Prince Edward County
points of Spring Newsletter
V o l u m e 1 3 , I s s u e 1 S p r i n g 2 0 0 9
will be held on
Seed Starting Just Around the Corner
prize list for It will soon be time to start by Darrell Leonard of large 5 gallon pots and prefers
Wellington, your pumpkin seeds for the Wyevale ON, With his a huge plant at set out time.
including a 2009 season. Whether you 1395.5 Leonard.
$500 first are growing your own seeds, Thad Starr of Pleasant Hill Ore-
Prize. gon, has grown 2 pumpkins
choosing one from the
Provincial PECPG seed sale or picking over 1500 lbs over the last
Cosmetic one of the great seeds dis- two seasons. Thad tries to
pesticide ban tributed in the GVGO seed keep his seedlings in pots as
comes into short a time as possible, from
distribution packets, your
22nd 2009 chances have never been a week to 10 days max. Thad
better to pick a top seed. says the only reason to pot the
seedlings at all is to determine
Many growers start their which direction the plant will
seeds around April 25th, grow.
Inside this with plans to set out in early
May. There is no question Darrell Leonard and his 1395 Whenever you decide to set
that an early start is critical out, resist the urge to start
Darrell says he always starts
2008 Seed 2 to finishing the season with seeds in early April. Plants
his seeds in late April or
Sale a new personal best. started too early will become
early May, but doesn’t set
root bound and stunted.
2009 2 them out until after the May
The largest pumpkin in
24th weekend. Darrell trans- Good luck and good growing in
Pumpkinfest Ontario last year was grown
plants his seedlings into 2009!
2009 Prize 3
Wellington Weigh off Climbs in
PECPG weigh 3
off Rules Top 10 average
Seed Start- 4 In 2007, PEC Pumpkinfest reporting with a top 10 aver- see where we have come with
ing 101 and the Wellington weigh off age of 998.6 lbs, just shy of our weigh off!
became a GPC (Great 1000 lbs!
The Spider 5 Wellington continues to be one
Pattern sanctioned site. That fall we 2009 should prove to be our of the most popular weigh offs in
6 finished in 24th place of 46 best year ever as we look for Ontario and draws growers from
GPC sites reporting with a our top 10 average to all over East Central Ontario and
top 10 site average of 953.9 exceed 1000 lbs. Western Quebec.
It was in 1996 that PEC’s Mark your calendar now for
This year 2008, we moved own Bill Greer Grew the first October 17th! Be sure to arrive
up to 18th of 67 GPC sites 1000 lb pumpkin in the early for the parade, where thou-
world. Bill would be proud to sands of people line up to cheer
on the giants.
PECPG Seed Sale a Roaring Success
This past winter, the This is a testament to the next year to ensure you
PECPG once again held its growers and the quality of get yours.
annual fund raising seed the genetics being offered.
sale. Featuring seeds from We still have some of the
the top 5 pumpkins at Seeds were sold to grow- proven seeds for sale.
Wellington’s last fall’s ers all over North America Check out the list at:
weigh off. As well this year and Europe. With one
packet even going to www.gvgo.ca
we offered some proven
seeds for sale individually. Korea!
We would like to thank all
Unfortunately, due to de- those who purchased and
The sale was nothing less
mand we were unable to the growers who donated
than a total success, com-
fill all requests for pack- seeds and made this years
Harley Sproule jumps pletely selling out of the
ets this year. Be sure to sale an overwhelming
for joy with his 2008 promo packets by the end
order your packet early success.
Wellington win with
Geared up for 2009 Wellington Pumpkinfest
The stage is set for the 13th annual Prince Edwards County Pumpkinfest at Wellington
Mark your Ontario. This year the festival will be held on Saturday October 17th, 2009.
