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Competitive Gardening - Go Big or Go Home!


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Old 04-28-2012, 05:51 PM
hammerpamf hammerpamf is offline
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Default Competitive Gardening - Go Big or Go Home!

Last year I read a book called Backyard Giants by Susan Warren, in which she chronicles the efforts of competitive pumpkin growers over the course of a season. This book I found interesting because I once lived in the pumpkin capital of the world and witnessed the annual giant pumpkin weigh-offs at the aptly-named pumpkin festival.

I really haven't seen much mention about the possibility of hydroponics for competitive growing, with the exception of Disney's Epcot - they hold two records that I know of: world's largest tomato plant (610.63 square ft) and most tomatoes harvested from one plant in one year (32,194: weighing 1,151.84 lbs)!

I've been thinking about going after the world's heaviest tomato or pepper this year; hottest chile would be pretty cool as well.

Has anyone here tried any competitive growing with hydroponics?

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Old 04-28-2012, 06:37 PM
fintuckyfarms fintuckyfarms is offline
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Nope, can't say I have. Most of the info out there is about getting started or new stuff. Good luck and let us know how it goes.
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Old 04-29-2012, 07:41 AM
GpsFrontier GpsFrontier is offline
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I agree, I'm just interested in growing good produce for our local community at this point. I'm just not really interested or setup for competition at this point. Fact is there isn't even enough hydro growers in our area to even have any competition. Where I live I'm more concerned with promoting hydroponics for something other than growing pot. Though I get the point, any competition for growing any produce (NOT pot) would be good advertising for hydroponics in general. Though I think the idea is a good one, and I would completely support/promote it as much as I could. In the future when things are going better for me, I may even take your lead/idea and run some type of hydroponics (Not pot) competition.

P.S.
I know of the tomato tree at Epcot you refer to. In fact Simon posted pictures of it in one of his albums.
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Old 04-29-2012, 10:54 AM
hammerpamf hammerpamf is offline
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GPS, I feel your pain when it comes to the pot-hydroponics misconception held by much of the public. Now I don't care what people do in their own private time and what plants they grow, but I don't enjoy having everyone assume I'm a pot grower. One of my stock lines to naysayers is: "Saying all hydroponics growers grow pot is just like saying all priests molest children." Though a crude statement, it drives the point home that everyone in a particular group (e.g. hydroponics growers, priests) aren't the same. That said...back on topic...

I'm not so much personally interested in organizing a competitive gardening competition or competing strictly against other hydroponics growers per se. I've noticed that most of the competitive gardeners use soil-based methods. While this might be appropriate for some crops, I feel that hydro is the way of the future for growing bigger and longer crops than our soil compatriots. One competition I might enter this year is the heaviest tomato competition at the state fair. It won't require much change in my plans - I'm already growing plenty beefsteak varieties appropriate for such an endeavor, so it'll just require losing the yield on a few plants to go after a competition-size mater. Even if I don't win (although I am fairly confident in my methods, hence chances), it'll be a great little display at the farmer's market: check out this whopper! Anything that can catch the eyes of potential customers is good in my book.
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Old 05-01-2012, 06:58 AM
GpsFrontier GpsFrontier is offline
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Quote:
"Saying all hydroponics growers grow pot is just like saying all priests molest children."
I'm going to remember that one. Though it's really those times where your enthusiastically talking about growing tomatoes, strawberries etc., and they finally realize your actually talking about growing tomatoes (not pot). That blank look/stare on their face says what their thinking. That were not talking about growing the same thing after all. I think everybody here in this forum experiences the same thing regularly. I couldn't care less if they grow pot, but I wish they would try growing something eles too. Anyhow I believe perception's about hydroponics will change. I know of one hydroponic grower in my town who grows produce, but only one so far.

I agree with your plan and reasoning on competing with soil growers. That could get the foot in the door and interest new hydroponic growers as well. That would be a very good plan to get more people interested in hydroponics, and go a long way to help change the perception of hydroponics.
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Old 05-01-2012, 03:19 PM
hammerpamf hammerpamf is offline
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Like the alternative lines, considering my priest line is completely crude (and I live on the fringe of the so-called Bible Belt, which explains looks of disdain mixed with understanding). Although with the first line, I wouldn't mention the Vietnamese in my area, it's more likely the Californians or Mexicans...

Again, really excited to be a part of the tomato growing competition...

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