Friday, October 22-Sunday, October 31
How heavy is the world's heaviest pumpkin? Heavy, and big. But don't take our word for it (or the Guinness Book of World Records' for that matter). Find out for yourself by visiting The New York Botanical Garden now through Halloween!
Three of the biggest pumpkins, including the current world record-holder, are calling the Botanical Garden home through October 31. Dedicated giant pumpkin growers Chris Stevens, Ken Sweet, and Steve Connolly grew the pumpkins--which weigh between 1,674 1/2 and 1,810 1/2 pounds--in Wisconsin, Michigan, and Massachusetts.
On Friday the 29th, Saturday the 30th and Sunday the 31st, renowned giant pumpkin carver Scott Cully will be on hand to carve the record-setting gourd, and maybe break his own world record in the process! Scott will be joined by two additional carvers: Michael Anthony Natiello, carver of the 500 pumpkins decorating the Garden's Halloween Hoorah display in the Everett Children's Adventure Garden, will carve Sweet's 1,725 pound pumpkin, while his collaborator Sarah Mussen will tackle Connolly's 1,674 1/2 pounder.
We had a chance to sit-down with the growers and got the answers to some blossoming questions.
- During peak growth, the pumpkins can add as much as 50 pounds of weight per day.
- The pale color of the pumpkins has been bred into the pumpkins because the growers think it looks nice. The salmon hue also contains tinge of blue that highlights the genetic heritage of the Blue Hubbard squash.
- Each pumpkin contains approximately 800 seeds.
- The Guinness World Record-holding pumpkin that weighs 1,810 1/2 pounds and the Michigan-grown pumpkin that weighs 1,725 pounds were both grown from seeds from the same pumpkin.
- All the growers we asked said they expect a one ton (2,000 pound) pumpkin within the next few years.
- Giant pumpkins are grown for weight, not necessarily for size. In fact the World Record-holding pumpkin is actually smaller than its less weighty brothers.
- The pumpkins are grown on a bed of sand to help prevent skin cracking that could be caused by friction with the ground.
- Each of the giant pumpkins was grown as the only fruit on their vine.
- All the pumpkins on display at The New York Botanical Garden were grown using sustainable, mostly organic practices. Every grower we asked attributed his successes to caring for the soil, using lots of organic fertilizer, and using Mycorrhizae fungus to promote healthy root systems.
- Every grower said the same thing: Growing giant pumpkins at home is fun, easy, and a great family activity.
The giant pumpkins are at the Botanical Garden as part of our annual family fun-fest, Halloween Hoorah. So scoop up your favorite ghouls and goblins, join in the Halloween Parade through the Everett Children's Adventure Garden (decorated with 500 pumpkins carved and sculpted by Michael Anthony Natiello), and come marvel at the giant gourds. It's so much fun, it's scary! For a complete schedule, directions, and more, click here.