Giant Pumpkin Growing Attempt 2010  

 

                                                                            

  

 

My Giant Record Breaking Giant Pumpkin Growing Attempt.

This year, for a change I'm going to have a go at growing a Giant Pumpkin.  

                                         

I have tried before but only managed to grow a couple just over 125 pounds in weight : pictured above.

So this year's target is to grow a 200+ pounder.

I've kindly been given some seed from a 250 lb + specemin grown by Smithyveg (middle photo) which Itself was grown from seed taken from the previous European Record holding Pumpkin which was well over 1000 lb !!

So the seed should have the desired "Giant Gene" , we'll just have to see how they go.

Nov 30th.

Well,It all starts here.

First of all I have to create my Pumpkin Patch bytransforming part ouf our grazing field into decent growing soil.

                  

Me thinks this is going to be hard work !!!.

                         

First I decided to make the plot about 60'x25' so I'll have around 1500 sq ft of area.

Then the hard work of hammering in 20 fence posts with a 30lb rubber post hammer.

I'll fence it off using stock fence and chichen wire to keep both the sheep and rabbits out after I've finished digging it all over.

                  

Next is the really tough job of double digging the whole area by hand in time for the Winter weather to hopefully break it down later.

Dec 2nd

Well,as there was a decent weather window I decided to skive off work and get to grips with the digging.

                         

First was to dig out a row of sods and remove, and then dig the soil underneath and remove some.

Then on all the following rows,dig the sods and turn upside down on top of the previously dug trench,then dig a bit of further soil from the trench and chuck this on top of the upturned sods.

But don't go too deep,notinto the subsoil layer.

Then when you get to the end put the 1st sods into the final trench.

Hard work but worth it.

                         

On and on.Finally the 1st one done.I decided to make 2 separate beds rather than 1 big plot.

                  

Thats the 2nd one done,so I now have 2: 35ftx6ft beds.

This kind of digging is my variation of Double digging or what used to be called "Bastard Trenching" for good reason !!

Jan 27th.

Well,now that all the snow's gone I decided it was time to finally finish off the patch.

                         

The 1st thing to do was to erect the sheep fence,I tied a winch to my van to get it as tight as possible.

                         

So that's done,now to put down the weed suppressing fabric.

                         

And then to fix the wind break netting and chicken wire to keep out the rabbits.

                  

And finally to construct the raised beds from treated timber,

So there it is,ready to go,rabbit proof,sheep proof and weed proof.

Cost me an absolute fortune but at least I've now got an extra 2  35x6 ft beds to go at.

April 21st.

Well,still not sown the seeds yet as it's still a bit early but I decided to get the planting holes dug in good time.

                         

I dug a hole about 3ft in diameter and a couple of feet deep then mixed in a whole load of horse muck.

This should give them a good start when they come to being planted out.

April 28th.

AT LAST !!!!!

I've sown my seeds tonight in the propogator.

                    giant pumpkin seed

So these are my 3 and only seeds on which it all hangs.

They'd better germinate or all the hard work making the Pumpkin Patch will be in vain.

6 May.

Thunderbirds are GO !!!

                    Giant Pumpkin Seedling

2 of the 3 seeds have germinated but one had a bit of trouble shedding its seed case and when I tried to free it I bust the leaf a bit.

This one seems OK though.

May 22nd.

Well one didn't germinate,one got stuck in the seed casing so I'm left with one plant,and here it is.

I'll probably plant it out in a week or two along with it's weaker cousin.

                    giant pumpkin plant

May 28th.

Well thanks to the two different people who offered me some spare seeds and plants, Simon SMT thanks a lot for the offer of the seeds from your enormous pumpkin after seeing my problems with my own attempts.

And James Digtoplant for the fantastic spare plant you provided me with today.

So anyway here's the plant James gave me and his and mine side by side,both grown from the same seeds provided by Smithveg.

As you can see mine is all leggy since I grew it on a windowsill and the other ( James's) is a really strong looking compact plant.

                         

But anyway I now have 2 plants and hopefully within a couple of weeks they can go outside and finally get planted but with the possibility of frosts still at night recently there's just no point in risking it.

June 2nd.

Well,after looking at the long range weather forecast and seeing that it seems to be pretty warm for the next 7 nights I decided to get the plants planted out.

                         

After finding that the new Pumkin Patch was still a bit on the windy side I spent yet another 150 on timber to erect a 4ft high solid wind break around it.

I AM A COMPLETE IDIOT !!!

Anyway to give the plants the best start possible I added a shit load of Nutrimate.

Plus the same of Mycorrhizal Fungi which apparently attaches itself to the roots of the plant and gives it a giant extra root structure which makes it grow bigger.

We'll see.

                  

So I added loads of fertilizer into the soil along with a load of compost and planted them out.

I also spread a load of slug pellets about too.

                   

Then finally as an extra bit of protection against the wind I just made some temporary wind breaks.

So that's It,I don't know what I'm doing but I'm giving them the best chance I can.

June 25th.

Well things are moving on slowly.

                   

Both plants have grown to about 4-5 feet in length and hopefully with the warmer nights they'll start to move.

                   

I'll take the netting off as they've out grown it and hopefully if we eventually get some rain they'll fly.

We are now officially the driest part of the country along with Cumbria which is where I got my other plant from.

A bloody hosepipe ban in Yorkshire.......unbelievable !!!!!

July 2nd.

The plants are starting to motor along now growing about 6" a day.now about 8ft long and 4 ft wide.

                  

As are the weeds !

                  

So hopefully with a bit more rain if they keep on growing then I might get a decent sized plant and maybe a decent sized pumpkin.

July 17th.

Well a fortnight later and after the downpours lately they're growing well.

                                       

The plants are about 15 feet long and 6 feet wide now.

                   

Now I really need some of these embryonic female pumpkins to flower the same time as the male flowers so I can pollinate them and get some fruit set.

July 29th.

Well what amazing growth in just two weeks !!

The plant is going bonkers but I've only just got a couple of fruit to set so they'll only have about 6-7 weeks to put on any weight.

                  

It's growing about 6" in width and a foot in length every day.

                                     

Gotta be well over 20 feet long and about 12 ft wide.

                         

Anyway these are the 2 I've got pollinated so we'll see how they progress.

August 14th.

Well,at last I have a couple of small pumpkins growing.

                         

Roughly about melon sized.

I'm certainly not going to grow a monster but if we do ever get any warm sunny weather then the plants are certainly big enough to make 'em grow.

August 27th.

At last we have some growth.

                  

Probably got to about 20 pounds so it's definately not going to be a monster.

If I get to 100lbs I'll be happy.

                  

Considering the spread of the plant the pumpkin is pitiful !!

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That's everything that's gone on this week folks,thanks a lot for taking a look.

I'll do my best to keep the weekly updates coming,thanks.

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