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Click on a thumbnail picture below to see the full size version. 97 Entries.
Wednesday, January 20 View Page
The goal for this year is a new PB. I will only grow one big one (last year I didn’t grow any big ones). Top choices of seeds are as follows: 2000.6 Paton (2005 x 1875) 2014.6 Paton (1875 x 1875) 2163 Paton (2226 x 2005) 2060.2 Paton (2226 x 2005)
 
Wednesday, January 20 View Page
I will also be growing a number of orange ones: 1723.5 Rea (1382 Rea x 1533) 1095 Rea (2005 x 2433) 756 Leach (97 Ressel x 1501 Vandewielen) 707 Ressel (495 Ressel x 97 Ressel) Some of my crosses from last year are displayed to the left and I am pleased that some growers have indicated they plan to grow the seeds I sent out.
 
Wednesday, January 20 View Page
More orange crosses. I will be growing a couple of these.
 
Wednesday, January 20 View Page
Last but not least, my “big” crosses. I will start most of them and see how they perform. Don Langevin requested the 2183.7 Mendi x 2183.9 Paton cross (to send out as free bonus seeds) and I also submitted this seed to the UK seed exchange. I kept a few for myself (there were a lot of seeds) and see this as the most promising one.
 
Tuesday, March 16 View Page
Apart from making a small planting hole, I am going "no-dig" as well as 100% organic this year. I will be using Bio Terra Plus as my potting soil, some more in the planting hole and possibly some for vine burying.
 
Thursday, March 25 View Page
Some biologicals to add to the mix. Just a couple more weeks to go.
 
Wednesday, April 7 View Page
Got the mini greenhouses out to started warming up the soil. The big green tarp is supposed to exclude light and kill off any weeds.
 
Wednesday, April 7 View Page
I started a couple squash just to do something while we wait for the cold weather to be over. There was snow yesterday and -4 degrees C.
 
Wednesday, April 7 View Page
Finally, it's time to start the pumpkins: 2014, 2000.6, 2060 and 2163 Paton and a bunch of mine from last year. The best performer gets the prime spot.
 
Wednesday, April 14 View Page
It has been well below freezing the last 4 nights and is predicted to continue cold for a little while so I followed Dale Marshall's lead and repotted my best plants into bigger, bottomless pots. I cut the bottom off a 10 liter bucket and put a board underneath. The leading seeds are as follow: 265 Hochstetler (692 Podraza (2005 x 2416 Haist) x 2183.9 Paton) 2014 Paton (1875 Mendi x 1875 Mendi) 210 Hochstetler (2183.7 Mendi x 2183.9 Paton) 148 Hochstetler (1819 Mendi x 692 Podraza)
 
Wednesday, April 21 View Page
In spite of the freezing weather, we planted out the best plants: 2014 Paton backed up by our 210 and 265. The 148 was just as strong and got it's own spot.
 
Wednesday, April 21 View Page
After 10 consecutive days of frost, we finally had a frost free night. This little heater (100W bulb in a box) keeps it just about 40 degrees in the mini greenhouse. The black fabric also helps to warm the soil during the day.
 
Wednesday, April 21 View Page
Time to start some orange ones. It will be interesting to see how some of these turn out. Thanks to all the growers who sent me seeds.
 
Monday, April 26 View Page
It might look big but it is less than 1000 sq. ft. for the main plant. The two little hoop houses are where I have planted the extras to possibly serve as pollinators.
 
Tuesday, April 27 View Page
They continue to grow a bit in spite of frost almost every night. When will it ever end?
 
Thursday, April 29 View Page
Yesterday was cool and cloudy but there is noticeable growth and the 2014 Paton has already decided to sort of lay down and start stretching out. Unless one of the backups is significantly better than the 2014 Paton, this will be the keeper (my kids helped to convince me).
 
Thursday, April 29 View Page
Some of the orange line up. It looks like the 756 Leach and 1215 Young will get the prime spots.
 
Thursday, April 29 View Page
I will plant out on the weekend, but he'll be happy in here until then.
 
Saturday, May 1 View Page
Would anyone care to hazard a guess at why my 1215 Young kicked the bucket once it had germinated and started to emerge from the soil?
 
Sunday, May 2 View Page
The 756 Leach and the remaining 1215 Young are comfortably growing back to back inside there. This patch is also "no-till" and I am smothering the grass with all kinds of things!
 
