Sunday, August 26, 2007

The Patch at Island View Nursery!

Hello, Pumpkinistas!

These are some pictures that Christie Boyd at Island View Nursery recently sent me! As you may recall, Island View Nursery in Carpenteria, was the northernmost venue of this year's workshop season. As you can see, they're doing a great job with their on-site giant pumpkin patch.

Isn't it great?

Friday, August 24, 2007

Janett in Oceanside and Dozer!

Good evening, Growers!

I received these images and following update from veteran grower Diane McFadden:


This is my mom's pumpkin, in Oceanside. She was one of the group I brought down to Solana Beach. Big Green seems to keep on growing! I am glad as I have had a failure this year. I have a great vine, but no pumpkin. I have a number of little pumpkins starting and falling off. At this rate I am giving mine another week to prove itself and if not, out she goes and await next years growing season! So I am delighted my mom finally has one! One more note. My Dad has attempted to grow one in this same location the last couple of years and the animals always seem to have eaten his! So I guess Mom really does have the green thumb! Not sure how they will get it up the embankment it is on, but will work on that one when it finishes growing! The dog, Dozer, is about 18 pounds!

I particularly like the fact Dozer can do some pumpkin-related tricks!

Have a great week-end!


Thursday, August 16, 2007

Scott Glenn's Beauty in Placentia!

Good evening, Growers!

I received these images from Scott Glenn on Tuesday, August 14th.

As you can see, it helps to do a good job on one's mound. The results speak for themselves.

You'll note that Scott's having a powdery mildew issue, which is normal, as the vine begins to age. Powdery mildew is a fungus common to growers in coastal areas, and where heat and humidity are common. Powdery mildew particularly likes squash and pumpkin vines and is very common on roses.

The cure? I suggest trying GreenCure, the organic fungicide developed by Ken Horst at my alma mater, Cornell University, (and Pumpkinmania! strategic sponsor.) It's available at Orange County Farm Supply, Cedros Gardens, and Island View Nursery for those growers in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties. Be sure to mix it well, and cover the top and bottom surfaces of the leaves.

I have had a few requests on how to estimate the weight of a giant pumpkin... Here's the link and instructions from the Big Pumpkins website:

Fortunately, this is still a very useable and reasonably accurate method to estimate the weight of your pumpkin.

Have a great evening!


Saturday, August 11, 2007

The Agony of The Crack: An Update from Mark Imhoof

Good very early morning, Growers!

This just in from Mark Imhoof:


As you can see from the picture, there has been a setback in this year's entry. I had three fruit on three vines. The largest one outgrew its skin and, well, developed a blow-out. The other two look OK, but this one had a significant head start. I would not say they are getting the king's treatment this year. Even so, the larger one is probably around 300# and smaller one around 200#. Both are guesstimates; I have not measured them yet. At least the pooch hasn't taken an interest in them. Hope that all is well with you.-- Mark"

Thank you very much Mark! Good thing that Yukon doesn't like to eat pumpkin!(Once I get over the initial shame, I'll post some updated photos of my efforts so far this season... There is a good reason why I have been unusually silent this season.)

Have a great week!

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

The Penas' Plethora of Pumpkins in Pasadena!
Good evening, Growers!
I have an update and some pictures from Joel and Maddie Pena, attendees from The Huntington Library workshop:
"Hi Stuart!

My daughter and I attended your class at the Huntington last May. We really
enjoyed it and now have many pumpkins in progress that came from seedlings we
brought back that day. I am sending you pictures of our pumpkins and wonder
what you think we should do to ensure they grow to as large a size as possible?
Should we cut some of them off now or leave all of them to grow?
We are looking forward to your response,
Joel Pena

Maddie Pena"
Dear Joel and Maddie,
First, thank you very much for your pictures and you questions!
At this point, I would suggest continuing with fertilizing every 7-10 days and keeping the soil moist. Judging by your pictures, things have been going well for you so far this season!
As far as cutting off some of your pumpkins, I suggest waiting until you 1 or 2 fruit that are basketball size or larger before culling smaller or immature fruit. The reason for this is you want to make sure that you've had fully pollinated pumpkins. That is, sometimes, fruit aren't fully pollinated and rot or self-abort well before they get to basketball size. Or, they almost get to the volleyball-basketball size, and then die off.
So wait, and then save the biggest 1 or 2 pumpkins, and then start cutting off the smaller pumpkins.
Thank you very much again for your photos and questions!
Good luck!

Friday, August 03, 2007

Update and pictures from Carol Lycette, Seattle, WA!

Good evening, Growers!

Not to be outdone, Carol, daughter of Bill Lycette, sent in these pictures:

"Hi Stuart,

My father, Bill Lycette, recently had a post of his pumpkin progress on your site and I wanted to see if I could as well. We have a little friendly family competition going on to see who can grow the biggest, baddest pumpkin. I think I have the advantage because of the longer days up here in Seattle.

Is there a way to post my pumpkin picture from today on your Pumpkinmania site?

Thank you,

Carol "

Indeed! Carol's right, the north latitudes have longer days of gentler sunshine, while we in Southern California have a longer growing season with higher/hot temperatures.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

A Giant Grows in Montebello...

Good evening, Growers!

Speak softly, and grow a giant pumpkin:

"This year's pumpkin with a 2-liter jug, Alex and Carmen Morales, Montebello, CA."

Alex and Carmen are veteran growers, and obviously having a great season. Their pumpkin looks like it's still putting on weight, which is a great way to start August.

I think we have a new contender.

Have a relaxing evening,

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Meanwhile, back at Larry Stice's Giant Pumpkin Farm: Photo Essay by Jim Solliday
Good evening, Pumpkinistas,
Remember that really big hole, dug by Larry Stice, that went so deep it hit the water table? I received these great photos from Jim Solliday with the following message:
"Dear Stuart:
Enclosed are a few updated pictures of Larry's garden (pumpkin). Most of the
pictures have the date it was taken, all but two. Hope this helps.
Sincerely, Jim Solliday (Larry's friend and photographer). "
It looks like Larry's visions are being realized.