Well, here it is again. another growing season is just around the corner so I thought that I would put up a diary for 2019. This season will be different for me in a few ways with only two giant pumpkins planned at this time and some changes in what and how I will be growing as well.
I had decided to grow my last giant fodder beet seeds this year but no rutabagas or Kohlrabi this year but I am now the proud owner of a bouncing baby kohlrabi that I got from John Butler at the GVGO seminar.
I was not going to grow giant carrots this year as well, but when I saw that it was the veggie of the year for the EGVGA my competitive side kicked in and I started some as well. Like my beets they are far behind of where I was last year but they are all doing well
Checked out the garden today as it was probably the warmest day today since last October and things did not look too bad but could be better. The soil is only thawed down a few inches and there is still ice in the far corners of the garden. With the forecast not really showing a significant warm up and lots of cool wet days ahead I double covered the hoop house sites with plastic. It looks like it will be a repeat of 2018 with me only getting the hoop houses ready for planting in May.
The largest Jack O Lantern in Canada again was again at the Hunt residence this fall at 1814 lbs.
My 1409 was carved by Phil, and was also a big crowd-pleaser. There will be a lot of disappointed people next fall as there will be no display next year.
It was great to get the patch cleared out last weekend and have Phil till it up before the rain arrived and made it a muddy mess.
Ready for the Royal, will my long fodder beet be the champion? Almost but no by .02lbs.
There were lots of great entries for the 2019 Royal Winter fair. My 44.8 lb. Fodder beet beet came second but I came first in the Kohlrabi class at at 29.2 lbs and first in heavy carrot at 7.8 lbs and first in marrow at 92.6 lbs.
The giant pumpkin display this year is the best ever and is a real big draw at the fair. I managed a second place finish at 1625 lbs. this year and I'm happy with that. Phil and Jane Hunt set the bar high with a new Royal best weight of 1705 lbs.
The Wellington weigh-off was as good as it gets. The weather was stellar and there were lots of pumpkins and other entries. My 1826 Wolf went a little heavy and placed fifth at 1114 lbs.
The 1674 lb. pumpkin grown by Dan Clement was the winner. It was grown off the 1959 Hunt. The pumpkin on the left was the Howard dill winner grown by Annette Langridge at 906 lbs. It was grown off the 1086 Veitch.
The Woodbridge weigh-off went well. My 1911 Urena weighed in at 1409 Lbs. which was about 7% under the charts. Fortunately it was good for second place so I was happy with that.
Some of the entries lined up prior to the weighing. The Hunt's pumpkin stood out from the crowd because of it's size and weighed 1814 lbs.
The Halloween pumpkins are now in place
Looking forward to seeing some of these carved soon. My 1409 will be one of them.
The 1826 Wolf will be going to Wellington next Saturday. I am hoping that it goes over 1000 lbs.
Harvest time for Woodbridge now.
The 1911 Urena x 2005 Haist is ready to be harvested.
Just got in in the truck with a few inches to spare. It is really hard to guess how this one will do. Not really expecting anything special from it weight wise.
Lots of expectation from Phil and Jane's pumpkin. It's their biggest yet and could be a new PB for them. It is one of the best shaped pumpkins I have seen and was grown off their own seed.
Best of luck at Woodbridge.
Port Elgin went better than I expected and a personal best of 1663.5 Lbs. and a third place finish was a real surprise for me as well. The turnout at the pumpkin dome was amazing this year.
Phil and Jane's pumpkin went a little light but was the winner at 1771 lbs. Congratulations.
Well here it is, Harvest day. I am always a little nervous until the pumpkin is lifted, inspected and loaded. The cold cloudy weather kept the weight gains last week to an absolute minimum.
It's great to get a good look at the pumpkin once the cover structure has been removed. My 2005 Haist pumpkin will be the practice pumpkin today. I am thinking that it could be a personal best.
Loading went well. The 165 Baggs marrow is also ready to roll. Now the real work begins.
Getting this pumpkin loaded. Phil and Jane's pumpkin is a beast and it's shape makes it really difficult to make a good weight estimate.
