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Click on a thumbnail picture below to see the full size version. 61 Entries.
Saturday, January 2 View Page
150 sq ft plot ready, changed the configuration to 15ft x 10ft for this season. Also more than doubled the depth to 4ft, although this will settle by around 6 inches in time. Will get soil test in due course, and yet to decide on seed, but leaning towards my own 756 which was a good orange, and a perfect shape. Sowing is still 3 months off, but nice to be making progress!
Monday, February 22 View Page
Rain, rain, rain, bit of snow, rain, a week frozen and more rain.... so no progress in the outside patch. Sowed a selection of tomatoes at the weekend; I know it's early, but my best results last season were grown on cutting raised plants from an early sowing.
Monday, April 5 View Page
Ist sowing of pumpkin & squash made on 28th March. Potted on from 3" to 7" pots today. Only about 50% germination, but rest of seeds are still firm. Started a few more, particularly squash, as backup. Busy weekend on the patch, raised beds for marrow, FP, BG, & LG all finished but still irrigation to lay. Planting pumpkin & squash in the Polytunnels should start in 2 weeks, depending on night temperatures.
Monday, April 19 View Page
Line-up for first Polytunnel: 1521 Barlow/Jacobus squash, 2014 Paton (thanks to Ian & Stuart) 2139 Skonager (EGVGA seed of the year) and a surprise last spot for 1938 Sperry (thanks to Matt Winey) Planted yesterday, soil cables, and fleece cloches kept plants to 9c minimum overnight whilst rest of polytunnel dropped to zero. So that seems like a result. Daytime temperatures in the polytunnel are 25-30c so hoping for swift establishment. Next Polytunnel due for planting 1st May and outside plants 2 weeks afterwards.
Thursday, April 29 View Page
150 sqft entry, 756.2 Leach 2020 Sown 28th March, then potted into 2L pot and then 7.5L pot. Planted in patch in Polytunnel 27th April, fully 25 days earlier than last year. Still a few cool nights forecast, hopefully I've provided sufficient protection.
Saturday, May 8 View Page
150 sqft plant starting to vine, weather forecast to be turning milder, so plastic removed from inner hoophouse.
Saturday, May 8 View Page
Leader of the pack is the 1938 Sperry (pictured) with the 2139 Skonager close behind. These were both growing with buried soil cables. The other two plants with the cables on the surface have gone backwards with almost no root growth, so they have been replaced. Shame I ran out of time when installing the cables.... I'll know for next year!
Sunday, May 9 View Page
Well, I've had enough of the morning and evening ritual of ventilation & protection; inner hoop houses removed..... plants are on their own now!
Monday, May 10 View Page
Bit of a surprise this morning, 1938 Sperry.... now where's my OTT chart?!
Saturday, May 15 View Page
Selection of giant tomato plants, mainly with Doug Smith to thank for the seed. Good range of genetic lines. All growing in 35 litre pots, due for staking tomorrow. Early side shoot cuttings have rooted to give a late planting.
Saturday, May 15 View Page
Pleased with growth on leading two pumpkins, Top: 2139 Skonager Bottom: 1938 Sperry Not sure I'm doing the right thing with the canes? Vine burying about to commence.
Saturday, May 15 View Page
Not everything goes to plan....... I nearly managed to kill the 2014 Paton & 1521 squash. Just a week after fishing them out of the patch they are both staging a good recovery; got a special spot planned for them on an outside compost pile in a week from now, so all is not lost!
Sunday, May 23 View Page
150 sq ft plants; Top, this year, Bottom, 2020, Both photos taken 22nd May..... high hopes for this season!
Saturday, May 29 View Page
Weather greatly improved the last few days, roasting in the Polytunnels today, sprinklers set to come on every hour to prevent wilting. 1938 starting to make Christmas tree shape
Saturday, May 29 View Page
2139 not far behind
Saturday, May 29 View Page
1st fruit set, Doug Smith seed from 8.07 mega marv x self, 7 days after pollination. Also sowed marrows & fp's today.... it's been a long wait but, if it's good enough for Mark.....!
