We’re still a couple of weeks away from starting giant pumpkin seeds here in New Zealand for the 2021 growing season.

In this blog post I cover what germinating is, why we should do it, and how to do it. These are important concepts to understand for first time giant pumpkin growers. As well as being key concepts for anyone that is interested in gardening and wanting to grow other plants in the future.

What is Germinating

Germination is usually the growth of a plant contained within a seed. It results in the formation of a seedling.

The steps for germinating are as follows:

  • Environmental conditions are good: Moist and warm are your friends in the early stages. This will help the seed kickstart the growing process.
  • Water imbibition: The conditions are good so water is absorbed by the seed. The seed swells and splits open.
  • Roots and shoots are formed: The primary root emerges from the seed. The root goes downwards and the shoot goes towards the surface.
  • Seedling time: The cotyledon leaves open up, the first true leaf appears and the seedling keeps growing.

Why Help Start a Giant Pumpkin Seed?

Like any seed you want to give it the best chance to grow. Giant pumpkin seeds with their tough exterior can benefit from a helping hand.

It’s up to you if you want to start them in a pot and transplant them later. I like this method and it is the one most commonly used by growers around the world. It allows you to pick the best looking seedling if you are starting multiples (you should stagger seed starting to have backups). It allows you to place them in the right direction when transplanting.

And for groups or competitions that are growing seedlings to sell or give away at the start of the season, it will mean more people will have a successful start to the season than if they just got given a pumpkin seed.

How to Germinate a Giant Pumpkin Seed

I’ve got a whole page you can check out on seed starting but to get an overview of how to get started with your giant pumpkin seed, check out this video.

Have a great start to the pumpkin growing season. Make sure to have backups in case seeds fail to grow, or seedlings get killed at any of the early stages of the giant pumpkin growing season.