University of Vermont

Cultivating Healthy Communities

Giant Pumpkin Growing Contest Open To Vermont Youths

Pumpkins growing on straw bedding

Burlington--Do you want to grow the Great Pumpkin this summer? If you are between the ages of 8 and 18, you can take part in a pumpkin-growing trial sponsored by University of Vermont (UVM) Extension 4-H.

All participants will receive one or more varieties of "mystery" pumpkin seeds to grow throughout the season as part of this statewide trial. Pumpkins will be weighed on Oct. 11 and prizes awarded for the heaviest pumpkin of each variety. Location of weigh-in and list of prizes will be provided later this summer.

There is no cost to participate, and membership in 4-H is not required, although you must register in advance. Please contact Martha Manning, UVM Extension 4-H educator, at (800) 639-2130 or (802) 524-6501, ext 449, or by e-mail at Include your name, address, e-mail, age and phone number.

Seeds will be available for pick up at the UVM Extension office at 278 South Main St., Suite 2., St. Albans, on April 15. If you cannot stop by the office, seeds will be mailed to you.

You may start your seeds indoors or direct seed into the garden in the spring. You are allowed to use any gardening strategies you want including adding compost and fertilizer, mulching, setting up a special watering system or using other tricks to make your pumpkins gain weight.

As your pumpkins grow, you will be asked to record observations to send to the UVM Extension office in St. Albans. This information may be shared electronically with other participants.

Challenge your friends to sign up, too, to see who can grow the biggest pumpkin this summer in this fun competition.