Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Rosie in Mission Viejo!

Good morning, Growers!

Rosie in Mission Viejo is growing up!

'Here are Rosie's current glamour shots. They were taken tonight (July 18th). We are still concerned that she might be changing color too fast. She is darker on the stem end. We also have included a picture of our shade cover for your critique. We are aware that it will not win any prizes but do you think it is sufficient?

Circumference: 63
Over the Top: 43
Side to Side: 41
Estimated weight: 76.24 pounds

She doesn't seem to be growing as well as she was. Any ideas? Stuart would you care to share what your "baking soda mixture" is?



Hi Dawn!,

Thank you very much for your update and pictures of Rosie! I think your shading method is very good: flexible, effective, easy to use, and inventive. Plus, your leaves are also providing a canopy. Shading is necessary in Southern California because of the intense sunlight. Unshaded, the pumpkin's skin will harden and crack because the pumpkin is growing so quickly.

Regarding your pumpkin's rate of growth, they will slow down after their first big growth spurt, which can last from 10-30 days, depending on the vine and pumpkin. Also, it also may be the case that the very hot weather we've experienced this season accelerated the growing cycle of the vines.

You may also want to try fertilizing just with seaweed/kelp. Now that your fruit has set, you can feed it more with phosphorous and potassium (the P and K, in the N-P-K that you see on fertilizer labels). Seaweed/kelp is also rich in trace elements. I use Neptune's Harvest Seaweed, as a soil drench, one ounce per gallon of water, 4 gallons, every 6-7 days. It has a green label with a picture of King Neptune on it, it's OMRI-listed organic, and available at Armstrong Garden Centers and Orange County Farm Supply.

The baking soda mixture I mentioned is located here:

Thank you again for your update and pictures! Rosie looks healthy and well-tended!