Campaign: Diary of a pumpkin grower

Diary of a pumpkin grower

Week 35-38: August 29 - September 25

Project 3: Giant Cucumbers

In the final four weeks of the project, all four plants were beyond help in terms of aphid and powdery mildew infestations and all four cucumbers were just about done growing. I had previously kept both infestations under control using CANNACURE but after nine days away on holiday, it was too late.

With six days until the Malvern Show I started de-leafing the plants to limit spread onto other plants in the tunnel. After a few snips on the largest cucumber plant I realised I had cut the main vine. Oh well, a little early to be removing the cucumbers but at least I could get some weights.

The heaviest cucumber weighed 8.53 kg which I'm pretty happy with since it's my first time growing giant cucumbers but I'm sure that plant health alone can be improved on in 2017 to achieve better results. Having seen how well CANNACURE worked I know that I need to start using it much earlier to ensure that aphids and powdery mildew will not take hold. Some shading of the cucumbers to slow the ripening process down should also help.

X4 Giant Cucumbers grown in Coco Professional Plus (20L per plant)

At the Malvern Autumn Show there were approximately 20 entries in the Giant Vegetable Competition so I couldn't believe that I came 3rd place at 8.48 Kg. Since picking the fruit 6 days ago this cucumber lost 50 g in weight (i.e 50 mL of water).

As growing the giant cucumbers on CANNA Coco Professional Plus has been a breeze, it was no surprise that 1st and 2nd places were taken by two growers also growing on CANNA COCO and with CANNA nutrients and additives. Peter Glazebrook achieved a new personal best of 11.98 kg to take first place and David took second place with a weight of 10.92 kg.

Winning cucumbers all grown with CANNA

Project 2 – Pumpkin (Soil)

As per the cucumber project, there was little to do in the final weeks although the pumpkin did continue to put weight on. In the grand scheme of things the pumpkin is not particularly big, ultimately the result of neglect as a result of time being taken up by other projects. So.... there was no pruning, no vine burying, pretty much no care, just irregular irrigation with CANNA Terra Flores and CANNABOOST. Always makes me wonder 'what if I had done more?'

I was very surprised and pleased to take 1st place with a weight of 555 lbs. With the good summer we have had this year, I really should have made it 1000 lbs but there you have it, if you don't put in the work and go the extra mile, the plant doesn't either. The cheesy photo below was taken purely for a joke between a few friends having a friendly competition.

2016 Winning pumpkin: 555 lbs

Week 33-34: August 1 - August 14

Project 3: Giant Cucumbers

After returning from holiday in week 34, I could see that cucumber No.3 had turned orange and was pretty much done growing along with No.1. No.1 does have another cucumber further along the vine and this will be left to grow to see if it can amount to something. Cucumbers No.2 and No.4 are both from David Thomas's WR cucumber and are the largest of the four. They still have some green colouring and I have been told by David that if they have this then they will still be growing.

X4 Giant Cucumbers in Coco Professional Plus (20L per plant)

Cucumber No.2 is the largest and will be my best option for competing at the Malvern UK Giant Vegetable Championship on the 24th and 25th September.

As previously mentioned, watering has been carried out via a timer set to water for 1 minute intervals at 09.00, 11.00, 13.00 and 15.00. Each interval delivers 0.7 L giving a total of 2.8 L per day. In 2017 I plan to grow a larger selection of giant cucumbers with different watering/fertilisation strategies for each line and using different substrates (Terra, Coco and Clay pebbles). At present the cucumbers continue to be watered with CANNA Coco A & B (EC of 2.2 and pH of 6.1) along with the following additives: CANNABOOST (2 mL/L), CANNAZYM (2.5 mL/L) and RHIZOTONIC (0.5 mL/L).

Up until my holiday the use of CANNACURE was working very well at controlling the aphids and powdery mildew but after 11 days away with no spraying the infestation of both had got out of control. But, I was pleased to see a biological control at work in the form of a natural predator; the lady bird larvae.

