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Large Pumpkins

Nauvoo, AL(Zone 7a)

I am a sucker for large pumpkins. The plants are beautiful and huge but controllable. I am not growing for giants,,,,,just large ones. I sowed several seed and more germinated than i expected. Especially one with a history. It is a 705.9 Lovelace from 2007. ( mama was 869 Calai X daddy 1370 Rose) The genetics are great. One problem. I really didn't think it was going to germinate. It has been over a week since I started soaking it in a wet paper towel on a heat mat. It had a sprout this morning and I put it in a 6 inch pot. Now I have to widen my garden sooner than I was planning on doing.
I already have two giant pumpkin plants out there which needs a wider space, crimson sweet watermelons and a carolina cross watermelon.
The soil is not good but just gonna grow them all and see what happens. It's gonna be crowded.

Central Texas, TX(Zone 8b)

Good luck, Cricket! I've never grown pumpkins and therefore would like to watch any updates or pictures.

Nauvoo, AL(Zone 7a)

Thank you Dean.

I actually have 3 large pumpkin plants growing in the ground and one waiting to be transplanted.
One large pumpkin is growing in a 50 gallon drum
One large squash is growing in 32 gallon (the squash grow giant like the pumpkins except they are pale green to medium green and considered a squash instead of a pumpkin due to color)
One large squash growing in an EarthBox

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Central Texas, TX(Zone 8b)

Wow! Those sound like pretty large containers. I'm in the process of growing some gourds which I believe are in the same family as pumpkins. And I was debating on about how deep I would need to prepare the soil. So this gives me a bit of an idea. The soil is pretty loose and healthy about 8-9" down after that it's a heavy clay. So now I'm thinking I should prepare the soil a little deeper.

Nauvoo, AL(Zone 7a)

I have made raised beds in the area that I will be feeding the plants cause my clay pan is about 4 to 6 inches down and I didn't want to dig too deep into the clay cause I was afraid I would create a bowl of water and rot my roots so I went up with the soil also to prevent that from happening. I only needed extra depth at the plants main trunk area.

You are more than welcome to talk about your gourds amongst the pumpkins. What kind of gourds are you growing? My son is growing one bird house gourd. He is a new gardener and excited.

Central Texas, TX(Zone 8b)

Some Loofah gourds is what I plan on growing as soon as I finish this darn trellis. I appreciate the advice to on the depth at which your growing.

I also have some Bird House Gourd seeds, but wasn't sure if I should mix them with the Loofahs because of possible cross pollination. Tell your son good luck and hopefully you can post some of his pics.

Anyways, I apologize for derailing your thread.

Anderson, IN(Zone 6a)

Well they say pumpkins and watermelons won't cross pollinate ,I'm here saying they will.One season I grew jack-o-lantern and black diamond an they cross pollinted.I had some 20 to 50 pound watermelon shaped pumpkin hog squash.

Hope that doesn't happen to you ,it was interesting learning that though.

Hutto, TX(Zone 8b)

Cricket,

I'm looking forward to following your pumpkin postings for another season!

Nauvoo, AL(Zone 7a)

Im excited. It's been two years since I grew some large plants and I miss it so badly.

Juhur. you gotta tell more of that melonsquash story. It sounds so interesting and I bet you were so lost when some crazy fruit thing tried growing on your plant.

I will have controlled pollination on both the pumpkins and the watermelons of choice.

I have some Sugar Pies growing in earthboxes too.

the leaves started to curl on the first pumpkin plant that i set out and I checked underneath and found some aphids. I sprayed the ground around all the plants and the surrounding lawn area for bugs but I have not sprayed the plants yet , I have to wait until sun down to do that.
First, I am going to take a wet rag and kill the aphids. Then I will spray the leaves down with soapy water. They are too young for strong stuff right now.
The squash bugs are already showing up and the poor plants aren't even 6 inches tall yet. Killed 6 squash bugs today.


Anderson, IN(Zone 6a)

There' not much to that melonsquash story it just was one of those things.Could be some fun there knowing a few that cross pollinate though.

