Quick Guide to Growing a Giant Pumpkin

Quick Guide to Growing a Giant Pumpkin

05 November 2019

Quick Guide to Growing a Giant Pumpkin

Try your hand at growing a giant pumpkin and you might take home $1000!

Here are some handy tips to get you started:

Soil Preparation

  • Select an area that is well drained, has enough space for the pumpkin to grow and is in a sunny location that doesn't get too much wind. Each seedling will grow into a large vine, so remember when selecting your site to allow enough room for it to grow where it won’t have to compete for nutrients and water with other plants.
  • You can also give the soil some added nourishment by adding some manure.

When to Plant

  • It is best to plant your Atlantic Giant Pumpkin seed by December to ensure it has enough time to grow for the competition.

Planting

  • Giant pumpkin seeds are larger than normal pumpkin seeds so before sowing, soak them for an hour or two in
    lukewarm water.
  • Sow a couple of seeds pointy end down in a light, free-draining compost.
  • Do not overwater the ground until the seed has germinated. If you water too much the seed might start to rot. Keep the soil no more than damp until the seed has germinated (about 3-7 days).

Growing Time

  • Your pumpkin will grow all Summer. Be sure to fertilise and water regularly, but don’t overwater as it may rot.
  • They have a lot of growth to do (3.5-5.5kg per day) so your pumpkins need weekly feeding with liquid manure or
    liquid compost.
  • Giant pumpkins take approximately four and a half months to grow – about 70 to 90 days before any fruit
    appears on the vine.
  • Once established, prune back your vine to one fruit – less competition for the big fruit.

Pollination

  • For a longer growing season (and a bigger pumpkin) you can try hand pollination. This can be done by finding
    a female flower on the main vine as far away from the base of the plant as possible. You can hand pollinate by
    removing some male flowers and using them to dab the pollen onto the center of newly-opened female flowers (have a small fruit swelling at the base near the stem).

Maturity

  • Pumpkins mature in Autumn.
  • It has reached maturity when the skin of the pumpkin hardens off and begins to look a bit rough. A giant pumpkin
    will only last approximately two months once cut off the vine. Never cut a giant pumpkin off the vine until it is
    ready for competition, unless you think rot or disease may kill the fruit early if left on the vine.

Other handy tips and tricks

  • Music Therapy - some studies have shown that playing music can result in faster and healthier plant growth
  • Pumpkins get sunburnt too – so to help it achieve maximum size cover it with a shade cloth in the hotter parts of
    the day.

Interested in growing your own Giant Pumpkin for this year's competition?

Email us at education@ekka.com.au for your FREE Giant Atlantic Pumpkin Seeds.

View Giant Pumpkin Competition details