Whats been happening – week ending 01-12-2013

Woah already into December, time is sure ticking by at a rapid rate and things are growing well, this is the update for what has been happening here this week.

Most of Saturday was taken up by a trip up to Corromandel to go fishing near the mussel farms, no luck with the fish but I managed to pull in 3 undersized snapper, more then what most of the other people achieved, was a great day but long and tiring.

Giant Pumpkins

These are all looking well with one of the 808 Nieuwenhoff seeds really starting to push out it’s vine and get the growing going.

Starting to grow outwards now
Starting to grow outwards now

The others are looking good as well and producing more leaves and vines.

Visitors and Watermelons

Tim was kind enough to drop by and give me a couple of giant watermelon plants to have a crack at growing, these were the two I got off him:

272 Edwards

249.5 Brammer

Watermelon Plant

With them being very tall in the pot and being very susceptible to breakage due to wind, I dug a slanted hole for each plant and planted them sort of on there side, allowing their vines to rest on the ground without the need for support sticks, hopefully this approach works well and I will be having some watermelon to show later on in the season.

Watermelon planted on it's side to help the vines sit on the ground.
Watermelon planted on it’s side to help the vines sit on the ground.


The ones out in the open are looking really good with lots of growth happening and seem to be sharing their area with some weeds, but they will do fine and the not weeding won’t effect them much.

Miniatures hiding
Miniatures hiding

The miniatures in the pot seem to be doing quite well, they have a few yellow leaves which are ones dying off and new ones beneath them making an appearance, it also looks like a fruit has already set and is starting to grow, more photos of that next week for you.

Stuff I brought this week

I thought I would get my hands on some bales of pea straw for the patch

Pea straw
Pea straw

It turns out it is in short supply around here with only a couple of places stocking it.  So after some enquiries I was able to track some down via the good people at Captain Compost

The benefits of using pea straw are:

  • A natural mulch
  • Improves soil structure
  • Improves drainage
  • Suppresses weeds
  • Adds nitrogen to soil
pea straw bale in the car
A bale in the car

These set me back $25 a bale and was the price everywhere I contacted, according to the people I spoke to it is usually made down in the South Island and there is problems with getting small bales sometimes and supply can be hard especially when it is a very dry summer as everyone wants to use it.

It is interesting to note though that you can get this for $8 a bale from suppliers down in the South Island on Trademe, just a shame we can’t  get it as cheap up here without all the transport costs.

Here are the giants with some of the pea straw around them.




To cover the 3 pumpkins above all it took was about 1/5th of a bale, I will be adding more to the patch as I clear out all the random grass.

It pays to get it wet before putting it down as it aids in keeping the straw from blowing away.

So that was the week for me and the pumpkins, how has everything been going for you?

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