giant pumpkin family tree

My Seed Selection Process for 2015

Hi there, in this post I thought I would go through the seeds that I have and what I will be looking at to select what I will grow for the upcoming 2015 season.

Where to get seeds from

If you are wondering where you can get giant pumpkin seeds from then please check out the Sourcing Giant Pumpkin Seeds page in the How To part of the website.

Where I got my seeds from

Earlier on in the year I was hanging out in a lot of the seed auctions that were going on over at BigPumpkins.com a great place to get some pretty good seed for a decent price.  I’m doing most of this all on a shoestring budget so I couldn’t shell out top dollar for the best seed/s available (2009 Wallace etc) but for $30 I got some seeds which are definitely better then any standard giant pumpkin seed you could buy here in NZ.

This is what I got from the auction I won

  • 1655 Ford/Givens x 3 (1789 Wallace X Self)
  • 1451 Geddes 2013 x 1 (1799.5dmg Daletas 2012 X 1465.5 Westcott 2012)
  • 1411 Geddes 2013 x 1 (1465.5 Westcott 2012 X 1634 Werner 2010)
  • 1407 Geddes 2013 x 1 (1756 Lancaster 2012 X 1630.5 Globus 2012)
  • 1329 dmg Beauchemin 2012 x 2 (1161 Rodonis X 1421 Stelts)
  • 1278.5 Ellis x 2 (1386 Sherwood X 1668.5 Denigris)

Which gives me 10 different seeds to pick from this year.

  • The first number is the weight of the pumpkin the seed came from in pounds.
  • The name is the grower who grew the pumpkin.
  • Next is the year it was grown.
  • I’ve also put the quantity I have of that seed.
  • The numbers and names in the brackets are the mother and father pumpkin that were crossed to produce the pumpkin.
  • dmg means damaged and the pumpkin didn’t stay in one piece, either due to splitting or rotting, this means it could have potentially grown bigger.

How many seeds do I need?

Well I only want to grow the one plant in the patch this season. I also will grow some over in the other area just to have some extra pumpkins if anyone wants some and to also be able to give me the option of providing a cross, something I forgot about when I started thinking about all of this but it is something I may need to put more thought into.

Having others as backups is also a good thing, you never know what will happen so being prepared is a good plan. The trick is to not have so many seeds you don’t know what to do with.

What tools am I going to use to help decide on what pumpkins to grow

There are 4 websites I will use to help me decide in what pumpkin seed is the better option to grow, of course what one grower decides to grow would be different from another grower if they had the same seeds.

Plus a spreadsheet

The internet has provided us with so much good stuff, and being able to research giant pumpkin seeds is one thing that is greatly helped with all of this readily available information. Previously you would have to ask a lot of people what they thought about a certain seed.

As well as using these 4 websites to find out more information about these seeds I am going to use a spreadsheet to write down notes about each seed. This sheet will be used in following years to compare seeds and information with new seeds I have obtained as well as older seeds that I still have that I haven’t grown yet.

BigPumpkins.com – With the growers diaries and message board putting in your pumpkins weight or name into the search box will show you mentions and growers diaries of that pumpkin. And this is probably the best website to check out as you can see actual results and hear what people think about different pumpkins or seeds.

tools.pumpkinfanatic.com – With 19,879 pumpkins listed on this website it is an amazing resource to find out about the genetics of your pumpkin seed.

giantpumpkingenetics.com – Giant pumpkin genetics is another great resource to check out, I don’t think it has been as updated as much as the site above, but it still has over 12,000 giant pumpkin records to check out.

google.com – If the above 3 don’t show much information, google can help with filling in the gaps.

As with any of the websites that has the genetics listed the information is only as good as what is put into it, so luckily a lot of growers understand the importance of recording this data.

History on the seeds I have

First off I am going to start with the 1655 Ford/Givens seed, they came from the heaviest pumpkin out of the selection I have and I can see straight away that this plant was grown from a self pollinated 1789 Wallace seed.

Pumpkins have the ability to germinate via asexual means or sexual. Meaning they can either be crossed with other plants, or use their own female and male parts to make their own pumpkin.

With crossing with itself there is less chance of genetic variation within the plant, something that a lot of people try and get.

Bigpumpkins.com results
First off I put the number and name into the search box to see what came up in the results from bigpumpkins.com this is what I found:
The first results I have for that seed is from the growers diaries as this seed is being grown right now in the US. The grower Captain 97 is documenting how it is growing via the growers diary’s.
Captian 97’s diary page scroll to the bottom to see the latest updates.

