Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Pumpkin Painting and Designs Just in time for Halloween

Simple Pumpkin Painting
With each annual visit to the pumpkin patch, teachers, room mothers, scout troop leaders and parents alike often wonder how to make the most of the prize pumpkin that was chosen by a child.
Forget the messy and dangerous ideas of carving.  Pumpkin Painting is the perfect solution to a creative dilemma!
Painting silly, goofy or scary faces or other designs can be a fun, yet relatively simple activity for children and adults.
Preschool age children can even participate in creating their own designs for their pumpkins.  You certainly can't say that about carving pumpkins!
The easiest design to paint on a pumpkin is a traditional jack-o-lantern face. But here are some other ideas for festive designs:
- silly or goofy faces
- favorite cartoon characters
- fall leaves
- scarecrow
- witch
- princess
- turkey
- spider
- ghosts
- cats
- goblin
Painting pumpkins is a very economical craft as most supplies are readily available (you probably already have some of these in your home):
- washable markers
- acrylic craft paints
- newspaper
- spray sealer
- accessories such as raffia, jewelry, hats, etc.
Before beginning, decide what design you are going to paint and trace that design onto a clean pumpkin. You can freehand the design or select one of the many designs in the ultimate e-guide for pumpkin painting, Easy Pumpkin Painting.
Once you or your child has painted their first pumpkin, chances are you’ll want to paint an entire pumpkin family to proudly display at your home.
Pumpkin Painting is an annual family tradition at our house. We hope it will be at yours as well.
Easy Pumpkin Painting is a guide that contains step-by-step instructions and color photographs of exactly how to paint the cutest Halloween pumpkins.  It also contains templates that you can use to paint your first pumpkin in about an hour!  Easy Pumpkin Painting makes painting pumpkins, well, Easy!

Click Here to Visit Easy Pumpkin Painting Website

Monday, April 19, 2010

Video (Time Lapse) of the growth of a giant pumpkin

I found this video, and thought I share it for those who haven't seen it yet.  It is a punch of pics made into a time lapse from beginning to end of the growing processes.  Toward the end it's just a bunch of different angles, apparently they blew the pumpkin up after growing.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

World Record for the Largest Pumpkin

The current record for the largest pumpkin ever grown happened just last year.  How much did this giant pumpkin weigh you ask.  Let me start by telling you what the previous record was.   Joe Jutras from North Rhode Island beat the record in 2007 with a whooping 1689 pound giant pumpkin.

In 2009, Joe Jutras record was shattered by an Ohio women whose giant pumpkin weighed in at 1,725 pounds.  Christy Harp is now the current champion for the worlds largest(heaviest) pumpkin.

If history repeats itself there is a good chance the record will be broken again this year.  How long till we have a one ton pumpkin.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Giant Pumpkin Seed Germination

First step into the  successfull germination of pumpkin seeds or any type of seeds is that you want to start with a decent, quality seed.  You do not want the seed to be too old.  So check for a date before buying.  If a seed looks hollow chances are there is nothing there.

I like to soak my seeds in water overnight, some people only do it for an hour or two.  You do this so the giant pumpkin seeds have time to absorb the water.  Some people will even go as far to scratch the seed with sandpaper or a nail file, to allow for better water absorbtion.  I  will usually just soak them in water.  You want to start with a very basic soil.  Make sure it contains no fertilizer, as this can burn the roots and the seed.   You will want to plant the giant pumpkin seeds about an inch and a half deep.  I always try to keep the pointed end facing down.  For the first couple of days it is best to keep them in warm area.  In about five days should start to the first leaves forming.  Be careful to not over water them at this point. 

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

When to start and plant your pumpkin seeds.

When it comes to when you should start your giant pumpkins, nobody can give you an exact date.  Giant pumpkins seeds are started before your regular size pumpkins because they need more time to grow and mature.    You want to be very careful when picking a date to place them in the ground, if it frosts it will kill your little giant pumpkins.  Your standard, run of the mill, giant pumpkin needs typical 148 - 155 days to reach maturity.  If you are starting average sized field pumpkins you don't need to put them out as early.

Most expert giant pumpkin growers will always start their giant pumpkin seeds indoors.  They prefer indoors because they can control "the weather" a bit more.  We are not talking any big indoor greenhouses either.  Strategic placement by a window or bright light will be suffice.  A general rule of thumb for starting times is the following.

