Archive for the ‘Giant Pumpkins’ Category

Garden Thrives, But Bugs Take Hostages

Wednesday, July 13th, 2011

Cucumber Beetles are a formidable adversary! They killed one of the giant pumpkin plants. This particular plant had gotten to a length of about four feet long and had good sized leaves, but Cucumber Beetles and their larve wrecked the plant and its short life ended in the dumpster.

Looks like a mini-Giant Pumpkin!

With so many plants in bloom including the giant pumkins, I’m reluctant to do a broad pesticide spraying, so we are hand picking beetles and spot spraying the trouble makers. In spite of the bug attacks, it looks like we might have a mini giant pumpkin starting!

Everything else is looking good.

As for the rest of the garden, it’s doing just fine. We’re harvesting excellent cucumbers (apparently cucmber beetles prefer pumkin plants), we have many healthy tomato, squash, pepper, and green bean plants all with vegetables. 

Pumpkin killed by Cucumber Beetles

 

 

Bugs Attack Giant Pumpkin Plants

Wednesday, June 8th, 2011

At first I thought, “These are really colorful little bugs” frolicking and well you know what bugs do a this point in the season on my fledgling giant pumpkin plants. I did a quick Internet search and didn’t find the bug.

Cucumber Beetles on Pumpkin Leaf

The Cucumber Beetle: Colorful But Very Damaging

Too busy, I moved on and then a couple days go by and “WHAM” these little pests are chewing up my plants! If it was other plants in the garden I might not have been real concerned, but these are my big pumpkins and I can’t replace them. I resorted to a bug spray and hopefully I’m not to late, because the larvae which would have resulted from the “frolicking” apparently burrow into the stems. My guess is we

Cucumber Beetle Damage

Cucumber Beetle Damage

will have many trials and tribulations this season and hopefully this will just be one bump that we look back and chalk up in the experience column.

Giant Pumpkins

Tuesday, May 24th, 2011

Stuart Shim gives a presentation on growing giant pumpkins.

The most exciting part of our company garden is that this will also be our first shot at growing giant pumpkins! The enthusiasm for Giant Pumpkins has started with a good friend and advocate of GreenCure Fungicide, Stuart Shim. Stuart, known as the Giant Pumpkin Kahuna, is a “Pumkinista” and runs a Giant Pumpkin Contest in California. He also gives garden workshops on the secrets of growing giant pumpkins.

Jim Fredricks a giant pumpkin grower in California, proudly shows his 860 lbs. prize.

When I told Stuart we were starting a company garden and wanted to try our hand a growing “big ones”, he quickly offered to send us some information and volunteered some starter seeds. When the padded envelope arrived it was like getting the “Orphan Anne Decoder Ring” in the mail. Each seed was packaged in a little tiny envelope with carefully typed out code numbers! The weight of the parent pumpkin, the year and the growers last name.

We’re talking huge! Weights of 1120, 890, 789 and the like were represented in the 8 seeds. With such high quality bargining chips, I had the inducement to beg for some prime horse manure from my kid’s pediatrician and gentleman farmer, Doc Miller. Not that he wouldn’t have donated the finely aged Belgian and Percheron manure, but it seemed like a fair trade – a couple award winning pumpkin seeds and some Muck Boots in exchange for a load of crap! (Sorry, I couldn’t help the sour humor)

Doc Miller Delivers Finely Aged Belgian & Percheron Manure

Remember we had to locate the garden behind the building which makes it difficult to get to, but that didn’t stop Doc, he simply asked the manager of the building behind us if he could drive the truck around the back side of their building in order to get a little closer to the garden site. So as part of the trade, we also decided to have a contest to who could grow the biggest pumpkin – let the competition begin.

The first biggest challenge was digging the holes. Now Stuart says they need to be four feet deep and he’s serious about this. Apparently the tap roots of these monsters are very big. Mike, took on the challenge and I’m indebted to his ambition because in two days between all the regular work in the office he somehow dug two four foot holes through tons of glacial gravel and stones.

Shoveling manure and soil into 4' hole

Thomas and I mixed the soil and the manure, filled the holes and  built two mounds. I planted the two pumpkin plants and I can honestly say they doubled in size after the first day.

Future Giant Pumpkin