Monday, April 30, 2007

Cedros Gardens: An Outstanding Workshop!

Good evening, Growers!

Record attendance was set at Cedros Gardens' workshop Saturday morning! A big thank you to Mia Mc Carville and her staff for all of their support and hard work. Thank you to Diane Mc Fadden and her group for their ongoing persistence and attendance! Karl Schaeffer is leading the giant pumpkin growing contingent at Qualcomm, and has already distributed seeds there.

We had about 25 attendees by the time the workshop began at 10:00 a.m.. There were a number of great questions and I am encouraged that this will translate into some big pumpkins this fall. Fifteen pedigreed seedlings were given away as prizes which should also help!

In fact, I gave Mia a spare seedling to plant on the rear hill area of Cedros Gardens.

Good luck to all of the attendees and seedling winners!

Next workshop and seedling planting will be this Saturday at Plant Depot in San Juan Capistrano!

See you then!


Thursday, April 26, 2007

The First Seedlings of 2007

Good afternoon, Pumpkinistas!

I thought you might be wondering what the just germinating seeds of two days ago look like.

I placed them outside on the patio right after they germinated to keep them compact and reduce leggy stems.

Have a great afternoon,


Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Germination Happens!

Good afternoon, Growers!

Good news! There will be seedlings for the drawing this Saturday at Cedros Gardens!

At this time, it looks like a minimum of three, but I am hoping for many more seeds to sprout. These seeds were planted April 19th, so 5 days so far.

Have a great afternoon!


Sunday, April 22, 2007

Germinating Seeds
Good afternoon, Growers!
Here's what giant pumpkin seed germinating looks like in the lab. These seeds were soaked overnight and then planted April 20th.
The cold weather is making it difficult for the seedling mats to keep above 7o F..
Have a great afternoon,

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Garden Gossip Radio Interview, Sunday April 22nd, 6:00 p.m.!
Good afternoon, Growers and Radio Listeners!
I am very pleased to let you know that tomorrow at 6:00 p. m., California time, you'll be able to listen to a great radio interview with the Lisa Cullen and Bob Burton of the "Garden Gossip" program from Santa Barbara's New-Press radio AM 1290. Just go to and look for the link at the top left side on their website. This is a replay of the live interview that was broadcast about growing giant pumpkins on Friday, April 20th at 11:15 a.m.. It was great fun and I'll be speaking again on "Garden Gossip", June 1st, on the eve of the workshop that I'll be giving at Island View Nursery on Saturday, June 2nd, at 11:00 a.m.. Thank you very much to Lisa and Bob for such a great program!
The seeds for Cedros Gardens workshop on April 28th's seedlings are being germinated! These are the first seedlings of the 2007 growing season to be started, so I am particularly happy to begin the cycle. There are a number of stand-out seeds in this group...
Yesterday and today's rains are making digging as easy as it is likely to get this year.
So, why not get your hole and mound dug and done?
Have a great week-end!

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Island View Nursery, Carpinteria Added to The 2007 World Tour!

Good afternoon, Growers!

I am very happy to inform you that Island View Nursery,, 3376 Foothill Road, Carpinteria, CA 93013 (805) 684-0324, will be hosting an "Extreme Gardening: How to Grow a 500 Pound Giant Pumpkin Workshop", Saturday, June 2, 2007 at 11:00 a.m.! This is the first workshop to be given in Santa Barbara County.

We may conduct a live giant pumpkin seedling transplanting as part of this workshop!
Here's an updated schedule of the remaining 2007 giant pumpkin growing workshops:

Saturday, April 28, 10:00 a.m., Cedros Gardens, 330 South Cedros Avenue, Solana Beach, 92075 (858) 792-8640

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 price: $15 adult, $10 child grower.)

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

Saturday, June 2, 11:00 a.m., Island View Nursery, 3376 Foothill Road, Carpinteria, CA 93013 (805) 684-0324

Have a great afternoon!


Sunday, April 15, 2007

The Batavia Garden Workshop & The Mound in Repose
Good afternoon, Pumpkinistas!
Thank you to Ron, Keiko, and Kathy at Batavia Garden and all of the great growers that braved the cold weather this morning to attend the workshop! It was great to see some familiar faces, and some first-time growers too! Good luck!
Next up is Cedros Gardens on Saturday, April 28th at 10:00 a.m.!
I thought you might like to see what my mound looks like this season. It's roughly 5 feet in diameter, 2 feet tall. The green plant that surronds the mound is the red medium clover I planted in February as a 'green manure'. I'll dig it next month, after the seedling is planted.
Have a great afternoon!

Saturday, April 07, 2007

The Secret Weapon: The Mound is Ready!
Good afternoon, Growers!
I am very happy to report that I made good use of today's cool weather to dig the hole and prepare my mound for the 2007 season! It was a lot easier this year to get deep because of my secret weapon, a special 7' tall trenching shovel I picked up at a gardening show. The weight of the shovel did most of the digging! E-mail me if you'd like more details about it.
The typical clay soil of Huntington Beach in early April is still moist enough to carve out a reasonable hole. I got down to 4' 9" deep, 2' diameter, digging up some clover in the process. Then, I mixed some Bumper Crop, Black Forest soil amendments, and manure with the dirt from the hole, and put it back into the hole. The finished mound is about 2 1/2' tall, and 5' in diameter.
I hope that we get some rain to settle the mound some before mid-May!
Anybody else digging their holes or making any planting preparations?
Have a great week-end!