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Grow a Giant Pumpkin

Wow your friends, excite the kids in your life, and have fun growing a giant pumpkin in this year’s garden.

Grow Atlantic Giant pumpkins (Cucurbita maxima ‘Atlantic Giant’), the most common variety of today’s giant pumpkins. Jump start the growing season by starting seeds indoors several weeks before the danger of frost has passed.

Plant your pumpkins in a sunny spot with well-drained soil and protected from wind and frost.  Water thoroughly whenever the top few inches of soil are crumbly but slightly moist. Pumpkins need lots of water but do not tolerate soggy soil.

Once the fruit reaches softball size, remove all but the most promising one on each vine. Maintaining one fruit per vine allows the plant to put all its energy into growing it into a giant.

Fertilize regularly then shade the giant pumpkin from sun to prevent it from overheating and bursting.

A bit more information: Pumpkins like other melons, squash and cucumbers have separate male and female flowers. The first flush of flowers are male. Be patient as eventually both male and female flowers will appear so pollination and fruit set can occur.

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