19 September 2016
Well a long frustrating season has come to a end, started 5 plants and only had 1 pumpkin when all was said and done, it was 788 pounds and went 9% light. I did have one new PB, a 66" long gourd, not really good but I have received good seeds for next year and built a 3 meter tall trellis so will go at it again. The top three at the weigh off were 1560, 1300 and 1112 pounds, rumor has it they used dead bodies to feed them, hmmm. I have added some pictures below, mine is on the back of the truck and first thru third at the last pictures.
9 September 2016
The season is winding down, only 7 days till the pumpkin pickin party. Measured today and the last 5 days have been getting 4 lbs per day, squeezing every lb I can into it but it is not easy with the condition of the MV right at the stem.
4 September 2016
The Last of the Mohicans - 5 plants and only 1 pumpkin left. Only adding about 4 lbs per day now. 2 weeks till the weigh off.
3 September 2016
Cleared out the rotten pumpkin patch today. Harvested the seeds, it was a balloon. This does not give me much hope for his sibling going heavy. Some days things are going well and I am full of optimism, right now I have the feeling of doing something terribly wrong and have no idea what.
30 August 2016
Before and after pictures of cover crop in one of my green houses getting ready for next year. Also pictures showing the mushy vine at the stem, have had air blowing on it constantly for a week and it appears I have saved it enough to go to a weigh off, however the weight gain has been dismal since the vine went mushy, not sure how long it was like that till I found it. Looks like my weigh off motto will be "go heavy or take your pumpkin home with you". The odds of that happening are next to zero, 1725 Harp is known for going light.
21 August 2016
1725 Harp x Sib is slowing down rapidly, a combination of our cold and cloudy weather and my lack of expertise in growing these giants. I am still moving the stakes showing that we still have growth, but a new personal best is going to be a very long shot. At times I feel very frustrated, but that passes and I am happy to still have a pumpkin that will make people smile.
16 August 2016
After I pulled the squash plant that was sterile I planted a cover crop of phacelia. Here is a picture after 3 weeks of growth.
13 August 2016
Here are my 1725 Harp A and B pumpkins left to right, there is about a 270 pound difference in these two. Same seed, same green house and such a difference in growth. This is a typical giant pumpkin growers dilemma emphasizing just how much luck there is in planting that "golden" seed.
13 August 2016
Growing long gourds this year, first time in 10 years, the seeds are not the best, store bought Kikinda is the strain, I am hoping to get to 80 inches. Next year I am hoping to get some long gourd seeds from growers that have a better pedigree.
13 August 2016
140 Crews field pumpkin is a beautiful fruit, I have 3 that look just like this one, unfortunately this is not a beauty contest, but I've learned a lot this year, first year growing field pumpkins and am looking forward to growing them again next year.
7 August 2016
The 1725B Harp pumpkin is 44 days old and still has a very nice young look to it. For me to get a new personal best I need it to continue the steady growth it has until the end of August, after that I need to add a 100 pounds or so to cover it going light which is a normal occurrence for me.
31 July 2016
Both of my 1725 Harp pumpkins are doing about the same as a week ago, from left to right 1725A has done 9 lbs per day and 1725B is doing over 26 lbs per day. To reach one of my goals, to measure a new PB by the end of August I need to average 18 lbs a day over the whole month, I don't think that will be a easy task.
24 July 2016
I did my first set of comparison measurements and as expected the 1725B on the right is doing almost 3 times better then the 1725A on the left. Over the last 5 days the 1725A has been doing about 10 lbs per day and the 1725B is doing about 29 lbs per day over the same time frame.
I will do my next comparison on 31 July, stay tuned!
22 July 2016
Well, the season is not exactly going as I had expected. The first thing that I realized was that my squash plant was sterile, none of the pumpkins grew past day 7 or 8, so I removed that plant and have put in a cover crop. Then I had a varmint eat the crown roots of my 2096 Meier, no sense growing it any further so it was also removed. The 2323 Meier appeared to be okay, but I had to live with a open pollination, unfortunately that one stopped growing at day after pollination 23, never had one stop growing at day 23, very strange. The last 2 I have left are a pair of 1725 Harp 2009 world record plants, I selfed one that started off decent, not WR pace, but for me very good, then at day 28 after pollination it slowed down, will probably end up being a nice Halloween pumpkin for the front yard, but nothing more. The last one I have left to maybe get me to a new personal best is a 1725 that I crossed as a sibling, it is at day after pollination 28 and doing very good for me, I have a feeling the next 2-3 days will be crucial, either it continues or I realize another year of hard work without the desired results.
This is what a newbie of 15 years growing these giants is used too, keep my head up and never give up.
15 July 2016
Left to Right 1725A 29 days, 1725B 21 days, 2323 18 days (since pollination) things are going ok for my expectations.
8 July 2016
It has been a rough start, lost 2 plants (varmint and sterile) and was too late on the 2323 so it is an open pollination. I finally have 3 set, from left to right the 1725A x Self, 1725B x Sib and the 2323 ) x Open (used 2323 and 2096 Meier males
6 July 2016
The 1578 Holub* turns out to be a sterile plant, none of the males had a anther so I was forced to pollinate 3 females with the 1725 Harp. Each one of the females stopped growing at day 7. I will pull the plant, till one time and plant a cover crop. Get ready for next year a bit early.
3 July 2016
1725 Harp x Self will be my new time lapse subject for the rest of the year, will run till we harvest.
2 July 2016
1725 x Self nice looking pumpkin with a shape I like. Not on a WR pace at this early stage but as they say this is not a sprint it is a marathon.
