Pumpkins started on April 15th, 2020.
These first two photos were taken on April 27th, one day before transplanting the best 4 outside.
These 4 photos were taken today through the greenhouse plastic. We used winter rye as a cover crop, and we cut it down as the plant grows.
Hi all, I seem to have made a slight typo in my last comment. We lost our 1871, not our 2028 B. Good luck with the weigh offs!
Since the last time I posted, we have lost two pumpkins: our 2028 A went first. It had a blossom end slpit. Our second to go was our 2028 B, which rotted from the main vine all the way to the pumpkin. When we first saw the rot, we were hoping to save the pumpkin, when one night I went out to cover the fruit and my shoe squished into a puddle of our poor pumpkin. With the 2028 A, we decided to be creative and have a bit of fun when getting rid of the pumpkin. Dad invited some of his freinds to help out, and we made a video to show you guys what us Quebeckers do with our pumpkins that do not make it to the end. Here is the link so you guys can check out the fun and see our 2028 A pumpkin: https://youtu.be/i7qNjygv1lU
2028 Bryson plant A, CC 124.5 inches (day 30). This is our pumpkin whose crown has a foaming stump. We can only hope for the best with this one's plant.
2028 Bryson plant B, CC 153.5 inches.
1871 Bryson, CC 166 inches.
1792 Bryson, CC 166 inches.
The 4 photos above were taken this morning. Each one has the circumference measurements that we took last Sunday written underneath.
We have a foaming stump on our 2028 Bryson A plant. Dad performed "surgery" to try and dry out the stump. He cut the top and bottom of the main vine every foot or so for about 4-5 feet, until he could cut in and no longer feel the vine rotting. We put a heater, a fan, and we pump air into the crown to try and dry it out. It seems to have slowed our pumpkin down a little.
Dad and I were out this morning propping up some leaves in the gardens. They're out of control!
Our 1871 Bryson measured 203 inches 20 days after pollination. The plants have almost completely filled out our gardens now, and the pumpkins are really picking up!
Hindsight is always 2020. We had 2 perfect 5 lobe flowers on the 2028 Bryson plant A, one at 15 and another at 17 feet out. Now we’ve had two with seeds in the flowers at 19 and 21 feet. Must be the hot weather that makes them do that. Our next hope is at 25 feet, which will likely be a July pollination.
This is a photo of the 1871 Bryson plant on the 21st. We use bio stimulants as our main source of fertilizer for the plants. In these bio stimulants are living microorganisms that provide our plants with nutrients that they need to grow. We spray them on top and underneath the leaves, and drip them on the roots that come up on each leaf when burying vines.
Here was our first flower to open on the main vine! The 1871 Bryson. We pollinated it on the 21st of June. After pollinating it, we cover up the flower with a tin reflector to keep the sun off of it, and keep an ice pack under the reflector to keep the pumpkin cool while it takes off. This one was pollinated to the 2005 Haist (Thank you Harley!). We pollinated out 1792 Bryson to the 1871 on June 22nd, and we pollinated our 2028 Bryson plant A to the 2028 Bryson plant B this morning.
One thing that the screenhouse doesn't provide is shade. This past week has been extremely hot and sunny, and the plants were wilting and burning up like crazy. This is a photo of our 1792 Bryson. We put up lattice on leaves that were wilting and burning up more than others. We were out almost every 20 minutes during the day just watering and misting the plants to keep them from burning. We used to run the water in the hoses until the water was cold before we misted them, but we've recently discovered that it was an unnecessary step in misting the plants. Now we shoot the water up in the air, and by the time it falls onto the plant it cooled down enough to cool the plants down. We only water the plants in the morning or at night when the temperature is cooler so that we don't shock the plants with water that is colder than the air outside.
Last year we decided to try something different after getting the mosaic virus year after year. We set up a screenhouse to protect our plants from the beetles. The screenhouse goes all around the plants. It works really well; last year we didn't see any cucumber beetles until August. This year, we did see one a little early, but overall the screenhouses work really well to keep the beetles out. The screenhouses also help protect the plants from weather conditions like snow (which we did get early on in the season), hail, and a little bit from wind. We also put up lattice in some areas to protect them a bit more from wind as we have had some very windy days.
When burying vines, we try to make sure that there is no bare ground in the pumpkin patch. We keep straw around the plant from the winter rye, and we add leaves in spots that are bare. We also add straw/leaves on top of the vines that we've buried. This helps us keep moisture in the garden, especially on hotter days. This also helps cover up any roots that are growing at the base of each leaf to keep them from burning in the sun.
