Vegetables and Fruit forum: Pumpkin help for next spring

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Name: Jared Nicholes
Post Falls, Idaho
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jnicholes
Nov 3, 2015 11:08 AM CST
Hello!

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/f3ac2a

I have a question. I posted this in the ask a question part of the forum and I felt the need to put it in the vegetables and fruits section. I know the instructions are on the packet, but I want advice from gardeners. 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.

Jared
Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
Charter ATP Member Celebrating Gardening: 2015 I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped beta test the first seed swap Region: United States of America Region: Michigan
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Weedwhacker
Nov 3, 2015 8:03 PM CST
Jared, I would definitely start them inside, probably about 3-4 weeks before you want to plant them outside (pumpkin plants are pretty tender, so that would be after danger of frost; however, they sprout and grow pretty quickly, so you don't want to start them TOO early). And you should definitely use fertilizer, those giant pumpkins in particular are very heavy feeders. And lots of water, as well. I think I may have read somewhere that people prune the vine once several fruit have set, so more energy goes into those -- although I've never done that myself; maybe someone else here will be able to advise you about that. Keep in mind that at first you are likely to just see "male" flowers, which grow from the vine on a relatively thin stalk; the female flowers will have a very small pumpkin between the bottom of the flower and the vine itself.

Although I've grown lots of squash and "regular" pumpkins, the only time I tried growing the big ones -- and I think it was actually Atlantic Giant in my case as well -- I had one really big pumpkin growing that I was pretty excited about; just as it was getting near harvest time a gardening friend stopped by and I took him out to the garden to show off my accomplishment. Unfortunately, overnight a deer had eaten a hole in the pumpkin and completely cleaned out the inside -- it kind of looked like Cinderella's coach! Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing

Best of luck to you with your giant pumpkin -- I hope you will post pictures for us next year!
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Name: Reid
North Branch, MN (Zone 4b)
Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Anderwood
Nov 4, 2015 6:24 AM CST
Awesome Jared. Glad to hear you are taking this on. I grew these years ago when I was in In middle and high school.

Be sure you have a lot of space. The vines go out 30 feet in all directions. Dig a hole 4' x 4'. Fill it 1/3 high quality compost, 1/3 composted manure, and 1/3 original soil. Mix it all together.

Let all of the pumpkins form until July 1. Pick the strongest looking one that is 10 feet from the base. Then cut all of the others off. Cut the end of all vines off and bury them to pump energy into the pumpkin. You can keep more pumpkins if you aren't trying to get a huge one. The world record is above 2,000 pounds.
Good luck!Good
Name: Tom
Southern Wisconsin (Zone 5b)
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tveguy3
Nov 4, 2015 11:19 AM CST
2000 lbs! You could live in that thing! Hilarious! I have heard that pumpkin is a natural wormer for deer, I suppose other animals too. Good luck Jared, and be sure to post a picture of your monster pumpkin next fall. Smiling
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Name: Reid
North Branch, MN (Zone 4b)
Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Anderwood
Nov 4, 2015 6:36 PM CST
[Last edited by Anderwood - Nov 4, 2015 6:40 PM (+)]
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wisconsingardner
May 6, 2016 10:36 PM CST
I have garden boxes. I used 1 x 6 board. I made the boxes 12 inches wide by 6 feet long. I planted pumpkins in them ad watered them everyday. They all came out great. I planted bigger pumpkins this year from seed outside. It is may 6th and the plants have their first leaves. I garden in Wisconsin.
Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
Charter ATP Member Celebrating Gardening: 2015 I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped beta test the first seed swap Region: United States of America Region: Michigan
Seed Starter Vegetable Grower Birds Butterflies Dog Lover Cat Lover
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Weedwhacker
May 7, 2016 6:38 AM CST
Welcome to Garden.org, @wisconsingardner !

It sounds like your pumpkins are off to a great start -- so I'm assuming you are somewhere in southern Wisconsin? What kind of pumpkins are you growing? Happy gardening! Smiling
"Blessed is he who has learned to laugh at himself, for he shall never cease to be entertained."
- John Powell / Cubits.org - A Universe of Communities
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C/F temp conversion / NGA Member Map
Name: Caroline Scott
Calgary (Zone 4a)
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CarolineScott
May 7, 2016 7:52 AM CST
Somewhere on the web you can find Dill's own instructions too.
He has a book also.

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