Thursday, April 30, 2009

May and June 2009 Full Moon Planting Dates!

Hello, Pumpkinistas!

We are quickly approaching that time of year. Yes, it's going to be seedling transplanting time very soon!

If you're a lunarly inclined grower, here are the May and June Full Moon Planting Dates:

Saturday, May 9, 2009, 4:03 a.m., The Budding Moon

Sunday, June 7, 2009, 6:13 p.m., The Strawberry Moon

I hope to be transplanting my seedling(s) on May 6th. Yes, that means I prepared my mound and growing area today. I wanted to take advantage of the cool 70 degree temperature in Huntington Beach, and the still reasonably moist soil conditions. I used 12 cubic feet of soil amendments, (4 cubic feet of Kellogg Garden Products Nitrohumus, 8 cubic feet of Kellogg Garden Products Amend, 10 pounds earthworm castings, a 5 pound box of Dr. Earth organic fertilizer for vegetables, and a bag of steer manure, after the dust had finally cleared. Fortunately, I was right about the soil still being moist. The Green Monster, an industrial-grade, 6.0' tall, 15 pound, trenching shovel, helped a lot in the clay. From the first bite of the shovel, to the mixing and amending of the soil, to wetting down the mound and closing the gate, it was 1 1/2 hours of hard labor. I even laid down a 3.0"-3.5" deep, 2-2.5' wide, 15' long, Amend path where the primary vine will eventually grow. I am so glad it's over! The Great Orange Hope Seeds of 2009 are soaking right now. One seed is from a daughter of the reigning world record, the 1,689 Jutras! It's all downhill from here. (But, I have a feeling tomorrow morning's going to hurt.)

Laguna Hills Nursery on the World Tour!

Good evening, Growers!

I am happy to invite you to attend a workshop at Laguna Hills Nursery! It's going to be held at 9:30 a.m., May 16, 2009, at 25290 Jeronimo Road, Lake Forest, CA 92630.

Here's the revised World Tour:

Saturday, May 2, 2009, 11:30 a.m.-The Greenery Nursery, 742 East Olive Avenue, Turlock, CA 95380 (209) 632-4214
Saturday, May 2, 2009, 2:00 p.m.-Westurf Nursery, 1612 Claus Road, Modesto, CA 95355 (209) 576-1111
Sunday, May 3, 2009, 10:00 a.m.-Sierra Nursery, 3985 Douglas Road, Roseville, CA 95661 (916) 791-7077
Sunday, May 3, 2009, 2:00 p.m.-The Front Yard Nursery, 5801 Mother Lode Drive, Placerville, CA 95667 (530) 626-3494
Thursday, May 7, 2009, 2:30 p.m.-Glazier Elementary School, 10932 E. Excelsior Drive, Norwalk, CA 90650 (562) 863-8796, Fax: (562) 863-8797 (This workshop will also include seedling transplanting demonstrations, and a possible patch dedication by local publicly-elected officials!)
Saturday, May 9, 2009, 10:00 a.m.-Garden Shop Nursery, 3636 Mayberry Drive, Reno, NV 89509 (775) 746-3640
Saturday, May 9, 2009, 2:00 p.m.-Moana Nursery, 1100 West Moana Lane, Reno, NV 89509 (775) 825-0602
Sunday, May 10, 2009, 11:00 a.m.-Flower Tree Nursery, 2975 Reno Highway, Fallon, NV 89406 (775) 423-1113

Saturday, May 16, 2009, 9:30 a.m.-Laguna Hills Nursery, 25290 Jeronimo Road, Lake Forest, CA 92630 (949) 830-5653
Sunday, May 17, 2009, 10:30 a.m.-Cedros Gardens, 330 South Cedros Avenue, Solana Beach, CA 92075 (858) 792-8640
Saturday, May 23, 2009, 10:30 a.m.-Bellevue Nursery, 842 104th SE, Bellevue, WA 98004 (425) 454-5531
Saturday, May 23, 2009, 1:30 p.m.-Furney's Nursery, 21215 Pacific Highway South, Des Moines, WA 98198 (206) 878-8761
Sunday, May 24, 2009, 11:00 a.m.-Gordon's Garden Center, 308 Yelm Avenue East, Yelm, WA 98597 (360) 458-2481
Saturday, May 30, 2009, 10:00 a.m.-Green Thumb International, 1899 Victoria Avenue, Ventura, CA 93003 (805) 642-8517
Sunday, May 31, 2009, 11:00 a.m.-The Santa Barbara Home Improvement Center, 415 East Gutierrez Street, Santa Barbara, CA 93101 (805) 963-7825
Saturday, June 6, 2009, 9:30 a.m.-Walter Andersen Nursery, 12755 Danielson Court, Poway, CA 92064 (858) 513-4900
Saturday, June 6, 2009, 1:00 p.m.-Walter Andersen Nursery, 3642 Enterprise Street, San Diego, CA 92110 (619) 224-8271
Sunday, June 7, 2009, 10:00 a.m.-Batavia Garden, 1730 North Batavia Street, Orange, CA 92865 (714) 637-2360
Saturday, June 20, 2009, 10:00 a.m.-Farm Supply Company, 224 Tank Farm Road, San Luis Obispo, CA 93406 (805) 543-3751

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Fred Hoffman Sunday morning, 8:45 a.m., May 3, 2009, radio appearance on

Newstalk KFBK 1530, the Garden Show, with Farmer Fred Hoffman!


