Over the next three months many pumpkin growers will agonize over what seeds they will plant next year. Many will use pumpkinlink.com to help them determine what seeds to grow. So far the following seeds are my front runners in no particular order. This list might change a little over the coming months but these are the seeds that have caught my eye so far:
1129 Orleck (985 Werner x 1041 Mckie)
The 1284 that Dan grew from this seed was an impressive 19% heavy, it had a great shape with light ribbing. Almost everything you would want from a pumpkin. The question is can this seed perform consistently and does it have the power to go really big. I think it does. The 1041 on the male side was the same pollinator on the 1528 Starr and it went about 12% heavy. The rainbow that landed on the 1284 as we were loading it onto the trailer wasn't a bad sign either.
1385 Jutras (1068 Wallace x 998 Pukos)
This seed has quickly proven itself to be one of the top 5 seeds of all-time and it has done it in just two years. The 998 pollinator in this seed grew the former world record 1,689 pounder. This year a 1385 Jutras grew the new world record 1,725. Need I say any more? A seed with great potential.
1236 Harp (998 Pukos x 1385 Jutras)
The cross for this pumpkin would be enough for most anyone to want to plant it but the pollinator is what makes this cross especially interesting. This 1385 was THE 1385 that grew the world record 1,725 pounder. The seed is of course unproven but I'd like to be the one that proves it. Genetically the seed is 75% 998 Pukos with the remainder being a very good 1068 Wallace.
1019 Grande (651 Grande x 1385 Jutras)
This seed grew the new Colorado record at 1,283 pounds. Jim's plant seemed to do fine in Colorado's changing weather and he busted the state record in what most consider a relatively poor growing year. The 1283 went an impressive 11% heavy. It had some structural flaws but it was so thick it didn't become an issue for it.
546 Zaychkowsky (898 Knauss x 1068 Wallace)
I bought this seed a year ago because of the interesting cross. I'm not aware of anyone having planted it yet and I'm not aware of any cross of this kind ever being planted. But the cross is intriguing. The 1068 went down but according to Eddy it was doing very well when it did. I see potential in this seed being used as a pollinator since it is genetically 75% 898.
1048 Scherber (1343 Lyons x 1385 Jutras)
By Joe's standards this was a bit of an off-year for him but the 1048 was a good looking pumpkin that went a touch light on him. The intriguing thing for me about the 1048 is the 1385 pollinator. The 1385 unfortunately went down in late July but it was by far the most impressive pumpkin in Colorado at that point of the season. Hard to saw what it would have done but since it appeared to be a week ahead of the Biz's pumpkin just before it went down it could have been another state record for Joe if fusarium hadn't gotten to it. Both pumpkins had a nice shade of orange to them so good color is a potential added bonus from this seed.
1528 Starr (1350 Starr x 1041 Mckie)
This seed produced two 1,400+ pound pumpkins this year and Thad's went around 12% heavy. The pumpkin had great shape, shallow ribbing and had a really nice shade or orange. The 1528 for Thad was salad growing beast and the pumpkin would have gone over 1,500 pounds if he didn't decide to take it to an earlier weigh-off because it was still putting on 5-8 pounds of day when it was picked.
1161 Rodonis (1231 Pukos x 1450 Wallace)
This was probably the top performing seed based on percentage grown over 1,000 pounds in 2009 and there was a number of really big ones grown from it this year. You have to love the cross in this seed. The 1450 pollinator in the cross of course grew Mr. Rodonis' 1566 two years ago.
Wish I had more spots to grow on because I would grow them all if I had the chance. Nothing wrong with any of these seeds. I think there is one more seed coming from a kind grower back east that might change my lineup this year but if I were to plant today and pollinate tomorrow this is probably what I would do:
1385 Jutras x 1236 Harp (75% 1385 genetics with a world record growing pollinator on each side of the cross. This is a cross that I could see building some great genetic lines from IF I can show some promise from either of them by growing a 1,000+ pounder from either or both of them.)
1236 Harp x 1385 Jutras (reverse cross of the above)
1129 Orleck x 1385 Jutras (Put some heavy into the 1385 and mix 4 of the best genetics together: 985 Werner, 1041 Mckie, 1068 Wallace and 998 Pukos.)
I guarantee this lineup will change 5 times between now and April. I still have a lot investigating to do and questions to ask before I make some final determinations. I'll probably plant 6 of the seeds with 3 being used as backups. What germinates, what is growing well, what pollen is available and what catches my eye between now and July 1st will be the determining factors. Hopefully I make the right decisions. After not having a pumpkin go to scale last year I am more inclined to just make sure I have a pumpkin over 1,000 pounds then to go after the state record.