GardenGnome
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giant pumpkins

I want to grow bigger pumpkins then the guy across the street. Can I start them inside and what's the best time and way? Thanks
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soil
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how are you growing them? what seeds?

genetics play the most important role in getting big pumpkins, but you wont get giants if your soil is poor in nutrients and beneficial biology.
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GardenGnome
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I have ones that are white called full moon and some atlantic giants.
How am I going to grow them? Is there better ways then a mound?
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GardenGnome
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Nevermind ill search for some info.
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i found some videos on youtube about growing giant pumpkins. i just got off from work so my brain is mush. I can't remember anything about them except they are cool to blow up! :lol:
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soil
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We'll I would definitely go with some giant pumkin seeds otherwise genetics are your limiting factor.

What I meant by how are you growing them was will it be with organic materials or chemical inputs. Now days most of the giant pumpkin growers use homemade compost tea, specially made with home formulated compost. A friend near by grew a 200 lb pumpkin last year doing similar with little effort. This year he's going to put some more forethought into it and hope for at least double.
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I watched a thing on tv once about the guys that grow competition ones. He was saying that the secret is digging a deep hole (where the roots are going to go) and fill the whole thing with the perfect soil/ compost mix. It was about a 5ft deep hole. He said it allowed the roots to go super deep which allowed it to feed a humongous pumpkin. Never tried it, just what the guy on tv said. Good luck! If you're going for sheer size, stick with the atlantic giant seeds.
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GardenGnome
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Any idea what the compost tea was?
And a big hole I could try a smaller one not 5 feet.
I just bought 3 kindle books on big pumpkin growing for 3 bucks each.
How does a pumpkin feed from the main root?
Do the vines root?
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GardenGnome
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Got to love info at your finger tips

https://www.starrfarms.net/composttea.htm
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Got to love info at your finger tips

https://www.starrfarms.net/composttea.htm
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If you have read any of your books, you now know more about it than I do. I have never had room to grow any pumpkins, much less giant ones.

Just remember it is in every sense a LARGE undertaking. Giant pumpkins soak up giant amounts of compost AND water. For a 1000 sq foot pumpkin patch it takes between 600 - 900 gallons of water EVERY WEEK (rain water plus added water). https://www.utahpumpkingrowers.com/howto.html

A 1000 square foot patch is maybe enough to grow two giant pumpkin plants, since they say 625 sq feet would be perfect for one. Translating the above water numbers would be 375 -560 gallons per week for one plant. And I think out of that one plant don't they usually get ONE giant pumpkin?

And the thing isn't even edible! I never understood the point.
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rainbowgardener wrote:And the thing isn't even edible! I never understood the point.
If you have the winning pumpkin you probably get your picture in magazines and stuff, maybe someone will want to use your pumpkin's picture for a seed catalog or seed pack and therefore be willing to pay you. You could sell the seeds from a "first place winning giant pumpkin".

Largely it's just people with extra time and money competing at something. I think nascar is silly (although a lot of fun to go to). Why would I wanna watch cars drive in a circle 500 times? AND I'm A COUNTRY BOY! lol.

I collect Pez Dispensers, that seems silly to more people than it appeals to. I have a collection valued at over $20,000. Most people think it's ridiculous lol.

Just one of those things. If I had the land and a well that could handle the watering....I'd probably try. Why not?
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"Why not?" Because to me it feels incredibly wasteful to pour all that precious drinkable water (not to mention all the nutrients etc) in to producing something huge and useless. I hope at least you make sure all the plant and pumpkin ends up back in the compost pile.
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I don't grow em, couldn't afford it. I guess I see your point. The majority of people don't usually consider what resources they are wasting if it's a hobby. (Not saying they shouldn't, just that they don't.) I wonder how much gasoline I've wasted over the years driving places to get garden supplies. It'd be interesting to know.
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rainbowgardener wrote:"Why not?" Because to me it feels incredibly wasteful to pour all that precious drinkable water (not to mention all the nutrients etc) in to producing something huge and useless. I hope at least you make sure all the plant and pumpkin ends up back in the compost pile.
could be said of a few corporations too.

And that would be ALOT of compost.
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Lol I love to hunt fish and farm. It would be a lot cheaper to stalk the meat islands of safeway or such for meat fish or veggies but I hunt fish and farm because I can't buy that taste in the store period and or I just like to do it know matter the price. Hmm maybe I will look into giant pumpkins I bet the county fair would be fun this year...

