Does this blossom end seem soft to you?

Well it did to me, the pumpkin seemed to have a soft blossom end as well as looking a little black and dare I say it mould like.

Blossom end on Giant Pumpkin

With this weather any soft spot or rot can easily take over and destroy your pumpkin. I’m very mindful after last season, I thought the pumpkin was doing great only to find out it had rotted and fermented in the inside.  Here’s the short video of my season ending pumpkin from last year.

Time to get More Products

Monday being Auckland anniversary did not help matters as most of the shops I needed to go to weren’t open.

Now if I was more onto it, I of course would have everything I needed on hand already. But when you grow in a Tiny Patch where you aren’t expecting too much, you take it as it comes.

Sulphur Powder

Hydrogen Peroxide

The Hydrogen Peroxide was from Life Pharmacy and Farmlands for the Sulphur, which comes in a 2kg bag, which is overkill for what I wanted. I’m going to re bag it into smaller amounts and have it up on the shop very soon.

Cheap paint brushes for pumpkin

I also got a couple of cheap paint brushes as that seemed like a good way to apply this and I got a new craft knife ready to chop out soft rotting bits.

It wasn’t that bad

A bit flaked off, and the end which was soft was now hard and solid. It still did look a bit gross though, but that was the last bits of the flower finally falling off.

But now is not the time to take chances, so I coated the end of the blossom end or “Nub” as we’ve started to call it with Peroxide and put the fan near it to help dry it out.

Let it be known now I have crossed that line of being an obsessed giant pumpkin grower to a crazy obsessed giant pumpkin grower by running power cords outside to have a fan that can blow air onto the end of a giant vegetable.

Fan blowing on Blossom End of Giant Pumpkin

I’d have it no other way.

Once that was nice and dry, I dipped my other paint brush into the sulphur and liberally (remember I have 2kg of this stuff now) applied that all over the end of the nub.
I left the fan on for about 24 hours. After checking on it again, I felt I could save money on the power bill and turn it off.

I do still have it all set up just in case. I don’t think it needs to be mentioned, but stay safe when dealing with power. I have an RCD box upstairs and have a waterproof cover where the two cables connect.

Outdoor Cable Cover Box

RCD Power Box

What Rodent Problem?

To cover off all bases and to look at something new I got a Nooski mouse trap to put in the Tiny Patch. I haven’t seen any sign of mice, or rats in the patch or the house. But maybe that’s what caused the pumpkin problem last season?

The Nooski mouse trap (and they make a rat trap that’s bigger) is designed and built right here in New Zealand, which I think is pretty cool.

Nooski Mouse Trap Packaging

It has no metal parts, so nothing to rust. Instead of a snapping action like a normal mouse trap which isn’t that effective, this trap works on using rubber rings, the same type used when docking lambs tails. Anyone else remember having lambs tails cooked up on a BBQ at primary school? I do.

Nooski Moustrap

Inside view of the Nooski Mouse Trap

There is a lot of info on the Nooski website, so check that out if you want to try a different product for your pest problem.

Bought Fertiliser and Sprayers

I got a couple more sprayers. With such a tiny patch you can get small ones for different products and it works out OK.

I also grabbed some Yates Thrive Vege & Herb liquid fertliser.  It’s surprising how some products have no details of the NPK levels on the back, luckily Yates always do.

Yates Thrive Vege and Herb Fertiliser

Label of Yates Thrive Vege and Herb Fertiliser

There are of course great products out there, especially for the horticultural industry, but getting 10 – 20 litres of product at this stage is a bit of overkill for me.

I’m thinking of putting together a guide of all available products here in NZ once this season has finished. Let me know if this is something you would be keen on.

Moving Forward

I’ve gone back to only hand watering, it allows me to apply the water where it’s needed without getting the leaves wet, reducing the chance of powdery mildew problems.

I’m going to try the milk thing for powdery mildew prevention next time, I’ll let you know how that goes.

I’m also keeping an eye on the main vine connected to the pumpkin and the couple of side vines near the side of it. I think there is enough slack currently for it to be OK.

More fertiliser, including seaweed based ones used as a leaf drench, and I have another product I’ll talk about in the next blog post.