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…
MAX hits 350 lbs today! It continues to grow although it is starting to slow down a bit-no more 11 lb daily gains. I was in the patch and added a few drip emitters and dug the well out again around it and put compost in the well to help slow evaporation.If we get more rain, it might help it gain more as all the secondary vines will suck up water too.
The good news is last year’s champ, Kong was 228 lbs on this date, Sept 1, of last year. I went back and compared pictures and stats from last year’s Sept 1 to this year. They look a lot alike (of course they do their siblings!) only MAX is more orange and bigger. Now mind you Max is 53 days old and Kong was 35 days old on Sept 1 of last year. Max got pollinated earlier than Kong. I figured MAX has extra growing days. Either way I’ll take it. MAX now needs 77 lbs to beat the State record I set last year. I wonder if anyone else is shooting for the State Record this year. Hmmm…
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!
Here’s the update on the other GIANT VEGETABLES I’M GROWING THIS YEAR.
I also have several little pumpkins (biggest 16 lbs.) on another pumpkin plant, the 1048 Grande, that are in great position on the main vine. They were pollinated later and so they are smaller right now but have the potential to get bigger than ‘MAX’. They are growing slowly right now gaining about 5 lbs a day. Hope they take off as well.
The ‘Greenie squash plant has really blossomed (no pun intended) putting out 5 little green pumpkin type squashes. They are so beautiful, just like a pumpkin only a beautiful green and the plant is huge. Lots of leaves to feed all of them!
Meanwhile this giant zuck is doing great measuring 30 inches in length and 12 inches across right now and growing steady. I also have 2 others that are a little smaller than this one on this plant. One of them will go to the NM State Fair but the biggest I will save for the Giant Pumpkin Commonwealth Contest in Colorado Springs in early Oct.
And the giant long gourd has many gourds but one gourd growing about 6-8 inches a day in length but it is not on the top of the trellis. I hope I get one pollinated way up on top so it has 10 feet to grow down! This is the one I showed you only 7 days ago when it was 4 inches long!
Well I culled the last little pumpkin on the 895 Grande pumpkin plant, leaving one giant pumpkin who I’ve named ‘MAX’ to suck up all the juice.
This last little one wasn’t growing for 4 days so I culled it. I only hope nothing happens to MAX that will ruin my season. It hit 216 lb benchmark today. Hope the rest of August and all of September are WARM which will help put on the LBS! It has been putting on 13 lbs A DAY for a week now which isn’t a lot in the giant pumpkin world, but I’ll take it here at 7000 ft elevation. It is on the main vine but only 8 feet out. Giant pumpkin growers like to wait till the blossoms are 10 feet+ out from the main vine to pollinate. I thought it would be the one I would have to cull later. But noooooo, MAX decided it wants the vine all to itself robbing all the other little pumpkins of nutrients (juice) and the plant is not putting out anymore female flowers either which is good-all the energy is going to MAX now as it wants!
Just to put this in perspective on this date, August 16 of last year, KING KONG, who became the NM State Record, was 32 lbs! It got pollinated on July 29, and MAX got pollinated on July 10. I figure it has an additional 2-3 weeks to grow bigger than Kong IF the weather stays warm at night. Wish for a Indian Summer for me… GROW NAGUAS, GROW! (Chinese for grow pumpkins, grow!)
Yesterday I set up a ‘Plant Cam’, which is an outdoor waterproof digitized camera. I set it to take one picture everyday at 9am of my 3 giant pumpkins on the 895 Grande plant as they grow. That way I will be able to make a video of the growth of the pumpkin in a video after the season. Once I choose one to keep, I will cull the other two and zero the camera in on the one remaining.