Thursday, April 30, 2009
Sunday, April 26, 2009
Friday, April 24, 2009
Saturday, April 18, 2009
- Write the number of the seed with a permanent ink so you don't get your seeds mixed up when planting
- Lightly file the edge of your seed with some sand paper until you just start to see a light brown color coming through. Sanding the seed will help the plant get out of the shell and get it growing sooner. Atlantic Giant seeds can sometimes have tough shells so this helps get the seed off to a good start.
- Soak the seed for 1 hour in warm water with a small drop of liquid seaweed in the water. The soaking will help start the germinating process faster and the cytokinin in the seaweed helps increase germination rates and may help early plant growth.
- Many growers at this point will wrap the seed in a wet paper towel and then watch for the root to come out and then plant in their growing medium but I prefer to plant at this point right away so I don't have to worry about damaging the root. I am using 60% ProMix BX soil less medium for my seed starting mix combined with 40% earthworm castings from my worm bins. Studies have shown that new seedlings thrive in a 40-50% mixture of earthworm castings. This soil has been warmed to 80 degrees for the last 8 hours and then moistened with water so the soil is damp but not wet.
- I then plant the seed into the medium that is in a 9 inch peat pot (wasn't easy to find these nice big pots but I got them at a local garden center) with the pointy part of the seed down 3/4 inch below the surface.
- The peat pots are then placed in a small closet with a thermostatically controlled space heater at 80 degrees (about 84 degrees would be considered perfect but the thermostat on the heater only goes up to 80 degrees).
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
Once the soil has dried out I'll add some nitrogen to the soil to get those numbers back up (the nitrogen dropped with the soil flushes) and then we will be ready for roto tilling. After roto tilling I'll put my hoop house over the planting area to begin warming the soil. I'm hoping things start drying out soon. We expect rain here in Denver on Thursday and Friday so I'm going to hold off on planting my seeds for a couple more days to make sure I have time to get my final patch prep completed and the soil warmed before transplanting outdoors.
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
- What do you feed it? Mostly a good composted soil and organic fertilizers. I water 4 times per week for a total of about 1.5 inches or more depending on weather. You want the soil to be lightly moist but not wet between watering.
- How do you move it? This is one was a big concern for me but it really wasn't a big deal. You simply throw a little pumpkin party at the end of the season and have 5-8 friends help you lift it with a lifting tarp. It was really fairly easy.
- What do you do with it when you are done with it? This is really up to you. Most pumpkin growers compost it.
It takes some time and patients to be a giant pumpkin grower, but if you would like to grow a big pumpkin for Halloween it really doesn't take much effort. To get a pumpkin over 100 pounds is really fairly simple with a good Atlantic Giant pumpkin seed. Give it a try this year. You may love it! There is a great pumpkin grower group in Colorado willing to help you or leave a comment below with any questions you may have.