The secret to growing Iowa’s biggest pumpkin

The secret to growing Iowa’s biggest pumpkin

"You're always fighting Mother Nature," Don said. This year his pumpkin was growing faster than expected and Don was optimistic that he could exceed one ton. But, "heat and humidity set in and took my potential away to get the monster." 

Don said he breeds pumpkins just like farmers breed cattle and pigs. He pollinates them by hand, combining traits from winning pumpkins to get the best seeds. A variation of his seed work is now used all over the world, Don said, including in a pumpkin that weighed in at 2,646 pounds in Belgium this year.

"The seeds you buy at the store would be like a donkey. But our seeds are a Kentucky Thoroughbred."  

Read the full article on the Des Moines Register website.


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