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Cliff's Grower Log -- April 2003

April 15

This is me.

Last time you'll see me, I promise!

I'm a high tech engineer by day, but really I wish I had become a farmer.

Here is a much better picture...


This is the punkin that was born last May. Amazing how they grow!

OK, turning attention to pumpkins, I'm in final preparations in the patch. A neighbor has a lot of 10+ year old manure, well broken down. I'm gathering this, and may use it as a mulch around the vines. (I'll try it on one plant first to make sure there are no adverse effects.) Later this week, hoop houses, and other plant protection schemes will be assembled. Seed starting is still 7 to 10 days away.

The patch

The weather is much better now than last April 15!

"Sunset over manure pile", Idaho, USA, April 2003

April 23

Last night I put 50 pounds of sulfer on the patch. Now I smell like a box of matches! But I think this will help. Too bad I didn't get this done sooner, but if it will be working by mid-summer, that will be good.

Bad weather and other distractions have prevented me from getting the hoop houses finished, but it should go well once I start. I will start seeds this Friday.

April 25

Seed starting day!!! I can't wait. Here is the lineup, subject to change of course:

I guess if there is a common theme here, it is the 705 Stelts and the 940 Mombert 98, with the 845 Bobier genes thrown in for good measure. I hope I can take care of all of these. Right now I only have protection in the garden for 5 plants, unless I double one up, or buy more stuff.

I will start backups in a few days, depending on how well these go. I have some notable seeds, but I don't want to start more than are needed. I will also start some for friends.

More on the 296" Holland. This was a 296 "inch" (512 estimated weight) pumpkin that Joel had on the 845 Bobier. Joel never weighed it. When he went to retrieve the seeds, he found that it had perhaps the thickest walls he had ever grown. So, I have to try it. For this spot in the lineup, it was between this one and a 821 Garrell (845 Bobier X self) that I have. By a slim margin I decided to go with the Holland.

April 28

Last Friday evening I prepared the seeds into 4-inch peat pots and set them under heat. Nothing is up yet, but I don't expect anything until tonight. I may even start a few backups tonight.

Seeds started on 4/25

Rain, rain, rain! This is a very strange spring for us, cold, grey, and rainy! This is great, it may mean that we will have enough irrigation water to take us through the summer. But right now... there might be a delay in getting the plants out. The ground is still very cool. Actually, I need to go out and get the protection structures built!!!

April 29

More rain! This is really unbelieveable for us.

The 1049 Holland was the first up, in just over three days, followed closely by the 922.5 Emmons. The 337 Card squash is going to be "up" in a few hours as well.

Now comes a more agonizing decision, what to start for backups?!! Agonizing, because nobody wants to start good seeds that won't get used, but at the same time one needs enough to follow through with the number of plants planned for. And, its a matter of, "well, if the 296-inch Holland doesn't come up, then I want to start the 821 Garrell in it's place (845 Bobier genes), etc., etc.". But if I look at last year's experiences, I should realize that I need to start more than the mimimum.

It looks like I might have a delay getting into the patch. Rain, cold, rain, and I'm never available to work on it whenever it's not raining!


Cliff Warren