Pumpkins

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Thos wrote:

OK I will bite. How do you feed a pumpkin with milk?
D
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seriously.... they pour it on the roots. Maybe the use of the word "feed" was too technical. Maybe I should have said they "water" them with milk.

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Thos wrote:

How odd. I have heard of spraying with milk against mildew but not pouring it on the ground.
D
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It was a "tip" told to a competitor in a bar one night.
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'David Hare-Scott[_2_ Wrote:

I've grown numerous "large" pumpkins here in the US, and can tell you that there are several factors at play in growing really big ones. One is to prepare your garden bed with well rotted manure, (I use horse or cow), and do so deeply. Pumpkin roots run deep and the plants feed heavily. Make a "hill" in to which you would deposited four to six of your seeds, covering them to a depth of about 1". At the three week mark after germination, select the two largest plants, and snip off every other plant. From these two, allow them plenty of space to grow, caring not to snip or prune anything just yet. The goal is to get the largest, more robust vines possible, as large fruit rarely grow on wispy vines. Once you begin to see the female flowers forming, select the two healthiest looking for your project. Upon their opening, hand pollinate both, using a cotton swab and transferring pollen from the male flowers to the female stigma. Pumpkin size is directly linked to the level of pollination achieved, so don't leave it to chance/bees. After you've noticed that the pollination has taken, (usually two weeks to be certain), begin to remove all subsequent male and female flowers, along with any developing side branches. This will divert all energies in to the formation of the pumpkins. Given a good warm summer with plenty of rainfall, one should be able to achieve a fairly good sized pumpkin.
--
KPSpellman

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I have a small amount of experience with this. Nearly 25 years ago, I grew several 'Atlantic Giant' pumpkins. I put lots of composted (and a small amount of fresh) horse manure in a deep hole under the plants. I also watered regularly, and thinned the pumpkins once there were 2 or 3 to a plant.
Especially important is mulching around the plant, but you don't want to put straw right up where the leaves join the plant. The plant will put out additional root systems at these areas which will help give additional moisture and nutrients to the plant. It will also help anchor the plant against damaging winds.
I ended up with a 263 pound pumpkin, which won 1st at the county fair, and would have taken 1st at state if I had been able to get it there that year. I've always wanted to grow another huge pumpkin. From what I've read, these are actually squash, but most folks treat them as pumpkins.
If I tried it again, I would use drip irrigation and a timer, to make sure the plant got optimum amounts of water.
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You'd have to get about 4 times that size to be in the running any more.
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I've read that. We had more than half a dozen relatives over just to load that 263 pound one, and I have no idea how anyone would possibly load or transport something like this up near half a ton.
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They are placed on a materials pallet when still quite small and then handled with a forklift.
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