The inside scoop on the great pumpkinTots tell all
By: Amy Chaffins, The Osakis Review
Ever wonder what it takes to grow a great pumpkin?
After growing an 856 and 620-pound pumpkin, 4-year-old Noah Wallace and his 7-year-old sister, Alyssa, the children of Mike and Kim Wallace of Osakis, shared their secrets with the Osakis Review.
Growing big pumpkins isn’t that hard, according to Noah, who explained you get a really big seed and put it in the dirt.
Alyssa clarified a bit, admitting their uncle, Doug Wallace, brought the three pumpkin plants to their garden. They dug a hole, put them in and watered the plants – a lot.
When asked if they fertilized, the children quickly changed the subject. Noah later admitted they fed the pumpkins.
“It has eyes, a nose and a mouth and you have to feed the pumpkin in his mouth,” he said.
Since he’s been through his share of Halloweens, Noah said you have to take more out than you put in.
“There’s pumpkin stuff in there,” he said. “It’s orange and slimy and sticky.”
Anyone driving by their residence on 115th Avenue in Osakis, may want to be prepared for a big surprise – Alyssa has high hopes that they can clear out enough room for them to hide inside and jump out when people slow down to look at the pumpkin.
“It’s a monster pumpkin full of kids,” she said. “That would be so scary.”
Actually, carving one of these giants is something the Wallace family has never tried before.
“We are going to make a scary face this year,” Alyssa added.
To get the best pumpkin, Alyssa said it takes some watching. They only allow two pumpkins to grow on a plant, pruning all the other flowers and keeping track of which is the best grower. Later they reduce the crop to one pumpkin on the plant so all the energy goes to producing that one pumpkin.
We didn’t turn the pumpkins at all, according to Alyssa.
“You need a big lifter and that can break the pumpkin,” she said.
Uncle Doug did the pruning and the family put in two marathon weeding sessions of four hours each.
They ended up with two champion pumpkins – an 856-pound mammoth and a smaller one that weighs 620 pounds.
While the summer offered wonderful growing conditions, the last windstorm of the summer stopped the biggest pumpkin from reaching 1,000 pounds.
“The wind just blew all the leaves away,” Alyssa said.
“It was growing to the sky,” Noah added.
Despite the storm, the bigger pumpkin was taken to Delano, where it weighed in as the 4th largest pumpkin.
How do you move a massive pumpkin?
“We put the pickup in the hole and grandpa pushed it in,” Noah shared.
Alyssa said they used a big strap and a lifter to move each pumpkin.
Either way, with the help of these two pumpkin growers, the future of giant jack-o-lanterns is definitely bright.