Giant Pumpkins

and other failures by our esteemed colleague Malthus
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Giant Pumpkins

Post #1 by Ricard_Persson » Wed May 08, 2013 3:49 pm

Three plants in the ground for a few days now. Nice weather and much needed heat.


Tight for free time this year. We'll see how she goes.
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Post #2 by Honus Joglund » Wed May 08, 2013 6:48 pm

Have you considered migrant workers, Rico_? Stan and his family will come up for the summer and work the field. $20 a day for the family of 26. Cash.
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Post #3 by PredsFan77 » Wed May 08, 2013 7:14 pm

Might be too cold HJ. Those wetbacks die if the temp gets below 60. Good, strong backs tho.
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Post #4 by Honus Joglund » Wed May 08, 2013 11:09 pm

Um Pedro, this country was built on the backs of disposable foreign labourers. Just last year we had the deadliest road accident in Ontario history - 11 or 12 Peruvians in a minivan got smoked by a transport and died.

And did our green bean industry suffer? God no. (RIP)
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Post #5 by PredsFan77 » Wed May 08, 2013 11:12 pm

YEAH BUT THE PERU SKI TEAM IS REALLY FUCKED.
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Post #6 by PredsFan77 » Wed May 08, 2013 11:12 pm

plus your talkin south americans. everybody knows the central americans are the vastly superior migrant worker. you could find 3 Hondurans to do the work of your peru ski team. plus they might be able to get you the inside scoop on a couple of eightballs.
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Post #7 by jacketracket » Thu May 09, 2013 7:51 pm

Ricard_Persson wrote:Tight for free time this year. We'll see how she goes.
Never forget to pamper your gourd, R_P - time well spent.
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Post #8 by Ricard_Persson » Wed May 22, 2013 5:15 am

This cold weather is completely stopping the plants growth. Need that soil temp at 70F all day and night. Even the mini greenhouses are not enough.


I'm going to have to get soil cables next year to heat the soil.
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Post #9 by MP » Wed May 22, 2013 8:52 am

Ricard_Persson wrote:This cold weather is completely stopping the plants growth. Need that soil temp at 70F all day and night. Even the mini greenhouses are not enough.


I'm going to have to get soil cables next year to heat the soil.


Nothing like running up your electricity bill to help grow a pumpkin...

If you were to insulate your ground before winter, the frost wouldn't penetrate as deep and would allow the soil to be ready sooner. All you'd need is a couple boards of 2" SM.
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Post #10 by clawfirst » Wed May 22, 2013 9:04 am

might end up being just as costly. You can't just plop it on top and expect it to do anything. you'd have to bury it around the perimeter or it will freeze by conduction anyway.

I don't think it's worth the cost/effort.
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Post #11 by Ricard_Persson » Wed May 22, 2013 9:18 am

I had it warm, that's the piss off. The last week of April, about a week before I was planting the seedlings, I had the mini greenhouses out and dug a hole where I was to plant inside. Off to the side I buried a spare rectal thermometer that I had kicking around, down 6" into the ground. The rule is to not plant anything until it's 70F deep in the soil. I hit 70 no problem with that warm weather. It was 105F inside the huts, and 70F below the soil. Good to go for a few days. Until these cold nights. With frost a couple nights last week, I set up a heater in one hut and a light bulb with a blanket system set up in the other two. What a shit show, setting up over 100 feet of extension cord and running around like a fool each evening.

I keep telling myself I should just grow dope. It would cost the same amount of money and time, but produce a six figure side salary instead of a annual $1500 loss in the pumpkin biz.


The problem with heating the air inside the hut is that you just can't keep that soil hot below the surface. Once the roots are cold the plant stops. The buried heater coils would keep everything warm, including the air inside the huts. Too late now though. Maybe next year.

