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Click on a thumbnail picture below to see the full size version. 31 Entries.
Saturday, January 23 View Page
Nebulisers, what an effort itís turned out to be. We decided to put new support wires up so that we get them an extra half a metre up. All of this to get maximum cooling and cut down the chance of water on the leaves. We have also put a new pump in and itís going to be about three weeks work
Saturday, January 23 View Page
Our preferred line up will be 2 X 1875 2 X 2005 2 X 2183
Sunday, February 7 View Page
Sarah tested positive for covid yesterday and Iím so worried that she will be okay. My gorgeous daughter Katie is expecting twins in a few weeks time so hopefully it will pull her through.
Friday, February 19 View Page
Sarahís been really sick but thankfully slowly getting better. Stuartís started the 40 hour job of digging the patch. The photo doesnít really show the depth of the soil but itís deep.
Friday, February 19 View Page
Stuartís been adding a huge amount of Perlite yet again to keep the soil nice and open and it was 50 not 40 hours work. The pile in front of me is one third of the soil from one patch. By the time each area is dug and gently put down Stuart worked out that there is 12 extra cubic meters of air per patch.
Monday, March 1 View Page
Weíre putting up sticky traps high up in the roof to catch aphids as they fly in through the roof.
Sunday, April 4 View Page
Finally weíre off and a little earlier than last year.
Sunday, May 2 View Page
I wish Iíd recorded the hours spent so far getting to this stage. With the Cool Net I doubt if itís less than two working months. We just have a few drip lines to finish so we actually have a couple of weeks to relax before it all starts again.
Saturday, May 8 View Page
All the plants are bang on the money
Friday, May 28 View Page
Iíve always put in my diary good and bad and unfortunately this time it is bad, really bad. Eight days ago our plants looked fantastic but ever since they have been growing really weird. We did the usual and suspected the feed but our soil was close to perfect. This morning the plants looked terrible so in these situations we always pull our program apart to see what we have done differently. We started looking at the CO2 burners. If burners donít burn correctly the can produce Ethylene which can have exactly the effect shown in the picture. A few years ago we tried rooting hormone on all off the nodes but didnít see anything significant on extra roots so gave the idea up. This year we decided to try again but our horticulture supplier could only offer a different powder. On closer inspection it contained 4-indol-3-ylbutylic acid and that also can have the same affect shown in the picture. Our season hangs in the balance and that is not just being dramatic. We turned the gas burners off, removed all the pots, washed the vines, replaced all the pots and now have to watch the plants probably get worse before they hopefully get better. Stewie and I have always taken the highs and lows together and I wouldnít have it an other way. If we donít get through this, look our because next year we will becoming back stronger.
Tuesday, June 1 View Page
After a great deal of stress and scratching of heads we worked out the problem. It was the rooting hormone and not a problem with unburnt gas. It only took three days and the plants were back on track and believe me they looked awful last Friday. The internodes are stretched so we will have to get a little inventive on vine burying but it could have been a lot worse. Itís not the end of rooting powder it just needs a little tweaking so we will probably do some testing later in the year.
Friday, June 4 View Page
And weíre off. This is a 2005 x 2183
Thursday, June 17 View Page
Itís been a bit of a struggle to be honest to get all our pumpkins pollinated. Various theories but most likely due to the rooting hormone. I think we have 5 ish set at the moment with one of the 1875ís on the last chance to tomorrow
Thursday, June 17 View Page
Both of the 2005ís are terrific looking plants with very promising looking pumpkins
Monday, June 28 View Page
Weíre measuring all our pumpkins from DAP19 from this year so that we can track against last years 2593. So DAP19 our 2183B is 137lbs which is 31lbs in front of the 2593.
Monday, June 28 View Page
Hopefully you get this is the soil sample that goes with the previous post
Monday, June 28 View Page
This next sample is about 10 days later and all we worked on the potassium and nitrogen. Out of all the elements nitrogen is, for us by far the hardest to get right and we donít have any rainfall. We try to achieve 90ppm as 101ppm is way to much.
