Sunday, August 31, 2008
The seed that I am growing this pumpkin on came from the famous Howard Dill. No genetic information was given other than the parent pumpkin was 300-500 pounds. Right now the pumpkin is somewhere between 550-600 pounds, so I feel like I did something right this year. I wish I had grown on a higher genetic seed for all of the work I have done this year, but come the weigh-off I feel like I will be in a pretty good place all considering.
My good neighbor behind me Chris let me know a couple of weeks ago that he is going to allow me to grow pumpkins on his big property. I'm really grateful to him for it. I've been growing this year's pumpkin on my dad's old garden spot which has laid fallow for the last two years. They are going to be landscaping the garden area so the spot wasn't going to be available for me next year. My parents have been a fantastic help all throughout this growing season. I'm sure I have stressed them out more than once through it all.
In the next month I am planning on starting the soil prep for my new patch. If anyone has any hot tips on where to get manure, maple leaves or compost near Arvada please let me know. The spot I will be growing on will need a lot of help to get it to world class levels. I am very determined to get to 1,000 pounds next year.
Saturday, August 30, 2008
The record for the world’s largest pumpkin was 460 pounds until 1981, when Howard Dill, a grower in
To get great genetic seeds please contact the Rocky Mountain Giant Vegetable Growers at http://www.coloradopumpkins.com/ or feel free to contact myself. I have a number of great seeds from local and national growers that I would be willing to share.
Friday, August 29, 2008
After a big jump in growth a few days ago the pumpkin has slowed down the last couple of days. I am now down to 18 inches remaining to reach my goal. I will need about 1/4 inch more growth per day and consistent good weather if I am going to achieve it. Right now it looks like the weather will be working in my favor over the next 10 days. I'm one of the few people in Colorado who likes an 89 degree day in September. The pumpkin sure likes the warmth.
Thursday, August 28, 2008
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
Sunday, August 24, 2008
Saturday, August 23, 2008
Thursday, August 21, 2008
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
Monday, August 18, 2008
It looks like I have the powdery mildew under control for now. Milk, earth worm casting compost tea, fungicide and removal of the worst leaves will hopefully keep it in check.
Sunday, August 17, 2008
Saturday, August 16, 2008
- The soil food web. Organic fertilizers feed what is called the soil food web. Chemical fertilizers can diminish the soil food web. The soil food web is the community of bacteria, fungi, protozoa, dirt, plants, and organic material in the soil working together synergistically to feed and help each other. You see the best of this in jungles and forests where the plants thrive without much outside intervention. Organic fertilizers typically build this community and add to it. Chemical fertilizers can diminish some communities in the food web and this breaks the natural cycles. So what you end up doing is feeding the plant rather than the soil.
- Salts. Most chemical fertilizers when they break down leave salts behind. These salts will build up over years of fertilization and could hurt your pumpkin plant some.
- Micro nutrients and hormones. Some organic fertilizers contain micro nutrients and plant hormones that most chemical fertilizers do not have. A good seaweed fertilizer contains growth promoting substances like auxims, cytokinins and gibberellins that can increase the size of your plant and in turn your pumpkin.
Some people go a little psycho in regards to the whole organic verses chemical fertilizer debate. The reasons above is why I only use organic fertilizers. They can be a slightly more expensive, but I think they are worth it to add a few more pounds to the pumpkin.
Friday, August 15, 2008
Thursday, August 14, 2008
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
The pumpkin only put on one inch today. It really surprised me. Yesterday evening was a fertilization day, today was a watering day and there was a fair amount of sun today so usually that has meant good things. Thoughts like "has it stalled?", "is something wrong?", "is my season over?" run through your head when things like this happen. Yesterday I read a grower's diary from last year. Just happened to stumble on it. I noticed his pumpkin was at the exact same weight as mine on the exact same day. I zoomed forward through his diary because I wanted to see where he ended up so I could find out the potential of my pumpkin. As I went through the different days I came to find out his pumpkin stalled a week later and it was hardly any bigger 6 weeks later at the weigh-off. Wish I had never read that diary. Gives a guy nightmares.
The odds are that I either miss measured or it was a temporary one day thing. I've seen it a couple of times this growing season (although never this small). Right now the pumpkin is about 307 pounds. That means I have reached my early season goal. But like every grower I have bigger things in my sites now. Anything under 500 pounds won't feel too good this season. That is why there is always next year.
Monday, August 11, 2008
Sunday, August 10, 2008
Saturday, August 2, 2008
I went on the RMGVG patch tour today. A great bunch of people. Saw four different patches with some fantastic setups. Hail nets, high tech water collection systems with foggers and automatic timers. Pretty cool stuff. I'm pretty sure I saw a new Colorado state record pumpkin today. Taped out about 118 inches. Great looking pumpkin and a really nice grower.