Thursday, July 30, 2020

Keeping in Cool When Things are Hot in the Pumpkin Patch

Forecast here is for 5 days of 100 degrees.  That is very hot for Midway.  We usually don't see those temps at all in a year.  I often hear from growers, especially new growers that they are seeing issues with their leaves flagging.  That is a clear sign that either you are under watering or the leaves could use some misting during the heat of the day.  When I was in Denver, I had a hose end timer that was attached to a sprayer that went out about 25 feet and it was set to go off about every 20 minutes.  That worked nicely.

In the greenhouses I have some foggers set to go off about every 15 minutes during the heat of the day.  I like these foggers because the mist is very fine.  You could walk through it, feel cool, but not wet.  To much moisture could increase disease pressure so with the foggers running every 15 minutes the leaves have enough time to dry off between mistings but at the same time not enough to heat up.  I see almost no leaf burn with this setup.

Yesterday I added shade cloth to the greenhouse.  22% shade cloth will add additional shade to help keep the greenhouse a little cooler.

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Gordo Gato Pumpkin Report

The pumpkin keeps growing, but not at any incredible rate.  Still signs that this one could flatten out the growth curve and if it does that we will be okay, but if it takes a regular growth curve and isn't a long grower, the pumpkin will be small this year.  Not overly optimistic.

The leaves right now look like my leaves did in mid-August of last year.  Not happy.  I did some checking today and there are early signs of spider mites.  I found an aphid on the pumpkin but didn't see any others, so I sprayed everything.  Added a fungicide into the mix.  I'll need to be diligent on the fungicides this year, because with the leaves in a weaken state they will be more susceptible.  Daconil and a TKO will be my go to powdery mildew killers along with some silica to help prevent spread.

Not thinking this will be my year.  It is taboo to say this, but it is the one hope that I've got.  The seed this pumpkin came from was a pumpkin that went 8% heavy.  This pumpkin has the same shape.  The pollinator I lost the pumpkin on early, but the 2255 progeny all went heavy except for one and many went big heavy.  The 2005 progeny that the seed came from all went heavy and some of those went big heavy.  This pumpkin thumps nicely.

Friday, July 3, 2020

This is the Pumpkin Named Gordo Gato

I've named the 1325 pumpkin Gordo Gato, in honor of our cat named Fat Kitty who passed away earlier this year.  Gordo Gato is slugging along right now.  I'm hoping the issue is like last year and that the cold weather has hampered growth and it will decide to kick in late.  Last year's pumpkin at 30 days old was only about 220 pounds.  Which is terrible.  But then it made up ground late.  I'm hoping this one is the same (it is a seed from that same pumpkin).  The issue I have is that last year the pollination was 2 weeks later, so when the pumpkin was ready to start growing it was getting into better weather.  I fear I've burned two weeks of growth in bad weather that I might not be able to make up.  Hopefully this pumpkin decides to be a long grower.