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Wednesday, September 13, 2023 Little Ketchup Grittyville, WA

Entry 264 of 288  
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Some notes, basically to myself. If I grow a pumpkin again, rather than digging a hole to get a better vine angle/ more space for a blossom down pumpkin, I should definitely create that extra space by growing the vine farther upwards, and leave the level of the soil alone. This is for multiple reasons, the biggest reasons being, its easier, the plant will like it as well or better, and there will be an easier time of moving and loading the pumpkin if there are no holes for a vehicle to get stuck in, or drag a pumpkin out of. The last issue being my current concern.

I should try the diamond pattern, small square footage, and come up with the easiest care/fertilizing/watering system possible.

If I want to grow a nice size pumpkin, I'll probably want to try the 288 leaf competition next year, I've had yet another failure in 150 sq ft. And part of that failure was, I dont think crowding the plant was helpful. Its a big, lovely, dense plant. It just lost any & all focus on growing an actual pumpkin. Lack of calcium being the most critical factor, I believe. I put a lot of calcium on the soil surface but apparently it wasnt actually available to the roots. Its not even a lack of calcium in the soil, it was more just a lack of calcium in the plant itself. (I may have induced a calcium deficiency simply by doing a "too good job" of supplying ALL the other nutrients.)

I could try the 150 sq ft competition again though. Especially with some orange genetics, genetics that go lighter to chart but wont abort/ be such hogs for calcium.

Its the ratio of roots-to-leaves that messes up the calcium levels in the plant? A better pruned plant will have a better ratio of roots-to-leaves? My 150 plant this year was a perfect example of too much salad/ a top heavy plant, with not enough roots spparently. And its possible there was an excess of nematodes or other soil bugs in that spot and that they reduced the root volume, even though the top of the plant always looked totally healthy, it just couldnt overcome the soil pests pressure get the critical mass of roots established. Hence not the correct ratio of roots to leaves, hence not the correct calcium levels despite that there may have been at least minimally adequate levels in the soil.

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