This was going to be a year off for me to give me and the soil a break but somehow I found a way to grow one pumpkin along with Phil and Jane Hunt. This was the only way I could be involved in this since I injured my left shoulder back in December and I am limited in my abilities to do things that I would normally have no problem with.
Saturday was the best day so far this year and I was able to take advantage of It. I added all the soil amendments to the growing site including compost, peat moss, bio-char, K-mag, sulfur, kelp, humic, 46-0-0 and some 19-19-19.
After that was done Phil tilled up entire patch and I installed the heater cable and got a 8' x 9' hoop house built. I really hope that this was the hardest day for me this season.
There will be two plants started in hoop house which is large enough to walk into. Aiming for a planting date of May 9th. Would be sooner but the pumpkins won't be ready until then.
The fodder beets and kohlrabi plants have to go into the ground sooner. I started them in January which was too early but I was off work for two months and I had lots of time on my hands. The ones that I transplanted into large pots are all larger and more robust than the plants in the 6" pots.
Getting them out of here will give me room to start some tomato plants soon.
This is how the carved 1939.5 turned out. Another amazing carving by Andrew Munro.
The patch has been long cleaned up and tilled for 2021. I put down a cover crop of winter wheat but....
It soon became chicken feed to the neighbours flock.
The 1597 Hunt/Lyons was all dressed up for the times.
It was carved by Andrew Munro today. He usually does chain saw carvings but he did an amazing job on this pumpkin. Due to the cold and snow the 1939.5 will be done soon. His facebook page is The Carving Chef. The work he does is absolutely amazing.
The Woodbridge Fair weigh-off went smoothly thanks to the organizers, sponsors and volunteers. The rain showers held off until everything was weighed or measured.
The 1984 Barron is now the 1597 Hunt/Lyons 2020. It weighed right on the charts and was good for Fourth place.
My Mangelwurzel (Fodder Beet) came first at 53.8 lbs.
My Kohlrabi came first at 33.4 Lbs.
This is the 60.38 Mangelwurzel that I weighed at Port Elgin last week. I was awarded this amazing plaque on behalf of Port Elgin Pumpkinfest by Bob and Elaine Mackenzie.
Both of our pumpkins are now resting in front of the Hunt's home on Hwy 35.
The 1939.5 looks amazing and it really looks that big. Traffic began stopping for photos right after it was stood up. It will be an awesome jack o lantern.
I will provide updates on that soon.
We took advantage of the sunny dry conditions to begin cleaning up the patch. The weeds really took over the place in September. Not my favorite thing to be doing but it's important to get the ground cleaned up.
Good luck tommoro you guys !
Loading day part two at the Hunts. The 1984 Barron somehow survived the season with no issues. Even the ribs on the bottom are lumpy but feel solid.
Safely loaded on my truck for the trip to Woodbridge. It still measures around 420 " and unlike last year it actually feels heavy unlike last year's "air bubble".
I managed to squeeze it into the underground parking at home with about 1" to spare.
My crazy looking kohlrabi looks like it will be over 30 lbs. Just taking it to get an official weight. Usually I grow these just for the Royal Winter Fair.
I finally got a group picture of the 1939.5 pumpkin. It will become a jack o lantern over the next few weeks. It should be spectacular
The 2005 Haist is now the 1939.5 Hunt/Lyons 2020. It was great to finally win At Port Elgin after a 26 year drought. Unfortunately I did not take many photos due to the rapid nature of our weigh-in so I don't have any of us with the pumpkin on the scale.
My 6.76 lb. first place tomato. The tomato competition was the best I have ever seen at a weigh-off before.
There is nothing like celebrating with vintage Giant pumpkin wine. Thanks so much Dave McCallum.
Good looking stuff Chris. Good luck tomorrow. I'll be watching online
Loading day at the Hunt's. My newly acquired but old ring worked very well because of it's large diameter.
Phil and Jane Hunt and our loader extraordinaire Matt Leach. Everything went well and the pumpkin did not get too much strap scuff. Kind of important if the pumpkin has smooth skin and you are competing for the HD award.
My biggest tomato ever. It will easily break my previous PB with a CC of 28". Hoping for three Personal Bests tomorrow. Good luck everyone.
The pumpkins are still alive and still growing slowly. The 1984 Barron is sitting at around 420" and surprised me by outpacing the 2005 Haist considering the condition of the plant. I have no idea how either pumpkin will actually weigh.
The 9.71 Lambchop tomato is still green and growing despite being hit with blight. My biggest three tomatoes are all green.
This tomato on the 9.65 Porkchop plant is growing very well and could catch up to my other big one over the next few weeks. At this time the plant is much healthier so I have a chance with it.
I gave the fodder beets a haircut so I could get a better look at them. My personal best is around 48 lbs. so I am hoping to top that this year.
Nice tomato Chris. 4.91 lbs.
Another one for the team. 4.90 lbs. off the 4.28 Spazani.
My first tomato in a hammock. Growing on the 5.71 Lambchop, it is still growing well and will easily be a PB. for me. There was some freezing damage to the tomato plants but most of the plant was not damaged.
For the most part, both of the pumpkin plants survived three nights of freezing nights and cold days. They both are continuing to grow at a late September rate. The ribs on the 2005 Haist are slowly filling in as it is marks day 85. It measures 73 inches wide and 57 inches long.
