Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Updated Seed Lineup

I saw a post yesterday about a seed that I had forgotten about that I wanted to grow.  The 819 Radach (1655 Ford x 2009 Wallace).   Joe Scherber grew this seed two years ago.   When he said he was growing it, I have to admit that I said, "huh?"  Obviously not a big pumpkin at 819 pounds and it wasn't listed as a damaged pumpkin, so it had grown to full-size, so I couldn't figure out why Joe was giving it dirt.   Then I got the back story.

Matt grew three pumpkins in 2014.  One was a 1655 Ford and another was a 2009 Wallace.   The 1655 Ford seed was one that probably should have seen more dirt.  Joe grew that seed previously and set a new Colorado state record from it.   An aggressive plant.  I think he and Matt were the only two to grow it. 

The 2009 Wallace is probably the greatest seed of all time and has grown multiple world records.   What makes Matt's pumpkins very interesting is the fact that he grow both pumpkins on only 290 square feet! Less than half of what most growers plant sizes would be.  He has limited space and literally had vines wrapped around bushes.   The 2009 Wallace grow a 1,223 pound pumpkin.   That is 51% bigger than any pumpkin he had grown previously (which is a number that I think is worthwhile looking at when considering which seeds to grow).   Makes you wonder how big that pumpkin could have gotten if it had more space.

Joe grew that 819 seed to 1404 pounds.   An aggressive plant.  Andy Corbin grow the seed from the 2009 Wallace pumpkin and grew a personal best from it.   The genetics are in there.

I'll have my son or daughter grow the 819 seed.   I really like those Barron seeds, but they haven't produced anything as big as the mother and progeny from the progeny haven't produced anything as big as the mother either, so the genetics are good, but nothing that seems to want to grow a world-record sized pumpkin.   I think the 819 has shown a little more oomph and have shown to be a able to grow at altitude.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

2017 Giant Pumpkin Seed Lineup

This year I've got three/four different seeds in the lineup.   I'm going to grow a 1685 Scherber and my own 747 Johnson Atlantic Giant pumpkin seed.  Last year a new world record was grown off of the 2145 McMullen seed that was a whopping 2,624 pounds.   The was a significant increase over the previous world record and I wouldn't be surprised if the world record wasn't broken this year because of it.  

The 1685 seed is a cross of the 800 McMullen with the 2145 McMullen.  The 800 McMullen is a seed that is lower on the radar, but it is the reverse cross of the 2145 (same mama and papa).   So basically the cross of the 1685 is all the same genetic lines of the 2145.   The 1685 set a new Colorado state record by a fair amount and since it was grown at altitude and it nearly went to chart (Joe's big pumpkins almost never go near the chart) it is a pretty intriguing seed.  I and one of my kids are both going to grow this seed.

My 747 seed is a cross of the 1985 Miller with the 282 Scherber.   That 1985 plant was the best looking plant I had ever had early in the season.  For the first three weeks the pumpkin was just verily off the pace of my 1421 pumpkin that was a super fast grower and it ended up 15% heavy, so weight wise it was probably heavier than the 1421 at the first part of the season.  The problem was that I didn't realize that the plant for two weeks was only getting about 25% of the water that it should have due to an irrigation timer problem and as a result the plant nearly shut down.   For a day or two the pumpkin didn't show any signs of growth and once I discovered the problem it was almost too late.   

The 282 Scherber pollinator is a selfed clone of the plant that grew the world-record 2009 pumpkin.   The first pollination on that plant was a barn burner for the first week, but a hernia in one of the lobes badly mis-shapened the pumpkin so I had to take it off.  The second pollination aborted due to the watering problems and a late season third pollination split on me.  The plant was badly damaged due to the lack of water.  

Kind of a risk growing a seed from plants that really produced nothing, but I like the genetics and a saw glimpses of what the plants could have produced so I kind of feel it is worth the try.  I also like the 1725 genetics in this seed because they are coming from the very best of the 1725 lines.   

My son or daughter will grow one of the Barron seeds.  We'll start the 1916 and the 1738 seed.  Both seeds progeny to this point have been a little disappointing considering the cross, but I kind of believe there has to be one super star, magic seed out of that cross still.   Mom and pop did too well not for a big one to come out of them.  Also wouldn't mind seeing a nice orange pumpkin in the patch.

