Monday, December 27, 2010

Late update!


Just wanted to update you on our year! Both Vince and myself had planned on coming up to the weigh off, but when the date and location changed, we were unable to make the trip. So here is a quick look at our fruit. Above is my pumpkin and myself. She weighed in at 860 lbs, a little lighter than I thought she would go, but still a great fruit. Vince's pumpkin weighed in at 727 lbs. We were both blessed with sound pumpkins and enjoyed the season greatly. Both fruit were grown entirely organic as well.
Vince's fruit came in very heavy to the charts, going 727 lbs, estimated at 640 lbs. A real beauty in color!

The 860 on the scale after the weighing was finished. A neighbors dog wanted to see the view from the top of the fruit! She weighed in a little light, estimated at 880 lbs. Used a certified ground scale and tarp was tared out of weight.

Vince and his kids with both of our pumpkins. The 727 on the left, and the 860 on the right. Both fruit were on display at Sonrise Church in Santee until halloween.

My wife with the 860 Fredricks 2010 all carved up on Halloween night. Eating another pumpkin! Note the guts coming out of the little guy as he is getting squashed! lol.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

This year's competition was held on the grounds of Island View Nursery, Carpinteria, CA

1,138 pounds, Terminator, and the winning entry!

Island View's Pumpkinmania Weigh-off & Contest Huge Success!

Thank-you, Thank-you to everyone who made the drive to Island View and attended this year's Pumpkinmania event! Because of Pumpkinmania, our annual Fall Festival soared to new heights with interesting, beautiful and LARGE pumpkins on display. We were extremely impressed with all the pumpkins and were simple blown away by the winner (1138 lb. is a BIG pumpkin!!!) Though my own pumpkin weighed only 13 lbs, I was proud to be apart of the greater pumpkin growing community. To all of our out of town visitors, come back and visit us at the nursery sometime, and to all our local attendees, drop by soon! I would like to send special thanks to the following people for making the day so special.....

Mark Imhoof, mastermind of giant pumpkin weighing and Pumpkmania extraordinaire, Philip Concan of Roadkyll Graphics, designer of incrediable Pumpkinmania t-shirts and bags, Lisa Cullen and Leanna of Montecito Landscape for their magical, good witch judging skills, Jan Wilson, fiddler pro, Samantha Dowdall-Green's for baking delicious Halloween treats, Kellog's Garden Products for being a very generous sponsor, Rick Sacks for being a fantastic Pumpkinmania coach and of course Stuart Shim....creator of Pumpkmania and the BEST Pumpkinmania and pumpkin growing coach in the world. It was a wonderful day, and a great way to celebrate gardening all year.

And now for a re-cap of the winners.....

This years winners for heaviest pumpkin (Giantest!) were:

1. John Sach from Whittier, California, at 1,138 lbs! 'Terminator'

2. Glen Bassett from Simi Valley, California at 534 lbs. 'Charlie'

3. Manny Vasta from Carpinteria, California at 337lbs. 'Manny'

Most Beautiful: Clay Heinlich 'Clay's Great Pumpkin' (108.5 lbs.)

Best Color: Max Gilmore 'Linus' (255 lbs.)

Most unusual: Phil Concan 'Witchy Poo' (327 lb.)

Heaviest Local: Duke Mcpherson 'Orange Supreme' (231 lbs.)

Kid's Division/Most Unique: Ashley Sacks (32 lbs.)

Pumpkinmania local fan award: Walter Van Wingerden with 'Orange One' and 'Bella.'

Thanks again!

Katie Sorensen and everyone at Island View.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Giant Pumpkin Weigh-off Details!

Good afternoon, Growers!

Just putting the final details together for this year's weigh-off...Yes, there will be a weigh-off, just not in the same location, date, time as in the past.

Here are the details:

Saturday, October 30, 2010, 10:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m., at Island View Nursery, as part of Island View Nursery's Fall Festival, the address is 3376 Foothill Road, Carpenteria, CA 93013, (805) 684-0324. Please visit their website for directions.

The new date/location is due to the fact that I'll be in China, introducing my daughter Michelle, to her many relatives, from October 14-30, 2010, so the folks at Island View have graciously stepped in to organize and run the weigh-off this season! It's a beautiful nursery and a nice drive up the 101, so I think you will have a great time! Plus, Kellogg Garden Products will be participating as usual!

Take care, have fun, and good luck!


Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Getting a sun tan.

Here is a peek at my pumpkin on day 70. She is partially uncovered in the photo from her tent home! This is the time of year that you get to sit back and truly enjoy your pumpkin. It took a lot of work to get to this point in the season, and many growers don't ever get rewarded for all the work they do. Many disasters abruptly end many a' growers seasons, and this year, so far, I have truly been blessed with a nice fruit. She is still growing as of today. As for her weight, well, I won't know until she gets weighed! ok, I have to have some secrets still. A little size perspective, her tent structure made from pvc pipe is over 5 feet wide. I hope she weighs heavy, but we will see. My friend Vince's fruit has grown well too, I will send a photo sometime! Jim

Giant Sunflower

Well, my pumpkin growing season ended when my dog (who didn't eat the vine) but ate the irrigation hose that fed the plant. After licking my wounds and calling animal control, I was surprised to see a plant thriving on it's own.