Time to leave them to do their work while the cucumbers are in their final stage of growth before the upcoming event.

One of the many ladybird larvae at work on the cucumber plants

In 2017, CANNACURE will be used early on as a preventative measure to prevent both powdery mildew and aphids.

Project 2 – Soil

Best advice I have been given but always fail to follow is: “only grow what you can give proper care and attention to”. Having put all my eggs in one basket with the coco project I was unable to care for this plant. It continues to grow without my help but is only a fraction of what it could have been.

The two pictures below show the difference in growth between weeks 32 and 33. Just 58 lb increase for the week.

Week 32 end: Estimated weight: 181 lbs / 82 Kg

Week 33 end: Estimated weight: 239 lbs / 99 Kg

Week 31-32: August 1 - August 14

Project 1 - Coco

Sadly the coco project has come to end as a result of the pumpkin aborting growth. It is still very hard to pinpoint what went wrong. The plant development was above and beyond the other plants in the patch and it looked extremely healthy. Things that were done better this year:

  • EC & pH has been in the coco has been closely monitored/managed.
  • Moisture content in the coco has been managed well
  • Humidity in the tunnel has been better managed, lots of air refreshment and there has been minimal guttation in the leaves

Sometimes it just comes down to bad luck when growing giant pumpkins which is why many growers will start out for example with six plants but only make it to the end of the season with one or two pumpkins.

But, not to be defeated I will try again next year as I have every bit of confidence in this way of growing. I just need to crack it!

Project 2 – Soil

Whilst the pumpkin is growing slower than I would like (20 lbs per day is good) it is growing well considering it has received minimal care in terms of vine pruning and burying. It is putting on a modest gain of 12.4 lbs per day which I hope will result in a pumpkin over 500 lbs. Once you realise that you are not going to be setting a new personal best, your goals change and mine is now to finish the season with something half respectable. Unfortunately it will not be the prettiest pumpkin but that's just luck of the draw when you a grow an unproven seed. Fertilisation continues with CANNA Terra Flores (7L/1000L).

The two pictures below show the difference in growth over the last seven days.

Week 31 end: Estimated weight: 94 lbs / 39 Kg

Week 32 end: Estimated weight: 181 lbs / 82 Kg

Project 3 - Giant Cucumbers

At the beginning of Week 32 I lost one of the Cucumber plants since I was late in providing support to take the weight of the cucumber. As a result the vine slipped down the string and broke before the cucumber. The remaining four have now been supported with CANNA Lanyards, one end around the stem of the cucumber the other clipped on to the metal cable above.

X5 Giant Cucumbers in Coco Professional Plus (20L per plant)

At present, cucumbers No.1 and No.3 (from left to right) look like they are starting to turn yellow. If they do then they will still continue to grow albeit a lot slower. Cucumbers No.2 and No.4 are still nice and green at the moment and measure 27” in length and have a circumference (at the widest point) of 17”. I am hoping these two will continue growing to around 33” in length (that's a happy target).

The plants have touches of powdery mildew on the lower leaves and a growing infestation of black aphids. However, I am having success keeping both these issues under control with regular spraying with CANNACURE. So far so good! Having been a 'just pumpkin only' kind of grower I can now see myself growing a variety in 2017.

As per the previous report, the four cucumber plants shown continue to be fed with Coco A&B and RHIZOTONIC (0.5 mL/L) but are also being given additives CANNAZYM (2.5 mL/L) and CANNABOOST (2 mL/L). The EC is maintained at EC 2.3 and the pH is set to 6.1.

This week I noticed a new cucumber (approx 2”) on plant No.1 and I will be letting it grow to see what it can do between now and the Malvern Autumn Show at the end of September. It should do well considering the yellowing cucumber will not be drawing so much from the plant.

