Arizona Giant Pumpkin Growers
How To Measure Giant Pumpkins
Measuring the size of ones pumpkin is a time-honored routine that every grower respects during the months leading up to their local weigh-off. The measurements take but a couple of minutes; and then, when the OTT measurement is calculated it provides a good guess as to how big the pumpkin actually is. Having a rough idea of what the pumpkin’s weight might be is necessary for all the conversations you’re going to have with both community members – and especially with other pumpkin growers.

The AZGPG uses charts developed in 2013 by Team-Pumpkin and the suggested weight ranges remain awfully accurate. This is the best method for estimating a pumpkin’s weight, but will not replace actually weighing your pumpkin on a proper set of calibrated scales.

The Over-the-Top (OTT) measurement is the sum of three separate measurements as outlined below. Once you have the three numbers, you will add them together to get a total figure. Then go to the charts and find it, or the closest to it, on the charts to obtain your estimated weight.

The three measurements you need are:
  1. Circumference
  2. Blossom to Stem (End-to-End)
  3. Side to Side

1. Circumference – Measure the circumference of the fruit parallel to the ground at stem height. 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. Blossom to Stem (also known as End to End) – Place your tape measure on the ground at the stem end, and at the blossom end. Measure the distance from ground to ground. DO NOT follow the contour of the pumpkin to the ground. Let the tape fall straight down to the ground on both sides.

3. Side to Side – Placing the tape perpendicular to the plant stem at the widest point of the pumpkin. Place it on the ground on both sides, and measure this distance. Again, DO NOT follow the contour of the pumpkin to the ground. Let the tape fall straight down to the ground on both sides.

Here’s an example: Our giant pumpkin has a circumference measurement of 136”; blossom-to-stem (BS) of 85 5/8” ; and a side-to-side (SS) measurement of 82 1/4".

OTT = (136 + 85 5/8 + 82 1/4) = 303 7/8 (or 304”).

When looking at the Team-Pumpkin chart you will see the weight range for our example pumpkin is 563-670 pounds. The mid-point being 617 pounds. This is the weight most people talk about when describing the estimated weight of the pumpkin.


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