need tips on growing a pumpkin (asap)

Discussion in 'Fruit and Vegetable Gardening' started by Unregistered, Jul 25, 2005.

  1. Can you grow a pumpkin in a grow bag, or does it need to be in the ground? (I have two grow bags on top of eachother)
    It is for my son who is having a school competition to grow the largest pumpkin. I have 2 pingpong ball sized pumpkins growing so far, and another two have just started growing....someone told me that you have to pick off the flowers, do i need to do this, and if yes when do i do this? And something about cutting the vines????
    Also some of the leaves are shrivling up.
    Please can you help me and give me any tips on how i can grow this pumpkin to make it as big as possible. I have never grown a pumpkin before, so any help would be much appreciated!

    Thanks peeps!!
  2. Ralph Walton

    Ralph Walton Active Member 10 Years

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    Denman Island,BC
    The guiding principal of growing large pumpkins is lots of sun and nutrition uptake going to a small number of fruits. So: large healthy root system, remove all but a few pumpkins, eventually choosing the one that appears to have the best potential. I don't remove flowers until I am sure I have a few good looking pumpkins started, then I clip any flower buds as soon as they show. On the other hand, I've never won a contest!

    Growing in a container of any reasonable size can produce good useful edible pumpers, but the champion is likely to come from a field grown plant. Some bags will out perform solid containers if they allow the root tips to extrude slightly and get "air pruned", promoting more branching within the bag.

  3. Carol Ja

    Carol Ja Active Member 10 Years

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    Salt Spring Island
    I grow huge pumpkins in my compost heap (self seeded) but I can tell you that the variety of the seed is the key to the big pumpkins, I grow a smaller type, and they get fairly big, but no bigger than the seed packed would say. If you feel like he might miss out on the biggest, maybe he can try scaring the skin with a picture, it will set permenantly in the skin, Cookie cutter shapes can work also. My daughter won a prize at the fall fair with a pretty drawing on hers. (exacto knife works well)
    Carol Ja
  4. fourd

    fourd Active Member 10 Years

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    X-maryland now New Mexico
    OK, I have grown Dill's Alantic Giants and others so yes, the variety does have alot to do with it. But I never came anywhere close to 1000lbs ... not even in 100lbs range. But all the monsters are Dills Alantic Giants. Spent big bucks on five champion Dill seeds and my jack-o-lanterns actually turned out bigger and better formed. So there is a bit of luck to it. Interesting is that Jack-o-lanterns start off green and turn orange in fall while Dills start off yellow orange and just deapen in color.

    IMO cool weather seems to be important because all the monsters produced every year are from colder regions. IMO the rest of the equation is pure luck. If it's not in the genes, it just isn't going to hapen, but there are some things you can do to improve your chances

    The right nutrients at the right time, and lots of water is the first step. The object is for the vine to grow well first (i.e., nitrogen) and then switch to fruiting fertilizer. You do want to keep one pumpkin to a vine so all of the energy goes into the one vice split between several. The plant will send out secondary roots all along the vine as well as secondary shoots so I don't think highly of cutting any vines. Some even suggest to cover the vines with compost to promote better rooting and provide nutrients, but I never tried that for fear of rotting the vine. The one pumpkin should be off the main vine. I would be Interested to see what tricks other might suggest but IMO it is mostly up to chance.
  5. Re: But why are leaves shriveling?

    My pumpkin leaves have begun to shrivel also.
    I don't know if it is too little or too much water.
    I have sprinkled ground-up red pepper on the plant (and surrounded the area with Irish Spring soap) to keep the deer off - I hope that that is not the reason.
  6. There are two main considerations when growing giant pumpkins... firstly, you need amazing soil, complete with lots of organic matter, and all of the nutrients giant pumpkins need (there's too many details to explain here). Secondly, you need today's hybrid seeds. These are Atlantic Dill Giant pumpkin seeds, but ones that are superior, gentically, through the process of natural selection, and hybrid vigor breeding. Store bought AG seeds will get you 100-200lbs, but the monsters grown for world records are grown using hybrid seed.

    These pumpkins need to be grown on soil, as the roots extend down from each vine node, and competing with grass and weds will hurt your end result, although this years pumpkin in my yard is pushing 400lbs, and is 50% over grass.

    Go to to learn more about growing giants.

    James, Vancouver, BC
  7. pumpkin mad

    pumpkin mad Member

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    i have only grown pumpkins once but i had very good results i dont know about most of you qestions but all i did was have a little patch of soil and put plenty of chicken muck (this helps to get big pumpkins) i never choped of the flowers or vines i just had it in a pot for a few weaks then put it in the garden and just watered it but dont let more than 4 pumpkins grow on one plant for best results in big pumpkins

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