Tuesday, May 4 View Page
My 210 and 265 (on the left) do look bigger and more vigorous than the 2014 Paton (on the right). It's going to be a hard choice when it comes time to cull but I'm committed to sticking with the Paton as of now. Two more nights of frost and then maybe, just maybe we will get some warmer weather (50's and 60's instead of 30's and 40's).
 
Wednesday, May 5 View Page
April here was colder than March and its nights were colder than January's. In the UK, there have been more frosts in April than in any other April since records began. Here I have some Jerusalem artichokes coming up around the edge of the patch. I planted some last year for a windbreak and tried to dig them all out, but I must have missed some.
 
Wednesday, May 5 View Page
Here is the photo for the last entry.
 
Tuesday, May 11 View Page
Room was running out in the mini greenhouse so I took the hard decision and pulled the back-up plants. It's all in with the 2014 Paton! ( I do still have a 265 and 210 growing as pollinator plants in another corner of the patch.)
 
Tuesday, May 11 View Page
On the orange front, the 1215 Young (in the background) is looking alright.
 
Tuesday, May 11 View Page
756 Leach. Both of them have funny double leaves coming out at the base. I hope this doesn't mean a double vine or some other weird variation.
 
Wednesday, May 19 View Page
Touchdown for the 2014 Paton. Despite torrential rain and cold temperatures recently, I am probably still a week ahead of last year. This is definitely because of the little heater I got this year.
 
Friday, May 28 View Page
The 2014 Paton outgrew its mini greenhouse so I got a slightly larger one to use for exactly one week. It will out grow this one in the next day or two, but we finally have a bit warmer weather so that is fine.
 
Saturday, May 29 View Page
Greenhouse gone, wind protection up, and we're off!
 
Tuesday, June 1 View Page
The 756 Leach is rearing its head something ferocious and won't come down.
 
Tuesday, June 1 View Page
1215 Young - a better behaved plant but also a bit less vigorous. No complaints here.
 
Tuesday, June 1 View Page
Got a baby on the 2014 Paton. Plant is still a bit small so hopefully another one comes in a few days.
 
Monday, June 7 View Page
Side vines are coming along nicely.
 
Saturday, June 19 View Page
First pollination of the year on 16 June: 2014 Paton x self; here at 3 DAP. The weather has turned cold and rainy so hopefully it takes.
 
Sunday, June 27 View Page
This is the smallest 10 DAP pumpkin I have ever seen. After a few more cool and rainy days it is set to warm up and growth should take off.
 
Sunday, June 27 View Page
The plant looks nice enough. There is another female that will probably open tomorrow. We will pollinate it and that will be the backup.
 
Sunday, July 4 View Page
Happy 4th of July! Here is the 2014 at 18 DAP. It is starting to move.
 
Thursday, July 8 View Page
Our first tomato off the 4.1 Barratt (Domingo) weighed in at 3 lbs. 9 oz. which I make 3.56 lbs. Harvested it one day too late. Some animal took a bite of it so unfortunately it is "DMG".
 
Thursday, July 8 View Page
This is the first year I have gotten a tomato (almost) to the scale. Here is the blossom end. Last year they all got either blossom end rot or blight so I think this is not a terrible "first tomato".
 
Sunday, July 11 View Page
It was enough for three meals.
 
Thursday, July 15 View Page
Finally some warm weather. Probably too little too late but the 2014 is not looking all that bad at 29 DAP.
 
Monday, July 19 View Page
I finally got a pollination on the 756 Leach (97 Ressel x 1501 Vander Weilen). Here is it at 8 DAP 756 Leach x 1215 Young.
 
Wednesday, July 21 View Page
I have had a lot of trouble this year with compost being contaminated by herbicides, specifically Clopyralid, Triclopyr and Aminopyralid. Farmers use it to spray broadleaf weeds in their hay or wheat fields. The chemical passes right through cows and horses and persists in the manure and then stays in the soil for around 18 months. It is especially bad for tomatoes, and beans (killed them) but can be seen here affecting Jerusalem artichokes. The one on the left did not receive contaminated compost and the one on the right did. Not a nice problem to have. It might be slowing my pumpkin plants down but it hasn't killed any outright thankfully.
 
Wednesday, July 21 View Page
Some of my field pumpkins have gone a bit wild and spilled over into the weeds. This one has a super long stem. I will have to cull some of them.
 
