Saturday, February 16, 2008

Soil Testing 101

Good evening, Growers!

As we begin preparing our planting areas, it makes sense to know where we are, so we know where we want to eventually be... In other words, how should we begin to prepare our planting areas?

A very important first step, even before purchasing the several cubic yards of compost, is getting a soil test.

The soil testing lab that Pete Glasier mentioned in his presentation at Elk Grove is:

A & L Western Agricultural Labs, 1311 Woodland Avenue, #1, Modesto, CA 95351, (209) 529-4080. Their website address is: Call them, and they'll mail you some sample bags, which is how you'll send them your soil samples. If you've never had a soil test, it's an extremely interesting process. You will learn a lot about your soil!

Save time! Save frustration! Grow big!

Have a great week-end!

Monday, February 11, 2008

The 2008 California Giant Pumpkin Growers Forum
February 9, 2008

Good evening, Pumpkinistas!
This year's meeting in Elk Grove was extremely interesting and educational! Mr. Pete Glasier and Hall of Fame Giant Pumpkin Grower, (who can be seen winning last year's competition with a 1,535 pound effort and a new California state record in the first picture above) lectured, and answered various questions posed to him by audience members over a 2-hour period, punctuated by various raffles, seed auction, and seed swap.
I always learn something new but this year I learned many new things!
Have a great evening!

Thursday, February 07, 2008

The 2008 Extreme Gardening:
The Secrets of Growing a 500-Pound Giant Pumpkin Workshop Schedule & World Tour!
Good evening, Growers!
I am very pleased to announce this workshop schedule for your planning purposes!
More workshop dates will be added in the next couple of weeks, but in the meantime, here's when and where they'll be this year. Of particular interest will be the workshops outside of the Southern California area. Many of the past workshop attendees have mentioned having out-of-state/out of the area relatives and friends who would like to learn about giant pumpkin cultivation. Well, this season is their chance!
Check back here to make sure that there aren't any last-minute changes, and please RSVP to either me or the hosting organization, so I can be sure to have enough giant pumpkin seed packets, hand-outs, and all other materials available.
Extreme Gardening:
The Secrets of Growing a 500-Pound Giant Pumpkin
2008 Workshop Schedule & World Tour!
  • Saturday, March 29, 2008, 10:00 a.m.-The Garden Company, 2218 Mission Street, Santa Cruz, CA 95060,, (831) 429-8424

  • Sunday, March 30, 2008, 1:00 p.m. & 3:00 p.m.-Yamagami's Nursery, 1361 South De Anza Boulevard, Cupertino, CA 95014,, (408) 252-3347

  • Saturday, April 5, 2008, 10:00 a.m.-Laguna Hills Nursery-Foothill Ranch, 71 Auto Center Drive, Foothill Ranch, CA 92610,, (949) 830-5653 (Let's support Gary and Nancy at their new temporary location!)

  • Saturday, April 12, 2008, 10:00 a.m.-Blue Hills Nursery, 16440 East Whittier Boulevard, Whittier, CA 90603,, (562) 947-2103

  • Saturday, April 19, 2008, 10;00 a.m.-Cedros Gardens, 330 South Cedros Avenue, Solana Beach, CA 02075,, (858) 792-8640

  • Saturday, April 26, 2008, 11:00 a.m.-Molbak's, 13625 NE 175th Street, Woodinville, WA 98072,, (425) 483-5000

  • Saturday, April 26, 2008, 3:00 p.m.-Furney's Nursery, 12215 Pacific Highway South, Des Moines, WA 98198,, (206) 878-8761

  • Sunday, April 27, 2008, 10:00 a.m.-Drake's 7 Dees, 16519 SE Stark Street, Portland, OR, 97233, (503) 546-8206

  • Sunday, May 4, 2008, 10:00 a.m.-Batavia Garden, 1730 North Batavia Street, Orange, CA 92865, (714) 637-2360

  • Saturday, June 7, 2008-11:00 a.m.-Orange County Farm Supply, 1826 West Chapman Avenue, Orange, CA 92868,, (714) 978-6500

All workshops are free to the gardening public with the exception of the Sunday, June 8th workshop at Fullerton Arboretum. The workshop is included with price of admission. Please see visit for admission pricing.
For directions, maps, and other fascinating and interesting information about each workshop venue, please visit the hosting organizations' websites above.
So, there they are so far! Would you please let your farflung networks, relatives, friends, acquaintances, and fellow gardening enthusiasts know about this year's workshops?
I would appreciate it very much!
Have a great evening!

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Workshop season kicks off!
Good evening, Growers!
The 2008 workshop season began last Sunday, February 4th, at Sierra Nursery, 3985 Douglas Boulevard, Roseville, CA 95661. I'm collaborating with Kellogg Garden Products to spread the giant pumpkin story to more gardeners this season more than ever before.
The attendees were very highly motivated to come to the workshop on Super Bowl Sunday.
There were some excellent questions. Plus, Janet Simkins, the nursery manager, even baked some pumpkin bread as part of the refreshments.
I hope to be invited back again!

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Neptune's Harvest Renews Pumpkinmania Sponsorship!

Good afternoon, Growers!

Just a quick note to let you know that Neptune's Harvest will be particitpating again this year! This means that winners at this year's competition will receive 1 quart bottles of Fish & Seaweed Blend Organic Fertilizer!
Plus, they sent this great picture of the 2 heaviest pumpkins grown in 2007.
Try to keep warm and dry this week-end!