Giant Pumpkins!

pansyloverandgrower(Zone 8)April 19, 2011

Okay, so my grandma got some giant pumpkin seeds from an organization or something and they are holding a giant pumpkin contest on whidbey island. I have a few questions:

1. Does growing pumpkins with sugar water in a bowl sucked in through a cotton string into the stem really help?

2. if so how does it help?

3. on the most pumpkin seed packets and websites, they say to plant about 3 seedlings together on a hill. why? wouldnt it be less space for them to grow? am i missing something?

Anything else i need to know to grow the biggest pumpkins i can? i dont know the name of the pumpkin variety yet, but will post when i know. Some of my family members are going to grow some pumpkins too and i want to prove that even though i am almost 13 i know what im doing!

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planetes(7b (Cascadia - PNW))

Well, I'm not sure about the sugar water thing but I do want to point out a couple things..

1) The 3 per hill is partially because there is not a 100% germination rate (only 1 or 2 may germinate). You can always thin the extras if they seem to get too big. The other reason is generally that many pumpkin varieties grow one long primary vine so you could have 3 vines trailing off in different directions.

2) If you're trying to grow the biggest one you can, once they start flowering pinch off all of the pollinated female flowers except for 3 once they start developing. This will focus the plant's energy. You can reduce down the "runt" later to focus it further.

3) It's generally too cold to plant pumpkins outdoors right now in our area (I'm in Everett). You can start the seeds indoors but I wouldn't plant outside for a few more weeks. Our highs are still struggling to make the 50s during the day and pumpkins don't do particularly well until temps are at least in the 60s.

Pumpkins are generally very easy to grow once it's warm enough.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2011 at 11:30AM
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pansyloverandgrower(Zone 8)

okay thanks! ive grown pumpkins before, but that was when i was like 6 and my mom forgot about them! Havnt done pumpkins since then. also, on the packet(i got 1 seed, its cracked, is that okay?) it says the pumpkin needs 15x 20 ft of space. is there any when i can train it up something? or cage it? I have a giant yard, so it can do what it wants and it wont matter to my mom, but i worry about my dogs trampling on it....help?

    Bookmark   April 19, 2011 at 9:55PM
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planetes(7b (Cascadia - PNW))

Well pumpkins will naturally spread out as much as they can, you can train to vine into circles just be careful to do it when the vine is young.. if you try to train it after it ages and gets woody/stiff, you run the risk of breaking it.

A cracked seed may or may not germinate. It largely depends on how severe the damage is. Is it the only seed you have? I'd bet it'll rot rather than germinate if you plant it. It's always worth a shot though especially if you only have a small number of seeds.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2011 at 5:25PM
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pansyloverandgrower(Zone 8)

ya its the only seed i got! i dont know why the assosiation i got it from didnt send like 2-3 seeds?

    Bookmark   April 20, 2011 at 8:45PM
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planetes(7b (Cascadia - PNW))

Well it's always worth a try.. Another option would be to order another packet of seeds online from one of the seed suppliers. They're usually pretty cheap.

This one for example (quick find on google) is $3.99 for a packet.

http://gurneys.com/dills-atlantic-giant-pumpkin-/p/14934/

Here is a link that might be useful: Gurney's Giant pumpkin

    Bookmark   April 21, 2011 at 4:02PM
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cowabunga1(Zone 6)

You can find lots of great stuff about growing giant pumpkins on this website -> bigpumpkins.com

Once you are there, if you click on "Message Board", and then "Seed Exchange" there are lots of generous people who (if you ask nicely) will give you seeds for free! These people are serious about their pumpkin growing so their seeds are better than those you would find commercially. A lot of it has to do with the genetics of your pumpkin seed.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2011 at 11:15AM
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