October 17th for Schedule of events (Tentative)
Ontario's Pancake Breakfast 8:00am
Parade of the Giants 10:30 AM (everyone welcome to participate as well as watch.
weigh-off in Craft Tables, food booths, church meals from noon on,
Wellington ON Contests, children's games and entertainment from noon to 4:30pm
Weigh off begins at 12:30 at C.M.L. Snider Public School
Arnold Vader inducted in Hall of Fame
Arnold Vader PEC’s own Arnold years. Arnold Continues to Behind every great man
and his 2005 Vader was grow big pumpkins making there is an even greater
Bill Greer inducted in the it almost look easy. Arnold women. Arnolds wife Mary
memorial GVGO Hall of fame also continues to support has worked very hard as
Award at their AGM on the club and participates well, volunteering time each
April 4th. Arnold annually in the Wellington fall at the weigh off and even
was recognized for weigh off as well as at- growing some big pumpkins
his contributions to tending Port Elgin Pump- herself.
the sport over the kinfest.
Way to go Arnold and Mary!
Prince Edward County Pumpkin Growers
Volume 13, Issue 1 Page 3
New 2009 Prize List
2009 Prize List
First heaviest pumpkin …….. $500.00 *
Second heaviest pumpkin ... $300.00 *
Third heaviest pumpkin …... $200.00 *
Fourth heaviest pumpkin ... $50.00
Fifth heaviest pumpkin ... $40.00
Sixth heaviest pumpkin ... $30.00
Seventh to tenth heaviest pumpkin ... $25.00
Eleventh to fifteenth heaviest…….$20
Bill Greer Memorial Prize for heaviest pumpkin grown in Prince Edward County ... $200.00
Heaviest squash ... $100.00, Second heaviest squash …$50.00 Third $25.00
Howard Dill Award…$100 *
Tallest sunflower (no entry fee required) ... $15.00
Second tallest sunflower ... $10.00
Heaviest pumpkin entered by a first time grower ... Merchandise
Largest Pumpkin by a 4-H member……$50
Long Gourd, 1st $50.00, 2nd $30.00 3rd to 5th..$20.00 *
* Denotes new or change
Prince Edward County Pumpkin Growers
Rules & Regulations
1. Pumpkins may only be weighed by the current members of the Prince Edward County Pumpkin Growers Association.
Membership is $15.00 per year and will entitle the member to enter one pumpkin, squash or long gourd. Additional vege-
table entries will be $5.00 per entry. Dues are payable at the weigh-off
2. The specimen must have been grown and cared for by the grower who must be present to win. Only 1 cash prize per
member in each category, not including Grower's and Bill Greer Memorial prize.
3.As members of the Great Pumpkin Confederation, GPC, their rules will apply for weighing pumpkins and squash. Fruit
weighed in other competitions will not be eligible for prizes. Please check out the complete GPC Rules at:
4.Squash will be classified as follows- 100% of the following colors or color combinations green, blue, and gray. The sur-
face area of the fruit as grown in the garden, not including the portion that was in contact with, or close proximity to the
ground will be considered. This area will include the area between the ribs, around the stem, and the blossom end. This
will not include any netting (cantaloping), any discoloration caused by the close proximity to the ground, or minimal
amounts of white striping or mottling associated with some squash.
5. Upon entering a pumpkin or squash, the grower agrees to donate 100 seeds from their pumpkin if requested for the
annual fundraising seed sale.
Kelp and seaweed fertiliz- acquired response, which increasing the concentra-
ers have increased sub- is basically resistance to a tion after fruit set.