Tuesday, June 29 View Page
The 2005B DAP19 is 165lbs and 55% faster than the 2593 so I guess itís watch this space. There were 10 improvements in the patch this year so they should be faster. The big ones were :- Better vine burying (we now mould the peat over the vine and put the pot back to keep out the light) We are on nearly all friendly bugs and virtually no spraying chemicals. The result is much better leaves. The cooling system has helped on the few occasions that itís got really hot in the patch. We increased the venting temperature from 20C 70F to 24C which is about 78F We left the CO2 burners on. We only get the benefits in the morning and if we could afford cold CO2 like Matt D we would put it in all day. Great informative diary Matt. On a couple of the cold and miserable wet cloudy days we have slammed the vents shut by hand a left the CO2 on. And plenty of tiny improvements but they all add up
Wednesday, June 30 View Page
DAP 19 our 2183A is 139lbs and looking very good.
Thursday, July 1 View Page
This will probably end up the runt of the patch as the 2183A DAP19 is only 137inches which is not even on the scale. It just shows how random seed can be. 2183A 137Ē 2593 164Ē 2183B 179Ē 2005A 183Ē 2005B 192Ē
Monday, July 5 View Page
DAP the 2183 is 410lbs and averaged 39lbs a day for the last week. Sheís in front of our 2593 and looking good.
Tuesday, July 6 View Page
The 2005B is on fire and DAP26 tapes 496lbs and already averaging 47lbs a day for the last week. Sheís 127lbs in front of our 2593
Thursday, July 8 View Page
Yesterday our 2005 DAP26 taped 434lbs averaging 42lbs a day for the last week. She is also 65lbs ahead of our 2593. The Runt or 2183A is DAP26 is about 200lbs and we wonít bother taping her for a while.
Thursday, July 15 View Page
Itís been a bit of a disaster this week in the patch as we under watered for two days and trashed two pumpkins. The first was the 2183B which was on fire at the time and just DAP33 taped 804lbs up 396lbs for the week and averaged 57lbs a day.
Thursday, July 15 View Page
The 2005B was even more impressive and DAP33 she was 897lbs also averaging 57lbs a day. We got to have a really good look at the plants and the rooting was fantastic but we have been battling fusarium this year but hopefully have that in hand for next year.
Thursday, July 15 View Page
As luck would have it our 2005A is the worst plant with fusarium and it will probably limit how big the pumpkin gets. DAP33 sheís 790lbs up 356lbs for the week and averaged 51lbs a day for the week. As usual we were both very down for half a day and then started to take the plusís.
Wednesday, July 21 View Page
DAP 40 our 2005A is 1135lbs up 343lbs for the week and averaged a respectable 49lbs a day for the last week. Itís been a baking hot week and the plant did well to get through it. Fingers crossed I guess.
Saturday, August 21 View Page
This year has turned out to be an absolute disaster. To sum up. After losing two pumpkins that didnít pollinate at all, we then lost the two due to a watering error. Finally we lost the last two plants with fusarium and are trying to keep this pumpkin and the runt for our show in two months time. Looking on the bright side, I wonít have to bag up a load of seeds for bubbles. Funny enough though weíre okay about it. Weíve actually learned more about growing than the last few years put together. Good luck at the weigh offs every one.
Tuesday, October 5 View Page
Although this year has been a bit of a car crash we have learned so much itís worth the hundreds of hours weíve put in. Weíve spent so many hours, this year weíre recording all of them. I personally have countless growers asking questions which I try to answer in a way that they can understand. I just want to say now that Iím very proud of them all. Most have had fantastic years and others are raring to go for next year. Good luck all with the last weigh offs.
Sunday, October 10 View Page
Now thereís some happy faces. Well done for all your achievements this year and thank you all for making this one of the best weigh offs in the world.
Saturday, November 6 View Page
Weíve already racked up an incredible amount of hours in the patch. Weíve put up five times the amount of yellow sticky traps and Stuart should have it dug by next week. Unfortunately this will be my last diary this year so Iíve done 15 years in a row. The reason is because Iím sick and tired of people knocking the GPC and Ken. The attack on Ken was the final straw. Heís a personal friend and has run this website for free for I think around 20 years. I know people have the right to ask questions but, for me, personal attacks are a step to far. I will put a few videos on my Instagram.


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