Wednesday, August 14, 2013

The Dreaded Day 50

Two years ago I had a very nice pumpkin going on a 1,204 Scherber.  It was on track to grow between 1,050 and 1,100 pounds.  That year my pumpkin was on the patch tour.  The pumpkin looked pristine that day.  Three days later the pumpkin split, on day 50 where a dill ring intersected a deep rib in the pumpkin. 

A dill ring is an internal crack in the pumpkin.  It runs perpendicular to the ribs in the pumpkin and it is a silent killer.  Slowly the crack goes deeper into the meat towards the surface of the pumpkin and sometimes it reaches the surface of the pumpkin and then your season is done.  Two years ago I was able to limp that pumpkin along and get it to the scale.  However two days after the split the growth went from 20lbs per day down to 9 so it never got to its full potential.

Sometime after about 45 days dill rings and blossom end splits tend to show up.  I believe both have genetic pieces but I think mostly they happen due to issues with how nutrients get to and move through the pumpkin.  Too much water or too little water and boom.  You've got a problem.  Even watering and a proper fertilizer program can help prevent that but there is only so much you can do.

Even with the cool weather Stanley has continued to grow relatively well all considering.  Elbert is oranging up and maybe has a chance at a Howard Dill award.  It is a very uniform and nice looking pumpkin.  Unfortunately it didn't get the grow gene from its mom. 

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