stantially in use by giant range of diseases and
pumpkin growers over the insects as well as improve We purchase our seaweed
last several years. Sea- plant hardiness and resis- from Neptune's Harvest ,
weed contains a complex tance to adverse environ- through the GVGO’s group
matrix of nutrients and mental conditions such as purchase each spring , but
plant growth hormones. extreme heat, frost or I have seen other seaweed
drought. products available in some
These growth hormones of the big box stores, Ca-
include Auxins, Cytokinins We apply liquid seaweed nadian Tire and in garden
and gibberellins. as a 1-2% (1.5-3 oz per centers. Seaweed prod-
gal) solution, starting right ucts are also available
Regular applications Regular foliar application from emergence and con- through Bio-Ag in Welles-
of seaweed can sub- can induce a systemic
tinuing on a weekly basis, ley ON
resistance to disease
Seed Starting 101
Reprinted and modified from the April 2006, Pumpkin Watch Newsletter
“Seeds that take It makes sense to be nerv- the seeds for eight to twelve Provide bottom heat by way of
ous about the germination hours in plain water or alter- a germination mat, or any
more than 4 of these seeds, because nately a mild seaweed or hy- homemade contraption you
days to the Atlantic Giant pumpkin drogen peroxide solution, pre can conjure to provide the 80-
seed can be tricky to sprout. -germinating between moist 90 degrees. Use a soil or meat
germinate This stems from the fact that paper towels, and a thermometer, and evaluate
exhibit poor a competition seed came variety of other methods that temperature and moisture at
from a competition pumpkin, all introduce water and heat in least every eight hours.
vigour and and that pumpkin received an accelerated way to quickly
special treatment that pro- germinate their seeds. You should start your seeds 30
should be duced very large and thick days ahead of your last frost
discarded” seeds. The size and thick- The key to success is date, if you have built a cloche
ness of AG seeds make wrapped in the word, “quick.” (mini greenhouse) to house
them particularly hard to Germination times that exceed your seedling. If not, start your
Bill Greer consistently germinate. 5-7 days will likely result in seeds a week before your an-
seed rot, so all of these meth- ticipated last frost.
There are several methods ods help to shorten the time
that giant pumpkin growers that the seed spends in moist, I usually start my seeds in 3”
use to improve their heated, starting media. peat pots, transplanting into
chances of germination. All 1.5 gal pots at about 1 week
growers The media should be soilless
do not use all of mix, slightly moist – not wet, Plan on having your seedlings
germination these methods, but and the media temperature transplanted into your patch
is important no grower just starts should be between 80-90 de- within 10-14 days from starting
a seed without grees Fahrenheit. With seed your seeds.
to develop- some initial prepara- edges filed, moisture quickly
ing a strong tion. enters the seed cavity starting 95% of the time, plants will run
the activation of the seed em- in the opposite direction to the
seedling Methods include: bryo. That embryo is at the first true leaf. It is advanta-
filing the edges of pointed end of the seed, so be geous to set the transplant in
the seed to reveal careful when filing that you do the planting hole at a slight
the seed leaves, not disturb it. angle to encourage the main to
presoaking run in the desired direction.
Prince Edward County Pumpkin Growers
Volume 13, Issue 1 Page 5
The Spider Pattern by John Vincent
Giant pumpkin growers have experi- the main. Usually the objective is to have root development and reduce your nutri-
mented with vine patterns for years with 5 to 6 sets of secondary's before the ent and moisture uptake.
each grower adding his own twist. pumpkin, with few if any after the fruit.
It is recommended to burry all vines,
Some growers will end the main right at
One of the newer patterns that is becom- preferably with compost. Burying vines
the fruit while other will let it continue to
ing widely adapted by growers is what is encourages rapid development of the
grow, turning it to create the last secon-
called the “Spider Pattern”. This pattern secondary root system. It also helps pre-
dary at the end of the patch.
is designed to allow for much longer sec- vent infection of the dreaded squash vine
ondary vines before the fruit and more The objective is to have most of the plant borer and also anchors the vines and
square feet of plant. before the pumpkin, grown out by fruit reduced wind damage.
set in early July. The Pumpkin is set no
As illustrated below, the plant is set fur- In my experience, if you have a hot spell
less than 10’ out from the stump, and
ther into the patch than you would with a in mid to late June, before the secondary
preferably 13-15 feet out.
standard Christmas tree. The first few root system is fully developed, the plant
secondary vines are drawn back to- There are many Heavy Hitters using this will wilt severely in the mid day heat. This
wards the corners of the patch. Tertiary pattern today or a modification of it with “flagging” is much less, once the root
vines are allowed to grow back from the plots of 7-800 ft2 per plant quickly be- system on established.
first secondary, filling in the space behind coming the norm. We prefer to trench ahead of the vines as
the stump. much as possible, except if pumpkin
In the example below, a plot this size
After about three sets of vines, the sec- results in approximately 500 ft2 behind roots are staring to be disturbed. Trench-
ondary's are turned to grow parallel to the fruit. This produces significantly more ing helps to direct the vines, where you
root mass than want them to grow. It also reduces how
a standard much you have to Handel them later on.
