Giant Pumpkin, MAD MAX reaches 463 lbs today-Sunday Oct. 9

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!

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!

Long gourds trellis

Baby long gourd plants-4 inches tall

Here are the baby long gourd plants that hopefully will grow into giant long gourds! I can’t imagine it. They’re so small!

Long gourd trellis in garden

Here is the giant long gourd trellis that Caleb and I built that will offer support to the long gourd plants that will grow up it. Yea right! It is 10 feet tall and about 3 feet wide. I can’t imagine growing a long gourd that tall much less even think about those teeny weeny little plants going all the way to the top of this gigantic trellis but it will be fun to try! I guess I better move the ladder down to the garden…

long gourds growing on trellis (not mine!)

Here are some pictures of the 2007 world record long gourd that reached just over 127 inches that another person grew. The plant is really beautiful. In the picture above the long gourd was so tall they had to dig a hole in the ground so it would keep growing straight! If it hits the ground it will start to curl.

looking up inside a trellis (not mine!)

Looking up at the gourds from inside a trellis-Beautiful!

Here is a picture looking up through the trellis at the long gourds. This looks so lush! I wonder what I will be able to do in this desert!?

The current world record for long gourd is a whopping 135 inches tall-that’s just over 11 foo tall. Now that’s a lot of gourd! Wish me luck-I’m going to need it!

Planting Giant Pumpkins-In ground- June 1!

Giant pumpkin inside low tunnel

On Wednesday  I transplanted the giant pumpkins in Bri’s Pumpkin Patch here at the property.

Bri, my horsey, is no longer with me. Last year I used her 2000 sq foot corral as the giant pumpkin patch and I got a New Mexico State Record-421 lbs for Giant Pumpkin last year. I think she is watching over them! I miss her terribly.

Here’s how I plant the pumpkin transplants that I started in the house.

1. First I dig out an area about 4 feet around and 1-2 feet deep where their root system will grow. This year I added generous amounts of compost, 1/2 cup of mycorrhizal, 1 cup humate, and 1 cup of worm castings and mixed it into the area. (I did not add any fertilizers as my soil test I had done in Spring said I was high in nitrogen, potassium, and potash, which is your basic fertilizer ingredients. (This is weird because the pumpkins usually use up all available nutrients by the end of the season. The only thing I did last fall was put some chicken manure on top of the ‘holes’. I didn’t even dig it in but I think the nutrients leached into the soil from the winter snows and increased the levels.)

2. Then I dig a small hole where I place the pumpkins and I add another handful of worm castings and 1/2 cup more of mycorrhizal (it’s dry granule stuff) and mix them together. This way the castings and mycorrhizal will be right in the immediate root zone in the beginning and the bigger amended area will be accessible as the root system grows.

3. I carefully peeled off the peat pot including the bottom so not to disturb the roots but if the pumpkin is root bound, I must carefully squeeze the roots to loosen them up so they can grow outwards. This year I didn’t have to do that. I placed the pumpkins in the bottom of the hole opposite the first true leaf so it grows in the direction I want and put the amended soil back around the root ball. I make a well around the plant so I can add water right to the root zone.

4. In a 5 gallon bucket, I added 1 tsp/1 gallon of water of liquid seaweed and about 3 drops of Super Thrive/1 gallon of water which helps immensely with transplant shock. Super Thrive is super expensive and super good. It has lots of the B vitamin complex in it which helps with stress-just like for us! I first watered the well 2x to make sure all the soil was soaked around the plant, then I added the liquid seaweed/thrive in water to the well.

5. I put the Seaweed and Thrive with the water in each day for about 5 days, then afterwards I normally give them water with fish emulsion once a week but for now since my nitrogen is high I will wait awhile. I do water every day with about a 1/2 gal of water right now.

6. I don’t put fertilizers in the water every time I water, normally just once a week. I will also add other things to the water once a week but will discuss that as I go along in the season. I still have to do a drip system for the pumpkins and will hand water them until I get it up and running.

7. I cover the transplant with a small piece of row cover to help it in it’s transition with the intense sun and wind and keep rabbits away. I tack it down with rocks.

8. On Thursday I put the low tunnels I previously made over the already covered pumpkins to protect them from the heat and wind even more.  Low tunnels are like high tunnels but only go over the plants. You can’t walk inside them-they are low!  They will stay on till the plants grow out of them at the end.  So far they are looking good. The soil is nice and warm at 70°F.

9. Saturday (today) I put the shade covering over the low tunnels as the sun is sooo intense right now. I can take it off once they adjust to the outside elements.