This is what it takes to grow a giant pumpkin that’ll compete in the state fair

CHASKA, Minn. — The Great Minnesota Get Together brings the very best of the very best. In this case, the very best is the most important.

The University of Minnesota Extension teamed up with the Arboretum in Chaska to develop two large pumpkins, one which is able to compete within the Minnesota State Fair in just a few weeks. They’re named Audrey and Seymour.

This “Little Shop of Horticulture” is a primary time venture for Annie Klodd, an Extension Educator for Horticulture, and her workforce, who’re hoping to have enjoyable with the venture and study alongside the best way about what it takes to develop a large pumpkin.

“One plant takes about 500 square feet on average and you just produce one giant pumpkin from each plant,” stated Klodd, referring to all the huge vines wrapped across the backyard house the place the pumpkins are rising contained in the Arboretum.

The vines are very important for pulling water from the bottom to the pumpkins, and all of the water pumping into them is what makes them get so huge, so shortly.

“They’re growing about 20 lbs a day right now,” stated Klodd.

Klodd discovered methods to success whereas rising these pumpkins, together with burying the vines within the soil for extra moisture and giving the pumpkins shade to maintaining their pores and skin from hardening, in order that they develop even larger.

Their workforce did run into one hurdle final week. Squash vine borer larva began infecting the vines, which might kill the pumpkins if it is not handled.

“Our team was out here, with our intern Noah, cutting little incisions into the vine, doing open vine surgery, taking those little worms out, and then patching the vines back up,” stated Klodd, “And they survived it, they’re doing great.”

Audrey already weighs 230 kilos, and Seymour is simply over 100 kilos. With Audrey’s progress within the lead, she’s going to compete first.

“Audrey is destined for the State Fair, so we’re going to submit her and she should be around 500-600 pounds by then if everything goes well,” stated Klodd.

Seymour goes to continue to grow via October earlier than competing on the Stillwater Harvest Festival.

You can go to Audrey on the Horticulture Building day-after-day of the State Fair grounds.

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