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Square Foot Gardening Forum
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Hello Guest!
Welcome to the official Square Foot Gardening Forum.
There's lots to learn here by reading as a guest. However, if you become a member (it's free, ad free and spam-free) you'll have access to our large vermiculite databases, our seed exchange spreadsheets, Mel's Mix calculator, and many more members' pictures in the Gallery. Enjoy.

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Post  llama momma 7/21/2012, 9:37 pm

Very Nice Job CarolynP!
145 lb. pumpkin Wow. Very nice job! From what I've been reading there are claims that suggest nearly all the info we need to grow giants is online. But I think people have secrets they're not sharing. The world pumpkin record currently is 1,818.5 lbs. I've seen online giant seeds go for 100 dollars a seed. My packet of Atlantic Giant seeds was $2.00 for 12 seeds. So I am skeptical that I could grow a true giant from those seeds even if I had lots of experience. But I'm having fun and learning.
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Post  CarolynPhillips 7/22/2012, 6:22 pm

I have fun growing the large stuff too even though they never reach world record. The largest tomato was about 3.25 pound Brandywine. They crack very easy cause they have thin skin. As soon as I see any color change , I pick them off the vine or hold back the water.

I will probably weigh the cantaloupe at the Co-Op by certified scales and leave it there for a few days on display. It is up to 46 inch circumference today and estimating 34 lbs. I have another one growing that is much much younger than that one and its already 32.5 inch cir.

I am getting mixed information about the giant sunflower. One says it will only bloom for about two weeks. Another says it will produce seeds 4 to 6 weeks. I need more info on that.
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Post  Josh 7/22/2012, 9:11 pm

WOW Carolyn that's some awesome BIG STUFF, be sure to put the final harvest pictures in the BIG STUFF photo album!!!

I fed Chubby Chumpkins sea wead fertilizer along with rabbit manure and worm compost and worm tea.

I have a BIG STUFF sunflower, but I didn't plant it, it came up in the blackberry SFG.
Big Stuff - Page 8 Sfgsunflower

about 81/2 inches across
Big Stuff - Page 8 Sunflower-1

The big ones I planted in my SFG never came up.
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Post  CarolynPhillips 7/22/2012, 9:25 pm

wow, a volunteer sunflower???? i didn't know the seeds would over winter in the garden.
Did you know giant sunflower roots can root down 4 ft? I didn't know it until after I planted mine. This is my first giant sunflower. If I had known that before, I would of made my bed a little deeper than normal. I am sure the feeder roots have traveled far away from the main bed also. Did you also know that you can plant the sunflower in a pre dug ditch and as it grows a couple feet above the ditch, you fill in the ditch around the trunk and this will help support the plant during storms so it doesn't blow over.
I will have plenty of seeds to share this Fall. (Russian Mammoth)
I thought about making a sfg bed next to the chicken coop next year for a giant sunflower and let the nutrient run off from the coop feed my sunflower. Twisted Evil
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Post  GWN 7/23/2012, 10:35 am

There is a lady who has a coffee shop here that has an incredible sunflower patch out front, that just seems to grow every year.
One year she tried leaving the heads there to grow, but none of the seeds grew.
She is convinced that the old roots grow, like a perennial ???
GWN
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Post  CarolynPhillips 7/25/2012, 1:36 pm

thats interesting GWN
It's gonna take an Axe to chop down this sunflower when its done. It has a huge trunk. Don't grow one in the pretty grid sfg. Grow them in a 3x3 all by itself.

The cantaloupe is up to 48 inch cir. OTT measurement is 112 in. It's estimating between 36 and 41 pounds. Alabama Corp. Ext is checking on the state record files.

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Post  CarolynPhillips 7/25/2012, 1:44 pm

Carrots Carrots and more Carrots. I have the large red flakkee seeds. They are suppose to grow up to 2 ft long. I have a raised concrete block bed with mels mix in it. I am going to raise the height up with a wooden frame so it actually has room to grow that deep. I have homemade barn compost and rabbit manure and bone meal to add to the soil. I will have to add it all the way to the bottom. Which is gonna take me several days just to get the bed ready before I sow the seeds. Sowing 30 seeds.
I saw a neat trick on youtube for growing giant carrots. You have a 3 ft deep grow box. Use a PVC pipe and push that pipe down into the soil and pull it up and all the soil is in the pvc pipe. Fill the hole with your special compost mix and sow your seed . I thought that was pretty cool idea.
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Post  llama momma 7/25/2012, 3:14 pm

