Saturday, October 23, 2010


   The French have a phrase--ide'e fixe-- meaning to be obsessed with an idea to the exclusion of everything else.  There is probably no better explanation for the growing of giant---approximately one thousand pound--pumpkins.  In fact, in some sense, growing giant pumpkins has become a "big business".  Although growing giant vegetables isn't restricted to pumpkins, the pumpkin is iconic for what would be called "Paul Bunyan" gardening.  At the peak time of growth, a giant pumpkin can grow thirty to forty pounds a day, which is more than a pound per  hour! 

   The Ultimate Experience-the Giant Pumpkin

   One quote says, "To err is human, a pumpkin is Da' Vine".  The most carefully chosen pumpkin seeds, though, won't grow a world-class pumpkin without considerable planing and investment.  Seeds may now be bought online.  An internet search reveals many willing providers and forums dedicated to doing just that.  The correct choice must match the temperature requirements the temperature requirements of the variety one chooses to those of the climate.  Other factors include soil properties, pruning technique's,  fertilization, fungal supplementation, water chemistry and application method, and protection from the elements.

   What is Required to Squeak Out Maximum Growth?

   Giant pumpkins should be started indoors well in advance of the outdoor season, with care in choosing pots, soil mix, and lighting.  Pots must be large to avoid crowding of roots and only the strongest plants should be kept.  Transplanting outdoors, moisture must be carefully controlled.  A dry spell can dictate application of as much as a hundred gallons of water per plant.  Pruning of tertiary vine branches prevent the plant's vitality from being sapped by multiple fruit.  Sun canopies over the developing pumpkin prevent early fruit maturation and helps avoid cracking.  Mycorrhizae fungus improves nutrient and moisture absorption considerably.  Pests must be eliminated.  Some suggest playing music to the potential winner-preferably classical.

I'm not Interested in Giant Pumpkins

   Although most of us will never till our land with the intent of growing a giant pumpkin, is there nothing i the idea that appeals to your lighter side?

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