Growing TipsPrepare the growing bed by digging in well-rotted manure and compost to a four-spade depth. The area needs to be a good sunny position, well-drained and protected from winds. Plant seedling pumpkin and protect from frost. Ensure seedling is well watered. When flowers have set, ensure pollination by picking a male flower and hand pollinating the female flower (the female flower has swelling at the base of the stalk). When a fruit is set (the size of a melon or small soccer ball), remove other fruit to allow the chosen fruit to thrive! Place a bed of straw, newspaper or foam underneath the chosen fruit to ensure it doesn't rot or discolour. Ensure the pumpkin has enough water, is sheltered from extreme winds and is fed by secret recipes! Keep fingers crossed until the pumpkin begins to swell! Keep feeding and watering!
The Little River Country Cumpkin Giant Pumpkin Festival Pumpkin Classes:
Big Boy: Size does matter and this is the blue ribbon event for the heaviest pumpkin on the day. Previous winners have exceeded 200 kg! The current world record is over 600 kg in the USA. The princely sum of $250 sponsored by the Little River Cafe and Store, goes to the winner of this class.
Wide Girl: This is awarded to the pumpkin with the widest diameter. So if your pumpkin turns out flat and wide, bring it along.
Ugly Fugly: As the name suggests not all pumpkins are beautiful and we know that pumpkins do not necessarily reflect their owners. So if you have a pumpkin that is deformed and ugly, you may still have a chance to win.
Arty Farty: This class is for the artists amongst you who can turn a pumpkin into a work of art. Imaginations run wild and entrants have included porcupine fish and satirical sculptures of politicians.
For more info on the festival visit www.littleriverpumpkinfest.co.nz