Wednesday, July 21 View Page
The 2014 Paton is making some good gains after 4 or 5 hot days. Here it is at 35 DAP. I watered last night for the first time in 2 months; it has been that cold and wet until recently.
 
Wednesday, July 21 View Page
From the other side. It has definitely got some color coming. My daughter has named it "Jolly Rancher".
 
Thursday, July 22 View Page
756 Leach at 11 DAP
 
Thursday, July 22 View Page
1215 Young at 20 DAP. Maybe not quite "Ribbelicious" but it is going to be a looker.
 
Friday, July 23 View Page
The 1215 Young above was pollinated with the 2060 Paton. My 2163 Paton got snapped off by high winds (or a young helper, not sure which). The 756 Leach at 12 DAP is the biggest we have ever had at this stage, in fact twice the circumference of our PB in 2019. I think it is largely down to the weather, but this is a vigorous plant.
 
Saturday, July 24 View Page
"Jolly Rancher" on the 2014 Paton is taping 280 lbs. This is still a few days ahead of our PB on the calendar but way behind for its age (cold weather in June).
 
Tuesday, July 27 View Page
My kids have named the pumpkin on the 756 Leach "Ponka-doodle" (not sure where they got that). It is still our fastest growing pumpkin ever, and is still twice the size of my PB at this stage. Just waiting for the orange color to show up.
 
Monday, August 2 View Page
1215 Young is hanging in there and will be nice and orange.
 
Monday, August 2 View Page
At 47 DAP "Jolly Rancher" is about the size that our PB was at 37 DAP. It has been cool, wet and overcast but there is some warmer sunnier weather ahead. Does this sound familiar?
 
Monday, August 9 View Page
Weather has turned cold again. No PB this year. That much is clear. The 2014 Paton aka "Jolly Rancher" is around 600 lbs.
 
Tuesday, August 10 View Page
Things are not going so well in the orange patch. Three pumpkins have turned out quite pale. Here is the 627 Hoellein (1048 Engel x 1044 Gansert) Unbelievable that this would not go orange!
 
Tuesday, August 10 View Page
613 Oliver – This one has plenty of the 1317 Clementz genetics in it but some of the 1317 progeny have been known to not be orange.
 
Tuesday, August 10 View Page
756 Leach – This is the real disappointment. 1501 Vanderweilen, 1317 Clementz and 1059 Vincent/McGill genetics. An all-star team (you would have thought). However, it is a perfect shape and continues to be a fast grower (by our standards). It is around 292 lbs. at 30 DAP.
 
Tuesday, August 10 View Page
On the bright side, the 1297 Young genetics continue to deliver orange. This one is 1297 Young x self.
 
Thursday, August 12 View Page
More orange. This is on our 208 from last year (532 Young x 1533 Rea); pollinated with the 707 Ressel.
 
Thursday, August 12 View Page
1095 Rea x 1215 Young. It's got a dented in side but I decided to keep it anyways.
 
Thursday, August 12 View Page
Our squash are not doing so wonderful. I have two on the 710 Wagler that are alright but this one seems to have exploded with all the rain we've been having: 518 Wagler (1935 Jutras x self). What a shame as this was going to be my best one.
 
Saturday, August 14 View Page
756 Leach is around 365 lbs. and gaining slow and steady, about 18 lbs. a day. The plant is very healthy still.
 
Friday, August 20 View Page
One of my "porch pumpkins". 210 Hochstetler (2183 Mendi x 2183 Paton) x 1723 Rea
 
Friday, August 20 View Page
This is from our 265 last year which was 692 Podraza (2005 Haist x 2416) x 2183 Paton. Pollinated with the 2014 Paton. What genetics and what a beauty! My daughter drew the smiley face.
 
Saturday, August 21 View Page
The 168 Baggs DMG FP has now become "DMG" itself. The seeds are huge but seem to be rather flat. Not sure if they are any good.
 
Saturday, August 21 View Page
Patch companions, before...
 
Saturday, August 21 View Page
...and after. They were delicious! They ate all the slugs in my patch as well as some of the culls I gave them. RIP.
 
Sunday, August 22 View Page
My daughter on "Jolly Rancher" (2014 Paton).
 
Sunday, August 22 View Page
Ditto. The blossom began to rot so I cut it off and applied sulfur. Still have a month and a half until the weigh off so we can't have it go and rot on us now.
 