Week 29-30: July 18 - July 31

Project 1 - Coco

From the end of week 28 and through week 29 the weather had been good with lots of sunshine although there were some very hot days. I could see the plant respond well in growth although many new leaves got damaged in the sun and so I had to remove approximately 15 in total. Fortunately there were active growing tips nearby to fill in with new leaves and by the end of week 29 the patch was 100% full.

Patch is 100% full

The pollinated pumpkin quickly developed a stem split which was getting bigger daily. However, it was kept dry (not hard being in a tunnel), was dusted with sulphur and eventually stopped growing and therefore did not continue into the pumpkin.

Stem split treated with sulphur

Pumpkin 17 days after pollination (a slow starter)

By the end of week 30 it was starting to look like the pumpkin in the Coco patch was starting to abort since growth was slowing up, the skin was not very tight and shiny and the pumpkin is far too orange for its age. We will see what will become of it over the next week or so but it is now getting too late to pollinate another female flower and produce anything of worth from it.

Pumpkin 23 days after pollination (aborting?)

Project 2 - Soil

Apart from good weather, time is the other thing lacking for me this year and as a result the soil patch has been neglected. I try to remember the advice I was given once not to grow more than I could look after properly. So, I made some time to hook up the irrigation lines and gave the very dry patch (approx 400 sq feet) a drench (7L Terra Flores in 1000 L). As you can see, the pumpkin that sat doing nothing for a while responded nicely and continues to grow well.

Project 3 - Giant Cucumbers

The five cucumber plants shown continue to be fed with Coco A & B and RHIZOTONIC (0.5 mL/L) but are also being given additives CANNAZYM (2.5 mL/L) and CANNABOOST (4 mL/L). The EC is maintained at EC 2.3 and the pH is set to 6.1.

I now have a single cucumber set on each plant and have been removing any side shoots and flowers. The main vine I am allowing to continue and this is being grown horizontally along the support line above.

X5 Giant Cucumbers in Coco Professional Plus (20L per plant)

Week 27-28: July 4 - July 17

Project 1 - Coco

Week 27 was a good one simply because I pollinated two females, one on the 8th and the other on the 10th. Usually come pollination time there is a shortage of male flowers from which to take pollen from but this was not a problem this year as each morning there were at least 5-6 male flowers to choose from. However, now that the pollinations have been made I have been removing the remaining male flowers so that the plant can use the energy for the pumpkin(s).

During week 27 I noticed differences in the water pressure feeding the top and bottom ends of the tunnel. The bottom end is where the bulk of the root mass is and also where the highest pressure is found on the irrigation lines. Extra water here is not a problem at the moment. However, I decided to check the EC & pH in the coco for both ends as my concern was that the top end will start to increase in EC should there not be sufficient root mass in that area. So far no problems (see 'facts' table below) but the pH of the nutrient needs to be raised to counter the pH drop in the substrate as a result of potassium uptake. Pumpkins eat a lot of potassium so keeping an eye on pH in the medium will be very important.

The facts:

 Week 27Week 28
Watering EC 3.4, pH 5.8
150 L/day
EC 3.2, pH 5.9
200 L/day
Measured Top half: EC. 1.8, pH 5.7
Bottom half: EC. 1.7, pH 5.5
Not measured
Plant Area (336 sq ft) 70% 80%
Nutrient tank (1000L) Coco A&B (6,3L)
Coco A&B (5,9L)
Pollination 1. 8/7 (854.5 x self)
2. 10/7 (854.5 x self)

The following picture was taken in week 28 and shows pollination No.1 five days after pollution (5 DAP). Pollination No.2 is of limited interest at the moment but that could change. The CANNA football is included as size reference object.

Project 2 - Soil

To date I have mentioned very little about the outdoor grown plants in soil. This is because they are not being fertilised with CANNA nutrients as I have not needed/been able to water them due to the excess of rain. However, a pollination was made on 11th July and I will see how the baby pumpkin develops before deciding the fate of project 2.

