Big Max Pumpkins grow to a size of 70 inches in circumference and weigh up to 45.4 Kilogram. These magnificent pumpkins have bright orange skin and thick yellow-orange flesh that makes them ideal as Halloween decor or jack-o-lantern specimens. But, that's not all, as these pumpkins make delicious pumpkins pies, too.
Plant pumpkin seeds inside 2 to 3 weeks before the last expected spring frost. This is especially important if you live in a cool climate that has a short growing season. Pumpkins need 120 days of frost free growing to reach maturity. If your areas does not have a growing season of 120 days, starting them inside will give them the added time they need.
Choose a sunny location that receives at least six hours of direct sunlight every day. Pumpkins thrive on sunshine. Pick the sunniest area in your yard for these Big Max pumpkins. The more sun they receive the better they will grow.
Prepare the soil for the plants by creating a mound of dirt that is two feet in diameter. Add plenty of organic material and mix in well. If you prefer to use commercial fertiliser, this is the time to add the fertiliser. Follow the recommended amount on the package and mix it into the existing soil. Do not use more than recommended as this may burn the seeds or the young roots of your seedlings.
Create hills 20 feet apart. You will need one hill per plant so plan accordingly. Pumpkins take up a lot of space, but if you want to grow a prize pumpkin, you must allow the plant to vine and must not overcrowd them.
Plant Big Max pumpkin seeds right in the garden in areas where the growing season is at least 120 days or transplant the seedlings after all danger of frost has passed. Seeds should be planted to a depth of no more than one inch and covered with soil. Plant two to three seeds per hill. You will later remove all but one healthy plant per hill. Tamp down with your hands to settle the seeds and create a firm soil.
Water the newly planted pumpkins and keep soil moist until seeds germinate. In warm soil, pumpkins germinate in 5 days, but may take up to 10 days is cooler soil.
Remove all but one plant once your pumpkin plants have grown the first set of true leaves. It may be difficult to remove perfectly healthy plants, but don't be fooled into thinking more is better. To grow a prize pumpkin, you need to allow one plant to a hill.
Fertilise regularly with a high nitrogen fertiliser for early growth. This will encourage leaf and root growth. Switch to high phosphorous fertiliser just before blooming.
Water the base of the plant in the evenings whenever the soil is dry. Take care not to get water on the leaves. Pumpkins grow rapidly at night and can use the added water to promote that growth.
Remove all but one pumpkin per vine once the fruit has reached softball size. Continue to fertilise and water this pumpkin.
Prune the vine by pinching off the tip and any side shoots when it has reached 20 feet to prevent new fruit from forming.
Large pumpkins may get so big that they will begin to pull away from the vine. To prevent this, simply monitor the vine and rip out any roots that form from the vine near the pumpkin. This will allow the pumpkin room to grow without pulling the vine. A large growing pumpkin increases in size rapidly. In dry periods, you may need to give your plant 15 to 20 gallons of water twice a week to maintain its growth.
Resist the urge to attempt to grow more than one pumpkin per vine. Remember with more than one pumpkin on a vine, the nutrients from the soil must be shared and growth will be decreased.