LOLO — We’re approaching Memorial Day, but a man in Lolo is already thinking about Halloween and his effort to grow recording-breaking pumpkins.
"How often do you say you get to hold a 600-pound pumpkin? Well, I guess you can't really hold it,” said Adam Wulf who spends his evenings in the garden – in hope of growing a record-breaking pumpkin.
"It's impressive what we can get out of this little garden space,” Wulf noted.
It started when Wulf’s dad grew a 110-pound pumpkin – and it and grew into a competition, “that got us kind of into it, and excited about seeing if we could beat him."
Then he got into the research, “the genetics, and the fertilizing, and all the behind the scenes of it. Gotten to where I can get some pretty big ones now.
The record is about 590 pounds, “not many people can say that," Wulf told MTN News.
This year he and his son are amping things up in hopes of reaching 1,000 pounds. It takes 5 ½ months - of planting, and planning. “There's no vacations,” Wulf noted.
During the colder months -- even with his inground heating cables -- Wulf needs to cover the seeds every night, “it can pose some pretty big challenges up here with our weather."
Montana is not an ideal location. For example, snowfall arrived just days after he planted this spring.
"They need so much attention,” Wulf said. And that extra attention leads to extra costs with Wulf estimating he spends about $500 per year on fertilizer for the pumpkins and other plants in his garden.
Then there’s the extra water Wulf needs. "Once we get going in the summer, we'll be mixing once a week, 50-gallon jugs of buckets."
And for a tall guy, working in a home-grown greenhouse is a lot of crouching over, "hit my head more than once."
But he says all the time, money, and energy pays off, with the joy it brings, at Halloween when the kids come out to see how big they are and everything. That makes it worth it in the end."