This page has general introduction removed from the Index Page to make it download faster. Check this page once a month for new info.
Atlantic Giant is an old heirloom pumpkin noted for its size. In recent years, some furits have weighed over 1000 pounds. Official weighing sites are located arournd the world and more are planned in 1999.
I have been trying to grow various crops from seeds I obtained by hybridizing since 1938. I had little success in my early years and I have never seen anyone else grow peaches as tiny as some I grew from seedlings. I began this website to pass on all of the genetic information I have learned in 60 years. I have not spent my entire time as a geneticist because I spent lots of years in school, some in the army, and I have worked with viruses and bacteria. However, viruses and microbes affect pumpkins and this varied background may be useful as I write this web site.
One problem facing Atlantic Giant growers is the fact that many large pumpkins father only small pumpkins. This is not too surprising. Lots of famous race horses produce expensive offspring which win few races. In humans, some families have the good fortune of long-lived members for several generations. However, many humans living to 100 years outlive their childern by many years. The problem is that to takes hundreds of superior genes, and luck, to produce a 1000 pound pumpkin and none of the seeds in a 1000 pounder fruit will have all the superior genes of the parent. My goal is to help you find ways to get as many superior genes as possible into the seeds you plant. I know in advance, such breeding is a slow process and you can not expect too much from this site.
There is already an Atlantic Giant Genetics site written by Mike Nepereny. Mike and the people who furnished data for that site are experienced Atlantic Giant growers. If you are looking for data, pedigrees, biographies of growers and a general overview of Big Pumpkin Competition you should visit his web site.
The goals of this site are more theoretical:
My goal is to search the revelent genetic literature and present the most useful information as simple and understandable as possible. Some of the literature on breeding systems get very complex and mathematical. That is because the best methods are not yet known.
I have been hybridizing plants for 60 years having begun at age 6 in March 1938 with planting of open pollinated peach seedllings. By the time I graduated from highschool I had two acres for orchards with small fruit and vegetables between the rows and some years of experience inbreeding corn and hybridizing lillies and other flowers. While I read all the genetics chapters I could find, there was very little available and I mostly wasted my time with non-virgin crosses, etc. It turns out Luther Burbank, my idol in those days, made the same mistakes. My other idol was Pfister, of corn fame, and he was doing things correctly.
This web site will teach the lessons of basic genetics as a background for those interested in genetics of dicots.
Visitors since 1998 June 8: