Columbus Day, Thinking of Pumpkins

Despite heavy rains that stunted pumpkin growth, a Rhode Island farmer has set what could be a new record for the largest pumpkin in the world.  The AP had the story datelined Warren RI.

“Ron Wallace’s pumpkin weighed 1,502 pounds at Saturday’s weigh-off competition, heavier than the current Guinness World Record-holding 1,469-pound pumpkin grown last year by Larry Checkon of Pennsylvania.

Wallace said at the 13th annual Rhode Island Southern New England Giant Pumpkin Growers Championship that the key to growing a giant pumpkin is the ability to commit to the task from April to October.

“Pumpkin growing is a lot of work and you just have to stick with it,” he said.  It is also weather-dependent.
Agriculture officials say the heavy rains this season have damaged or stunted the crop of many competitive growers of giant pumpkins. Central and southeastern Massachusetts were the hardest hit.

Officials say heavy rain delayed planting, impeded pollination and contributed to rot on blossoms and fruit. Another ailment, “damping-off,” constricted pumpkin stems and contributed to the early death of many plants.