Archive for Thursday, November 2, 2006

Raising pumpkins

November 2, 2006

The Spooky Center on Saturday was a great success, and all the children there had a great time. I could not help but notice the large pumpkins on the stage.

The city staff carved the pumpkins on Friday night, and it was a lot of work for them and also a lot of fun. These great big pumpkins came from Christina Sanderson's father's farm. The Activity Center was beautifully decorated and the haunted house was especially scary. Thanks to all the staff and volunteers who helped make this happen.

Our kids are lucky to live in a city that cares so much about them. Their costumes were fantastic.

Getting back to the huge pumpkins, they made me curious to know more about them.

According to the Web site www.collectionscanada.ca, in 2004, Al Eaton of Richmond, Ontario, held the world's record for the heaviest pumpkin. It weighed in at a whopping 1,446 pounds. He and all the giant pumpkin growers all over the world have another Canadian to thank. Howard Dill of Windsor, Nova Scotia, developed Dill's Atlantic Giant seeds, from which all the world-record holding pumpkins have been grown.

Vancouver Island holds the world's record for the largest pumpkin pie ever baked. It was a mouthwatering 40 feet long by 47 inches wide, baked in 2003. In the 1990s the Lions Club of Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, baked 442 pies from one pumpkin and sold them for charity.

In 1996 in Kinburn, Ontario, Harold Baird grew four giant pumpkins on one single vine that totaled 2,715 pounds.

If you ask 10 competitive pumpkin growers how to grow a giant pumpkin, you will get 10 different answers. Above all, you need good seeds, good soil and good luck. It seems that everyone goes back to Howard Dill's patented Atlantic Giant seeds. No other variety has been a world champion.

Growing these giants takes a lot of care and know-how. Pollination is extremely important. They take a lot of water and will gain eight to 20 pounds a day.

If you are really interested in trying to raise giant pumpkins, go to www.organicgardening.com and buy some Dill's Atlantic Giant pumpkin seeds.

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