A San Diego man is hoping to grow the county’s largest pumpkin this year.
How large? The over sized vegetable is estimated to weigh around 900 pounds, according to grower Jim Fredricks.
Fredricks has been growing pumpkins for the last 10 years, and he’s hoping this will be his biggest one yet.
“My ultimate goal is to have a thousand-pounder,” he said.
He has been growing his current pumpkin for the last five months in a specialized patch. Fredricks tends to the gigantic gourd with great care, keeping it covered under a tarp and using a misting system to keep it hydrated. The pumpkin has also grown without any pesticides.
“I’ve got a baby, so I wanted to keep it organic,” Fredricks said. “It’s more work, but it works well.”
One of Frederick’s best pals provides him with some friendly rivalry since he also grows the massive pumpkins. The friend already lost one pumpkin to rot this year, but has a second one growing that’s estimated at 600 pounds.
On Sunday, Oct. 23 Fredricks will be driving his pumpkin up to Temecula to Peltzer Farm’s for Pumpkinmania —the annual pumpkin contest. Competition categories include heaviest, best color, funniest shape and unluckiest pumpkin grower. The winner of the heaviest gets $1,000.
In order to weigh the giant pumpkin, between 10 and 12 people will have to roll it onto a sling that helps measure it. Fredricks said he will weigh it before the contest so he has a better idea of the exact number.
“It could go heavy, or it could be light,” he said. “We won’t know until we weight it.”
Fredricks said the possible prize is exciting, but what he really wants is to have a record-breaking pumpkin. He’s hoping this year’s will break the San Diego record for heaviest pumpkin in the county.
The Guinness World Record for the heaviest pumpkin weighed in at nearly double the size of Fredricks' at 1,810 pounds in 2010.