At least two hours a day tending to his pumpkin‚ with the heatwave during December requiring in excess of five hours’ attention a day being poured into his behemoth‚ landed this South African man an epic reward at the weekend.
Peet Joubert‚ who fielded a pumpkin weighing in at 613kg‚ smashed the South African giant pumpkin record at the Livingseeds Giant Pumpkin Competition‚ held at the Walkerville Agricultural Show.
Sean Freeman of livingseeds.co.za said: “Peet’s Giant was an outright winner with his closest competitor on the day displaying a pumpkin of 357.5kg.”
On his own Facebook page‚ Joubert has been sharing his experience of growing the pumpkin from seed to the monster size the plant became. In one video‚ the new national pumpkin grower champion expresses his excitement at the first buds and the “spellbinding” flowers that emerged as well as the practical details of plant spacing and irrigation that was required to ensure the dramatic growth of his pumpkin.
Freeman commented: “Peet is new to pumpkin growing‚ and says that this was one of the most stressful things that he has accomplished.”
These pumpkins grow at such a rapid rate that one can see them gaining between 25 and 30kgs in a single day‚ said Freeman‚ adding it has an average growing period of between 70 and 80 days.
An immense amount of attention is required to ensure that nothing goes wrong with a competition quality pumpkin.
Even loading a giant pumpkin from a grower’s back garden is a mission that cannot be underestimated‚ said Freeman.
Joubert’s trailer that was used to carry the pumpkin became bogged down in the soft soil with the weight of the pumpkin. As a result, said Freeman‚ he had to lift a 3-ton trailer “that also had the added weight of the South African record-breaking pumpkin on it‚ and it had to be done in a way that did not put the ‘life’ of his pumpkin in jeopardy. Any structural damage to the pumpkin caused by a wrong move‚ or the trailer slipping off a jack‚ would have disqualified his entry‚ even before it had arrived at the weigh-in.”
A modest Joubert‚ whose profile shares the famous quote “By growing a plant is to believe in tomorrow” attributed to actress Audrey Hepburn‚ simply states: “Passion = Hard Work = Results.”
Source: TMG Digital.