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Cliff's Grower Log -- July 2002

July 1

The 995 Carter throws up a lonely male flower on July 1st.

The first of July is a measuring point. For instance, the Yankees are 50-31, halfway through the season and on pace for 100 wins. And for giant pumpkin growers, this is typically the time for pollination. I'm a little late this season, as always.

The 995 Carter has a 7-8 foot main, with four nice secondaries and a rear main developing.

The 842 Mitchell has about a 6 foot main, with secondaries and a rear main similar to the Carter.

The 831 Zunino was extremely slow to start. I think it got cold, but it is now growing fairly well. Its still several weeks from any pollination.

Similarly, the 723 Bhaskaran is finally starting to grow with some vigor. Its about at the same stage as the 831.

Note to self: Next year, its full cloches all the way. I just can't get to pollination at the first week of July without them.

Extreme magnification: Killdeer run through my yard.

Birds were a topic on the list recently. These Killdeer that are all over my neighborhood like to eat bugs, so I like them. I noticed that they just had some babies, so now little baby Killdeer are running all over.

Finally, here's another non-pumpkin pic. Truth be known, I grow pumpkins so I can photograph them....

July 11

Hello all! I'm back. Sorry for the lapse in my journal. I just got back from vacation yesterday. On the morning of the 10th, a six-lober on a secondary of the 995 opened. I was not there, so this will be an OPEN pollinated fruit. This was my first... I wish it was sooner, but oh well.

This morning (the 11th) I pollinated a 4-lober on the rear main of the 995 with the 842 Mitchell. This is the exciting time, a lot of females are set to open in the next few days. Yesterday I fertilized with something like 11-59-9 to aid in blossom development and fruit growth. I've noticed that the bug damage has increased lately, I've got to spray again for that as well.

Look for photos soon. My camera is full of shots from our trip to the Sawtooths (mountains of central Idaho).

July 12

I went out to the patch with my "pollination kit" (pocketknife, permanent marker, and plastic tags) but alas, no female was ready this morning. Tomorrow should be a good day, however.

July 15

The crest of the wave hit Saturday morning, with 6 pollinations, followed by 2 on Sunday, and 1 this morning. Even the 831 Zunino has one pollinated on the main vine.

Like all of the west, its been extremely hot here too. 104 on Saturday, and it was still 100 at 7:00pm. But I've finally been getting some good growth, and I don't think its all due to the heat. In the middle of last week I purchased some Triazicide and sprayed. Immediately after that, my vines started pumping out some serious growth. I also used a 10-59-9 Ferilome fertilizer last week... basically between heat, high phosphorus fert, and Triazicide, I don't know what has helped my growth so much, but I just want to note it all so I can reference it in future years.

The beautiful 5-lobe on the 995 main.

It was pollinated by the 842 Mitchell.

The 995 Carter on July 13. The main vine is in the foreground.

Here is the 842 M, followed by the 831 Z and 995 C. You can also see a bit of the "Patch of Late Arrivals" in the upper right of the photo. This is a mess of all sorts of curcubits.

Petunias gone wild - You get more than just pumpkins when you visit Cliff's Pumpkinzone. They make a new Petunia variety that grows like a bush and are meant for container gardening. Well, we planted these in our main flower beds in front of the house. As you can see they're quite a sight! We grew all of these from seed. The flowers immediately near the petunias are not so enthused, however.

Elise shows off the huge petunia plants!

July 16

I find it interesting that just one full day after pollination, this fruit on the 831 Zunino already shows ribs. I've never seen this on an AG before.

I drove my '65 Fastback up next to it so you could get a perspective on how large this fruit really is.

July 18

The 995 Carter is truly an amazing plant. This one has started to grow like crazy. This morning I trimmed off 6 or 7 tertiaries. I was afraid to do any more than that.

I've got quite a few little pumpkins on the vines, but here is usually the time that I start getting depressed. They don't seem to grow as fast as I think they should, or at least as fast as all those I hear about. Oh well, I'll just charge forward and hope that this year will be different.

July 22

Update time: I have several good looking ones growing on the 995 Carter, and one really nice looking one on the 831 Zunino. The 842 Mitchell has been loathe to set a fruit, and the 723 Bhaskaran has not even thrown up a female.

I have two on the main of the 995. The first one is very poorly positioned in relation to the vine, however. Its already rubbing against the vine after only about 7 days. I'm not sure if I'll save it when there is a younger one that is in much better position. Training my vines has been a problem. Last year, my terribly exciting 252 and 240 pumpkins were each tearing away from their vines for about the last month of peak growing time. (I wasn't focusing on them, rather I was focusing time on some ugly pumpkins that eventually slowed way down and were surpassed by the 252 and 240... long story not worth telling.)

This is on the 995, shown at day 10. It is on the first left secondary.

This is on the main of the Zunino, shown at day 7. I love the skin texture on this one. It also has a long thick stem, and has good positioning in relation to the vine, but it is only 7 to 8 feet out on the main.

Next up, fruit shading!

July 24

Well, I hope I get around to fruit shading. I've got to get busy! Or, maybe less busy, however you want to think about it. Everything is "status quo" at the moment. The 842 and 723 need to do something soon or risk becoming totally irrelevant.

July 25

For my number 1 pumpkin on the 831 Zunino, my 10-day (or is it 11) measurements are:


Is this good? Sorry I haven't been paying attention too well. The reason I think 11 days, is that this pumpkin was pollinated on the morning of July 14. I took these measurements in the evening of July 24. This gives 11 growing days (11 days, 10 nights).

I have a couple on the Carter that are doing just as well.

July 30

I just came back from a mini-vacation and found that the pumpkins growing in my patch are really... growing! I need to get out into the patch this evening with a tape measure, camera, and also maybe a shovel, rake, 20-20-20, etc. Fruit shading??? Aack! I've got to get to fruit shading!!! One song keeps playing in my head, Suzy Bogguss singing "20 Million Things...(to do)".

Seriously, I've never had them grow like this before. Its a joy to watch them and wonder...

July 31

The 831 Zunino "Freeze" on the morning of July 31.

This one on the 831 Z plant was 25 inches circumference on day 11 and 46 on day 17. I'm still hoping for the 60 at 20 benchmark, but it seems to have slowed down a little. But I also missed a feeding while I've been on a mini-vacation. Its been named "Freeze, Part IV of Fear", ("Freeze" for short). Congrats to Dave Steele who knew that "Freeze" comes from a Rush (the Canadian rock trio) song of the same name. Dave wins free Freeze seeds. Say that 10 times fast.

Fruits on the 995 Carter are also doing well, but this one has caught my attention. Can you identify the 5 lobes?

By the way, it'll be a few days into August before I'll have a chance to update the site.


Cliff Warren