Wow that sounds like fun. You've been doing a great job with your giant stuff!! Smile

I knew the Betty Boop pumpkin of mine didn't look right and she detached teh other day. Another one pollinated on its own and compared to the others Carrie Oakie looks so much stronger right from the start. I'm getting excited over this one.
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Post  CarolynPhillips 7/25/2012, 4:45 pm

awww. that is sad for better boop. wishing you lots of luck with the carrie oakie. flower
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Post  CarolynPhillips 7/26/2012, 4:25 pm

this soil is mels mix with existing soil. The most important growth factor is my freshly added compost which was about 3 gallons added to the 4x4 bed. The cantaloupe is 2 feet out from the stump. They say to let a giant grow 5 ft out but the one 5ft out cracked on the blossom end and had to cull it..

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Post  llama momma 7/26/2012, 4:36 pm

Yeah!!! That sure looks great to me! Are you watering multiple times a day? My pumpkin is getting watered twice a day for now. And I keep adding compost to the leaf nodes that produce a white root.
How long have you been growing big stuff? You seem to have a good knack for it. happy sunshine
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Post  CarolynPhillips 7/26/2012, 4:53 pm

I only water the cantaloupe once a day unless it rained a lot....then I only water when it starts drying up. I only watered it twice this week with no rain. I am afraid if I water too much that it will blow out. Big pumpkins take a lot more water. They can actually drink "40 gallons a day".......the whole plant if it covers a 500 square foot area. That alone is a large task with the big pumpkins.
I been growing giants off and on for 6 years.
I have ordered some seed for Giant Beets, Diakons, Rutabagas and Onions. I wanted the Kelsae onion seed but the only company I could find that sells them is out of stock but I am on the wish list for email confirmation. ......my giant cabbage seed have germinated. I only sowed three seed and two germinated so far.
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Post  llama momma 7/26/2012, 5:08 pm

Based on your watering numbers for big pumpkins, think I've been under watering the two vines. Thank you for sharing that info.
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Post  southern gardener 7/31/2012, 6:26 pm

This isn't a big "fruit" it's a big plant. Thought I'd share. If it's in the wrong spot, please move me!! This tomato plant is 12' across and no end in sight What a Face What a Face ! Crazy. All from a little tiny 1" seedling I found growing in some gravel a couple of months ago! It has literally hundreds of baby tomatoes and blossoms on it...there's a water bottle in front for "reference" size
Big Stuff - Page 8 Hugeto11
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Post  cheyannarach 7/31/2012, 7:48 pm

I'd say that deffinately belongs in the big stuff thread Southern Gardener! Wow that thing is a monster, have you decided what to do with the pruning!
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Post  southern gardener 7/31/2012, 8:17 pm

cheyannarach wrote:I'd say that deffinately belongs in the big stuff thread Southern Gardener! Wow that thing is a monster, have you decided what to do with the pruning!

I know! it's crazy! I think I'm gonna prune it back, and make it "fit" in the garden bed. I have cilantro, peppers and onions in there too, (salsa garden) and you can't even see them! I also have some pumpkins and sunflowers, kind of a hodge podge, but it's working! I want some of the tomatoes though! Silly plant tongue
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Post  CarolynPhillips 8/1/2012, 11:05 am

that is a big tomato plant. have you figured out if its regular size toms or cherry toms?

Big ugly windy storm came through and flattened my other pumpkin plant. It has a young pumpkin trying to grow. It's not a mels sfg at all. no where near it. I was hoping for a big fall pumpkin. I don't see it growing much with most of the leaves broken and laying on the ground.
The storm also nearly uprooted my giant sunflower. I don't expect it to get very big now. The bloom was measuring 15 inches a few days before the storm.
The giant cantaloupe is estimating 45 to 48 pounds but gotta take a few pounds off that and assuming its 42 pounds. The green color is lighter and i can smell cantaloupe.
I sowed my giant carrot seeds but I am assuming the heavy rains could of made the seeds float to the surface and I guess I should sprinkle a thin layer of soil over the surface just in case and then make a wire hoop over the bed and lay some burlap over it............all to have carrots cause I also sowed some danvers 126 in the same bed.
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Post  southern gardener 8/1/2012, 12:18 pm

CarolynPhillips wrote:that is a big tomato plant. have you figured out if its regular size toms or cherry toms?