Had a Good Time at the UGPG Meeting

Andrew Pilger, a grower from Colorado pinged me this last week and came over on Friday.   It was good to talk pumpkins and get caught up on the latest happenings from the RMGVG with him.   That was followed on Saturday at the UGPG annual spring meeting.  I would guess there was nearly 65 in attendance and a number of Facebook live for the beginner and advanced Seminars. 

The advanced seminar with done with two time world-record holder Ron Wallace, which was great.   Ron is a wealth of knowledge, because he is into the science of growing.  I've found that there are two groups of top growers.  The scientist types and the feelers.  The feelers tend to be growers that just know plants.  Their experience allows them to just look at a plant and know what is going on with it and how to make it happy. The scientist types tend to be the types that can get into the smallest details of growing.  The best growers are the types who can do both and Ron is one of those types of growers.  25 years of growing and researching makes him one of the best in the world.

Sometimes you see world-record growers that got a good seed and knew enough to stay out of its way.  But they are one hit wonders and you never see a giant pumpkin from them again.  Other growers are consistently in the top 20 and those are the hardest working growers in the business.  Again, Ron is one of those.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

What is the Perfect Soil for Giant Pumkins?

The short answer is a balanced soil that has all of the nutrients in the soil that the pumpkin plant would need throughout the season.  The reality is that it is much more complicated than that.   I got my soil test results back.  Since this is a new patch and the soil is a bit different than what I had at the old home, I have more work cut out for me.   The soil here isn't bad.  It just needs to be properly built up and balanced.

I did a conversation with the head scientist who is a soil genius.  I've talked with him more than once over the years and with as much as I know, I don't know a thimble compared to what he knows.   Good soil is all about chemistry and soil chemistry is pretty much like a jigsaw puzzle where some of the pieces don't always fit well.

For example, my soil naturally has too much calcium in it.  At 5,600 feet in altitude you would be surprised to learn that there are sea shells in my yard.  The soil is an old ocean bed and the limestone has lots of calcium.   Too much calcium puts the soil out of balance and as a result it can cause problems with other nutrients.  The only good way to make the soil "perfect" so all of the pieces fit together would be to replace the majority of the soil. To some degree, over time, that is what I'll do, but no plans to haul soil Ohio to do a quick fix.

Some growers think that if a soil isn't "perfect" you can't grow a big pumpkin.  I can show you soil reports from growers who have grown world records that don't have balanced soils and did very well.   I believe the key is to not be too out of balance and make sure you do the right things (i.e. foliar feeding) to adjust appropriately.

One interesting conversation I had with the soil scientist was in regards to the rhizosphere around the roots.  The roots can get to nutrients about 1/4 inch from them, so although your soil may have a lot of nutrients in it, you can have the plant "bonk" because it can only access so much so it gets depleted.

I asked about feeding during the season and also about nutrients being locked up and he suggested an additional test to include on the soil.  This test (75S) would show what is soluble and available to the plants which is a better indication of what a plant can use from the soil.  I'm going to have another conversation with him after that test is done and I'll let you know what I learn here in the blog.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Tips for Giant Pumpkin Seed Starting

Soak the seed(s) in mildly warm water with a drop of seaweed (optional) and a little humic acid (optional) to help them germinate. After 3-4 hours of soaking transfer the seeds to lightly moistened paper towels that will be folded around the seeds and put into Ziploc bags. The Ziploc bags will then be placed at the back part of my computer where it is usually about 85 degrees. An ideal temperature for pumpkin seed starting is between 85 to 90 degrees. In 24 to 48 hours a little root will come out of the bottom of the seed and at that time I will transfer the seeds to my seed starting mixture in peat pots.

If you prefer, after soaking the seeds you can transfer the seed to a pot with a seed starting mixture rather than using the paper towel method.  The soil should be lightly moist and the pot should be in a warm place (80 degrees) to help germinate the seed.  the pointy part of the seed should be facing down as that is where the tap root will come out.

For my seed starting mixture I use 80% ProMix BX with some earth worm castings (optional) and some mycorrhizae (optional beneficial fungi) and Azos (optional beneficial bacteria). About 2-5 days  after putting the seeds in the pots they will start popping through the soil (can take up to 10 days if conditional aren't ideal). I put my pots in a closet with grow lights and a space heater in them so I can keep the plants at about 85 degrees. About two weeks later I'll plant them in the pumpkin patch inside hoop houses.  Anytime the weather is nice and not windy I'll put the plants outdoors so they can get sun.  No grow lights will do as well as the sun.

