Centre of sunflower

Happy New Year and Update Time

Hi there, Happy new year and welcome to 2014.

Hopefully 2013 was good to you and if it hasn’t been never fear as 2014 is here and it is time for more resolutions and another year to get out there and get stuff done.  This post covers what happened in 2013, what I want to do in 2014 and the usual update of what has been happening over the last week.

2013 in review

2013 was a pretty good year for myself and the website.  Here are some of the things that happened in 2013.

  • I moved house yet again, to a more permanent set up
  • The design of the website was changed and has been tweaked to what you see now
  • There was a total of 54 blog posts in 2013 up from 33 in 2012
  • I got to hang out with some pretty cool people over the year
  • I’ve taken more photos then I ever have of everything I have been doing

With the good there has to be some bad and the main thing for 2013 for myself was the severe leg and back pain I ended up with, it started of being diagnosed as a hamstring problem but then it turned out I had Sciatica.  Thanks to my amazing Osteopath for all his help with it, and getting an MRI for myself to make sure of the diagnosis.

It is a long term thing which apparently will come right and it has effected me a few times throughout the year and is currently effecting me right now as I type this.  Lots of stretches, losing weight and being careful is what I am doing to help with this.

What is 2014 going to bring?

Well there is always a lot of unknown but the plan for 2014 is:

  • The pattern of regular updates to continue
  • Update information on the website continues
  • More video of both what I am up to, plus other growers and events
  • Just more pumpkin goodness throughout the year
  • To get more engagement from everyone, get more of a community feel on the go
  • Hopefully have some competitions on the website
  • Have some guest posts on the website

As for other things, more work life balance is the plan for 2014 and more travel around the place.

What are your plans for 2014?  Anything exciting in the works?  Let us know in the comment below, or leve a comment on the Facebook page.

Update on the patch and everything else that is growing.

Time for the update bit, this week I spent Christmas day in Tauranga and came back home on boxing day, on the 27th I went and hung out in Rotorua until the 30th and came back home.  It was good to see everyone and hang out, I also managed to go zip lining at Canopy Tours Rotorua, an amazing experience and I recommend to everyone.  Here is a video of what I have been up to in the last week or so (nothing pumpkin related in it)


These have been growing well and are pretty much a hassle free type of plant to grow, there are fruit appearing on most of the plants, although it can take a bit of rummaging around under the leaves to find them, I’ll have to keep an eye out for when they are all mature and it is time to take them off the vine.

Miniature Growing

The ones in the pot are producing fruit and I am happy with how the experiment has been going, the trick is to only have the one plant in the pot.

Growing from the pot


I’ve been growing the Russian giant sunflowers which were given to me by Project Sunshine Aotearoa and they have started to open up and flower, I’m sure I probably should stake them at some point to prevent them from falling over, will need to look into that.

Sunflower Open

Sunflowers standing tall

Centre of sunflower

Giant watermelons

Each plant has one watermelon on it at the moment, they are looking good.  Need to make sure they keep getting watered when it gets super hot.

Giant watermelon

Giant Watermelon #2

Giant Pumpkins

Lots of growth going on here, first off we have the unknown plant in the pot taking off, it is growing next to the miniatures and the sunflowers, no pumpkins on it yet, but it won’t be long until some appear.

Good growth on unknown pumpkin

The generic one from Mitre 10 isn’t doing anything at all really and I will put that down to poor soil.

Giant Watermelon #2

The forgotten seedling is in the ground and is still alive, and is ages away from doing anything but it should be good for when someone wants a pumpkin really late in the season.

Forgotten seedling

With the three main ones I decided to take to all the grass and weeds with the weed eater today, really cleaned the place up and I will be applying weed killer to it all very carefully over the next couple of days to really get rid of everything.

My 1329 Menting has a self pollinated pumpkin on it at the moment, I am laving it on there to see if the plant actually grows some more, it seems to be going slowly.

1329 Menting plant

The 808 Niewenhoff #1 plant has a couple of self pollinated pumpkins on the vine at the moment, there is one on  the main vine where I want it, but if a flower forms further out on the vine I will use that one instead.

808 Niewenhoff growing well


The 808 Niewenhoff #2


A lot of this slowish growth can be put down to the soil and how much nutrients are in it, as the exact same plant planted at someone else’s place is doing extremely well, I will need to sort out the soil here before next years season, nothing like a challenge.

Stuff I brought this week

I didn’t have a pair of secateurs or something similar, so I decided to get this the other day:

Fiskars 9920 garden multi snip

It is the Fiskars 9920 garden multi snip with sheath, it has very sharp blades which are basically double sided allowing you to cut things without opening them, they should last a long time.

So there we go, a pretty big update, with only 3 months to go until The Great Pumpkin Carnival it sure is exciting to see what will grow.  Feel free to leave a comment below on how your pumpkins are growing.

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