Further down the results page for the 1655 there is a few more mentions and someone was after a photo of it, a bit of confusion amongst people on the site but here is a photo of what the Ford/Givens 1655 looks like:

1655 Ford Givens Pumpkin

Now onto checking out the genetic websites:

First up is the tools page at pumpkin fanatic to get started just put in your pumpkins weight into the search box, 1655 comes up with two different options, you pick the correct one and you get the family tree.

So for this 1655 Ford/Given seed here is a little bit about it:

Grower Name: Ford/Given

City: Hillsboro

State: New Hampshire

Country: United States

Weigh off location: Frerichs farm weigh off

Also there is the family tree:

1655 Ford Givens Pumpkin Family Tree

Going backwards in the family tree you can see the seed came from a pumpkin that was a self cross of a 1789 Est Wallace 2011 seed, and even further back you can see a whole bunch of familiar names in the giant pumpkin growing circles and some great weights.

Also on the pumpkin fanatic website you can see that they have % Heavy with a figure of 7.00 You’ll actually see a lot of people talk about this figure, but what does it actually mean? Well it means that the pumpkin went heavier then the estimate and in this case it went 7% heavier.

It’s always good to see a pumpkin go heavier then it’s estimate but there is no guarantee it will. Last season Tim’s biggest pumpkin was from a seed that traditionally went heavy for a lot of growers. At the time of harvest if the estimate was correct and the pumpkin did go heavy like many others had, it would have been a new NZ record but for whatever reason that pumpkin was exactly as it was supposed to be according to the estimate.

A bit more research on Bigpumpkins.com about the 1789 Wallace shows that this pumpkin had the name of the “freak” due to it’s massive weights gains over the growing season.

It never made it to the scales whole so the weight is estimated only, and if it had managed to make it who knows what it could have achieved. So I have seen this pumpkin grown a lot and also mentioned a lot as a great seed, and the more you look into it the the easier it is to believe that this seed holds a lot of potential genetically.

As for the giant pumpkin genetics website there wasn’t anything contained on their about the 1655 or the 1789.

But Google did come to the party, with a little bit of information found on the 1655, but more importantly it came back with a lot about the 1789.

Here is a photo of Ron Wallace with the 1789 and a bit of a blurb about it was beneath the photo:

1789 wallace pumpkin

“Here is the WR1725Harp x WR1810Stevens Cross grown by Ron Wallace. This is a very rare cross from the last two World Record Pumpkins. It had the genetic strength of the 1725 Harp seed and the massive bulk and thickness of the 1810 Stevens seed. There were only (18) of the 1810 seeds out there.

A small pin hole discovered on 8/27 on the top of the pumpkin made it unofficial. A tough loss. Here are some of its weight gains. date lbs lb/day 7/24 361 35 7/31 629 38 8/9 1027 44 8/14 1269 48 8/21 1535 38 8/27 1745 34 8/30 1789 15”

With so much potential from it’s family the 1655 seeds I have are starting to get me pretty excited, in a pumpkin growing kinda way.

So while checking out that one seed I also have been having a check on the other seeds I brought at auction, I won’t bore you with all the details. But I did go through and find as much info and photos as I can and filled all this out in my spreadsheet.

Spread Sheet Image

The reason for the spreadsheet in case you are wondering is to have a quick easy way to compare different seeds as well as to keep a record of them, this will save me a lot of time in the future for any of the other seeds I may want to grow, or if someone asks me a question about the seed. I’ll be adding any new seeds to it as I go.  Let me know if I should have some more fields in the spreadsheet etc.

So there we go a bit of a rundown of a. The seeds I have at my disposal this year and b. A bit of a look into how I checked them out.

What about you?

What seeds will you be planting this year? And also what seeds do you think will be the hot ones to have, can you tell already from what has been growing so far in the Northern Hemisphere?

Or will you be waiting until later on in the year to make that call? Let me know in the comments below, I’d love to hear from you.

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Aaron
9 years ago

Hi Sam
I thought you might like to know that I will be growing from the 1791Holland. I was fortunate enough to buy a seed before they sold out. The female flower was the 1495 Stelts and the male 2009 Wallace. I sure hope it germinates.

Aaron Akkerman

Aaron
9 years ago
Reply to  Sam

I am growing in the Turakina Valley ( By Marton). I will be growing three pumpkins this season. I also have the 1498, and the 1666 Holland. I’m especially excited about the 1498. It is 1789×2009. The seed is still in stock on Joel Holland’s website.

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