Growing huge pumpkins has evolved into a passion for many gardeners.
Every autumn, at festivals and fairs all around, pumpkin growers seek to outdo each other to win the coveted blue ribbon.
And for the chance to get first prize – they use some pretty interesting methods and tricks. The best part of all, many love to share their knowledge.
Here are some of the top tips and tricks that award-winning growers have shared to grow their monster pumpkins.
Growing Huge Pumpkins – Top Tips And Tricks
Soil Prep – The Cow Manure Trick
Rich, fertile soil is the key to growing huge pumpkins. For many top growers, the process of building great soil starts in the fall with cow manure.
Adding a 6 to 8 inch layer of cow manure in the fall and tilling it into the soil helps to build vital nutrients into the soil.
When the pumpkin plants go in the ground in late spring, they have a ready supply of nitrogen and minerals to power their growth.
It’s All In The Seed
Ask any giant pumpkin grower the biggest key, and they will most likely tell you it all starts with the seed.
Growers have been crossing seed types for years to come up with bigger and bigger pumpkins. And the records just keep growing and growing.
Record pumpkins have been recorded now in excess of 2500 pounds! The seeds from those pumpkins can be worth a fortune.
Some seeds from monster pumpkins have gone at auction for well over $1000.00!
But no need to pay those crazy prices if you want to grow a few gigantic pumpkins in your backyard garden. There are plenty of seed catalogs that carry affordable pumpkin seeds to grow your own giant versions.
One of the original giants, the Atlantic Giant variety is one of the favorites of backyard gardeners to start growing giant pumpkins. In fact, many of the big winners at competitions today have their roots in the Atlantic Giant. Product Link : Atlantic Giant
And when you do grow that big pumpkin – save those seeds for the next year. By selecting the seeds from the biggest and best, you can keep building on the previous year’s success.
Keep The Flowers Off Your Vines
Nearly all great pumpkin growers will tell you it’s important to keep your giant pumpkins to only one or two per vine.
This allows the plant to concentrate it’s energy to a limited area. Let vines grow 10 to 12′ feet, removing all of the flowers as they grow.
Once they reach that length, allow a few of the best blooms to flower and develop small pumpkins.
From there, remove any more flowers that may appear to concentrate early growth to the selected pumpkins. Let the vines continue to grow however – the more leaves on the plant, the more energy from the sun they can harness.
Once the pumpkins start to mature, remove all except one or two of the healthiest looking to grow your own giant!
Water, Water, Water.
More than anything else, pumpkins need water to grow. Award-winning pumpkin growers put as much as 500 to 700 gallons on their plants every week!
For the typical backyard gardener looking for a little giant, be sure to water often, giving at least 5 to 10 gallons at each watering. Watering every other day can make a huge difference in the final size of your pumpkin.
Fertilizing In Season
Beyond cow manure for building soil vitality, growing huge pumpkins means supplying plenty of nutrients in season too.
Many champion growers side dress their pumpkin plants with everything from fresh compost, to fresh chicken or cow manure. The nutrients leach into the soil and provide plenty of power to the growing plants.
A few pumpkin growers even try some extra-ordinary ways to inject power into their vines. Experienced growers have been known to use a needle to inject everything from milk to liquid fertilizer or compost tea into the vines of their plants.
Who knows how much it really works – but like many gardeners, the joy is in trying new things!
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