Jun 21, 2017

2017 Wursten Diary


I started out the year with 4 1/2 allotments and somehow inherited an additional 3 1/2, so now I'm gardening on eight 1500 sq ft allotments. This morning I planted out the giant tomatoes, so I now have all the giant veg in the garden.

1x squash (967 Horde*) - almost ready to pollinate

5x field pumpkin (2x 117 Horde, 1x 133 Wursten, 1x 189 Crews with 109 MacKenzie backup and 1x 158 Horde)

2x long gourd (122.88 Eaton and 137 Eaton)

2x marrow (86.4 Osmala, 60 Wild)

1x bushel gourd (185 English)

1x watermelon (220 Bartoli)

4x heavy/long cucumbers (Thomas and Wursten)

4x tall corn (Jalapeno)

7x sunflower heads in 2 different locations (Fifolt)

9x beet in 3 different locations (Brigadier)

7x runnerbeans in 3 different locations (Jescot)

11x tomatoes in 4 different greenhouses (2x 6.06 Sproule, 2x 4.72 Butler, 1x 4.30 Timm, 2x 5.58 Nieuwenhoff, 2x 5.91 Timm, 2x 3.40 Wild)


I'm also tutoring a 10 year old boy who has 4 beets, a field pumpkin and 5 sunflower heads growing on one of my allotments.

Jul 14, 2017

967 Horde* (day 20) and estimating 120 lbs. Too wheel-like for my fancy, but will have to do.

Pollinated the first FP today.

All watermelons have aborted till now.

Not sure if any of the LGs have taken either.

Once I get my camera fixed or a new one, I'll share some pictures of my beets just to compare to other growers that might be growing them.

Tall corn is about 10ft.

Pollinated first giant cuke this week as well.

Jul 17, 2017


This is one of the largest beets I have going. It was sticking out of the ground too much, so I raised the soil around it to about half way. No idea how big it should be by this time of the year, but not big enough I would think.

Jul 28, 2017

Squash is out of the race. Growth is slowing down. No reason why. Watermelon on the other hand should be a new Dutch record if it doesn't rot before Sept. 30th. The current record is

Three promising field pumpkins, the best being one of the 117 Horde plants which has a long fruit (day 13).



Aug 14, 2017

Longest cucumber is now 71cm with a 39cm girth. Still growing, but nowhere near my usual season best of 85cm. Then again, these are heavy cucumbers I also grow for length.

Watermelon is growing very little and now only 66lbs, which is still 51lbs more than the Dutch

Worst day 50 ever for me, but I hear all the Dutch growers are struggling this year. Day 50 was 650lbs.

For the other beet growers, the girth on this beet is 82cm and it is growing 1cm per day. Not sure how long it is. Not going to be big enough to go for any records I would assume.

Started with 5 FPs and now down to one competitor. Two split due to sag lines, a third is about to go and the 109 MacKenzie is going to struggle to make 100lbs.

This is the 133 Wursten 16 (159 Butler x 140 Crews). At day 26 it estimates a bit more than 30lbs heavier than the 133 itself was last year on day 26. Currently taping 120lbs+.



Aug 25, 2017

109 MacKenzie started to crack so took it off the plant. Weighs 115 lbs (went very heavy). It's from an 11 year old boy I am tutoring who grows on my plot. Hoping it keeps till the weigh-off on Sept. 30.

117 Horde has been (and still is) a scary ride with all of its saglines. Day 35 and estimating 140-150 lbs and still growing. Should finish in the 150-170 lb range hopefully.

The leader in the patch is the 133 Wursten. Currently day 37 and estimated at 160-170 lbs. Not much growth left.



Aug 28, 2017

The iffy 117 Horde FP is no longer iffy. Went to lift it onto the weigh scale for a better estimate and my hand went right through the bottom. Enormous split and quite rotten. Too rotten to properly weigh.

Good new is that the 133 Wursten FP put on some weight. Now estimated over 170lbs. Probably going to come just a few pounds short of the current European record (173.7), but rumour has it there are two more enormous FPs over here (Germany and Great Britain).

First heavy pepper of the year weighed 518g, which would have been a new PR if it hadn't had a hole eaten in it by some bug.

Sep 12, 2017Edited: Sep 12, 2017

Largest beet now has a circumference of 100cm (39"). I'll take a smaller one to the weigh-off and let this one grow till November to see how big it can get.

Largest field pumpkin estimates over 180lbs, which would have broken the old European record easily. New record, just broken, is 181.7lbs. Going to be very close.

Watermelon estimates 115lbs, which is exactly 100lbs more than the Dutch record.

Sep 12, 2017

looks like a good season. Great stuf.

Sep 12, 2017

A few stormy days with lots of rain and high winds ripped a 15ft hole in my greenhouse yesterday. This evening I found out the long gourd was damaged and the big field pumpkin had split (was fine this morning). I got it weighed and at 176.4 lbs it would have been a new Dutch record but come a few pounds short of the new European record. To make matters worse, it had hardly any seeds.



Sep 28, 2017

The Dutch weigh-off is Saturday so I picked my long and heavy cucumbers and some of the other giant veg. Should have 4 PBs and depending on the competition 4 new Dutch records, three of which, including the middle cucumber, would have been Canadian records if I had stayed put in the first place.


Sep 30, 2017

Entered 8 giant veg classes today, won 7, was 2nd in one and broke 4 Dutch records. Got to see a 180lb FP being weighed and a 2228 lb pumpkin so a pretty good day except for the constant rain.

Heavy cucumber: 17.6 lbs (Dutch record)

Heavy sweet pepper: 1.33 lbs / 602g (only 3 peppers have ever made it past 600g - Dutch record)

Watermelon: 118 lbs (Dutch record)

Runnerbean: 27.6" / 70.0 cm (Dutch record)

Fodderbeet: 47.4 lbs

Squash: 892 lbs (2nd place)

Long cucumber: 32.1" / 81.5 cm

Tomato: 3.99 lbs

Oct 1, 2017

congrats Brad. pretty good season you had there. whats a runnerbean?

Oct 1, 2017


These are runnerbeans. I wrapped these up in wet paper towels to take the bend out a bit. You run these beans through a bean cutter if you want to eat them.

Phil & Jane Hunt - GVGO
Oct 2, 2017

Looks like 2017 was a great season for you Brad. Congrats on your outstanding results.


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    Better later then never right? I meant to start this a while ago, but just never got around to it. Here is my bushel gourd progress for 2019. May 23, they have been sitting in the front window soaking up the sun. May 27, I finally got them into the garden. Jun 7, they seem attracted to each other... Aug 8. I had seen a lot of flowers, but hardly any female flowers. After a few didn't take off I decided to manually pollinate them and this one took off! Aug 14. This is before I leave for a vacation, its growing pretty well. Aug 25. Its growing a lot faster then I imagined! I hope my trellis (read: Fence) can handing the possible size of this monster!

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