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No I just downloaded the books haven't read them and that's a lot of water wow.
Me and the guy across the street pumpkin last years biggest was under 10 pounds.
There is a competition in town tho grand prize is $500. I think the was under 150 I wouldn't mind winning 500.
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soil
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we ate my friends 200 lb pumpkin, it tasted pretty good. we have pumpkin gnocchi, pimpkin pie, pumpkin soup, curry, pasta sauce, lots of stuff. better than any pumpkin you can buy at the store. the flesh on his was incredibly thick, like 6-8 inches in some parts.
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If it is edible, I wouldn't feel as bad, though still doesn't seem like a real efficient way of food production. But I've heard that some of those county fair giants really aren't even edible.
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Thanks for making me feel bad about wanting to grow a big pumpkin.
But in all that's to much water for one plant.
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GardenGnome wrote:Thanks for making me feel bad about wanting to grow a big pumpkin.
But in all that's to much water for one plant.
LOL, grow whatever you wanna grow! Everyone has different opinions about every intimate detail of gardening. You do what the garden gnome wants to do and stick with it. If you constantly flip flop to follow everyone's advice on here you'll garden every plant you have a different way. For the most part everyone respects the differences on here. Although there are a few "hot topics" that some of us avoid. Heck, half of us don't even practice what we preach. There is sometimes a difference between what we KNOW is the "correct" way to do something and what we can afford, have space for, or like, to do. If you're enjoying the hobby, have at it!

Topics to avoid:

1. If you use chemical insecticides or herbicides
2. If you hunt or destroy any kind of animal, even a mouse, even for food.
3. Politics
4. I've never seen Religion approached on this board, and I figure it's best left alone. A few people have biblical quotes, but that's as far as it goes. And probably about as far as it should.

I want you to beat the guy across the street! You may not grow a 3oo lb punkin, but you can aim for a 20 pounder!
Jeff

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I'm going to go for it don't you worry lol.
I'm so far ahead of him he doesn't use computers or read books.
He's going to put his seeds in the ground when I thinks its right. March I would guess or april and if they grow they grow.
I did my seeds inside have half started and ended up with 150 cells. Filled so far and am so happy I've gotten this far. But I'm still going to shoot for cities biggest pumpkin if they do one.
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I'm going to go for it don't you worry lol.
I'm so far ahead of him he doesn't use computers or read books.
He's going to put his seeds in the ground when I thinks its right. March I would guess or april and if they grow they grow.
I did my seeds inside have half started and ended up with 150 cells. Filled so far and am so happy I've gotten this far. But I'm still going to shoot for cities biggest pumpkin if they do one.
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[img]https://i1268.photobucket.com/albums/jj565/ericmgilson/2012-02-25_23-10-08_998.jpg[/img]

One up
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[img]https://i1268.photobucket.com/albums/jj565/ericmgilson/2012-02-25_23-10-08_998.jpg[/img]

One up
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GardenGnome,
Those look like healthy starts. Guess you will get a jump on the neighbor. Might help not to tell him your going to out grow him till you've got a leg up :o
I tried the Atlantic Giant(10 seeds), direct sow and didn't get a plant. It was a great spot with lots of compost, was soooo disappointed. I have never tried again.
Think I'll use you as my inspiration to try again.
Good luck this year.
Remember one thing about resources......Every little thing we do, It ALL goes right back into the earth. Nothing is ever wasted...And that's what is encouraging about gardening. :D

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Not sure I agree with that. If you compost the pumpkin and the vine, then a lot of the nutrients are reclaimed, minus some that went in to energy to grow the thing. But if you multiply out the gallons per week times say 24 weeks (understanding that it isn't soaking up water like that yet!) that gives a rough estimate of 10,000 gallons of drinkable water that went into producing that one giant pumpkin.

Hardly any of that is going to come back as drinkable water again. In the breakdown process some of it may be given off as water vapor in to the atmosphere and some of that may even come back as rain. A little bit of the rain may actually percolate through in to some waterway where it could be drawn out as drinking water. But the amount of drinkable water that will eventually come back is miniscule. Part of why drinking water is such a precious resource these days.

