For many people the urge to grow giant pumpkins is an indescribable feeling. They are fascinated with this art of vegetable gardening. However, before mastering the art of growing a giant pumpkin, one must be familiar with the basic principles of growing pumpkins.
Lime and fertilizers have always to be applied based on soil test recommendations. Providing adequate nutrients throughout the growing season is must for healthy, large pumpkins.
Granular fertilizers should be applied over the soil surface and incorporated into the soil 4 to 6 inches deep a few days ahead of setting out your transplants. The nutrient needs of a giant pumpkin are as follows:
- 2 pounds nitrogen (N)
- 3 pounds phosphorous (P2O2)
- 6 pounds potash (K2O)
The above requirement is for per 1,000 square feet of growing space. The addition of organic matter (manure or compost) to the garden is important to establish good soil till.
Pumpkin seeds should be sowed by the end of April, individually in 12-inch pots. Plants will be ready for transplanting with first true fully expanded leaf mostly by ten to fourteen days after seeding.
Growing space in the garden is important and each plant should be allowed approximately 2,500 square feet for proper vine growth. Pumpkins prefer long hours of sunlight, so the garden site should be selected accordingly with proper sunlight.
Since pumpkins are shallow rooted, they should be watered slowly with at least one inch of water per week if rainfall is not adequate.
If summer mulching materials are used, one tablespoon of ammonium sulfate, calcium nitrate, or nitrate of soda should be mixed per one bushel of mulch. This may be applied once or twice during the early growing season that can substitute nitrogen fertilizer.
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