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Author Topic: GIANT PUMPKIN  (Read 4123 times)

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milkman

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GIANT PUMPKIN
« on: July 12, 2006, 16:24 »
Is anyone growing a giant pumpkin this year and what are your top tips for producing a prize winning specimen?  Does size matter or is it all down to weight?
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stompy

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GIANT PUMPKIN
« Reply #1 on: July 12, 2006, 17:03 »
Hi there milkman, i'm growing one, but its not so giant at the momment. :oops:

The leaves seem to be going a bit yellow and its not growing very well.

My butternut squashes are off like crazy, i feed them on the same feed (manure water) out of a dust bin, but my pumpkin isn't getting any bigger nor does it have any flowers.

Hope you are doing better mate. :cry:
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lentil987

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GIANT PUMPKIN
« Reply #2 on: July 12, 2006, 18:13 »
I'm growing a giant pumpkin plant on my allotment. My daughter has grand ideas of having a huge pumpkin sat at the front door on halloween night!

At the moment I have a few small pumpkins and loads and loads of leaves the plants are going mad!

I water well every day and add seaweed extract every week.

Time will tell if we are successful

Good luck with yours!
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Debz and Jon

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GIANT PUMPKIN
« Reply #3 on: July 12, 2006, 19:26 »
We are growing pumpkins - not sure if they are giant - planted twelve, thank god only four grew - they are taking over!

Ali

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GIANT PUMPKIN
« Reply #4 on: July 12, 2006, 21:57 »
I love my giant pumpkin, it is my favourite plant. It's huge with lots of mini pumpkins forming. I saw something on the telly last year which said you should feed them beer and chicken manure for prize winning specimens!!  But my butternut squash won't make fruits - very disappointing as I'd rather eat them than pumpkins.

Oliver

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GIANT PUMPKIN
« Reply #5 on: July 12, 2006, 22:12 »
Quote from: "Ali"
giant pumpkin
The allotments Soc. is having a Biggest Pumpkin Competition again this year. They go for biggest, not heaviest because they can't weigh them (they could be VERY heavy - the world record is somewhere over 1000lbs!!!), so they measure them round the equator and round the pole and add the two measurements together (some pumpkins are flattish and others are tallish). The biggest last year was 400cms:lol: . It was an accidental pumpkin which grew on the compost heap! Ok, it was pretty small as pumpkins go, but it was fun measuring them and having a knees up afterwards.

This year they all had seed from the 'winning' (var: Mammoth) pumpkin. (3 each). Some people hatched one, others none.  Ours is about as big as a tennis ball at the moment! The others on the same plant are marble sized.  When the tennis ball is a bit bigger we will remove all the others.  We water every day (a can of water) and feed once a week. Tomato feed.

Last year our pumpkin was stolen, as was the winning pumpkin in the junior category - 2 little girls aged 7 and 9. :evil:

So - we will measure in October when the fruits are ripe.
Giant pumpkins are not nice to eat. The flesh is very wet. and you can be eating them for months ...
Keep the plot cultivated, that's the best way to ensure its future.

Eristic

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GIANT PUMPKIN
« Reply #6 on: July 13, 2006, 03:35 »
You cannot choose to grow large dias vs weight, just big. The two are pretty much the same for a given variety as mass is proportional to volume.

As to growing them, every showman in the world has their own secret extra-go ingredients but ultimately these will only add the few additional kilos that may or may not take the prize.

Generally, to get a super specimen requires good timing with the seed germination such that the plant will grow from day 1 without any check. Extremely fertile soil along with a good sunny situation sheltered from wind and passing animals is vital. Ideally, you also need to save your own seed from a large specimen in order to use the very largest seeds. The bigger the seed, the bigger the cotyledons, the more vigorous the plant, the bigger the pumpkin.

Pumpkins should just about be setting now and as soon as you are confident  a few have set, select the best placed one then ruthlessly remove all other embrios. Remove all flowerbuds too.

Wishing you all the best for this year, but I may be the opposition next year.

milkman

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GIANT PUMPKIN
« Reply #7 on: July 13, 2006, 09:24 »
Thanks for all the hints and good luck with your giants too.  I thought I was doing well with my currently tennis ball size giant until I checked progress of the spare plant that I had generously donated to a fellow plot holder friend which appears to be sporting a bright yellow football sized pumpkin... :( My pumpkin is now going to be getting much more TLC over the next few weeks!

Oliver

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pumpkins
« Reply #8 on: July 13, 2006, 11:19 »
Quote from: "Eristic"
large dias vs weight, just big. The two are pretty much the same for a given variety as mass is proportional to volume.
Yes, sort of. Silver Prince is not a very large pumpkin, but it is very dense, so it can be heavier than a bigger 'giant' variety whose fruit is very loose and full of air. So they go for BIG but measure two dimensions because Mammoth, Atlantic Giant and Hundredweight are different shapes. Also, another variety of pumpkin may well grow bigger than the heavyweights which may fail for other reasons. So, unless one is an expert (there are plenty of websites about Giant Pumpkins), anything can happen! Most allotment holders grow food to eat, not to see who can grow the biggest.

