How to Grow Really Giant Pumpkins
Big Bigger Biggest
First things First Starting Out
There are Pumpkins and Giant Pumpkins
Giant pumpkins are not just any old pumpkin grown bigger than the others; they come from special seed that must be sourced from specialist seed growers. So the first thing to do if you want to grow giant pumpkins is to send for this special seed. Actually, that could be the second step. Before planting pumpkins you need to prepare the soil, and that can be done during the winter.
Good preparation starts in winter
Planting a crop of ryegrass in the early winter will give you green manure for your pumpkin plants. It should be dug in, in the early spring. The soil should have well-rotted cow manure added at this time or through the winter. Horse manure is the second choice, while chicken manure should be used sparingly or not at all. For best results the PH of the soil should be around 6.5-6.8.
Starting your Seeds
Use peat pots filled with potting mix to plant your seeds in, about four weeks before the last frost is due. This will give them a head start, allowing extra time for the pumpkin to grow. They should be planted with the pointed end facing down. Keep the soil temperature to about 85-90 F. When the seedlings have their true leaves e.g. the third and fourth leaves, or when you see roots coming through the bottom of the pot, they can be planted out.
Fame And Glory Ahead
To Fame And Glory
Growing - Planting and Tending
Your plot of ground should be 20 feet square (or round) for each plant. All
of this should be fertilized, and the pumpkin plant placed in the middle. You
won’t need to take the plant out of the pot since it is of peat, but handle it
carefully so it does not suffer shock of any kind. If there is the slightest
likelihood of frost or high wind, shelter the pumpkin plant with clear plastic
nailed to an A-frame. Or you could push three stakes into the ground around the
plant, as a frame for a thick plastic bag. Anchor the ends down with rocks so
the wind doesn’t blow it off. Remove it when the weather is more stable.
Your Pumpkin Needs Some Loving Care
Water the pumpkin plants frequently, but don’t keep the ground saturated. Use liquid fertilizer every week to keep them growing. When they flower, you will need to do the pollinating. The female flower will have a swelling at the vine end of the flower. Pick a freshly opened male flower, cut the petals back and brush the stamen over the stigma of a fresh female flower.
Keep the vine that holds the giant pumpkin at right angles to the main plant, by repositioning it gradually and gently. Only allow one or two pumpkins to grow on the vine - one if it is for a competition. Don’t allow the branch that holds the pumpkin to grow more than 12 feet past the pumpkin.
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