The Q&A Archives: Tips for Growing Giant Pumpkins

Question: I have purchased some of your prize-winner hybrid pumpkin seeds. We really want these to be prizewinners!!! We are hoping for at least one 300 lbs.+ pumpkin. I have tested my soils pH level. It is at 6. I have added compost/steer manure to my claybound soil. I have 2 seedlings started, is this too soon? What else can we do to get them going? Thank you for the great catalog and your help with my pumpkins. Phil Baird Gilbert, AZ

Answer: You are well on your way to growing a prize-winning giant but you need a few refinements.The first consideration has to be seeds; the ones you are growing were not developed to grow monster pumpkins. For a variety of seeds that have the potential to grow giant pumpkins you should contact Howard Dill Enterprises, RR 1 , Windsor, Nova Scotia BON 2TO (902)-798-2728. He can provide you with both seeds and specific information. Other general considerations would be water, sun, soil, and length of your growing season. In your location the amount of water you provide will be very important. After the pumpkins start growing it is critical to provide them with enough water. It doesn't hurt to add an all purpose liquid fertilizer to the water. Pumpkins like heat and sunshine to flourish, so try to give them as much as possible. Clay can be a good soil it has been aerated and lightened. Compost and aged manure are very good amendments to help your clay soil. After the pumpkins have beenpollinated they will need time to develop their size. Your long growing season should be ideal. You said your have started two seedlings, to increase your chances for success you should probably have six or eight seedlings started and chose the best four to start your pumpkins in the ground. They will grow better in a warmed soil, before putting them in the ground make sure the ground temperature has reached 70 F . After the plants get established in the ground you should watch to make sure that pollenization has taken place and after the pumpkins start growing limit each plant to one pumpkin. I hope you have plenty of space because these plants love to roam.

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