I have some excellent news for giant pumpkin growers and enthusiasts everywhere but particularly those in Southern California. There will be a couple of giant pumpkin vines planted at The Great Park's Farm and Food Lab this season. The Farm and Food Lab is next to the balloon ride, off of Marine Way and Sand Canyon and the 5 freeway, in Irvine. Follow the very large orange circles that are painted on the road. Please note, however, Farm and Food Lab is open to the public only on a limited basis at this time.
The area that's been selected is ideal for giant pumpkin cultivation: open, plenty of sunshine, good air circulation, close to water, and perhaps most intriguing of all, never planted with pumpkins. There is a general belief that new areas that are planted with pumpkins do particularly well since giant pumpkins are normally very heavy feeders. Just to make extra sure, however, a soil sample is on its way to A & L Western Agricultural Labs, 1311 Woodland Avenue, Suite 1, Modesto, CA 95351, (209) 529-4080, http://www.al-labs-west.com/ I am very curious to see what the soil test from Farm and Food Lab reveals. From the sample, it appears that the soil has a very high clay content.
We shall see!
I hope that this new growing area will help me advance to the 700-900 pound+ level! Also, this year's giant pumpkin growing efforts will be part of my activities as a University of California Cooperative Extension Certified Master Gardener, in Orange County. For even further clarification, this blog is authored by Stuart Shim.