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Bigmikedude's Big Pumpkins (Pics Updated 9-26-12)

This year I did a pumpkin patch again, and decided to try my hand the first time at a couple giant pumpkins this year too. So for a little gardening and Halloween anticipation fun I decided to share them and the daily growth updates with everyone. (These can put on up to 40 or 50 Lbs per day I understand, when grown exactly right, although I don't expect to see those kind of increases on mine. They have to be quite large before that kind of daily gain)

Mine are nothing compared to the giant pumpkin hobbyists, that grow them far over 1600 Lbs, but this is my first try, and I started mine far later than I should have from what I have learned so far.

Their size at this time in the season is telling me I probably should have started the big ones in at least May or June vs. July, maybe even April, but so far they seem to be cranking pretty well for only 2 months old at about an average of 1 - 1.5 inches of circumference gain per day. And just about 100 Lbs. each so far.

I had one good day where "Flatty", which is my favorite one because of its unique tire shape, (but will most likely not be the biggest of the two), gained somewhere near 2 inches of circumference in a day, but I haven't seen that since. Gains seem to have dropped to about an inch or so a day currently. I imagine due to unusual lower night temperatures lately, but that's only a guess.

"Flatty": (Sept. 26, 2012)
Click image to see all photos of Flatty

pumpkins!

"Pot Belly": (Sept. 26, 2012)
Click image to see all photos of Pot Belly

pumpkins!

"Pot Belly," above, will probably be the biggest and heaviest in the end.

Flatty is nearing 100 Lbs. and Pot Belly is over 100 Lbs now according to Weight Chart for Giant Pumpkins via the "Over the Top" method of measurement. (The OVER-THE-TOP method provides the BEST weight estimates. This requires adding Circumference to the two Over-the-Top measurements taken from ground-to-ground from side-to-side and end-to-end.)

All current images (3 separate albums) for anyone interested.

================================================

"Flatty" Current Measurements:

9-21-12 9:00 AM - Circumference 72".
Over the Top Measurement total = 154.
(Estimated weight = Nearing 100 Lbs)

9-22-12 9:00 AM - Circumference 72 3/4".
Over the Top Measurement total = 156.
(estimated weight = Still nearing 100 Lbs.)

9-23-12 9:00 AM - Circumference 72 3/4". Unchanged
Over the Top Measurement total = 156.
(estimated weight = Still nearing 100 Lbs.)

Miserably abnormal cool spell temperatures of 73 daytime and below 50 degrees at night have become an issue completely ceasing Flatty's growth. The next few days, especially tonight, 39 degrees, are going to be very cool before we warm back up a bit to normal growing temperatures. (80+ daytime and above 55 night.)
Whether Flatty will see more growth during that warm up or not remains to be seen. I have a bummed feeling Flatty may be maxed for this year. The next few days will tell. Until then I will not be updating their growth.

9-25-12 9:00AM - Circumference 73".
Over the Top Measurement total = 156. Not enough change to note.
(estimated weight = Still nearing 100 Lbs.)

Cold spell passed, warmer for the nest few days. Hoping for some growth.

9-26-12 9:00 AM - Circumference 73".
Over the Top Measurement total = 157.
(estimated weight = Still nearing 100 Lbs.)

9-27-12 9:00 AM - Circumference 73". Unchanged
Over the Top Measurement total = 157. Unchanged
(estimated weight = Still nearing 100 Lbs.)

It seems Flatty is likely finished growing, but Pot Belly (below) continues to grow.

================================================

"Pot Belly" Current Measurements:
(Actual Circumference for Pot Belly Unavailable - Laying on its side, can only get "Over the Top" method measurements)

9-21-12 3:30 PM - Over the Top Measurement total = 160
(Estimated weight = 100 Lbs)

9-22-12 9:00 AM - Over the Top Measurement total = 161
(Estimated weight = Maybe 101 - 102 Lbs)

9-23-12 9:00 AM - Over the Top Measurement total = 162
(Estimated weight = 102 - 104 Lbs)

9-25-12 9:00 AM - Over the Top Measurement total = 164
(Estimated weight = 106 - 107 Lbs)

9-26-12 9:00 AM - Over the Top Measurement total = 166
(Estimated weight = 109 Lbs)

Great News. We're officially on the Weight Chart at a 166 measurement. Excellent overnight gain with the warmer weather.

