The Q&A Archives: Growing Giant Pumpkins

Question: Last year I had a real problem with the eggplants in my garden. They produced alot of eggplants but the harvest was not bountiful as it should have been. The eggplants did not grow in size. Could you please tell me what the soil may be lacking to cause this and what I can do to make this upcoming season a great one? Also, I really love growing pumpkins and it's my wish some day, as a gardener, to grow a prize winner. I've boughten Dill's Atlantic Giant for the past two years with no success even following the tips. Could this also be a problem with the soil? Also, could you give some recommendations on how to grow "The Big One"? Laura Ann Yale Tunkhannock, PA

Answer: This past year was a cloudy and bit cool and thant may be why your eggplant didn't produce as well as normal. They like hot, sunny conditions. If you suspect the soil isn't right, have a soil test done to find out the pH and nutirent levels. Adding organic matter i nthe form of manures and compost each year will help keep the soil nutirent level high. Growing big pumpkins requires lots of care and pampering. Start the pumpkin seed indoors 4 weeks before you're going to put them out. Prepare thesoil by adding lots of manures and compost and transplant into that area after danger of frost has passed. Cover the young plantings with clear plastic grow tunnels until it's consistently warm at night (60F). Feed the plants weekly with a complete fertilizer and keep them well watered. Only allow 2 fruits to set and pick off all other fruits so the plant will send energy to just those fruits. Then, of course, with good weather and luck, you'll grow a prize winner!.

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