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Giant Flowers and Vegetables


 
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sunflower_info
Rank attained: Hazel Tree
Rank attained: Hazel Tree


Joined: 07 Oct 2006
Posts: 6
Location: Ewing, NJ USA

PostPosted: Sat Oct 07, 2006 7:37 am    Post subject: Giant Flowers and Vegetables Reply with quote

Hello,

I'm new to this site. I'm from the USA, but I'm looking for people from Ireland that are interested and/or grow giant flowers and vegetables, since I don't have any contacts in Ireland. I would love to talk to anyone that is interested in this hobby. I'm always looking for new people to trade giant flowers/veggies with. Here are a few pics from my garden

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birdie
Rank attained: Rowan Tree
Rank attained: Rowan Tree


Joined: 16 Jun 2006
Posts: 146
Location: west of ireland

PostPosted: Sat Oct 07, 2006 8:57 am    Post subject: Wow Huge plants Reply with quote

sunflower_info, all I can say is WOW. Those flowers and veg are massive. Its like you are in the land of the giants, especially in the pics with the baby. Is that your son or daughter? I presume New jersey is very warm so you must use a hell of a lot of water to get veg to that size.
Thanks for sharing your pics with us.
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James Kilkelly
Rank: Site Admin


Joined: 30 May 2006
Posts: 2142
Location: West of Ireland

PostPosted: Sun Oct 08, 2006 12:05 am    Post subject: giant veg and plants Reply with quote

Wow sunflower_info.
It would be really great if you could share your knowledge or large plant growing with us.
Children would especially love the large sunflowers. I see so many little boys and girls start to get the gardening bug by planting seeds of this attractive and impressive plant.
If we get enough giant veg and plants info together with pictures, it would be possible to create a sticky topic.

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Last edited by James Kilkelly on Sat Mar 12, 2011 4:00 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Sugar_Ape
Rank attained: Silver Birch Tree
Rank attained: Silver Birch Tree


Joined: 06 Jul 2006
Posts: 151

PostPosted: Sun Oct 08, 2006 10:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Blow with down with a feather! Those photos are fantastic, I thought I was in the Land of the Giants for a moment! I'd love to hear how you got them so large Very Happy

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sunflower_info
Rank attained: Hazel Tree
Rank attained: Hazel Tree


Joined: 07 Oct 2006
Posts: 6
Location: Ewing, NJ USA

PostPosted: Mon Oct 09, 2006 6:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The weather in New Jersey was a bit warmer than normal this past summer. We had quite a few days over a 100 degrees.

The most important thing you can do when growing giant plants is find the best material out there. Of course, a variety that might well for me, may not work as well for you because you have different environmental needs. Whichever variety you decide to use, it's important to understand how to breed (mass selection, back crossing, etc.) for a particular flower/vegetable. By saving seeds from your best plants, you will be breeding for plants that do well in your environmental conditions.
I spend most of my time doing searches on the web for new plant material. Usually, it's just a new article from a local paper, and I track the person down from the information in the article. I usually trial plants for a few years before I give up on them. I've trial almost every commercial variety of sunflowers. I find varieties that were bred by individuals for a long time generally produce better. When I grow for height, I've broken it down to three different varieties that consistently produce tall plants. 'Bott's Strain', which was bred by Richard Bott from Michigan. 'Craven', which was bred by Norm Craven from Ontario, Canada. 'Richard Hope's Giant Single' which was bred by Richard Hope in the UK. These are kind of the adopted names for these plants, mostly because myself, as well as some other sunflower growers, call them that.

When I grow sunflowers for a large head, I usually go with a Mammoth Russian named 'Diane's Strain'. I've had some heads over 20 inches in diameter with that variety.


For corn, I mainly grow a variety from Mexico called, 'Jala Valley Landrace Maize'. It's one of the tallest varieties of maize in the world, and it also produces the longest ears at around 2 feet, with cobbs about 18 inches long.

Jala does not always produce ears for me, especially with the taller plants. There is quite a bit of variation with the variety. I'm able to get these heights because it's photosensitive, and will keep on growing until we get short enough days here. I believe this is the variety thas was used to produce the current world record of 31 feet tall from Iowa in 1946.

There are other giant varieties of corn out there, such as Mexican June White, which generally gets about 15-16 ft tall. There is a temperate corn named Goliath Silage that also produces some tall plants with large ears. Goliath produced the Iowa State record this year at 18 feet. 4 inch. tall

I didn't seriously grow giant plants until 2002. There are people out there with a lot more experience than I have. Every year, I learn a little bit more. Someday I may even get a world record or two.
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crosseyedsheep
Rank attained: Rowan Tree
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Joined: 10 Jul 2006
Posts: 147
Location: Leitrim

PostPosted: Mon Oct 09, 2006 11:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Amazing stuff, well done, I noticed that the sunflowers don't seem to need support? I like the multi headed variety, is that one the Craven?
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Sb
Rank attained: Silver Birch Tree
Rank attained: Silver Birch Tree


Joined: 09 Jun 2006
Posts: 184
Location: east coast

PostPosted: Mon Oct 09, 2006 4:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello sunflower_info and let me welcome you to IG.
The veg in picture 5 interests me. It is the one with you and baby in front of a large frame. Please can you tell me what this veg is? I presume it is what you are posing beside in picture 4. It looks like an australian digeriidoo. Smile
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sunflower_info
Rank attained: Hazel Tree
Rank attained: Hazel Tree


Joined: 07 Oct 2006
Posts: 6
Location: Ewing, NJ USA

PostPosted: Fri Oct 13, 2006 4:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pure strain Craven plants are single headed. The multi-headed sunflower next to the corn is a self-sown sunflower. I get self-sown plants all the time, and many times I let them grow. I was pretty impressed with that sunflower because it grew on the edge of the garden in the grass where the soil was never turned over. Grew over 13 feet tall and had many blooms. I was able to save almost every seed from that plant.

They are called Long Gourds. They can actually get much larger than what I have. This year was my first time every trying to grow them. I built a 17 foot tall trellis and the plants made it to the top and started grabbing onto the pine trees in the back. Pretty amazing plants!

I have a few new pics that I just took a few days ago. The one is a pic of a 14 inch stem on a giant amaranth plant. It's still growing; so I may be getting bigger. I also have two pics that are rather dark. My wife didn't get home until late; so it was the best I could do. One is of some 14 ft. sorghum that is still growing. The other is of a corn stalk that is at an unknown height. It's too tall for me to really measure. From looking at the whorls, it looks like it has at least another 4 feet, if not more, to grow.
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