Atlantic Giant Pumpkin experieces

douglas14(z3/4 MN)April 8, 2004

I visited Howard Dill's website today, and am very tempted to order seed. A couple of years ago I ordered Atlantic Giant seed from a general source, which I can't recall. Anyway I did some reading on how to grow a big one, but followed very little of it(and I mean little). I wanted to see how big they would get pretty much on their own(I did thin one fruit to a vine). I didn't weigh them, but the largest of the two I grew was probably 50 to 70 pounds.

If I do grow them this year, I would try to follow more of the steps, but would skimp on soil fertilization(My soil seems pretty fertile in general), and probably in a few other areas.

I would like to hear any or all experiences you've had with growing Atlantic Giant Pumpkins(the size they got to be, did you follow growing recommendations to a T, did you cut corners, etc.)

My goals are similar to Wayne's, mentioned in his post. I'd like a large one(hopefully over 300 lbs.) to give the nephews and neices(and me!) enjoyment in watching it grow.


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wayne_perrier(z9 CA)

Douglas: I ordered Don Langevin's books "How to Grow World Class Giant Pumpkins" Volumes II and III. They're great books and give zillions of tips on how to "grow em big". I'll be following Don's recommendations this year.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2004 at 12:35AM
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rainydays(4 WI)

Douglas: The best thing I can recommend is try finding an experienced grower in your Area for help and tips. Minnesota has a bunch of excellent growers.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2004 at 1:13PM
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Ronnn(Zone 8)

You probably should not consider skimping on something like fertilization For normal vegetative growth desires, a good fertile soil would be more than adequate. But when we want to grow the big'uns, supplemental fertilization is pretty much a necessity in 99.9 percent of growing situations, particularly in a second season scenario if they will be planted in the same general area. You mentioned already what the soil will produce on it's own, in the 50-80 pound range. While other supportive growing techniques and such will likely get you some more bulk, the very foundation of growing huge veggies is the nutrient availability to the roots. A soil that will produce only 50-80 pound A.G.'s single fruited per vine, assuming all the other cultural practices were adequate, simply won't give the desired massive size without nutrient supplimentation, even with tents and special irrigation and such.

With fertilizer being relatively cheap, relatively simple and not particularly time consuming in most cases, I wouldn't skimp in that area a bit if the desire is growing "wow" veggies.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2004 at 3:35AM
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douglas14(z3/4 MN)

Thanks for the comments.
Ronnn- your comments on the fertilization issue make a lot of sense. I'll definitely consider them if I do grow the Atlantic Giant.
What size of plot is needed to grow one Atlantic Giant Plant? I have one garden plot that is about 18'X 60'. I could let the vines sprawl somewhat out of this garden, into the grass. If this is too small, I could put it in the main garden(75'X100'), but I'd prefer not to, as I have plans to fill it with a variety of vegetables.


    Bookmark   April 10, 2004 at 10:19AM
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ctitus(z5 ohio)

last year was my first year trying to to grow them and also with little effort( watering them twice or sometimes three times a week but usually twice because of soooooooooo much rain, and miracle grow every other week) i grew a 95 pounder and that was fun. so this year i will keep trying to find out as much as i can and pick as many brains as i can but i will definetly fertilize,milk,blanket and what ever else i can to get a little bigger one

    Bookmark   April 11, 2004 at 1:53AM
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Ronnn(Zone 8)

Hey Douglas,
Sounds like you could probably do 3-5 vines in that amount of space. You can make maximum use of the space by keeping up on where the vines are going and training them. By doing that, you can run one arm of a vine up between two from the neighboring plant and such to more efficiently utilize available space. One thing I do once I choose a fruit I want to turbocharge, is let grass grow as thick and as high as it wants to grow around the actual fruit itself. While tenting will keep the sun off, air current also brings about a surprising amount of heated air and eveporation. The grass not only buffers cross-currents of air, it cools the air a little that does reach the fruit, a benefit we can't get from wind blocks. Depending on tenting procedures too, it helps cut out morning and evening sun getting under the tent. Just don't let the grass ovewhelm the leaves of the vine, and keep it away from the roots of course. That's what I do anyway, though I've never grown a watermelon or a pumpkin that broke a record, just my Florida Cuke Record. I've grown quite a few Melons approaching 150 pounds, though and broke 100 (107 bathroom scale) pounds with a pumpkin, and it was a true pumpkin at that. (forget which variety, whatever was the biggest variety on the rack at Home Depot.)

    Bookmark   April 11, 2004 at 6:56AM
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douglas14(z3/4 MN)

I sent my order in to Howard Dill on Saturday. I ordered the D. Dill 603. I gave the option of a substitution, if it is sold out. I have some time to do homework on it. I'll try and give it a good shot at getting large. I have a pretty good idea on the fertilization aspect of it.


    Bookmark   April 12, 2004 at 6:36PM
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Douglas, I would recommend you to grow two plants in the 18x60 space. Two plants will be a lot of work, you could do one in 18x30 that would be a 30' main, with 9' secondary vines, or a 30' main, with 18' secondary vines, flag style


    Bookmark   April 12, 2004 at 7:02PM
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Maxpower(5 MA.)

did i see the word MILK in one of the posts??? MILK is a wives tale!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Bookmark   April 13, 2004 at 8:21AM
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