Title: BERARD's 2006 Diary
Description: WETTER THAN LAST YEAR ?
Al Berard - May 24, 2006 03:07 AM (GMT)
Don't know if this year is wetter or not , at least I had a chance to harrow in the winter rye before the rain's came in southern Maine, N. H. , Mass. down to R.I. I know one thing when you receive 17 to 18 incces of rain in the first 20 days of the month and most of the growing area is in a low area vrs. a high area it will look like a swamp... and it does. When I figure out how to reduce the size of the photo's on this old computer to get them in this diary I'll get some uploaded.
Al Berard - May 27, 2006 02:13 AM (GMT)
Drastic weather means take drastic measures............
With the growing area looking more like a MUD BOWL , I decided to quit for the season & wait till next year............
Next move was to spend about 25 hours in the garden this week pumping , draining water , had my son scoop out mud with his small landscaping backhoe where I wanted to plant each seedling and I transfered somewhat dryer loam into those areas so I can start putting plants in the ground. Wish me luck. Anyone willing to spot me 150 lbs. at Windsor & 300 at Cumby ? 400 at Topsfield !
By the way , WE HAVE MORE RAIN FORCASTED FOR FRIDAY NIGHT & SATURDAY AM , JUST WHAT WE NEED .
Al Berard - June 3, 2006 01:40 PM (GMT)
Here it is the 3rd of June and IT's RAINING AGAIN ! Last weekend's nice weather was what I was hoping was the start of a nice long stretch of warm weather. WRONG ! Got the growing area drained and the plants in the ground May 27.... about 2 weeks later than normal, and it's raining again........
Some plants have thier vines starting out and the leaves look healthy , so far.
TLISH, where's your update ??? Bill ??? J P ??? Elroy ??? Ron ??? ANYONE ?
Guest - June 5, 2006 02:05 AM (GMT)
Latest rainfall here from Friday night through late Saturday night ( June 2 and 3 ) was another 3 inches , unbeleavable .... 20 inches of rain in the past 30 days here in Sanford . If I try to walk near the plants I sink in MUD. I should of planted RICE !
Al Berard - June 6, 2006 04:40 AM (GMT)
BTW , that last post was by me , diden't notice the web site did not have me logged in..........
EMorgan - June 6, 2006 06:11 AM (GMT)
oh Geez Al I thought someone hacked your post.It said guest but then,mud ,rain,20 inches of it I figured it was Al!Hey any good fish in your garden!I'm looking for a good fishing hole hee hee just kidding Al Just under 2 inches here but my garden can still be walked on.Stil nothing like last year when it was water all over the garden and even ducks came around in May. Oh by the way more rain is comming for thursday and friday and lingering into saturday!The latest I heard!Elroy
Al Berard - June 7, 2006 06:05 AM (GMT)
You don't need to remind me of the forcast Elroy, I ride a motorcycle to work when I can and as you may know lately I've been in the car more than normal. I just would like to give the seeds I have going a decent chance to proove somewhat of what they can do.... Hope we have a hot September, thats all I can say.
EMorgan - June 8, 2006 06:06 AM (GMT)
Now Al I heard we're going to have the same weather all summer.They say around the sanford area is going to rain all summer long.I also heard it was because of the 666 day we had on tuesday and you been nauahgty so you get a 7 year bad luck from mother nature.Its cool now since I might beat ya hee hee Just kidding AL Elroy
Al Berard - June 22, 2006 05:28 AM (GMT)
Here it is June 22 , the first full day of summer and my worst plant is looking like it's the 582 Hester with only a 14 inch vine and the best looks to be a tie between the 703 Berard and the 978.6 Berard as they both have vines close to 8 feet long. I had a female flower open Monday Am at 5 1/2 feet out and would of set fruit for the fun of it but none of my plants had a male flower open and no one in my area had a male opening Monday so we'll wait for the next female to open in a week or 2.
That 582 has been growing in slow motion since I put it in the ground. It must B messed up as it put out about 15 tiny leaves before a vine started to show up. I pinched most of the tiny leaves off & will C what happens.
The surface mud had dried but I don't trust it yet to drive the tractor with the harrow on to it because it might sink because it still is plenty wet under the surface. I can get on there with my small tiller so I'll do that before the next round of rain comes as soon as Thursday night.
Cuke beetles and squash bugs are under control , next up the SVB in July.
Al Berard - June 24, 2006 02:52 AM (GMT)
Quick update. With the forcast of 2 to 4 inches of rain for Friday night till Sunday here in So. Maine I took the chance and drove through the garden with the tractor & harrow to knock under weeds and straw that were at least 2 feet high in some places. Had to fill in the trench my son dug for me a few weeks ago to help drain the muddy water & help lower the water table so I could get back and forth. Tractor bogged down a few times going through the muddy loam but at least I'm ahead of the weeds for a while. WE DON'T NEED ANY MORE RAIN !!!
Guest - June 26, 2006 02:43 AM (GMT)
What did you do on your Sunday afternoon. Well I spent a couple of hours rototilling around the pumpkin plants to try to get the soil to start DRYING . A couple of them started to look OK but others were just wet chunky MUD . Still have some areas with water puddles an inch or so deep. There is clay under the loam so draining the water slow. One of the good plants has a female flower going to open at about 8 feet in a couple of days. I think I'm going to set it & see what happens.
Here it is 10:45 Sunday night and it's RAINING AGAIN ! Give me a break .....