I have a basement floor in my house with water pipes running through it. In the winter with the hot water in the floor, the room is toasty. Without the floor turned on, I can't get it even remotely comfortable, just using the forced air part of the furnace. It's all about the rising heat, and the slab holding all that energy. Same idea in the patch. Maybe I'll set up a geothermal furnace out there.
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Post #12 by clawfirst » Wed May 22, 2013 9:25 am

Bury three burn barrels around the perimeter? low tech. cheap.

but yeah the coils are what you want.
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Post #13 by MP » Wed May 22, 2013 9:26 am

Right the frost comes in from the sides. If you could construct a rigid SM box to put around your green house burried about 12" into the ground you'd stand a better chance against frost propagation in the green house. The deeper you go the better obviously.
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Post #14 by clawfirst » Wed May 22, 2013 9:29 am

12" would only mean it freezes in February instead of January...


not to mention fucking with drainage.
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Post #15 by MP » Wed May 22, 2013 9:33 am

clawfirst wrote:12" would only mean it freezes in February instead of January...


not to mention fucking with drainage.


We're now talking about mitigating spring frost, not winter frost.

Also, if you were to dig out your plant start area, 1 or 2 feet fill with fresh manure, then 6 to 8 inches top soil, the manure should heat your soil nicely.
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Post #16 by AD » Wed May 22, 2013 9:36 am

You construction folk are ruining this artisan's craft.
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Post #17 by Ricard_Persson » Wed May 22, 2013 9:47 am

With that greenhouse on in the spring, you can go from 0 to +30C ground temperature in a week. The frost isn't so much the issue, it's keeping the ground warm once the plant is in. Nothing like insulation can be buried as it would affect the root growth.

It's just for nights at this time of year. That's the killer, not winter months.


And as quickly as you go from 30C degree soil, you can drop to +10 with the weather we've been having for the last week.
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Post #18 by MP » Fri May 31, 2013 2:21 pm

So how goes it?
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Post #19 by Ricard_Persson » Sun Jun 02, 2013 8:43 pm

I Tilled under the original garden today. I planted fall rye last fall and have been mowing in weekly. Had soil tests done on both gardens and added amendments according to soil pros advice and tilled under. It's a big job, about 600 pounds of various ingredients. I have to till the new 1500 square foot garden a couple of these evenings coming up.

I'll grab a pic or two for those scoring at home.


Plants are finally starting to vine. Cold spring. Very slow growth. Each plant has about 6-8 leaves and are about 10" long. They should really start to go now. I need them too.
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Post #20 by chiclet » Sun Jun 02, 2013 9:02 pm

You know what? There's a corner over here with Ricard's Pumpkin Patch's name on it and I'm just sitting in it rooting quietly. [SIZE="1"]you can do it[/size]
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Post #21 by MP » Mon Jun 03, 2013 10:14 am

How long till the pumpkin baby making sex happens?
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Post #22 by Ricard_Persson » Mon Jun 03, 2013 1:03 pm

I just checked my notes (lol) and last year as well as 2011 the pumpkin outgrew the mini greenhouse with a 5 foot vine on June 5th. I'm certainly not going to get that, which is frustrating since I prepped more with warm soil early on. Cold weather killed me.

On those notes pumpkin secks happened on June 29th last year. First male blossom opened June 15th..
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Post #23 by Sturminator » Mon Jun 03, 2013 2:13 pm

chiclet wrote:You know what? There's a corner over here with Ricard's Pumpkin Patch's name on it and I'm just sitting in it rutting quietly. [SIZE="1"]you can do it[/size]


Is Sinclair there, or is this a solo ruttolo?
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Post #24 by Ricard_Persson » Mon Jun 03, 2013 9:43 pm

Alright, here's some pics. The original garden has the world record 2009 pound seed growing in it. I went with this one because I thought it was safer soil. However, I loaded up five year old manure into the new 1500 square foot garden, and the results are pretty good. The PH is too high but I've added 40 pounds of elemental sulfer to drop it. Potassium is through the roof, so I need to watch that.

I roughed in the new garden last fall on luckily the last warmish day in November before freeze up. I got lucky. This spring, around mid april, I tilled the entire thing deeply and planted winter rye. It was sprouted in four days and cut with the lawn mower in a couple weeks. I kept cutting it down until this week. Back in the first of May, I tilled the area where the two mini greenhouses will go in this garden. I added some good stuff to the soil and warmed it up with the greenhouses. The plants have been in there since.

