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TheWaterbug
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Prepping for the Pick & Paint Pumpkin Patch Party v4.0

50 bags of manure, just waiting to be tilled in:

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I need to get seeds in the ground this weekend or next, because I'm gone the following 10 days.
Sunset 23/USDA 11a, Elev. 783', Frost free since 8,000 BC. Plagued by squirrels, gophers, and peafowl, but coming to terms with it!

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jal_ut
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Re: Prepping for the Pick & Paint Pumpkin Patch Party v4.0

Looks like a project! Hope you do well on the pumpkins.
Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/-

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TheWaterbug
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Re: Prepping for the Pick & Paint Pumpkin Patch Party v4.0

Last night and this morning I picked up 12 bags of municipal mulch, and I finished 'forking the 25 sites. I'm tilling in the manure and mulch, but I just blew a belt :x

I'm trying to find anywhere that open on a Saturday evening that even knows what I'm asking for.
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Sunset 23/USDA 11a, Elev. 783', Frost free since 8,000 BC. Plagued by squirrels, gophers, and peafowl, but coming to terms with it!

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TheWaterbug
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Re: Prepping for the Pick & Paint Pumpkin Patch Party v4.0

I got the belt replaced, and I took some video of how I prepped each site (click to view an 8 minute YouTube video):

Sunset 23/USDA 11a, Elev. 783', Frost free since 8,000 BC. Plagued by squirrels, gophers, and peafowl, but coming to terms with it!

Northernfox
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Re: Prepping for the Pick & Paint Pumpkin Patch Party v4.0

I liked your video :) I subscribed and look forward to seeing more :) I did pumpkins lt year in my Alberta Urban Garden. They did really well. I got a 32lbs one Freetown on a trellis 4' off the ground :) this year focusing on food production! Check out my channel on YouTube :)
Stephen

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Re: Prepping for the Pick & Paint Pumpkin Patch Party v4.0

When you do your video do you use your iPhone to record the audio?
Stephen

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TheWaterbug
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Re: Prepping for the Pick & Paint Pumpkin Patch Party v4.0

Yes, all the video and audio is from an iPhone5, and then I put them together in iMovie 11. I cranked up the audio (except for the tiller part) and removed some background noise. The result is OK, but next time I'll do a better job talking to the camera.
Sunset 23/USDA 11a, Elev. 783', Frost free since 8,000 BC. Plagued by squirrels, gophers, and peafowl, but coming to terms with it!

Northernfox
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Re: Prepping for the Pick & Paint Pumpkin Patch Party v4.0

Do you have two of the phones ? And how do you mount them on a tripod ? I have a camera but the audio is junk. I was thinking of shooting with the camera and at the same time recording the audio with my iPhone. Do you have a better mechanism? I can't get iMovie 11 but I do have 09 I think. Ill have to learn how to manipulate the audio better
Stephen

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TheWaterbug
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Re: Prepping for the Pick & Paint Pumpkin Patch Party v4.0

So after re-re-reconsulting my notes, I'm going to delay sowing until July 5th, when I return from my ill-timed business trip. I sowed on June 10 last year, and while I didn't record the date they ripened, I do recall that they'd been ripe for quite a long while by the party date, and I definitely remember that most of the vines were completely dead. In fact a number of the pumpkins had already rotted on the vine.

So sowing 3.5 weeks later shouldn't be a problem.

Fox, I left you a PM on my video production :)
Sunset 23/USDA 11a, Elev. 783', Frost free since 8,000 BC. Plagued by squirrels, gophers, and peafowl, but coming to terms with it!

Northernfox
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Re: Prepping for the Pick & Paint Pumpkin Patch Party v4.0

Received !! I look forward to watching the progress :)
Stephen

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TheWaterbug
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Re: Prepping for the Pick & Paint Pumpkin Patch Party v4.0

It may not look like I've done much, but here's 25 pumpkins sown, drip-watered, and caged against pests:

Image

I put in 3 jack-o-lanterns from last year's leftover packet, 6 Howden, 5 Jarrahdale, 5 Lumina, 2 Sugar Pie, 2 Spooktacular, and 2 Big Max. They're all 110 days or less, except for the 120 day Big Max, and my party will probably be on Sunday, Oct 27th, which is 115 days from now, so I should be OK.

I direct-sowed, and the "hills" are pretty much at ground level, or perhaps elevated no more than 2-3 inches, which I expect to subside with watering, as it's all been fluffed up by the tiller.

I probably should have put them in before my 11 day trip abroad, but I didn't have time.

That's my corn in the background, and to the left is the Kabocha Squash that's taking over that entire section of the garden.
Sunset 23/USDA 11a, Elev. 783', Frost free since 8,000 BC. Plagued by squirrels, gophers, and peafowl, but coming to terms with it!

Northernfox
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Re: Prepping for the Pick & Paint Pumpkin Patch Party v4.0

Looks good my friend ! I look forward to watching the progress!
Stephen

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TheWaterbug
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Re: Prepping for the Pick & Paint Pumpkin Patch Party v4.0

And here we are, 5 weeks hence:

Image

They've all outgrown their cages except for a few. Of course the cages will go right back on as soon as we get female flowers.

I've got 2-3 plants on each hill, and I'm debating whether to cull. In previous years I've always culled to one per hill, but I'm thinking that not really necessary, and leaving at least 2/hill gives me some insurance.

I'm more interested in getting more fruit than in larger fruit (I've got my Atlantic Giants for the latter) as long as they're of appropriate size for 9-10 year old kids. If the pumpkins get larger than ~20 pounds the kids have trouble carrying them back to the cars or down the trail, which means the parents end up doing it :D.
Sunset 23/USDA 11a, Elev. 783', Frost free since 8,000 BC. Plagued by squirrels, gophers, and peafowl, but coming to terms with it!

