Prince Edward County Pumpkin Gro by fjhuangjun


									                          Prince Edward County
                          Pumpkin Growers
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

   Wellington
    will be held on
    October 17th
                      Seed Starting Just Around the Corner
   New enhanced
    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
    effect April
                      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
                      Pumpkin Commonwealth)
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.
            Page 2

                          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       
                          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.
                          of January.
 Wellington win with
 1343.4 lbs.

                          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.
       calendar for
    October 17th for                          Schedule of events (Tentative)
           Ontario's                                     Pancake Breakfast 8:00am
       premier Giant
                            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.
            Page 4

                             Foliar Seaweed
                             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
 stantially improve
 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-
                                                                            boards are
                                                                                                scopic filaments called hyphae. My-
                                                                            very important
                                                                                                corrhiza can be introduced by using an
                                                                            to be used to
                                                                                                innoculant at planting time and again as
                                                                            access the
                                                                                                you burry the vines at each leaf node.
                                                                            stump area
                                                                            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- 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.
Phone: 613-393-3958
                                              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,

     GVGO News
     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                                             
                                        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
                                                                            Lakefield, ON
     Jutras. How can you go wrong                                           K0L 2H0

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