting. I’m sure everybody does this, so no new ideas here.
Thursday, March 9 View Page
Indoor 1501 Wagner just showing its 2 true leaf, 2nd specimen just showing. Used a method on #2 I saw last week on BP.com to FULLY remove the seed case – all the way down to the root tip. These seeds are old, and very few previously sprouted in soil or wet paper towel in a baggy. Put in 3 such preparations – 1 came up. Anyway – removing the entire hull doesn’t seem to kill the seed. Also collected patch soil to send for testing and Round Up on all the spring weeks in prep to tilling.
Sunday, March 19 View Page
Wagner 1501 House Plant – day 31. Got my soil reports from Western Labs – as double talked as usual. Not high grades for labeling but at least have some basic guidance how to get started before spring tilling. Plan to start my first pair of seeds on April 4 and 2nd set around April 9 or 10 depending on first set germination. Plan to set up El Cheapo greenhouse over the back lawn next to the patch with heaters and thermostats next week and start recording interior minimum night temps on the logger. Goal: planted vine outgrows greenhouse around May 15.
Saturday, March 25 View Page
Decided to move the 2218 Cardenas from the 1st germination pair to the 2nd a week later on the advice of Ben– given I tend to routinely screw up the 1st seeds somehow – usually in the green tent stage – kink, step on, freeze, cook, over-enthusiastic attention (that’s the REAL killer) and the 2nds are commonly the season sponsors. Team #1-2175Urena and 2520Schmit; #2-2218Cardenas and 1953Daletas ; #3-2191Uhlmeyer and 1893Daletas , Sure hope we don’t need teams 4 and 5.
Saturday, March 25 View Page
this thing REALLY works well ($114 Amazon) – commercial thermostat, 3 heaters, temp logger, Use this green “tent” for all the early spring stuff we start in the house germinator (tomatoes, pumpkins etc) just set on the lawn next to the patch, while I do the spring patch preparation, including an area the size of the tent (7x15) tilled for planting. Then move it with the potted plants to the tilled patch area – get everybody used to the new digs, watch the planting hill temperature over cables and plant the #1 seedlings (in opposite directions), and a week later the number 2’s side by side #1s. From there, it’s a race as to who gets culled over the ensuing weeks. Meanwhile #3’s and # 4’s started over next 2 weeks to replace any losses along the way. I think this assures I’ll have 2 vines for the summer, almost no matter HOW many I step on.
Friday, March 31 View Page
Well, THAT didn’t last long – all geared up to install the electrical and spray systems and they predict massive storms here tomorrow – 40-70mph winds (? 90mph) in some parts of Pennsylvania. The tent, AKA kite, would certainly be history (again) so took down a lot of good work and stored it back in the shed (hope we still have a shed) – then do it again next week. Exactly WHY do we do this ??!! can’t not.
Thursday, April 6 View Page
LET THE SEASON BEGIN!. 1st team – 2530 Schmit and 2125Urena; Plan to start 2nd team – 1953 Daletas and 2218 Cardenas in 1 week and finally 3rd Team 2191 Uhlmeyer and 1893 Daletas a week later. 2 will get to serve.
Friday, April 7 View Page
THE AMENDMENTS ! 900 sq ft patch -35 lbs 10-10-10; 4 lbs potash; 6 oz MnSO4; 2 lbs Epson salt, 3 lbs elemental S (90% S), 1 oz Borax –( really?) All mixed up for single spreader application. Evenly spread 3/4 before adding 8 bags cow manure and the extra 1/4 to till into 2 hills and first 10' of vine growth.
Friday, April 7 View Page
Rough in 2 hills and 1st 10’ of growth. Next week move the hills to imbed the cables and move hills back over cable. (hate double work) and ready to move the 7x7x15 greenhouse tent in about 3 weeks. Goal – vine outgrows the tent by May 15.
Saturday, April 8 View Page
tiny root emerging after only 36 hours in a wet paper towel in a baggy over a warmer pad.
Saturday, April 8 View Page
Giant pumpkin vine as a house plant (rope to curtain rod now in place). Wife dealing with it.
Sunday, April 9 View Page
Tiny root emerging 36 hours in wet paper towel in baggy over warming pad. Photo didn't transmit above
Monday, April 10 View Page
Heating Cables in place
Tuesday, April 18 View Page
Greenhouse holding the home growns. 2520Schmitt in the center ready to plant. Green house over grass while finishing patch prep – Should be ready to move it over the hills and cables in a few days. Temp varies between low set heating point of 55 during cool spring nights to 105 deg midday in the sun with the door and windows open.
