Giant Pumpkins

Discussion in 'Gardening & Plant Propagation' started by Cedar, Mar 17, 2004.

  1. Cedar

    Cedar Well-Known Member

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    Does anyone else grow giant pumpkins? I have a go at it every year and always end up with good size pumpkins that weigh in at about 350 lbs. Nothing like the 1200 pounders some grow though. The problem is the land that I allot for them is far from the reach of any hose so I have to make walking trips carrying a 50 lb. bucket of water out to them and of course I don’t do this enough…so they don’t get enough water. They’re not exactly a cash crop for me, really just for fun, so they don’t exactly get prime real estate. I plant four plants then only allow one pumpkin to grow on each vine. I’ve consistently ended up with two pumpkins because two vines seem to always die. No matter, two vines cover the lot pretty well. I plant red potatoes under them so by the end of summer the whole area looks like a big weed fest.
     
  2. Lady TS

    Lady TS Well-Known Member

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    I want to have a place this year that is my son's very own and grow some giant pumpkins in it. Last year we just did the Jack-o-Lantern variety. What kind do you grow? We're thinking of the Atlantic Giants(I think I have that right) but I can't find seed for them anywhere. I just want one or two seeds and don't want to pay shipping/handling from a seed catalog company for just them, lol.
     

  3. Amy Jo

    Amy Jo Well-Known Member

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    Gee, I've never grown pumpkins, so I have no help to offer... but that sounds like a fun plant to grow. You should post a pic when you harvest this year... I'd love to see them!
     
  4. Cedar

    Cedar Well-Known Member

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    I plant Dill's Atlantic Giants. The smaller greenhouses seem to be the only places that carry them. I was going to pay five dollars to get a couple seeds from a pumpkin over 1000 lbs. but I won't be home this summer do to my obligations to the military. If you grow a world record pumpkin or even close to it, the seeds alone are a gold mine. People sell them for like $5 for maybe three seeds. I can only imagine how many seeds are in a 1200lb. pumpkin.

    In any given greenhouse, you'd probably pay $2 for eight generic seeds.
     
  5. Amy Jo

    Amy Jo Well-Known Member

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    WOW! that would be a lot of money from the seeds! You be careful wherever you go this summer!! What branch of the military are you in, or joining?
     
  6. Cedar

    Cedar Well-Known Member

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    Marines :dance: :D
     
  7. imaquillen

    imaquillen Active Member

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    Here in the northwest the giant pumpkin seeds are available everywhere. I would suggest checking out some feed stores or smaller nurseries that sell seeds, you can also visit www.pumpkinnook.com for lots of info and help growing these giant pumpkins, or any pumpkins for that matter. :) Good luck, we'll be growing some this year, also.
     
  8. mygrayfarm

    mygrayfarm Well-Known Member

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    Here's a pumpkin question from a newbie.

    Do they do well on fairly swampy ground? We have a small section of pasture that seems to get its share of standing water. It's fenced off so the alpacas can't get in, but could I put a pumpkin patch there?

    Thanks for any advice!
     
  9. pumpkinlady

    pumpkinlady Well-Known Member

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  10. mamagoose

    mamagoose Well-Known Member

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    Semper Fi Cedar!
    I'm not any help with the giant pumpkins or squash. We had some growing when the boys were just young'uns, but barely made 100 pounds. Sure was fun to watch them grow though.
    DH and I both served in the early 80's. He lived through the Beirut bombing. I think USMC is safer for women. They had us in non-combat situations where we belonged. I hope it's still that way. I am a mom first and I would never have left my kids. YS is leaving tomorrow for boot at PI and coming home to the reserves and to finish college in Fuel Cell Technology. OS is an Air National Guardsman and finishing his associates this spring in Forestry Management. It's nice to meet another Marine on the Homesteading board.
    Godspeed,
    mamagoose
     
  11. mamagoose

    mamagoose Well-Known Member

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    Hey Cedar I meant to ask you about the potatoes. How/when do you plant them in relationship to the pumpkin seed?
    mamagoose
     
  12. mygrayfarm

    mygrayfarm Well-Known Member

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  13. Cedar

    Cedar Well-Known Member

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    They say St. Patrick's Day is the proper time to plant potatoes given you live around zones five and six like I do. I don’t plant them then because it is always to wet…like now. Mine usually don’t go into the ground until the middle of April. I don’t know if you buy plant sprouts or get the seeds but all seeds like tomatoes, peppers, etc. should be started now…indoors of course. Now concerning when to plant pumpkins--it is up to the individual. Most would probably say mid April and harvest in September or October. I always started mine in early March (inside), then transferred outside conditions permitting. I did this because our county fair is in mid August and I always had my pumpkins there.

    …Do or Die :D
     
  14. Cedar

    Cedar Well-Known Member

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    Sun is VERY good. The leaves alone will form a roof over the garden.
     
  15. mamagoose

    mamagoose Well-Known Member

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    So you plant the potatoes say, around a hill where you're going to put the pumpkin seed/plant?
     
  16. Tater'sPa

    Tater'sPa Well-Known Member

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    These are Dills Atlantic Giants I grew a few years back, nothing to brag about compared to many others I've seen but still the biggest dern punk'n I ever grew!
    [​IMG]
     
  17. Cedar

    Cedar Well-Known Member

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    “So you plant the potatoes say, around a hill where you're going to put the pumpkin seed/plant?”

    Here is what I do. My garden doesn’t start until mid April because of the wet soil. About one week into April, I’ll till the garden with a tiller to loosen the ground. Potatoes need loose ground. I’ll let that set a week to harden up the top layer. The next thing I’ll do is plow my trenches to plant the potatoes. Instead of getting down on your hands and knees, there is a much more faster and FUN way to do this. Go to a local action or machinery show where they sell this old crap. Buy a small walking plow. They usually consist of a wheel and small plow behind that…and of course handles. I got mine for $16 but if you are somewhere out in California where people just want to put an antique in their home, I could see them going over 100...maybe 200. We’re not talking the kind pulled by two draft horses, just a small, easy to handle plow. A lot of Amish around here so this stuff is everywhere here.

    If you live out in the country, I assume you probably have some kind of yard of sorts, a large one at that, and thus I am assuming you may have a riding lawnmower. Take the deck (blades) off and now you have a perfect size tractor for small to medium sized organic lots! Pretty much self explanatory with the tractor and plow. Get your misses to drive while you plow. This rigging works excellent. If you don’t have a tiller, just plow in such a way that the dirt from the trench you are plowing now falls into the trench you just dug. All it takes is some common sense to figure out how to plow in that way. Once I have all the potatoes planted, I plant my four pumpkin vines in the center of the lot at the corners of a 7x7 square. From here, each vine is directed out to grow into it‘s corresponding corner. Pumpkins and potatoes are all harvested in mid August. The idea to plant potatoes among vine crops is because there is not need to weed. Weeding would be very difficult to do anyways.

    Now to get those potatoes out of the ground. Please don’t tell me you use a pitch fork. This job requires another kind of small walking plow called a potato plow. You’ll know it when you see it for it doesn’t cut trough dirt but lifts it then spreads it to the sides (key word here being “lifts”). Hook this up to your lawn mower and you just saved yourself hours of back breaking work. Through a twist of events, I got mine for practically free.

    Sometimes you see old timers with a crap load of machinery just sitting in their yard and their fields haven’t been tended to for years. Just go up to the house and ask to roam around to see if you might want to buy something. The guy probably needs the money and could care less if something that has been sitting in his field for the past twenty years is now gone.

    Tater,

    How much did those weigh? I know if you take them to a place where they bag and sell grain, they have the scales for such measurements.