Yes, we also grow giant pumpkins!
I started growing giant pumpkins in 2013...my first one weighing in at 132 lbs. I was SO excited. Today my personal best is 992 lbs grown in 2022.
Giant pumkin growing is one of those things that brings you satisfaction in so many ways. To see something grow from a tiny seed into a 992lb fruit in just a few months is pretty spectacular. It becomes addicting. But it also becomes addicting because it brings so much joy to everyone around you. One of my favorite parts of growing is sharing it with all of the visitors that come to our farm.
If you visit at the right time of year you might be lucky enough to see this. We typically have our pumpkin on display at the farm from mid September through Halloween. If you come in the summertime ask about it and you might get the chance to see it growing in the patch!
How do you grow a giant pumpkin!
6 helpful steps in growing a giant
A GOOD SEED
Successfully growing a giant pumpkin means planting a seed that has good genetics. I am a member of the Vermont Giant Pumpkin Growers Association (VGPGA). It is $20 to join and each year you get a packet full of great seeds! (You can join even if you are not from Vermont)
Each year I take a soil sample from our patch. It's important to evaluate the soil and make sure it has the proper nutrients for growing and ammend accordingly.
Giant Pumpkins require a huge amount of water. Especially if it is a dry summer, it is important to have a way to get water to your patch. I have a drip irrigation system which works very well. The first few years I grew I was watering by hand. Usually I choose one new thing to do each year in the patch - you don't have to invest in everything at once.
The first year I started burying vines the weights of my pumpkins drastically increased. I went from 350lbs up to 631 lbs. Almost doubling in size. As the vines grow burying the vine with soil helps the plant shoot down more taproots. These tap roots will gather more nutrients and water from the soil, in turn growing a larger pumpkin.
Proper care is imperative. We cover our pumpkins with a sheet or cloth through the growing season. This helps prevent the sun from directly hitting the pumpkins. The sun hardens the skin which can cause the pumpkin to split while it is growing. We also build little houses for the pumpkins to protect them from mositure and rot.
No joke. We do show our pumpkins a lot of love especially with all the visitors that come to the farm that like to take thier photos! We name our pumpkins every year....stay tuned...we always ask for help and give prizes to the winning name! Additionally, we host a guess the weight contest at the end of the season awarding a big maple prize to the winner.