Thursday, September 2 View Page
The 756 Leach is beginning to pick up a tiny bit of color.
 
Thursday, September 2 View Page
It is also fairly uniform and smooth. Have to look on the bright side.
 
Thursday, September 2 View Page
There was never any doubt that the 1215 Young was going to be orange.
 
Friday, September 3 View Page
The squash saga continues. One the 526 Leach's went squampkin on me. You can see one pumpkin that is growing inside a bucket in the background.
 
Friday, September 3 View Page
The other 526 was (kind of) green but it exploded, just like the 518 Wagler.
 
Friday, September 3 View Page
It's not all doom and gloom. The 710 Wagler had a bit of bird damage but otherwise looks like a viable "squash". It's going to be a PB because I have never grown giant squash before. Set the bar nice and low the first year! It is pollinated by my other 710 Wagler, a sibling.
 
Friday, September 3 View Page
The other 710 Wagler. It is growing on the edge of the corn patch. Open pollination.
 
Wednesday, September 8 View Page
First the bad news. The 756 Leach developed a split.
 
Wednesday, September 8 View Page
I don't know if this is from dehydration. I gave the patch a good soaking last weekend but we have had a couple days in the 80's since then so I guess that's a possible explanation.
 
Wednesday, September 8 View Page
I did a bit of (potentially) life-saving surgery and dusted with sulfur. We'll see if she pulls through.
 
Wednesday, September 8 View Page
The 2014 Paton continues to make small steady gains. Hovering around 800 lbs.
 
Wednesday, September 8 View Page
A few soft spots on the stem treated with sulfur but otherwise solid as a rock.
 
Thursday, September 16 View Page
The 756 Leach is not looking great. Maybe we will make a boat out of it like we did last year with one.
 
Thursday, September 16 View Page
On the orange front, our 208 is looking fabulous.
 
Thursday, September 16 View Page
Finally got a pollination on the 707 Ressel. Probably too late for it to mature.
 
Thursday, September 16 View Page
Got a couple field pumpkins coming. This 62 Hochstetler x 168 Baggs DMG. I haven't measured it but it is surely a PB.
 
Thursday, September 16 View Page
We already harvested a few. This one got stuck inside a bucket and grew very tall! It is 168 Baggs DMG x 181 Wagler.
 
Monday, September 20 View Page
I decided to call time on the 756 Leach as the hole was only getting deeper every day. Final estimated weight was 629 lbs. but the walls look fairly thick so it may have even been a little heavy to chart. Now we'll never know.
 
Monday, September 20 View Page
It was a pumpkin weekend. This one is off our 265 from last year. Estimated at 507 lbs. and a real looker.
 
Monday, September 20 View Page
210 Hochstetler (2183 Mendi) x 1723 Rea
 
Monday, September 20 View Page
471 Wagler x 1297 Young
 
Monday, September 20 View Page
1297 Young x 756 Leach
 
Tuesday, September 21 View Page
We got the 2014 Paton on a pallet and it will be weighed tomorrow. Hoping for a couple percent heavy on this one.
 
Wednesday, September 22 View Page
Our 2014 went to the Canna pumpkin garden at Malvern, but it didn't get weighed there.
 
Tuesday, October 12 View Page
Finally, 3 weeks to the day after we cut it off the vine, we got a weight on our beleaguered pumpkin: 868.6 lbs. and still 4 to 5% percent heavier than estimated. Far from PB but enough to get 4th place. It was a great day for everyone. Thanks to the Patons, Canna and all who worked to make the weigh-off a success.
 
Wednesday, October 13 View Page
We made a little display with some of our pumpkins.
 
Wednesday, October 13 View Page
The 1215 Young really came out a nice color. It was pollinated with the 2060 Paton.
 
Wednesday, October 13 View Page
We picked our biggest field pumpkin a couple weeks ago and it weighed 115 lbs. By the time we took it to the weigh off it had last 2 lbs. so we came in 4th for field pumpkins as well as giant pumpkins. It is 62 Hochstetler 2020 x 168.7 Baggs 2020 DMG. Our exhibition entry was 82 lbs. grown on the same plant but pollinated with the 158 Horde. Our third biggest which we didn't bring was 79 lbs. (168.7 Baggs DMG x 181 Wagler)
 

 

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