Giant Pumpkins: 1

by Alex Hallowell

So, today is August 4th, making it roughly two months since Steve started growing his giant pumpkins. Well, actually, its been years that he’s been growing giant pumpkins, but this year’s crop is already two months old, and baby, they’re big.

Weighing in at 200+ lbs a piece, these are jumbo pumpkins, and they’re only going to grow.

I should disclose that Steve is my uncle, and that I’m engaging in blatant nepotism, but just try to argue that these pumpkins aren’t awesome. He used to have a pick-your-own blueberry patch at the back of his house in Duxbury, but after losing his blueberry bushes to a fungus about ten years ago, he turned his efforts to pumpkin growing.

Steve is a landscaper here in Duxbury, and as long as I can remember, he’s had his projects. Futzing with various flowers, vegetables, and now the pumpkins. He’s joined an online forum of giant pumpkin growers, they share tips, suggestions and of course, support each other when they lose a pumpkin. “Just the other day a guy came on and told us about how he lost his 500 lb pumpkin overnight. It just rotted. It happens.” Steve lost a pumpkin just the other day, he has several suffering from a frothy foamy fungus (pictured below).

He listed off the fertilizers he has been using, mostly seaweed-based fertilizers. He provides the pumpkins with a diet rich in calcium to prevent splitting, a common problem as they grow. He also covers them with sheets and old tee-shirts to keep the sun from toughening the skin, a condition that slows and eventually stops growth.

We’ll be following these pumpkins as they grow, possibly to over 1,000lbs. I’ll be checking in on my uncle each week, showing you their growth which stands to be quite impressive.

About eSS&SC

The South Shore and South Coast has been home to hunting, gathering, fishing, farming––and great eating––for over 10,000 years. We are committed to identifying, devouring, and sharing all that Southeastern Massachusetts has to offer today and preserving local options for future generations.
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