I've got some sugar pie pumpkins that volunteered,lot's of tree toads sit under or on there leaves during hot weather(remedies some of my bug problems,as they like all the melons)

Nauvoo, AL(Zone 7a)

I decided not to grow 4 pumpkins in the garden......only going to grow 3. I will be giving the 705 Lovelace more space for more leaves.
My soil is not rich and I will be adding commercial compost manure and rabbit manure to the patch out in front of the vines as they grow. I cannot afford to do it all at once and I will be using the rabbit manure as it is produced. ( 15 rabbits and 16 new babies yesterday) Everything will be one day at a time. I do need to till the chicken coop and shovel the soil and spread in the patch area. Nothing heavy...Just lightly.
The plants will be fed Miracle Grow Bloom Booster, Kelp and fish emulsion and of course the run off will seep into the soil. All will be diluted and fed three times a week. Regular strength divided by 3 which is close to 1 teaspoon per gallon. Mondays, Wednesdays, Saturdays. Slow and Easy.
The patch will have Calcium Nitrated added to it before the plants start to run. It will give the nitrogen and calcium time to seep in and it will be enough to last 3 to 4 weeks which is all I need for the growing season. By the time the high nitrogen is running out, the plants will be setting fruit at just about the same time=====good timing.

It rained a lot last night. I have to respray the area for bugs. (not the plants yet )

I found information last night about the Alabama record for giants. Current bama record is 534 pounds. It is the Alabama heat that I have to beat. (shade cloth)

Central Texas, TX(Zone 8b)

LOL! Good luck, Cricket, sounds like you have it all planned out.

Anderson, IN(Zone 6a)

About as well a pumpkin for hallowween is a 65 pounder I grew(yes I was so happy I actually weighed it)The little ones grandma made pies of,(Love the old fashioned baking,yes indeed)

It can be fun growing pumpkins!!

Nauvoo, AL(Zone 7a)

I've got pumpkins growing all over the place
Somebody is sending me some better seeds so I can grow a fall pumpkin starting in June.

Grand Saline, TX(Zone 7b)

I'm glad your doing this again, Cricket! I remember following along the last time, great fun to watch.
Do you have customers that enjoy watching "the" pumpkin grow?

Nauvoo, AL(Zone 7a)

oh my goodness...........yes. the customers and friends and people i don't even know use to watch the pumpkins grow but the plants were close to the road. I have moved my tiny patches out back except for one but it is still somewhat out of sight.

Nauvoo, AL(Zone 7a)

#1 The first seed to germinate - off by itself - had aphids on its first two leaves that caused them to crinkle up. No aphids now.(no history)
#2 Second seed to germinate - planted it in a 50 gallon barrel. (no history)
#3 Third and Fourth seed to germinate went into the garden.
#4 the Fifth is the 705 Lovelace.
I gave two plants away. One to a friend who has no idea what he just got himself into.
One to my sister....but she hasn't picked it up yet.

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Nauvoo, AL(Zone 7a)

Then I have three giant squash....
I planted one under a mimosa tree in a natural shallow worm bed.

Oh and to top things off.....like I needed another plant to grow, somebody is sending me some North Carolina Giant Cantaloupes.
I think this topic will end up a bunch of Vines growing all over the place. Not just pumpkins. Even giant watermelons and little ones and etc..
I don't have the patience to make 3 or 4 threads.

Nauvoo, AL(Zone 7a)

#1 Patch 10 days ago....with tons of weeds to clean out to widen garden.

#2 Today. Almost got it ready. Been raining a lot.

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Nauvoo, AL(Zone 7a)

somebody sent me a seed from a 1650 pound pumpkin............w@w Dunno if i want to grow it for this fall or wait til spring next year.

Anderson, IN(Zone 6a)

I have grown those North Carolina giants quash cantelope . There not as finicky as a giant pumpkin and they are a fairly heavy feeder though.

All in all your's is shaping up to be a really interesting melon garden,and this is going to be fun following along.

Nauvoo, AL(Zone 7a)

I am sowing the cantaloupes today.........and another pumpkin seed. That 705 is extremelyyyyyyy slow.

This pumpkin plant is getting ready to take off running.

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Nauvoo, AL(Zone 7a)

testing a photo upload.....having issues with firefox.

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Nauvoo, AL(Zone 7a)

firefox wont let me upload photos but internet explorer will. I just upgraded firefox to 12 so I could install an ad blocker.
flitter.

Anderson, IN(Zone 6a)

YEAH , for add blockers I just got to ex 9 and g chrome the new version and adds pop up all the time,Adds aren't all that bad unless or until your doing something and bam, your fouled in process.Gardeners don't like being fouled in process,and that's not nice anyway,like a bad hair day?
Hey Cricket;, when is the next update,? curious.

