Saturday, August 18, 2012

Vines Almost Terminated & To The Halfway Mark

1451 with Sudan Grass in the Foreground
Jared's weigh-off is 42 days from today and Nick's weigh-off is in 49 days.  That puts me about at the halfway mark with this pumpkin being 43 days old.

I've terminated all of the vines on this plant except for three side vines and the main.  In a week I'll terminate one more vine and at the end of the month I'll have everything terminated except for the main vine.  That will force the plant to put all of its energy to the pumpkin.  I'll keep the main vine growing in the theory that will add more pounds to the pumpkin.  Some studies on other plants show that this strategy works because there is a feedback mechanism in the plants and a hormone change when the vines are all terminated that can reduce yield.

Traditionally September is a bad month for me putting on the pounds.  Most all pumpkins slow down considerably in growth the last 30 days, putting on 3 to 5 pounds a day the week before the pumpkin is picked.  In previous years I was limited by space with two plants and only about 450 square feet per plant.  This meant that most all of my vines were terminated by the first week of August and my leaves were old come September and my plant relatively small so there wasn't a lot of plant to power the pumpkin.  This year, with the 1789 Wallace plant gone, I've got lots of space to grow on.   Right now the plant at its widest point is 43 feet wide.  It won't be getting any wider than that because those vines are terminated, but there is a lot of plant with brand new leaves to keep this pumpkin going to the end of the season.

Right now growth is at 17 pounds a day.  That has held steady for weeks now.  I've been doing over the top measurements for 22 days now and the pumpkin never has put on anything close to big growth but also has never slowed down much either, putting on 16 to 20 pounds a day consistently.  I'm about 70 pounds behind where my pumpkin was at on the same number of growing days last year.  This year's pumpkin should get about 7 more growing days than last year and I'll be disappointed if I don't put on considerably more pounds than last year over the last 30 days because when last year's pumpkin split the growth slowed down considerably.

I've still got some hope this season, but the weather is going to have to be kind in September for it to happen.

I gave the plant some foliar Metasolate calcium with humic acid this evening.

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