I spent Friday covering and wrapping anything that needed protection. Both pumpkin plants had hoops put in around the plant to keep the fabric off the leaves. It was just in time because it was a crisp -2C this morning with lots of frost.
Phil took a look under the cover and it appears that there was little or no damage to the plant. Any leaves that were outside of the cover are toast. It is very cozy underneath especially on a cold day and since the pumpkins are still growing at about 8 lbs per day for the past week I would like to keep them going on that trend.
The Kiss of Death or Frost as we know it was so close last night. The temperature was hovering around 1C with frost on the roof tops but not on the ground yet. I think of this as a practice run with colder temps expected late in the week and on the weekend with a possible deep freeze.
The 1984 Barron at day 85. It is still intact and growing exactly as I would expect it to. It is doing about 9 lbs per day and is estimating a little over 1500 lbs now.
The 2005 Haist at day 79. It has slowed up more than I had hoped it would and although it is now the largest pumpkin ever grown in this region it will fall short of what I was hoping for. The plant's leaf and disease issues along with the cold weather are the main reason for it's decline.
We will be doing everything possible to get it through the upcoming weekend as the long term forecast is showing great conditions for the following week.
Another one for the team. 4.49 lbs off the 9.65 Porkchop
The flip side
Hoping for something special with this one on the 5.71 Lambchop.
Tomato plant ghosts? No, wrapped plants with Agribon row covering to protect them from cold nights or frost. I have been doing this for many years now and it seems to help.
The month of September can be a real challenge now. The often comfortable days are often followed by some cold nights. Other than the health of the plants, frost is a very serious possibility in the Kawartha Lakes region. It can happen quickly with very little warning and ever since I started growing here there has only been one September that did not have at least one hard frost.
Keeping our fingers crossed.
Jane and Myself with the 1984 Barron on day 76. It has slowed up a little to 14 lbs per day and was estimating about 1450 lbs. The main thing is that it is still holding together especially with the frequent rain storms and yo-yo temperatures.
The 2005 Haist at day 69. Still growing well averaging about 19 lbs. per day over the past week. The plant has been really beat up and has some powdery mildew and gummy stem blight but so far has not effected the pumpkin's growth.
Friday was tomato day in the Kawartha Lakes region due to ripening. All tomatoes today are over three pounds.
I only want my top two weights for now. This is now the 3.61 Lyons 2020. It was grown from the 5.71 Lambchop.
This is now the 4.70 Lyons 2020. It was grown off the 4.28 Spazani.
This is the rear view of the 4.70. It's not a beauty contest for sure. I have not registered this one with the GPC for a number of reasons. The main reason being that Friday in Fenelon Falls on a long weekend is crazy busy and I am hoping that I will have a heavier one soon that is showing a little colour now.
The other ominous reason is that our go to scale at the local co-op is out of bounds. They only do curbside transactions and I need to find another scale to have any early ones weighed.
This is one of my two best fodder beets. This one is about 24" tall and about 32" in circumference. This one has a few large protuberances that should add a little extra weight.
The 2005 Haist is a beauty Chris best of luck too with it !!!
The 1984 Barron at day 69. Lumpy averaged 16 lbs per day over the past 8 days and now sits around 1350 lbs.
The 2005 Haist at day 62. It averaged 25 lbs per day over the past 8 days. It is now larger than any pumpkin that I have ever grown and it appears that it could keep going well if the weather holds up and I can keep the plant relatively healthy.
Three inches of rain in two days is a little problematic and it could be a few more days to see what effects it will have.
The patch from the water tank cam. Plants have taken a few hits but if the leaves stay green the pumpkins should keep growing.
This is the largest tomato on the go now. It is on the 9.65 Porkchop. I will be weighing some ripening ones soon. If I get another week's growth on this one it will be a heavy tomato for Team 5.
This past week brought out some very cool nights. This along with shortening days and the age of the fruits the expected slowing growth really tells you that the season is beginning to wrap up.
The 1984 Barron on Day 61. It has thankfully slowed up to about 20 lbs per day this week and sits a little over 1200 lbs. It is only growing ribs and there are so many places where a failure could occur now. Just waiting to see what happens now.
There was an undetected leak in a drip line that was attracting amphibious wildlife to the 1984 pumpkin area. It has been repaired. Frogs are not happy.
The 2005 Haist at day 54. It has eased off to about 30 lbs per day for the past week and is now sitting at over 400" OTT. Still trying to keep the plant healthy despite it's state of canopy damage.
I like to think of this as my happy place. I'm also thinking Howard Dill award contender.
Lots of big tomatoes over 20" in circumference now but most of the interesting mega blooms are young and I hope will be ready for weigh-off season in October.
The month of August has been kind to us in the Kawartha lakes region. Except for a few cool nights we could not ask for better conditions. With a little luck we can ride the good weather until the end of the month.
The 1984 Barron on Day 54. It continues to become more lumpy but it is still holding together. It averaged about 28 lbs per day last week and is estimating near 1100 lbs.
The 2005 Haist at day 47. It averaged about 43 lbs per day this past week. Despite the condition of the plant it continues to grow incredibly well and still looks like a young pumpkin. Phil has been adding compost tea with a few additives and that is all the plants are receiving for drench feeding.
This is my largest fodder beet, a.k.a. Mangel Wurzel. If it does not go to seed or rot out it could be close to a PB for me.