Pumpkin 'Atlantic Giant' - SeedCucurbita maxima 'Atlantic Giant'
Grow your own giant pumpkin!
Growing giant pumpkins is a fun hobby. The world record, a 1190 kilo pumpkin, was established Belgium in 2016. To acquire extremely heavy fruits, allow only one fruit per plant to grow and give the plant a lot of fertiliser, compost and water. You may even grow a new world record!Show more
Show morePumpkin ‘Musquée de Provence’ seeds require no prior treatment although an overnight soak in lukewarm water will encourage germination.
How to SowSow under glass in March and April.
Sow in the garden from May.
Pumpkins really love heat and can be sown mid-April indoors or in a greenhouse. Use slightly bigger turf pots filled with a good potting compost in a simple indoor propagator. A mix of seedling plugs and an indoor propagator is easiest, and best is to supply some heat from below. The seeds will germinate as long as you can give them a constant temperature of 20 degrees centigrade. Do not allow the seedlings to dry out! Poke one seed in each pot to a max. depth of 0.5 cm and cover with soil. Stand the propagator on the windowsill. Germination will take place within the week, depending on temperature.
Lower humidity after germination by opening the propagator's slides. Once the seedlings are 10 cm tall you must acclimatise them by keeping the lid off the propagator for one hour longer each day for five days after which time they will be ready to pot up. They will need it too as ornamental pumpkins are fast growers! Keep the young plants at 20 degrees centigrade for as long as you can to encourage growth.
If you do not possess a propagator, a simple seed tray covered in plastic held up by sticks is a good alternative. Prick holes in the plastic to adjust humidity.
Show moreWhen all chance of frost is passed, your pumpkin plants can go outdoors.
Pumpkins like moisture retaining soil - clay or sandy. Place them in the sunniest spot in the garden or, they will also thrive in a planter on the patio. Do acclimatise your pumpkins before placing outdoors permanently. To do this, stand them in the shade for an hour longer every day. After a week they can be potted up - several to a large pot will work well, as long as there is room because they become substantial plants. Stand pots in full sun, warm and sheltered.
Pumpkin plants are actually ground creeping plants but the fruits can rot if they lie on wet ground. It is therefore advisable to use straw or black plastic around the plants. Black plastic will actually also raise the ground temperature which will encourage faster growth. A plank of wood to lay the lower fruits on will work well too.
Pumpkins are fast growers and do well on Bakker's fertiliser for flowering plants or Bakker's tomato fertiliser. They really need it too. Water extra every day in periods of drought and keep the beds free of weed. Pull weeds up rather than use the hoe as pumpkins are surface rooters and this will prevent damage and allow the plants to grow well.
HarvestingHarvest in September till November.
Just cut the pumpkin free from the plant using a sharp knife.
Show morePumpkin plants can even be grown on the compost heap!
Cucurbita maxima is one of the family of cucumbers (Cucurbitaceae). Pumpkins have male and female flowers so it is advisable to grow two or three plants at the same time to encourage pollination. (Bumble) bees will do the rest.
Marrows and pumpkins are synonymous with autumn and of course make us think of Halloween. We do in any case think of the colours they produce as autumnal and their shapes bring a lovely ambiance to the home and garden!
Pumpkins are really good for you and are full of vitamins C and E, calcium and iron as well as the antioxidant carotene! They are full of fibre too and low in calories!
How to usePumpkins can be kept for several months as long as they are dry and in a frost free area. They also make a healthy meal! Pumpkin soup is very popular and pumpkin pie... mmmmm! A simple recipe is slices of pumpkin (skin and all), sprinkled with oil and herbs and baked in the oven!
They also make exceptional pieces of garden décor, at the front door, or elsewhere in the garden. Hollow them out and cut out a face for Halloween. Paint them if you are feeling more than usually creative! You should in any case be able to enjoy their shapes and colours until the first frosts.