want to get ready for the Annual Great Pumpkin
Growing Contest 2007?
Now is the time to start planning. Just remember
for this contest you can't use chemical fertilizers
or supplements and No force feeding of nutrients
through the vine. The pumpkin must be grown
outdoors but seeds can be germinated inside
and transplanted. (See
official 2006 rules)
How to get started: Pumpkins
like lots of organic matter and will send their
roots in the direction of your compost pile.
Many of the gardeners growing these gigantic
pumpkins place compost around their pumpkin
mounds. Many growers have a secret compost recipe
they swear by to produce these gargantuan pumpkins
and their secret starts with compost being worked
into the soil ahead of planting, followed by
continued feeding and even a splash of compost
There are plenty of websites out there dedicated
to growing giant pumpkins. One does not have
to look far to find plenty of secret websites
with information on how
to grow a giant pumpkin, but in the end
it is down to mother nature, gardening skills
and plain old fashioned luck. One key mention
in all of the articles I've read is Compost;
it is almost always a key ingredient in the
preparation and growing process.
Step One - Soil Preparation:
All pumpkins like their soil their feet rich
in organic matter like manure and compost. So
always remember when you are planting pumpkins
make sure there is plenty of organic matter
in the soil before you plant your pumpkin plant.
Pick a spot and turn in some compost now to
get ready for Spring.
Step Two - Buy quality seed: Plenty
of websites out there with good seeds - Check
Dill's website where you can find Dill's
Atlantic Giant pvp variety - "The grand-daddy
of all giant pumpkins. The present day record
for this amazing variety is now over 1,300 lbs"
Step Three -Propagation: Propagating
indoors and transferring them to a cold
frame outdoors. Many growers add heaters and
glass walls to keep in the heat and protect
the young plants. Be ready for frost! In order
to grow the monster pumpkin you better be prepared
to start early and keep your prize plants safe
Step four - Pollination: Once
the plant reaches maturity start by selecting
the female plant and pollinating it.(The female
has the fruit under the flower and the male
is long slender stem with a flower on top).
Once pollinated make sure you position the your
main and secondary vines to provide proper use
of your growing area and reduce vine stress.
If you’re going for the record you may
need to shade the pumpkin to prevent cracks.
So you didn't win this year's Prize:
It will always be a lot of fun to try?
But when the seasons over what do you do with
a 500 pound pumpkin? You can make a lot of pumpkin
pies or recycle it. What better way to feed
your compost pile then to toss it back in and
try again for next year! Check out our
forum for more information about this topic