Sunday, May 30 View Page
Ha ha, not sure how the chicken got there! This is the 1938 Sperry
Sunday, May 30 View Page
Couple of tall sunflowers went into their final 70L pots (about 18.5 US gal.) 26.15 De Rycke supported at the corners of the long gourd frame which can be easily extended upwards to 20ft or more!
Sunday, June 6 View Page
Couple of hours vine burying yesterday, can't spare the time during the week. 1st pollination today, hopefully it's the keeper! 2139 has a female on the way too, 2-3 days 'til pollination I estimate.
Tuesday, June 8 View Page
Sure enough, the 2139 was ready for pollination this morning. That is both my main two plants pollinated at least 15 days earlier than 2020. Fingers crossed they both take. Female flower spotted on 150sqft plant, would rather it was on the other side of the stem, but, I should be able to work with it.
Sunday, June 13 View Page
Pollinated the 150sqft entry today, exactly one month earlier than last year's entry. Also pollinated backups on the 1938 & 2139, but hoping neither will be needed! Weather unusually hot for UK currently, sprinklers have been working every hour for 3 mins and no scorching thus far and plants are living it; plants growing at an unprecedented rate! But higher temperatures forecast next week, so adapted system to work every 30 mins, 8am-8pm.
Monday, June 21 View Page
1938 yesterday at DAP 14. After a couple of weeks of sunny days and high temps, we've returned to rainy overcast weather with the daytime struggling to reach 15c. Plants all look very healthy and are growing fast, but I imagine the rate of fruit growth will be diminished.
Sunday, June 27 View Page
150sqft, nowhere for the fruit to grow so decided to cut the main (including the backup) and use the previous secondary as the new main. Repositioned the fruit and vine for optimum use of the space. I think I can pretty much designate this my keeper now at DAP14. Made 1st fungicide & insecticide spray during the week, Serenade for mildew and Gazelle for aphid & whitefly
Monday, June 28 View Page
1938, DAP 22. Small insect? mark appears to have healed, and may I need to cut the secondary vine as fruit grows, otherwise I'm content with progress. May start taping at the weekend. Early pollination on the squash failed and it has been a long wait for another female. Will pollinate everything now and choose what to keep later.
Wednesday, June 30 View Page
20 gal Sunflower entry in 70 litre pot, I'll get the steps and tape out once I've read the rules for measuring sunflowers! I have one other plant, still in bud, that I'm hoping might get a little taller.
Saturday, July 3 View Page
150sqft, DAP 20, one last sq ft to fill in, main and all secondaries bar one are terminated. The board takes up a lot of space..... I hope the pumpkin justifies it over the next 90 days!
Friday, July 9 View Page
1938, DAP 33, est. 327 lb and 28 lb/day for the last week. Weather has been pretty uninspiring, so quite content with progress.
Sunday, July 11 View Page
20ft in 20gal......oh well, not set the bar very high..... 9ft 7in to beat. One more plant growing but not expecting a vast improvement! But at least the flowers look nice.
Friday, July 16 View Page
A bit late reporting, but 1938 is now DAP 40 and estimated 540 lb, 30 lb a day for the last week. We are now experiencing a heatwave again, sprinklers on 3 mins twice an hour 8am til 8pm. If I have managed to stop it cooking, I'm hoping for some good growth this week. Tomatoes not fared so well in the heat, suffered a lot of ber, fortunately my late potting for the weigh-offs are still outside and much happier!
Friday, July 23 View Page
150 sqft entry. DAP 40, taping 434 lb. It's sitting a big wet as the sprinklers are on so frequently to combat the heat. 26 lb/day for the past week.
Friday, July 23 View Page
Best of the long cucumbers, 23 inches today, appears to be putting on an inch a day. Heavy cues a similar size, perhaps a little fatter.
Friday, July 23 View Page
The 1938 seems to have survived the heatwave for the last week unscathed. Taping 776 lb on DAP 47, averaging 33 lb/day for the week.
