Saturday, June 22, 2013

Pictures from the Pumpkin Patch

1421 Stelts
Today I put down some calcium on the soil.  Particularly on the 1421 plant side of the patch.  These are the latest pictures from the pumpkin patch.  The 1775 Starr has caught up to the 1421 Stelts in length but is behind in terms of side vines.  Both plants are about 15-17 feet long on the main vine which isn't too bad for me at this point of the season.

I spoke with Thad Starr yesterday about some of the traits of his plant that grew the 1775 last year and the 1775 he is growing this year.  Other than maybe my baby pumpkin being just a hair fatter than his last year (time will tell on that one because my female flower is so young) all the rest of the traits were exactly the same as his (which is a good thing). 
1775 Starr
One of the reasons (and there are many) that I chose to grow the 1775 is because I'm hoping that the genetics in this seed are refined and made more consistent.  Every seed is like a child and has slightly different genetics from the other seeds in the pumpkin.  This is especially true if you cross your pumpkin with another pumpkin from different genetic lines.  However, if you self or self pollinate the pumpkin with pollen from its own flowers then the genetics should be more similar (although they won't be the same).  Kristy Harp and her husband selfed their 1385 Jutras plant that grew the world record 1,725 pounder.  This was unique as most growers at that time didn't self pumpkins and this was the first world record that I know of in the last 25 years that was selfed.

Not only was that 1725 selfed but it was a special pumpkin.  I know the gentics in its line were of royal linage and that pumpkin had the potential to possibly even getter bigger than it did.  That isn't a knock on its growers, because I think a grower with a more jacked up soil probably would have blown up that pumpkin.  By selfing it they seem to have preserved the rock star genetics that it had which might have been lost by crossing it with a lesser pumpkin.  The year after Kristy grew her world record they were kind enough to give me their 1236 Harp seed which was a cross of the 998 Pukos with the world record plant.  Some nice pumpkins have been grown from the 1236 but nothing close to the giants grown from the 1725 seed.  The 998 didn't seem to add to the great genetics of the 1725.

My hope is that by Thad selfing his 1725 plant that grew his massive 1775 he has further refined and made more consistent the genetics in the seed.  Thad's pumpkin looked more like Kristy's pumpkin than any other one that I have seen.  The coloring and shape were almost identical.  Ron's world record pumpkin grown from the 1725 seed looked very little like Kristy's.  Joe's big pumpkin grown off the 1725 didn't look a lot like Kristy's either, although maybe more than Ron's.  Thad's was more of a mirror image and I'm hoping that means those original genetics have been passed on to my plant.  So far I've had very few complaints about this plant.  Here's to hoping it grows like Thads!

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