The Biz passed the torch to me. The 2nd year curse. Thad Starr brought it up to me this last week and previous to that I had never really thought about it. I believe the 2nd year curse comes as a result of trying to do to much in the second year and not re-doing all of the good things you did in the rookie year. To avoid the sophmore slump my plan is to mitigate risks by adding hail netting, growing great genetic seeds and growing more plants. Outside of lowering my soil ph (it was very high at 8.0 this last year), starting a new patch and doing a new vine pattern I'm not planning to change anything else.
Thad explained to me the pattern that he has been using and I really like the idea. Last year I kind of used the Christmas tree pattern, but I liked the idea of a diamond pattern that Joe Scherber talked about which in theory would push the main out faster by shortening up the first couple side vines and putting more leafs closer to the pumpkin. Thad's pattern is a variation of that where you curve the vines back towards the stump before the fruit and then bend then up close to and after the fruit. This will allow me to better use a somewhat limited space and give me the diamond vine pattern that I think will push the pumpkin better late in the season and get the main out quicker.