9-27-12 9:00 AM - Over the Top Measurement total = 167
(Estimated weight = 111 Lbs)

9-29-12 9:00 AM - Over the Top Measurement total = 169
(Estimated weight = 115 Lbs)

9-30-12 9:00 AM - Over the Top Measurement total = 170
(Estimated weight = 117 Lbs)

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ytc's picture

I trust that the final report will be the TASTE "pie"-chart of

at least one of the pumpkins in PIEs! If you are going to carve a head out of one, make sure to adorn it with Mrs. BMD's gorgeous bead ear-rings & necklaces!

Joη's picture

any update?

?

"You underestimate the character of man." | "So be off now, and set about it." | Up for a game?

bigmikedude's picture

Updated: New pics in post above.

Also added a handful more for size perspective to imgur folders.

Everything seems to be growing again now that it has warmed back up.

http://bigmike1.imgur.com/

egapele's picture

They are gorgeous! I actually planted 16 pumpkin seeds

4 "grandpa size" ones, 6 "daddy size" ones and 6 "baby size" ones - they were going beautiful until about a month ago and then bam, almost overnight, they croaked! Apparently there is an evil insect called a "squash bug" that got in there and completely destroyed them all.

I learned a valuable lesson about soil health, though.

Good luck with your "grandpas size" ones. Great work!

egapele's picture

ummm.are your dates wrong?

I believe you have November when it should be September. :)

bigmikedude's picture

Lol Thanks egapele

Thanks for the catch.

P.S. For successful pumpkins pesticide is a must. There's just no way around it. Squash bugs, especially this year after virtually no winter, have been the worst I have ever seen. I've had to powder weekly to keep them at bay. They will annihilate a patch in no time. This is the first year I have ever found them in droves even on tomatoes, watermelons, green peppers and cantaloupes.

Jefferson's picture

There

are other ways. We had that damn squash borer decimate our entire squash crop last season. I did some homework on the little #$%@#$%.

Beneficial nematodes will kill most of the soil breeding pests, but once they get into the plant pesticides wont work. The best method I have heard of is taking a syringe and injecting nematodes into the stem every few inches.
Some will go out at night and shine a flashlight through the stem and then stab the little $%($%(^ with a toothpick or needle.

There is some pretty good info here:
http://www.bigpumpkins.com/nepga/ViewArticle.asp?id=27

This is also a company we use for predatory insects. You may be able to find a retailer near you. (no predator for squash bugs) Nematodes and D.E. help.
http://www.naturescontrol.com/controls.html

Dear Big Mike, I don't know as much about pumkins, as you do.

So, I have no intention of upstaging your fine pumpkins, nor you personally. Nor anybody else in ear shot.

It just occurred to me that you might be interested in this old newspaper I edited. Bit worn. Hard to read. It is yours. Hope you enjoy it. Skip down to the part that might interest you.

Concerning the pumpkin.

Disclaimer: Mark Twain (1835-1910-To be continued) is unlicensed. His river pilot's license went delinquent in 1862. Caution advised. Daily Paul

Nice melons

Them some nice melons bigmike. In keeping with the pumpkin theme, here are a couple short videos to bump this up.

Ron Paul - Bad Dream Pumpkin

http://youtu.be/90l7BBXCY9s

Ron Paul : What If Halloween

http://youtu.be/A5zrWSeJCVI

Nice pumpkins Mike!

I had some great vines going, the pumpkins were invaded by some yellow beetles which ate them from the inside out. It was horrifying. My poor babies. And now all I crave is pumpkin soup.

Colchester, New London County, Connecticut

bigmikedude's picture

The dreaded Cucumber Beetles?

Sevin or Permethrin dust is a must at least nowadays. I have a few in the patch to sell that still got drilled into, right through the powder.

Did they look like this?
http://thelittlegardenthatcould.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/...

Yep those were the buggers

They attacked my pumpkins, butternut and acorn. I did end up with a few of the squashes but the pumpkins were toast. I've been growing all of those for years and never saw those little pests before.

Colchester, New London County, Connecticut

I would so carve the shit outta those pumpkins

I LOVE Halloween and fall and anything to do with them! Congrats on growing soming lovely specimens for the season! I wish I had the patience for such things, I have quite the black thumb when it comes to gardening :/

A hacksaw blade carves that shit right...

Halloween is my favorite night...!

Human freedom is Imagination's most precious possession.

I miss the garden threads

at least when we garden it is doing something positive.

Big bump for Big Mike Dude.

