Is A Giant Pumpkin In Your Future?
All About Pumpkins
I have always been amazed by really giant pumpkins and I have been able to finally after a number of years of trying been able to finally grow a giant one. Last year in fact. I bought seeds year before last from a 651 pound pumpkin that was grown near Greenville Mississippi for $1 each and last year I planted six of them and came up with three beautiful plants. The crows pulled up and ate one of them so I was left with two plants and I hoped to grow a giant pumpkin on one of them. With in a few weeks I had nine pumpkins growing on the two plants and after a couple more weeks I pulled off all but two. That left one pumpkin on each plant and when the season was over I had not one but two giant pumpkins. Finally the moment of truth arrived and one was 187 pounds and the other was 235 pounds. To say the least I was pleased. I still haven't grown one over 500 pounds but some day I will. I have a few ideals on where I went wrong and I plan to plant the last nine seeds I have from the giant Mississippi pumpkin and see what I can do.
The pumpkin is a warmth loving pumpkin that can be grown in much of the United States. Pumpkins are used to make pies, cookies, bread, casseroles, and soup. And of course pumpkins are used to make jack o lanterns. Did you know that the United States was where jack o lanterns were first made. Back in Ireland the original jack o lanterns were made with big turnips.
You really need to carefully prepare the ground where you are going to grow pumpkins and you need to use very well rotted compost and very well rotted manure. Each pumpkin hill is going to take 50 to 100 square foot so your going to need some room to plant pumpkins. Especially if you want big to huge pumpkins. You need to dig down and around and put one pound of 5-10-5 fertilizer out for each pumpkin hill you plan to plant.
Before you plant your pumpkins all danger of frost must be past. Even cold weather will damage your tender young plants. Your soil must be warm at least 62 degrees before you plant your seeds. I soak my pumpkin seeds overnight before I plant them and this helps to get them out of the ground. If you want your pumpkins ready for Halloween in the south plant them in late June or very early July. No later than July 7th though. If you want them for other reasons you can plant in mid May in much of the American south.
Plant your pumpkin hills about one inch deep and you want to allow plenty of room for vine development and for your pumpkins to grow. Allow five to six feet between hills spaced in rows 10 to 15 feet apart. As you can see you need a lot of room to grow pumpkins. Plant five to six seed per hill and when the pumpkins come up thin them to about three plants per hill. Add dirt all along at the base of the plant. Mix well rotted compost and manure that is also well rotted in the soil you add around the base of the plants. This will help more roots to develop and it will keep your pumpkins well fed.
Keep your pumpkins free of weeds and be sure to use care when digging near the pumpkin plants. Your pumpkins can stand a little dry weather but if you want big pumpkins you'll probably need to water at least once a week. Water only after the sun is down and use a sprinkler or sprinklers to be sure that everything gets soaked. After each soaking after the ground has dried out check to see if you need to add more dirt to the base of your pumpkin plants.
You should know that bees which are needed for pollinating your pumpkin plants can be killed or damaged by insecticides. When you need to apply insecticides only apply them right at sunset when the blossoms have closed and the bees have gone home for the day.
If your really interested in growing that giant pumpkin be sure to watch the video below on growing giant pumpkins.
How To Grow A Giant Pumpkin In Your Garden This Year
You need to start off with seeds that are supposed to grow big pumpkins. Check at your local farm and garden center to see if they have seeds that are supposed to produce giant pumpkins.
1. Start out by digging a hole for each pumpkin plant you plan to plant. Dig your holes about three foot around and three foot deep. Put a 4 inch piece of plastic pipe into each hole with one end in the bottom of the hole and one end sticking up in the air. In the bottom half of each hole put well rotted compost or well rotted manure. It must be well rotted or it will kill your pumpkin plant. Now fill each hole back up with Miracle Grow Potting Soil and then plant three pumpkin seeds in the top of each prepared hole. Plant the three seeds about a foot apart. Water the soil well and wait for your pumpkin plants to come up. Be sure your plastic pipe in each hole is firmly in the ground.
2. When the pumpkin plants are up and growing and about a foot tall, mulch around them very heavily with a good quality mulch. Come out from each hole about eight foot in each direction. Be sure you put the mulch down thick enough that no weeds or grass are going to come up through the mulch. You can put down a layer of newspaper before you put down the mulch to make sure no weeds or grass can come up through your mulch.