This sunflower was grown at my kids' school in the garden. I planted it with a first grade class back in May. When school started last week, I dropped by the garden to see what was growing... not much except a 10' sunflower with 20" head on it.

This thing grew in a spot with plenty of sun and very little water.

Seeds from this plant should be ready by February.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

a whopper!

Ed in Carlsbad is at it again. This is a picture of his pumpkin with his neighbor Bill behind it. Bill said it was the biggest pumpkin he had ever seen! Sure is a beauty in color. Keep up the good work Ed, and have fun showing it off!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

A beauty in the making.

Ed in Tustin has a great pumpkin growing! His friend is pictured with the pumpkin above. Looks like a beauty in color and a contender in size. Keep her going Ed and keep us posted on how she does. Great job!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

mysterious sighting

Hi Stuart,
There was a mysterious sighting in the patch! It's big, orange, and round. I haven't identified the object quite yet, but it looks pretty big. Hopefully it will get bigger! There is also another object just as big or bigger in the same area, I will have to look into it and get back to you! Have a great day. Jim

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

where did the heat go?

Well, the Fredricks farm is coming along now. My plant and vince's plant are just a few feet away from meeting now. Two pumpkin huts are now up! Our plants were loving the high heat the past week and pumpkin growth exploded with big gains for small fruits. Now the temperature is way below normal and growth has slowed down, but still steady. A really weird summer so far for the weather. Forecast calls for more below temps! We need summer to return! It truly is a joy to grow these plants and watch them grow over time. I'm amazed at God's creation and how it grows!
Day 16 for my fruit on the 1424 werner. A baseball on the left for size comparison.

Vince's pumpkin s growing well. Day 26 for his fruit. A baseball is on the right for size comparison

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

got milk?


Here is my little guy at day 9. She is growing nicely so far and ahead of my numbers from years past. Could this be a good sign? I have no idea, but time will tell! It's getting hot hot hot hot hot! Misters on full and water water water!

A view of my plant. She is really ripping now in growth and size. I am going all organic this year for a special reason. I am spraying milk, water, and baking soda for powdery mildew prevention. Got milk? lol Anyway, the great news is that my wife is 4 months pregnant with our first child, so I don't want to risk spraying a lot of chemicals at our house!

This is vince's pumpkin hut! His pumpkin is on day 20 already. It is sooo big I can't show you a picture of it, just the massive hut he built around it. :) In all seriousness, it is growing very good so far!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Ed in Tustin nee' Carlsbad

Good afternoon, Pumpkinistas!

Ed in Tustin's cucurbit juggernaut continues:

"Hi, Stuart,

Not quite the size of a small horse yet...but getting there. Guess it is the size of one of those exercise balls at this point (dwarfing the Coke can on the left side). Needed to tent it since the sun is starting to heat things up and I want to keep the skin pliable. Will probably even need a larger tent soon! Also, included a pic of some potential "Siamese twins". Is this fairly common in the pumpkin world?

By the way, if you are in the neighborhood, you are welcome to come by and check out my progress. Would appreciate any input you can provide. How are your plants coming along?

Ed in Tustin"

Hi Ed!

Thanks for the invitation! I'll let you know if I'm going to be in the area. Sounds like fun. To answer about your Siamese twins, I have seen this occasionally. The challenge is if both flowers were pollinated, the eventual fruits would tear the vine apart. Regarding my vines? I have been remiss. I hope to have some recent pictures and progress sometime this week.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Bob of San Juan Capistrano: A Worthy Challenger!

Good afternoon, Pumpkinistas!

Just when you think that you have the biggest pumpkin in Orange County, and perhaps, in the region, something unexpected happens...

This update just in...


Attached are a few pictures of the pumpkins which are growing in San Juan Capistrano. They seem to be doing very well. Besides hoping for a high weight giant; I'm looking forward to trying out lots of pumpkin pie recipes as well. After all, I can't let the delicious pumpkins go to waste after all the TLC they have been receiving.


Bob of San Juan Capistrano"

It's great to see the season shaping up so well for so many growers, so early! Now that pumpkins are beginning to set, the fun really begins. Stay tuned for more adventures in giant pumpkin cultivation.

Ed in Tustin: What a Difference a Day Makes!

Good afternoon, Pumpkinistas!

Here's a great example of how quickly a giant pumpkin can grow in just 24 hours...

It's probably the size of a small horse by now...

Ed in Tustin: Growing Like a Giant Pumpkin Should!

Good afternoon, Pumpkinistas!

Attention has shifted for Ed from Carlsbad to his effort in Tustin, and rightfully so...

