Since I'm talking about gardening this Memorial Day weekend I can't leave out the year we grew GIANT pumpkins!
The topic needs its own blog because it's so GIANT.
It all started when I did a feature story for the TV station aboutI happened to be driving by the farm while in the news van and was mesmerized by the whopper orange pumpkins glowing in the field.
I interviewed Gerald Johnson who owns the farm.
He told me that the giants grow so fast they can gain 10-pounds in one day!
They usually grow at night, and Gerald said he loved walking through the field after sundown with his three daughters because the field CRACKLED...
actually the sound of the pumpkins wildly expanding and snapping the vines.
I couldn't wait until the next summer when I would plant the giants with my own children.
I envisioned the vines stalking the entire back yard and winning a prize in Gerald's BIGGEST pumpkin contest.
The next spring, we planted four little seedlings. Hubby confined us to a long landscape bed against the back of the house.
Within a few weeks, the bed was crammed with vines and sneaking onto Hubby's sacred lawn!
I was insane with excitement!
Several times a day, we peeked under those big leaves looking for flowers with little green balls beneath them. Each new ball meant a new GIANT pumpkin!
The kids enjoyed our green ball hunts, but I was obsessed.
Each one was like a new child in our family, and I would lovingly talk to them.
I just knew we would soon be strolling through the pumpkin patch at night hearing the
Heck, I was willing to plop a sleeping bag by the pumpkins to hear that mighty sound.
After daily checks, and still no crackling, I added singing to the love roster.
I was a sicko!
I was also thoroughly perplexed when we harvested this basket of
I called Gerald to have him take us out of the running for BIGGEST pumpkin.
"Do you have a smallest pumpkin category?"
Puzzled, I returned to the farm that October to do another story.
Gerald told me to determine which pumpkin is growing the best, then remove all others.
This way the nutrients go into one pumpkin.
I was okay with our puny pumpkins. I knew I couldn't cut the umbilical cord on any of my children.
In August, Gerald goes into the field and carves designs on the pumpkins.
By October, the design "scars" into an etching.
We had so much fun growing the pumpkins, I sowed..er, sewed the kids into
pumpkins for Halloween.
The littlest pumpkin protested, so I had to remove the padding for
the trick-or-treat rounds.
I'm telling you all this in case YOU want to try growing GIANT pumpkins this summer.
You can find a plethora of web sites about how to grow them BIG.
I would suggest starting with one or two seedlings planted FAR apart.
You can see how much our four seedlings grew.
Now, if we want to see GIANT pumpkins, we just go to Gerald's farm.
Let me know if you get a WHOPPER...
or hear the CRACKLE!
I'll set you up in Gerald's BIGGEST contest.