Project 3 - Giant Cucumbers

Both sets of giant cucumbers are doing great and are in completely different locations of a polytunnel at another site.

All nine plants are in 20 L pots. The five plants in Coco Professional Plus are near the tunnel entrance and the Bio Terra grown plants are in the middle of the tunnel. Due to the location of the coco grown plants, the plant closest to the entrance has suffered some heavy leaf tip burn as a result of a constant lower relative humidity around the plant due to an open door.

The coco grown plants at present are being fed four times a day via a drip system. Each watering interval is for 1 minute in duration and delivers 0.7 L a time (2.8 L per day). The plants are being fed with Coco A&B and Rhizotonic (0.5 mL/L) at EC 2.2 and pH 5.9. The plants are currently about 6 feet high and side vine growth is being pruned off. In week 29 I will be aiming for a single fruit set on each plant.

The picture below is of one of the four plants grown in CANNA’s Bio Terra Plus. The BIOCANNA range is being used from start to finish with these plants and they are currently being fed with Bio Flores, BioBOOST and BioRHIZOTONIC. All watering is done by hand. So far I am very happy with these plants and am intrigued to see how they compete with the plants in coco.

Week 25-26: June 20 - July 3

Project 1

In week 25, despite the poor weather and lack of sunshine, everything was looking good. The plant was developing nicely and the leaves were a good colour. Everything was good and there was a female flower developing nicely in a good position on the main vine. Everything was great until one morning I thought it would be a good idea to move the main vine in to a better position for the pumpkin to be placed. I know the rules, don’t do it in the morning, don’t do it when the root pressure is high and definitely don’t push the vine too much in one go. I got a little greedy, pushed too much and snapped the end off the main vine complete with the attached female flower. Below is a picture before the break occurred.

Looking on the bright side (I have no choice) the plant will continue to grow. This means that when the next female is pollinated, a bigger plant will be feeding into the developing pumpkin since vegetative growth virtually stops not too long after pollination.

At the end of week 26, a female flower was detected at the end of a secondary vine. Whilst secondary vines generally yield smaller pumpkins, I have no choice. Now we enter the waiting game, waiting for the sunshine, for the plant to fill out and for the females to develop and open for pollination.

The facts:

 Week 25Week 26
Watering EC 2.8, pH 5.6
100 -150 L/day.
EC 2.9, pH 5.6
100 -150 L/day.
Measured EC 2,3 and pH 5.8 Not measured
Plant Area 45% 55%
Nutrient tank (1000L) Coco A&B (5L)
Coco A&B (5L)
Pollination None None

Week 23-24: June 6 - June 19

After a very busy fortnight I am keeping my reporting this week to just the coco grown pumpkin plant. In short, the cucumbers (project 3) in both CANNA COCO and BIOCANNA Bio Terra Plus are establishing themselves just fine but one of the long gourds was damaged by a feral cat and was therefore removed. The soil grown pumpkin plants are suffering from both the cold and too much rain and therefore have not been fertilised. But that doesn’t stop the weeds, far too many! By the next report (week 25-26) I hope to have lots of growth to report on all projects.

Project 1 – Coco

The difference a week or two of growth can make never fails to impress no matter how many times you grow these plants. At the end of Week 24 the plant measures 10 foot in length with a small female flower in the growing tip which will most likely end up at a distance of 12 feet once the vine stretches out. Once the growing tip opens up I’ll be able to work out which side of the vine the female flower will fall. This will enable me to start training the vine so as to place an s-shaped curve for the purpose of pumpkin placement to reduce future stem stress issues.

The irrigation lines continue to be added as the plant grows and it’s growing well despite the poor weather. The nutrient solution (CANNA Coco A & B and CANNA RHIZOTONIC) has been increased in EC to 2.8 and the pH is set to 5.6. This year, moisture in the coco is being managed better (too dry in 2015) and the open tunnel is having a positive impact on reducing guttation. So far so good!

