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TheWaterbug
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Re: Giant Pumpkins for 2013!

So I'm at ~10.5 weeks, and here's a time-lapse of weeks 2-10 (click image for YouTube video):

Image

I got a late start getting the camera set up, and then for some odd reason I'm missing 10 days between July 6-15.

The far plant (off camera, to the right) has a pumpkin now that's bigger than a basketball:

Image

I think I might have rearranged some of the vines early, but I certainly didn't have a deliberate plan to spiral them. I think they're just sprawling randomly.
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jal_ut
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Re: Giant Pumpkins for 2013!

joed2323 wrote:James - what do you do special for your pumpkins?? I thought I was reading a previous thread of you saying you just stick them in the ground and let mother nature take its course, if so that's some nice looking "giants" for not pampering them...

How many pumpkin plants do you normally grow in your patch?
I may haul some chicken manure onto the pumpkin patch and till it in before planting. I have never dug a pit. A little side dressing of nitrogen fertilizer when the vines begin to run is good too. Water deep once a week. I don't mess with picking blossoms, whatever they decide to put on is what I let grow.

How many? Hmm, good question, this year I have six hills of jack-o-lantern pumpkins and one hill of a maxima. 3 to 5 seed in the hills. I really don't know how many grew. At this point I do have lots of vines.

I grew my maximas over on another lot this season, because I wanted to try Red Kuri squash, a maxima and wanted the seed to be pure. My son waters the patch, and I weeded it once a while back and haven't been back to look at what it is doing. I guess I will be surprised?
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TheWaterbug
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Re: Giant Pumpkins for 2013!

TheWaterbug wrote:The far plant (off camera, to the right) has a pumpkin now that's bigger than a basketball:
And now it's solidly into beachball territory:

Image

(I switched to a much larger cage, so use the dollar bill for scale)

There are 2-3 other sizable fruits on this vine, but I'm thinking of culling them all this weekend.

My second vine has one the size of a Size 4 soccer ball, but that's the only fruit it has.
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applestar
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Re: Giant Pumpkins for 2013!

Wow! It's already bigger than any squash I've ever grown 8)
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rainbowgardener
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Re: Giant Pumpkins for 2013!

The time lapse is way cool! I guess it has been really hot in LA? The time lapse shows clearly how it wilts in the heat of the day and perks up in the evening, even though I think you have it on drip irrigation? What is your watering schedule like?
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jal_ut
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Re: Giant Pumpkins for 2013!

So far the Red Kuri is not showing me much. I went over to look at the maximas today and have one getting a good start.

Image
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TheWaterbug
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Re: Giant Pumpkins for 2013!

The skin is still supple and waxy, so it's still growing like gangbusters. If I get a monster I'll save seeds and send them out in November to anyone who wants a few.

Regarding watering, I have it dripping every other day at 6 AM. But all my pumpkin/squash vines do the wilt/perk/wilt/perk dance when it gets hot (typically August and September here in LA).

I think it's just that, once the vines reach a certain size, they simply can't pull enough water up through the main stem to keep us with the transpiration losses during the day. Then, at night, when the transpiration stops/slows, they can replenish.

So I don't think the watering schedule is the culprit, or the fix (otherwise they wouldn't perk up overnight after days that I don't water). I probably need to start burying the secondary vines so those auxiliary roots can find their way to the water.

I have a ring of drippers in a ~12' diameter circle around the main stem, ostensibly to feed the secondaries, but I never seem to have enough time to go bury them.
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Re: Giant Pumpkins for 2013!

So here's my large fruit's progress over the past two weeks (click for YouTube video):

Image

It's interesting to see the blip every morning, when it seems to expand by about an inch or more. So it grows quite a bit overnight. I'd thought that night time was for resting.
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Re: Giant Pumpkins for 2013!

The vines continue to grow rapidly, too. Here comes one now:

Image

Hard to see from the photo, but in real life it looks kinda like a dragon rearing up. Or maybe a snail with antennae.
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Re: Giant Pumpkins for 2013!

I envy you. I only grow kabochas and sugar baby watermelons because I don't have enough space for big vines. I have seen some big pumpkins here but the biggest only got to be about 60 lbs. It is hard to grow the really big ones with short days.
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Re: Giant Pumpkins for 2013!

