With the current world record at 1,810 pounds (a Smart car, by comparison, weighs 1,600 pounds), these growers can see the most important milestone of all on the horizon: the one-ton pumpkin. Galvanized by the prospect, they are doubling their efforts and devising a raft of new strategies involving natural growth hormones, double grafting and more, to become the first to reach that goal. ...
[G]rowers typically feed their pumpkins a compost “brew” so rich — the
water is mixed with worm castings, molasses and liquid kelp — that the
fruits can gain as much as 50 pounds a day. ...
Sometimes, Mr. Young said, he will just sit among his pumpkins.
“This is going to sound really crazy, but when these are really at their
peak growth, they’ll make a sound,” he said. “You can feel it. It’s
something surging in the pumpkin. Bup. Bup.” ...
Mr. Connolly remembers with particular sadness one morning a few years
ago when he left his pumpkins to go to church. He was gone for less than
an hour, but he returned to find that his biggest pumpkin had exploded
under the force of its own growth spurt.
--Julia Scott, NYT, on size matters