Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Almost Pollination Time; Prepping for a Pumpkin

One thing I came away from the last year's growing seminar was prepping the pumpkin for big growth BEFORE the big growth begins.   In the past, I've more taken the approach of feeding as the demand ramps up.   So typically, around day 28 after pollination the pumpkin starts really kicking it into gear and can start putting on 40 pounds in a day.   So what I was doing in the past, is ramping up my potassium around day 25ish so the supply could meet the demand.  The new thinking is to start ramping up much earlier now.

So four days ago I gave the plant a foliar application of TKO.  A four days before that a little 3-12-12 on the soil.  Today I gave the plant some 7-4-5, with a touch more of potassium, some zinc and manganese.  I did a small amount of manganese because my soil test showed it a little low in the spring.  Manganese is used in seed production and it is looking like the female flower at 13 feet will be opening in the next two days, so I figure now is a good time to add a little more to help with seed production.

I should mention, although I'm pre-loading on potassium a little, nitrogen in the big demand in the plant right now.   The vines on all sides are growing very quickly, so spoon feeding nitrogen is still important.

Friday, June 11, 2021

Frost on the Pumpkin? Not Last Night, but it was close.

 Last night it hit 31 degrees in the pumpkin patch, but the plants were kept safe.  My plant, which is in a greenhouse, isn't protected from overnight lows by the greenhouse.  The temps at night in the greenhouse are the same as the temps outside.  Sometimes even a little cooler at the first part of the evening.  However, if you run a propane heater, which I did last night, you can get it warmer.  The low in the greenhouse got to 37 degrees, but not cold enough to do any damage.

My son's plant, which has grown to the end of his hoop house, was kept nice and warm and did well last night too, under an insulated tarp and with a ceramic heat lamp.  But there was ice on the tarp this morning, so it got cold outside.

Yesterday I gave my plant some liquid seaweed with humic acid on the recently covered vines.   That should help with root growth.

I have a female flower in the vine tip at about 12-13 feet out on the main vine.  So we should be 7-9 days out from pollinating what should be a keeper.  I'll need to send in a tissue sample soon to the lab to see what the plant needs.

Friday, June 4, 2021

Pumpkin Fertilizer and the Choice is Made

I was lamenting what pumpkin plant to pull until a few days ago.   The vine tip on one of the plants got burnt, which is pretty inexplicable, because in the greenhouse that hasn't happened to me before, so that plant has self selected to be pulled today.

Gave the plant some 14-0-14, calmag and seaweed today.  Right now I've been fertilizing small amounts about twice a week.   Once I start using the irrigation rather than hand watering, when I remove the hoop house, I start fertigating small amounts of fertilizer almost daily.

The chosen plant is a couple of feet outside of the greenhouse now and growing nicely.   Side vines are coming on strong now, so this plant will go from looking like a stick to filling the first half of the greenhouse in a matter of weeks.  I haven't checked the vine tip yet, but I'm hoping to see a female flower show up in the next week.  The plant has had a couple of flowers on it already, so I'm guessing a female should show up soon.


Saturday, May 29, 2021

Pumpkin Plants Today

Gave the plants some nitrogen, seaweed, sulfur and humic acid over the last few days.  Buried the main vine and using those nutrients to help support new root growth along the main vine.  I bury the vines with garden soil and then put a little compost on top.

Will be making some decisions for which plant to keep in the next few days.  Both are neck and neck.  Will probably go with the one on the right.

Tilled in the cover crop today so it will be mostly decomposed as the vines grow out to the second half of the patch.

Was doing some additional research on the 1825 Sadiq seed my plants are from.  It came from a 1911 Wolf (2145 x 2416) seed.  The 2145 seed that produced the 1911 went 15% heavy.  The 2416, which didn't make it to the weigh-off, was 1803 pounds and went 18% over the chart after losing its stump early and going down early.   The 1825 pumpkin went 7% heavy.  So lots of heavy genes in this plant.

This is the picture of the 1803: