Q:

What are some tips for growing giant pumpkins?

A:

Quick Answer

Tips for growing giant pumpkins include choosing a sunny spot, amending the soil, pruning the plant and controlling pests. Starting with a variety known to produce large pumpkins, such as Dills Atlantic Giant or Prizewinner Hybrid, is also essential.

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Full Answer

The specific variety of pumpkin depends on the local growing zone. The variety should fall within the local zone and be known to produce large pumpkins. The local extension office for the area may have suggestions for local options.

The planting location and fertility of the soil affect how large the pumpkin grows. An ideal location receives lots of sunlight but has shelter from wind to protect sensitive pumpkin plants. Amending the soil by working in manure, compost or shredded leaves the fall before planting creates a fertile place to plant in the spring.

Starting pumpkin seeds indoors gives them a head start for transplant after all chances of frost pass. The plants are delicate and need careful handling when transplanted.

Regular care of the plants provides the best growing conditions. Removing weeds and controlling pests, insects and diseases allows the pumpkin to grow without competition. Several pumpkins may grow on a vine, but removing the extras and keeping only the best pumpkin allows the plant to put more energy into growing the remaining one. When the vine grows about 20 feet long, pinching off tips and side shoots helps focus the growing energy on the pumpkin.

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