Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Awaiting the Mums

Well, we are awaiting the arrival of the mum cuttings. They were to ship on Monday to arrive sometime on Thursday. We spent the afternoon yesterday, gathering the ingredients for our soil-less mix. We found the sand and mulch in bulk, but had to buy bags of the peat moss and some kind of tiny pebble thing. We got everything in town using the farm dump truck. Mike spent 2 two hours last night cleaning the area for dumping then dumped the pile. Once on the ground he mixed all the parts with the skid loader. Then he pushed the pile under the over hang to protect it from the wind and rain. Which was a great idea!!! We were able to fill all of the pots today even though it rained on and off. The pots are stacked and ready to go once the cutting arrive.

On our walk through the patch today we discovered a pumpkin, an actual pumpkin!!! This patch might have pumpkins after all!! If you can't see it, it's on the left side right at the bottom of the yellow flower!!!

Monday, June 14, 2010

The Pumpkins are Planted and Growing!!!!

Where has the time gone? I know - to the pumpkin patch. We started with the idea of the black plastic mulch and planting the seedling by cutting holes in the plastic and placing them in the ground. We thought this would be a great way to control weeds from growing up between the plants. We laid three rows of plastic by hand and planted 50 -75 seedlings. This was super hard work, there was a tractor involved to cut the rows, then raking, then rolling the plastic, then more raking to keep the plastic in place. After we finished those three rows, Mike suggests that maybe the place that sold us the plastic has a machine to lay the plastic. I thought, " Are you kidding? Of course we should look into that, why are we doing this by hand?!?" Then we spent a week of trying to rent the equipment, picking it up, it not being there to pick up so we abandoned the whole plastic mulch idea.
These pumpkins need to get in the ground, so we started planting seeds by hand straight into the field. It was just the three of us, Mike, the baby and I. That kid is a trooper. I have never seen a 2 year old so willing and pleasant to just wander around a 3 acre empty field sticking seeds in the ground. It was awesome. We planted, then it rained. We planted more, it rained more. Then it rained and rained. Finally last Friday the final seeds were planted. Who knows if they will grow, who knows if the pumpkins will be on time. Some will be early, some will be late. Oh well, it was our first attempt at something larger than a flower bed so we are learning. I haven't taken any other pictures since May 20th, the pumpkins are really looking better since.
During all of this craziness, I was able to place an order for mums. I searched high and low on how to grow fall mums and the only information I could find was on taking cuttings from your mums. Well I only have 4 mum plants of my own and 3 of them are boring white and the other is pink. So I took the cuttings and planted them in pots, with only 2 colors. That would be a totally lame display - must search harder!!! So Mike purchased the book, "The Growing and Marketing of Fall Mums" by Don Langevin. This book gave us all the information we needed to successfully find a supplier of mum cuttings. I chose www.faribaultgrowersinc.com of Minnesota. They were great to talk to on the phone and the variety was great!!! The mum cuttings are being shipped June 14 ( holy crap that's today!!! ) They should be here by Thursday, then the next adventure will start.
The Giant pumpkins are on the move. It looks like the monster at the house has taken over most of the garden and is growing at a rate of 8 inches a day. There are female blossoms on it now. This picture was taken on June 7. It has grown quite a bit since then!!!
Finally all the sheep and goats have been sheared except for the Pygora, she has a small patch on her back thigh that will not shed off. Oh well, she looks a little frightful.
I am finishing up the Spring Semester of school and this sessions class is on Electronic Production. We needed to create a corporate identity for a company and I chose the pumpkin patch. I'm happy with the project for the class, but Mike thinks the logo needs some tweaking before it's official.