Giant Pumpkin - Start indoors no earlier than the last week of April. When it looks like it can be transplanted safely(usually when one or two leaves are formed).  But watch the weather if it is going to get cold overnight that there is a  chance for frost, make sure you cover them and do your best to prevent frosting.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

My Tips for Growing Giant Pumpkins

Hello readers, I have decided to write weekly tips.  Not only to inform you but to help remind me as well.

Hopefully by now you have already have or have ordered some giant pumpkin seeds this year.  If you have not keep the following tips in mind when selecting you next pumpkin seed.  Remember what works best for someone else and their environment may not be the best for your pumpkins.

This tip is all about starting with quality giant pumpkin seeds.  When you think about growing these giant pumpkins, think of it has breeding a champion dog.  You want to have the seeds to be from a respectable line of genetics that have been known to produce monsters consistency.

So make sure when you are shopping for giant pumpkin seeds that you do a little research beforehand about the quality of said "seed".

Also, make sure you know the type of pumpkin. Find out what the ideal climate and conditions are required for that specific variety.

Buy giant pumpkin seeds from proven award winners, and you to could be floating down the river in a giant pumpkin.

The next tip I will try to focus on the best possible ways on how to start pumpkin seeds.  Should you start them indoors? I will hope to have it up shortly.  Keep checking back for more giant pumpkin seed action.  If you have any tips for growing pumpkins, please feel free to send them to us.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Pumpkin Genetics

Pumpkin Genetics by Joe Ailts
B.S. Biotechnology, University of Wisconsin-River Falls
When trying to grow that huge Atlantic Giant pumpkin, there are two subjects that ultimately determine how big that pumpkin is going to be: environmental factors and genetics. Environmental factors include watering, fertilizing, temperature, sunlight, etc. These are all aspects of gardening that the grower has some control over. Genetics on the other hand is a little trickier, often times unpredictable and far less understood. This article will shed some light on the basics of genetics as it relates to Atlantic Giant pumpkins.
A pumpkin plant produces female flowers, which contain hundreds of ovules (eggs). It also produces male flowers, which produce pollen (sperm). Reproduction in plants, like animals, involves the uniting of an egg and a sperm to produce offspring. In the case of pumpkins, they produce seeds. One pollen grain + one ovule = one seed. Each pumpkin will produce many hundreds of seeds.
Each seed contains it’s own unique code which dictates all aspects of the future pumpkin’s growth. This code is called DNA. DNA is organized into genes. A gene controls one specific aspect of the pumpkin’s growth. One or more genes work together to form a trait. Color, size, and shape are considered traits.
Confused yet? Hopefully not because it gets thicker yet. There are many variations to a gene, which are termed alleles. Alleles are what make us, and pumpkins, all unique. For example, green, orange, red and yellow are all separate alleles for the “color” gene in pumpkins.
When the sperm and the egg unite, they combine their DNA to form a complete seed. The sperm and the egg each contain one allele for every gene (there are thousands) in the pumpkin’s genome. When the two alleles combine, the plant has a way of deciding which of the two alleles will be used or “expressed”. This is termed dominance and recessiveness. A sperm or an egg can contain either a dominant or a recessive allele for any gene, depending on what the parent plant originally gave it. A dominant allele will in effect shut off the recessive allele, thereby allowing the dominant allele to be expressed.
In pumpkins, orange color is a dominant allele, and green color is a recessive allele. If the egg contains the orange allele and the sperm contains the green allele, the orange color will be expressed, because it has dominance over the recessive green allele. The only way to produce a green pumpkin is if both the egg and sperm contain the recessive green allele.
One final point to keep in mind is that the pollen fertilizing the female flower has no effect on the growing pumpkin. The DNA contained within the pollen is passed on to the seed of the pumpkin. Therefore, the traits exhibited by a growing pumpkin are the direct result of the female’s parents. When making a cross, you are actually preparing the genetics of the next generation of pumpkins!
If you have ingested and understood the previous paragraphs, congratulate yourself. Some of the concepts are hard to grasp, but in the end will pay off. Hopefully this will be the jumpstart you needed to dive into more complex issues concerning AG genetics and it does get much more complex than this!!