Quote from: "Eristic"
you also need to save your own seed from a large specimen in order to use the very largest seeds. The bigger the seed, the bigger the cotyledons, the more vigorous the plant, the bigger the pumpkin.


Thanks for this - very useful. They had 200 seeds from the 'winning pumpkin' but some were very flat and although the pumpkins seeds had green stuff inside (the cotyledons) they were discarded. Only the fattest ones were used, but even so, a lot failed to germinate - JohnM, who is somewhat of an expert said heat and moisture is the secret in germinating he puts his in the airing cupboard. So does PatJ!

So Eristic - have a go next year and see how you do! Set up a thread at the start of the season and we can all contribute! O

Eristic

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GIANT PUMPKIN
« Reply #9 on: July 14, 2006, 00:06 »
Sorry for any confusion earlier but it was very late/early and past my bedtime. What i meant to say was for a given pumpkin, you cannot choose to grow it heavy vs growing large diameters. From distant memory, the pumpkin usually remains solid while still growing, air spaces may develop later.

There used to be a satanic ritual amongst pumpkin growers starting at the beginning of Sept, where they could be observed sneaking around with a piece of  knotted string to test if the beast is still growing. And to test if theirs was bigger than the others.

It is normal to harvest the pumpkin soon after it has definately stopped growing so as to move it to a place of safety. At this time, there is probably quite a lot of seeds inside that have not fully matured.

John

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GIANT PUMPKIN
« Reply #10 on: July 14, 2006, 10:10 »
Last year I grew two large pumpkins. Although my squash was pinched the little 'persons' couldn't steal the pumpkins. I nearly got a hernia loading them into the car to deliver to the children.
Since my sister's little one now wants a pumpkin, I'm going for 3 medium. this year.
The plants are making a takeover attempt for the entire site!
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Oliver

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Giant pumpkin
« Reply #11 on: July 23, 2006, 20:47 »
Quote from: "john"
plants are making a takeover attempt for the entire site!
Glad your plant is doing SOMETHING. Her plant is about 6 ft long, had two pumpkins. One shrivvled and died and the other is about as big as a grapefruit.

JohnM says his is about as big as two footballs (maybe he should see a doc .. oops, intejection by her!!!). Was as big as one football on Thursday, and today it's two. I'll have to go and have a look as this sounds like a fishing tale to me ...

But, its early days yet, they won't measure until mid October. Maybe someone will make some nice pukmpkin fritters of the 'two footballs'.   8)  8)

John

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GIANT PUMPKIN
« Reply #12 on: July 24, 2006, 11:19 »
I trimmed off loads of flowers and tiny pumpkins the other day - think I'll end up with at least half a dozen decent ones. I'm not going for giants this year. Hope the kids are not too disappointed.

Trick with pumpkins is rich soil, water and maybe some liquid feed - my 2 giants last year just got plonked in some rich soil so I was lucky.

Not as lucky as the newbie on The Big Dig with his brassicas - I was heard to scream 'It's not FAIR!!!!' :)

Oliver

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Giant pumpkin
« Reply #13 on: July 24, 2006, 12:32 »
Quote from: "john"
not going for giants this year
They don't usually indulge in this sort of thing, but the Allotment Soc they belong too (she is the Secretary) are trying to get the allotment holders to pull in the same direction (!) so a pumpkin 'competition', followed by (the important bit) a knees up  of (pumpkin cake), croissants and coffee afterwards is being done again this year. (And the awards of the 'trophies' - one made of stainless steel by a plotholder and the other one donated by the President of the Allotment Soc - a nice bit of fun)

Her pumpkin is one she was given - Mammoth - not one they would normally grow because giant pumpkins are not very nice to eat (that is a personal view - sure - there are many who probably feel otherwise!!). Everyone says 'OOOh, make pumpkin pie'  :roll: (even she shudders at that) 'or pumpkin soup' - there are far more interesting things to make soup out of that watery pumpkin! Besides, how much soup can you eat in a week - Mammoth pumpkins get seriously BIG and can take up the whole fridge ... Compost is good :)  :D  :lol:

She says I sound like a grumpy old man this morning ... humph

John

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GIANT PUMPKIN
« Reply #14 on: July 24, 2006, 13:54 »
I grew Autumn Giant and they wouldn't fit into the fridge. I JUST managed to lift them into the back seat of the car on my own. I reckon around 6 stone but whatever, they were at my lift limit.
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