The Woodward News

Local News

October 28, 2012

Texas man wins large pumpkin weigh-off contest

Woodward, Okla. — SHATTUCK--In just his second year growing giant pumpkins, Dee W. Culbert has won a 1st place prize from the Great Pumpkin Commonwealth for growing a large orange gourd.

Culbert's 344.5 pound Atlantic Giant pumpkin took home the plaque for the heaviest pumpkin during Saturday's "Pumpkins on Parade" festival at the Red Barn in Shattuck.

Culbert drove over 200 miles from his home in Texline, Texas, to participate in the pumpkin weigh-off.

But he said he doesn't mind the long drive because participating in the weigh-off is "a good learning experience."

"If I can learn just one thing a year about growing these pumpkins, then it's worth it.  And I have," he said.

The tip he learned this year was how to "save water through the vines."

Once a pumpkin's vine, which gives it nutrients to keep growing, is cut, then the pumpkin begins to dry out, Culbert said.

However, he said officials at Pumpkins on Parade told him that "if you can keep the vine's ends in water then it will keep the pumpkin from drying and losing the weight."

Culbert said the tip might come in really handy in helping him to get an even bigger pumpkin next year, especially if he faces some of the same weather problems he faced this year.

"This one should've been a 350-pound plus pumpkin," he said.  "But we had a freeze 3 weeks ago (that damaged the vine).  So it's probably lost at least 10 pounds from drying out plus lost 3 weeks of growing time.  If it had still been growing, it might have been another 20 to 30 pounds heavier."

In addition to the early freeze, Culbert said he had issues with wind throughout the summer, which is the prime growing season for pumpkins.

"I got a lot of wind, heavy, hard wind," he said, noting wind is harmful to pumpkins because "it tears up the vines and leaves."

Hail is another weather phenomenon that is harmful to pumpkins, as Culbert's son Mark knows all too well.

"I got hailed out this year," Mark said.

So while his Atlantic Giant wasn't as big as it could've been, Culbert was grateful to have a pumpkin to show at Saturday's festival.  He was also pleased that the pumpkin came in a little heavier than the one he submitted for last year's Pumpkins on Parade.

"Last year it was 303 pounds, so it got a little bigger," he said.

Culbert said it was his son who actually got him started in growing giant pumpkins as Mark has now been growing the gourds for around a decade.

"I've been trying to grow them, anyway," Mark said with a chuckle.

However, both father and son said that the reason they like growing big pumpkins is "for the challenge of it."

1
Text Only
Local News
  • Boy, 7, drowns in weekend accident

    A seven-year-old boy died over the weekend when he fell into a swimming pool at a private residence in the Wheatridge addition, according to Woodward police reports.

    July 29, 2014

  • Commission OKs grader financing

    Monday morning in their weekly meeting, Woodward County Commissioners approved the financing on a new John Deere motor grader and discussed in detail the upcoming County Officers and Deputies Association meeting the county will host this October.

    July 29, 2014

  • Deal reached to improve veterans' health care

    WASHINGTON (AP) — A bipartisan deal announced Monday would authorize about $17 billion to help veterans avoid long waits for health care, hire more doctors and nurses to treat veterans and make it easier to fire executives at the Department of Veterans Affairs.

    July 29, 2014

  • Western Plains sets school supplies drive

     As the beginning of the school year approaches, so does the need for new school supplies.

    July 29, 2014

  • Area woman recovering from West Nile

    It wasn’t too many years ago when West Nile Virus was a scary word everyone hoped never happened to them and most of the time, that was true.

    July 27, 2014

  • Dedication set for art pieces

    Woodward’s collection of public art pieces will grow by two this week.

    July 27, 2014

  • ‘Support YOUR Cause Tour’ making stop in Woodward

    A musician is looking to raise $5,000 at an upcoming local concert.
    But Scott Helmer isn't raising the money for himself.  He is hoping to collect money to help support the Woodward Arts Theatre.

    July 26, 2014

  • Experts offer important tips on grilling

    When Roy Lenz prepares his grill for one of his famous steak nights at the Brandin’ Iron in Laverne, he does so with meticulous care and cleanliness, almost to the point of being compulsive.

    July 26, 2014

  • Light agenda set for county

    County commissioners will see a light agenda for their final meeting in July on Monday.

    July 26, 2014

  • State board votes again to delay education plan

    OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Oklahoma's State Board of Education voted on Wednesday for a second time to delay a formal plan for adopting new education standards in math and English amid opposition to the proposal from three education groups that represent public school boards and administrators across Oklahoma.

    July 24, 2014