WOW! It is really n eat to see your progress. I especially liked the video, that was super cool.
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6sparkpug6
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Re: Giant Pumpkins for 2013!

Any new updates? My pumpkin is just beginning to be the size of yours about a month ago! Well good thing I'm just growing for flavor!

Good luck!

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Re: Giant Pumpkins for 2013!

I found this forum last night while hunting for info about pumpkin patches and, of course, growing them...
I thought you all might get a laugh from my story!

A friend of mine suggested growing a winter crop and pumpkins sounded fun....so I went to my local nursery and found a few sprouted ones off in a corner. I bought two, never having grown pumps before, I picked the two hardiest specimens. They went in the ground, wait for it...Aug 21st!! Well, now that I've started investigating I find I'm just a bit behind...just a bit.

We also have had two weeks of over 90 degree weather, causing three female buds to brown and die on the vine.

They look to be growing...no mound, no manure and, oh, yeah, I bought Big Max and Cinderella! clueless!!!
So, I'm feeding them 10-10-10 liquid about twice a week. Watering often and reading a lot.

What do you all think my chances are of a pumpkins this year? Maybe December?! :-()
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TheWaterbug
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Re: Giant Pumpkins for 2013!

6sparkpug6 wrote:Any new updates? My pumpkin is just beginning to be the size of yours about a month ago! Well good thing I'm just growing for flavor!
I was going to post an updated time-lapse, but when I went to unload the camera this weekend I saw that it had only captured between August 28 and August 30. Then it stopped for no good reason. :roll:

I emptied the memory card and replaced the batteries and started it up again, but it looks like I'm going to have to check it every day to make sure it hasn't gone on vacation again.

But the Atlantic Giants are getting pretty big! I'll try to remember to take a picture sometime this week.
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Re: Giant Pumpkins for 2013!

Being in SanDiego in zone 10, you aren't as far behind as you think. Your best fall planting time for pumpkins is in Aug, so you were at most a couple weeks behind. Your seed packet should tell you average days to maturity, which varies widely with the kind of pumpkin and how big. The Big Max is 120 days to maturity, so yes, you might have Christmas pumpkins. That wouldn't work for me, but for you in a frost free area, with year around growing season, it should be OK. You could plant pumpkin seeds again in Feb or March.

Here's a what to plant when schedule for zone 10

https://www.thevegetablegarden.info/plan ... g-schedule
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Re: Giant Pumpkins for 2013!

Thank you, Rainbowgardener, for your vote of confidence. I'm enjoying the experience and learning. That's most important.

And to Waterbug, great photography, really helpful. Good luck with your giant baby, though it looks like you've got it sewn up.

Now onto why my toms didn't make it...

I'll be checking back to watch the progress of all the pumpkin growers! :P

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Re: Giant Pumpkins for 2013!

Not to hijack the pumpkin thread, but when did you plant your tomatoes. In zone 10 your times for planting tomatoes would be Jan or now.
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SweetDee920
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Re: Giant Pumpkins for 2013!

rainbowgardener wrote:Not to hijack the pumpkin thread, but when did you plant your tomatoes. In zone 10 your times for planting tomatoes would be Jan or now.
Really? I planted them three months ago...when they were for sale at Walmart. After some further research I was thinking it HAS been too hot. Should I try again, now?

I have so much to learn...



Who knew?! Well, you, I guess :()

So, see my education has begun. Seriously though, everyone here plants toms all summer. My plants last year did alright.

Thanks, again!!

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Re: Giant Pumpkins for 2013!

You NEED the Sunset Western Gardens book. https://www.amazon.com/Sunset-Western-Ga ... 0376039175

It's very complicated for me out here to suggest for you about when to grow things, because Calif has so many different climates. Zone 10 doesn't actually tell you much, it is only about how cold does it get in winter. So you and Phoenix both have mild winters. Phoenix is actually zone 9. But you have very different summers - despite the fact that Phoenix is a zone lower than you, it is way hotter and drier in summer.

The Western Gardens book divides the West up into many different true climate zones. It will tell you exactly what to plant when for YOUR climate.
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Re: Giant Pumpkins for 2013!

TheWaterbug wrote:But the Atlantic Giants are getting pretty big! I'll try to remember to take a picture sometime this week.
Here a picture from Sep 10th:

Image

My regular pumpkins aren't doing as well; I think I planted too late.
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Schnazleberry
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Re: Giant Pumpkins for 2013!

