Sometimes I wish we didn’t have to grow through Christmas and New Years. I’m sure it would make my life a little bit easier.
But here we are, less then two weeks until Christmas, and the weather has been a little bit all over the place, this warm humid heat combined with the odd dumping of water seems to have made all the grass around here go crazy. Interestingly I was talking to an ex pat Irish person the other day and they were stating how they can’t get over just how fast the grass and weeds grow here. “at least in Ireland they were manageable” was her statement.
And while they are a pain, and most definitely a pain for me, hence the lack of photos in this post (until I clean up the patch) I think it reinforces just how well the growing conditions are here in NZ.
What you should be up to
Your giant pumpkin plant is will be growing out right now, and it is a good time to start burying parts of the main vine, to provide more anchorage for the plant. With the crazy weather and the wind we get the leaves of the plant act as little sails and rock the plant a lot, if it happens too much or is too windy it can cause stress in the vine and break or crack it. So make sure to keep an eye on that.
To help the plant stay in place you can use small bamboo sticks crossed over the vine to help pin it, but you will need to keep an eye on them as the plant grows, and may need to readjust or move ones you already have.
Coming into the warmer weather your plant will need water to help reduce the stress of the warmer weather and to help unlock nutrients contained within the soil to help the plant grow.
Ideally you want to keep your soil damp, but not soaking. If you can grab a bunch of soil and squeeze it and a few drops of water come out of it, it is looking good. Think about using a ground cover like pea straw or something similar, this reduces the amount of evaporation occuring and can help you use less water.
As for the amount of water, you will need to keep any eye on your plant and how the soil looks. Also take into consideration your water supply and how much you can spare, this is of great importance if you are only on a tank supply.
I started writing a draft blog post entry a few months ago, and decided to wait a while to see what the feeling was in the giant pumpkin growing community as a whole, but is will be published in the future and is all about greenhouses. Seeing as they have been in the media a lot espeically to do with the world records and how Beni grew his pumpkins.
What are your thoughts on them? Let me know and leave a comment below.