Friday, October 31, 2014

9News Features Joe and My Pumpkins this Morning

I'm hoping they will post the video a bit later, but the following is the link to the 9News story with the pumpkins. http://www.9news.com/story/news/weird/2014/10/31/giant-pumpkin-size/18198669/.

Thanks again to Michelle for doing a great job again on caring the pumpkin.  Also thanks to Skype for partnering with Michelle to get it carved.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

The Pumpkin Man on 9News this Friday

Halloween day there will be in an interview on 9News with Joe's and mine pumpkins included.  This interview just kind of popped up out of thin air and became a lot bigger than I thought it would be.  It was a fun shoot.  See what popped up out of Joe's pumpkin when we cut it open to get seeds.  Segment will air between 8:00-9:00am on Friday.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Next Season's Patch Configuration

I'm going to reconfigure my pumpkin patch next year.  For the last five years I've had my two pumpkin run side by side each running east and west.  That worked well for the southern plant but the north plant has very limited space and if my first pollination didn't take I would have to curve the main vine north to set the next pumpkin and space was very limited for that. 

I'm now going to keep the southern plant like it has been but the north plant I'm now going to have it run north.  I'll expand the patch a little that direction which will give me almost 45 more square feet of growing area for that plant and I can even let the main vine go farther if it wants to run so it can grow all season.

In the picture above where you see the plastic is where my two planting areas will be.  My cover crop, in this warm fall, hasn't taken off like I would have expected it to.  The nights have been in the forties but the day time highs have been in the high 70s for the last two weeks since I planted so I would expect more green by now.  I wasn't going to send in a soil sample, but I needed to send in one for my garden so I decided I should send in one for the patch as well just to make sure something isn't out of whack.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

A Nice End to the Season

To say this season was miserable would be an understatement.  After losing both plants I decided to try to save a pumpkin and I'm glad now I did.  After a month and a half off the vine my little Lucille made it to the scale twice. 

Today I went back to my roots and took my pumpkin to the Festval of Scarecrows, the place of my first ever weigh-off.  Along with it I had my kids pumpkins along with the biggest pumpkin grown in Colorado by Joe.  Pulling up at the weigh-off you would have thought we were rock stars.  Most people have never seen a 500+ pound pumpkin more or less a 1,300 pound pumpkin.  The smiles on their faces makes a season of hard work worth it.

In the weigh-off we took all of the top honors with the kids taking 1st and 2nd (even beating all of the adults by a lot) and I took first in the adult division.  I got a lot of seed requests at the weigh-off.  It was a fun day.

Took this picture before the weigh-off.  I love fall.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

I'm in the Denver Post Today

I was contacted a couple of weeks ago by the Denver Post.  They said they wanted to write an article about me and my pumpkin growing.  Let's face it.  If they could interview the pumpkin they would have preferred to do that but I was their next best option.

Almost a little embarrassed by it.  Seems like there were a number of other growers that were more deserving of an article.  My little wussy showing with a pumpkin that was very small in August by my standards and hasn't grown since wasn't my best showing.   I just hope that maybe a few people will be intrigued by the article and maybe take some more interest in the sport.  However, after reading how I've had more pumpkins lost then have gone to the scale will probably just scare a few people away.  Lol

You can read the full article at:  http://www.denverpost.com/arvada/ci_26681943/arvada-man-keeps-trying-record-pumpkin

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Finally Got a Chance to Till the Soil

I tilled into the pumpkin patch 1 1/2 yards of compost, 6 bails of sphagnum peat moss, 100 pounds of alfalfa pellets, 30 pounds of gypsum and 20 pounds of granular humic acid.  I then racked in a cover crop of winter rye that I will let grow all winter and then will till into the ground in the spring.  In the spring I'll send in a soil sample and probably add another yard or so of compost along with what other items I need to make sure everything is adjust properly.

I'm guessing next season will be first season in this patch that I'll finally have my potassium and potash low enough that things will be balanced.  That is if I don't screw it up again.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

One More Weigh-off to Go

Yesterday I took my 335 Scherber pumpkin to the weigh-off at Nick's.  It ended up at a respectable 511 pounds which in my book isn't bad considering that plant was diseased and the pumpkin was picked in mid-August and then was just sitting in the patch for 1 1/2 months with a tarp over it.  None the less it was a disappointing season.

I'm going to be taking the 335 Scherber to one more weigh-off along with the kids pumpkins next weekend.  Also will be hauling with them a nearly 1,300 pound pumpkin grown by Joe Scherber which he was kind enough to give to my wife.  All of the pumpkins are in front of the house right now.  If you've never seen a 1,300 pound piece of fruit, swing on by.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

A New World Record Pumpkin

Congrats to Beni on a new world record pumpkin.  An amazing 2,096 pounds.  Rumor has it that this is Beni's smaller pumpkin and the larger one will still be going to the scale.

Beni grew a pumpkin that was over 2,300 pounds last year but the pumpkin split on him, disqualifying the pumpkin.  The pumpkin was still growing quickly when it split on him.  An amazing grower.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

My Son & Daughter Took the Top Two Positions in the Weigh-off Today

Congrats to both of them this year.  They worked hard in the pumpkin patch and it paid off, taking 1st and 2nd place in the weigh-off.  Of course it helped they were the only two kinds in the kids division this year.  Regardless of that, a 401 pound pumpkin is good regardless of how many people where in the competition.  Both of their pumpkins were nailed by hail twice and lost the main vines on their plants.  My son's pumpkin was pollinated the beginning of August if I remember right so to end up at 325 pounds in less than 1 1/2 months on a 150 square foot plant I think is pretty commendable.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Jared's Weigh-off Tomorrow

Early this morning I put down 1 1/2 yards of some nice compost on the patch.  I hope to till that in this next week.  This evening I loaded up both of the kids pumpkins.  My daughters is going to go heavy.  My sore back proves it.  I'm grateful for neighbors that are willing to help me heft these things around this time of year.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Colorado Giant Pumpkin Weigh-offs

Want to see some giant pumpkins this fall?  Pumpkins well over 1,000 pounds?  Visit one of the Rocky Mountain Giant Vegetable growers weigh-offs and see the biggest pumpkins in Colorado.  Fun for the whole family.

