Monday, April 24, 2006

Cedros Gardens and Batavia Garden Nursery Workshops!

Good afternoon, Pumpkinistas!

Just a quick note on the giant pumpkin growing workshops this past week-end. There were roughly 40 attendees at Cedros Gardens, and 15 attendees at Batavia Garden Nursery. There was a lot of enthusiasm and questions at both workshops.

Thank you to all of you who attended the workshops! Good luck with your "pedigreed" seedlings! It looks like today and tomorrow will be cloudy, so less potential sun damage than perhaps another day for transplanting.

I look forward to hearing about your new seedlings!

Have a great afternoon!

Monday, April 17, 2006

Big, bigger, biggest-From the San Diego Union-Tribune, April 16, 2006 edition

For some of us, it's a little early for pumpkins – we think in terms of Halloween jack-o'-lanterns, and Thanksgiving pies. But it's almost time to plant the tiny seeds from which pumpkins grow some cases from which ponderous pumpkins grow.
A free workshop, “Extreme Gardening: How to Grow a 500-Pound Pumpkin,” will be held 10 a.m. April 22 at Cedros Gardens, 330 S. Cedros Ave., in the design district of Solana Beach. Master Gardener and “Giant Pumpkin Kahuna” Stuart Shim will guide beginning and experienced gardeners of all ages through the hour-long workshop. Shim promises that the event will be fun, informative and intriguing for all who attend.
Shim has been growing giant pumpkins since 1993 when he saw an article in, of all places, the Wall Street Journal about “Mr. Dill and his Wonderful Seeds.” Howard Dill “invented” the Atlantic Giant Pumpkin Seed, and was offering free seeds. Shim sent away for some and started growing prodigious pumpkins. “It was a life-changing experience,” he said.
Shim, an Orange County financial adviser, initiated his clients into the wonders of giant pumpkin growing during a slump in the market, and conducts an annual giant pumpkin growing contest.
“My biggest pumpkin was 523 pounds in 2003,” he said. “If you've got good seeds and you prepare the ground properly, the chances of growing a 200-pound to 300-pound pumpkin are pretty good.”
Reservations are required for the workshop: Call Mia at (858) 792-8640. Free giant pumpkin seeds will be given to everyone attending. For more information about growing giant pumpkins, log on to

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Pumpkin Patch Preparations Completed!

Good afternoon, Pumpkinistas!

I am happy to report that my lower back is almost fully recovered.

Yes, it's that time of the year when I don work gloves, pick up a shovel, and begin the hard work of making preparations for my garden in Huntington Beach. This year's efforts were greatly aided by the ground being soft from the recent rains and a post-hole digger. Essentially, last Friday afternoon, I dug a 4-foot deep hole, and then used 5, 1 cubic foot bags of manure, 2, 2 cubic foot bags of Amend, and 2, 2.5 bags of an organic soil amendment that was covered with French writing. With more rain predicted in a few days, the timing was good. Now, it's simply a matter of germinating some seeds and then planting the seedlings in May 16th or 17th, in order to take advantage of the lunar planting calendar.

A heads up to San Diego growers, next Sunday, April 16th, the San Diego Union-Tribune will be publishing an announcement with a picture, for the following Saturday's, April 22nd, Cedros Gardens workshop! So, hopefully, there will be more entries than usual from San Diego growers in October! I hope to see you there!

More rain predicted for this week, so try to keep dry!