Christmas tree A couple of years ago a grower showed
pattern. me how to ‘pinch off’ the tertiary vines
Growing a big and tendrils when they were still very
pumpkin is all small. This practice significantly reduces
about the roots the amount of work required later remov-
and developing ing these with a knife. I try to go over
large root sys- every plant, every few days, removing all
tems before of these buds as they develop and ex-
the pumpkin, tending the trenches. Once a or twice a
early in the week, I try to catch up and get all the
season is es- vines buried.
sential to get- Another material you may have heard of
ting above is Mycorrhizal fungi. This is a naturally
average occurring fungus that acts as an exten-
weights. sion of the plants root system in the soil.
The fungus colonizes the roots of the
plant and then sends out miles of micro-
scopic filaments called hyphae. My-
corrhiza can be introduced by using an
to be used to
innoculant at planting time and again as
you burry the vines at each leaf node.
and accessing We use about 1 pound of innoculant per
the pumpkin. plant. It costs about $11.00 per pound.
The compac- The GVGO does a volume purchase of
tion from the this every spring. Contact Phil Hunt at:
weight of your
feet can signifi- email@example.com if interested.
Typical Spider Pattern on a 700 ft2 plot.
cantly restrict 705-887-4835
Basic Growing Tips from the PECPG
1) Start your seeds early, April 25th to May 1st.
2) Always start several back up plants, choosing
the best to go in the patch.
3) Be sure to provide enough space for each
PECPG plant, 20’ x 30’ is ideal
4) Transplant out in protective clotches (mini-
greenhouses) between May 10th and May
C/O Jim Ives
24th. Keep warm on cold nights
1221 Ridge Rd
RR#2 PICTON, ON 5) Burry all vines and prune away all third
K0K 2T0 (tertiary) vines.
6) Apply foliar seaweed fertilizer weekly.
. 7) Set your pumpkin on the main vine by July 7th.
8) Be sure to cut the roots on the vine around the
Check out our web site: pumpkin.
9) Keep your pumpkin shaded at all times
Need Seeds? Contact John Vincent, 613-476-0405, firstname.lastname@example.org
Congratulations to PECPG mem- with this cross folks! Every GVGO Membership in the GVGO is $25
bers John Vincent, and Brant member seed packet contained per individual or $35 per family,
Timm for a tie finish in the new 1, 1156 seed. per year. Your membership in-
GVGO grower of the year con- cludes eligibility to all awards
test. Brant and John both fin- The prizes are as follows: and contests offered by the club
ished the season with 32 points. as well as voting rights and the
1st $500, 2nd $300, 3rd $200
annual seed distribution. For
Membership in the GVGO more information, check out the
New for 09, the GVGO is running
includes a huge packet of seeds web site:
a squash growing contest. This
donated by other club members.
is open only to GVGO Ontario
Each year the seed packet www.gvgo.ca
members. The contest is for the
seems to grow. This year the
largest squash grown from any
GVGO distributed over 18,000 Or to:
GVGO member seed
seeds to the membership.
1st $300, 2nd $200, 3rd $100. The Giant vegetable Growers of
The GVGO has decided to once Ontario
again run a pumpkin growing
contest. This year the featured C/O Kirk Chenier
seed will be the 1156 Hunt. The 1650 4th Line Rd North
1156 is 1631.5 McKie x 1689
Jutras. How can you go wrong K0L 2H0