Thursday, May 06, 2010

Melissa, Lori, Nell and Jill, not necessarily in that order!
800 Giant Pumpkin Seedling Distribution
Planned by Farm Supply Company in San Luis Obispo!

Good evening, Pumpkinistas!

Dr. Joe Sabol, Professor Emeritus at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, raconteur, and sitting President of the California Rare Fruit Growers, is lending a hand with germinating about 800 giant pumpkin seedlings to be distributed FREE by Farm Supply Company's stores on May 15th, including 100-150 or so at the 10:00 a.m., giant pumpkin workshop at 224 Tank Farm Road, San Luis Obispo, CA 93406 (805) 543-3751,!

Workshop attendees are obviously in for a very special treat!

Joe was kind enough to send me these pictures of his 2010 giant pumpkin seed germination staff, and a brief description of their process:

"As you know, we germinate the seeds at 80 degrees in wet paper towel then carefully plant the rather delicate germinating seed into a very wet 4-inch container using top quality potting soil mix. The seed is about 1.0 inch deep in the soil. These containers are in my unheated greenhouse but... they grow!!! They are stacked up until they show some green above ground!! Then they go to the floor, single layer!!!

The paper towel method works for me for two reasons....

1. You only plant seeds that are alive and well. No duds planted.

2. It is much easier to keep a wet paper towel and 10 or 15 seeds (burrito roll) warm at 80 degrees than 10 or 15 pots. The challenge is to catch the seed just as that root comes out and plant it!!! If it comes out and you miss it by 10 or 12 hours, it will grow quickly and get right through the paper towel and be almost impossible to transplant to the soil!!!"

That's how to produce 800 giant pumpkin seedlings! What an impressive feat!