Nauvoo, AL(Zone 7a)

its your lucky day.........heres the updates.

I started constructing this shade structure yesterday. didnt wear gloves.......a few sore blisters. finished it today.

I Plead Temporary Insanity and I will be back to normal in a few months.



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Nauvoo, AL(Zone 7a)

There is 2 giant pumpkin plants and 3 North Carolina giant cantaloupes under the shade cloth.
I'm not growing a "giant" cantaloupe. Will let the plants grow several fruits.

Grand Saline, TX(Zone 7b)

That is fantastic, Cricket. Great job! Wish I could cover the entire garden with shade cloth :)

Nauvoo, AL(Zone 7a)

I wish I had it over the entire garden but only had enough for the pumpkins and cantaloupes.


#1 pic .. the Holland mutt #1 off by itself under a shade cloth structure.
#2 Holland mutt #2 in the 50 gallon barrel .....under a shade cloth structure
#3 Holland mutt #3 under the large shade cloth structure in the garden

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Nauvoo, AL(Zone 7a)

#1 giant squash in 32 gallon trash can of soil.= very thick stalk.
#2 giant squash in an EarthBox
#3 giant pumpkin 705 Lovelace under the large shade in the garden. 8 days younger than the other pumpkins and it took longer to germinate.

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Anderson, IN(Zone 6a)

HI Ya Cricket: Is that shade cloth the same that is sold as mulch mat, or is it something other.?

Could be I have some coming use for that myself.?? Nice looking melon plants, mine aren't anywhere near that nice this season.

Nauvoo, AL(Zone 7a)

a few other vines

the Carolina Cross just outside the shaded garden plot.
The Sugar Pie pumpkin in an EB= has a female getting ready to bloom.

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Anderson, IN(Zone 6a)

I'm not suppose to post one word messages so I;m drawing this out some and WOW!!!!

Nauvoo, AL(Zone 7a)

that is commercial shade cloth. heavy duty. 30% shade.
http://www.atlasgreenhouse.com
they will custom make any size you need

thanks cocoa

juhur, your season has just begun, They will jump up and sing real soon.

I been feeding mine fish emulsion and kelp along with the soil amendments and I put out some regular fertilizer and a little bit a calcium nitrate when I tilled the soil. It wasn't much though.

That liquid fish emulsion that you buy locally doesn't last long. I just ordered Soluble Fish Emulsion. I figured for the same price, I am getting 10 times more emulsion .........then i saved even more when i decided to buy 5 pounds of the soluble instead of just one pound. I saved $43 buying 5 pounds instead of 1 pound. 1 pound was $18. 5 pounds was $48 (12-1-1 npk)
In another week I will give the plants a bloom booster 0-52-34


Nauvoo, AL(Zone 7a)

As of right now, the largest leaves on some of the plants are measuring 16 inches across. I get excited when they get 24 inches across

Nauvoo, AL(Zone 7a)

I can already see tiny female buds on two of the pumpkin plants. The one in the barrel and the one off by itself and both will end up about 8 feet out for the first female blooms. I will pollinate all on the main vine and choose a keeper later on. I eat the females on all the side vines.

Nauvoo, AL(Zone 7a)

So i have this idea.....Humor me Please. Forget for one moment that the only way to grow a giant is in the ground. Pretend the only way is in a Large container. I really want this giant squash to grow a big one. But at the moment it is in a shade house with commercial ground cover on the soil and it is growing in 32 gallon container. I think it would grow a much larger squash(green pumpkin) if I put it in the Shaded cantaloupe patch and let the vines take root to the soil? Grow amongst the cantaloupe vines freely. Since the cantaloupe vines will only be covering the soil area and not taking root but only taking up space, why not let the squash/pumpkin vines take root in the same area for more nutrients.........etc.... I am going to do it........just needed to talk about it. Yes! I know! My brain has issues.

Central Texas, TX(Zone 8b)

LOL! Criket I think your doing great.

Go for it and good luck. Sometimes it helps to write about your plans first. I know it does with me. :)

Nauvoo, AL(Zone 7a)

I'm having a blast with these plants. This is the giant squash pumpkin in the 32 gallon trashcan that I put in the garden. Look at the leaf on that plant

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