It is a good year for me at the State Fair for my giant veggies! I got 5 blue ribbons and first places for all my entries-giant zucchini, giant pear gourd, giant long gourd, giant tomato and giant greenie) and 2 I entered for Elodie ( a second giant zucchini and a tomato) took second places and got red ribbons. We still have bigger veggies waiting for the national contest in Colorado in October…
Today I dropped off my entries for the giant vegetable categories at the New Mexico State Fairgrounds which opens this weekend. I didn’t submit a giant pumpkin this year as I only have 2 going. MAX and BABY HUEY (who I’ve been watching put on 9 lbs a day now for a while). Lava went down to Albuquerque with me to help unload. Here are the candidates I did submit:
This tomato is from a Big Zac variety and is 19.25 inches in circumference and 2 lbs, 14.4 oz in weight. It is still turning red but has completed it’s growth. I didn’t see anything bigger down at the fair. We will see..
This giant ‘greenie’ squash is ‘The Hulk’ and estimated weight is 157 lbs and has put on 7 lbs a day in the last 5 days. Here it is in the back of the Prius. It barely fit in! I still have 2 bigger greenies growing in the garden for the big weigh-off.
Here is the giant Long Gourd, ‘Digi’, which is measured by length-it is 59.5 inches long-basically the length of the back of the Prius with the seats down. It had stopped growing. I still have some longer ones still on the vine that I’m saving for the big contest. In the foreground is the whitish pear gourd.
Here is the third biggest giant marrow (zucchini), ‘Little Boy’, which is 47 inches long and 27 inches wide! It ended up weighing 43.5 lbs which was bigger than the one I took last year to the fair.That one was 34 lbs. I have bigger ones in the garden yet to come for the big contest.
And lastly here is the giant Pear Gourd, ‘Gourdo’, which is 31 inches wide and 41 inches in length. You can’t see it too well here but it is huge. It weighed 102 lbs on the scale at the fair! I debated whether to take it today or leave it for the big contest and decided to take it as it will be for exhibition only up at the big contest as they have no category for it. At least at the state fair I will get a ribbon…
Here is a picture of one of my giant tomatoes on it’s way to stardom. (I hope!)
Notice this tomato looks deformed and gnarly. It has 4 little tomatoes that have fused together-kinda like Siamese twins only this one is quadruplets! Most giant tomatoes are a result of a megablossom where 2 or more blossoms fuse together. Many megablossoms do not pollinate fully and so they have a higher self abort rate. So far this one is doing well. I have a few other megablossoms right now but not many. Some varieties produce more megablossoms and hence more giant tomatoes. Two varieties that have the potential of producing giant tomatoes are Delicious and Big Zac. There are other varieties that can produce giant tomatoes too. This one in the picture comes from a Nick Harp tomato seed. His plant grew a 7 lb+ tomato last year and he gave me a few seeds. I call his plants the ‘Harpies”! I have 5 growing right now. Hope this one becomes a monster! Since I’m an organic grower I’ve been feeding it fish and seaweed fertilizer from the Neptune brand.
Finally, I can start to talk about giant veggies as I will start the pumpkins this month inside. Here is some background information on some giant vegetables so you will understand them. Later in another post, I will get more specific on which giant veggies I am growing.
All or most of the giant pumpkins, giant squash, giant marrow (look like BIG zucchini) and giant tomatoes where people want to BREAK RECORDS AND GET THEM OFFICIALLY WEIGHED are listed by the weight/grower’s name and year. So for example: the new world record pumpkin holder is held by a woman named Christy Harp who broke the record last year-so her pumpkin is listed as 1725 C. Harp 09. This means her pumpkin weighed 1725 lbs, her name is C.Harp and 09 is the year it was grown.
Here is a pic of her with her world record pumpkin. This pumpkin came from a genetic line of very big pumpkins, so those of us after records look at the parentage of each seed to give us what we think are the best odds of growing certain traits-ie size, shape, or color and weight. Now you don’t have to go to any special weigh-offs or buy any specific seed from a grower unless you want it recorded.
There are some varieties of these vegetables that are known to grow very BIG. If you plant these, you will grow some very big vegetables maybe not a world record but big. None of these are GMOs but almost all are hybrids.
Here are some varieties of giant vegetables to get you started that will give you the potential to grow em BIG!
GIANT PUMPKINS-If you don’t want too big, try Big Max pumpkins where you have the potential to grow a 100 lb pumpkin but hands down the Atlantic Giant Pumpkin variety is the one most grown-you can get it generically like I did my first year from amazon.com (I grew a 225lb pumpkin that year) or you can join some giant pumpkin clubs and/or organizations and buy or ask to get some specific seed that has been grown by one of the big growers. It’s a whole different thing or as Christy Harp said about giant pumpkin growing, “It’s a hobby gone mad”! The interesting thing is many giant pumpkin growers are growing them organically. Now isn’t that cool! One of the most important things I learned from some growers is to create really healthy soil.
GIANT TOMATOES-Some varieties you can purchase through the catalogs are:
Big Zacs, Giant Belgiums, Delicious and many more to grow 3 lb plus maters.
MARROWS-They aren’t generally grown here in the states but are big in Europe and I’m not sure why. Their seeds are harder to get here. I got one seed from a grower in the Netherland that I will try this year. It was 76 lbs. We’ll see how big it’s off spring gets or if it will even do well here.