Time lapse video of one of my 1725 Harp plants from 17 May - 29 June 2016, on a side note lost my 2096 Meier plant yesterday, a varmint ate the complete root system up to the base of the crown.
26 June 2016
Crossed the 1578 Holub x 1725 Harp, 18' out, with 5 lobes. Started to make decisions on the keepers, goal is to have one pumpkin per plant by 30 June.
25 June 2016
1725 Harp x Self, 14' out, 5 lobe. That's 10 crosses so far this season, need to make some decisions soon.
24 June 2016
On the left 1725 x Sib, 15' out with 5 lobes. This is the one cross that I really wanted, how many 1725 Harps are still out there?
On the right the 2323 Meier x 1725 Harp, 14' out and the lobe count is a bit strange, looks like 7 but I have never seen that before.
23 June 2016
2096 Meier x 2323 Meier 12' out, 5 lobe. Tomorrow one of the 1725 Harps will be ready. This is my typical window for pollinating so I have very high hopes that these will be the keepers.
22 June 2016
Pollinated the 1578 Holub with the 2323 Meier, 15' out and 4 lobes. Couldn't use any of the 1578 males as none of them had an Anther, never seen anything like that before.
Did about 3 hours of maintenance today after being gone for 5 days, used 400 liters of water when done.
None of the pumpkins that I had pollinated prior to going on vacation are doing good, they aren't dead, just very slow. Not sure if it has anything to do with my pollination window (starts now) and am not concerned yet, will be doing a lot of crosses the next 3-5 days.
21 June 2016
Made it home from Garmisch-Partenkirchen in time to cross the 2096 Meier with the 2323 Meier. About 10' out and a 5 lober.
I have high hopes for this one as it is also (1) my sons birthday and (2) the first day of summer.
17 June 2016
Pollinated the second 1725 Harp with the 2323 Meier, calling this one my world record cross. The lobes are not perfect, might be a problem, if so I have another that will be ready in a week or so.
Taking 5 days off from pumpkin growing, have gone to Southern Germany, Austria area (Zugspitz) for R and R.
16 June 2016
Big day, pollinated 2 pumpkins.
From left to right the 1725 Harp plant and then the pumpkin, 5 lobe, 11' out, I selfed this one. Then the 2323 Meier plant and the pumpkin I pollinated, 6 lobe, 10' out, pollinated with the 2096 Meier. I have never had any luck with 6 lobe pumpkins, time to change that!
12 June 2016
I crossed the 1578 Holub* with the 1725 Harp because I don't have any male flowers ready on the squash plant. I still have some hope of selfing the 1578 in 10-14 days, see picture on the left.
9 June 2016
1725 Harp x Sib, this is not the one I want, it is only 4 feet out but I am going to pollinate everything this year, I would rather be safe then sorry!
8 June 2016
1578 Holub 14* plant with a squash at about 10'. This is a very easy plant to train, flexible vines, easy to bury even when not very hot outside. 10' is a bit early but I will pollinate everything I can, no chances here this year.
31 May 2016
1725 Harp, I have started to bury vines, end of May and about 4 feet out, by 20-25 June should be 15-20 feet out perfect for pollination.
25 May 2016
The last 10 days have been overcast and cold but the plants are starting to vine anyhow.
On the left the 2323 Meier and the right the 1578 Holub.
17 May 2016
Started a time lapse of one of the 1725 Harp plants. I will let this run until I have a pumpkin set, then I will post that video and start a new one of the growth of a giant pumpkin. If things go as planned should have a pumpkin set by the end of June.
17 May 2016
A picture of 3 green houses in the backyard. They help in saving gas because I don't have to cut the grass that used to be there, but they sure are a lot of work.
11 May 2016
All of my plants have landed, here is one of my two 1725 Harp plants. Measuring the main vine in inches right now but by the middle of June expect the main vine to be 12-15 feet and I should be able to pollinate.
30 April 2016
So, the long range forecast is not showing any frost. Decided to put out the following plants in the greenhouses:
2323 Meier 14
2096 Meier 14
1725 Harp 09 X 2
1578 Holub 14*
24 April 2016
Well it hasn't snowed for about 2 months guess we are going to get everything before the last frost mid May.
21 April 2016
I started this project in October 2015 by removing the turf, then in November we installed the skeleton, A few days ago I dug the trenches and today the plastic went up.
19 April 2016
Digging a trench around my greenhouse to bury the plastic once it is up. Total trench length is 37 meters, ouch.
16 April 2016
Today I had planned on putting some giant pumpkins and field pumpkins out in the green houses but the weather prediction shows a hard frost headed our way so will wait a day or two.
6 April 2016
The first couple 140 Crews 15 Field Pumpkin seeds have germinated, another season has started, this is number 15 for me, Each year is like the beginning of a baseball season with dreams of the world series.
3 April 2016 Seed Starting
All seeds that germinate will be grown, I am starting for 2 other growers as well.
2323 Meier 14 X 2
2102 Meier 14
2096 Meier 14
1725 Harp 09 X 2
1578 Holub 14*
1533.5 Kline 15*
1445.5 Jutras 15* DMG
1421.5 Jutras 14*
1187 Jutras 14* DMG
1172.5 Haist 15*
982 Sherwood 08*
840 Jutras 14*
351 Gantner 13 Orange Genetics Project X 3
161.5 Crews 15 Watermelon X 4
140 Crews 15 Field Pumpkin X 11
I am using a mycorrhiza seed starting mixture this year for the first time.
12 February 2016
The wind was so bad yesterday that it ripped the anchors of one greenhouse out of the ground, not a good way to start the season. The life of a retiree!
26 December 2015
Added a new greenhouse, this one is 7.5 meters x 13 meters, give me an additional 400 square feet