Having been the first grower in the world to grow a pumpkin over 1500 pounds (1502 in 2006) as well as the first grower to eclipse the 2000-pound barrier at 2009 pounds in 2012, Ron Wallace’s pumpkins may be the only things capable of outweighing his larger-than-life presence in the world of organic gardening. Ron was featured on CNN, NBC Nightly News, ABC Evening News, and CBS Sunday Morning and even made two personal appearances on Martha Stewart Living and Kelly and Michael Live, as well as ABC’s “The Chew.” Ron’s story was also captured in the Wall Street Journal, Time Magazine, Huffington Post, New Yorker Magazine and more. In 2011, Ron, who won 22 GPC (Great Pumpkin Commonwealth) weigh-offs, was inducted into the GPC Hall Of Fame and achieved the title of GPC Grower Of The Year in 2006, 2012 & 2015.
Above: Ron Wallace featured on Kelly and Michael Live (© Wallace Organic Wonder, 2016)
To put it bluntly, Ron really knows the ins-and-outs of gardening for gains! We managed to catch up with the famed grower for a brief interview to discuss his history as well as his plans on incorporating PittMoss in this season’s crops.
Ron’s Dad, who was always in the family garden when he was growing up, was one of the first to grow Giant Pumpkin in New England back in 1987. As Ron puts it, he “got the pumpkin ‘bug’” from him. As a child, Ron always loved pumpkins and Halloween, so the interest matured into cultivating his own crop.
When asked what challenges he faces in growing his prestigious pumpkins, Ron pinpointed weather and animals as his main hindrances. Whether it be too hot, too cold, too windy, too rainy, or too dry, if the weather isn’t permitting, there will not be a record pumpkin.
Weather aside, woodchucks and deer make up Ron’s main culprits. “One bite on the main vine from a deer or a woodchuck and your season is over.”
Another struggle Ron faces is the very sandy loam in Rhode Island, making it challenging to keep the proper amount of water and nutrients in the root zone. This presented an opportunity for the World Champion grower to use PittMoss.
Above: Ron’s Dad unloads a supersack of PittMoss
Above: A greenhouse being erected over the site
Aside from helping with nutrient and moisture retention and uptake, Ron also was looking for a media that did not add high levels of NPK that could throw off the balance of his soil.
“PittMoss also does not play a role with raising or lowering your soil pH, that was a bonus!”
Above: PittMoss spread over 800 sq. feet
Ron applied PittMoss on his farm a little over a month ago, and we are continuing to check in on his progress.
For more on Ron Wallace’s story, tips, and products, check out wallacewow.com and check back on pittmoss.com/blogs/the-pittmoss-blog in a couple weeks to see Ron’s progress with growing in PittMoss!
Update from Ron on his PittMoss Pumpkin Area:
The pumpkin was pollinated on June 11th and is starting to grow! The plant in the PittMoss garden is requiring less water and holding nutrients well in the sandy Rhode Island soil. So far so good, the pumpkin is only a few days away from the rapid growth phase in which it can grow up to 50 pounds a day or more!
Above: The pumpkin growing in PittMoss was pollinated on June 11th & is only a few days away from the rapid growth phase