Wow! that thing is swelling up for sure :)
Great work and thanks for the time lapse that was fun to watch.

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Re: Giant Pumpkins for 2013!

I'll post more info later in the week when I have some free time, but the pumpkin party was a smashing success, and the Atlantic Giants were a huge part of it. Here's how we weighed them--we ran two lifting straps underneath at put the hooks from the hanging scale through the arm loops. Then I ran a steel pipe through the top hook, and 4 of us lifted the pole on our shoulders (that's me in the orange):

Image

The first one (the one from the time lapse) weighed in at 261 lbs:

Image

and the second one was 305 lbs:

Image

The scale is good up to 550 lbs. and my guess is the 4 of us would be good up to about that weight as well, as would the pipe. So I'm covered for next year, unless I do something drastically different.

I was quite pleased with the size, but very slightly disappointed with the weight. I though they'd be heavier. But my goal was for the pumpkins to weigh more than me, and they did!
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Re: Giant Pumpkins for 2013!

You grew a 300 pound pumpkin and you were disappointed !? :shock: That's setting the bar pretty high!

So do the giant pumpkins at least get composted?
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Re: Giant Pumpkins for 2013!

They'll get composted, but they need to be reduced in size first.

So what do you do with a pumpkin that's already served its purpose in life, is too big to move, and no good for eating?

Give away the seeds! But first you have to extract the seeds:



The kids ran in like I'd just opened a piñata; it was great! Everyone took seeds, though I'll be surprised if more than 2-3 families actually get around to planting them.
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Re: Giant Pumpkins for 2013!

:clap:
Fantastic job growing those giant pumpkins! Kudos to the weight lifters (are you sure you can go to 550?) Approximately how many seeds were in there?

For future seed sharing, in Japan they have a traditional summer game exactly like piñata using watermelon and a slender stick like a broom handle. If giant pumpkin will crack with a bat, it might be a viable option? (I don't think this is a game to be played with an axe though....). If they are too tough, you may need to prep the pumpkin for cracking with a firewood wedge or something... Regular pumpkins do sort of open themselves as soon as you get a knife in.

Look for "suikawari" on YouTube. For illustrative purposes, I found this one, but it is actually just like piñata in that participants take turns until the melon splits open.


...speaking of watermelons, how is the molded watermelon project coming along?

...oh while we are at it, did you know they have giant pumpkin boat races?
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Re: Giant Pumpkins for 2013!

rainbowgardener wrote:You grew a 300 pound pumpkin and you were disappointed !? :shock: That's setting the bar pretty high!?
I guess "disappointed" isn't quite the right word. I was thrilled with the size, and that led me to believe that I'd have something near 400 lbs. I didn't realize how non-dense they'd be, although I had last year's pumpkins as example.

But the seeds came from an 800 lb. monster, and I thought I'd done good soil prep, so I really was aiming high. Next year will be even better!! :D
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Re: Giant Pumpkins for 2013!

applestar wrote::clap:
Fantastic job growing those giant pumpkins! Kudos to the weight lifters (are you sure you can go to 550?) Approximately how many seeds were in there?
I didn't get a chance to count, with all the kids racing in and taking them, but I'm guessing/assuming that it was comparable to the number of seeds in a normal pumpkin. It just looked empty because the seeds are only 2x normal size while the pumpkin is 20x.
For future seed sharing, in Japan they have a traditional summer game exactly like piñata using watermelon and a slender stick like a broom handle. If giant pumpkin will crack with a bat, it might be a viable option? (I don't think this is a game to be played with an axe though....). If they are too tough, you may need to prep the pumpkin for cracking with a firewood wedge or something... Regular pumpkins do sort of open themselves as soon as you get a knife in.
If we're going Japanese, I'm going full Japanese! Last year I had to use my brother's ancient WWII bayonet:



but this year I'm going to use my $50 katana from Amazon:


...speaking of watermelons, how is the molded watermelon project coming along?
Not so well :(

Since I planted so late, the pumpkin hasn't reached a size to even reach all sides of the box yet. Oh well; there's always next year.
Sunset 23/USDA 11a, Elev. 783', Frost free since 8,000 BC. Plagued by squirrels, gophers, and peafowl, but coming to terms with it!

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