If you had a grey water system where you could feed it water that's no longer drinkable like from your washing machine, shower, dishwasher etc, it wouldn't seem so shocking to me. That's the next direction I'm thinking about in greening my life, trying to get a system that would use the water from the washing machine. (I have so little garden space, I wouldn't have a use for more than that; if I lived some where with a lot of land, I would want a complete grey water system to use all of the above sources)
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Missed this thread the first time around --

Here's how I started Atlantic Giants early in my garden a couple of years ago:
:arrow: https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=138389
(Note jal_ut's and other people's suggestions and contributions in that thread too :wink:)

I wasn't going for the biggest fruit so I didn't take the time and effort for care and ground prep etc. I planted them where the water has been directed to go with some minor contouring of the grade from a rain gutter where I can't position a rain barrel.

I wanted them to grow an undisturbed taproot. I think the early start method is sound. My problem was SVB's. :evil: :cry:

Since the bushel gourd grew and matured into several basketball and volleyball sized fruits I know this method works for the long maturing time varieties that I would have most trouble with. If I limited to single fruit per vine and fed them enthusiastically, they would grow bigger. I would most likely use compost and fortified AACT. I would also use the 10% Milk Solution against powdery mildew as I do with all my cuburbits.

Next time, I'm going to try a good eating giant C. moschata variety. And I'm trying luffa again this year. 8)

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Thanks for the thread ill look into it. The grey water thing sounds cool and I want to do a rain barrel set up. And no I'm not going to use 10,000 gallons of water for one plant that's crazy. Thanks for the tips lol I looked under the lights and my seeds sprouted I filed the tip off the seeds and the sides down. And soaked them for a day or so.
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GardenGnome
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Thanks for the thread ill look into it. The grey water thing sounds cool and I want to do a rain barrel set up. And no I'm not going to use 10,000 gallons of water for one plant that's crazy. Thanks for the tips lol I looked under the lights and my seeds sprouted I filed the tip off the seeds and the sides down. And soaked them for a day or so.
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There's a reason pumpkins are most often grown in Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania... all states with lots of summer rain. In that case a lot of the 10,000 gallons would be provided free as rain water. But I'm thinking that Paradise is like a lot of Calif, with little to no rain in June, July, Aug, Sept, the prime growing months for your pumpkin. So you would have to be providing all that.
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What rain? This year
Yeah we get it jan to april.
So on the grey water part do you have to do organic shampoo and dishsoap.
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Hey Rainbow,
I'm not seeing any disagreement between your perspective and mine.
Of course I can be a bit thick :lol:
Maybe we can be more efficient and you will have me on that point.
But, I wasn't trying to be efficient in the garden, just growin' somethin' to eat, or look at.
Seems there is no true concept of wasting water where I come from.
But, we can waste the efforts our fellow man has made to change its usability or suitibility for a specified purpose. Or we can waste our fellow man's effort to bring it to us given a specific purpose or period of time.

The way I'm looking at it is, there is more water on this floating space ball than all mankind can use in a millenium. Therefore it has hundreds of years to be filtered into new and reusable resource.
Of course if we don't like the pace of mother nature we can always desalinate till our hearts content.

I often loose compost outside of the veggie garden, some get blown out sometimes I even tip the wheel barrow the wrong direction. I've even used the occassional old hose that dripped in the wrong place. Many of us waste good resources all the time. Guess that's why MDOD use to call us boys Knucleheads.

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This sounds very cool. I grew a [url=https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=227214#227214]61# Big Max last year[/url]:

[img]https://dl.dropbox.com/u/3552590/BigMax2011_web.jpg[/img]

but my son kept telling me he wants an Atlantic Giant.

I just ordered a pack of seeds off of Amazon, and I think I have a decent place to grow one.

Good tip on digging a ginormous hole. I'm renting a rototiller this weekend; I'll broadfork up a section first, then till through it and see how deep I can get.
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Try tilling, dig/scrape that part out, then till again, dig it deeper & till again.
Some of the pictures I've seen on preparation have holes 3 feet deep, 10 feet long and 6 feet wide.
Those are big holes filled with compost and aged manure.
Those guys grow the big ones.

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[img]https://i1268.photobucket.com/albums/jj565/ericmgilson/2012-03-17_22-39-38_704.jpg[/img]
Here are 2 A giants and 2 full moon.
I think last year the top contest pumpkin was under 200 pounds you get $500
I just wanted some cool pumpkins and to have fun.
Ill keep you posted.
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GardenGnome
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I got some blue pumkins this year also can't wait.
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