"Good afternoon Stuart,

Another update for you: The Tustin Bhaskaran pumpkin is growing like crazy. When I sent the last picture in on the 4th, it was the size of a softball. Hard to believe but it is now the size of a basketball. I sent a few pics to David Bhaskaran for his thoughts. He told me that it had the potential to reach 1,000+ lbs. I'm not going to get too excited yet because the season is still young but...I do go out multiple times a day to "watch it grow"!!! I am fertilizing it once a week and on warmer days, watering it twice/day.

The Carlsbad Breznick unfortunately is hurting. Have a fruit the size of a basketball but unfortunately some animal (I think a bird) disfigured it in multiple places. Did not break all the way through the skin and so it is still growing but does not "look nice". Also, because of all the cool weather/coastal fog, the plant itself is getting mildew and some of the leaves are already turning yellow. Will be picking up some GreenCure from OC Farm Supply and keeping my fingers crossed for some sun at the coast soon...

Tustin is now considerably far ahead in the race...
Ed from Tustin :)"

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Tustin Memorial Academy: Great so far!

Good afternoon, Pumpkinistas!

Here's the lastest from the most recent crop of growers at Tustin Memorial Academy:

"Hi Stuart,

So far, so good...I think. The leaves on these pumpkins are huge. They remind me of an elephant's ear. Anyway, I've attached some photos, so you can see the progress. Do you think we are on target for some really big pumpkins?

We planted 2 giants in each mound, thinking one would die or get eaten by the bunnies, but they all survived. Should I take one out? or leave it?
 I haven't noticed any mildew or mold on the leaves yet. I'm pretty sure we had it last year. I know you mentioned something to use for that, but I can't remember what it is.

Hope all is well.


The answers:
Yes, you are on target for some giant pumpkins, your vines look great!
Yes, cull down to one vine per mound. You'll get better results.
Thanks for remembering me mentioning something to use for powdery mildew. It's called GreenCure, and it's available locally at Orange County Farm Supply, 1826 West Chapman Avenue in Orange, 92868, or on this website, at the bottom of the page.
Ed in Carlsbad & Tustin Fresh Fruit!

Good afternoon, Growers!

After being laid low by an unknown bug for a few days over the 4th of July holiday, I am back, happy to report on Ed in Carlsbad's/Tustin's recent developments...

"Hi Stuart,

I'm having a little friendly competition...with myself. As you know from previous postings, I am growing a seed from a 942 Breznick in Carlsbad. The plant was off to a very vigorous start but because of the cool coastal weather, things have slowed down quite a bit and although I have 4 pumpkins on the plant, I am not particularly pleased with their progress. The 580 Bhaskaran plant, which I am growing in the backyard of a house I own in Tustin, is quite a different story. Although that plant was off to somewhat of a slow start, it has now taken off and both the vine and pumpkin growing on it are doing extremely well. I already have a sizable fruit which became pollinated very early in June, with a couple of other contenders just starting out. From what I understand, back in the late 1800's the Tustin soil and climate was very amicable to growing pumpkins and so far this year, it appears that is still the case. Carlsbad vs. Tustin - at this point my bet is on Tustin for the "winning" pumpkin. I will keep you posted...Ed"

Saturday, July 03, 2010

what is this????

Hi Stuart, here is an update from the patch. Above, is the 1424 Werner plant really growing well now for me. But the real story is in the two pictures below. My friend Vince is off to a great start with his plant as you will see....
This is a picture of the other San Diego competition. My friend Vince is growing the 901 Hunt seed and he is way ahead of my plant right now. Do you see something hiding in there????

What is this????? His pumpkin is day 9 and already 24 inches around! I think he might kick my rear end this year:)

My glimmer of hope on the 1424 Werner at 11 feet on the main. Will open soon and hopefully catch up to Vince!

Friday, July 02, 2010

Giant Sunflower

By now all you good pumpkin growers have plants that are thriving in the long days of summer. In years past I've grown a few large pumpkins. The largest at about 250# but most in the 100 pound range… big enough for people to say “wow!” but not large enough to be competitive.

A few years ago I started growing sunflowers for a few reasons but the deciding factor was space. I don’t have a whole lot of yard to spare for 4 months of the year and the space I can use is occupied by a voracious chewing puppy.

The nice thing about sunflowers is that they grow straight up, and come in a variety of sizes and colors and you can even grow them in a pot. In the picture is a (common 10 year-old) plant that is about 5 weeks into the season, and stands a little over 7’ tall. It has been growing at a rate of 15 inches a week with the help of ample water and some high nitrogen fertilizer. This plant was bred from a flower that I grew 2 years ago. It was 12’ tall with a flower that was 16” across

Sunday, June 27, 2010

sizing up


This is the 1424 Werner as of Sunday evening. She is really starting to run and size up as a plant now. The main vine is around 10 feet long. You can see a pumpkin on the vine, but it was too close to the stump for my "keeper". I have a pumpkin that will be about 12 feet out on the main vine, she will be my target fruit. Hopefully I can pollinate around July 4th. I sprayed with garlic barrier tonight, had an attack of catipillars!!!!!! It's alwas fun to see the plants at this stage and really grow.

Jim Fredricks, Santee CA