Sunday, November 25, 2007

Pumpkin Pics

I never did get around to posting pics of my Giant Pumpkins. They didn't do as well as I'd hoped, I had a lot of trouble with them aborting. So, I had my soil tested. AHA! Some background:

We used to have a big swimming pool here. When we took it down, hubby decided to put a putting green in. He left the sand in place, and we covered it with bunny manure containing (besides the obvious bunny poop & pee) wood shavings, hay, volcanic minerals (used to suppress odor), diatomaceous earth, and feed pellets. We also used bags of composted cow manure, and bagged topsoil. He used a lot of Miracle Grow to get the creeping bluegrass established. However, due to our dogs peeing and digging, he gave up on the idea after a couple of years and told me I could grow pumpkins on it next year. I've been gowing the plants around the green, meanwhile.

We couldn't understand why the dog pee was having such a devastating effect on the green. The soil analysis told why. Hubby had WAY over fertilized, and the combination of the fertilizer and the urine created huge brown spots where nothing would grow for months, even though we tried to flush the areas and replant.

So, the plants growing around the green were apparently getting nearly toxic levels of nutrients. Way too much of a good thing. So now the challenge will be bringing those levels down. We could remove the soil and replace it - but I don't think so, lol! Too much work. It's too late in the season to plant a heavy-feeding cover crop, so we'll just leave the creeping bluegrass intact over the winter. In the Spring, we'll till it under, apply some Nitrogen (the only thing the soil test said we needed more of) to help decompose the grass, and we'll grow the pumpkins and only use foliar feeding to supplement whatever a plant tissue sample says we need to. Giant Pumpkins are very heavy feeders, eventually the nutrient levels will come down.

As you can see, this is a very intense hobby. On to the pics:

This is the 94 est Gruber 2007. We did not get an actual weight on it, but it tapes out to be about 94 pounds. It is almost white, and has a nice apple shape. It made a great Jack o' Lantern! We got 350 seeds from it. Its parent weighed 1095 pounds, so it had a lot of potential. Its walls were almost 9 inches thick at the top, about 6 inches thick around the middle, and about 4 inches thick at the blossom end.

This is the 149 est Gruber 2007. It is a pleasing medium orange color, and another nice, apple-shaped pumpkin. Its parent weighed 710 pounds. We gave it to a little boy we know, but we got some seeds from it.

So, if anyone wants some seeds, just let me know. :)

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