14 March, 2024

368.5kg: That’s a whopper pumpkin!

Toowoomba’s Downlands College smashed the long-standing Ekka record by over 100 kilograms to take out top honours at the Royal Queensland Show’s iconic Giant Pumpkin Competition presented at the Brisbane Showgrounds last weekend.

368.5kg: That’s a whopper pumpkin! - feature photo

The secondary school students also set a Queensland record with its ginormous 368.5-kilogram entry which beat the Ekka record for heaviest pumpkin of 261.5kg set back in 2015.

More than 10 mega pumpkins were placed on super-sized scales with Downlands College blitzing the competition by 109.5 kilograms.

The College’s other entry was also enormous, weighing in at 337.5 kilograms – the second heaviest in the competition’s history.

Downlands College takes home $2,850 in prize money which includes this year’s new bonus prize of $1,000 for the heaviest pumpkin over 350kg.

It’s the second time in the competition’s history that a school has managed to edge out veteran growers in the Open Class category, after Downlands College won the title of Champion Heaviest Pumpkin of Show last year for the first-time.

Downlands College Agricultural Science teacher Jeff Buchanan said he felt their competition entry this year was the best they have ever produced.

“There is so much excitement among the students, as well as a real sense of achievement when they see what they have produced stacking up against other growers and school entries,” Dr Buchanan said.

“The students are excited they have done better than before and they have been putting in the work with 30 barrel-loads of compost and a fertigation program for the pumpkins.

“This comes as part of the process to get the kids interested in plant science.’’

Ekka’s most famous giant pumpkin growing family, the Frohloff’s from Minden, took out top honours in the open class.

Geoff’s Frohloff’s 259kg entry won first place, while his son Tony took out third place with a 155kg entry, while Jim Baxter’s 164.5kg entry came second in the open category.

Those who want to enter the competition next year can sign up for free Atlantic Giant pumpkin seeds at the Show or visit to secure their seeds.


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