Tuesday, August 29, 2006

McKenna Mars: Serious Competition!

Good afternoon, Growers!

I received these pictures and the following message from McKenna Mars and her mother Sandra:

"Thanks again for the sprout Stuart. Me and my Daddy are having lots of fun growing it. McKenna Mars"

You are most welcome, McKenna! I am glad that you're having lots of fun growing a giant pumpkin. That's what this activity is all about. That, plus making a lot of adult pumpkin growers wish that they had a pumpkin as big and nice as your pumpkin!

Thank you again for sending me your pictures and message!

Best of luck with the rest of the season!



Monday, August 28, 2006

John Gerdes: Update from Midway City!
Good morning, Growers!
I have an update and picture from John Gerdes!
"Hi Stuart,
Everything is going good. My pumpkin is still putting inches on. Have not made any tape measurements. Found two other pumpkins the size of softballs in between the leaves. Had to cut them out while my big one is growing. Heat does not seem to bother the plant or the leaves. The blue stick is a yard stick.

Sorry to hear that yours has stopped growing.
Take care,
Nice pumpkin, John! Thanks very much for sending them in!

Sunday, August 27, 2006

300 Pounds?

Good afternoon, Growers!

After a two week hiatus, I thought you'd like to see the progress of the pumpkin in Huntington Beach. It's about 300 pounds, give or take, and fortunately, the weird and mushy rot that was approaching the stem has stopped because of the recent hot weather.

My abject hope is that it lasts until October 22nd!

I hope your pumpkins are all doing well!


Saturday, August 26, 2006

Growing them big in Carlsbad!
Good afternoon, Growers!
Ed in Carlsbad was kind enough to send in this image of some pumpkins that were "grown" in Ohio. Ed said that the readers of this web log would find it interesting, and I agree!
Have a great week-end!

Thursday, August 24, 2006

An Update from Jim in Carlsbad

Well, the year was full of adventure, record temps to 113, and 4 gophers attacking my plant and patch!!!!! We took damage, but survived. I had high hopes for the ultimate goal, a 1000-pounder, but it was not to be this year. It was consistently over 100 degrees this year in my patch.
I'll be in touch!,

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Ed in Carlsbad: Report from the Beach
Good afternoon, Growers!
I just received these great images of Ed's efforts in Carlsbad!

"Stuart, As promised, here are a few pics that I took of my pumpkin patch today. I notice that the powdery mildew is coming on strong - I am only about a mile from the ocean - and so I wonder if further growth of the pumpkins will be limited. I've worked hard to get them up to this size and it is somewhat frustrating, that with probably 1 to 1 1/2 months of growing left, the mildew could ruin my plans. I will keep persevering and will keep you advised of my results. Thanks for your advice and interest - it is appreciated. Let me know what you think...
Ed in Carlsbad, California"
What do I think? I think that you're going to have pumpkins while I'm going to have seeds from the pumpkin that I grew this year... Well done!
You're doing great, Ed!

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

(Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, FSA-OWI Collection, Dorothea Lange, photographer, LC-USF34-009058-C)

Stem Rot and Accelerated Vine Cycles

Good morning, Growers!

Stem rot and the attendant conditions that lead to stem rot, have begun to take their toll, in a very large way, on my vine and pumpkin in Huntington Beach. I think that the warm weather led to an overall acceleration of my vine and pumpkin development, which included powdery mildew, vine split, and stem rot, in a very rapid manner. So, unless there's a radical change, I believe I'll only have the pictures that I've posted here to remember this year's giant pumpkin growing efforts.

We shall see!

Have a great morning!


Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Ron Sallinger's Mystery Pumpkin

Good morning, Growers!

Ron Sallinger, of Pumpkinmania 2005, 'Chuck', 413-pound fame sent me these images of his shading system in Orange, with the following, cryptic message:

Here are some pictures of the sunshade I have constructed for "Dudley". I have a couple of other ones on the vine but do not know how if they will stay or die off. The shade is a fabric I bought from home depot for around $30. I pounded a number of grommets in the fabric and then strung some clothesline through. It is attached to a brick wall on one side and two steel posts on the other. It keeps the moisture and sun off it and will last for a number of years. The other picture is the patch itself. I have two plants in an area about 50 x 50. One plant is for competition the other is used for family and friends.


