Welcome to the Indiana Pumpkin Growers

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The link to start the registration for the State Fair (August 10th-Saturday) starts here: Click here to start

Go to Agriculture Horticulture and Giant Vegetable Division. $60 is the fee which gets you six fair entry tickets and a parking pass for the Deaf School on the north side of the fairgrounds. Entry closes on July 31st, 2024 The process is cumbersome to register, but persevere!!! The State Fair lists the contest as in “The Mercantile” (whatever that is). In reality it’s in the Horticulture/Ag building, as always – generally towards the back.

Rules book: page 13

Quick info page 1

Quick info page 2

Quick info page 3

Quick schedule info click here


Phil Groenewold has some great pictures of his plant, 5 lobe female flower and male flowers ready to pollinate the female.


Purdue: Cucumber beetles are out in full force!

Cucumber beetles article from Purdue

Purdue pumpkin disease identification.

Germination tips: click here

Pumpkin growing from seed to maturity: click here

2024 Pumpkin Contests (subject to change)
August 10th, 2024. Indiana State Fair contest date. 11:00 am in the back of the Horticulture/Ag building. The State fair officially says its in the Mercantile (whatever that is)…
September 28th , 2024. Hodge Family Farm, Alexandria, Indiana, GPC Sanctioned Event
October 12th, 2023. Fair Oaks Farm, Fair Oaks, Indiana, GPC Sanctioned Event
October 19st, 2023. Pennville Pumpkin Festival, Pennville, Indiana, Non-GPC Event

End of the year “Pumpkin Drop” (Steve Strickler’s 2,054# state record)

Mikkal Hodge, Jim Gatewood and Brad Walters

Jim Gatewood obituary click here

Jim was a founding member of our group and had the initial idea for the “Top Ten” list many years ago. He and his family were strong supporters of the IPGA. We will miss this devoted pumpkin grower.

GPC fall 2023 newsletter click here

Now that our official weigh off season is over… we have some congratulations to spread around!

First is to Steve Strickler for setting a new Indiana State record at 2054 pounds!! It is Indiana’s first one ton fruit!!!

Second is the accomplishment of Todd Friermood this growing season. Todd got 3 fruit to 3 different scales this year in pursuit of a GPC Jacket. Todd weighed a 1495 at Oakland Nursery, a 1964 at Operation Pumpkin, and a 1768 at Fair Oaks Farm. The threshold to get a jacket is 4300 pounds between 3 fruit. Todd crushed that number by nearly 1000 pounds with 5227 pounds of pumpkin!!! Click here for the GPC Jacket award program for 4,300 lbs.

As a club we put 5 new pumpkins into our top 10!

2054 Strickler
1964 Friermood
1783.5 Gunther
1768 Friermood
1753 Hodge

Congratulations to all of the growers this season! Looking forward to what 2024 brings!!

New Indiana State Record: Steve Strickler, Bloomington, IN 2,054 weighed in Dublin, OH

2023 Weigh-Off contests:

State Fair weigh-off results: www.bigpumpkins.com click here

Wasson 2023 results and pictures

New World Record!!! 2,749 pounds Travis Gienger from Anoka, MN

The pumpkin was weighed at the Safeway World Championship Pumpkin Weigh-off in Half Moon Bay, CA

Link to GPC powerpoint presentations at the 2023 International Growers Convention. Excellent study material!

Click here to watch the Paton brothers from England grow their pumpkins last year on their YouTube channel. 30 minutes. Great video!

The Spring meeting in Tipton was a huge success. Many ideas were shared and friendships made. Please plan to attend next year! Here are a few YouTube channels and products we discussed… Your results may vary!!

Travis’s Pumpkins: Travis Gienger (Tiger King) 2,560# Soil Preparation

“Moby” Mike Schmidt (Moby Mike Pumpkins)

Chad New growing pumpkins

Josiah Brandt Growing Giants

Indiana Irrigation for watering your pumpkins (Mark)

B-Hyve irrigation controller products

PurKote polymer coated slow release potassium nitrate



Terra-clean (hydrogen peroxide) and Terra-grow

2023 Midwest Vegetable production guide – Purdue- Pumpkins page 124

PDF download from the Purdue Website

How to grow a giant pumpkin?? Get your soil tested, then start on our links page and work your way through the articles. Finally, attend one of our events and visit with other growers!

  1. Western Labs Atlantic Giant Pumpkins soil testing
  2. A&L Great Lakes Laboratories – Fort Wayne, IN soil testing

John Taberna Soil Scientist at Western Laboratories article

Cecil Weston: How I grew a 1,180 # pumpkin my first year (comprehensive and updated guide)

By Cecil Weston: How to use Bryan Langley’s soil amendment estimator

Download the Soil Amendment Estimator from the Team-Pumpkin website in Excel format .xls

“TOP TEN” overall page for each of the following categories:
Squash Long Gourd Watermelon Tomato Bushel Gourd Field Pumpkin Marrow Pumpkin

Click here to see the minimum weight to “break into” your states Top Ten!

