A group of plants in pots on a wooden deck.

It’s Giant Pumpkin Growing Time

It felt like it was so far away. But then it snuck up.

October is here which means it’s pumpkin growing time. One of my favourite months of the year.

Let’s get into what I’ve been up to.

Reminder – My new blog post format talks about the 2nd half of the month previously and the first half of this month.

Seedling Update

The seedlings I had started early as a test and to make some content with grew really well.

A group of plants in pots on a wooden deck.

I was happy with their performance. There were a couple that didn’t germinate at all. Some were really old and that was to be expected.

One of them had the roots appear out of the side of the seed. I left it to see if it could correct itself. In the end it couldn’t and it’s this stunted mess of a seedling.

Sprout, number
seedling, growing

The other ones that did germinate are looking quite good.

Working out the details for a giant pumpkin seedling.

I had a couple of days where I had the grow light turned off. It was easy to see the plants trying to get to the light. They shot up. Something to be mindful of. Leggy pumpkin seedlings suck.

I gave 2 of the seedlings to keen local grower Mark. Looking forward to see how they go for him.

I also worked out the starting time for my actual seeds. 12th of October is the plan.

Seed Starting

I’m happy I did the seed test last month. Reduces some of the stress of what seeds will germinate and which won’t.

I still think this is the best method. I do soak them now every time, something I didn’t always do.

Step by step instructions on how to grow giant pumpkin seeds.

Find out more about seed starting here

I did start my 2nd round of seeds on the 12th of October, even though I was was keen to start them earlier. For no real reason apart from seeing other people already started. But it didn’t fit the timeline I was working with.

32 hours it took for one of them to germinate which is nice and quick, the other caught up the following day.

I’m still undecided if I will do another back up as well. If all 4 grow, that’s a lot of seedlings. Having grown in this location before, the size of the patch and what I have to deal with, chances of things going wrong are slim.

Website Update

I’ve been working my way through updating the How-To section of the website.

While doing that I thought I would update the website a bit. Partly to make things easier for me to update.

I broke it a few times. Took a day or two to get right.

But now it’s running faster, looking better and I can update it easier. Still a few links and other things to fix up.

I also started making some new graphics, like this one which people seemed to like.

Fluffing a giant pumpkin seed.

The Giant Pumpkin World Records page was updated, and the giant pumpkin weight estimation calculator with the new figures to show how far you are away from the world record. More on that record below.

Patch Prep

I’m not really doing anything else to the patch. I will be pulling the polythene back ahead of the seedling. Idea is to keep grass dead as long as possible, which helps me with vine burying.

Early Protection

Wind is going to be the biggest problems for me. At this point in time I am sticking with the little pop up thing I used last year.

I do need proper large stakes though. Last year it bounced around with the use of bamboo sticks. Will look into that soon.

Keeping Cats Away

This isn’t high priority, just annoying more than anything. Will have to see how it goes during the season. Don’t really want to put any money into this right now.

Products

Mykos and Azos

Since the last blog post the only other product that I got my hands on was the Mykos packet from GrowersHub, they threw in a small sample of Azos as well, which is great and will be enough for when I transplant.

Person, mykoos

Sprinklers

I’ve been looking at different sprinklers to use for the Tiny Patch 2.0 as well. I want one that will cover most of it, without wasting water. I was inspired by seeing Tim’s patch at the end of the 2023 season. He had a simple sprinkler on a stake to provide water. Still undecided on what to go with.

I want to get a new timer for the tap as well. Have to see what options are available.

Slug and Snail Bait

I almost forgot about this one but was reminded by Luke about this as a little bit of his plant was munched on recently. More options are in this previous blog post.

6 Ways to Stop Slugs and Snails

New Giant Pumpkin World Record

Exciting news in the giant pumpkin growing world this month. A new giant pumpkin world record was set in the US by Travis Gienger at the Half Moon Bay weigh off.

His pumpkin “Michael Jordan” weighed in at a hefty 2749 lb (1246.9 kg)

A giant pumpkin is on display at a festival.

Visit the Giant Pumpkin World Records page on the website to see all the past winners and just how fast the weights have improved over the years.

I’d like to give a shout out to the Half Moon Bay event, not only did they have a good livestream of the event which is great for everyone around the world, they had video and photos available on their website very quickly after the event.

Next Steps

Hardening off and Transplanting

My next steps will be to harden off the seedling when they are ready. This is important to make sure they have as little transplant shock as possible.

I want them to start putting down roots and growing the vine as soon as fast as they can.

Look at Early Protection

I might need to look at bigger early protection to provide the plant as much protection as possible. One of the reasons I started when I did was the hope the weather would be a bit better when it comes to transplanting time.

Get Some Fertiliser

I’ve broadened my search and think I’ve narrowed down the product I want to use.

Buy Me a Cofffee

If you like what I am doing and want to / are able to buy me a coffee that would be amazing. It helps run this whole thing. You can find out more here: https://www.buymeacoffee.com/gpnz

Benefits of buying me a coffee.

How’s Your Season Starting?

If your growing, how is your season starting? Let me know by leaving a comment below.

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