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Giant Pumpkins

Any pumpkin grown for size or weight over other factors.

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Size does matter when it comes to these gorgeous gourds!!

  • Oct 25, 2009
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As long as I can remember I have been infatuated with Giant Pumpkins.  I'm not really sure why, quite frankly when a pumpkin gets to a certain size  gravity takes over and they take on a "blobbie" type shape, but I am still drawn to them.  Every October the news usually does a segment on someone who grew a 1,000 lb. pumpkin and all the work that went into the project.  This year I decided to join this noble club of Pumpkinistas.  My pumpkin mentor described this to me as raising a child and he wasn't kidding.  I had to get a pumpkin babysitter while I went on vacation in July.  Ultimately my pumpkin did not live up to my expectations but next year is a new year and I will learn from my experience.  The attached photo's are from a friends pumpkin which topped out at 537 lbs.

People like me start thinking about Halloween in April
1) First you need to select a site for your pumpkin and you will need 300 - 900 sq. ft. to do it right and 8 - 12+ hours of sunlight is ideal.

2) Your secret weapon for growing a gorgeous gourd is soil preparation.  I dug a hole 3 ft. deep that was 3 ft. by 5 ft. wide. and mixed in about 10 cubic feet of soil amendments leaving a mound in the center of the planting area for my plant.  If you plan to plant more that one plant leave at least 30' between mounds. 

3) That same week (mid April) you should get your germination started.  I received an Atlantic Giant seed from a giant pumpkin workshop I attended.  You will want to soak the seed overnight in warm water prior to planting in a small container full or potting soil or a seed starting mix.  Keep the plant in a warmish (75 - 80 degrees) area where it will get sunlight and you should have a nice little pumpkin plant ready to transplant in about 2 weeks.

4)  From here you simply water, fertilize, and keep your eye out for pest and make adjustments as necessary.

5)  After 2 - 3 weeks you will start to see some flowers.  Don't be alarmed if at first you are only getting male flowers.  This happened to me and I thought I had a homosexual pumpkin plant but after a week of male flowers I saw my first female blossom and what a site she was.  Several other ladies followed after that and I knew it was time to get my pumpkin ON!

6) Some people pollinate the flowers themselves by taking a male flower and shaking it over a female but I didn't find that necessary.  My fruit set on its own and I started out with several pumpkins.  One you have 3 or 4 the size of a basket ball you need to pick just ONE or TWO and cut the others loose.  You will need to continue to thin the flowers throughout the year if you are dedicated to growing a gigantic pumpkin as these plants need to funnel all their energy into your prize winner.

7)  Soon thereafter you are going to want to provide some shade to the plant depending on where you live to protect the pumpkin from the afternoon heat and possibly even install some misters.  These steps will prevent your pumpkin from cracking and splitting.

8) As you near the end of your growing season think about how you are going to physically get your pumpkin out of the garden.  Some move the pumpkin to a pallet at some point so the can bring in a tractor to lift the gourd out of the garden while others simply roll the pumpkin onto a tarp and get several friends to help carry it out.

Some fun facts about Giant Pumpkins
  • Half Moon Bay Pumpkin Contest has a $20,000 purse.
  • Seeds of award winning pumpkins sell for as much as $600 at auction.
  • A pumpkin is 90% water
  • A pumpkin can easily put on 30 lbs....... a day!
  • 1,725 lb. Pumpkin sets world record this year.  WOW!

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March 10, 2010
Great stuff. I've grown pumpkins, but not for size. I have never researched doing this. That is a good amount of babysitting and dedication. I don't know if I even have enough room to try a giant pumpkin. Something to think about for later.
November 14, 2009
This is one of the best and funniest reviews I've ever read. I can't believe you're a giant pumpkin grower. This is classic. Well done!!!
October 26, 2009
Hahahaha, I love this review! I never really thought about what it took to grow a giant prize pumpkin, but it really does sound like raising a kid. And if a pumpkin has the ability to gain 30 lbs in a day, then I don't want to be a pumpkin! By the way, if you still need any help embedding those photos, I'd be more than happy to go in there and do it for you. Just let me know! :)
October 26, 2009
Shayne, you have out done yourself with this review. Awesome. Pumkinistas... too much man. I can't wait until next April so you can do this again, but i really want to see photos from each leg of the journey. That picture with the basketball is awesome.

i was just up in SF last week and they had an 1100 lb gourd on display at the restaurant on the corner or the Ferry Building, closest to the bay bridge. That thing was HUGE and they said it was grown organically. Do you know was the 1700 lb organic, or are they pumping these things full of roids and such.
More Giant Pumpkins reviews
Quick Tip by . October 25, 2009
posted in Awesomeness
I just went to a pumpkin weigh-off and the grand prize winner was over 1,500 lbs!! That's a BIG pumpkin!
About the reviewer
Shayne Kline ()
Ranked #197
Member Since: Dec 18, 2008
Last Login: Sep 2, 2014 06:45 PM UTC
About this topic


Giant pumpkins are any pumpkin grown for size or weight over other factors. The Atlantic Giant is the variety of choice for many giant pumpkin aficionados.
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Pumpkins, Big Pumpkins, Giant Pumpkins


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