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Cra-Z Pumpkins finishes fourth in South Dakota competition


October 3, 2019

Courtesy photo

Great pumpkin • Tamra and Larry Ziems, of Ewing, showed a 966-pound pumpkin at the 11th annual Downtown Pumpkin Festival in Rapid City, Sept. 28, and finished fourth.

Supersize this.

A giant pumpkin, weighing 966 pounds, was hauled from its growing spot, south of Ewing, to a competition in Rapid City over the weekend.

Grown by Tamra and Larry Ziems, the pumpkin placed fourth in the 11th annual Downtown Pumpkin Festival.

Monday, the pumpkin traveled to its new - and final - home at Martin's Hillside Orchard in Ceresco.

This weekend, Tamra said they will haul produce to a competition in Harrisburg, South Dakota, sanctioned by The Great Pumpkin Commonwealth.

"We're taking a smaller pumpkin and a green squash. Each should be about 500 pounds," she said.

The Ziems began growing pumpkins in 2017, taking the extras to a seasonal stand set up along Highway 275 in Ewing.

A year ago, Larry told Tamra he was interested in raising giant pumpkins.

She bought a good grade of seeds and presented them to Larry as a birthday gift.

Seed costs ran from $30 to $40, with pedigree seeds weighing in over $100.

A year ago, the couple wasn't sure if the large pumpkins would grow.

Tamra said a lot of science is involved in growing pumpkins.

She would know. Tamra works as a plant pathologist for the University of Nebraska Lincoln.

This year, seeds were started in containers and moved outdoors on seasonable days, before they were planted outside.

Throughout the summer, the plants need water and fertilizer.

By late summer, the pumpkins receive food and water when needed.

A giant pumpkin can gain 30 or more pounds each day.


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