Growing Giant Pumpkins at Altitude

This will be my first season growing in Midway, Utah.  But having growing in Denver for years at an altitude that is only about 200 feet lower than most of the Heber Valley, it won't be much different as far as technique goes, although the average temperatures are about 5 degrees cooler on average.  The following are some tips for growing giant pumpkins above 4,000 feet in altitude.

Seed Starting
Start your seeds indoors in a warm area that gets lots of light.  Supplemental light and heat would be a good thing.   Start the plant in a pot that will give the roots room to grow.  Atlantic Giant pumpkin seeds roots grow really fast.   A one gallon pot will have roots top to bottom in two weeks.  Usually I start my seeds around April 15th.  For competition pumpkins that is required to give the plant enough time to grow.  For the more casual grower, maybe start your seeds around May 1st.

Planting in the Pumpkin Patch
I'll put out hoop houses (little green houses) a week or more before I plant outdoors to help warm the soil.   Plants don't like cold soil.  The first week of May, depending on the weather, I'll plant my pumpkin plants in the patch inside the hoop houses.  At night I'll add a 100 watt incandescent bulb, space heater or heat lamp in the hoop house to give a heat source for the plant and put a tarp or blanket over the hoop house.  The hoop house warms up very quickly in the sun (like a car with the windows rolled up in summer) during the day, but inside the hoop house by midnight it will be nearly the same temperature indoors as outdoors, so some sort of heat needs to be added or else the plants could freeze or not grow as quickly as they should.

I keep a little wireless thermometer in the hoop house and as soon as I see it hit around 85-88 degrees I open the flaps up.  I try to maintain a temperature between 85-90 degrees as much as I can.  I don't like to let it get over about 91 degrees.

Pumpkin Plant Vining
If you start your seeds on April 15th and the plant is happy, the vines will start to grow around the middle of May.   By the first week of June the vines are growing fast and typically my plants are out of the hoop house.  By this time of year there shouldn't be much risk for frost so the plant should be okay until September.

Grow em big!

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Better Weather, Cover Crops & I'll Starting to Get that Pumpkin Growing Itch

Here in Midway, UT we've had a fairly tough winter.  I'm told by the "old-timers" that this is the most snow we've seen in the last 10 years.  Seems like it just kept coming.   I've seen the soil twice in the pumpkin patch twice this year and most of the time it has been under more than a foot of snow and at one time almost 3 feet.   Snowpack in the Wasatch range is at about 160% right now.

The snow finally melted out of the patch today and from a distance I could see something that kind of surprised me. About 3 weeks before the ground froze I put in a cover crop in patch #1 and it got nicely established, but patch #2 didn't get a cover crop until about 5 days before it froze.   Today I noticed this nice green grass popping up all over the patch.   Germination rate looks to be adequate enough to cover the patch nicely by the time I till the soil in April.  I would of thought that since that seed had been buried under snow for the last three months it wouldn't had started to grow until we got at least a week of consistently warm weather, but this winter rye doesn't seem to care much about temperatures and snow.

I really like winter rye for this reason.  It is super hardy and it is easy to incorporate.  You can pull it out by your hand if you wanted to so it is easy to control.  It doesn't have the bio mass of some cover crops, but it works very nicely when you can't get a cover crop in early in the fall or when you want to get a cover crop going in the spring. Also a good way to get the myco going in the soil early in the season.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Lumens for Giant Pumpkin Seed Starting

Let me say up front, I'm not an expert on lumens and growing under lights, but I have done it for 8 years now so I'm not a novice.  When I start my pumpkin seeds I start them indoors under lights.  My setup includes putting the plants on the top of one of those standard plastic shelves that you can by almost anywhere that has a grated shelf.  On the bottom shelf I have a thermostatically controlled space heater and everything is in a closet.

In my new house I have a dedicated grow closet that is used for starting plants and the rest of the year I store my growing products in it.   At my old house I had florescent and T5 lights above the plants with full spectrum 6000K CFL bulbs on the side that are in brooders pointed at the plant.  This setup has always worked well.  The plants have always been short, stocky and not leggy which can happen when the plants don't get enough light.   The color always looked good too.

At the new house my florescent fixtures are too large to fit the grow closet so I just bought some additional T5 fixtures.  I like the T5 fixtures because they don't get too hot and they are nice and bright. With the T5s I'll continue to use the cfl bulbs with the brooders.