Well, the momentum continues to build!

I'll be appearing on Newstalk KFBK 1530, the Garden Show, with Farmer Fred Hoffman this Sunday morning, May 3rd, at 8:45 a.m. to talk a few minutes about giant pumpkin cultivation. I am looking forward to speaking with Farmer Fred because he's also a UCCE Certified Master Gardener except he's achieved Lifetime status which can only be earned by volunteering a massive number of hours. So, I am hoping that I'll be able to pick up some ideas based on Fred's many years of gardening and horticultural experience. I'll also try to convince Fred to join the revolution (and I've already packed some extra seed packets for Fred and his staff!) If you'd like to listen in, KFBK's live streaming radio website is: Fred's website address is: He's got some impressive credentials! You'll see.

I hope you have a chance to join us!
Obsession or simply extreme focus?

Good afternoon, Growers!

There was a great article in last week-end's Wall Street Journal about how obsessive English gardeners were about American plants and trees in the 18th century. As we begin the 2009 giant pumpkin growing season, I thought that this article was particularly timely. So, I thought I would pass along the link to you:

I hope you enjoy reading it!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

A Photo from Chris Rowe Martinez of Orchard Nursery!

Good afternoon, Pumpkinistas!

Just received this image from Chris Rowe Martinez of Orchard Nursery and Florist, and thought I'd post it to this blog. It gives a much better idea of the very impressive workshop set-up that greeted Todd Slinde, Kerri Gardner, and me, Saturday morning! The pumpkins, one of which is growing out of a shrub behind me, were a very nice and very original touch!

Have a great evening!


Monday, April 27, 2009

Pictures from Kerri Gardner, Territory Manager, Kellogg Garden Products!
Good afternoon, Pumpkinistas!
I received these photos of this past Saturday's workshops from Kerri Gardner, Territory Manager, Kellogg Garden Products this morning, and I wanted to share them with you. If you've been wondering how these workshops come to be, it's through a lot of hard work and effort put forth by the workshop hosts, and by key people from Kellogg Garden Products, like Kerri, Todd Slinde, Rick Sacks, Ty Hall, Rex Lamb, Jimmy Rogers, Mike Mc Clain, Joanne O'Hanlon, and Jonathan Matteson and others. (Obviously, they are very great individuals and I am very lucky to be working with them.)
So, thank you very much, Kerri, and all of the other key individuals at Kellogg Garden Products that contribute to Pumpkinmania!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

First Workshop at Wegman's Nursery, Redwood City!
Good afternoon, Growers!
I'm at the San Jose International Airport, and thought I'd post the pictures and comments from this morning's workshop at Wegman's Nursery. Very briefly, it went very well. Wegman's Nursery is tucked into a space off one of the main streets in Redwood City. It's very much a traditional nursery, and it looks like it's very well established. This morning's workshop was the first time they had hosted a giant pumpkin growing workshop. There were even a few veteran growers in the audience: Terry Sand of Hyatt was there and shared a story of how much the residents of her long-term care facility enjoyed growing their giant pumpkin named "Irving" last year, and their plans for growing another one this year. She's pictured above in the brown top and blue jeans in the front row. We even had an international workshop attendee from Chile, who will be returning to South America to establish a community of giant pumpkin growers in the Andes! Finally, Barbara, also sitting in the front row, to the far left, walked to the workshop from her place a few blocks away, arrived early, and won the $50.00 Wegman's Nursery gift certificate. She'll be growing her pumpkin this year assisted by her 6 year-old grandson.
I hope you had a pleasant week-end!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

The aviary is a nice touch!

A puppet theatre in the trees!

Under the Oaks at Alden Lane Nursery!

Good evening, Pumpkinistas!

The maiden workshop this afternoon at Alden Lane Nursery was a triumph!
Alden Lane Nursery is very whimsical, with a puppet theatre nestled in the crook of one of the many oak trees on the property and even an aviary! The setting for the workshop was a beautifully decorated meeting room. You can see some of the painted murals on the walls.
Some of the workshop attendees were veteran pumpkin growers, so the caliber of the questions were very good. One of the noteworthy results of the workshop was the decision by Alden Lane's owner to grow a giant pumpkin vine at the entrance to the nursery in a very large circular bed!
So, the movement grows and continues to influence more gardeners and inspires future giant pumpkin growers.
Have a great evening!

Chris Rowe Martinez, Manager of Orchard Nursery & Florist

Madeline of Orchard Nursery & Florist, The Display Kahuna!

Pre-workshop attendees

Post-workshop attendees

A Great Morning at Orchard Nursery & Florist!
Good evening, Pumpkinistas!
The maiden workshop at Orchard Nursery & Florist was great! The workshop area was magnificently appointed and arranged by Madeline and the attendees were very engaged and asked excellent questions. This was my first visit/workshop to/at Orchard Nursery & Florist, and I hope it will not be my last. The staff created stunning posters and the displays in and around the nursery were eye-catching, original, and unique. I tried to capture the feel and beauty of them above. I don't think I've ever seen so many Japanese maples in one place before, except for perhaps Kyoto.
If you're ever in the Lafayette area, I highly suggest you stop by and see this impressive nursery.