This year I haven’t posted much about my giant pumpkins but I do have some growing. My biggest is named ‘Orange Crush’ because it’s coloring is more orange than any other that I’ve grown before (most have been salmon colored). It is also the bumpiest one I’ve ever grown-not the prettiest-but pretty doesn’t count in giant pumpkin contests-weight does. Gnarly dude! It’s weight measured approximately 289 lbs yesterday and averaging 8.6 lbs a day and should hit 300 lbs tomorrow. It’s seed came from the NM state winner that I grew last year. It is behind last year’s record setter but ahead of the previous year’s winner I grew, so I don’t know what to make of it. Will it get bigger than last year or not? Only time will tell. Still have this month and a week of October for it to grow. A lot will depend on the weather-if it gets cold all of them will slow down to a crawl but if it stays warm and doesn’t freeze at night, it has a chance.
My second biggest is ‘Hugo’ which is flat and oval shaped and on a different plant. Rather beautiful, smooth skinned but doesn’t weigh as much coming in at 182 lbs averaging 5 lbs a day so far. I will leave it to see how big it will get.
I also have three smaller ones-2 on one plant and one on a fourth. I weighed them all and decided to take one that weighed 153 lbs (shown above-I love the glow) and another one that was 100 lbs to the State fair today. I cull some of them to take to the fair but of course leave the biggest ones to keep growing for the contest in Colorado.
I also took my two biggest zucchini (so far) to the fair as they don’t give ribbons for them at the national contests. One was 38.5 lbs and the other was 33 lbs. Last year’s record I set came in at 62 lbs. at the Colorado weigh off. I still have more zucchini growing that I hope will get bigger than last year.
Here are some pics of the weigh-off on last Saturday in Colorado Springs. It’s always fun to see everyone’s results after growing these giants for 6 months or more. I planted all my giant veggie seeds on April 7 of this year-that was 188 days of the plants growing. No wonder we become attached! And the actual pumpkins/squashes were pollinated around July 10, which was 95 days for my pumpkin/squash to grow. That’s 448 lbs of growth in 95 days! Most growers get around 120 days to grow these behemoths but here in Santa Fe we have a much shorter growing season as most of you know plus we’ve been in drought this year and on a good year we don’t get much rain compared to say Ohio or New York or just about anywhere else!
Mad Max and me looking like a mad hatter with that hair! Last day before cutoff.
Many of you asked how to I load these giant vegetables. Here are some pictures of the guys loading the giant pumpkins into the truck. If the pumpkins get much bigger, I’ll have to get them in with a hoist.
Many thanks to Janet and Tom Hiron for loaning me their truck, Pepe, for hauling these behemoths up to the weigh-off in Colorado and to the ‘Mad Max’ guys who loaded them. It truly takes a village to get help grow and promote these giants! Tomorrow I will post pics of the weigh-off.
Four New Mexico Giant Vegetable State Records Set yesterday!
Yesterday I set 2 NEW New Mexico Records and BROKE 2 New Mexico Records that I set last year! My giant pumpkin, ‘Max’, ended up officially at 448 lbs breaking Kong’s record of 421 lbs last year. My giant marrow, ‘King Zuc II’ (zucchini) was 62 lbs which broke last year record of 43.5 lbs. My giant green squash, ‘Kryptonite’ (greenie) set a new record of 340 lbs and my long gourd, ‘Jake the Snake’, set a new record of 80″ in length. My giant pear gourd, ‘Gourdo’, weighed in at 103 lbs which was one lb more than the one at the State Fair earlier in September but there is no category for it. Sorry it took so long to post this but we had to get back from Colorado and get the guys back to unload all the giants at our studio! The next two posts will show the loading and Weigh-off but I wanted to get this out for all you following!
The crew-from left Spooner, Ed, Per, Ira, me, Javier, Daniel, and Beto-THE KONG BOYS!
The weigh-off is almost upon us. Tomorrow the pumpkin/greenie squashes will be cut at 8 am and loaded in the truck on pallets. How do I get all this weight in the bed of a truck? 8 strong men! These guys are the best and nicest guys around and I REALLY appreciate their help. I couldn’t do it without them. Here are last year’s crew with my giant pumpkin, ‘Kong’ at 421 lbs. This year’s giant pumpkin, MAD MAX is 463 lbs and the ‘Greenie’ squash, Jabba the Hut is 347 lbs.! Hope the guys have been working out! More pics tomorrow of the loading of the giants!
Today MAD MAX (according to the tape measurements) reached 463 lbs. That’s 42 lbs over last year’s record of 421 lbs! Remember it could weigh lighter than the charts, but I feel pretty good that it will now beat the old record. It has to be all the extra water it’s been getting this past week. Over 2.2 inches in the pumpkin patch! Simply wonderful. That plus it’s been getting some extra fertilizer (seaweed and fish emulsion) right now. Pump it up MAXIE! The weather has been challenging but it hasn’t gotten down to 32°F (0°C) yet in the patch . It was suppose to but I’ve truly LUCKED OUT! I have the pumpkin plant covered with row cover and of course MAX has been covered for a month now with blankets at night. Now if it can just get through tonight, I think the rest of the week is suppose to be warmer and then it’s off to the races on Saturday!
Meanwhile the greenies are getting scary! That’s scaary good! Jabba is 349 lbs and Kyrptonite is 341 lbs! They are still battling it out for who gets to go! I hope one of them will actually sit on the mini pallet I picked up!
The other giants going to the weigh-off (if there is space) is a long gourd at 79″. It doesn’t weigh much but may have to hang off the truck. We’ll put a red bandana off the end of it! LOL. There is also a giant marrow (zucchini). I can use as a spacer between the pumpkin and greenie! And a giant pear gourd-ah what’s another 100 lbs! It should fit in the corner!
JABBA THE HUT is leading the greenies at 329 lbs while Kryptonite is close behind at 318 lbs! JABBA is called a ‘bird bath’ because it’s belly button is sitting on top of the squash instead of on the side which is more common. We will go to the OCt 15th weigh-off in Colorado Springs to let the squashes gain as much as possible. I hope there will be no freeze or snow to kill the plants before then-it will be close. I read that they can continue to grow about 1 week after a hard frost and then you just try to keep the pumpkins from losing weight before the weigh-off. It looks like it will be 33°F on Saturday. I’ll have to cover MAX and the Greenie plants with some protective row cover material.
News on my other giants:
I don’t know how heavy the biggest marrow (zucchini) is yet. I will cut all 4 big ones before we go up and take the heaviest. I do know they are all over 43.5 lbs which was the smallest one I took to the State Fair.
The long gourd is currently 79 inches long and I have a ‘baby’ one growing that is 50 inches long and gaining fast as well!
I’m not sure how big the Giant Pear Gourd is but I think it is close in size to the one I took to the fair which weighed in at 102 lbs.