Thursday, July 29 View Page
5 gallon tomato challenge, 3.66 lb, unlikely to better it this season from the 5 gal. plants.
Friday, July 30 View Page
150 sqft, tapes 563 lb, weather has been dull and wet this past week and pumpkin growth has suffered.
Friday, July 30 View Page
1938 at DAP 54 is taping 900 lb. Growth has dropped to 17 lb/day for the last week. Whilst fruit growth has slowed, I'm struggling to keep up with vine growth, and of course, the weeds!
Friday, August 6 View Page
1938, DAP 61, taping 1027 lb, about 18 lb/day for the last week. This is now over 30% heavier than my PB with 2 months still to go. Not sure my nerves can take the strain! More lousy weather so not expecting great gains for the coming week.
Friday, August 6 View Page
150 sqft, DAP 54 today and taping 681 lbs, 17 lb/day for the week. About 10% heavier than same age last year and a month earlier too. Pushing against the vines, but no room to move it, so will have to see what happens. The 4ft high raised bed makes for much easier vine care, but measuring is a nightmare!
Saturday, August 7 View Page
756 Leach in the main patch, DAP 47, taping 534 lb. Unfortunately the growing fruit has torn the vine, I think it's a secondary that has got trapped, perhaps I should have removed it early on? If the tear appears to worsen, I'll sever the secondary. I really haven't mastered positioning the vine and young fruit set yet...... room for improvement next season!
Wednesday, August 11 View Page
55 Leach 2020 FP, 121 lb, but developed an enormous stem split. Will harvest seeds for next season as have had few large fruit on this strain.
Friday, August 20 View Page
1938, DAP 75, tapes 1197 lb, just over 10 lb/day for the last week. Weather has a definite autumnal feel, just hoping to add a few extra pounds each week and survive to the weigh-off.
Friday, August 20 View Page
150 sqft, DAP 68, taping 818 lb, down to around 8 lb/day. Plant is still remarkably healthy, but had to remove a rogue fruit, already basketball size.....can't believe how I'd missed it? 6 or 7 weeks to the weigh-offs, this competition could get quite interesting!
Friday, August 20 View Page
Bit of a crisis in the tomato patch this week. After a long weekend away, returned to find large pieces chewed on all the ripening fruit. Set the traps and a night vision trap camera, and after 4 days....losing every orange-tinted fruit in the process.... I finally managed to catch the b*#$er. No photo, but it was a big rat, that nearly escaped, so I had to put my boot on it...pronto! Guess I will find out on the coming days if it had any friends or was a loner? Fortunately there was nothing competitive lost; any hopefuls are still green and weren't enticing.
Friday, August 27 View Page
1938, DAP 82, taping 1266 lb, still managing 10 lb/day. Plant still healthy and very vigorous; no idea how many young fruit have set, can't get to any of the plant beyond the fruit! First few spots of mildew so given a thorough spray with SB invigorator..... hope it lives up to it's name!
Friday, August 27 View Page
150sqft, DAP 75, 18% heavier than last season, but gains down to 5 lb/day now. Lovely colour and fairly good shape too.
Saturday, August 28 View Page
756, DAP 68, hanging on by a thread!, taping 741 lb. Colour disappointing, this one won't be troubled with an HDA!
Saturday, August 28 View Page
1521 squash, has had a bit of a troubled existence. Here at DAP 61, taping 668 lb, but not sure how realistic the chart figure is considering the shape and the giant crater in the blossom end! That said, it's still a comfortable PB and continues to gain 14 lb/day.
Saturday, August 28 View Page
Final offering for the 5 gallon challenge, no more fruit on the plants now. 24"cc 4.34 lb. Still have a 25" fruit on the regular plants starting to ripen, and several younger fruit aiming for the weigh-offs.
Sunday, August 29 View Page
5.19 Doug Smith yielded me a new pb at 5.61 lb today, well pleased with that. Will see how many seeds I get...... the 5.03 only had 8.... so there won't be many of those shared around, lol.
