Tension is building among local pumpkin growers ahead of the Deni Show, where one of the annual event’s most popular competitions will be decided.
Judges are preparing their scales to determine this year’s biggest giant Atlantic pumpkin winner.
Long-time show steward John Russell is again entering one of his own prized pumpkins, saying there is a lot of secrecy between competitors.
Entries are accepted from 9.30am to 11.30am tomorrow at the showgrounds, with a $2 entry fee and the ‘weigh-off’ at noon.
‘‘We even have a saying, ‘all’s fair in love and war, and pumpkins’,’’ Mr Russell said.
‘‘Some growers even import their seeds.
‘‘The growing process is very scientific because you have to measure the pH and temperature of the soil and water, test and fertilise it.
‘‘And after all my years of entering I still haven’t won yet.
‘‘This year we are hoping, if everything goes well, we will get about 20 pumpkin entries.’’
First place receives 20 litres of Charlie Carp fertiliser and a cash prize of $200, second place 10 litres of Charlie Carp and a $100 cash prize, and third place five litres of Charlie Carp and a $50 cash prize.
There are two sections — open and junior.
For the fourth year in a row pumpkin plants were given to local schools, including Deniliquin schools and Blighty and Mathoura.
‘‘Last year Finley Catholic School claimed victory, which was from a plant that we donated,’’ Mr Russell said.
‘‘Some children are really keen, which is good to see because it gives them a chance to compete and get involved.’’
Along with the size competition, organisers run a ‘guess the weight of the pumpkin’ ahead of tomorrow.
Entrants are encouraged to register their guess, with the closest weight winning the $50 cash prize donated by sponsor Pretty Pine Hotel.
There is also a ‘guess the number of pumpkin seeds in a jar’, with the winner receiving $15 donated by the P&A Society.