I added all kinds of amendments to the soil from a professionals advice. Lots of stuff. I really underestimated the work involved in that. You can see the powders in the pics on the rye in the garden. Tonight I started tilling under an area all around the greenhouses, as the plants are starting to run and need tilled soil. I'm a little late on this as I'd like to have at least two weeks of tilled soil before plants start to grow on it....to allow the rye to breakdown.

Anyway, I'll keep tilling the perimeter until it's all done. Tomorrow night I'll take off the greenhouses, pull any weeds and rye, then place the greenhouses back on for another week or so until they are out grown.

I have the seed from my pumpkin last year growing in that new garden (1146 pound), along with a seed from a 1778lb pumpkin.


All pics real time, today.

Old garden tilled, new garden in background.
Image

New Garden area.
Image

Rye mowed, Amendments added, ready to be tilled under.
Image

The world record 2009 finally starting to vine out after a very cold spring.
Image






Here is a picture of the area last fall, before the heavy equipment arrived.

Ricard_Persson wrote:Image
Area for new garden. I will be expanding next year and growing two plants. I need to get this roughed in this fall.
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Post #25 by Ricard_Persson » Fri Jun 07, 2013 12:28 pm

Cold wet weather continues for a few more days.
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Post #26 by PredsFan77 » Fri Jun 07, 2013 1:33 pm

So how many are you planning on growing? 2?
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Post #27 by PredsFan77 » Fri Jun 07, 2013 1:33 pm

Also I think it would appropriate if we name one of the pumpkins for Brain Burke.
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Post #28 by AD » Fri Jun 07, 2013 1:44 pm

PredsFan77 wrote:Also I think it would appropriate if we name one of the pumpkins for Brain Burke.


With this weather, its never gonna become fat and bloated enough. (Sorry Rickster)


On a completely unrelated note. You should call one Hazel Mae.
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Post #29 by Ricard_Persson » Sat Jun 08, 2013 8:42 am

Growing 3 plants.
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Post #30 by chiclet » Sat Jun 08, 2013 8:46 am

I bet the area round your house is pretty spooky at night, eh ricoh? How many big flashlights do you have?
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Post #31 by Ricard_Persson » Sat Jun 08, 2013 4:45 pm

A case of Mag-Lites.
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Post #32 by jacketracket » Sun Jun 09, 2013 2:43 pm

What steps are you taking to guard against racoons this season? You need me to drive up there?
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Post #33 by Ricard_Persson » Sun Jun 09, 2013 7:56 pm

Not sure what I'm going to do. I have those two steaming piles of compost and every animal from the ark is picking at it like a chinese buffet. That could be a problem. Something bit the tops off some tall sunflowers that I planted two weeks ago. Not sure what it was, as it wasn't big enough to leave tracks in the grass seeded soil. Couldn't be a deer which I have seen tracks of recently. Coons don't usually nibble greens. That could be a ground hog again. Not sure if the sunflowers will re-grow....we'll have to stay tuned. What a cliff hanger.
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Post #34 by Ricard_Persson » Sun Jun 09, 2013 8:09 pm

Finally tilled under all of the rye. That took too long today. The first good weather in a week. Sunny and warm, like 25 Canadian, I think that's like 85 or something for JR and PF.


Here's a shot of sometime earlier this week when I tilled around the plants. I should have done this sooner as the roots were most definetly out where I was tilling, but I had to get rid of the rye. Oh well, the roots should be free to move now in loose soil.

Image

Now here is the final till of the outside perimeter today.

Image

Good dark soil and the rye really disappears well with a thorough till.

Image


Here's a picture of the seed from last years pumpkin, whatever you guys called it. This plant is actually my biggest, most aggressive right now which is surprising because the other two plants have great bloodlines.

Image


Now I just wait for the plants to outgrow the greenhouses and get ready to stake them down to avoid wind damage once they are exposed. I need some heat like today to really get the nitrogen to become available to the plant. In colder soils it gets locked out. Today helped and I gave all plants four gallons of nitrogen rich fermented salmon. Smelled awful.
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Post #35 by Craig » Sun Jun 09, 2013 10:28 pm

Ricard_Persson wrote:Not sure what I'm going to do. I have those two steaming piles of compost and every animal from the ark is picking at it like a chinese buffet. That could be a problem. Something bit the tops off some tall sunflowers that I planted two weeks ago. Not sure what it was, as it wasn't big enough to leave tracks in the grass seeded soil. Couldn't be a deer which I have seen tracks of recently. Coons don't usually nibble greens. That could be a ground hog again. Not sure if the sunflowers will re-grow....we'll have to stay tuned. What a cliff hanger.


I just put a thing in the back yard garden to deal with coons. It's basically just a sprinkler with a motion sensor. If a coon goes for the garden, they'll get a good squirt when they go for it, which apparently they hate. You can link them up too, so you could make like a sort of water fence. Though with your area it might be cheaper to just go for an electric fence.
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Post #36 by clawfirst » Sun Jun 09, 2013 11:16 pm

Poison dog food.

fin
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Post #37 by gr » Sun Jun 09, 2013 11:35 pm

Freddie Junior off to the early lead! Fantastic!
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Post #38 by Ricard_Persson » Mon Jun 10, 2013 9:13 am

I'm far from electrical, which is a huge mistake. I should have run a power station that way when I built, but now it's a big job to do. That would help with water too. An electric pump would be a lot quieter than a gas Honda.


A snapper has easy digging this morning in the freshly tilled garden...

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Post #39 by AD » Mon Jun 10, 2013 9:41 am

I'm very worried about this year's crop of pumpkins RP. Your posts are very worrying. There's a certain desperation to your tone. Much love from us. And there's always next year of things don't go right. Every franchise goes through a rebuild (or a re-tooling of some sort).
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Post #40 by MP » Mon Jun 10, 2013 3:52 pm

Ricard_Persson wrote:Not sure what I'm going to do. I have those two steaming piles of compost and every animal from the ark is picking at it like a chinese buffet. That could be a problem. Something bit the tops off some tall sunflowers that I planted two weeks ago. Not sure what it was, as it wasn't big enough to leave tracks in the grass seeded soil. Couldn't be a deer which I have seen tracks of recently. Coons don't usually nibble greens. That could be a ground hog again. Not sure if the sunflowers will re-grow....we'll have to stay tuned. What a cliff hanger.


You've got steaming piles of manure and you're considering electrical heating wires?

In the spring, dig a pit, fill it with manure, then top soil, and plant your pumpkin on top. The heat from the manure will keep your pumpkin and soil toasty all through the spring.
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Post #41 by PredsFan77 » Mon Jun 10, 2013 5:41 pm

The son of Freddie Mercury has to be named Brendan Burke, right?

Boom done.
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Post #42 by PredsFan77 » Mon Jun 10, 2013 5:43 pm

Also what's the deal with that snapper, he a relative? Does he want to been in our fantasy hockey league next year?
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Post #43 by TGR » Wed Jun 19, 2013 7:35 pm

Underneath, underneatttthhhhhh this amarillooooo sky!
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Post #44 by MP » Fri Jun 28, 2013 2:07 pm

Ricard_Persson wrote:I just checked my notes (lol) and last year as well as 2011 the pumpkin outgrew the mini greenhouse with a 5 foot vine on June 5th. I'm certainly not going to get that, which is frustrating since I prepped more with warm soil early on. Cold weather killed me.

On those notes pumpkin secks happened on June 29th last year. First male blossom opened June 15th..


So when's the big day?
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Post #45 by Ricard_Persson » Mon Jul 01, 2013 7:46 pm

Probably by the end of the week on the 1146. Pea sized pumpkins showing on all three main vines. Plants all over 10 feet.
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Post #46 by jacketracket » Mon Jul 01, 2013 7:55 pm

Have they done the sex to each other yet?
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Post #47 by Ricard_Persson » Mon Jul 01, 2013 9:55 pm

End of the week, JR. Pay attention.

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