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First time Giant grower

Posted by Pun.King (My Page) on
Mon, Aug 12, 13 at 17:14

Hello. I'm from Northern BC. I am interested in growing a giant pumpkin. I have many tips and have even selected the two types I want to grow, Full Moon and of course, Dills Atlantic. I have no idea where to start with soil preparation. Any tips for a newbie?


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RE: First time Giant grower

Well, you can't plant this year. But this is a good time to start with soil preparation. If I were going to do what you want to do, I'd gather a lot of organic material and make a large compost heap right where I want to plant next spring. I wouldn't be afraid to add some high nitrogen material. Let the whole thing cook down until next spring. Then, get out there with a spading fork and mix that compost into the underlying soil (just a bit) and plant your seeds right there.

I'm not a giant pumpkin expert. Someone else may be able to give you some other tips. But I know that this will work for a good healthy crop of pumpkins.

George
Tahlequah, OK


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RE: First time Giant grower

wow thank you. ya i may be a newb but i knew a giant this year just wasnt in the works. i am hoping to get a compost started. so right on the spot i want to start sounds like an amazing idea less one problem, bears. it loves the smell of our soil and has been hanging around the area, i am afraid compost will just draw him in even more. is it possible to transport the compost to the spot i need when its ready? and what high nitrogen products would you recommend. like i said im still a newb and have been doing a lil research and all the sites ive visited point to soil being the most important corner stone. thank you so much for the tips, i will get started on it right away :)


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RE: First time Giant grower

Wow! Bear trouble! I would never have thought of that! Our bears are no where near as bold, probably because they are much less common. And, I have some livestock guardian dogs (think really BIG) which run them off.

By high nitrogen I was thinking of mixing some poultry litter or manure in with your lower nitrogen materials (like leaves). Other kinds of manure are a bit less "hot," but they work well.

Yes, you could transport the finished compost to where you would use it. I don't imagine that would be a problem. There is a slight edge on making it right where you want to use it, as the soil directly under the compost pile is also improved. But to avoid problems with bears, I suppose I'd consider making it somewhere else!

George


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RE: First time Giant grower

maybe if i strayed away from fruits and such and focused mainly on the leaves and lawn clippings with a manure mixture that would work? i guess im getting away from gardening and more towards bear psychology, thank you for the tips and i think i will risk the on the spot composting. i want my first giant to be a monster >:)


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RE: First time Giant grower

If you do grow a giant next year, what about the bears? How would you protect it against them?


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RE: First time Giant grower

I think i will call some conservation officers out to set up a trap, from what i hear it is a real nuisance. If it's a problem for you I can look up some at home solutions and letcha know what works and what doesn't, definitely need some Bear Bangers.


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RE: First time Giant grower

here is an interesting read as far as bears in the garden is concerned

Here is a link that might be useful: bears in the garden


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RE: First time Giant grower

Ok here's some one on one tips, sorry I am sharing so much. I just don't want anyone to face a bear problem alone, and just to stay on topic this is to keep them out of my pumpkin patch, which is right on the tree line.

Varying your technique each time a bear attempts to return to your yard works better than always using the same deterrent. Bears catch on quickly if everyone does the same thing, get used to it and soon ignore it.

A well-aimed stone can help drive your message home. Aim at the bear's rump; never throw stones directly in the bear's face. Stones should not be larger than a golf ball.

A soup can filled with pebbles and taped shut makes an effective noisemaker. Shake it vigorously as you yell at the bear to leave, and then, perhaps, throw it beside the bear. These work particularly well in areas where bears may already encounter rattlesnakes.

Big beach balls tossed at bears often scares them off, as do opening and closing an umbrella, shaking a big tarp or garbage bag, or banging pots and pans.

If a bear climbs up a tree to escape, yell at it and beat the base of the tree with a baseball bat or heavy stick. Keep them up there for a while, smacking the tree and yelling at them. It really scares them. After they've been picked on for a few minutes, go back inside your home, let them come down and watch them tear off.


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RE: First time Giant grower

That's pretty interesting. Now this is just for small black bears, right? Are Grizzlies a problem where you are at? (Are you in Canada?)

No bears at all in Texas. Oh well...


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RE: First time Giant grower

Yes, small black bears only. We do have Grizzlies, but they prefer to stay up in the mountains, tho the odd one likes to wander outside the village from time to time. If one ever approaches you'd have to call a conservation officer. (yes I am in Canada)


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RE: First time Giant grower

Have you tried an electric fence. I put one up around 1/4 acre to keep the deer from my pumpkins. A bee keeper I know uses one for his hives to keep bears out. You can get one together pretty cheap. I take the line down during the winter but leave the posts.


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RE: First time Giant grower

that seems like a good idea, i was thinking traps but was afraid of the price. If I can get one cheap then I will definitely try it out


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RE: First time Giant grower

I will take a pic of my setup and post it here. It is a bit of work and if you were only growing one year probably not an investment you want to make. But if you average it out over a few years it is well worth it. I have my whole garden, pumpkin patch and soon will plant some raspberries in this area also. If you have the room give yourself a lot of extra room to work in. You can turn the electricity off but you still don't want to have to be right up against the lines to get in and do your work. You will need some steel T-posts, and a few clips per post (depends on how many lines you want) I have 2 lines going around. One at about 4 ft and one about 2 ft. You will also need the energizer (electric fencer) you can get a standard or a solar one. I thought the solar would be a good idea so I did not have to mess with a real long extension cord but the battery on the unit died 2 times in one summer so I went back to a standard plug in. I also got some light weight plastic electric fence posts to support the line between the steel T-posts. You will also need a grounding rod. Ill get some pics taken today and try to post them later. It does sound like a lot but there is no way I would be able to have a garden at all with out the fence so it is a long term investment for me.


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RE: First time Giant grower

Here are a few pics of my set up to keep the deer out. Hopefully I am not offending you, you may know perfectly well all about electric fences. I did not and I suppose others do not either. So this is just FYI. I use steel T-posts at corners and about ever 30-40 ft. and on either side of opening of a "gate" I made. Use cheep plastic electric fence posts between the steel posts.


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RE: First time Giant grower

Here is the electric fence charger. It needs to be grounded with a grounding rod (white wire (copper)) and a wire to the actual fence wire. I make sure the extension cord has a drip loop in case of rain. I also put a 5 gallon pail over it.


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RE: First time Giant grower

This is poly-wire it is pretty cheap and works great. In the winter I take it off the posts and wind it up and put it away until next spring along with the charger. I also pull out the plastic posts and leave the steel posts right where they are. Also leave the grounding rod.


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RE: First time Giant grower

wow that is an amazing set up, it is for a community garden that has been here ages, so this would most definitely be an excellent investment, thank you for sharing


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