3. After your pumpkin plants start to run on the ground and bloom your going to want to remove all the pumpkins on each plant and allow only one or two to remain on each plant. While that pumpkin is still small enough lay it on a 4 foot by 4 foot sheet of plywood to protect it from underneth. You will need to keep any other blooms that come on the plant picked off so you won't have any other pumpkins competing with your giant pumpkins for the nutrients.
4. You remember those pipes you put in your holes when you filled up the holes before you planted the pumpkin seeds. Well as soon as the pumpkin plant starts growing and spreading out you can take your garden hose and run water straight down that pipe and onto the roots of your pumpkin. You can also mix up Miracle Grow and pour it down the pipe into the roots of your pumpkin. And guess what. I would just about guarantee you that your going to grow some of the biggest pumpkins you'll ever see in your life.
5. If you find yourself with a very large pumpkin growing that is 100 pounds or larger you will want to put up a tarp over it in the hottest part of each day to shield it from direct sunlight. This will help it to grow bigger and bigger.
If you try these tips for growing a giant pumpkin this summer I hope you'll post in the comments section below and tell us all about it. I really do hope there is a giant pumpkin in your future this summer.
How Do They Carve Those Faces On Pumpkins
I have people email me all the time and ask how do they carve those spooky or scary faces on pumpkins. Well I'm going to let the cat out of the bag. They use stencils for the most part to carve those really cool faces on pumpkins.
If you check around especially near Halloween you can find books of stencils used to help carve pumpkins. You just take the stencil and put it on the front of the pumpkin and start carving. By using the stencil you'll discover that you can quite easily carve some really unique pumpkins that will have people wondering how did they do that.
Every year I shop for new stencils so I can carve new unique jack o' lanterns every year. And so can you.
And of course you can come up with ideals of your own to make your jack o' lantern unique from anyone else. Try putting something inside the mouth of the pumpkin or group your carved pumpkins in a group to display all your jack o' lanterns. I also sometimes use a black light or a strobe light inside my pumpkin instead of a candle. I've even fixed up one so that fog comes out of the pumpkins mouth when a trick or treater walks towards the pumpkin. I've also hidden speakers inside giant pumpkins and played spooky Halloween music over the speaker.
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Jack O' Lanterns Made Out Of Giant Pumpkins. If You're wondering Yes You Can Make One. Just Grow The Pumpkin.
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More Pumpkin Information.
The orange color of the pumpkin is a dead give away that pumpkins are filled with beta carotene which is an excellent antioxidant. Beta Carotene is converted to Vitamin A in the human body. Vitamin A is excellent for healthy skin, bone development, vision and many other functions of the human body. Pumpkins are also a great source of potassium and carbohydrates. So in case you don't know it yet eating pumpkins is really good for you.
Pumpkin can be preserved by freezing or canning. To freeze or can it you'll want to cook it and below is a video on how to preserve pumpkin. it also has great information about squash. So be sure to watch the video.
There are so many wonderful recipes that you can make out of pumpkin. Be sure that what ever you do that you check out the Praline Pumpkin Pie recipe. I guarantee it is so delicious you'll be up making more when you eat the last slice at 4 A.M. Yes it is that good. So what are you waiting on.
How to Cook Squash and Pumpkin for Winter Storage
Post Your Comments About How To Grow Pumpkins Now.
Thomas Byers (author) from East Coast , United States on June 06, 2013:
Thanks my friend. I was glad to get your comment. I'm working on trying to grow a giant pumpkin this year. I'm hoping to get a 800 pound plus pumkin. Are you trying to grow a giant pumpkin or just pumpkins?
whonunuwho from United States on June 06, 2013:
Great hub and well done my friend I'll have to give some of your tips a good try. whonu
hazelwood4 from Owensboro, Kentucky on February 22, 2012:
Boy, these are huge pumpkins. You could make some HUGE pumpkin pies out of these bad boys. Thank you for sharing this informative gardening article.
Cynthia Calhoun from Western NC on February 22, 2012:
Did you "can" that big ol' pumpkin? I've grown them and have had moderate success - but they were jack-o-lantern size. What in the world do you do with a giant pumpkin? I'll bet you could have pumpkin pies for every day of the year! Great hub.