Big ugly windy storm came through and flattened my other pumpkin plant. It has a young pumpkin trying to grow. It's not a mels sfg at all. no where near it. I was hoping for a big fall pumpkin. I don't see it growing much with most of the leaves broken and laying on the ground.
The storm also nearly uprooted my giant sunflower. I don't expect it to get very big now. The bloom was measuring 15 inches a few days before the storm.
The giant cantaloupe is estimating 45 to 48 pounds but gotta take a few pounds off that and assuming its 42 pounds. The green color is lighter and i can smell cantaloupe.
I sowed my giant carrot seeds but I am assuming the heavy rains could of made the seeds float to the surface and I guess I should sprinkle a thin layer of soil over the surface just in case and then make a wire hoop over the bed and lay some burlap over it............all to have carrots cause I also sowed some danvers 126 in the same bed.

It appears to be cherry, I'm guessing sweet 100, but hoping for yellow cherry. Those were the best tomatoes I've ever eaten, bar none! I'm sorry about the wind knocking over your stuff. That's so irritating! We have a pumpkin plant growing down by the animals, and it's MASSIVE. i need to get down there and see if it's growing anything big. My grandson tells me there is. Keep in touch about your cantaloupe! WOW!!
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Post  gwennifer 8/1/2012, 1:30 pm

CarolynPhillips wrote:Did you also know that you can plant the sunflower in a pre dug ditch and as it grows a couple feet above the ditch, you fill in the ditch around the trunk and this will help support the plant during storms so it doesn't blow over.

I like this tip. Any idea how deep the ditch should be?
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Post  Josh 8/1/2012, 9:03 pm

CarolynPhillips wrote:this soil is mels mix with existing soil. The most important growth factor is my freshly added compost which was about 3 gallons added to the 4x4 bed. The cantaloupe is 2 feet out from the stump. They say to let a giant grow 5 ft out but the one 5ft out cracked on the blossom end and had to cull it..

Big Stuff - Page 8 100_3461

WOW all you BIG STUFF is GIGANTIC STUFF!!! cheers
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Post  Josh 8/1/2012, 9:04 pm

southern gardener wrote:This isn't a big "fruit" it's a big plant. Thought I'd share. If it's in the wrong spot, please move me!! This tomato plant is 12' across and no end in sight What a Face What a Face ! Crazy. All from a little tiny 1" seedling I found growing in some gravel a couple of months ago! It has literally hundreds of baby tomatoes and blossoms on it...there's a water bottle in front for "reference" size
Big Stuff - Page 8 Hugeto11
That's a HUGE tomato plant!!! Definitely BIG STUFF!! Big Stuff - Page 8 53366
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Post  southern gardener 8/1/2012, 9:12 pm

Josh wrote:
southern gardener wrote:This isn't a big "fruit" it's a big plant. Thought I'd share. If it's in the wrong spot, please move me!! This tomato plant is 12' across and no end in sight What a Face What a Face ! Crazy. All from a little tiny 1" seedling I found growing in some gravel a couple of months ago! It has literally hundreds of baby tomatoes and blossoms on it...there's a water bottle in front for "reference" size
Big Stuff - Page 8 Hugeto11
That's a HUGE tomato plant!!! Definitely BIG STUFF!! Big Stuff - Page 8 53366

Welp...i just "trimmed" it. I got about 4'x3'x3' worth of trimmings! and, the suspense is over, it's a red cherry tomato! Under all that foliage were some red tomatoes! Onions, loooong leggy sunflower, marigolds. It looks so different! AND I found my birdbath! LOL
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Post  CarolynPhillips 8/2/2012, 10:55 am

Sorry you had to prune it down some but it will probably be more healthier that way and you didn't want to miss out on those other veggies. It was so pretty........still is.

bounce
Taking the giant cantaloupe to the certified scale today at lunch time.
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Post  llama momma 8/2/2012, 11:31 am

Sounds like fun -- Best Wishes!
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Post  southern gardener 8/2/2012, 11:40 am

CarolynPhillips wrote:Sorry you had to prune it down some but it will probably be more healthier that way and you didn't want to miss out on those other veggies. It was so pretty........still is.

bounce
Taking the giant cantaloupe to the certified scale today at lunch time.

Oh boy....let us know what it weighs!! wow!
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