Farming Notes


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under construction This post is a work in progress, and may be updated at some point in the potentially distant future!

As a non-computer hobby, I grow a random assortment of fruits and vegetables. This page collects the knowledge about plantings, pests, and techniques I’ve found for getting better crop yields.

Note: I’m by no means a professional, and this page is as accurate as I can possibly make it. Don’t be upset if you follow and advice here and it doesn’t work for you. Do additional research about the methods described here to see if they are right for you!

Click image thumbnails to view full resolution.


picture of small green pumpkin picture of green pumpkin picture of green pumpkin in high grass picture of orange pumpkin picture of green pumpkin picture of green pumpkin pumpkins on vine

  • Planting Instructions here
  • Planted
    • 2016, 2017, 2018 - 5 jack-o-lantern plants, yielded 5 pumpkins.
    • 2019 - 20 plants
      • Miniature pumpkins
      • Jack-o-lanterns
      • Cinderella pumpkins
      • Sugar Pumpkins
      • Atlantic Giant Pumpkins

Pumpkin Pests

So far the only pest I’ve encountered are squash bugs & beetles.

  • Lady Squash Bugs

    lady squash beetle larvae lady squash beetle lady squash beetle

    These are NOT Ladybugs. If at fist glance it looks like ladybugs are consuming the leaves and fruit of, squash, cucumbers, etc, check this page out for a description!

    • To handle them, my method of removal is to use a jar of liquid dish soap + water, and gently brush them into it. I’m experimenting with potentially spraying leaves with soap water as a deterrent but prefer not to contaminate the area with chemicals (even if it is just soap). This also applies to normal Squash Bugs as well.
    • 2019: First squash bugs appeared 2019-06-28
  • Squash Bugs

    squash bug eggs squash bug larvae squash bug

    • Look like stink bugs
    • Their eggs are small golden brown dots that appear on the undersides and tops of leaves. These can be destroyed by removing the part of the leaf (which will damage the plant) or by removing them with duck tape. Crush them between your fingers until they pop to ensure they won’t hatch.
    • 2019: First squash bugs appeared 2019-07-04
  • Squash Vine Borers

    vine borer damage vine borer

    • Can be detected by a sawdust-like material outside of a crack in the vine.
    • Can be extracted by slicing the vine and removing.
    • Can also be handled by inserting a wire into hole if they haven’t burrowed too deep.
    • If you’ve been burying the vine to promote root growth along the entire length, i’ve been experimenting with simply removing the affected section and trying to determine how it affects yields and the vine’s overall growth.
  • Cucumber Betles

    striped cucumber beetle spotted cucumber beetle

    • These beetles feed on flowers and leaves, making them wilt and die.

Pumpkin Notes

  • 2019-05-25 Planted all varieties.
  • 2019-07-06 Lightly applied a 5-10-5 fertilizer around the atlantic giant plants.
  • 2019-07-20 Found multiple squash vine borers


picture of carrot harvest

  • Planting instructions here

  • Planted:

    • 2016, 2017, 2018 - 2 rows orange carrots.
    • 2019 - 1 row orange, 1 row blended.
    • 2019 - Planted additional rows


picture of dried corn on stalk picture of dried corn picture of dried corn on plate corn growing in rows corn silk emerging corn rows pollenating corn in r2 stage

  • Planting Instructions here

  • Planted

    • 2018: 3 stalks
      • Notes: poor pollination caused the resulting corn to not have enough kernels.
    • 2019
      • 5 15’ rows of hybrid sugar enhanced corn
      • 4 8’ rows of bantam organic corn (planted 1mo after the hybrid)
      • 1 row of ornamental indian corn.
  • Notes:

    • I had an issue where some of the corn blew over during high winds while it was still young. To fix this, I simply created a mound of dirt around each stalk.
    • Corn does not like to be transplanted. As an experiment, I transplanted 3 corn stalks. They mostly survived, but their growth was stunted and many leaves died.
    • Leaving corn on the stalk seems to be a good method for getting seed from organic corn.
    • If planting multiple varieties close together and at the same time, you’ll need to hand pollinate in order to prevent cross-contamination of the pollen. A guide is here

Corn Pests

  • Corn Borers

    corn borers damage corn borers worm corn borers worm

    • Catch early and remove manually
    • Enter inner stalk and consume plant matter.
    • Produces waste products similar to that of the Squash borer.
  • Tent Caterpillars

    worms consuming corn leaf

    • These will consume most leaves. To remove them, I clipped the affected leaves and isolated them in a plastic bag.
  • Racoons

    damage from racoon

  • Saddleback Caterpillar

    saddleback caterpillar

    • Saddleback caterpillars aren’t so much of a pest (they do munch on leaves, but nothing too major).
    • Can be identified by a bright green back with brown spot surrounded by white circle, and four brown antennae with spikes.
    • Touching them causes a nasty sting that lasts several hours and burns. I’ve been stung - not super fun.

