Sunday, May 23, 2010

Nitrogen Time and Hail Netting Poles

Yesterday I gave the pumpkin plants nitrogen for the first time this season along with a little compost tea. Thad Starr taught me to hold off on the nitrogen so the young plants will focus on rooting early on rather than vining. Fast growing vines and big leaves are fun to see early in the season but this is a pumpkin contest and not a salad contest. A large root system will power the pumpkins as the season goes on.

The first picture to the right is the 1161. Second picture is the 1236. Both plants have good color and seem to be happy. The 1161 is growing a bit faster. The 1236 likes to grow towards the sky. It's been that way ever since it came out of the ground. It has a lot of double leaves coming out of each node. I'm hoping that is a sign of vigor rather than a sign that it is going to double vine. We will have to wait and see. Both plants I estimate are about 12 days ahead of where my plants were at with the same number of growing days last year so I am right on target for pollinating at 10-14' out on the main vine the last week of June which is my goal.

I spent a good part of my Saturday digging holes and cementing in poles for my hail netting. I wanted to have all of the poles in by now but busy schedules and the time that it takes hasn't allowed me to do that yet. I need to have it all done by June however so I'll have to pick it up a notch. Right now 7 of the 15 poles are in. Back and fingers are sore however from the work.
Sometimes people ask me why I do a pumpkin blog. One reason is to share ideas about pumpkin growing that I come up with, but the main reason is that it is a kind of a grower diary for me. It gives me a place where I can compare the growth of my plants from previous years and a place to look up when I last added amendments to the plants. My wife says other things about the blog. You can read them here on her popular mommy blog.

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