"We can see with our eyes, hear with our ears and feel with our touch, but we understand with our hearts."

bigmikedude's picture

Thanks San,

I have no idea how much more I can get out of these, but I am confident they'll still get bigger yet now that the weather is back to normal, and only time will tell, but next year, I'll be starting a few of these in May at the latest for the next try. BMD will not stop until he has achieved a 3/4 ton pumpkin in his life and posted it on Daily Paul. Lol

My husband won

the biggest pumpkin contest in 4-H club when he was a kid and someone STOLE it. LOL I don't know how they did it but you may want to put a guard on those pumpkins they may just to tempting to steal. lol

"We can see with our eyes, hear with our ears and feel with our touch, but we understand with our hearts."

bigmikedude's picture

Bump for the hell of it, if anyone's interested

Flatty - I'm not sure it will grow all that much more, time will tell, but Pot Belly seems to still be going even through the cold spell and did look a bit bigger today, and there's still a few weeks to go as long as there are no frosts. The temps are back up for a while now, and I put drip lines in. Putting at least 200 to 250 gallons of water divided between both plants daily now through drip lines. (Unless rain is forecast as imminent)

Maybe I'll try for a few new pics in the morning, and bump this tomorrow.

My kids love looking at pumpkins

We once just stopped at a house where they were growing those giant pumpkins and asked for a tour.

You'll probably be able to sell them as decorations to some place that has a lot of children visit.

Defend Liberty!

ytc's picture

Flatty & Pot Belly:

now they are like adopted sons & daughters to us. Lovely autumn routine to unwind & recover from the feisty fitful election-fever :-) Best to Mrs. BMD. Is she making more pumpkin beads ornaments this year?

bigmikedude's picture

Thanks Y, best to you two also.

(And thanks everyone for your comments)

Yes she is actually still making her earrings, and she does have some Halloween ones. After all, she loves Halloween. I'm probably the only guy in the world that has a little animated gargoyle on the shelf in the kitchen year round and a few skull candles under the porch table. : /

http://jewelrywonder.com/store3753

very wonderful . . .

and very orange--

and pie!

it's hard to be awake; it's easier to dream--

I like

pumpkins.

I like the look of your

soil.

For some years now I have been wanting to plant a giant pumpkin seed just for the fun of it. Now, maybe I will.

nice

"Cultivators of the earth are the most valuable citizens."
Thomas Jefferson

Gardening is civil and social, but it wants the vigor and freedom of the forest and the outlaw. Henry David Thoreau

Official Daily Paul BTC address: 16oZXSGAcDrSbZeBnSu84w5UWwbLtZsBms
Rand Paul 2016

Jefferson's picture

That's

a nice pair of melons...uh...pumpkins you've got there BMD.

Did you add any amendments to the soil to get that kind of growth?

bigmikedude's picture

Jefferson

There is a whole bunch of stuff in the soil. Lol

I shred ALL of the leaves from the yard every fall into the gardens and till them in.

I tilled in about 3 or 4 yards of compost that I have been making for over a year from kitchen/garden scraps, cleaning the chicken coop, and from the neighbor's horses where the big pumpkins are.

I have a 5 gallon bucket at the base of each of the two plants with an 1/8" hole drilled in it right at the bottom, and a couple holes in the lid for air intake, that I put different mixes of Miracle Grow in, depending on the growth stage, and then I fill them with water so they slowly soak into the roots at least once weekly.

And about every week in between that, I do a foliar spray application of miracle grow and Daconil (Chlorothalonil) fungicide to ward off Downy and Powdery Mildew.

There is a hunk of fruit tree fertilizer spike buried next to the roots of each plant.

There is 0-0-60 potash (potassium) mixed in the soil at this growth stage, and some triple super phosphate.

So, yeah, they be gettin' their vitamins regularly. Lol

Jefferson's picture

You

can definitely tell they're healthy. Your leaves are gorgeous. That waxy shiny texture on them, means healthy cell structure, which should make them more resistant to pests. Tougher cell walls mean tougher leaf surfaces.
Believe it or not, plants put out a certain frequency when they're healthy and when they're sick. Spider mites can sense these frequencies and tell which is the weakest plant to start chewing on, and will start their infestation there.
I see MMJ beat me to the Jefferson "cultivator" quote above. Nice job Mike. You've got a green thumb for sure.

Looks like a good canvas for

Looks like a good canvas for a Ron Paul Pumpkin

OR

Or, I know one of the teams from Discovery Channel's 'Punkin Chunkin'. You can donate it to them so they can launch it ;-)