Sunday, April 7, 2013

The Start of the Great Pumpkin

Pumpkin growing is a lot like Major League Baseball. Each spring hope springs anew. Usually by the All-star break you know if you have a player and then come September first you are planning for the playoffs or you already are talking about next season.

Pictured here are the seed packets for this seasons starters. At this point you hope you look back at this post in October and say, "I'm sure glad I grew that seed." I like the genetics in these seeds. I'll take my two best 1775 plants and put them in one hoop house and put the 1421 and 1789 in the other. The kids will grow the 1799.

Going into this season my mind was set on the 1421. Now I'm not so sure. Talking with Thad Starr today he said that Quinn Werner said to not grow genetics more than three years old. That actually makes good sense. The 1421 has grown a lot of big pumpkins. Probably statistically the 3rd best seed all-time for progeny. However with all of the seeds that have been planted the biggest that it has grown is in the 1600 pound range. The 1789 has pumpkins 200 lbs larger however. When you look across all the pumpkins it isn't grower techniques that is pushing the weights up every year. Every 3-4 years the genetics have gotten so much better that it is making the older seeds obsolete. The 1421 is now 4 years old.

We will see what the plants look like and then make our decision. This year I'm not going to go by plant vigor when making my decision. I'm going to look at the plant traits and see which plant that looks the most like the parent plant that I want and then go with that. Too often you hear world record holders say that the plant that grew the big one wasn't their best looking plant early on.

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