Ron Sallinger
Orange, Ca.

Thank you very much, Ron!

Monday, August 14, 2006

An Update from Bonnie Copeland

Good morning, Growers!

(I received this great picture and message from Bonnie Copeland August 1st!)

Powdery mildew at our house in Costa Mesa is what drove us to find a
"grower" in Anaheim Hills. Fortunately, we found growers as dedicated as
we are -- our friends, Vince and Karina Scheerer and their son, Michael.
The Scheerer's house is at the knob of a hill overlooking the 55 Freeway. The only tree is on the sunset side of the yard, so the pumpkin gets sun all day.
We visited Sunday and the pumpkin looked great. She's sending out vines at the rate of about 8" a day, down from two feet a few weeks ago, before the fruit got so large. The leaves at the growing tip look green and healthy. We have high hopes!
We accidentally broke the stem of last year's pumpkin in mid- August, and that kept it from growing larger than 200 lbs. This year's pumpkin is about the same size as last year's was at the end of July. We estimate the weight to be about 100 lbs.
The young man is Michael Scheerer.

Bonnie Copeland

Thank you very much, Bonnie!


Alex Morales', "Madison"

Good morning, Growers!

Alex Morales is having a great season, don't you think? He sent in these pictures August 7th.

Well done!


Saturday, August 12, 2006

Back from Paradise: 8 Days in Kula
Good afternoon, Growers!
I thought you'd find these pictures interesting. They are from Lauren and my trip to Maui. The red 'cherries' in the pictures are some of the ripe coffee that we picked while we weren't enjoying the local culture, beaches, or meeting relatives. I even had a chance to do some riding and outrigger canoe paddling in Wailea.
My father's giant pumpkin vine is healthy, just no fruit quite yet.
Take care!

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

(Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, Ansel Adams, photographer, Benji Iguchi with squash, LC-A35-5-M-41)
A Visit to Maui
Good morning, Growers!
I'll be visiting Maui, August 2-11, 2006, for Lauren and my honeymoon, to see how my dad's pumpkin is doing, as well as take a vacation. So, reporting will be infrequent unless there's some important development and I have reasonably fast internet access.
So, in the meantime, watch your watering and fertilizing schedules, and I'll return next week.

Linda's Magic Pumpkin Patch!

Good morning, Growers!

Isn't this a great photo sequence? Thank you very much to Linda for her pictures of Catherine The Great and her Magic Pumpkin Patch!

"Hi Stuart!

Thank you for your advice. We've removed the most affected leaves and are
hoping to have a lot of new growth. She only grew .25 inch yesterday - a real
drop. The infestation spread so quickly, most of the leaves have at least some
of the nasty critters in them. She's still a good looking pumpkin and we've enjoyed the experience. Thank you for giving us the opportunity. Here are the pictures you asked for. Being the proud "parents" we are, there are many more.


(Linda had a small issue with some squash vine borers which was remedied by removing the affected leaves and vines, and now Catherine The Great has resumed her imperial reign.)

Thank you very much again, Linda, and we'll post all of the photos you want to share!



The Powdery Mildew Blues...

Good morning, Growers!

As I mentioned, here are a couple of pictures of my pumpkin in Huntington Beach. You can see that growth is continuing, but the powdery mildew is taking its toll on the leaves. I am encouraged by the new growth visible past the pumpkin and now climbing on the fence. It is also just beginning to turn orange. It felt a little soft when I measured it which made me ponder: Can a pumpkin rot and grow at the same time? I hope not!

As of Sunday afternoon its dimensions were:

Side to side 67"
Stem to blossom end 68"
Circumference 98"

Total: 233"=266 lbs. estimated weight

I received an e-mail from Bonnie C. of Anaheim Hills over the week-end. She has a 100-pounder growing free and wild in her patch. I am hoping for some pictures. When I get them, you know where they'll be posted.

Take care!