A regular participant in the Missouri State Fair contest to see who can grow the largest pumpkin has pulled it off again. Nick Voss of St. Elizabeth has taken the top prize this year with his orange giant weighing in at 725 pounds.
He explains his secret to success.
“You know a lot of water, it takes a lot of water,” says Voss. “You can always mess with the different types of fertilizers and pruning. Just the genetics, having the genetics and good soil. Soil would probably be number two, making sure the soil is pretty organic and rich. So, it’s a combination of many things.”
Voss says his pumpkin would have been much larger if Mother Nature would have cooperated with bringing rain much earlier in the growing season.
“We did receive, it was kind of towards the end of the growing period, if that rain would have came at the peak of the growing season, it definitely would have been a much larger pumpkin than 725,” says Voss. “You know, you can’t control the weather. You just pray and hopefully you get some rain throughout the summer to help it grow.”
The great pumpkin’s humble beginnings began as a family competition to see who can grow the largest pumpkin where they would be harvested at their family Oktoberfest each year.
“I kind of got with some of my in-laws and asked them if they would want to just have a pumpkin growing competition,” explains Voss. “You know, we’d have an Oktoberfest and for the last eight or nine years, we’d have our own family Oktoberfest, and we still do our little competition. It’s just been real fun watching how it’s all evolved. My wife says I’m obsessed with it, but it’s been fun to do.”
On the last day of the Missouri State Fair, Voss snags a seed or two from the pumpkin so he can restart the competition next spring.
He won the contest in 2019, 2021 and 2022.
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