Jared's Nursery Giant Pumpkin Weigh-off & Festival
September 27th (2014)
10500 W. Bowles Ave, Littleton, CO 80127
303-979-6022

Nick's Great Pumpkin Weigh Off
October 4th (2014)
2001 South Chambers Rd, Aurora, CO 80014
303-696-6657

Flower BinOctober 11th (2014)
1805 Nelson Rd., Longmont, Colorado 80501
303-772-3454


Old Colorado CityOctober 18th (2014)
Colorado Avenue and 25th Street
Colorado Springs, Colorado 80904

Monday, September 1, 2014

Peat Moss for the Pumpkin Patch

Today I spread 7 large bales of peat moss over the pumpkin patch.  Peat moss is an excellent soil conditioner, loosens up clay soils like I have an helps to increase the cation exchange capacity of the soil.  The peat moss for now was just put on top of the soil to help keep it moist as I germinate a 2nd round of sorghum sudan grass.  In a month I'll till it into the soil with the grass so it can be broken down in the soil all winter.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Kids Pumpkin WAR!

Both of my kids are growing pumpkins this year.  Considering the problems they've run into, they have done fairly well.  Between hail storms (in the plural) and dogs the plants have taken a beating from time to time.  Particularly my son's plant.  However my daughter's plant (335 Scherber) is on pace to possibly beat my son's best pumpkin from last year.  However, even with a late start, my son's pumpkin (1220 Johnson) is on pace to catch my daughter's pumpkin if both pumpkins keep the same pace.   Should make for an interesting finish.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

And Then There Was None

Both plants are pulled.  I planted some sorghum sudan grass as a cover crop today.  I first soaked the seed for about 30 minutes with a half a tablet of Biotamax, some Mykos WP and some humic acid I had left over.  In the next 7 days that sudan grass will start popping up and suppress weeds, suppress nematodes and will add organic matter to the soil.  In a month I'll till it in and then plant a winter rye cover crop which I'll till into the ground in the spring.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Picking the Right Pumpkin Seed, How to Not Do It

This season I couldn't have gotten my pumpkin seeds more wrong.  Not that there wasn't some wisdom in what I planted, but of the ones I did plant I seem to have picked the wrong ones.  For example, I grew the 1791 Holland and the 1317 Clementz.  The 1317 has at least one pumpkin that could go over 1,600 pounds this year.  I kept the 1791 and gave the 1317 plant to Elitch Gardens.  I had a 1791 planted right next to a very nice looking 282 Scherber.  It ripped my heart out to yank it, but I went with the 1791 and there is a 282 that could be a new Colorado state record and I know of at least one other big one that is out there.  I started three 335 Scherber seeds.  The one I grew was slow from the start, but my daughters is looking pretty good now after a slow start due to hail damage.  The grass is always greener on the other side and not very seed is the same, but my batting average was extremely low this year.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Patch Preping for 2015 Early

I'm already patch prepping for next year and getting a jump on the competition.  At least that is what the loser says that had to pull his plants early.  Lol

Finally got some time to pull the 1791 plant.  I cut open the pumpkin and was a little disappointed with the thickness.  I grew this seed hoping it would produce a heavy pumpkin but the walls of the pumpkin were regular thickness.  I'm guessing the pumpkin would have gone to the chart or maybe slightly light.

I don't remember ever having this many weeds in the patch.   Rain and cooler weather has sprouted a lot of weeds.  I'm going to be putting in some sorghum sudan grass as a cover crop but I'm going to have to till the soil first to get all of the grass and weeds out of the way.  In about 40 days I'll till in the sudan grass and and put in a winter rye cover crop for the winter.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

RIP "BO" the Pumpkin

I've known for days but have been ignoring it.  Bo, the pumpkin on my 1791 plant stopped growing about a week ago.  The measurement on Saturday showed no growth over the 4 previous days.  I had suspected for weeks that the plant had yellow vine disease.  Growth started to ramp up but then dropped off about two weeks ago so I knew something wasn't right.  Tissue tests came back with the plant having low nitrogen so I was hoping it was that, but yellow leaves started popping up on Saturday and Sunday and I've seen this before.  I'll be pulling both of my plants this week and getting ready for next season.  Too bad about Bo.  He was probably the prettiest pumpkin I've ever grown.  That orange was only going to get darker over the next month.  He ended up unofficially at about 453 pounds.  I'm interested in seeing how thick he as on the inside when I pull the seeds out.  He thumps hard.

Friday, August 8, 2014

RMGVG Patch Tour Tomorrow

If you want to see some big pumpkins and spend some time with some great people, come to the Rocky Mountain Giant Vegetable Growers patch tour tomorrow.  On the patch tour you go to a number of growers pumpkin patches to see what they have going on, eat a lot of good food and talk everything pumpkins.  Next to the weigh-offs it is my second favorite thing that the club does each year.

The tour is coming by my patch this year.  I suspect I'll have the prettiest pumpkin on the tour this year but nothing truly big like I had last season.

This evening I did a foliar application of liquid seaweed with humic acid.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

A Little Nitrogen Before the Rain

I saw that a big, dark cloud was coming so I went out and sprayed some additional nitrogen under the leaf canopy.  It is great to get it soaked in by the rain.  Just as I finished the skies opened up and there was a pretty good down pour for 15 minutes or more.  Perfect timing!