Everything looks good. Good luck Jane and Phil.
Well here it is, just a few days away from the pumpkin harvest. It is a little tense now with all three pumpkins still growing despite the now poor condition of the leaves and less than favorable weather. I consider us lucky that there has been no frost yet going into October and that there have been no catastrophic failures to this point except for the marrows which I expected.
It looks like I have the chance to set a few personal bests if things don't go bad over the next few weeks.
I decided to harvest all my carrots early before they all rotted out like last year. Three out of six were good and this one will be a PB. Keeping them stored in sand until they are needed.
Powdery mildew hit fast but it doesn't seem to be effecting the pumpkins growth yet.
My fodder beet is tall and really wants to fall over. I have it supported on the other side and I am hoping it goes over 50 lbs. and becomes a PB for me.
My Kohlrabi is big but I don't think that it will beat my PB of 33.8 lbs.
The last of my Original marrows on the 165 Baggs plant. It is still growing very slowly and might reach 90 lbs.
The backup marrows are still growing although not as fast as the original fruits and I doubt that any of these ones are going to split.
The 1826 Wolf at day 75. Great shape but no comment on the blossom. Poking along very slow and It has some colour now and it seems like it might go a little over it's estimated weight of about 1,000 lbs now.
The 2005 Haist at day 88. Still alive and growing. Keeping my fingers crossed on this one.
The 1911 Urena at day 83. Same situation as the 2005, alive and growing at a late September pace.
The 2005 Haist at day 80. Still seems to be holding together and poking along last week at 10 lbs. per day and is estimating around 1500 lbs. It's hard to believe that there was any growth last week with overnight lows around 4-6 C but at least there was no frost.
Plants are starting to show their age but with only a few weeks to go it really does not matter now.
The 1911 Urena at day 75. Also in poke along mode at 10 lbs per day last week. It's colour is much brighter than the photo shows. it estimates around 1400 lbs now and I might be able to nurse it to 1500 if the weather holds out for the next few weeks.
It was seed extraction day for the 122 and also the 118 Lyons DMG, UOW marrows. Both were 220 Baggs DMG by self. Lots of seeds in both of them.
They almost look prehistoric.....lol
The 220 Baggs DMG. is now the 122 Lyons DMG.UOW. 2019.
One of the new marrow replacements that I have going now. Hopefully I can still get a decent one for a weigh-off. The past few nights were very cold but things are forecasted to be better for growing over the next week. There has even been a little rainfall recently.
This is the 3.67 tomato grown from my 5.36 seed.
Nice big single tomato Chris. Can you post a pic of the 3.67. I'm updating the tomato stats right now.
The Labour day weekend seems to be the beginning of the end of the growing season for me. If we get enough sunlight, reasonable temperatures and no killer frost I can expect to put on some decent weight gains by the end of the month.
The 2005 Haist at day 66. Still alive and averaged about 19 lbs. per day last week. I don't like the way that the blossom folded up underneath but so far it is holding up. It is estimating over 1300 lbs
The 1900 Urena at day 61. Also still alive and averaging 19 lbs. per day last week. It is a few days behind the 2005 in weight but it does not appear that it will surpass it now. I have no idea which one is the heaviest now.
It's becoming splitsville in marrow plot. The latest one is the biggest 220 Baggs at day 39 down with a split on the top. It is almost 4 feet long and very heavy. I will try to get a dmg. weight next week. Lucky for me I have four new open pollinated marrows growing now that look good so I will hopefully have something for a weigh-off
The super single 5.95 Konieczney ripened at 23.25 inches so now it is the 5.23 Lyons 2019. I also officially weighed a 3.67 tomato grown from my 5.36 tomato.
I still have a few interesting tomatoes on the go but it depends on when they decide to ripen. This one is on another 5.95 Konieczney plant. It's my only real mega bloom this year.
The super single on the 5.95 Konieczney continues to grow. Over 23" in circumference and could become a personal best for me if it is as heavy as I estimate it to be. there is some blight in the tomatoes but so far it has not effected the best tomatoes.
