Fun and Games
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The Life Cycle of a Giant Pumpkin
Anyone who has grown these behemoths will agree, the life cycle of a Giant
Pumpkin is fast, enormously strong, and furious. At the end of the season,
it usually crawls to the finish line, as cooler weather and shorter daylight
hours brings increasingly slower growth.
Here's a chronology of the life cycle of this prolific plant. It will help
you to gauge when to plant your seed and all the big steps in between. Adjust
the start date to best fit your area.
||Plant seeds indoors. Competitive growers start between April 24th and
May 5th. Don't worry if you get a late start. You can start a giant pumpkin
as late as the end of May.
||Plant back-up seeds. Avid giant pumpkin growers know, many things can
go wrong with germination and early seedling growth. Always have a few extra,
just in case......
|9 - 10
||Happy Birthday, seeds explode from soil
||First true leaves appear
|22 - 25
||Transplant seedlings into the garden
|25 - 36
||May 15th - May 30
||Provide evening cover to protect young seedlings from cold and frost.
||The "Battle of the Bugs" begins
||Breath sigh of relief, pollination is successful.
||Switch to higher phosphate fertilizer or supplement
||Build shade cover for fruit
||No amount of water is enough, ditto for fertilizer. Water deeply. Keep
soil moist, not wet.
||The "dog days" of summer bring humidity- apply fungicides
||The monster is 100 to 150 pounds, give or take 50 pounds
||The skin begins to take on a harder texture, ribs begin to form
||Bright yellow skin is slowly darkening. Will it turn orange!?!
||Shorter hours of sun and genetics slows growth
||Cooler weather, shorter days, translates to slow growth
||Pumpkin is mature and orange.
||The fork lift digs up the lawn, as you harvest your giant pumpkin.
||Your monster is new world record at the Giant Pumpkin Weighoffs!!
||Quarterly Water Bill arrives.