Soil, buckets

Tiny Pumpkin Patch Prep and Seed Testing

Hey there.

I guess this is the first blog post for the 2024 growing season.

I’m following my new blog posting plan. The one where I post in the middle of each month. First with what I’ve done for the first half of the month. Then I talk about what I am wanting to do in the 2nd half of the month.

All to help me spread out my self imposed workload.

First Half of the Month

Getting Seeds for the Carnival

Thanks to Luke for donating some seeds for the pumpkin carnival. He came up and dropped those off. I gave him and his family a bit of a tour of Hamilton Gardens.

pile, pumpkin seeds, newspaper

Great to catch up. Thanks for the seeds.

Patch Prep

The more work you put into your pumpkin patch the better the results. Even if you are growing on a small scale or in a small area.

Planting Area

For me and the tiny patch 2.0 this means digging out the planting area. I’ve made it bigger this year.

I still have a lot of tree roots and a partial small stump to deal with, but managed to dig out more of it. It seems to have broken down more since last year which is great.

A large dirt pile.

For products I mixed in some of the biochar I still had on hand and got some bags of Tui Performance Organics Vegetable Mix.

organic, vegetable mix

I think there is a sweet spot when it comes to bagged products. If you go super cheap a lot of the bag seems to be made up of bark.

Expensive stuff I don’t feel is worth it.

These bags are normally $18 each. But were on special for Mitre10 Mega Club members for $12. So for now grabbed 2 of them.

All of that got mixed into the planting area.

About a week later I got some more of the Inzect Direct fertiliser products, Chirpiliser and Frassalizer.

Chirpalizer and frasserlizer insect fertliser

I also managed to track down some mushroom compost. Always hear good things about this. But it seems not easy to get from retail stores.

mushroom compost

I ended up with 3 flexi tubs of it. I mixed 2 of them up with the insect frass products and mixed that into the planting area. Due to it being covered I also watered it to help everything break down some more.

Soil, buckets

Rest of the Tiny Patch

Ideally I’d dig up the whole area.

But being realistic here. I don’t think it is worth doing without easy access in and out of the area to get rid of the top soil and the battle with the tree roots everywhere.

I’m going to do what I’ve done previously and dig near where the vines run. Allowing vine burying. Will keep you updated.

For now I have covered a 2m x 5m area with black polythene and staked it down. Via the heat of the sun the grass should be killed off.

yarn, picnic table.

I got different plastic stakes this year and they are working really well at holding it down.

Starting Test Seeds

I’ve started some seeds as partly a test to see how well they germinate and partly to have them growing ahead of when I actually need to them so I can make content. I would normally start seeds sometime near the middle of October.

I’d use the growing timeframe calculator to help me plan that date.

Giant pumpkin seeds

I started them the normal way I do. Except without the heat pad underneath them. The jury is still out if this is going to work.

After 5 days of nothing much happening. I soaked them in seed soak, a product I forgot I had. I then set up the heat mat.

digital meter, black container.
A labeled black container.

This gave me the results I was expecting and all 3 seeds have germinated.

Seeds, wooden floor.
Two pots of soil with a small seed in them, gardening.

I’ve also just started a variety of other seeds to test their germination rate as well.

Scheduling a lot of Content

I’ve changed up some of the tools I’ve been using to make content and streamlined my process a bit.

It’s sort of a double edged sword. You want to make content to get people interested, share their updates and get more people growing. But it can be time consuming.

All the Show us Sunday prompts have been made and scheduled. I’ve also started making the A-Z of giant pumpkin growing posts as well.

I’ll have to see how I go during the growing season.

YouTube Video

Second Half of the Month

PH soil test

I was going to do this. But I think I am just going to wing it. The reason for that is I have so much product piled up. I’m not sure if I will get a good result with the at home test kit.

It’s easy enough to do, so I’ll have a look later.

Keeping cats away

One thing I need to look at is the best cost affective way to keep cats away from the patch.

There’s 2 or 3 that like to come around and crap everywhere. I’d rather not deal with that.

I’ve had some suggestions already so will research this some more and come up with a plan.

Seed Starting

I will need to set up the whole seed starting area down in the garage. This involves the heat mat and the LED grow light.

I’ve already got seed raising mix.

I also need to work out my seed starting schedule. This allows me to have back ups just in case.

Watering Items

I hooked the hose back up to the tiny patch. That’s all good. I need to look into different sprinklers and see what type would work best for the small area.

Work out what I’m doing with the Carnival

I stepped down as the president at our AGM, which was the best decision for me.

I’m currently re-evaluating what if anything I want to do with the Carnival moving forward.

There’s a couple of reasons behind that. Which I won’t go into here. But it would free up some of my time to work on my own things and also free up some space at my house, once the Carnival stuff is picked up.

How’s September Shaping up for You?

Are you growing in the 2024 season? What have you done already? Or are you still to get things organised?

Let me know by leaving a comment below, I’d love to hear from you.

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