With some patience, you can grow a giant pumpkin, ready to show off
come Halloween. You just need to start in May to make it in time.
The process is pretty straightforward, and it goes like this:
1. It all starts with genetics. Big pumpkins come from big pumpkins,
and there's no getting around it. So hop on down to your local nursery
and purchase seeds specifically for growing large pumpkins.
2. Dig a bushel basket-sized hole, fill it with very rich manure
or compost, then cover with a 6 inch layer of black dirt.
3. Plant 3 seeds 1 inch deep. After they sprout a few leaves, remove
the 2 smallest plants.
4. When 3 pumpkins begin to develop, remove any additional female
flowers. These are the ones with the pumpkin-shaped bulge immediately
5. When the 3 pumpkins are softball-sized, remove the 2 smallest. The
remaining pumpkin with be the champ in a few short months.
6. Keep this winner weeded, well-watered and fertilized with a high phosphorous
7. Harvest the beast before the first hard frost (keep on top of your
local weatherman), leaving the stem attached. Place it in a warm room for
a week, then store it in a cool place until you're ready to carve it,
should you have the heart. If it's blue ribbon-sized, you might want to
take it to your local country fair and see how it stacks up to the
competition. Good luck!
For more info,
Pumpkin Patch is a great site to visit. You can also buy some seeds
with a lineage of big pumpkin genes.
For even more info on pumpkins, the
of Illinois Extension has a good site. Just search on 'pumpkin'.