Friday, September 3 View Page
320 Connolly BG taping 68 lbs, over halfway to a UK record... I know the bar is set pretty low, but we just don't have the right climate here. 150sqft still trickling along slowly at DAP 82, but no point posting a photo as it looks the same...... ........ as does the 1938, DAP 89, taping 1320 lbs, around 7 lb/day for last week. I did have a good rummage in the foliage, and severed all the young pumpkins I found. That, coupled with some warmer/sunny days forecast, may add a few extra pounds?
Wednesday, September 8 View Page
First real megabloom to get to scale, shame it started ripening so soon, off my 4.19 Leach from last year. Incidentally it split in two places in the 30 mins between harvesting and weighing. Fortunate it wasn't a contender!
Wednesday, September 8 View Page
Drama in the patch today; 1521 Barlow/Jacobus squash started changing colour! Top photo is DAP 68, bottom photo is DAP 72. It is growing on a south facing bank in full sun, without any covering. Here in the UK we have just had 4-5 days of hot, very sunny weather. Is it just ripening, or, showing some pumpkin genetics? I suppose the real question is whether it is still eligible for entry as a squash, and, if not, is it eligible as an pumpkin entry?
Friday, September 10 View Page
1938, now DAP 96, crikey that's over 3 months, taping 1366 lb, but slowed to 6 lb/day. That said, with the irregular shape, it's hard to be certain if the change is the pumpkin growing or just how I measure it!
Tuesday, September 14 View Page
One week on and the 1521 Barlow/Jacobus squash is showing a bit more orange. I suspect it will be 50-50 orange by the weigh-offs! Looks like it will be competing as a pumpkin next month. It was crossed with the 1252 Jutras, so I may still try growing the resulting progeny next year.......also still have another 1521 seed too.....
Friday, September 17 View Page
No measurable growth on largest two pumpkins despite the good weather. The 150sqft at DAP 96 is still a good shape and colour, although starting to show scars from leaf scratches. LG's and BG's are enjoying the warmth and sunshine; hope it lasts another couple of weeks.
Friday, September 24 View Page
Well, 1938 appears to have put on a few inches this week, DAP 110, now taping 1421 lbs. 12 days 'til it's harvested; the optimistic view is 12 more days to grow, the pessimistic view is 12 days for something to go wrong!
Friday, October 1 View Page
150sqft entry harvested today and ready for the weigh-off. Interestingly, the board it was growing on was so thin it bowed as it put on weight. OTT has increased by 8 inches now it's on a pallet. Whatever the weight, I think I can claim the record for shortest distance traveled to a weigh-off: about 250 yards!
Monday, October 4 View Page
150sqft entry, 756 Leach x 2139 Skonager weighed in at 934.3 lbs, which was sufficient for top place and the HDA. Sadly, it went 6% light as I was hoping it might top 4 figures.
Friday, October 8 View Page
1928 Sperry, DAP 123 on harvest day, taping 1459 lbs. Weigh-off tomorrow everything crossed it goes heavy!
Saturday, October 16 View Page
1938 Sperry, weighed in at 1490.5 lbs, 2% heavy, and just sufficient to snatch 1st place at the Sunnyfields weigh-off, with the top 3 all looking and taping a similar size. As well as a PB by a large margin, it is also the heaviest pumpkin grown in the UK this year. Very happy with that, and already planning next year's campaign!
Saturday, October 16 View Page
320 Connolly BG weighed 159.4 lbs, a new UK record, but I had been hoping for more; sadly, it went 23% under. I also believe my pb 5.61 tomato was the heaviest in the UK for 2021, and pb's also scored with marrow 93.7 lbs, squash 641 lbs, and FP 149 lbs. Plenty of errors and mistakes along the way, so room for improvement in 2022!
Sunday, November 7 View Page
Season end, seeds harvested from all the controlled crosses, lots of patch preparations to complete in the coming months.


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