I Can’t Stop Staring at it

The pumpkin that is, not the spot on my arm.  Protecting the pumpkin from the sun is today’s plan.

Giant Pumpkin Growing

It’s looking great and I love the stem on this pumpkin. I did notice today that the blossom end had about 5mm of softness right at the end. I’m hoping that it’s the last remnants of the flower and nothing worse.

I better get my hands on some sulfur and get the fan on standby.

Time to Cover to Protect the Pumpkin

To help protect the pumpkin from the elements covering it with a sheet is a great idea. I checked in with Tim to find out when he did this. He covers his pumpkins with a sheet around about day 2 of there being a pumpkin.

Giant Pumpkin Covered in a Sheet

When the temperature drops overnight and gets around 10 degrees celcius or below, the pumpkin gets covered in a blanket. Keeping in the heat from the day helps prevent major fluctuations that could impact pumpkin growth.

Giant pumpkin covered in sheet and tarp

I don’t have the space, or the dirt to build a hoop type structure for more sun protection. I got with what I can do and that is string up a blue tarp with some rope.

More Sand

The pumpkin looks to have grown so more sand was needed. Next time I’ll put down a lot to cover the whole area. It will probably be easier.

20 DAP

Today is 20 DAP.

If you talk to pumpkin growers, or read pumpkin information you will no doubt come across the term DAP. Days After Pollination.

It’s a term that helps compare pumpkins at similar time frames no matter when it was planted. As I kept good notes from last years effort, I can see I am 9 days behind compared to last year.  Today I used the last bag of compost I had on hand to bury more vines.

Compost Bag Used for Pumpkin Vine Burying

I took the weight estimation measurements and can see this pumpkin is around 3-5kg heavier than last years pumpkin already. Good stuff.

Pool Noodle

To help prevent the one of the vines rubbing against the pumpkin, I’ve placed the almighty piece of pool noodle between them. Soft enough but still firm to not cause problems.

Pool Noodle Use for Giant Pumpkin

I’ll might also need to use some pool noodles to help support the stem on the pumpkin. I’m keeping a close eye on the vines connect to the stem as I don’t want them creating tension and breaking the stem.

At the moment I feel there is enough slack in those vines to allow the pumpkin to grow unaffected. But things can happen, so keep checking on your pumpkin daily.

Powdery Mildew

The dreaded powdery mildew seems to have made a very small appearance in the Tiny Patch.

A fungal disease that starts off as small white spots and slowly spreads covering your plant. This fungus can slow and stop growth of your pumpkin by inhibiting the actions of the leaves.

Warm humid weather, mixed with dampness and a lack of airflow all contribute to it.

Checking my notes from last year, I see that almost to the day was when I also needed to apply product to slow the growth and spread of this annoying problem.

What Products to Use
In late 2017 the products available to help battle powdery mildew changed. Due to the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency issuing a ban on certain products that contained Chlorothalonil.

One such product used and liked by NZ gardeners for years was Yates Bravo.

Here are some links to current New Zealand products that can help you with powdery mildew in your pumpkin patch or garden.

Kiwicare Products
Yates

Home Remedies for Powdery Mildew
For cheaper and potentially less harmful solutions you can try one of these:

  • 1 cup of full cream milk to 10 parts of water, stir well and spray every 10 – 14 days if it is hot. (Some sites mention skim milk should be used instead to reduce the chance of smell)
  • Baking Soda can be used. 1 Tablespoon baking soda, 1 Tablespoon vegetable oil, 4 litres of water, 1 Dessert spoon of washing up liquid, apply.

As you can see there are many methods to help stop the spread of powdery mildew.

Bravo
I still have some Bravo left, so after donning every every safety item you could imagine I went out and tackled the powdery mildew. I lost about 2kg from sweating so much.

Next time I’ll try one of the less toxic solutions and see how that goes.

Patreon

If you’ve never heard of Patreon on before I don’t blame you, it’s a popular platform for content creators. I’ve decided to set up my own Patreon page.

What is it and how does it work
It allows content creators (myself in this case) to accept monthly payments from people like you that like what I do, and want to show their support.

You can give as little as $1 US a month, and can cancel anytime (ideal if you want to do a one off payment)

There are rewards as well, the more you give, the more you get. These can change, and overtime probably will. I’m also open to feedback on any rewards you think I should offer.

Goals
You’ll also see there are different goals I hope to achieve. Once we reach certain targets it will help me continue to do what I love. Create pumpkin content for you.

You’ll find the Patreon button right at the bottom of the website, or on the sidebar to the right at the top.

I won’t be hammering this message all the time, but wanted to explain what it is. Check it out to get a better understanding, and have a look at all the other amazing creators they have on their platform.

Blog Posts to your Inbox

And… if you’d like to make sure you don’t miss out on any blog updates, sign up below to get emailed when they are posted. Nice and simple.

If you’ve made it this far, the spot on my arm seems OK, I think it was actually chocolate.