No pumpkins means there is more time to get ready for next year. Yesterday I took patch prep to a new level. Thanks to Chris, owner of CBS Trucking & Excavating and the property that I grow pumpkins on behind my house, we brought out the big guns for the patch prep. Using a backhoe Bob dug down 3 feet deep in the entire patch so we could loosen up the soil deep. There were lots of big rocks that we tossed out of the patch in the process as well. My roto tiller only goes about 8 inches deep and the soil was pretty compacted so the roots were somewhat limited in how deep they could go so loosening up this soil should make a difference.
At about two feet deep we put in a two inch layer of squeegee to help with drainage and to create a hydroponic area for the roots. As I understand it Quinn Werner has something like this and he doesn't grow small pumpkins. Helpfully it will help add an extra 100 pounds on my pumpkins next year. After putting the dug out soil on top of the squeegee and leveling it out I put down 6 pounds of soil sulfur, 2 pounds of humic acid, 1 pounds of 7-5-5 organic fertilizer and 5 pounds of 12-0-0 blood meal that Ross at Soil Menders gave to the growers at the patch tour (thanks Ross!). That was then roto tilled in lightly accross the entire patch. I was also going to put in some compost that CBS trucking had but it had disappeared so I'll get some compost and add it in November. In all I think the hard work will pay off. The soil had fluffed up enough to be 6-8 inches higher than it origionally was before the dig.
After roto tilling I put down some sudan grass seed and then racked the whole area patch area. Sundan grass is a fast growing grass that is a great green manure. I first heard about it from Joe Jutras and Ron Wallace on the SNGPG video. The grass will grow to 4 feet of more and has roots that will go down as far as 3 feet. They roots help with myco innoculations and will add good organic matter to the patch. I am a little late in the season for this grass but I should be able to get it growing for 6 weeks which will be enough time to get it at least a couple of feet high before the frost hits.
Soil test was sent in last week so that will help me determine what else I need to add to the patch in November. What I have added so far was just spoon feeding and mostly consisted with what I had leftover from this season.
I Started a new compost pile this week as well. The horse manure came from the great grandson of Man of War so hopefully there will be some good growth hormones in it to grow big next year (Lol). I also added a bunch of leaves that were leftover from the big storm as well as some grass clippings. It is already heating up nicely and should be ready for final patch prep in April.