Mad Max goes to the Weigh-Off in Colorado Springs

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!

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Giant Marrow (zucchini) continues to grow in garden..

Giant marrow continues to grow in garden

I have a giant marrow seed that I got from a grower in the Netherlands that I’m growing this year. They call zucchini squash, courgettes or marrows in Europe. Both zucchini and marrows are in the same family- Curcurbita Pepo. My giant marrow (zucchini) is getting bigger and more gnarly. It is now kept wrapped up tightly with row cover to protect it from the pesky squirrel. I’m not sure how much it weighs as I don’t know of any measurement method like we have for giant pumpkins so it is always a surprise at the State Fair or at the Giant Pumpkin Commonwealth weigh-off  in Colorado but it sure looks BIG with that beer can on it for perspective. The US record for this type of giant vegetable is around 90 lbs! Last year, my biggest marrow weighed 43 lbs and set a NM State Record. This one is still growing so we will see!

Saving Seeds-still time to collect them

giant marrow opened up exposing seeds

I’ve been collecting some of the seeds that I want to replant for next year-rattlesnake beans, giant marrow, Japonica corn, giant pumpkin, scarlet runner beans, sunflower seeds, tomato seed from my 2.11oz tomato, cosmos, and zinnas. Ones I won’t take are cucumbers, most tomatoes, zucchini, winter squash, and peppers as I grew several of the same varieties and they could of crossed and I might loose the original strain.

giant marrow seeds drying

When saving big seeds like squashes or pumpkins, be sure to thoroughly DRY the seeds before putting them in a zip-loc baggie or jar. Any hint of moisture will ruin them. I just put the cleaned, wet seeds on a piece of wax paper on a cookie sheet in a dry sunny place until dry. That way they will release from the wax paper after they are dry. I always like collecting seeds every year. It’s fun when you plant them the following year. It’s also fun when you don’t have to buy a packet of seeds for $2.49 with 20 seeds in them when you can collect the same seed and get 100’s more.  I have a friend (Fran) who walks and collects the wild flower seeds and broadcasts them on her property and the her natural garden this year looked awesome. (Did I tell you that Fran?!) Awesome!

NM State Fair Results for giant pumpkin/marrows

I went to the 2010 New Mexico State Fair yesterday and won first place for my littlest giant pumpkin and first and second place for my marrows (zucchinis). It was fun seeing all the different veggies on display and which ones won. Next stop-Great Pumpkin Commonwealth (GPC) Weigh-Off in Colorado Springs, CO with my biggest pumpkin and marrow on October 2.

1st place-giant pumpkin 2010

1st and 2nd place-zucchini 2010

Giant Pumpkins ready for garden!

Here are the pumpkins and one giant marrow (kinda like a giant zucchini-they grow them in Europe). I’m planting them by tues or wed. I’m hardening them off with a little sun gradually the next few days) now that the nights have warmed up into the mid-40’s.  I gave them a drink of Superthrive and seaweed fertilizer to help them with stress through the transition after I brought them in today. Now they are back in the house. Getting a late start this year-want to see if it makes any difference as it was so cold in May (many 27 degree nights, 50’s in day) and I thought they would just sit in the cold soil there anyways. Hope they catch up!

5 giant pumpkins and one giant marrow

From left- front row: 352 Cabossel 09, 949.5 N.Harp 09, 817.9 Schieder 09,  form left-Back row: 1166 Mohr 09, 895 Grande 08, 73.6 Wursten 09 (giant marrow)