Northern Wyoming Daily News - Serving the Big Horn Basin for over 100 years

By Tracie Mitchell
Staff Writer 

Growing a giant pumpkin


March 8, 2016

WORLAND – The Washakie County Extension office held a class for growing giant pumpkins Saturday with Jay Richard, the 2015 Lungren Girls’ Farm Pumpkin Growing Contest winner, as the main speaker. Richard’s winning giant pumpkin weighed 596 pounds.

During the class Richard explained the fundamentals of growing a giant pumpkin, from seed preparation to harvest. “Soak your seeds in water for at least two hours before planting and always plant the seed with the pointed end down,” Richard advised. “I soaked my seeds for about four hours because I forgot about them,” he added.

Richard explained during the class that giant pumpkins take about 150 growing days and that seedlings started inside need to be kept at about 70-75 degrees and have sufficient sunlight. Not enough sunlight can make them leggy he said. He also warned that after transplanting the seedlings from the pot to the ground that the plants will go into a sort of transplant shock and that they will seem to do nothing for a week or two. But after that you can actually see how fast the plants grow, he said.

Richard warned people that they may not get a huge giant pumpkin on their first try. “My first attempt weighed 55 pounds, but each year I learned more about growing giant pumpkins and doubled the weight of the year before,” he said.

Both Jay Richard and Washakie County Extension Educator Caitlin Youngquist are happy to assist growers in getting the most out of their growing giant pumpkins adventure with personal help and with web page after web page of reference material, much of which one or the other created or they created together.

Seeds from Jay Richard’s 596-pound pumpkin, the Wyoming 2015 champion from Cheyenne Andy Corbin’s 1268-pound pumpkin and Ron Hoffman’s 762-pound green squash are available at The Washakie County Extension Office located at 1200 Culbertson in Worland.


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