Tuesday, July 5, 2011

The Great Pumpkin Quest

So I figured since I've been nurturing this bad boy carefully, I thought I'd post some pictures of it.  The pictures I took of the blossoms on the Jack-O-Lanterns didn't come out well so I didn't post them as I mentioned earlier.  So when I went out to feed/water the giant one, I figured Id take the camera to post some pictures of its progress.

This is my lone Atlantic Dill Giant Pumpkin.  I was inspired to grow giant pumpkins for my daughter.  I know she'll get a kick out of  a huge pumpkin in the garden this fall.  Since I've only got one, its easy to keep up with.  I started 2 of them this year, but one just failed to thrive so I culled it, and replaced it with a Jack-O-Lantern type of pumpkin start that was an extra.  I started with a 10 carving pumpkins and planted the best ones, and held back the remaining few just in case.  I'm glad I did so I had something to replace the failed giant pumpkin.  I wasn't sure if I was going to cull it at first since the initial leaves didn't look right, but when it wasn't keeping pace with this one, I knew it was time replace it.  I couldn't dedicate the space to something that might not do well.

I've done a lot of reading on the tips and techniques to grow a really big pumpkin.  The best tip I got was to have a little bit of luck.  I was like "Really?!"  Its kind of funny to see that, but these are also by folks who are growing pumpkins that weigh in over 1,000lbs!!!!!  That's crazy!  If I can get it over 300lbs I'd consider it a major success but if I had a 1,000lbs pumpkin you could knock me over with a feather.

Anyway after reading what the "experts" suggest for tips on getting a big one, I felt I was doing most things right already.  I started them in peat pots early, feed them with a water soluble fertilizer 3x a week, and water them daily.  Now its just a matter of time.  Its loaded with blossoms, I'm just waiting till they open.

I'm planning keeping a journal (on here of course) of each pumpkin that sets on the vine so I can monitor their growth (which all the experts do apparently) for a week.  They chart the rate of growth and the pumpkin with the fastest rate of growth is the one they keep.  All the others are removed so the plant focuses all its energy into that one pumpkin.

A little size perspective.  I was so impressed with the size of the leaf I thought Id share it.  The vine that's coming out is already gained a few inches overnight.  It grows and grows and grows.  Its headed into the watermelons, which will make things interesting.  

These are my gardening shoes.  After getting grief over them I thought Id immortalize them here.  I hate to replace them because they still function even they need duct tape to function and besides I need a pair of shoes I can get dirty and work in.  When I replace them it will be with another pair of Walmart special seven dollar sneakers that Ill only wear outside to work in.  But right now they're doing just fine.

Alright off to go feed again!


  1. I just garden bare foot... hubs had a pair of flip flops that he had to keep super gluing back together... LOL

  2. I used to but I started wearing shoes so when I go to hill the potatoes I can use a shovel without killing my feet.