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Local Grows 1,204lb Pumpkin!
Michael Ritter, a Blossburg resident, has officially broken his giant pumpkin record, growing a pumpkin weighing 1,204 lbs! Breaking the half-ton level, this pumpkin ranked 12th out of 30 pumpkins at the Pennsylvania Giant Pumpkin Growers Association last week. The winning pumpkin at the tournament weighed a whopping 1,888 lbs!
This hobby started back in the 1990s as a fun, memorable photo opportunity for his three children. This hobby then continued for about five or six years until his children were older. Although his children are grown, his passion for pumpkin growing never went away. He started growing them again a few years ago so his grandchildren could take part in this tradition as well.
To grow this large of a pumpkin, it’s not easy. It takes about 16,000 gallons of water, 600-800 square feet of garden, one single vine so that all the nutrients go to that one pumpkin, nutrients (such as magnesium and calcium) in the soil to give it a strong outer shell and prevent rotting, liquid seaweed and fish emulsion (liquid fish), and an Atlantic Dill Giant Pumpkin seed. This pumpkin seed is not genetically modified, but rather, has been cross-bred with bigger and bigger pumpkins. Michael’s dedication to “Firecracker” (the name he has given to his pumpkin since it was pollinated on the Fourth of July) is unmatched, as he spends approximately 2-3 hours per day caring for it.
At bigpumpkins.com, you can see all the weigh offs and world records. And, you’ll see Michael’s pumpkin is currently ranked 186th in the world!
If you are interested in growing your own giant pumpkin, Michael is offering a seed from his giant pumpkin! Contact him at email@example.com for more information.