We'll it has been too long since my last post. Some health problems that cause me pain and fatigue have been a bit of problem, but I won't let that become an excuse. Right now I'm a bit behind in the patch, but will get everything cleaned up and tilled by the last week of March I'm hoping. I'm only going to grow one pumpkin this year and that will be in the greenhouse, so I can focus all of my energy on it. I haven't got the seeds I want to grow yet, so I'll announce those once I have them in hand.
So how do I grow bigger in 2021? I've got some plans. The first will be to fertilize more. Particularly nitrogen in the earlier parts of the season and potassium in the later parts of the season. I don't think I've been getting my foot to the floor. The year I grew my biggest pumpkin was the same year I fertilized the most. A coincidence? Maybe not.
I'm also going to start giving the plant extra potassium earlier. Typically I ramped it up about 20 days after pollination. This year I'm going to start ramping it up about 7 days before pollination. I want the plant to feel it has everything it needs to be put energy towards the pumpkin, so an appropriate earlier ramp up I think can help with that.
I'm going to motorize the greenhouse side wall roll ups and put them on smart plugs. That will save me some time each day that I can put into growing the plant because I'll be able to roll things up and down from my phone anywhere in the world.
I've been talking with a grower this afternoon about water pH and going to try something that Mehdi (who has grown a number of 1 ton pumpkins) has been doing. That is adding citric acid to the water to help lower pH in the soil. pH above 7.0 can cause some issues with nutrient uptake. Elemental sulfur and compost can help lower soil pH, but when you water every day with water that is 7.4+ it makes it hard to do much of anything to get the pH down to 7. So we'll see if this strategy can help.
this year I'm going to close off by back roll-up door to see if I can run CO2 longer by having the top foot of the roll up door so I can vent heat but keep the CO2 trapped inside.
I'm replacing all of the fogger nozzles this year. I had a lot of trouble with clogs this last year, which I didn't have the year before, so we'll see if that helps.
I'm also replacing the hot water heater. Last year's literally blew up mid-season so I didn't get much value out of it.