Indiana State records for all vegetable classes: click here

Pollination of the Atlantic Giant Pumpkin by Wayne Hackney

Orginally published in the N.E.P.G.A. Newsletter – June, 1996

Groenewold pumpkin loading 2022

Purdue article: Late Season pest management in Pumpkins

Video on aphids: click here 5 minutes

Powdery mildew in pumpkins – Purdue article

First pests of the season: Purdue article – Early Cucumber Beetle management

Purdue Article:

2023 Midwest Vegetable production guide – Purdue- Pumpkins page 124

If you are looking for quality seeds for this year, 2022, please click on our Membership tab for instructions on how to join our group and receive seeds. Your membership helps support our club’s weigh-off activity in the fall and provides seeds for growers. If you just want seeds, join and we will send you seeds. There are no responsibilities and we will just keep your contact information in our group. We will have premium seeds available during our auction on www.bigpumpkins.com over the winter. Generally, they sell from $10-$100 per seed or packet of seeds. The best deals are early in the auction! This auction is a “donation” to support our club activities and allows you easy access to premium seeds from across the U.S. and the world.

Phil Groenewold from Dyer, IN 1st place 1,360 pounds

Loading his pumpkin, below:

Steve Strickler new Indiana State tomato record: 8.355 pounds

Squash vine borers (one of our biggest threats). Click here for Purdue article. Note: Sevin dust or spray will not kill squash vine borers. Spray insecticide under your leaves and on the vines for control.

Phil Groenewold (Dyer, IN) interviewed for article in Farm World Online: click here

Click here for a great presentation on Roundup (Glyphosate) by Dr. Stephen Myers from Purdue.

It starts at 1:15 into the two hour Zoom meeting. The whole two hours is interesting to pumpkin growers. 1:41 starts “How fungicides work”

If you spray dicamba or 2,4-D around your pumpkins (or anything), be careful of drift: click here.

Drift frequently ask questions: click here.

Midwest Vegetable Production Guide 2021 online: click here Purdue University

Updated 2021 Midwest Vegetable Production guide for Commercial Growers. Great info!

Click here for a list of the Top Ten pumpkins grown in Indiana

Purdue Plant and Pest Diagnostic Laboratory: click here $11/sample

You can upload photos, mail samples or physically take samples to the lab for analysis.

They have a reserved pay parking for drop-off behind Lilly Hall

If you plants are dying from fungus or pests, this is a great service to figure it out for next year!

Mycorrhiza Primer from 2000, but still very relevant

Purdue Vegetable Crops Hotline link.

Glyphosate technical article from the Journal of Toxicology

Midwest Vegetable Production guide for Commercial Growers

Excerpt from above guide covering cucurbits.

How to build a tripod to lift your pumpkin: Steve Strickler, Bloomington, IN

Mark Clementz explains basic pumpkin positioning and how to not “crack your pumpkin off”

Roundup (glyphosate) tip: Always use soft water so you don’t have to add ammonium sulphate. If you are spraying a generic version, add one ounce of Alligare 90 or some other surfactant to 4 gallons of spray. If the Roundup label says 2 oz/gallon, add exactly that. Don’t mix it “hot”. Just be patient. Give it two weeks to work for great results and a full kill.

Common leaf problems guide with pictures by Matt DeBacco

One of the best guides you will find! From 2011. Click here.

Another guide from Matt DeBacco (Connecticut)

Click here for: What’s wrong with your pumpkin.

Midwest vegetable production guide for commercial growers 2021 link online.

Pumpkins start on page 120. Download the complete guide click here.

Mikkal Hodge, IPGA president, achieves 4,000 pound (three pumpkin total weight) GPC award

Fall is for soil testing. Here’s a quick PDF for guidance. Get your patch tested!!

Roasted pumpkin seeds recipe from SeriousEats.com

Steve Strickler from Bloomington, Indiana pumpkin carving 2019

Visit Phil Groenewold’s Atlantic Giant greenhouse near Dyer, IN

Click here for the PDF presentation by Bryan Reeb at our Spring Meeting covering Curcubit diseases and control. Great presentation and information for all growers.

Get your soil testing done! Google: AMS 401.04 7/8″ x 21″ to order a soil sampling probe $50

Take your sample to your local Co-op or fertilizer plant $15 for soil test with micro-nutrients. You don’t have to be a farmer with a large order, they are happy to help any gardener.

From our links page, more comprehensive testing: Western Labs or A&L Great Lakes labs – Fort Wayne, IN

Role of various elements in your soil: click here

Click here for a link to some seed germination tips, with pictures.

Want to grow Atlantic Giant pumpkins this year?? We are here to help you.

Click on the Membership link above. Donate $20 to join and support the club.

Membership runs from January 1st until December 31st.

We will mail you plenty of great seeds to get started. April 15th is the date to start them germinating.

Just looking for seeds??? $20 per year to join our club.

We’ll send you great seeds to get you started.

(Example of seeds received with membership)

The trick is to keep the plant alive from April 15th through September 15th.

Generally that means keeping the bugs and fungus off the plant.


Guide to growing from one of our friends from another state. Click below:
How I grew an 1,180 lb pumpkin my rookie year.

This is a 34 page guide. There are less detailed instructions, but this is comprehensive!