Monday, July 30, 2007

The Palmers of Costa Mesa!
Good afternoon, Growers!
Who says you can't raise giant pumpkins near the coast? These great pictures are
from Tina Palmer with her daughters Sydney and Carley. Notice that their pumpkin is still a nice pale yellow color? This means that it's still an infant! It's all girth and mass from here!
Well done!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Bill DeoGracias in Sorrento Valley: Container Grown!

Good afternoon, Growers!
One of the questions that comes up often at workshops is can a giant pumpkin be grown in a container. The answer I give is yes, and here is an example of how it's done.
Here's an update from Bill DeoGracias in Sorrento Valley (San Diego County, just south of the 5/605 freeways.)
"Good morning Stuart,

We had a lot of fun at work with my “Pumpkin Project” last year so I planted another one this year. All work hours dedicated to this project are “humorously” allocated to research and development.

This year’s vine is much more vigorous than last year’s. I had some hungry critter problems early on. One or more unknown friends had a late night dinner on the first pumpkin and a few budding flowers. The second pumpkin seems to be doing okay so far, and I’m hoping to break last year’s record of 25 lbs. Wish me luck!

Best regards,

Sorrento Valley"

I think I can see a budding monster near the center of the picture...

Thank you very much, Bill! I'm looking forward to hearing how you've shattered last year's effort!



Monday, July 23, 2007

Cole and Steve Tyler Mixing it up in Thousand Oaks!

Good afternoon, Growers!

Here's a great photo essay from Cole, 10, and his dad, Steve Tyler, of Thousand Oaks. They're friends of Leana Finley, the co-host of "Garden Gossip" radio in Santa Barbara and Montecito Landscape
The Tylers have obviously embraced the sport and challenge of giant pumpkin cultivation! The Tylers and their friends have a done a great job so far and they'll be updating us again soon!
Well done!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Bill Lycette's Patch!
Good afternoon, Growers!
This picture is from Bill Lycette, a veteran grower. Isn't it a beauty ? It's just beginning to send up flowers. It is desirable for a vine to achieve a certain size before flowering, in order to support a very large pumpkin. The healthier the vine, like Bill's, the better the chance to support a very large pumpkin. Bill has plenty of room to support additional growth of his vine.
Well done!

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Giant Cabbages Engulf Man in Lake Elsinore!

Good evening, Growers!

Just when you thought that you had seen it all...

These are some pictures from a great and old friend of mine and experienced gardener, Stanley in Lake Elsinore. Stanley grew these massive cabbages, 35 and 40+ pounds in his vegetable garden this season! Yes, Stanley, these are the biggest cabbages I've ever seen grown in Southern California!

I'll follow up in a few days with pictures of Stanley's giant sunflowers.

Have a great evening!


Sunday, July 15, 2007

In Clover

Note to Self:

Because of rapid growth, evaluate 2007 strategy of planting clover as a 'green manure'. Vine is growing above ground, approximately 18"-20", depending on height of clover growing underneath. Efforts to cut back/reduce clover having the opposite effect: temporary slowing of leaf and stem growth, followed by new, much more vigorous foliage production.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Mae's Maze!

Good afternoon, Growers!

I received this update and picture from Mae in Pasadena. Mae's a veteran grower and a very enthusiastic Huntington Library workshop attendee, as you may surmise:


Here is a picture of my front yard. As you can see I planted way too many seeds and now they intertwine with each other and I can't tell where the branches are coming from. There are some pumpkins in there someplace. The mailman has given up coming up the stairs and has to go around. I'll keep on watering and let you know if I get a big one. Meanwhile, spraying for mildew.



Good one, Mae! Not many people can say they've prevented a US Postal Service employee from keeping their appointed rounds!

Touche' and thank you very much!


Thursday, July 12, 2007

Fast Forward: Scott Glenn and The Supervisors

Good evening, Growers!

As promised, here are some pictures of Scott Glenn and his daughters' vine as of July 4th! Pretty impressive, don't you think? They are already getting some female flowers and pumpkins should follow soon!

Have a great evening!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Farmer John: A Serious Contender
Good evening, Growers!
When it rains, it pours! I received these photos taken from June 23-July 3rd, from Farmer John, a Laguna Hills workshop attendee.
I am very impressed with the depth and effort of his mound and corral/wood frame! In fact, this year's efforts, judging by the images I've received so far, are the best ever.
As you can see, the proper soil and mound preparation goes a long way toward growing a monster. Yes, that's an 18" pumpkin at the top of this photo series! I can identify a few other potential fruit as well.
Many thanks for sending them in, John!
Have a great evening!

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Scott Glenn and The Supervisors!
Good evening, Pumpkinistas!
After a break for some repairs to my computer, I have posted the above photo essay of Scott Glenn and his daughters known only as The Supervisors. As you can clearly see, Scott took the instructions and took them to heart... In addition, one of The Supervisors even followed the Hawaiian planting chant, before their pumpkin seedling was lovingly transplanted.
The best news? I have some updated photos of Scott's efforts that reflect his family's most recent progress that I'll be posting over the next few days!
Have a great evening!

Sunday, July 01, 2007


Good afternoon, Growers!

Now that the giant pumpkin seeds and seedlings have been planted, the next few months offer opportunities for different horticultural research and study.

After hearing so much about switchgrass, I tracked down some seeds, did some research on germination, and tried a small test sample that you see above. They are a little tricky to sprout but very vigorous once they get started.

Switchgrass is one of the sources of biomass for alternative fuel production. It can be burned as substitute for coal or converted into ethanol.

So far, so good!

Have a pleasant afternoon,

An Update

Good afternoon, Growers!

It is hot, hot, hot! Keep an eye on your vines, particularly if your patch is in a sunny, dry and windy area.

These were taken on June 22nd. Note that one of the plants has twisted on itself so that the bottom of its leaves are facing up. This is not a good sign.
Have a great week!