Now, for how much light do you need on your plant?  A T5 bulb 3-5 inches above the seedling with a CFL bulb in a brooder pointed at the plant from the side seems to be enough light.  I like to put the plants in the sun anytime I can, because you can't duplicate the sun and you need to get the plants used to the sun's brightness.  Also, a light wind is a good thing to help get the plant to harden off a little.  I think it also encourages root growth some.

A minimum of lighting needed for your pumpkin plant is around 2,000 lumens per square foot.   That would equal about two 23 watt CFL bulbs on a seedling. Mid-range would be around 5,000 lumens per square foot.  That would equal three 23 watt CFL’s.  What would be considered optimal for most indoor grows would be around 7,000-7,500 or higher, but for young seedlings I'm not sure that would be ideal or necessary.  That would equal five 23 watt CFLs.

For my T5 setup with the CFL bulb, I'm getting about 4,600 lumens, but there are multiple plants, so I have multiple bulbs in the area of each plant.  I would guess that each plant is getting right around 5,000 lumens per plant or a little more and it seems to be adequate to get the plants started until you can get them into the hoop house to get them fully going.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

How to Plan Your Pumpkin Season During the Doldrums of February

This time of year can be kind of boring during the pumpkin season.  Not much going on when the ground is frozen and there is a foot of snow on the ground.  Or is it?  A few things you should consider doing is planning for 2017.  Start developing a fertilizer program to use during the season, research new techniques, put together a fertilizer program for the season, do test plantings to make sure your seed starting techniques are good, watch videos on how to grow giant pumpkins and network with other growers.  All of these things are great things to do now to be prepared to grow a personal best pumpkin this year.  I find that when you stay ahead during the season things tend to work well.  When you are running behind, it is very hard to catch up.  Do everything you can do now to make it your best season ever. 

Friday, December 9, 2016

Soil Heating Cables for the Pumpkin Patch

I might be one of the few people in the world who would get a "ball of wire" for my birthday and be thrilled. Two new 48 foot soil heating cables for the pumpkin patch. Yea!!!  The heating cables will heat the soil which will get the biology going in the soil and promote root growth.  This will be helpful in the cooler Midway, Utah climate.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Pumpkin Patch #2

With an above average warm fall, I've managed to get the 2nd pumpkin patch prepped and I didn't think I'd be able to do that, but the weather has been kind.  This second area is larger than the first, with enough space for 3 full-size plants.  I'll grow one plant and the kids will grow a plant each in this space.  I put in about 5 yards of compost along with some sulfur, nitrogen, phosphorous and humic acid in the patch and then tilled it all in.  After that I sowed a winter rye cover crop.  The soil in this area was very compacted from construction vehicles, so I'll need to work it good again in the spring. 

Monday, October 31, 2016

Winter Rye Cover Crop for the Pumpkin Patch

Friday of last week, I put down winter rye seed for a cover crop.  Look how well it is doing already.  Warmer than average temperatures hasn't hurt, but good management practices is the key.  Night time lows have been between 31-38 degrees for the last week, but winter rye doesn't mind that much.  It is pretty hardy, so as long as you can keep it wet and you don't have a hard freeze, it will germinate.  A trick that Joe Scherber taught me is putting clear plastic over the planting area to get it to warm up a little more.  It also helps keep the moisture in, which makes a big difference.  Pre-germinating indoors in a bucket of sand with a little kelp and humic acid also helps ensure a higher germination rate.  These grass blades are already about 2 inches high, which is pretty amazing a week after sowing the seed.

In the spring, that grass will take off when it gets warm and grow like crazy.  I'll till it into the soil as a green manure to increase the organic matter in the soil and then I'll plant another cover crop of winter rye in the patch, except for the planting areas, at that time to help suppress weeds, keep the soil from getting compacted, help get the biology going in the soil and add additional organic matter.  When the pumpkin starts to vine out, I'll till in that 2nd cover crop well in advance so that it will be broke down in the soil by the time the roots and vines get out that far.

