I am trying to grow giant pumpkins again this year and haven’t talked much about them as I have not had good luck growing them the last 3 years. I broke the NM State Record for giant pumpkin in 2010 and broke my record in 2011 and then my record was broken in 2012 by someone else. Since then, nobody has set any records here for New Mexico as far as I know. It is not as easy as I first thought. I must have had beginner’s luck.
If you can get one to take and keep growing, nothing is more beautiful in the garden than seeing these huge orange globes in a sea of green leaves!
This year, I bought some seeds from the world record holder 0ver 2300 lb and both of them never germinated. Arrgh! So now I’m down to 2 pumpkin plants that came from a 2009 lb pumpkin and 1 pumpkin plant from an 1879 lb pumpkin and 1 pumpkin plant from an 1135 lb pumpkin. The 1135 pumpkin plant had some animal dig by it and it got buried for a while but might come back. Actually doesn’t look too bad but should be growing a little faster-it might have been set back from the incident. That’s why I grow more than one-sh*t happens. And the last 3 years, it’s happened a lot regarding giant pumpkins.
So far, one of the 2009 (grower-Langevin) pumpkin plants looks very good, growing nicely, the other one is a little slower but still good and the 1873 (grower-Steil) plant is looking pretty good too. A glimmer of hope! I fertilized all of them on Monday with a cocktail that had fish fertilizer, mycorrhizal, Azos, kelp emulsion and 2 fungicides-Rootshield Plus and Companion. I give them some fungicides because I’ve had some die from some fungal wilt before so I’m trying to be preventative. I always say I’m giving them some juice which really is a cocktail of a mix of things all at once and all must be compatible. All giant pumpkins are BIG EATERS so fertilize them 1x a week with at the least fish/seaweed fertilizer. My first year I only did that and got some 200-300 lbers. This is not like the ‘Biggest Losers’ show where you starve the pumpkins in our lousy soil but more like the ‘Biggest Winners’ by feeding them a lot and giving them a lot of water too. You don’t get to be 500-1000 lb+ in 4 months without feeding them every week.
Except for the 1138 pumpkin plant, all giant pumpkin plants are in section 3 of my main garden. I have a mantra I say every time I look at them, “Grow nangua, grow!” It means pumpkin in Chinese. I guess I hope it brings me good luck this year! Time will tell…
What joy you bring us!!!!!! Luck of the Irish to ya!
Good luck!!, I know how hard it is to get one to the end.
I pollinated my 1756 on the 3rd, and my 2032 a few days later, so far they both took, but growth is a lot slower than in the past. I have 2 other plants that should be pollinated in a few days.
The heat has been very hard to deal with, sunburn on all plants.
I really hope we both break the record this year.
Yes I do too about the records! I keep mine covered with row cover to help with the sunburn and UV damage. I find lots of seeds that come from somewhere else that is lower in elevation struggle with our high altitudes. I use lots of row cover as they get bigger! You usually get a month more but have to deal with the heat. Mine won’t get pollinated till usually first week of July. Good luck Olin!
I just moved here in May… And I too grow giant pumpkins… I wasn’t really planning on growing one this year as I had no soil prep… I just was seeing if one. Of my seeds was still viable… It popped so I just planted it in the field next door… As of today she is over 600 pounds!
Wonderful! Where do you live? City, area…
I’m in Albuquerque…. I used to live in WA and grew them there…. I managed to grow one this year around 600 pounds… She’s big and orange too! Rather than take her to CO for a weigh off I’d prefer to donate her to a local pumpkin Halloween festival…. Do you know of organizations that would be interested?
Actually giant pumpkin events are almost non-existent up here in Santa Fe. I use to have a pumpkin bash around that time but haven’t had any luck the past few years. Since I don’t live in Albuquerque, I don’t know of any Halloween events. You can always give it to a food depot down there to feed the hungry too if you don’t find an event. I am friends with another grower, Olin Zmarzhy, who just broke the Giant Pumpkin NM state record at 988 lbs this past weekend and gave him your email as there are now only us 3 giant pumpkin growers here in NM that I know of. We have a friendly competition. Let’s all stay in contact. Just wanted to let you know in case he contacts you!
Can you contact me via email? I have a question about your photos of the giant pumpkins and that growing process/ Many thanks!