Northernfox
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Re: Prepping for the Pick & Paint Pumpkin Patch Party v4.0

When you do have fruit setting on your Giant variety you should use that Garden Cam time laps video camera and do one on it!!!

Looks good my friend!
Stephen

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TheWaterbug
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Re: Prepping for the Pick & Paint Pumpkin Patch Party v4.0

Already done :)

I moved it right after I posted the other time lapse.
Sunset 23/USDA 11a, Elev. 783', Frost free since 8,000 BC. Plagued by squirrels, gophers, and peafowl, but coming to terms with it!

Northernfox
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Re: Prepping for the Pick & Paint Pumpkin Patch Party v4.0

I look forward to seeing it!
Stephen

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TheWaterbug
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Re: Prepping for the Pick & Paint Pumpkin Patch Party v4.0

Two weeks of growth uploaded here.

More to come when it's finished growing.

Please post comments about the Giants over there and leave this thread for more pedestrian pumpkins :)

My normal pumpkins are doing well. They've been in the ground now for nearly 6 weeks and most of them have just started the "rapid vining" stage.
Sunset 23/USDA 11a, Elev. 783', Frost free since 8,000 BC. Plagued by squirrels, gophers, and peafowl, but coming to terms with it!

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TheWaterbug
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Re: Prepping for the Pick & Paint Pumpkin Patch Party v4.0

TheWaterbug wrote:So after re-re-reconsulting my notes, I'm going to delay sowing until July 5th, when I return from my ill-timed business trip. I sowed on June 10 last year, and while I didn't record the date they ripened, I do recall that they'd been ripe for quite a long while by the party date, and I definitely remember that most of the vines were completely dead. In fact a number of the pumpkins had already rotted on the vine.

So sowing 3.5 weeks later shouldn't be a problem.
. . . and that's looking like it was a poor decision. While the vines were doing nicely, we ran into a hot spell for about two weeks where it was in the upper 80s and low 90s, and most of the female flowers spontaneously aborted. It finally cooled down a bit, and I have decent fruit set throughout the patch, but they're really small, and I have only 5 weeks left until the party (probably 10/26). I may have another pumpkin party with mostly green fruit, like I did my first year.

So after 4 years it'll look like I've learned nothing!!

Lesson for myself--planting X days later than last year doesn't necessarily mean fruit X days later.
Sunset 23/USDA 11a, Elev. 783', Frost free since 8,000 BC. Plagued by squirrels, gophers, and peafowl, but coming to terms with it!

Northernfox
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Re: Prepping for the Pick & Paint Pumpkin Patch Party v4.0

The hot weather seems to be the factor you can not predict! Green Pumpkins still paint up well!! ;)

how is that giant one doing?
Stephen

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TheWaterbug
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Re: Prepping for the Pick & Paint Pumpkin Patch Party v4.0

TheWaterbug wrote:I have decent fruit set throughout the patch, but they're really small, and I have only 5 weeks left until the party (probably 10/26). I may have another pumpkin party with mostly green fruit, like I did my first year.

So after 4 years it'll look like I've learned nothing!!

Lesson for myself--planting X days later than last year doesn't necessarily mean fruit X days later.
Just to follow up on this, a bunch of the fruit ended up rotting on the vine before maturity, so it was almost a complete crop failure. I had perhaps 15 harvestable fruit (instead of the 100 I had last year) of which 10 were the Jarrahdales that are less popular amongst the kids. I had only 2 really good-looking JOLs and a few Luminas.

So I ended up going to Smart & Final and _buying_ 50 pumpkins for $3 apiece. Thank goodness for Smart & Final, as everyone else was charging $7/each or more. I scattered the pumpkins around the patch, under leaves, etc., and most of the kids couldn't tell the difference. :D

A few of the parents asked if I grew them all, and I said "I grew some and supplemented." Another parent marveled at how clean all the pumpkins were.

So all in all the crop was a miserable failure but the party was a success!
Sunset 23/USDA 11a, Elev. 783', Frost free since 8,000 BC. Plagued by squirrels, gophers, and peafowl, but coming to terms with it!

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Re: Prepping for the Pick & Paint Pumpkin Patch Party v4.0

Good save! ...they do the same thing at big farms that regularly run U-pick and cater birthday parties too. We went to a party that included a hay wagon ride, pumpkin picking and a corn maze, and the pumpkin fields were in a sorry shape but had perfect looking pumpkins scattered around. When. I quietly asked our hayride guide, she admitted that they lost their pumpkin crop to powdery mildew that year due to unusually wet season and had to truck them in.
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Re: Prepping for the Pick & Paint Pumpkin Patch Party v4.0

'S why I could never be a farmer, even though I love to grow things. I couldn't handle having my livelihood depend on vicissitudes like this.
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Re: Prepping for the Pick & Paint Pumpkin Patch Party v4.0

We will lose .50 on ever sale, but will make it up in volume. :roll:


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jal_ut
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Re: Prepping for the Pick & Paint Pumpkin Patch Party v4.0

I am thinking your best chance of growing a pumpkin there would be to plant about mid March. Of course if they made it, you would have pumpkins in July instead of October. :)

Do you get frost there through winter? Pumpkins can be planted on the last average frost date in your garden.

It would be worth trying a few since you already have the plot in shape.
Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/-

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ReptileAddiction
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Re: Prepping for the Pick & Paint Pumpkin Patch Party v4.0

That is too bad. Why did the fruit rot in the first place? Was it due to too much moisture? If so you could construct a structure out of posts over the whole patch and then throw some greenhouse plastic over. Depending on the size of the patch, you might have to shell out a couple hundred for the plastic but if you are careful with it and only leave it up when it is really necessary, I am sure it would last quite a while.

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