Sunday, April 23 View Page
In the Dirt today. Foreground heading west -2520 Schmitt – (started 4/4), in the back, 1953Daletas heading east (started 4/17) – that one looks strong. The 2175 Urena and 2218 Cardenas never germinated. Started team 3 today as back ups to these – 2192 Uhlmeyer and 1893 Daletas. Hope to have 2 heading in each direction, culling the loser in a few weeks.
Sunday, April 23 View Page
Hey Spooner. MY houseplant is bigger than YOUR houseplant. Climbed the rope to now only inches of the curtain rod, and soon within striking distance of the hanging lamp chain. If successful to the lamp, will extend a rope to the corner cabinet. 1501 Wagner - 60 days. Wife not really a fan of the project. Next year, plan soakin’ a seed for New Year’s. Maybe we’re starting a new sport – like the 150 sq ft’ers. Who can reach the corner cabinet by Memorial Day! Actually, it's really cool having a wreath of pumpkin flowers outlining our bay window. Maybe I'll add another pinch of Borax to the water.
Tuesday, May 2 View Page
Likely the first Giant Pumpkin flower in the State of Pennsylvania. Growing Giant American Pumpkins as an indoor house plant – Brilliant. The little guys in the heated tent not happy with this cold weather rainy weather- it's midday and only 49 deg, cold wind, no sun. Hope they weren't set back a few weeks in growth.
Wednesday, May 10 View Page
2520 Schmitt stem is flattening – disappointing. Planting back up 2192 Uhlmeyer today for a head to head. I think my soil cables failed – ground temp was up to 74 last week – now back down to 60. Spring weather FINALLY improving - warmer days and nights.
Thursday, May 11 View Page
Final time in the dirt. All germinated seeds now in the soil – lead plant, the 2520 is growing slowly and has a ribbon stem– last year my vines outgrew the green house by May 15 – now barely 5 good leaves – I think the soil temp screw up is at fault. Left Forground 2520 Schmit (4/4), right foreground 2192 Uhlmeyer (4/23) back left 1953Daletas (4/17) and right, tiny 2261Schmit (popped up 5/7). MUCH better weather coming! Still – despite a few days ahead with first seeds, 2-3 weeks behind in growth. Darn junk heating cables.
Thursday, May 25 View Page
My big guy, 2520 Schmit with a ribbon main has now a bifurcated growing tip – can follow the division back along the main as an indent until it splits. I think this make my best vine a cull – can’t let it keep growing with secondaries extending back and forth over the other, and likely cutting off one will simply result in half nutrition lost – I don’t think this main will grow new channels across the indentation and split. Any Advice out there?
Wednesday, May 31 View Page
Schmit is growing nicely, but don’t know what to do with the bifurcation, so I’ll let it be for now, pending advise from any grower having dealt with this before. First 6’ of main stem remains flattened, but less so distally. ALREADY HAS FEMALE BUDS! The males aren’t close to open. 2192 growing normally (how novel) and the 2 reserves also growing normally. Time for culling coming soon. (hate that day)
Tuesday, June 13 View Page
Culling today – Finally decided to sacrifice the big guy (left side of photo)– 2520 Schmit (4/4)– flat stems everywhere, bifurcating instead of side branches and FINALLY, the leaves are Far smaller than any Giant Pumpkin vine I’ve ever had – about the size of field pumpkins. Settled on the 2192 Ulmeyer for the western direction, even tho 2 weeks younger than 2520.
Tuesday, June 13 View Page
2192 (4/23) all alone – a bit ragged being the younger brother to 2520 since kids – but should fill out.
Tuesday, June 13 View Page
Pulled the small 2261Schmit growing eastward, leaving a robust 1953 Daletas (4/17). Hmmm – that’s both Schmits culled. Sorry Schmit. Now committed for the season. Hope for the best. Awesome rain yesterday - 1st drops in almost 3 weeks. Lotsa catch up to do.
Thursday, June 15 View Page
Daletas1953 Amazing what 2 out of 3 days of rain can do! Remember Rain?
Saturday, June 17 View Page
Final fencing installed. The lump of leaves on the left by the bench is potatoes growing out of the sides of a plastic garbage can, with a tomato growing on the top.
Sunday, June 18 View Page
New idea - instead of backbreaking sweaty burying secondaries instead of supper all season, got a bag of composted manure and mixed in mycorrhiza, 10-10-10, Soluble MAXX and Jack’s 20-20-20. Will cover the nodes instead of burying them. Saw a grower do that on a diary last year and demonstrated enormous root growth (don’t know what their propriety mix was, though – if any at all). ACTUALLY - probably don't need all this extra fuss to begin with if the soil was properly prepared in the spring - just fold it over. Next year.
