Size matters at Marburg competition
GREEN thumbs take note - a new competition is set to put your growing skills to the test in Marburg.
Next year, the Marburg Show Society will hold a pumpkin growing contest for the first time ever, and organiser Barbara Frohloff said it would become an annual event.
She said while the Ekka hosted a competition in August, because of the growing season Marburg would get in first and hold the weigh-in in May, next year.
While the Marburg Show isn't until May 11 next year, Mrs Frohloff said now was the time to start preparing for the competition.
"They should start preparing their ground because they have to plant between Christmas and new year in time for the competition,” Mrs Frohloff said.
The heaviest pumpkin ever grown was weighed in 2016 at a massive 1190.5 kg, and while Mrs Frohloff isn't expecting anything that size, she explained the conditions in the region were favourable to good sized specimens.
"It's a good area for growing pumpkins,” she said.
"The winner of the Ekka competition last year came from Marburg.”
Warmer temperatures than other growing areas meant the pumpkins would need a good start to life, and Mrs Frohloff shared some tips to preparing your ground.
"Add a lot of compost, work the ground over, and fertilisers -they need a lot of fertiliser and a lot of water,” she said.
She also recommended initially planting the seeds into a small pot before transferring the seedling into the ground.
Atlantic Giant Pumpkin seeds are available for anyone wanting to have a go, and can be obtained by contacting the Marburg Show Society of Facebook or Barbara Frohloff at Barb's Kitchen in Minden.
The heaviest pumpkin will take out the $1000 grand prize, while second and third place pumpkins will take home $500 and $250 respectively.
The society are also encouraging juniors to get involved, with a school section and junior section for the competition.
All pumpkins entered will also feature in the shows grand parade.
Entries for the competition close on May 3, and a $5 entry fee is required.
Double Competition Prepation
MARBURG isn't the only place preparing for a pumpkin growing contest.
There's six months until the hotly contested Ekka Pump-King competition and three local families are busy planting their crops in preparation.
Among them is veteran farmer and Ekka legend Syd Haag and the neighbouring Fritz and Frohloff families.
RNA chief executive Brendan Christou said the giant pumpkin competition, held in May, dated back to the first show in 1876.
"This is one of our most iconic agricultural competitions, recognising and rewarding growers for producing the best of the best,” he said.
There's $1000 up for grabs for the heaviest pumpkin of the show.
School classes will also squash records, with a total prize pool of $400 up for grabs.
Primary school students will get real-world learning, with the competition planting the seed (literally) about the importance of agriculture and the critical role it plays in our everyday lives.
The nine-month science experiment is perfect for students from Prep-Year 4 and will allow them to nurture and observe how living things grow, change and use the earth's resources - and the results will be huge.
The gargantuan gourds will roll onto the Plaza at the Brisbane Showgrounds in May 2019 for judging, with the competition held outside of the August Ekka to take advantage of premium pumpkin growing season.