You may not grow a prize winning giant pumpkin from top quality seed but you will not grow one from poor seed stock.
Germinate the seed early to mid May. Never put all your eggs in one basket; start each of your seeds separately so you can adjust the moisture content of the compost and temperature of the propagator should your seed fail to germinate.
Soak your pumpkin seeds in warm water for 24 hours and place in warm, sterile compost that is slightly moist.
Place in a propagator at 85-90 degrees Fahrenheit. We use Vitopod propogators and have found them to be perfect for the job. The seeds should germinate within 3-5 days but may still show up to two weeks after sowing.
Viability of seed from specific pumpkins can be mixed at best so please do not be disheartened if your germination fails. It is always best to have a backup plan with seed from another competitive strain - If both seeds germinate and you have the space to grow them both, then why not try a controlled cross pollination.
Once your seedlings are growing do not let the plant become pot bound. Keep potting on your plant into bigger and bigger containers until all chance of a frost has passed and you can ascertain the direction of the main vine.
Plant out your pumpkin into heavily manured, aerated soil. Avoid soil compaction throughout the growing season. Protect the plant from gusts of wind as the vine can easily snap or twist.
Feed and water your pumpkin regularly. Use a high nitrogen feed to encourage vigorous growth of the plant and a high potassium feed once the fruit has set. Potash, calcium and a barrow load of luck may also be required.
Premium pedigree pumpkin seed can be bought here - see Giant Pumpkin Seed, and more pumpkin growing tips can be found at Mere Brow Giant Pumpkins. For those who would like even more detail, comprehensive giant pumpkin growing instructions can be found in the books below:
Clive Bevan's 'Giant Vegetable Book' covers all the basics of Giant Pumpkin cultivation and also provides useful information on how to grow many other vegetables to competition standards. A lifetime of experience for just £12.00!
|Don Langevin's classic pumpkin books are essential reading for experienced and novice competitive giant pumpkin growers alike. Even though pumpkin world record weights improve year after year, the techniques explained by Don will help any budding giant pumpkin grower get amazing results.|