Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Elbert is Still Growing Along with the Clone Pollinations

Last Friday night we had a light frost at the house.  Interesting enough the leaves under the hail netting were partially spared but leaves that were just outside of the hail netting are all black now.  On Sunday I took a measurement of the 1775 Starr pumpkin (Elbert) and this morning I took another measurement and it is still growing.  I expected this pumpkin to go light even before I planted the seed and I still expect that.  I'm just hoping that it will exceed the weight of my rookie year pumpkin.  This pumpkin was never a fast grower but is still pushing 6lbs a day right now.

I also checked the late pollinations that I did on the 1421 plant where I pollinated each pumpkin with a cutting (clone) from the plant that grew the world-record 2,009 pound pumpkin last year.  Pumpkins that have those world record genetics in them that have gone to the scale so far this year have been big.  My first pollination is only 30 days old but both pumpkins are still growing. I need to get to about 45 days to assure viable seeds.  However, Friday night of this week has a forecast for a hard freeze.  If that is the case I'll take the pumpkins off the vine and put them in the garage for a week.  I've heard that the seeds can still mature some after the pumpkins are taken off the vine.


Unknown said...

Hi I was wondering when you would recommend cutting my pumpkins. Our first and what would have been our largest pumpkin got eaten by ants of all things. We have 3more pumpkins (2orange, 1yellow) that are about 20-30lbs each, but I was hoping they would still get a little bigger since we lost our other pumpkin. We are not forecasted to have any overnight freezes with the lowest forcasted overnight temp at (39degrees) but we are supposed to get some fairly warm days including mid 70s. There are a few dead leaves on our vines, but most are still nice and green. Should I cut them now or give them another week to grow? Also what brands of soil/compost do you recommend so that next year we have a better shot at bigger pumpkins?

Jamie said...

If they are still growing I would keep them on the vine to let them get a little bigger and orange up some.

The key to growing a bigger pumpkin is soil prep now. What you should put into the soil depends on what you need. Most bags of bagged compost is pretty poor. They always have a lot of wood chips in them which rob your soil of nitrogen. If you don't have another source try the EcoScrapes brand. I'll be using some of it this fall. Also put down a descent amount of alfalfa petllets and fallen leaves and till it or turn it into the soil. The will give you a fair amount of nutrients and organic matter to grow a bigger pumpkin.

Unknown said...

Thank you for the suggestions! I will look into doing all of that! Im excited we had anything grow at all this year as last year the soil was so acidic from the pine needles that my neighbors tree dropped into it that almost everything we planted died. This year I raked them off as they fell and it seemed to help a LOT! Keep growing big pumpkins, I love to see how big you get them!

Jamie said...

Let me know how your pumpkins do next year!