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This Web Page Created and Maintained By:

Jerry Fetty
Jerry Fetty


Welcome to Neptune's Harvest!
www.nottonightdeer.com


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Jerry Fetty

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I have been growing giant pumpkins for three years.  Besides our local competitions I have never won anything.  The heaviest pumpkin that I have grow was 529lb. in 1998.  That year I took 1st. place at the Berville lions giant pumpkin weigh off.  And 10th in the state of Michigan.  

So by no means do I claim to be any sort of giant pumpkin legend.  

I am an ad vide gardener, and a hydroponics hobbyist.  I read a lot of books about growing vegetables and have learned a lot about growing giant pumpkins.

So if anything I can give you a head start on growing.  And maybe I will share a secret or two with you.

Jerry Fetty

 

Getting Started

There are five main properties needed to ensure giant pumpkin growth.  I call these the 5Gs to Giant Pumpkin production.  If you are missing anyone of the 5Gs, a competition capable heavy hitter will be hard to come by.

Here are the 5Gs to Giant Pumpkin production.

  1. Good seed stock
  2. Good fertile soil
  3. Good Weather
  4. Good Luck
  5. Good friends  - (Keep them out of your pumpkin patch) Heehaw - Just Joking

1. Good Seed

Having seed with a good set of genetics is imperative.  But you do not have to have a seed from a 1000lber to produce a big one.  Most heavy hitters come from smaller parents.  

It is also important to have a seeds from  plants that have been grown in the same climate and conditions as your garden.   

Germination

Seed_starting.jpg (149913 bytes) I like to use the paper towel on a plate method to germinate my seeds.  It gives me more and earlier control as to which plants are the strongest growers.

Here is how it works:

1. Take a plate, paper towel, your seed and some plastic wrap.
2. place the paper towel on the plate and put the seed or multiple seeds on the towel.  ( be careful to label the seeds well so you don't mix them up.) 
I will not put the seeds from different plants on the same plate.
I also find that using a fine point sharpie marker I can write directly on the seed to label it. - It does not seem to hinder growth in any way.

3. Next cover the seed with another sheet of paper towel.

4. Pour a bit of warm (Not Hot) water about 75-85 degrees on to the paper towels.  Just enough to get everything moist, there is not need to totally drench the seed.

5. Cover the plate completely with the plastic wrap and put the plate in a warm dark place.  Pumpkin seeds germinate best at tempters of about 80 degrees.  If it gets any hotter you are in danger of killing the seeds.  I know a guy that had several top seeds some that he paid over $40.00 each for.  He got over creative and put his seeds in a hot house with a heating pad under them.  The sun came up and over $150.00 of primo seeds got fried.  It was the most expensive pumpkins seeds we ever ate.

I do like to us a heating pad, but keep the seeds out of the sun.
Some people will put them on top of the refrigerator it is usually a nice constant warm up there.

6.  If all goes well you shoud see the seedling beginning to sprout in about 4 - 7 days.

7. Usually I will germinate several of the same seeds together and pick out the fasted germinating and strongest growers of the bunch to transplant into pots.  This gets the selection process to an early start.

8. It is important to keep a very close eye on the germination process.  Once the plant starts to grow it grows fast. You are going to want to get your prize candidates into pots of soil as soon as they start germination.
missing this opportunity by even 4 hours could be devastating.

 

Potting

Germination.jpg (161346 bytes)I like to use round Jiffy pots for my seedlings.
I will buy potting soil in the bag.  Last year I found Miracle grow potting soil.  It has a very small amount of Miracle grow already in it.  (Not Too Much)  

Label each pot and place them in a warm sunny place.  I will keep mine on top of the heating pad.  

The heating pad does make the moister evaporate from the pots faster.  So it is a good idea to check and water the plants if needed every morning and in the late afternoon. 

Pumpkin Juice

pumpkin_starter_jiuce.jpg (109335 bytes)To water my seedlings I mix-up what I call the "Pumpkin Juice".  It is simply warm water, some liquefied seaweed, and a drop of Superthrive per gallon.  It doesn't have much fertilizer in it, but dose supply a lot of micronutrients to help the plant grow strong and hardy in it's fragile infancy.  

It is important to get the plant started right and to get the proper nutrients to it early and consistently.

Be sure not to over water it or to give it very much fertilizer at this early stage of development.

It is just as important to keep from under watering the seedling as well.

ANY STRESS PUT ON THE PLANT WILL ULTIMATELY AFFECT THE QUALITY AND SIZE OF THE FRUIT PRODUCED BUY THE PLANT!

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