Grow your own giant pumpkins
IF YOU have ever wanted to grow a giant pumpkin, here is your chance.
Seedlings from Australia's biggest ever pumpkin, a 638kg monster grown by North Coast gardener Dale Oliver, will be on sale at a stall in Kyogle's main street on Saturday, October 5.
It's all part of the build-up to Summerland Pumpkin Competition, which will have its third annual weigh-in on February 15 next year.
Organiser Chris Pike said a seedling from Dale Oliver's award-winner should give other growers a good chance of growing a big one.
"They grow so fast it is almost a spectator's sport," he said.
"I encourage people who have never had a go to get one of these seedlings and grow it into a big pumpkin."
Dale Oliver has been growing big pumpkins for many years and consistently takes out the prize at Sydney's Royal Easter Show.
His entry last year turned out to be an Australian record, but it almost didn't happen.
"Dale Oliver's 638kg fruit was just medium sized when the butt of the vine rotted off and he nearly gave up on it," Mr Pike said.
"But it was still growing well and all those roots under the runners were doing the job of feeding the fruit and it went on to produce this new Australian record.
"It just goes to show the importance of those roots and cultivating the whole growing area so those roots can easily find food," Mr Pike said.
"That is the secret to growing big pumpkins.
"Anyone can do it if they know that, have a bit of luck and get the right seed."
The stall will also be selling seedlings from a 40kg Carolina Cross watermelon.