Monday, May 23, 2011

New Problem, New Solution

Apparently, the heat has been a bit much for my vines. I came home to find a few very "crispy" leaves one day last week. I must admit, that some of the problem was my own fault for not giving them the watering attention that they needed... for one day. That's all it took for them to burn, so now, before I do anything else when I get home from work, I water my vines.

In addition to crispy leaves, three of the pumpkins that had been growing developed rot spots on them. I have a couple of theories, which range from not enough water, to too much water, to too much sun and possibly being too early for fruit. I have no idea what happened, but all three stopped growing and then began to rot. It's frustrating, but at the same time, I have the comfort of a long growing season and many new female flowers emerging.

The "new solution" that I have, is in reference to the vine borer problem. I read on one website, that instead of digging the worm out of the vine and causing significant damage, that some growers simply poke a pin through the vine a couple of times at the site of the borer damage. So far, this has been very successful with minimal damage to the vine. Much better then the excessive hacking that the vines endured with the first round of borers that I found. I do have to check the vines everyday, but as long as I do, the damage is kept to a minimum.

Finally, I discovered that Mother Nature is lending me a helping hand in my pumpkin growing quest :) I've been seeing a LOT of bees buzzing around my vines and this weekend, I found a pumpkin that I surely had not pollinated. It was a nice surprise, especially after having just lost 3 pumpkins.

Now the pumpkin count is 2, one green, one white. Pictures to follow :)

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Looking Better

Things are looking better. I'm keeping a close watch on everything for another attack. I'm sure that I haven't seen the last of the vine borers for this season. But, I was victorious yesterday in actually seeing and killing one of the adult moth vine borers, that was trying to lay more eggs on my vines. Usually, I'm not into squashing things, because I think that they have just as much right to live as we do... but now when it's killing my pumpkins ;)

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Vine Borer Damage Update

I didn't get to spend much time with my plants yesterday evening, but this morning when I looked at them, it seems that only one whole vine is dead. I'll remove it this evening. One vine that suffered significant damage to the base seems to be fine, but I want to do something to cover the injured part. Perhaps wrap it with peat moss and some nylon??? The vine with my biggest pumpkin baby must have taken root at the joint that I covered with soil. The end where the pumpkin is, looks much better. The damaged middle section looks like it will eventually die and I'll need to remove it and the base of the vine looks healthy. The damage in the white/green pumpkin patch was minimal and it seems that the vines are fully recovered.

This evening I'll look around some more to make sure that there aren't any more worms. I'll remove and repair what needs it and I'll spray the pesticides again. I really hate using chemicals, but I really don't want to lose my vines.

I'm currently looking into floating row covers for my gardens:

Many sites that discuss vine borers mention these things as a great prevention method. The only draw back is that one needs to hand pollinate their crops (because no insects can get in), which for me, isn't an issue since hand pollinating anyway. If this keeps the bugs out, I'm all for it.

On another note, I get my new camera either today or tomorrow. I'll be able to take pictures and post them soon :)

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Vine Borer Help Link

I've found something that seems pretty helpful. It's informative if nothing else. I've tried most of what they suggest, as far as cutting the grub out, applying pesticide and covering the joints with mud to encourage more rooting. Next, I'll have to try some sort of covering, looking for and destroying eggs and perhaps wrapping the vines in nylons.

Here's the site:

Vine Borers Strike Again!

Just a quick update and I'll have more info later, but my patch has been attacked by vine borers. These little pests will take out a patch before you know what's wrong with your vines.

I'll post some detailed photos and info that I've found later about what to look for and how to handle the problem.

Right now I'm working on eradication and repair and I'm hoping that I can save my biggest baby pumpkin, because it's vine was hit hard.

More later...

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Pumpkin Growers Reference

Since so many of you seem to be trying your hand at growing pumpkins this year, I wanted to give you this little golden nugget of information that I found last year when I gave pumpkin growing my first go :)

Check out this site:

It is FULL of pumpkin growing information. Pay attention to the fertilizers, because that seems to be important. I personally use Blood Meal and Alaska Fish Fertilizer before the vines flower and after they flower I use regular old Mirical Gro. The site strongly suggest an irrigation or some sort of sprinkler system, but I've been watering mine myself EVERYDAY and that seems to be working out fine. Pay attention to the section about covering the vines/pumpkins, especially if you live in a very hot climate.

The pest section is a little frustrating for me, because it mostly references using different pesticides to control the little buggers and I really don't like dealing with harsh chemicals. Last year I had MAJOR problems with cucumber beetles and with vine boarers. With a little research, I found some non pesticide suggestions :
As far as the onions, I just chop one up every now and then and sprinkle it around my garden. So far, so good. Also, for the wood ash, I've just been sprinkling it on the plants. Again, so far so good. I'll update as the season goes on, about how these "home remidies" seem to be working.

Hope this is helpful!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Halloween Feelin' or Feelin' Halloween ;)

I've got that, Halloween feeeelllliinnn', oh, oh, that Halloween feeeellllin'! Sorry, couldn't help it. I'll keep my day job, I promise ;)

Projects are going to start soon. I've got the Halloween itch and I've got it bad. Missing my creepy projects. I have a couple of sketchy ideas for projects and one pretty solid one.

Hopefully I'll have some pics to post in the near future =)