Saturday, May 4, 2013

If One Has the Means...Go Barreto, Pumpkin Plants in the Hoop House

Rototilling a large garden/pumpkin patch isn't a lot of fun.  I have about 1,000 square feet to till and my Craftsman tiller does the job but it is a lot of slow work.  The Craftsman was having some technical difficulties so I rented a Barreto rear tine, 14 HP mass of tilling power.  These units weigh about 600 pounds but are the Cadillac of tillers and make quick work of a pumpkin patch while doing a great job.  I was able to to till the entire patch in about 45 minutes and it made quick work of some areas that have traditionally been a little hard and did a good job of tilling in the rye grass I put down last fall.

Before tilling I put down a pound of myco, 2 pounds of blood meal and a couple of pounds of gypsum over the entire patch.  After tilling I put down about 12 pounds of winter rye grass seed everywhere but the planting areas.  The rye grass cover crop will help keep the weeds down over the next couple of months, get the myco going in the soil and when tilled in will be a nice green manure and add biomass to the soil.

1789 Wallace / 1775 Starr
I did some quick repairs on my hoop houses and then put them back out into the patch where they have been warming the soil for the last week and a half.  I them planted my 1421 Stelts and 335 Scherber into the first hoop house.  Later I planted the 1775 Starr and 1789 Wallace into the 2nd hoop house. I put some myco in each planting hole along with some Actinovate, Biotamax and Azos.  I then gave the plants a good drink of warm water with about a tablespoon of liquid seaweed in the water.

In about 3 weeks or so I'll take out the plants that I'm not going to go with so I'll then just have one plant in each hoop house and then pray that my keepers can grow a pumpkin.

1421 Stelts / 335 Sherber
In one hoop house I have a heat lamp and in the 2nd hoop house I have a thermostatically controlled space heater to keep the plants warm on cold Colorado nights.

I've been real impressed so far the the 1421 Stelts and 1775 Starr plants.  Particularly the 1421 has been a vigorous plant with a very nice root system.

I'm tired this evening.  Hard work in the pumpkin patch today.

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