Posted by: Jason Wood | August 22, 2009

It’s the Great Pumpkin!

In mid-June Supergirl and Z-man’s Grandfather gave them an Atlantic Giant pumpkin seed that he had sprouted, told them to bring it home and put it in the garden. Little did we know what we were getting into!

This small little seed


grew into this sprawling monster


in a month and a half!

This monster has pretty much taken over our entire vegetable garden. It plowed right through the lettuce and buried it, it smothered one of the pepper plants, overshadowed the peas, almost overpowered the cucumbers (and anyone who has grown cucumbers knows what a feat this is!), and is well on its way to expanding into every corner of the yard.

The weather in Ottawa this summer has been in a word, crap, so many of the pumpkins rotted right off the vine but in early August the weather turned and finally one pumpkin set and started to grow. Z-man and Supergirl, while upset that this crazy plant overpowered many of the vegetables they had planted, were suitably awed at the growing power in this plant and a new daily ritual of measuring the circumference of the pumpkin has started.

At the very end will be the daily log of the circumference of this beast.

This picture was taken 13AUG2009 and the measurement was 12 1/2 inches round.


To put this into perspective, 12 1/2 inches round is the circumference of a large can, 28 fluid oz, of diced tomatoes.


The sun was shining on the morning of 15AUG2009 and just starting to peek through the leaves onto the pumpkin. 17 1/2 inches round today.


Another cloudy morning (shocking, I know) on 18AUG2009 and measured at 26 inches round.


This is 20AUG2009 and just looking at it you can see how much closer it is to the leaves than the picture above. 31 inches around.


I figured it was time to try and put some perspective to this again, 31 inches around is slightly larger than a NCAA regulation basketball.


In a week we went from the size of a can of tomatoes to larger than a basketball. I shudder to think about what this will look like by the time Halloween arrives. We still have about 70 days until that time!

Today I am starting to wonder if we have crossed into obsession. I read that having strong sunlight on the pumpkin all day can toughen the skin, and at the rate it grows on a daily basis, this can cause the skin to split! OH NO! So now our pumpkin has its very own jury-rigged sunshade so that it is comfortable.


You will notice as well that the rock underneath the pumpkin has been replaced by two boards as the pumpkin was getting too big for the rock. VERY scary transferring to this new base. Note for next year – place wooden pallet underneath the pumpkin BEFORE it grows this big!

Harvest day! After seeing the growth slow down and the temperature drop we decided that it was a good time to harvest the Great Pumpkin. Lift from your legs. We cut it off and stepped on the scale and found out that we had a 50 lb pumpkin! Not bad, not bad. Next year we will start much earlier and see how where end up.


Next step is to carve a monster into this monster! Happy Halloween.


DATE                                                  Measurement (in inches)

13AUG2009                                       12.5

14AUG2009                                       14.5

15AUG2009                                       17.5

16AUG2009                                       20

17AUG2009                                       23.5

18AUG2009                                       26

19AUG2009                                       29

20AUG2009                                       31

21AUG2009                                        34

22AUG2009                                        36

23AUG2009                                        37.5

24AUG2009                                        39.5

25AUG2009                                        42

26AUG2009                                        43.5

27AUG2009                                        43.5

28AUG2009                                       46

30AUG2009                                        47

31AUG2009                                         48

01SEP2009                                          49

04SEp2009                                          50.5

06SEP2009                                         51.5

12SEP2009                                         52.5

20SEP2009                                        53.0



  1. Wow!

    That is huge – can you plant it in its own yard next year?

    Rudi says technically it is a squash, and too watery to eat, too big to move. It sounds like fun to watch grow, though!

    • Yes, I will definitely need to figure something else out next year. No plans to eat it, not a big fan of pumpkin, but having lots of fun with the growing process!

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