Home What's New Message Board
BigPumpkins.com
Select Destination Site Search
 
VTJohn - 2024 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. 31 Entries.
Sunday, March 10 View Page
Letís go 2024! This is my 21st year having a diary on this great site that Ken created. Big shout out to Porkchop for creating and supporting the Zeke Demers/BP.com tomato team challenge. I am very fortunate to have won back to back years in the draft division and could not have done it without the great teammates and their hard work. Letís all make 2024 a season of personal bests while having fun along the way!
Sunday, March 31 View Page
Happy Easter. Exciting time of year for us gardeners as Kerry has flower seeds started on the grow bench and our giant seeds are getting organized to start. Today I was able to do a checkerboard subsoil of both patches and then put the tiller on to do a very shallow till to planarize all of the peaks and valleys. Thursday we have 10 yards of compost delivered along with a prediction of 6 inches of snow. Our goal each year is to have hoops on and ready to heat soil by mid April. Fingers crossed!
Thursday, April 4 View Page
Mother Nature helped amend the patch. Just shy of 12 inches with a couple more predicted. Compost delivery was cancelled for today.
Sunday, April 14 View Page
It is go time for the first round of germinations. We will have 4 plants again this year and we have started 5 different seeds. We were fortunate that Ned shared another 839 and the others are our 1503, 1065, 907 and 691.5. I soak the seeds in 50% water and 50% hydrogen peroxide for 3 hours.
Sunday, April 14 View Page
I read all of the special seed starting mixes with all of the amendments and want to let growers know that we have been using Miracle Grow Potting Mix since 1996 to germinate seeds in. Many ways to succeed in this hobby and it is ok to keep things simple.
Sunday, April 14 View Page
Our grow bench is starting to fill up. I donít use a seed starting chamber but do use a heat mat to warm up the pots and use gallon ziplock bags to keep moisture in. Our son built the grow bench for us with each shelf being 3 foot high with the led light bars being fully adjustable.
Sunday, April 14 View Page
Hoops are built and ready to go. Patch just needs to dry out more before the final tilling happens. The goal is to have everything in place by next weekend so it will give time for soil heater cables to work before a late April planting date.
Tuesday, April 16 View Page
It was dry enough to do a final till this evening and Kerry helped dig in soil heater cables. Tomorrow evening the goal is to run extension cords to start heating the soil. Our goal is as close to 70 degrees possible which helps to hatch the corn seed maggots and we can use less insecticide on the transplants. The hoop houses are 5íx8í and each patch is 800 square feet.
Tuesday, April 16 View Page
The old patch is slowly getting there but is a little wetter than the big patch. One pumpkin will go in the 400 square foot space. We also have 2 trellises that are 14.5 feet tall and a larger hoop house that will hold giant tomatoes. The goal for pumpkins to be planted out is May 1st and the long gourds and tomatoes will be mid to late May.
Saturday, May 4 View Page
Happy glow season! First Sunday update tomorrow.
Sunday, May 5 View Page
Here is the first Sunday entry of the season. It has been cloudy and cool for the first few days of May but the plants have survived. This time of year in our northern climate I am just happy to get the roots expanding. Today we have a high of 48 degrees and rain. Inside the hoop houses the temp is 65 with the soil cables and 250 watt heat lamp. Here is our 1503.5 Young (839 Sandercock x 1552 Young)
Sunday, May 5 View Page
Next is our 400 square foot old patch and the bigger plants are our 691.5 Young (535 Young x 1905 Rose) and the small plant is the 1665 MacDonald (1215 Young x self)
Sunday, May 5 View Page
Here is the 1065 Young HD winner (1442 Young x 839 Sandercock)
Sunday, May 5 View Page
Last but not least is our last 800 square foot area with the 839 Sandercock (1885 Werner x 1665 MacDonald) and the 1503 Young (839 Sandercock x 1552 Young). Both of these plants had a rough start but the new growth is looking good.
Sunday, May 12 View Page
Week number 2 of the season has been a repeat weather wise of gray skies and cool temperatures. The plants are growing slowly but appear mostly healthy.
Sunday, May 12 View Page
The old patch is ready to go as well but we need to wait closer to the last frost date before we plant the giant tomatoes and long gourds. Our weed control starts as soon as the ground is tilled. The weed block helps but we still spend a couple of hours each week with a stirrup hoe.
Sunday, May 12 View Page
Our cat Penny is such a big help. She loves to sit on the heat mat as we germinate seeds. Here she is helping with our last 3 back up tomatoes.
Sunday, May 12 View Page
Here are the giant tomatoes starting to grow nicely. They will be planted outside in about 2 weeks.
Sunday, May 12 View Page
A bit hard to see, but here are the long gourds germinated. We have a 168 Eaton, 2 @ 159 Jutras, 149 Jutras and 145 Jutras. Just two will make Final Cut.
Sunday, May 12 View Page
Here are the competing 1503.5 Youngís. The plant on the left appears to be a flat vine or a double, so probably the keeper will be the one on the right.
Sunday, May 12 View Page
The 691 Youngís are in a bit colder patch area but are starting to kick in. The 1665 MacDonald is probably too far behind to be our keeper.
Sunday, May 12 View Page
Our 1065 Youngís are both growing well and it will be a tough decision on which one to keep.
Sunday, May 12 View Page
Last but not least is the 839 Sandercock on the right hand side. This plant got a tough start with too hot lights but has nice looking new growth. The back up on the left is our 1503 Young which was from the 839 last year.
Sunday, May 19 View Page
When you start seeing dragon heads and tendrils you know growth season is here. Hold on it can be a wild ride!
Sunday, May 19 View Page
Our weather is slowly starting to turn better and we are slowly drying out. Plants are healthy and patch is weeded for the week. We set up temporary watering so we can help the young plants with the upcoming heat.
Sunday, May 19 View Page
The old patch is still patiently waiting for its tomatoís and long gourds. We did set up the mesh electric fence as our nights turn warmer and hoops left open.
Sunday, May 19 View Page
The tall sunflowers have been transplanted to the patch. Letís see if one of them can beat our 19 foot personal best.
Sunday, May 19 View Page
Here are the competing 691 Young plants. The longest is just shy of 2 feet. After Memorial Day we will probably cull down to 1 plants.
Sunday, May 19 View Page
One of the 1503ís had a cluster of vines that looked like it might have turned into a flat vine so I pulled it. Replaced it with a back up 1503 which is doing fine but small compared to the other normal 1503 Young which will probably be our keeper and is a little over 2 feet long.
Sunday, May 19 View Page
Here is the 839 Sandercock on the right and 1503Young on the left. The 1503ís genetics are 839 Sandercock x 1552 Young. Our plan is to keep the 839 and do some back crosses. The 839 is about 2.5 feet today.
Sunday, May 19 View Page
Our patch leader so far is the 1065 Young just shy of 3 feet. This pumpkin last year was very orange with smooth skin and we crossed a heavy orange 839 Sandercock into it.

 

Top of Page

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