Week 21-22: May 23 - June 5

Usual complaint but considering we are in June, the weather this past week has been dire! The plants think so too!

Project 1 – Coco

The irrigation lines are in on one half of the tunnel and they have been tested and give an even distribution of water. As the plant spreads both above and below ground, I’ll gradually add the drip lines two at a time until 100% coverage. Both plants were being watered with Coco A & B and RHIZOTONIC (EC 2.5, pH 5.6) but as you can see, one plant was removed. It was placed in the far corner of the tunnel with its main vine pointing out of the tunnel. I’m not sure if it will settle in but the idea is to keep it just as an additional pollinator.

Project 2 – Soil

Over the last two weeks I have been having a real big problem with wind. No kidding, the outdoor plant has been cold, the vine is compacted with short distances in between the nodes and the leaves have taken a battering. But… the weather has been warm over the last two days and I can see the 1004 Wagler (below) starting to pull out of it. A pumpkin plant can look terrible early on but once the weather picks up and it starts to grow you eventually forget that you had a problem.

The other contender for the project 2 place is the 500 Warren below (a reliable orange producer). Both plants need a little weeding around them (weeds cut at soil level, not pulled). Both plants are being watered with Terra Vega and RHIZOTONIC (EC: 2.0, pH 5.8). The 500 Warren below was sheltered a little longer that the 1004 Wagler above and you can see the difference in the plants. The 500 Warren is longer and not so compacted and this is due to the differences in relative humidity (high RH for the 500, low RH for the 1004).

Project 3 (unofficial)

Long Gourds:

Not a lot to report due to slow 'weather related' growth. Both plants are a little pale but this should change very quickly over the course of the next week.

Giant Cucumbers:

No complaints here. These plants are in a warmer tunnel in another location and have been planted into their final pots (20 L). These will be hooked up to a drip system with a timer. There are five plants in Coco Professional Plus being watered with Coco A & B and RHIZOTONIC (EC: 2.0, pH 5.6) and four plants in BIOCANNA Bio Terra Plus being watered with BIOCANNA Bio Vega and BIOCANNA BioRhizotonic.

Week 19-20: May 9 - May 22

Project 1 – Coco

Both plants are growing well. As per the 2015 project initial growth is lighter than the soil grown plants but I am not too concerned. They will colour up just fine in time.

During vegetative growth in general it is normal for the pH to go up as a consequence of nitrate uptake by the plant. If the pH in the medium is too high then this can limit the availability of nutrient elements, particularly trace metals, some of which are responsible for making the chlorophyll which gives leaves their green colour. Therefore I needed to find out if the light green leaves were anything to do with root zone pH.

Using the 1:1.5 extraction method, coco was taken (with 16mm tubing) from various spots around the plant then added to 150 mL of deionised water up to the 250 mL mark. The slurry was mixed, left for a defined period of time and then filtered.

The EC in the coco was determined to be 2.4 and the pH 5.9 so nothing unusual there since I am feeding Coco A&B at EC 2.3 and pH 5.6. What’s important is to carry out regular tests. If the EC in the substrate goes up, then I reduce my feed by EC 0.2 and so on.

In coco I aim to keep the pH between 5.5 and 6.2 for the entire grow with a bias towards 5.5 in the vegetative phase and 6.0 in the generative (flowering phase)

Project 2 – Soil

I have two soil patches at the growing location although project 2 nutrient supply is just for one plant. Since the plants are small, I decided it would be better to water them both with CANNA Terra Vega and RHIZOTONIC (EC 1.8 and pH 5.8) then select the strongest patch for the project. The keeper will be decided at the end of week 22 and photographs will follow.

The soil temperature for both plants is uncharacteristically high (20 oC) for the time of year and therefore the growth is good. The plants are slightly smaller than the coco plants but do have better colour.