Monday, June 19 View Page
Couldn’t resist showing off my potatoes growing out of the sides of a rubber trash can. With a tomato on top. Investment in the can, spuds, 3 bags topsoil, some fertilizer etc – about $28. Expected value of potato crop – maybe $6. Try to explain this behavior to others. If anybody wants to try this, commit to a location – it is far too heavy for even 2 people to move later.
Friday, June 23 View Page
1st pollinated – the 1953 Daletas by 2192 Ulmeyer – admittedly, the pistil appears rather anemic and only 16 2nd behind it, but it’s a start and on the main. ALWAYS need an insurance fruit – high mortality sport. Another female on the growing tip, 5 secondaries further. That could be the one – not much room further in the patch after that.
Monday, June 26 View Page
1953 today – looks like the pollination a couple of days ago took. Got the S working with good position of the kin. Another young female 4 nodes out - about as far as the fence with allow. I'll get that one started too and see which looks best. Loads of intermittent rain lately. Lovin’ it.
Tuesday, June 27 View Page
Foliar spray: Heritage fungicide (1st), RidomilGold SL fungicide (1st), Merit 75WP insecticide (1st), Jack’s 20-20-20. Prior Daconil and Triazide 10 days ago.
Tuesday, July 4 View Page
2’x2’ leaves on the 1953 are enormous. roots bigger than I’ve seen before. Loads of female flowers pollinated self and from the 2052; growing consistently. Vine measures 25 W (limit of fence and cutting secondaries tips) X 27’ L with a few feet left in the patch. Growing a nice fruit at 20’ but another candidate starting further out. This could be a really BIG fruit, if I don’t screw it up again this year. Applied CalVantage (1st) earlier today, then came a drenching rain, then bright sun and the last application of foliar 20-20-20 for the season in the evening. Changing to Jack’s 10-30-20 for couple of feeds and then 12-15-30 (or Finishing fertilizer – 7-15-30) for the rest of the season. 87 deg today. These are the best 2 vines I've ever had. Yahoo!
Friday, July 7 View Page
Goes with 7/4
Friday, July 7 View Page
This is the lady I’ve been waiting for. 2052 at 25 ft with 24 secondaries behind. 3 weeks later than the first pollinated, but a nice big factory behind her.
Thursday, July 13 View Page
End of 1953 vine yellowing and wilting – lost the pumpkin on the main 2 days ago, maybe because I had it shaded with that little table and all this rain we had, despite regular application of several fungicides. I’ve heard of “yellow vine” virus – that’s bad news, because I also heard it’s fatal. Any advice.?
Friday, July 14 View Page
Entire terminal end of 1953 yellowed out – will remove. Today Heritage, Merit, Deconil
Friday, July 14 View Page
Trimmed back - no female flowers left - have 2 fruits. Nervous
Wednesday, September 6 View Page
Last fruit – got up to about 60 lbs and turned to mush – as have all the others all summer. Many start, all are lost. Suspect yellow vine, but this vine looks pretty good and growing voraciously in all directions, including most of the area vacated by 1953; occupies about 700 sq ft with many male and female flowers, several starting fruits but nothing survives. Done for 2023. Signing off. Nuts.
Wednesday, September 13 View Page
HOLD YOUR HORSES! Not so fast!! Take the last post back. AN IPIPHANY HAS OCCURRED!! This guy has been quietly growing and no sign of rot yet. Gaining about 2-4” circumference/day – wt about 75 lbs. 2 others on this remaining vine about half that size are growing as well. 5.7 inches rain over last 4 days. The vine is a mess – much of the distal end keeps growing new foliage and small fruits, the interior is shot, dead leaves scattered throughout, the massive stem is solid but the main vine ends in mush at 8 feet. The big guy is on the section that turned around and went backward into the vacated space when the 2052 got pulled. I have absolutely no idea what’s connected to what and what’s feeding this guy. I haven’t buried nodes in weeks and hardly any roots apparent. So, I’m back in the game. The secret here seems to be almost 6 weeks of near total neglect. Vine seems to have self-healed its various maladies during my absence. Applied CalVantage, Eight insecticide, Ridomil Gold fungicide, Jacks Finishing fertilizer (foliar spray) 7-15-30. Plan Return in a few weeks and we what we got. Just WHY do we do this?!


Top of Page

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