15 Minutes of Fame

Getting asked to do live television on BBC World News is exciting and nerve wracking all at the same time.

While it wasn’t about giant pumpkin growing, when asked what I wanted my title to be I did tell them giant pumpkin grower. The last couple of weeks have been slow for me as I have had a cold and a very persistent cough which is annoying to say the least.

I am supposed to have a new vlog out today, which I could have done but it would have consisted of me bascially talking about everything below, sounding like crap and not having much else to show, so I decided to just do a blog post instead.

My TEDx Talk

Earlier on in the year I did a TEDx talk, which was all about a thing I started way back in 2010 called NZ Twitter Secret Santa (It’s now NZ Secret Santa)

The basic theme around it was why don’t you give that random idea a go and see where it can take you, now I ran it for the first 3 years and now NZ Post run it, I managed to get giant pumpkin growing into that talk as it was the thing that I wanted to spend more of my time on. Here is that video:

And that project seems to gets international media attention, and every year they like to talk to the founder of it. That is how I found myself talking to the BBC about it and finding out my cousin in London saw it live on the TV which I thought was cool.

So, what does all of this have to do with giant pumpkin growing you might be asking yourself? Well it’s all about following your passion and doing what makes you happy, sure you might be here reading this because this year you are growing a giant pumpkin and you are wanting to know what I am up to.

But maybe your passion is something completely different, how about having a look into that and seeing what you can do around that one thing, it might be something that no one else know about, or it might be the thing everyone knows you do.

Pumpkin Update

Every time I put together some video, or a vlog there is always something I manage to forget, in the last episode it was showing what my at home PH Soil test came out like, after waiting for it to settle it appeared to me to be in the very high 6’s or bordering on 7. Something I am OK with.

I also seemed to have had a snail or slug who was some sort of acrobat, managing to eat a big chunk of one of the first leaves, not ideal but the plant is still OK. I put down more slug and snail bait and wondered just how much difference there was between the $3 box I was using and the $14 box you can also buy, both made by the same people.

Feeding the plant

I know for bigger growers buying small quantities of product can be a real pain, especially here in New Zealand, so imagine what it is like with the worlds smallest giant pumpkin patch and having no soil test data.

I researched a bunch online for something that would give me a good boost of Nitrogen for when the seedling is growing and to get vines and leaves going. I settled on Soluble Thrive by Yates, it’s pretty cheap, comes in a resealable bag with a measuring spoon and seems to be working well. (Just to be clear, I’m not sponsored by Yates, it’s just easy to get everywhere, and doesn’t break the bank)

I’ve also been applying some Opti Grow by Agrifert, and will switch that with one of their other products later. I will also freely admit I am the worst person for keeping track of what I am doing and formulating a plan, but this year I am doing pretty good with both of those. If you would like your own tracking sheet for your season, make sure to check out this free download.

The leaves have some small spots of yellow on them, which to me seems like a magnesium deficiency, so I have applied some epsom salts to the plant to hopefully remedy that.

Today or tomorrow I’ll also be setting up my micro irrigation and water timer as I need to make sure the plant doesn’t cook in the hot weather when I’m not at home for a couple of days over the next couple of months.

A new vlog episode will be here in a couple of weeks, how is your season going?

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