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Safely light pumpkins




Estimating the Weight of Your Giant Pumpkin

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>>>>> 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>>>>> 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 %



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