My first year with Giant Pumpkins

RandyM(z5 SWMich)July 13, 2005

Allow me to say how much I appreciate the storehouse of knowledge that Gardenweb offers.

This is truly a great place.

That being said, I would like to offer a couple of images of my first attempt at Giants.

In the center are 3 vines of Big Mac's and on both ends 2 vines of the new White Lumina PVP hybrid.

The first image shows the entire plot and the second shows a few 'kins already growing. I hand pollinate and on a few, cross polinated the white with the Mac.

In total I have about 10 'kins growing and several females nearly ready for pollination.

I have them growing in a blend of Miracle-Grow garden soil and black dirt. Initially I was fertilizing with a blood meal/bone meal blend and when the vines leafed out I added a little potash.

Now I'm doing about 80/20 potash bone meal once a week.

Comments and tips appreciated and welcome

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Looks good, RandyM! Your plants seem healthy.

Have you been foliar feeding? Many growers rely (sometimes exlusively once the plant is established) on foliar feeding with mollases and fish and kelp extracts. It seems that Neptune's harvest (fish and seaweed- it can also be used as a soil drench) is commonly used. I wanted to use it this year but was unable to find it.


    Bookmark   July 13, 2005 at 10:29AM
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RandyM(z5 SWMich)

Hello Oliver and thank you for your kind words.

I am not foliar feeding but using a method I've been using for years in traditional gardening.
I hand blend the NPK components and apply them to the soil between the plants. The reason being that over time, watering compacts the soil and makes it more difficult to absorb nutrients to the root layer.

I gently loosen the surface of the soil around the plant bases with a small garden hoe, then sprinkle in the fertilizer and water generously. This emulsifies the nutrients and carries them down to the root system.

I've had a lot of success with this method and also have 6' tall Big Boy tomato plants fertilizing this way.
Lots of tomatoes and I can't wait to see how big they will grow.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2005 at 11:48AM
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Looks good. I'm growing Big Max. Is that the same thing as Big Mac? I only did one plant because I really wasn't that serious about it but it's growing so well that I'm starting to get hooked. I have 2 pumpkins going with one about the same size as yours. Keep us updated on your progress.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2005 at 3:06PM
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RandyM(z5 SWMich)

Yeah, the Big Max is what I was talkng about (I guess I was hungry when I posted).

I will track the progress of the biggest three fruits in the patch.
The largest is 9 inches in diameter and 2 are 8" as of this writing.

I have been trimming back the vines beyond the fruit as well.

Also, I have been spraying all my plants with carbaryl to get rid of them hated japanese beetles.

If you decide to do the same, get the Ferti-Lome Carbaryl rather than Sevin.
Ferti-Lome is 23% Carbaryl
Sevin is 5% Carbaryl

As an added benefit, Carbaryl is effective for killing the SVB too.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2005 at 1:27PM
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RandyM(z5 SWMich)

Here is an update on my three biggest fruits.
I lovingly named them Panch, Lefty, and Spike.
They and several smaller fruits are doing quite good.
Pancho is 11" dia. as well as 11 1/2" long
Lefty is 11" around and Spike is 10" diameter.




    Bookmark   July 17, 2005 at 10:39AM
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RandyM(z5 SWMich)

Pancho is now 37" round (he was pollinated on July 2)
Spike is now 38 1/4" round (he was pollinated on July 3)
Lefty is the runt at 36 1/4" (he is a Lumina and was pollinated on July 3)

This is my experimental year.
If these grow to a respectable size (over 100#) I will try some Atlantic Giants next season.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2005 at 7:09AM
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RandyM(z5 SWMich)

Here's a little update on my pumpkin growing adventure.

After a few days of non-growth the boys are back on track.
Spike has taken over the lead in the growth department.

Circ. 44'
OTT 30' & 30.5'

104.5 OTT= 32# weight.
Not earth shattering, but for a twenty-day old pumpkin, not too shabby.
The others, Pancho and Lefty are a little behind.
The image shows Spike with some of the foliage pruned away.
In the foreground are giant sunflowers, about 9' tall now with no heads yet.
I have switched to foliar feeding every other day using 'Monty's Joy Juice' (yep that's the name.) I couldn't find the Neptunes Harvest.
Monty's seems to be working pretty good as well. It is a late season feed that comes in at 2-2-15.
I also blend in a little molasses for added calcium and micronutrients.

Here is a link that might be useful: Monty's Joy Juice

    Bookmark   July 23, 2005 at 6:59AM
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