I really like winter rye because it establishes well in the fall and it is easy to get rid off when it is time to till it in.  You can fairly easily just pull it out of the soil in your hand, which is great, because you don't want to have to fight it off like a weed after establishing it.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Limestone Soil in the Pumpkin Patch

Back in March, before our new home was built I got a soil test.  The soil was high in potassium and surprisingly high in calcium and organic matter.  I believe my property some years ago was a farmers field, so I could account for a 5.3% OM, but I was surprised by the high calcium reading.  The last two weeks I started working on the front yard landscaping and there were a lot more of the pot rock in the backyard.  I figured this rock to be limestone, but I wasn't sure until I found this yesterday.

It is a sea shell, like you would find on any beach.  It looks like it could have washed up on the shore yesterday.  Although at 5,800 feet at the top of the Rockies, it is unlikely.

Friday, October 21, 2016

We Have a Pumpkin Patch in Utah!

It has been over a year since I could say I had a pumpkin patch.  With the move, I didn't grow last season and it was a little sad to see my neighbor cover the old patch with piles of dirt.   Yesterday evening I tilled about 3 yards of compost into the new patch along with some nitrogen, sulfur, humic acid, peat moss, manganese and iron.  Last night I also took a bucket full of sand and put in a little humic acid and liquid seaweed with some winter rye grass seed and wetted it to help pre-germinate the seed.  I then put that seed down at lunch today when things warmed up and racked it into the soil and then gave it a good watering.  I'll then cover the patch with plastic to help warm it up and which will increase the germination rate.

Weather here in Utah lately has been relatively warm.  Early mornings lately have hovered right around 32 degrees, but day time temperatures are forecast in the 60s and low 70s for the next week, which will be ideal for getting that cover crop going before the first hard freeze.  That winter rye cover crop will be tilled into the soil in the spring which will add organic matter and nutrients that will be available to the pumpkin patch next year.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Compost for the New Pumpkin Patch, Dump Trailers & A Big Thanks

Today I got about 20 yards of compost for the pumpkin patch and new yard.  This house is a brand new build, so I tilled the entire front yard to get the soil loosened up because it was very compacted from all of the heavy machinery.  My new 8hp Troy-Bilt tiller worked great.  The compacted soil was hard to work, but after few passed it started to dig deep.  It will work very nicely in the patch.  Not as powerful as the Barreto tillers I've been using, but in loose soil it will till the patch faster.

A big thanks to everyone at Power Equipment Rentals in Heber City, Utah.  They hooked me up with a dump trailer, truck to haul the dump trailer and a front loader to load up the compost.   They also gave me some very nice finished compost that looked to be 2-3 years old.  My soil at the new place is relatively nutrient rich, so this fully finished compost will be a very nice amendment to the pumpkin patch to get the organic matter increased in my sandy loam soil.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Greenhouse Geo Thermal Heating & Cooling for Giant Pumpkin Growing

Now I wouldn't purport to be an expert on setting up a geo thermal heating and cooling system in a greenhouse, but after watching a number of videos, reading blog posts and talking with some people I feel like a know enough to do what I want to accomplish.  What is a geo thermal heating and cooling system?  Basically it is a way to use the earth to heat and cool air in order to heat and cool a greenhouse or some other space.  Living in Midway, Utah now, I have challenges with temperatures that come with living in a mountain valley at 5,600 feet.  I'm actually only about 200 feet higher than where I was at in Denver, but the average day time temperature is about 5 degrees cooler during the day and night and that makes a big difference, particularly with giant pumpkins.  45-55 degree nights is not ideal for packing on the pounds.  It makes for nice sleeping however.

So what I have to do is make the pumpkin plants think they are in Napa Valley, Ohio or Rhode Island.  The greenhouse I will build will help with that.  That will help warm the plants up more quickly in the early morning and will get the humidity up a little.  It doesn't do much to keep the plants warm at night however.

The corrugated pipe that you see in the picture below were buried about 2 1/2 feet down in the ground.  One one end of the pipes will have a tube that will go up to the top of the green house and it will have an inline fan hooked to a thermostat that will blow the hot air down into the tubes at a high enough volume to circulate the air volume in the greenhouse.  When the air goes down into the ground it will warm the soil, which is great for the roots and will get the biology in the soil going.  In return the air will be cooled by the earth as it passes through the pipes and then will be blown into the greenhouse, cooling the air in the greenhouse.  In all of my research, this is the most efficient way to heat and cool a greenhouse.  If it were up to me I'd heat the greenhouse at night with a propane heater (i.e.expensive), but my wife is mean and won't let me.  Lol

I also mention that this system will also heat the greenhouse.   Another thermostat will kick on during the night, when it gets too cool and the reverse will happen.  Cooler air will be blown into the pipes and will be heated up by the earth, that has stored the heat from the heat of the day and on the other end, warmer air will be blown out.

