There is only so much you can control when growing a giant pumpkin and one of the things you will have to deal with is the unpredictability that can come with starting to grow a seedling. In this post I cover why you want to have backups and how to stagger them.

For new growers out there, you might only have the space or are only wanting to grow the one giant pumpkin plant, this is totally fine and works for a lot of people. But only having one giant pumpkin seedling could be problematic.

Things Can Go Wrong

If you have just one seedling, you transplant it and something goes wrong, take your pick:

  • unexpected frost
  • slugs and snails
  • high winds
  • something else destroys your plant
  • poor growth and plant just dies

Then you might be in some serious trouble. Your whole season might be over before it has really begun.

Have Backup Giant Pumpkin Seedlings

To combat this you need back ups. Not only do you need backups it will pay to stagger some of them. This way if something bad does happen out in the patch you can quickly transplant a new one.

Now growers that have been doing this for a while and have a lot of space, will actually have back ups as well as multiple plants in the ground. They will see how the plants grow and eventually cull any that aren’t working out. Or they might grow multiple plants to be able to cross pollinate and have multiple pumpkins to pick from later on in the season.

If I was only growing the one pumpkin, either down to preference or space available to me, I would grow 4 seeds. This might sound crazy, but bear with me.

I would start 2 at the same time.  One would be planted, and the second one would be the immediate back up plant if needed.

1 week later I would start 1 more seed.

1 week later I would start another.

This would allow me to pick the best of the first 2, put the more vigorous plant out into the patch. Provide it with protection when needed, and give it the best chance of growing.

The backups would be just that. Now if they were needed I would be very happy I have those ready to go.

If they aren’t needed, this is where talking to friend and family is important. Your back up might become their backup, or maybe this is just the gentle push they need to start growing.

Of course you could start more backups if you wanted, but I think 4 is the sweet spot of not going overboard if you are new to this, and also means you only have to find homes for a couple of giant pumpkin seedlings.

So being prepared is important so you have the best start to the giant pumpkin growing season.