Ask a Question forum: Dills Atlantic Giant Pumpkin

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Name: Jared Nicholes
Post Falls, Idaho
Nov 2, 2015 8:02 PM CST

I just got this in the mail as an early nineteenth birthday present! They can grow to be an average of 170 pounds!

Thumb of 2015-11-03/jnicholes/07f9b3

I have a question. I will be planting these next spring, and I was wondering the following:

Do I need to germinate them indoors before planting outside? If so, when? (I'm in North Idaho by the way)

Should I prune it back if it grows too big?

Do I need to use fertilizer?

Any gardening tips for this species?

And finally, has anyone here on this forum grown these before?

Any help would be appreciated.

Name: Caroline Scott
Calgary (Zone 4a)
Charter ATP Member Region: Canadian Bulbs Winter Sowing Enjoys or suffers cold winters Lilies
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Nov 3, 2015 9:54 AM CST
In Idaho, you probably want to start them indoors first.
There is information on growing pumpkins in the Vegetable forum.
Also, somewhere on the web, Dill has given his instructions.
I can't find it right now.
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
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Nov 4, 2015 7:54 AM CST
If you really want to grow a giant pumpkin, you need to be prepared to grow just one per plant. i.e you will grow the first flower that forms a pumpkin, and take off any succeeding flower.

But the plant needs to grow lots of leaves to make that huge pumpkin for you, so no, you should not prune it. It will form a long trailing vine, so plant it where it has room to sprawl. Some people grow the vines on a fence so they're not in the way, but the pumpkin will need to sit on the ground if it's going to get big.

To grow lots of leaves, yes you absolutely will need to fertilize and water it like mad once the pumpkin is growing! I'd prepare a really great bed with lots of compost and other good organic amendments for when you transplant them outside. Rich soil, tons of nutrients, and lots of water will grow you big vines, and big pumpkins.

As far as planting early, your weather is going to determine when you can put it outside to grow in the ground. Plan to start the seeds indoors a month or so before the last frost date. I used to live in Salt Lake City, and our last frost date came on average about May 1st. Yours might be later since you are further north. Also be prepared with a blanket or something "just in case" a late cold front comes through after you have planted your pumpkin plants out. You will need to cover them at night to protect them or else they could get nipped by frost and either die outright, or be set back by weeks, if they survive.

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Keith
West Babylon, NY (Zone 7a)
Region: United States of America Winter Sowing Plays in the sandbox Birds Native Plants and Wildflowers Tomato Heads
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Nov 5, 2015 6:13 PM CST
If it gets that big post photos! 😎
Name: Jared Nicholes
Post Falls, Idaho
Nov 6, 2015 3:05 PM CST

Believe me, I WILL post photos with the weight if they get that big!


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