I've also purchased an number of soon to be black water barrels that will be on the southwest side of the greenhouse.  Those will soak up heat during the day and then at night will release the heat into the greenhouse.  The guy I bought the barrels from, who has a greenhouse, said he has checked the temperature of the water in the barrels during the day and 85 degrees is pretty common for him.

All of this together I hope will make for some giant pumpkins in 2017.

New World Pumpkin Giant Pumpkin Weighs 2,623 Pounds

Congrats to Mathias Willemijns of Belgium on his new World Record giant pumpkin weighing in at an amazing 2,624 pounds.  The pumpkin was grown on the 2145 McMullen seed and went 21% heavy.  One of the seeds I plan on growing next year is the 1685 Scherber which is the 800 McMullen (reverse cross of the 2145) crossed with the 2145 McMullen.  Five of the top 20 pumpkins grown this year where grown on the 2145 McMullen seed, so there is a lot of great genetics.  The 1685 Scherber smashed the previous Colorado state record by over 200 pounds so it is an intriguing seed.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

One Ton Pumpkin in Colorado?

Will this be the first pumpkin ever grown in Colorado that weighs over 2,000 pounds?  Come find out at Jared's Nursery in Littleton this Saturday.

Sunday, August 7, 2016

What to Do When Your Pumpkin Isn't Growing As Fast As You Would Like

This is one of the things that all growers struggle with when a pumpkin isn't growing as fast as they like.  There are a number of factors that can contribute to slow growth.  Some can be fixed and others cannot.  Genetic factors of course can't be fixed.  Some pumpkins just want to grow slow.  The smallest pumpkin I ever grew was right next to the pumpkin plant that grew my biggest pumpkin ever and both plants got the same amount of water, fertilizer, etc.  

If you don't want to go to the expense of doing a tissue test to find out what the plant has and needs, then trying to give the plants a little more fertilizer isn't a bad idea.  These plants are heavy feeders and they can "bonk," because although there might be a lot of nutrients in the soil sometimes it is locked up or just out of the reach of the roots. 

Doing small, divided doses of additional fertilizer may not be a bad idea, but spoon feed and see how the plant reacts.  Be patient with it.  Over doing it, even slightly, can sometimes have a negative effect on the growth of the pumpkin.  Doing it this way will probably give you better results.

To figure out what the plant needs take a look at the color and growth of the plant.  Potassium can help push the pumpkin along, but low nitrogen or other nutrients can also limit pumpkin growth.  Slow and steady wins the race in pumpkin growing.  So look at everything that could be a limiting factor and do small tests to see what yields you the best results.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Greenhouse Geothermal Heating and Cooling for the Giant Pumpkin Patch

I've been doing research over the last couple of weeks for setting up a geothermal heating and cooling system for my new greenhouse and pumpkin patch.  One of the gurus for this setup (Sunny Johns) is right here in Colorado, but unfortunately his website isn't live anymore (read more below).  You find tons of references to it however when reading on the subject.

Basically what I'll be doing is running a bunch of 4 inch pipes under the pumpkin patch about 3 feet down.  I'll then run a pipe to the top of the greenhouse and in that pipe will be a thermostatically controlled fan.  That pipe will go into the soil in one far corner of the patch and attach to those pipes that are running through the soil.  That pipe will then pop out of the soil on the other far end of the patch.

What will happen, during the heat of the day, is that fan will suck the hot air at the top of the greenhouse and run it through the pipes which will heat the soil.  Pumpkin roots like warm soil because it activates the biology in the soil.  Then cooler air will be blown out the other end of the pipe system at the other end of the patch.

During the night, another thermostat will kick on when it gets too cool.   This time the warmed soil with heat the cool night air in the greenhouse warming the greenhouse slightly during the night.  The whole system is very inexpensive to run and efficient.

I own a website design business ( and when I found that the Sunny Johns site no longer existed I decided to try the Wayback Machine.  The Wayback Machine is an initiative where they crawl websites every so often and then store them.  So you can literally see what a website looked like on a specific date.  The cool thing is that the Sunny Johns geothermal site pages mostly still exist on the Wayback Machine so you can still get all of the good information that is posted there.  Visit here.