The next day I took an extra hoop house and added it to the end to extend it and then used chairs to create a wing for the side vines that were out of the hoop house. I had obsessively been watching the weather, so even 10 days before I knew the frost was coming. I assumed eventually it would get updated to something like 40 degrees, but as the day grew closer the foretasted low went from 32 to 28 as it approached. Officially at the house it was something like 27 degrees. In June!
I know of more than one pumpkin grower and gardener that lost plants. I feel sorry for them. Hard to deal with these large plants and temperatures that low. Using multiple tarps, heat lamps, blankets and light bulbs the plants stayed happy. As for me, not quite as happy to be spending time trying to keep plants happy rather than trying to grow big pumpkins.
I've been pretty good about doing EC testing this year and have been giving the plants a lot more fertilizer this year than I have in the past. This sandy soil seems to really leach nutrients faster than I thought, so in particularly nitrogen has been going down at a rate of about 100% more than I've typically done in the past. Today I gave both patches a pretty good dose of nitrogen with just a little phosphorous, potassium and iron. I prefer spoon feeding with divided doses, but I hope to till the last of the cover crop this afternoon and I wanted to till it all in together.
The 2255 plant right now I would say is the champ of the patch. Which is a little disappointing. Not that the 2255 seed isn't good, but the 2005 plant is in the greenhouse, which should mean it is getting a little more TLC, but it is a little behind in growth. The bigger issue is that 2005 plant doesn't like it when it gets even a little warm and folds when it gets over 85 degrees and I'm not sure why. Both 2005s that I started were that way. I'm increasing water on it to see if that makes it happier.
Both plants are around 13-14 foot in length right now I would guess and growing quickly. Both also have a female flower in the vine tip so I would guess I'm 7-8 days out from pollinating right now. Timing is good. That will give about 100 days to the first weigh-off. Usually around days 90 to 105 a pumpkin has stopped growing or just barely growing, so I should be able to get almost everything out of them if can get these pollinations to take.