We are well into the giant pumpkin growing season here in New Zealand. The weather has been warm, in fact it’s been the hottest 12 months since records began. My plant is doing OK, but the pumpkin I wanted to grow had other ideas.

Giant pumpkin plant with split main vine

Aborted Giant Pumpkin

Pumpkins can stop growing for many different reasons. This is why you need to make sure you get it to the size of a basketball first before making any decisions.

The reason I liked the look of the young pumpkin is that it was further out on the vine, out past the tree stump (you mean you don’t have tree stumps in your patch?). And it was positioned better in regards to how it was connected to the vine.

And while all of this sounds great, none of it mattered as the pumpkin stopped growing, and was rotting away.

Time for the backup

The backup pumpkin which was just back from the one I wanted was growing well. But I made some mistakes.

Firstly I never pollinated this one myself as I was putting all of my hopes on the other pumpkin, or another pumpkin that may have appeared later on. With the timing of things, I want a pumpkin that is already growing, so I will go with this one.

So I don’t have an exact date of pollination for it. But thanks to all the photos I’ve been taking I can work that out to within a day or 2.

The other thing is this pumpkin is growing on an awkward angle to the vine. I tried to correct it as much as I was comfortable with without breaking it from the vine.

I have in the past had a pumpkin grow upside down on the vine. Which isn’t ideal, but it turned out OK.

This might make measuring it and estimating it’s weight not as easy or accurate as it could be, but I will see how it goes during the season.

Things to Do

I need to get more sand to put underneath it. To help prop it up, and make sure it doesn’t topple either way.

I need to think about making a shade structure for over the top of the pumpkin as well, so will need to get some supplies on hand. You always think you have what you need, but soon realise you must have thrown them out when you moved.

Watering is continuing at around 100 litres per day. This sometimes occurs in the morning or later in the evening. I do prefer to water in the morning. But it comes down to what hours I am working on the day. Not too keen to be out there at 5am watering the pumpkin.

How’s thing going for you? Are you happy with your pumpkin progress? Let me know by leaving a comment below.