Pumpkin Nook : Weighing Giant Pumpkins

Pumpkin Nook : Weighing Giant Pumpkins

Your pumpkin is growing so quickly that it looks like
it is about to burst out of it’s skin. You wonder just how much it really
weighs. You might even pick it up gently, an inch or so above the ground
to get an idea of how much it weighs. You also might want to plot it’s growth,
after all this is half the fun.

There is a measurement system that is reliable to measure
your monster right in your own patch. Perfect? No. But, it is more than good
enough to tell you approximately how much your beast weighs while it is still
growing in the garden. You can get an official weight on the scale at a weighoff
this fall. But for now, this method works great to give you a reliable way
to track your pumpkin’s growth.

There are two basic measures, the Over the Top method
(OTT)
and Circumference method.

Many thanks go out to Len Stellpflug and David Martin for having measured
and weighed well over 1,000 giant pumpkins to compile the weight tables.

Len Stellpflug is a lifetime grower from Rush, N.Y. He has personally grown
a pumpkin over 1,000 pounds and has won many weighoffs over the years. He
is the author of the instructions for weighing giant pumpkins found here.

David Martin from Little Britain, Ontario used Multiple Regression Analysis
to obtain equations that best fit the data. He and Len prepared the Weight
Tables from those equations.

.ps It only stands to reason that it took cooperative international
efforts to produce the very best and most accurate weight tables!!!!


The OVER-THE-TOP method provides the BEST estimates. This requires
adding Circumference to the two Over-the-Top measurements taken from
ground-to-ground from side-to-side and end-to-end.

Take these three measures described below, and sum the total. Then, go to
the OTT Table to find the weight. Go to OTT table now

#1Circumference:The Circumference
Measurement should be taken where you have the largest Circumference.
It will not always be parallel to the ground. It may be above or below the
stem and above or below the blossom point. On most large pumpkins the largest
Circumference is not at the stem/blossom level. The largest Circumference
is necessary to obtain the most accurate Weight Estimate as most of the
Circumference measurements used to obtain the Weight Equations were largest
Circumference.

#2 Over the Top Stem to Blossom: Take your tape
measure and place one end on the ground by the stem. Lay the tape over the
pumpkin, and to the ground at the blossom end. Try to place it straight down
to the ground.

#3 Over the Top Side to Side: Place your tape
measure on the ground at the side of your pumpkin at it’s widest point. Lay
the tape over the pumpkin to the other side of the pumpkin, placing the tape
on the ground on each side. As in step #2, bring the tape as straight
down as possible.

Go to the Table{amp}gt;{amp}gt;{amp}gt;{amp}gt;{amp}gt; Over the Top method
(OTT)


The CIRCUMFERENCE measurement is quicker and gives consistent measurement
of overall growth. It DOES NOT provide good estimates for unusually high,
flat, long or short fruit. It is useful to estimate day-to-day increases.

Taking the correct measurement is very important.

The Circumference Measurement should be taken where you have the
largest Circumference. It will not always be parallel to the ground.
It may be above or below the stem and above or below the blossom point. On
most large pumpkins the largest Circumference is not at the stem/blossom
level. The largest Circumference is necessary to obtain the most accurate
Weight Estimate as most of the Circumference measurements used to obtain
the Weight Equations were largest Circumference.

Go to the Table{amp}gt;{amp}gt;{amp}gt;{amp}gt;{amp}gt; Circumference
method


Here are the percents of your estimates that you can expect to be within
the accuracy ranges shown:
Accuracy range OTT Method Circumference Method

± 5 %

46.8 %

24.7 %

± 5.01 to ± 10 %

31.8 %

25.3 %

± 10.01 to ± 15 %

12.8 %

22.8 %

over ± 15.01 %

8.6 %

27.2 %


Now for the easy part. There are 2 methods (equations) for calculating the weight. One is based only on the circumference and the other uses the sum of our OTT measurements. The circumference method is better for day to day comparisons to see how fast the pumpkin is growing while the OTT method yields a better estimate of the real weight. In our hero’s case, circumference was equal to 63 1/4″ and the OTT equals (63 1/4 45 45 5/8) 153 7/8″. Only the mathematicians want to know that the weight of the pumpkin is equal to 0.001517*POWER(circumference,2.61374) or
0.0000795*POWER(OTT,2.76)
The rest of you want to know how much does it weigh. Fire up your spreadsheet and fill it in as below. Column A will have your circumference (that�s why it is labeled C in cell A3. Column B will have blossom to stem (BS) and you guessed it column C will have your side to side measurements. For column D, click in the cell D4 then press the large key and type SUM(A4:C4) and press enter. For column E, click in the cell E4 then press the large key and type 0.0000795*POWER(D4,2.76) and press enter. For the last column F, click in the cell F4 then press the large key and type 0.001517*POWER(A4,2.61374) and press enter. Now, whenever you enter your C, BS, and SS measurements the OTT column will automatically show the sum and the E and F columns will show the calculated weights. (someday this will all be a built-in function on your Pumpkin-Pilot XXIV) You can see by the OTT method our hero weighs 86.6. See Figure 5 below.

Click on Pumpkin count to view details.

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Giant Pumpkin Weight Estimation – How To:

  • Take the three measurements outlined below
  • Add them together to get a total figure
  • Find it or the closest to it in the charts to find your estimate
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