Project 3 (unofficial)

Having wanted to grow a few other giant vegetables for a few years but never making time to do so, I couldn’t help myself this year. Two late additions are:

Long Gourds: These plants can produce gourds up to 12 feet long. Two plants have been placed at the end of the coco bed and these will be grown up and out of the tunnel. A frame will be made from reclaimed pallets. The key is to make it high enough just in case I can produce gourds of 10’ long or more. Both plants are at the Northern end of the tunnel and so the plants will not cast a shadow over the pumpkin plant.

Giant Cucumbers

Having acquired some seed from David Thomas (inc. 3 from his 2015 WR cucumber) I will be growing four plants in Coco Professional Plus along with four Plants ‘organically’ with BIOCANNA Bio Terra Plus. The Bio Terra grown plants will be treated to CANNA’s complete ecologic range (BIOCANNA) which includes Bio Vega, Bio Flores and additives BioRHIZOTONIC and BioBOOST.

All eight plants were started on the 11th May and with the use of a T5 light and a 24 hour light cycle, they have come on very quickly.

Week 17-18: April 25 - May 8

Project 1 – Coco

After a cold start the plants have picked up following good weather during week 18. Of the two plants, the one in the foreground is best in terms of root spread since it is further away from the border but the plant in the background is better in terms of vine training. Either way, providing there are no issues with either then the stronger plant will be kept.

Two changes this year are to do with climate control. As a rule I will be watering no later than 2pm each day but will generally opt for early morning watering after the coco has been warmed by the sun. The other change is to make sure the tunnel is opened every day. Whilst there is a benefit to keeping it closed in terms of maintaining a good temperature, to open the tunnel enables air movement and air refreshment. Air refreshment enables me to control the relative humidity and also increases the absolute amount of CO2 the plant receives. But with all things it is the balance that counts. A change still to be made is the installation of shade clothe to keep the leaves to continue transpiring in the heat of summer.

The far end of the tunnel contains approximately 5000 L of coco from last year and has been kept completely dry over winter. The EC and pH of the coco was tested using the 1:1.5 extraction method whereupon 100 mL of the coco was mixed with 150 mL of demineralised water. As a result of a low recorded EC (few nutrient salts in the coco) the bed was made wet and rinsed with 1000 L of water. Due to the warm weather in week 18 this was a good time to do this so that the coco didn't stay too wet. One of the changes made this year was to make it an open bed to allow for drainage.

Once the coco had drained and dried a little it was prepared for re-use by watering with a 500 L solution (pH 5.8) of COGr Buffer Agent (2 mL/L). After drainage/drying the coco was turned to loosen and aerate it. The coco is good to go and from this point on it will not be walked on other than through pallets laid into the bed.

Project 2 – Soil

Up until week 17, soil temperatures have been too low (10 oC max) and therefore the plants were kept in their pots. I like to get plants transplanted as soon as possible but this was the better option.

Although I will be fertilising the plant with Terra Vega, Terra Flores and supplemental PK 13/14, there is still the need to work towards balancing nutrient ratios in the soil. This forms part of a long term soil building exercise. Below is the soil analysis for this patch. Base saturation for Ca, Mg and K is not where I would like it to be and the pH is a little high (6.8 is good). Magnesium will be supplemented throughout the season via the irrigation system.

In 2015, project 2 patch was rested with a cover crop of vetch and grazing rye (see below). The cover crop was neglected and reached ridiculous heights until it was chopped down and covered up over winter to help the woodier parts break down.

Prior to transplanting the two 1004 Wagler plants, the following amendments were tilled into the patch: Epsom salts (6.35 kg, MgSO4), fish blood and bone (6.35 kg, 7-7-7) and potassium sulphate (3.18 kg, K2SO4) and with caution..... a solution of boric acid (40 g, H3BO3).

Week 15-16: April 11 - April 24

Project 1 – Coco

Over the past few weeks I have been gradually preparing the coco bed for the additional 5000 L of Coco Professional Plus needed for this year’s project. This required the lower half of the tunnel to be raised approximately 12” and levelled to create one flat bed.

The coco from last year has been pushed to the far end of the bed and once the water to the allotment is back on the coco will be flushed to remove any feeding elements from the previous grow, then it will be buffered with calcium and magnesium. The planting spots for the pumpkins will be in the fresh coco. When I say pumpkins, there will only be one but I always start with two plants then reduce down to the strongest.

A big change this year was going to have to be improved access to the plant. Therefore, small pallets have been sunk into the coco to act as stepping stones. The roots of the plant will be able to grow under and within the pallets.

The 5000 L of fresh coco was brought into the patch, 22 bags per car load. Once in the bed, the coco was covered to prevent moisture loss since too much time was wasted last year just watering an empty uncovered bed. The black plastic will also help to warm the substrate (currently at 18oC).

The seeds for project 1 (2 x 854.5 Frei 12) were started in Coco Professional Plus on 11th April and were transplanted into the patch on 24th April.

Each plant was watered in with Coco A&B and Rhizotonic (EC 1.5, pH 5.6) then covered up with an addition mini-tunnel for additional overnight protection.

The Grower:
CANNA´s relationship with Peter Geyelin started through the CANNA Sponsored Giant Pumpkin Project 2015 but it didn’t end there. Peter´s passion for Giant Pumpkins was infectious and now we at CANNA have a love of all things giant and believe that 'Size does matter'.

In 2015 we supported Peter with his soil grown plants but also challenged him to achieve a new personal best with CANNA Coco Professional Plus. We believed (and still do) that growing in Coco will enable Peter to have improved control in providing his plants what they need and when they need it.

We know that growing pumpkins takes a lot of skill, knowledge and hard work but ultimately the right climate conditions. When growing indoors there are steering factors that the grower can control for optimising growth. Growing outside as Peter does provides an entirely different challenge due to constantly changing weather conditions.

The limiting factor for Peter in 2015 was poor quality sunlight but still, a GOOD result was achieved in a bad year. The CANNA Sponsored pumpkin went 16% heavy and took first place at York Maze with a final weight of 672 lbs.

The Project:
We know that when the growing conditions are just right (e.g. improved light quality) that Peter has the skill and experience to achieve a new personal best of 1000 lbs and beyond. That is why we are extending our support through the CANNA Sponsored Giant Pumpkin Project 2016.

For the project, Peter will be growing two pumpkin plants, one on CANNA Coco Professional Plus (Project 1) and one on Soil (Project 2). Project 1 will be getting an upgrade in terms of patch size (150 sq ft to 300 sq ft) and this means bringing in an additional 5000 L of fresh Coco Professional Plus to bring the total volume (inc. 5000 L from 2015) to 10,000 L.

Growing medium: CANNA Coco Professional Plus Soil
Location: Polytunnel Outdoors
Patch dimensions: Approx 14' x 23' Approx 30’ x 20’
Root area (sq ft): 300 600
Vegetation area (sq ft): 336 600
CANNA nutrient: Coco A & B (5-4-3) Terra Vega (3-1-4)
Terra Flores (2-2-4)

For Project 1 (Coco), Peter will be using the corresponding CANNA Coco A/B nutrient. To improve plant health and growth, CANNA additives RHIZOTONIC, PK 13/14, CANNAZYM and CANNABOOST Accelerator will be used.

For Project 2 (Soil), Peter will provide supplemental feeding to the plant with CANNA TERRA Vega, TERRA Flores and PK 13/14.

Last year we said that the onus was on Peter to perfect his growing in Coco and Peter knows this all too well. One of the key changes Peter will be making this year is his watering strategy.

FACT: Under optimum growing conditions an Atlantic Giant Pumpkin covering an area of 300 sq ft will require approximately 140 L of water per day, sometimes more!