This is another 220 Baggs marrow at day 32. It is now the biggest and estimates between 90 and 100 lbs. It measures 44" in length and the spinal compression test seems to confirm this estimate. Already lost a 165 and may lose another one soon. I really pushed them too hard and I am only going to water them from this point on.
Now that we have crossed mid- August it seems that things should be starting to slow down now and that is what is happening now. There was a small fraction of an inch of rain on Saturday that barely got the soil wet in the patch so a little more rain is on my wish list.
The 2005 Haist at Day 52. Starting to slow down at 25 lbs. per day last week. Plant is in really good shape but I wonder if the dry weather and occasional cold August nights have an influence on it's growth. It is over five feet wide now as the ground sheets are 5.5 feet wide. It now estimates at over 1000 lbs.
The 1911 Urena at day 47. It has slowed to 29 lbs. per day but is estimating over 900 lbs. now.
The 1826 Wolf at day 39. Not the best looking pumpkin. The upturned blossom seems to add a little defiance to it's appearance. Slowed to 26 lbs. per day this past week. Everything that has grown in this spot turns out to be less than ideal in the visual and weight categories.
The 220 Baggs marrow at day 25. About 87" in circumference and estimates around 70 lbs. now. All of the marrows are about 3 feet long now.
Another marrow on the 165 Baggs plant. Almost identical in size to the 220 plant. The striped colour on these fruits is becoming more apparent now.
A super single tomato on a 5.95 Konieczney, looks really good. Hoping it gets a little bigger as it appears to be very heavy for it's circumference.
Although the lack of rain at the patch for the past few weeks has been a challenge I believe that the soil moisture level has been adequate in the patch. A good rainfall would be great but I don't see that happening any time soon. The hardest work of the season is well behind me now and most of the time is spent doing plant maintenance (weeding) and feeding.
The 2005 Haist at day 45. It's been poking along at about 31 lbs. per day for the past few weeks and is now 329" and estimating 819 lbs.
The 1826 Wolf at day 32. It has picked up to over 33 lbs. per day and measures 268" and estimates at 444 lbs. It was pollinated late so I will need a real nice September if there is a chance of getting a good pumpkin from it.
The 1911 Urena at day 40. It's doing very well and averaged about 38 lb. per day last week. It now measures 316" and estimates 727 lbs.
The 220 Baggs marrow here and the 165 Baggs are all around 67" in circumference at day 18. They are all about 29" in length now. The 220's appear to be all green in colour.
The 165 Baggs look like they will be striped.
Another week of hot and dry weather is putting a strain on the water supply. It's hard to believe how much things have changed here after such a wet start to the season.
The 2005 Haist at day 38 is doing well but not great. Growing at over 30 lbs per day now and looks great so far. I would think that it would end up in the 1500 lb range at this rate of growth.
The 1911 Urena at day 33. A little ahead of the 2005's pace at this time but it needs to pick up the pace in the next week if I have a chance at growing something special from it.
The 1826 Wolf at day 25. No colour at all but is now growing well so we will see what happens.
This is a 220 Baggs marrow at day 11 and 40" in circumference. The 165 Baggs was at 46" at the same time so they are off to fast start. They don't grow for a long time so I am hoping to put on a lot of growth in the next few weeks. Aiming for something over 100 lbs this year.
A lack of rain and again more hot weather has been putting a strain on my water supply. I have never had to use so much water to maintain a soil moisture level of about 35%.
The 2005 Haist at day 31 is looking good and is doing Good. I would like it do a little better though. Hoping it picks up the pace a little in the next week or so.
The 1911 Urena at day 26. It looks good and is starting to take off now. Looks like it will be an orange one. All vines on all plants have now been terminated with exception of the main vines on the 2005 and 1911.
The 1826 Wolf at day 18. Nothing special but it seems to be doing OK. It is growing on a small plant of about 350 sq. ft.
The marrow plants are producing lots of fruits now. The plants filled in their allotted spaces quicker than I thought they would and most of the vines are now terminated as well.