Pumpkin patch practices and gourd garden grooming.
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By Chewy
The cradle of zombies lives! (kinda!)

Last year I asked for some advice on getting our patch going.

The passt few weeks, we've been working on it & i thought some of you might be interested to see it progress.

Last week we marked & stripped the sod off of a 20' x 30' patch in what used to be a horse paddock. Sadly, we found gravel under the sod - which made stripping the sod off easy, but, isnt going to be plantable.



This weekend, we've levelled the gravel out & have a couple of loads of topsoil lined up to be brought in next week & have ordered up the components to assemble an automated soaker watering system.


Have a couple of varieties of seeds ready, includinig the Atlantic Giants my mom wants (i dont see anyone carving them though!)

Can wait to start planting!

Will update when the soil's in place!
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By Zombie Pumpkins!
Off to a great start, it would seem. I envy the amount of space you have for your patch. Best of luck and please keep us posted. I'd love to see the progress photos.
By danw
Hey! Looks Great! You aughta be in this rock pile we call Colorado/Rocky Mountains....Live dangerously loosen the soil as best you can and plant! You would be amazed how adaptable our pumpkin friends are...
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By Chewy
Spent a good five hours wheel-barrowing in and spreading out 6.5 yards of top soil yesterday; which when there was one pile on the ground & a full trailer, didnt really seem like that much. My desk-job working namby hands can attest to exactly how much dirt that really is (lots!)

Mind, you the 7k hike i did with the dog immediately prior to working on the plot probably didnt help either.

The neighbour was really helpful, came over to say hi - at about the 4.5 hour mark & offered to finish up with his bobcat for me. <sigh> i respectfully declined (yeah, i'm just a *bit* stubborn)


Next step, turkey poo. Have a yard or so that I need to spread & turn in and we'll be pretty much ready. Not really looking forward to that part - that stuff *really* smells bad.
By danw
zombiepumpkins wrote:Turkey poo? I'm glad your photo updates don't come with smell.
Wow turkey metabolic waste , or Meleagris gallopavo squeezings....they be bad powerful if-fin not well composted . I have used a fresh turd about every 3-4 sq.in. Well composted stuff can be 1/4" deep all over.

Abundant ammonia in fresh stuff. Bird piss is the white part the dropping. That is where a fair amount of the ammonia is . Kinda good to know that stuff......for those trivia games or whatever. Ammonia by it's lonely self will chemically burn. plant and animal tissue { like baby rash} Turkeys have all their thingys in what looks like a sphincter muscled hole under the tail...but it's really not a sphincter, there is another name for that particular mussel . The area is called the cloaca. ....generally Defined as the posterior opening that serves as the only such opening for the intestinal, reproductive, and urinary tracts. It would be quite impressive to have turkey with several such tracts, think of all the eggs and fertilizer !!!....and yes eggs are considered a part of the reproductive activities of that area where pumpkin fertilizer comes from

All my pumpkins are sprouted up about 4"!!!!!!
Ammonia on it's own is very nasty, in chicken poop it's a good part of the reason to move your chooks scratching area or else it turns into a scorched dustbowl (not forgetting mites).
Worked in mature Manure is obviously the way forward, slow constant leaching of nutrients into soil, along with a weeb blocker & irrigation system you'll be laughing (& keeping moisture in the soil where it belongs.

good looking patch!
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By Chewy
Thanks guys

I was a little sloppy - it's not raw turkey poo - it's composted turkey manure... kindly provided by one of the local famers (who also grows kins & who also provided me with some very um, *specific* instructions... considering this is the same guy who coached my soccer team when i was a kid - i think i'll need to follow the instructions, im too old to run laps now!)

Also, while not a green thumb, I'm a little more conversant than the average joe when it comes to the chemical makeup of soil & potential impacts (having a degree in environmental chemistry and all =- provided of course i can actually remember it... :lol: )

I'll admit that Ive been putting off dealing with it because we've had SO much rain here lately and, to be frank, it does not have a pleasant aroma it's not quite as bad as the worst things ive smelled (which qualify as about as bad as it can get, but it's not far off). However, I've got more soil coming Saturday & figure i can probably plant pretty much now, so, need to bite the bullet and get it done.
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By Chewy
Turkey manure, another 6 yards of soil added to the beds & mixed in (my desk job working back is letting me know what it thinks about this little exercise). I still am quite amazed at how big a pile of dirt looks when it's sitting on the ground mounded up, but, after dozens of wheelbarrow trips, it looks like it's barely made a difference in the beds themselves...

The basics of the watering system are in place and the rest of it is sitting on a shelf ready to go right beside the seeds for the five different varieties of pkins we intend to plant this year (minis, jack-o-lanterns, field pumpkins, white ones [insert oooh here!] and a few atlantic giants).

I might play with putting some borders on the beds before planting season, but am more likely to leave that as a project for next year - along with adding a couple more loads of top soil (the soil and the watering system has pretty much exhausted my pumpkin growing budget for this year).

Now, we wait for oh, a month or so I guess before we'll be planting. Had frost / ice on the ground a couple days ago here, so it's still definitely too early still.


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By Dredge
Im planting my patch this weekend!!!
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By Chewy
We're jealous! Would love to get the seeds in ground and start seeing them come to life (or death... if you will) - but, looks like we're going to target the week of May 22 to plant.
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By Chewy
Now the fun begins (& the heavy lifting ends).

Have some water issues to resolve still (bought the wrong size hose fittings), but, went ahead and put the seedlings in the ground on the weekend - yay!

Now, (I think), i just need to keep a close eye on the watering (timing, duration), get the right hose fittings so i can put regular hose headers in & move the soakers entirely into the beds.

Started with three dozen seedlings & ended up planting 30, the dogs were a little too excited & wiped a couple out on me... :(

The varieties we planted are:

-Atlantic Giant / Giant Dill
-Big Max (smaller than the giants, but, should be larger than the others...)
-Jack-o-lanterns (technical name i guess, 20-30 pounders expected)
-Connecticut Field (smaller than the jack-o-lanterns hopefully)
-Lumina (the white ones... oooh creepy!)
-Jack be Little (the little guys, put them in for my daughter)

Will see how the spread of varieties works out & will hopefully be able to adjust for next year

Cheers for now!

Pics follow


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By Chewy
Grow baby grow!


It's still SO cold here though... spring? wherefore art thou? We're tired of mayuary!
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By nosferatu
Great stuff. It looks like you have your daughter well trained with a rake and shovel and dogs are great for, well.....getting the way!

Keep posting updates