When we do look under the straw, the life in our soil is visible. We have been using cover crop and no-till methods for about 5 years and we can see such a difference in what lays within our soil (in a great way!). The worms are much bigger than they used to be, and there are so many roots! There are so many more worms than there used to be as well.
Last year we were lacking nitrogen in our plants. We were worried about it again this year, so we consulted an agricultural specialist that we met a few years ago. He has been teaching us more about soil and bio stimulants. Dad and I learn so much every single time we talk to him. After telling him about our missing nitrogen, he told us to plant faba beans with our pumpkin plant. It seemed crazy to us at first, because you would think that the faba beans and the pumpkin plant would fight for nutrients in the soil, thus slowing down the pumpkin plant. He explained to us that because we have been building up our soil for years, the faba beans and the pumpkin plants would help each other rather than fight one another. The faba beans would provide nutrients like nitrogen to the pumpkin, and the pumpkin plant would provide other nutrients to the faba beans. Instead of fighting, they would help one another, but this can only be done when the soil life has been built up.
The Bryson Gardens have been getting very busy these past few weeks! The plants have taken off and there is always something to do with the pumpkins, whether it's burying vines, fertilizing, watering or taking care of the cover crop.
On June 2nd, we threw new cover crop seed on top of the winter rye and vetch. We cut down the winter rye and vetch on June 3rd, threw about a wheelbarrow of manure on each cover crop patch and watered it in. The new cover crop is a mixture of 12 different kinds of seeds that add different nutrients to our soil in preparation for our pumpkin plants in the next few years. In this photo you can see how tall the winter rye and vetch was before we cut it.
Here's a little Bryson pumpkin update!
1: This is a picture of the rye and the vetch that we’re chopping down ahead of the plant as it grows.
2: We lay the drip line out as the plant grows. You can see the rye coming back up after we’ve chopped it down. We will use the drip line when the plant gets bigger, but for now we water by hand.
3: This is our 2028 Bryson plant B. the two 2028's are our best plants, but there isn’t much of a difference between all 4. The vines are growing well, and the plants were about 12 feet out when I took this photo 2 days ago.
4: 4 days ago we had a very heavy wind that came through and knocked the cover crop down. Luckily the plants were well protected.
Here's a little update on the Bryson pumpkins! Over the past week the weather has really been starting to turn around. We had snow here about a week ago! The photos posted are numbered 1-4.
1: The winter rye and vetch is getting very tall. It's starting to take over! The winter rye seems to be dominant, we need to plant the rye a little thinner and the vetch a little heavier in the fall. We want to plant more vetch as it supplies more nitrogen to the soil. We cut it all down inside the huts, but we will have to start weed-waking it soon on the outside. 2: This is a shot of how we cut the winter rye and vetch at the crown of the plant (just under the soil). We use a tire iron to loosen the soil. When we get out of the huts we use a garden fork to loosen it, so we disturb the soil as little as possible. 3: We started burying vines yesterday, all 4 of our plants are on the ground and running strong! The pails on the sides of the plant provide CO2 to the pumpkins. We use layers of green rye, chicken manure and fall leaves which are packed in the pails. 4: We are able to keep the huts cooler on the warmer days by opening the top a few inches. By doing this we are able to keep the CO2 in the greenhouses, as the CO2 is heavier and tends to stay closer to the ground. We really feel that this is helping the plants grow faster.
I took these photos today through the greenhouse plastic! I tend to post more updates (with a bit more detail) on our Facebook page, and if you want to contact us that would be the best place to do so! Here's the link: https://www.facebook.com/KelseyandJimsPumpkins/
Salut Steve! J'ai pas pris des photos des citrouilles hier, il etait tellement froid et on a laisser les couvertures sure les serres. Je vais essayez de prendre des photos aujourdhui! Nous serouns hereux de repondre a tout les questions que vouz avez! J'ai un page sure Facebook que je met a jour plus frequement, et vous pourrez nous envoyee un message directement la-bas. Le lien pour notre page Facebook est https://www.facebook.com/KelseyandJimsPumpkins/
j'aurais des questions a vous poser sur la culture de la citrouille géante, je sais que se n'est pas évident que je parle français et vous anglais, mais est-ce que sa vous dérangerais si je vous poserais quelques questions ? En privé si possible. Vous nÉ'auraez qu'a me donnez votre adresse courriel ou je vous donnerez le mien. Merci. Steve Roy , province de québec, en beauce
avez vous une photos en date du 9 mai 2020 de vos 4 plants ?