Corn Notes

  • 2019-04-28 - Planted Sugar Enhanced Hybrid
  • 2019-05-20 - Planted Indian Ornamental Corn
  • 2019-05-25 - Planted Organic Sweet Corn
  • 2019-07-06 - My corn appears to have been nutrient defficient - as told by the yellowing of the bottom leaves. I applied a 45-0-0 fertilizer in between rows directly before a rainstorm. info.
  • 2019-07-14 - Tassels Emerged (SE Hybrid)
  • 2019-07-16 - Silks Emerged (SE Hybrid) R1 Stage
  • 2019-07-17 - After major storm most of the corn was blown over. Used stakes + ropes to tie them up and support growth. Roots do not appear to be as strong as they should be, possibly due to shallow planting
  • 2019-07-19 - Pollination has begun (SE Hybrid)
  • 2019-07-21 - Ear Count: 155 (SE Hybrid)
  • 2019-07-21 - Noticed first tassels (Organic corn)
  • 2018-07-21 - Discovered Eurpoean Corn borers consuming two stalks.
  • 2018-07-26 - SE Hybrid ears have entered the R2 Stage
  • 2019-08-05 - Organic Sweet corn has entered R1 Stage
  • 2019-08-16 - Organic Sweet corn has entered R1 Stage


potato harvest

  • Planting Instructions here
  • Plantings:
    • 2019 - 10 Plants.

Potato Pests

I’ve encountered both potato beetles and aphids on my potato crop.

Potato Diseases

Potato Notes

  • 2019-05-17 - Planted 10 White Superior Seed Potatoes
  • 2019-07-14 - Harvested first batch of young potatoes
  • 2019-07-20 - Harvested second batch of potatoes. Left smaller ones and plants for potential third batch.


jalapeño pepper jalapeño pepper growing picture of harvest

I started my peppers inside from seed early in the year (around April), and transferred them outside after the ground thawed and the temperature rose high enough.

  • Planted:
    • 2019 - Jalapeños + Red Cayenne peppers - 24 plants.
  • Notes:
    • Peppers seem very picky about temperatures. Be careful not to plant too early outdoors or they may turn white.

I moved some of my potted peppers inside during the winter. They started producing peppers around the 10th of April, 2020.


I’ve found it much more reliable to hand-pollinate my peppers when growing indoors (and outside too if there’s few pollinators). Peppers can reproduce on their own, but it can increase the chances of one being fertilized if you manually transfer the pollen. Here’s how I do it.

First - there’s a couple parts of the flower to be aware of:

  • Stigma - the female part of the flower. It’s the end of the white portion coming from the end of the pepper.
  • Stamen - the male portion, which produces the pollen. They’re the shorter parts that surround the stigma.

pepper flower

When you hand-pollinate, you’re transferring the pollen from the Stamen to the flower’s Stigma.

I found this site which provides more detailed diagrams and info on cross-breeding:

Pepper Notes

  • 2019-07-13 - First pepper appeared on jalapeño plant.
  • 2020-04-10 - (indoors) first pepper appeared on jalapeño plant.


I use pie tins as a repellent for larger predators like birds, etc. To set them up, I cut a small hole and use a 1.5’ piece of string/twine and tie it to a stake or metal fence.

Change Log

  • 7/4/2019 - Initial Revision
  • 7/5/2019 - Added additional information on fertilizers
  • 7/8/2019 - Added additional squash bug info
  • 7/15/2019 - Add additional corn info + timelines
  • 7/18/2019 - Add additional pictures + timelines
  • 7/20/2019 - Add squash and corn borer information
  • 7/25/2019 - Add corn R2 info
  • 7/29/2019 - Add cucumber beetle and pumpkin photos
  • 8/18/2019 - Minor updates
  • 2/16/2020 - Updates from 2019 season
  • 2/17/2020 - Indoor peppers info

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