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  1. #1
    northepaul's Avatar
    northepaul is offline Early Fruiter
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    Default Pumpkin spacing...

    Hi there,
    I have quite a specific question regarding pumpkin spacing, my daughter wants to grow a halloween giant pumpkin - I have Jack o lantern seeds. Her little bed is 1m sq and wondered if this would be big enough for one plant? (with one pumpkin allowed to grow BIG)
    Any advice apppreciated or recommendation etc...

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Hazel at the Hill's Avatar
    Hazel at the Hill is offline Gardening Guru
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    I grew 4 squash plants in a bed 4' by 16' last year, so in theory, that's about there-or-there-abouts.

    HOWEVER the plants went bloody mad and drove me crackers as they constantly overran their area, however well I trained them round and round the bed.
    Hazel at the Hill blog - update - Sunday 14/05/2017 - Busy, busy.


  3. #3
    Creemteez's Avatar
    Creemteez is offline Cropper
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    I grew squashes between my sweetcorn last year in a bed about the same size as Hazel and had exactly the same rampant growth. The stems ran back and forth so many times it was impossible to tell what belonged to what and even then they strayed onto the paths. When I removed the plants at the end of the season I stretched one of the stems out and it was the same legnth as my plot. 35 feet!
    When the Devil gives you Cowpats - make Satanic Compost!

  4. #4
    northepaul's Avatar
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    Would it be worth erecting some sort of wigwam to climb up in that case, do you think?

  5. #5
    jackyspratty's Avatar
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    Ive thought about that too. Our sons have a wooden play house thing on stilts, have thought about growing them over that, especially since they would get more rays that way. Would you have to net them in the same way you would melons do you think?:confused

    Think that Ive read somewhere that you can stake them round themselves in a circle in order to control their spreading nature? Sounds a bit too simple tho, and as we know nothing in this life or the veg world ever is!
    Last edited by jackyspratty; 03-02-2010 at 09:55 PM.

  6. #6
    Pumpy is offline Sprouter
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    Jack O'Lantern won't be giants. You need Atlantic Dill or some other super size me seed for them.

    I grew, last year, from very old supermarket pumpkin seeds, a 6lb pumpkin in a window box. Someone else grew from the same seed stock a slightly heavier one (my neighbour made that into soup, lots of soup!).
    My vine growth was limited and most certainly well under 1m square, but I grew it in a container, my friends was rampant and was grown in a raised bed.
    This is basically it, you can just see the bottom of the window trough:



    Hope that worked anyway.

    Having been bitten by the bug (hence my name), its Giants for me this year and have read both 8 and 15 feet as the recommended spacing between plants.

    As a practical suggestion is there any possibility you can grow it in a container? It is possible to train the vines to go where you want them to but the structure must be strong enough to support the growing pumpkin and when they get going, they're off, so you need to keep on top of it.

    HTH

    Pumpy

  7. #7
    Hazel at the Hill's Avatar
    Hazel at the Hill is offline Gardening Guru
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    Quote Originally Posted by jackyspratty View Post
    Ive thought about that too. Our sons have a wooden play house thing on stilts, have thought about growing them over that, especially since they would get more rays that way. Would you have to net them in the same way you would melons do you think?:confused

    Think that Ive read somewhere that you can stake them round themselves in a circle in order to control their spreading nature? Sounds a bit too simple tho, and as we know nothing in this life or the veg world ever is!
    Again, theoretically yes, but when I tried it you only have to turn your back for about 2 minutes and you have great snaking vines escaping everywhere & it all need whacking with a big stick.

    I'm guessing that tidy gardeners don't grow pumpkins in a confined space.

    Also, even a modest pumpkin is going to weigh about 6lb (i.e.3 bags of sugar ) so support of the fruit is a must, I think, if you are growing them up supports
    Hazel at the Hill blog - update - Sunday 14/05/2017 - Busy, busy.


  8. #8
    SMT's Avatar
    SMT
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    Hi northepaul.

    Growing pumpkins is what got me into all this growing lark. Last year I grew a 675lb and 354lb off the same plant, but your talking about an area of 450ft2.

    Heres the link to the picture of my 354lb giant Halloween carving from last year.

    http://www.wychwood.com/competition_pumpkin_2009.htm

    If your daughter wants to grow a giant lantern you need the correct seed. As previously mentioned, Atlantic Giant is the top seed for this but there are other not so large varieties that may be suitable for you. Maybe 'Sumo' or 'Big Max'. 2 years ago I grew a 139lb pumpkin from the shop bought 'Dill's Atlantic Giant' in a growing area of around 100ft2.

    Pumpkin vines will grow rampant. My main vine last year grew 12inches within the space of 24hours. These vines generate a secondary root under each leaf node which gives it a secondary nutrient source. So a trailing vine is preferable on soil, but if your limited to 1m2 then I wouldn't worry too much. If your growing area is located near a grassy area I would let the vine run across the lawn or something. The more foliage you have the larger the pumpkin will be (In theory!).

    Another reason to try and increase the area would be to increase the likely hood of finding a fresh male flower to pollinate the female flower (baby pumpkin). If you dont have a male flower to pollinate the pumpkin then the baby pumpkin will abort and rot off.

    A little tip - you will probably find that a pumpkin grown on the main vine further from the stump will give you a larger pumpkin than if it was on a secondary vine near the stump. So try not to prune the main vine if you can. If you need to prune anything I would prune the secondary vines that come off the main.

    One last thing - Pumpkin roots are very shallow. They can extend possibly 3ft out from where the leaves of the plant are. So try not to compact the soil around the plant by walking on it. Use a board to support your weight if you need to get close to weed etc. Likewise be careful when weeding not to disturb or cut through the roots.

    Hope this helps a little
    Last edited by SMT; 04-02-2010 at 08:07 AM.

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