Hi there, by now you should have your location sorted for your pumpkins, and have a little bit of an understanding of how important the soil is.
You should hopefully have some seeds sorted. Check out the how to page on sourcing seeds for more information.
After you have caught the pumpkin growing bug and are wanting to grow bigger and better pumpkins, the random seed you brought at a shop or got off a friend may not be the best one for you.
If you got a random packet of seeds from somewhere or were given some, and have no others, plant what you have and see how they go this season.
If you have a variety of random seeds, it might pay to plant a couple of them, and pick the best looking seedlings from the bunch, while not very scientific, it does at least give you the option of seeing what they are growing like from the start.
You have either gone down two paths with this, you have either been given some seeds from other growers with the name etc on the seed, or you have specifically brought some. If you wondered what the name and numbers meant or you want to know what I am talking about, check out the sourcing seeds bit in the how to.
Not all seeds are the same
I must point out that even seeds from the same pumpkins may all grow differently, and there is no guarantee they will perform the same as each other, this coupled with different growing locations, soil make up, and growing techniques all lead to variances to the fruit. But you have a higher probability of getting a good pumpkin, with seed from a good pumpkin.
I’m interested in the parents, not the kids
For this example I am going to talk about 3 different plants the “1000 Child” “1200 Mother” “1250 Father”
The numbers represent the weight in pounds, and the names are self explanatory to make this example easy to follow. For this example, I am given some seeds from the “1000 Child” and I know the information from the parents.
While this has the potential of being a great seed, the performance of it is completely unknown, sure I know the parents, and I know that those two crossed and made the child, but the child itself, has never been grown, how will it go?
As with genetics with humans, children inherit certain traits from their parents, with dominant and not dominant genes from each parent. All sorts of traits can be given to pumpkins from their parents, some bad, some good.
So when a world record pumpkin is grown, it is great to have a seed from that pumpkin, to see how it goes, but it is also great to take a step back and check out the parents, maybe their is a better cross that could happen, to allow for an even bigger child.
Traits to looks for
There are all sorts of things you can look for in pumpkins, depending on what you want to achieve. Some of the ones to look out for are:
- Very heavy growing pumpkins
- Pumpkins that weighed heavier then predicted using charts, usually represented by a percentage eg. +20%
- A nice orange colour
- Ones that are prone to stem split
Your friend Google is a great help at this moment in time, you can type in the growers name and the weight of the pumpkin, if it has been mentioned somewhere it will appear in the results. You may even get to see pictures of the pumpkin it came from, or the parents.
Also don’t be afraid of asking the grower how it grew, they will be a great source of information.
In the end
In the end, I think with great seed, good soil, a lot of it still comes down to luck. Hopefully everything goes great for you, and you end up with an amazing seed, that produces amazing results.