growing pumpkins - Knowledgebase Question

kettering, oh
Question by dragonrealmr
July 5, 2006
I am growing pumpkins and wanted to know what I can do to grow large pumpkins. Should I pick some of the flowers off or should I leave them as there are and continue to take care of them as I have been doing? The vines look good and flowers and plenty on them.

Thank you


Answer from NGA
July 5, 2006


You definitely want to pick off most of the flowers. Growing larger pumpkins depends primarily on the specific variety you planted. To maximize the size within the expected range, allow the vine to put on some size prior to setting fruit by removing the first female flowers, that way it will have proportionately more foliage for photosynthesis. Once you have allowed a pumpkin to set, remove subsequent blooms. Allow the vine ample space, as a rule of thumb 150 square feet. Water deeply during dry spells. Top dress with good quality compost (ideally you would have worked in compost and well rotted manure prior to planting.) You may also want to fertilize every three to four weeks with a granular fertilizer spread around the root area to keep fertility high. Ideally this would be done on the basis of soil tests, but a rough estimate might be a half cup of 10-10-10 per plant. Be vigilant in controlling pests such as cucumber beetles, squash bugs and borers. Good luck!

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