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Competitive Pumpkin Grower Has ‘Prescription’ For Success

BOUNTIFUL, Utah — It takes time, patience and meticulous care to grow one of the largest pumpkins in the state.

However, one competitive pumpkin grower is definitely capable of filling that ‘prescription.’

That’s because Mohamed Sadiq is a doctor.

“You have to constantly keep monitoring it—just like how you would take care of a patient,” said Sadiq, a neurologist who works in Layton. “Sometimes it can get frustrating, sometimes you get problems like this—you know, where you get a tiny soft spot, you have to do a little surgery on it—a lot of things can go wrong.”

Sadiq took up growing large pumpkins a decade ago and he said the time spent gardening helps him to decompress from the stress of his job.

“This is a variety of pumpkins that we call, ‘Atlantic Giants,’” Sadiq said. “This is just one plant and this entire plant is feeding this pumpkin right here.”

The pumpkin plant he was referencing spanned across roughly 1,200 square feet of a lot in Bountiful.

It had grown that large in essentially three months’ time, covered by a shade cloth to help moderate conditions.

A small fan was also trained on the pumpkin during a visit last week.

“At its peak, it can grow 30-to-50 pounds per day,” Sadiq said of the pale orange giant plunked in the middle of his patch. “It’s just unbelievable how fast they grow!”

On Oct. 3, Sadiq estimated the pumpkin weighed over 1,300 pounds.

He was hoping to top his personal best of 1,386 pounds.

“I think it’s good soil, good seed, good weather and luck,” Sadiq said. “That’s what makes them grow big!”

Sadiq is part of the Utah Giant Pumpkin Growers group and said it could become a fulfilling ‘sport’ for anyone.

“It’s definitely not a hobby because it takes a lot out of you,” Sadiq chuckled. “All that is worth it.”

He planned to enter his pumpkin into a weigh-off Saturday at Hee Haw Farms in Pleasant Grove.

“This is serious business,” Sadiq said. “There is no leeway.”