Al Berard - June 26, 2006 02:47 AM (GMT)
For some reason I wasen't logged in on that last post. Keeps doing that to me.
Al Berard - June 30, 2006 04:31 AM (GMT)
Attaching photo of my oldest son digging a trench in mid May to help lower the water table as the patch was pure mud...... hope it comes through.
Al Berard - June 30, 2006 04:41 AM (GMT)
It worked ! Anyway , you can see what I have been dealing with for 7 weeks now. Besides THE TRENCH , I had him dig holes in the lowest areas so the water could gather faster so I could pump it out using 2 pumps, one gas and one battery powered. I got the small tractor stuck Thursday rototilling in the lower area so it's gonna be a while before I can finish that. The plants I have growing are looking OK , running behind last year a little but last year they were running behind the year before. Gotta keep spraying for cuke beetles as thier are a lot of em this year around here.
Al Berard - July 10, 2006 03:04 AM (GMT)
Found another shot of the mud patch taken in mid May in case anyone wanted to look at it. Hope it works..
My plants are looking OK right now still behind but started setting fruit around the 9 to 12 fot zone. A couple plants have not shown female fruit ready to open and won't until around July 18 to 20. Still not as bad as it could be for getting planted 2 weeks late. Need sunny days & WARM nights.
Al Berard - July 17, 2006 03:14 AM (GMT)
The effects of over 4 inches of rain is starting to show . Lost the primary pumpkin on one plant , about the first I pollinated , rotted. Have noticed at least 4 or 5 backup pumpkins on other plants turn from a shinny yellow to a dull yellow which means they have rotted. Not much room on some plants to pollinate any new fruit. Got a chance to do some weeding & pruning and will rototill Monday to try & keep whats left growing. One bit of good news the beauchemin 500 , also an early set is growing so quick that I can't get an accurate measurment, which might mean she's gonna blow any time.
Al Berard - July 26, 2006 04:26 AM (GMT)
Not much new going on except when we got more rain over the weekend it came in half inch to one inch slugs rather than the 2 to 4 inches we were getting. What ever pumpkins are growing have slowed down as the roots are waterlogged . I plan on rototilling Wed. to get some soil loosened up but there's chances of thunder storms Wed, Thurs & Fri ......... Not much sense in putting an entry in the diary if there ain't much going on....... I heard a rumer someone near the coast has one over 300 pounds as of July 24.
Al Berard - August 5, 2006 01:58 AM (GMT)
Rumer has it that pumpkin somewhere near the seacoast was taping 375 near the end of July , could end up being a new Maine record, who knows....
My plants are doing better now that we R in mid summer but still got problems, after dealing with spring floods and being pushed behind 2 weeks , dealing with muddy conditions ,cuke beetles , squash bugs and now the dreaded squash vine borer . After finding 2 suspect areas I ended up digging out 9 borer worms out of 3 different plants this week. Check your main vines from the stump out the first 6 feet or so look for a little bulging in the vine and a bit of wet sawdust like material on the ground . Your lucky if ya don't have any.
Did a few measurments and have a couple 200 plus and August is "growing month" , if they can do 500 to 600 this month they will B in good shape for September. Gonna have orange ones and gonna have cream ones.
Al Berard - August 18, 2006 02:26 AM (GMT)
Thanks to a cool spell during the past week daily gains have been mild compared to what they could do in mid August . I diden't think I'd have one to bring to Windsor but there's a couple going pretty good and that may change my mind... we'll see .
Good thing I put in a couple of extra plants in as tomorrow I will be pulling out the 582 Hester plant as the 3 fruit that were set all went soft .
It's bad enough I have to deal with so many cuke beetles on the plants now they are biting into the skin of some of the giant pumpkins and removing some of the orange. I mixed up a batch of old liquid 7 and washed the pumpkins with a sponge so I hope that stops the biting. Yesterday I picked some sweet corn and they were in the top of the silk trying to get to the corn.
Have not heard any updates for a couple weeks about the big one growing down near the coast , back then it was closing in on 400 lbs.
Al Berard - September 5, 2006 04:50 AM (GMT)
Pretty quiet in here with less than 3 weeks to go for Cumberland Fair........ Ch. 13 weatherman was talking tonight about a possible Hurricane on the East Coast next week , that's all we need to finish us off and wash the pumpkins away. Ask me at the fair about my new record I MIGHT have this year.... GOOD LUCK 2 ALL
Al Berard - September 6, 2006 05:53 AM (GMT)
Forgot 2 mention the fruit on the 994 Whittier plant split at a dill ring then a day or 2 later it split on the oppisite side .... It's still growing , only at 550 or so right now.
EMorgan - September 6, 2006 05:55 AM (GMT)
A new hurricane maybe comming our way and it may effect anywhere from florida to Maine!They say new England is overdue for a powerful hurricane.Hmmm bring it on!! Elroy
Al Berard - September 11, 2006 03:53 AM (GMT)
Looking good to miss that Hurricane , might just skim Nova Scotia Mid week. Gonna get cool overnight. Cover your big ones with blankets to keep them from shivering .......
WATCH THE STEM AND BLOSSOM AREA ( and "d" rings) CLOSE AS THIS IS THE TIME LOTS OF SPLITS OCCUR ......... I think I just heard one. See ya in 2 weeks.
Al Berard - September 17, 2006 04:24 AM (GMT)
THIS IS IT !!! READY TO LOAD......... :P