Pumpkin Secrets to be Revealed at May Garden Club Meeting

Doug Parker with one of his colossal pumpkins, photo courtesy of SM Garden Club, click to enlarge

Press Release posted 4/24/13 – Just in time to plant those Halloween globes, Sierra Madre Pumpkin Guru Doug Parker will share his experience, tips and tricks for a successful crop. Doug has been raising pumpkins since 1998 when the leftovers from his Halloween carving sprouted into pumpkins where they had landed in the back yard. He decided to try his hand at growing large pumpkins and has experimented with different varieties, watering systems, soil ph, and locations in his yard. The process starts in May and culminates on Halloween evening with a fantastic display of creatively carved masterpieces decorating the Parker home on Alegria. In 2012, Doug harvested 45 giant pumpkins; the largest weighing about 800 pounds. (Editor’s Note: See our coverage of harvest/moving day here http://www.sierramadrenews.net/?p=11002) For 2013 he is raising Atlantic Giant, Big Max, and Prizewinner varieties.

In October the pumpkins will be harvested and moved, with the help of friends, neighbors and special tools, to the Parker’s front yard for carving and display. Doug and his brother-in-law Chris Roberts work for four to five days, carving the giants; creating everything from fancy Tiffany lamps to unusual faces and characters. Heather and Doug’s home is one of the famous stops along the Alegria trick-or-treat trail with visitors coming from throughout the greater San Gabriel Valley to enjoy the extensive displays.

Anyone interested in raising pumpkins or gardening in general is invited to attend the May 13 meeting of the Sierra Madre Garden Club. Dinner begins at 6:30 p.m., followed by the program at 7:15 p.m. The catered dinner is $10 and reservations for dinner must be made by May 7, at 626-836-4945. There is no charge for attending only the program. Location: Hart Park House, Memorial Park, 222 W. Sierra Madre Blvd., Sierra Madre, CA 91024. For more information, call the reservation number or visit www.smgarden.org.