Giant Pumpkins are UP!

giant pumpkins_050514Here is my final lineup for my giant pumpkins for 2014

The first number is how many lbs the pumpkin parent was, the next is the name of the grower, then the date it was grown, after that is it’s genealogy below it (it’s grandparents). It’s important to see who they were because they could have been bigger than the plant the seed came from. The genealogy can go back several generations further.

556 TODD 2011
-comes from: male: 1725 Harp 10/female: 50 Todd

856 Hoffman 2010
-comes from: male: 1544 Revier 09/ female: 1180 Pukos 09

1104 Wallace 2012
-comes from male: 1409.5 Miller/female: 1789 Wallace

1579 Wallace 2012
-comes from: male: 1381/female: 1789 Wallace

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Here is the germination pics. They were planted on April 14th.

Here is my germination process: You need to start them inside the house where it is WARM. An unheated greenhouse or hoophouse will not work very well.

1. I first filed the edges lightly avoiding the tip until I see a little color change on the edge. Do not file too much.

2. I then soaked them for 12 hours in warm water with a few drops of seaweed emulsion.

3. I take a 4 or 5 inch peat pot and cut it in half on the sides only (not the bottom of it) and re-tape it so I can remove the plant more easily later if I need to plant up or if I can plant outside.

4. I planted them into 5 inch peat pots this year (I got the 5 inchers from Lowes here in town) with a good seed starting mix. (Some people put them on damp paper towels in plastic bags on heat mats until the root germinates but I prefer to direct seed them in the pots.

4. I then put them on a seed heating mat and cranked up the heat to 90-95°F. This is important as giant pumpkin seeds germinate faster when the heat is this high. So move other plants off this mat if they can’t handle the heat. If you don’t have a thermostat on your heating mat, you will need one to control the temperature.

5. Check them twice a day and keep moist until they germinate. Sometimes one of the first leaves that germinate (called cotyledon leaves) will push up with the seed shell still attached as in the picture above. I waited a day and gently pulled it off without damaging the leaf.

6. Once they germinate,  you can turn down the heat to about 80° F. They like heat-no they love heat.

7 . I water with a weak solution of seaweed, fish emulsion and microbe brew from Fox Farms (it has mycorrhizal in it to help produce more roots) every week in between their normal watering.



Giant pumpkin seeds planted inside-It has begun!

JC and MAX

This year I’m planting 4 seeds for me and 2 for my giant pumpkin/squash class later this month. I planted them in 4″ peat pots and they are on a heat mat set at 80°F  under grow lights until they germinate. Here is the 2013 lineup:

895 Grande 08 – 1016 Daletas x 1385 Jutras-this seed became the 2011 NM State Record
1011 Hoffman 10 – 1446.5 Werner 06 x 1180.5 Pukos 07
1111 Sawtelle 08 – 1556 Werner x sibb
1308 Todd 10 – 50 Todd x 901 Hunt- 2010 CO State Record
Three of these seeds are from Colorado and one seed from Wyoming.

So let me explain what each name means for those of you interested in giant pumpkin growing as each seed name gives important information.

Let’s take the 895 Grande 08. This seed came from an 895 LB pumpkin and the grower’s last name is Grande and was grown in 2008. The rest of the information is the genealogy of the 895 Grande that I’ve provided. So 1016 Daletas was the mother plant and was a 1016 LB pumpkin and the grower was Daletas and no year given. The father plant (pollinator) was 1385 Jutras. So this pumpkin weighed 1385 LBS and the grower was Jutras with no year given.The reason you should go back and look at the parents is you can see that the 895 came from some huge pumpkins.

The 895 Grande produced my NM Giant Pumpkin State Record of 448 LBS back in 2011. Last year I grew the 448 Cabossel 11 (nicknamed MAX) but didn’t break my previous record so I’m going back to the parent 895 Grande to try again. My record gotten broken last year. The current record is 530 LBS  so I’ll try to regain the State Record this year! Notice I’m also growing seeds from much bigger pumpkins as well but with our short growing it is very hard as I lose about a month of time other growers get. Wish me luck!