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Growers Aiming For First 500 Lb Pumpkin
As you tend your garden this summer, pay special attention to any unusually large squash and pumpkins. With some extra TLC (tender loving care), they may grow to win the World Pumpkin Confederation's (WPC) weigh-off held each October.
The current world record pumpkin, grown by Howard Dill, Windsor, Nova Scotia, was featured in FARM SHOW two years ago in Vol. 6, No. 3. It weighed 493 lbs., was 30 in. high, 44 in. wide, and 43 in. long, and 10 ft. in circumference. Last year's winning pumpkin, grown by Owen Woodman, Falmouth, Nova Scotia, weighed 481 lbs. The world record squash weighed 513 lbs. and was grown by Harold Fulp, Jr., Ninevah, Ind.
Pumpkin growers are avidly trying to grow the first pumpkin to weigh more than 500 lbs. which would net that lucky person a world record and $1,500.
Growing a prize winner takes luck and a lot of care. According to Ray Waterman, of the WPC, it is imperative that, for a large pumpkin, you select a seed from "giant producing" stock. Eleven of the 12 heaviest pumpkins in last year's contest, for example, were of the Atlantic Giant Variety. Seeds from pumpkins weighing more than 350 lbs. are $5 for a package of 6.
Waterman also points out that it helps to nurture the seed with special soil and growing conditions until it's a seedling at the 3 leaf stage and ready to transplant. Plenty of water and fertilizer are also recommended.
This year's contest will conclude with the weigh-in on Oct. 8th at sites throughout the U.S., Canada and Europe. To enter you simply have to have the pumpkin at one of the weigh-in sites 2 hours before the weighing.
For more information, contact: FARM SHOW Followup, World Pumpkin Confederation, 14050 Gowanda State Road, Collins, N.Y. 14034 (ph 716 532-5995).

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1984 - Volume #8, Issue #4