Here are some pictures of the giant pumpkin patch taken on July 4th. There are also 1 greenie squash and 2 giant marrows in the patch so I think it’s gonna get crowded in there. I hope I have a sea of green by August!
Here is the overall view of the pumpkin patch from the road.
I have the low tunnels propped up so I can work on the giant squashes. Kind of like opening a car hood! I took off the row covers for pictures.
The giant pumpkin plants are doing well-they are just coming out of their low tunnels. Here is the 895 Grande plant with the low tunnel off.
Some of those big leaves are 18″ across. I just love this pumpkin plant. It’s sister seed took the NM State record last year. The leaves are much bigger than the 1048 Grande.
Here is the 1048 Grande. It’s leaves are smaller but they say leaf size has nothing to do with pumpkin size. Is that like the shoe size argument?!
I saw my first female flowers on the 895 Grande pumpkin plant on the end of the main vine. Isn’t it beautiful! The only issue is it is only 7 feet out from the stump. I should wait to pollinate until it reaches at least 10 feet out but may not. We do that to allow the plant to develop more leaves behind the future pumpkin-more leaves-more food. Lot’s of times we pollinate many pumpkins and then cull the smaller ones so I think I will do that. Notice the oval shape of the possible baby pumpkin.
The only problem is the male flowers that are there are also very small and they usually bloom before the girls even show up. The boys are always the first to arrive at the pumpkin blossom party and usually the girls show up later. It’s ok because my first pollinated pumpkin flower last year was July 27 so perhaps I will be ahead of that date which is important because it will give me more days to put on more pumpkin weight.
Here is the greenie-The greenie looks just like any giant pumpkin plant but the fruit will be green. It is doing well. I saw a really small female flower with the potential baby green fruit. The seed came from 2007 so I was surprised it even germinated The plant looks fantastic. Just goes to show that you can’t always listen to the folks that say get rid of your seeds after 2 years old.
Here is the 78 marrow-kinda bushy. Very different than the other marrow in the patch.
This is the other giant marrow that came from my last year’s plant. I’m very suspicious of this one as it doesn’t look quite like the other marrow above which I know is pure in strain. Mine was pollinated by the bees and so it could of crossed with one of the winter squashes last year. It will be interesting to see what the fruits look like on this one later on!
I also saw one squash bug (which ended up under my shoe) and some eggs on the underside of 3 leaves. I just took off all those leaves that had the eggs on them and put it in a bucket of soapy water-goodbye eggs. I will plant some onion sets in their wells to help deter them and I will probably have to keep the pumpkin plants covered with row cover. I will be on the lookout from here on out.
I have a question, but I admit I haven’t read your entire site yet (which is great, by the way–thank you soooo much for sharing your pointers and pitfalls and what you did to overcome them).
I see in the photos, (“Giant Pumpkin Patch Growing”) that your plants are not in hills. I live in Albuquerque, and have loved growing pumpkins for a long time. I love how the large leaves spread so much green, as well as, how the potential of pumpkins at Halloween time is there for my grandkids to harvest. I have had poor luck: due to pests; improper watering; lack of pollination. However, I seem to still want to try “next year”. I have consistently read that they grow best in hills, but your photos don’t seem to show hills. I typically dig furrows all down my vegetable patch, which result in elevated rows of hills, and I plant 2-3 seeds in the tops of those long rows of hills (about a foot apart.) I’ve watered w/ drip systems, as well as, hand watering. I’ve watered at the base of the plants, as well as, the “valley floors” of the furrows. I honestly can’t get a good system down, that will be best for the plants.
So… the question is: Do you hand water at the base of your plants, and are they planted in hills?
Hills can refer to grouping 2-3 or more seeds close together in a circle but not actually on a ‘hill’ or you can mound up the soil to actually make a slightly raised ‘hill’. Giant pumpkins take up so much space that we can’t plant more than one plant, hence they are not in hills. It can take up to 500 sq feet of space or more. Hills are good for smaller (more normal size) pumpkins. I water with a drip line and also fertilize with fish emulsion in a well I make around the plant. I put straw around the well to help keep the water from evaporating so fast. I find the most challenges come from insect attacks, especially squash bugs. To deal with that I inspect the pumpkin plants once a week and hand pick them off as I grow organically and don’t use chemicals. I do cover the plants in the beginning with a material called ‘row cover’ that you get at nurseries or online to protect them when they are little but I must take it off once the blossoms come so the bees can pollinate them-that’s when I start inspecting them for bugs. Good luck this year!