Monday, June 23, 2008

Team Altadena Coming on Strong!
Good evening, Growers!
I received the following images and message from Joan in Altadena. Thank you Joan! I am impressed by your progress this season. Unknown to me, Joan's being assisted by her brother and nephew. The team's details follow:
"Hi Stuart,

Here are our latest pictures from our patch. There are 3 of us working on this, my nephew Matthew (9), his father/my brother Chuck and myself. The patch is at their house in Altadena.

Our largest pumpkin is pictured above (flip flop size 7 1/2 for scale).
So, next time, please give credit to ALL of us! Chuck has done the hardest work but we are enjoying ourselves.

We have a green pumpkin starting.
Happy growing!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

One month later...Flowers are on the vine!
Good afternoon, Growers!
I thought you might be interested to see the progress since my May transplanting. The plant length is slightly less than 10', and the first flower buds have begun to appear.
Have a great week-end, and try to keep your vines watered!

Friday, June 20, 2008

Debbie in Roseville's Vine and Sentry
Good evening, Growers!
I received these great images and update from Debbie in Roseville (near Sacramento):
Hi Stuart,
My name is Debbie, I met you at Sierra Nursery in Roseville. I can't tell you how excited we are about the pumpkins. My photos start with the date of 4/19/o8, and end this past Monday, 6/17/08.
Thank you very much! The progression from April to June is great. It looks like your dog is enjoying the experience too!

Friday, June 13, 2008

Martha in Orange: In the hunt!

Good afternoon, Growers!

Martha in Orange sent in these pictures of her vine. As you can see, it's a very healthy specimen, with a small pumpkin forming in the bottom picture.

Well done!

Vine Growth Happens!
Good afternoon, Growers!
Here are a few pictures from this afternoon of the vine. So far, so good. The primary/main vine is a little over 2.0' long. That said, something has been snacking on a couple of the leaves...

Sunday, June 08, 2008

The 2008 World Tour Finale: Fullerton Arboretum!
Good evening, Growers!
The finale to the 2008 giant pumpkin growing workshop season was this afternoon, at the Fullerton Arboretum. Under a very sunny and warm area near the bleachers, 30 new growers, with a show of force of a few veterans, listened and questioned me for a little more than an hour. It's been a couple of years since my last workshop at Fullerton Arboretum, so it was very nice to be back. Ron Sallinger and his girlfriend were kind enough to drop by. Ron's one of the Pumpkinmania staff and a grower who's just finishing up his RN degree. It was a nice surprise to see them both. The giant pumpkin plant pictured above is being grown at the arboretum by Chris Barnhill. So far, so good!
Thank you very much again to everyone who attended and I hope your seedlings and seeds yield you some very large giant pumpkins!
Good luck!

An Excellent Morning at Orange County Farm Supply!

Good evening, Growers!

Yesterday morning was the annual giant pumpkin growing workshop at Orange County Farm Supply. As always, there was a large and enthusiastic group of past, present, and future giant pumpkin growers. We were even joined by Gisele Schoniger and Toby LeBron of Kellogg Garden Products who were most generous in adding to the door prize drawing pool by giving away some half-gallon bags of potting soil. If you look closely at the top picture, you can see the giant pumpkin seedlings that found new patches and gardens to eventually dominate and cover in a few weeks. One of yesterday's giant pumpkin seedling winners was Curtis Hayes of the South Coast Plumeria Society and the California Gourd Society, and a veteran grower.

Chris Roy and Ron Goff of Orange County Farm Supply will be growing again this year, so watch out!

Many thanks to all attendees for their support, enthusiasm and persistence.

Good luck!

Friday, June 06, 2008

Kim in Pasadena's Secret Fertilizer
Good morning, Stuart!
After losing both pumpkin vines early in the season last year, we're ready for another try. Getting both an early and a late start to the season this year. Early because we have a volunteer that sprouted out of the compost bin (though I'm not sure what type of pumpkin it is). Hopes are high as the compost is enhanced by the manure of our backyard chickens. I witnessed a bumble bee pollinating the flowers last weekend - does bumble bee pollination = bigger pumpkin . . . ? I'm kidding, but I'd like to think the logic works that way. A late start because on the evening of the May full moon we didn't have a seedling to transplant, but I did start 4 seeds that we brought home from your class at the Huntington last year. Unfortunately, I had to start them in 3" peat pots. Not ideal, but it was all I had on hand. Attached are some photos.
Hope to catch your class at the arboretum on Sunday!
Thank you very much for your update and pictures, Kim! Persistence is the key to success! Nice looking baby giant pumpkins! Plus, it looks like you're set for fertilizer!
See you Sunday!

Companion Planting

Good afternoon, Pumpkinistas,
I thought you might be curious to see how my plants are doing. Here they are, on the afternoon, of June 6th. In order to make watering the radishes easier, I planted the seeds near the soaker hose. Since I'll only need 4-5 radishes, I look forward to eating the rest when they're ready to pick in 10-20 days.
So far, so good!

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Container Growing with Charleen in Carlsbad!
Hi Stuart,
My name is Charleen and I attended your seminar at Cedros Gardens, in Solana Beach, CA. in April. I live in Carlsbad, CA. I went home and planted the seedling in mid-May. I elevated the planting by using a 45 gallon, plastic trashcan with the bottom cut out and placed upside down. Prior to this, I dug a hole about 3' deep, and I filled it with a combination of sand, mulch and planting mix. I used the same mix to fill the trashcan. I then ran a sprinkler line to the top of the trashcan and planted the seedling. The attached photo shows the progress and growth. I'm having a blast watching it grow "DAILY" ! Please see attached photo and check-out the method for "shade".
Thanks very much Charleen! I hope you grow a monster!

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Alex in Montebello: Safe and Sound!
Good evening, Growers!
First my apologies to Alex in Montebello for not getting these images on the website sooner. The e-mail forwarding service that I have from Cornell University sometimes forwards messages and images, and sometimes doesn't. These images were sent to me by Alex in Montebello May 21st, but I didn't see them until tonight...
As you can see, Alex went ahead and punched a hole in his patio in order to have sufficient space to grow. That, dear readers and growers, is dedication! Alex also used some shade cloth to cover his seedlings to protect them from the wind. As soon as I have some updated images, I'll be posting them.
Finally, please make a note of an alternative e-mail address for me: Your images and messages should be able to get through without any problems.
Have a great evening!