Saturday, March 31, 2007

A Fun Day at Laguna Hills Nursery!
Good afternoon, Growers!
Today's workshop at Laguna Hills Nursery lasted 30 minutes longer than scheduled because of some great questions! Thank you to everyone who attended the workshop and Gary Matsuoka and his great staff!
Please look carefully at the pictures of the attendees. There are some really happy people in them, particularly the bottom picture.
Plus, note the Pumpkinmania T-shirt of the gentleman seated nearest to the camera in the middle picture! The middle picture was taken by Ron Sallinger, winner of best colored pumpkin 2006, and a long-time Pumpkinmania! supporter and contestant.
Have a great afternoon!

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Pacific Giant Vegetable Growers...
Good evening, Growers!
I thought I'd share a great resource with you: The Pacific Giant Vegetable Growers. They're a great group of people and very experienced:
The images above are from one of their giant pumpkin regattas.
I'll be in touch,

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Mound Preparation: A Different Perspective

Hello, Pumpkinistas!

It's getting very close to that time. In fact, it makes sense to start digging the hole while the ground is still reasonably soft.

So, I thought I would post a cross-section sketch of what an ideal mound looks like.

Unfortunately, I wasn't able to rotate the image.

The depth of the hole is 4', four feet, minimum diameter is 2', two feet, the wider the better. The height of the mound is 2 1/2', two and a half feet, and diameter is 6', six feet. It will need a minimum of 9-12 cubic feet of soil amendments/organic matter. The spiral represents a soaker hose.



Blue Hills Nursery Workshop Goes Well!

Good evening, Growers!

The first "Extreme Gardening: How to Grow a 500-Pound Pumpkin" workshop of the season hosted by Blue Hills Nursery in Whittier went well. Thank you very much for attending! There were many excellent questions asked by the attendees which always makes the experience that more productive. Ty, Toby, and Giselle from Kellogg Garden Products and Dr. Earth were on hand to lend support.

I also appreciate everyone who stayed late and let me know about their experiences last season! Apparently there is a group of engineers interested in putting a video camera/PumpkinCam on one of their vines, so the progress can be monitored in real-time! They suggested a link to this website: I say absolutely.

Next up, this Saturday morning, 10:00 a.m. at Laguna Hills Nursery, 25290 Jeronimo Road, Lake Forest, (949) 830-5653. A plus: Karla, my 406-pounder from last October is still on display.

Have a great week!

Monday, March 26, 2007

A Big Thank You to John Gerdes!

Good evening, Pumpkinistas!

I wanted to thank John Gerdes for his most generous donation of various, "pedigreed" 'Atlantic Giant', giant pumpkin seeds! Thanks to John, some lucky workshop attendees will be going home with some truly outstanding seedlings this season. John almost donated his Wallace 1,502 seed. (Yes, that's the world-record pumpkin from last year.) Then, I awoke.

Thank you very much, John!



Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Green Thumb, International Added to The World Tour!
Good evening, Growers!
I am happy to announce that Green Thumb, International, will be participating as host for a giant pumpkin growing workshop, Sunday, May 20, 2007 at 11:00 a.m., at 23782 Bridger Road, Lake Forest, 92630. (I have updated the workshop schedule of March 6, 2007.)
This is the first time Green Thumb is hosting a workshop, so I am going to make sure that there are plenty of "thoroughbred" giant pumpkin seedlings for prizes.
The medium red clover I planted last month is doing well. The growth is a little spotty, but I am pleased with the results so far.
Have a great evening!

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

GreenCure Organic Fungicide New Pumpkinmania Sponsor!
I am very pleased to announce that GreenCure Organic Fungicide is a new sponsor of Pumpkinmania. This product came to my attention when I saw it on a website last year. As you know, powdery mildew is one of the biggest challenges growing gaint pumpkins in Southern California, particularly along the coast.
It's been used 9 years by commercial growers. Plus it's the creation of Dr. Ken Horst, a plant pathologist at my alma mater, Cornell University. That's credibility.
GreenCure will be available in 8 ounce jars from Orange County Farm Supply (in 7-10 days), 1826 West Chapman Avenue, Orange, CA 92868, (714) 978-6500, Call first (ask for Chris) to make sure it's arrived.
This could be the cultivation break-through we've been seeking!

Plant Depot Added to The World Tour!

Good evening, Growers!

I am very happy to inform you that Plant Depot will be hosting a giant pumpkin growing workshop this season!

So, here's the 2007 "Extreme Gardening: How to Grow a 500-Pound Pumpkin Workshop" World Tour:

  • Sunday, March 25, 12:00 p.m., Blue Hills Nursery, 16440 East Whittier Boulevard, Whittier, 90603 (562) 947-2106

  • Sunday, April 15, 10:00 a.m., Batavia Garden, 1730 North Batavia Street, Orange, 92865 (714) 637-2360

  • Saturday, May 5, 10:00 a.m., Plant Depot, 33413 San Juan Creek Road, San Juan Capistrano, 92675 (949) 240-2107

  • Saturday, May 12, 11:00 a.m., The Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens, 1151 Oxford, San Marino, 91108 (626) 405-2104 (Workshop is included in the price of admission.)

  • Saturday, May 19, 10:00 a.m., Orange County Farm Supply, 1826 West Chapman Avenue, Orange, 92868 (714) 978-6500

  • Sunday, May 20, 11:00 a.m., Green Thumb, 23782 Bridger Road, Lake Forest, 92630 (949) 837-3040

Workshops are free to the gardening public and range from 60 to 90 minutes, depending on questions and answers. All attendees will receive a packet of 'Atlantic Giant' giant pumpkin seeds, detailed written instructions, and a Giant Pumpkin Grower's Journal. Depending on germination rates and the growing season, giant pumpkin seedlings are given away to workshop attendees as prizes. To reserve a seat, please contact the venue where you'd like to attend directly. There are seating limitations, so please contact the workshop location you would like to attend soon! Thank you very much!

The medium red clover (trifolium pratense) I planted February 17th, germinated, and has been growing nicely in spite of the kooky early spring weather we've been having.

Hope to see you at a workshop!