A lot of people give giant pumpkin growing a go and do it with their children, which is a great idea.
Kids of all ages love seeing a giant pumpkin grow. I believe there are a lot of benefits to growing a giant pumpkin with children, so in this post I am going to outline those and some other things to think about.
Get them Excited
Get them excited about growing a giant pumpkin, show the kids photos of giant pumpkins, or check out a pumpkin event that is near you to spark their interest.
Start a Friendly Competition
Either between kids, or family members the more people taking part the more fun it can be. Find out who wants to take up the challenge.
Give Children Jobs
Kids love to help out, and giving them jobs to do with growing giants is a great way for them to have some responsibility.
Here are some things they could help with:
Seed starting – get them to help file the seed and get them into pots (follow all precautions around seed raising mix though)
Watering – Kids love water, and helping water the pumpkin plant is a great idea. Either using a hose, or a small watering can. This time could be ideal for applying organic soluble fertilisers, care should be taken with these, but are much less hazardous than conventional fertilisers.
Picking the pumpkins – Getting help to decide which ones to keep. You can also have 1 pumpkin for each kid on the same plant.
Burying Vines – Small people can easily get into small spaces, covering vines with dirt is something children love to do.
Checking on the pumpkin – Giant pumpkins can grow a lot in a day, so making it part of your daily routine of checking on the pumpkin is a fun idea for kids. Get them to come up with a name for each of your pumpkins.
Measuring – Helping measure pumpkins to estimate weight couple with adding numbers up via the weight chart is a a great way to get kids involved with numbers.
There are plenty of benefits of getting children to help grow grow giant pumpkins.
Gets them Outside – Getting outside into the sun, into the garden or patch has many beneficial qualities.
A long term project – With the average attention span of people dwindling rapidly, growing giant pumpkins shows children a longer term project and how to be patient.
Learn about effort – The more work put into something the better the results.
A Start to Gardening
I like to think of giant pumpkin growing as a gateway to growing other things in the garden. For some people, kids included, there is a real disconnect from where food comes from.
Growing a giant can help bridge that gap, and show them just how easy it is to grow their own vegetables at home.
A lot of people I’ve spoken to over the years have said they have grown before when the kids were younger, and while they may not have continued to grow every single year, I feel this positive experience of giant pumpkin growing has had a flow on effect.
Have I missed other great reason to grow giants with children? Let me know in the comments.
And if you are keen to grow a giant pumpkin for the 2020 season, make sure to get some giant pumpkin seeds, or a seedlings for the second half of October, this is when we start growing here in NZ.
Any questions, feel free to get in touch.