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Video: How To Grow A Large Pumpkin, The Story Of The Winner Of The "AgroRus" Exhibition
Pumpkin cultivation experience
I have always enjoyed growing pumpkin. It grows quickly, almost before our eyes and gives high yields, despite its southern origin. Already in the 90s of the last century, I had a lot of experience in growing this crop. In 1997, I was engaged in large-fruited pumpkins, and two dozen huge fruits then became an adornment of two markets: Kuznechny and Sennoye. Many people came running to look at the huge pumpkins. About that glorious time, I have only one photograph, where I was taken with a huge pumpkin in the Blacksmith Market.
And now ten years later, in the winter of 2007, my wife and I decided to grow one pumpkin-record holder - especially for the "AgroRus" exhibition. We started looking for pumpkin seeds for this purpose. Our choice fell on the pumpkin Russian size XXL F1 from "Russian Garden". The seed manufacturer guaranteed that in good weather and excellent care, the pumpkin will gain weight up to 150 kg, and the taste will be beyond praise. But this pumpkin ripens in 120-140 days. Such a large fruit can only be grown in seedlings.
And on April 3, in the sign of Libra, a pumpkin was sown in two liter containers for seedlings. The seeding depth was 4 cm. The germination temperature was kept at about 25 … 30 ° C. In the first container the pumpkin rose on April 11, but the seedling was very weak, in the second container the pumpkin rose on April 15, and the sprout was strong. He developed faster and better than the first. Subsequently, pumpkin seedlings from this pot were planted on a garden bed prepared for it.
And the planting bed itself was prepared especially carefully. At the beginning of April, fresh manure was brought to the site. I always use fresh mullein for making warm beds. Usually, in the fall, I make a choice of a place and half of the work on making a warm ridge. But since this project was born in winter, the whole workload of making a ridge for a pumpkin fell on the spring, the work was carried out from April 10 to 20. According to the technology of growing large-fruited pumpkins, the correct location of the ridge for planting is of great importance. The best place I found is where the planting will be protected on the north side by a six-meter ridge of raspberries and three apple trees following it. All other "warm" places on my site have already been planned for other thermophilic crops since autumn.
In the chosen place were four beds of garden strawberries, located from north to south. These plantings were already "aged", and I donated one bed from the western edge. I mowed strawberries on it with a sickle, leaving the mowed tops on the ridge, and covered the planting with sawdust with a layer of about 10 cm, Then I divided the garden into three parts: 1.5 m, 1 m, 1 m and increased the edging of the ridge in each area in different ways (see sketch 1): the northern part is 1.5 m long and 70 cm high, the middle part is 1 m long and 50 cm high and the southern part is 1 m long and 30 cm high.There are three steps facing south. On the sawdust I spread a layer of manure 10-15 cm, followed by a layer of hay, then a layer of fertile soil and trample it down. In the highest box I laid three layers in this sequence, on average - two layers, and in the lowest - one layer. Tamping everything down one last timeI added fertile land so that it was 5-7 cm higher than the edging, as the ridge gradually subsides. He sprinkled all the steps with ash and spilled warm water with potassium permanganate, covered the ridge with an old film for warming up. I made a simple mini-greenhouse over the high part of the ridge and covered it with foil (see sketch 2). By mid-May, the process of burning in the ridge began, especially in the high one. In a mini-greenhouse, I removed the warming film and planted one pumpkin plant, without excessive waterlogging during planting. The pumpkin took root immediately. I haven't watered for ten days.By mid-May, the process of burning in the ridge began, especially in the high one. In a mini-greenhouse, I removed the warming film and planted one pumpkin plant, without excessive waterlogging during planting. The pumpkin took root immediately. I haven't watered for ten days.By mid-May, the process of burning in the ridge began, especially in the high one. In a mini-greenhouse, I removed the warming film and planted one pumpkin plant, without excessive waterlogging during planting. The pumpkin took root immediately. I haven't watered for ten days.
At the end of May, the film was removed from the southern end. At this time, there were very strong cold winds, and in early June, the pumpkin whip suddenly began to decay. It seemed that the burning process in the ridge had stopped. I realized that I had made two mistakes: there was no need to remove the heating film, the seedlings had to be planted in a small cross-shaped slot in the film and left on the ridge. He urgently began to take measures to correct this error. In the morning I fed the pumpkin to the root with a solution of fertilizer "Kemira-Lux", carefully covered the soil in the garden with an old film. He additionally insulated the box with the pumpkin planting, for this he wrapped it first with black, then with a light old film, so that the ridge was also heated from the sides from the sun, and the heat did not go outside. At night, I also threw a film for insulation over the mini-greenhouse.
The measures taken fixed the pumpkin bush in a week. The scourge gave lateral shoots and filled the area of the mini-greenhouse. At this time (by mid-June) on the lash there was a single flower with an ovary, I pollinated it with a male flower. And on June 18, he noticed that the fruit was pollinated and began to grow. I realized that at the last moment I managed to sit on the fleeing tail of luck. From many years of experience I know that large-fruited pumpkins should be tied in late May - early June, only in this case they can become very large and reach almost full ripeness by the end of August and at the same time have a maximum layer thickness suitable for consumption. June 17 - this was one of the last dates when the desired results can be achieved. To get a very high quality pumpkin, you need it to grow in the garden for three moons. After June 17, our whole family was convinced that the pumpkin went into rapid growth:and tops and fruit. In addition to the main lash, we left two more strong shoots. All three lashes were evenly distributed over the area of the first step, were directed to the south and fell from the first step to the second, and then to the third. The fruit itself was lying on the middle step, a wooden plank 40x40 cm was placed under it. For what purpose did we leave two more shoots, besides the main whip, on which the fruit had already set? The answer is unambiguous: for the development of a very powerful root, which is necessary in the initial period, to obtain a powerful tops of large area. But this should be done only when the fruits are set, otherwise the bush can grow fat and go to the tops. One lash with fruit cannot quickly produce a large mass of tops, and three lashes literally take up a large space before our eyes. After all, each lash still has side shoots.I will not describe in detail here the dependence of the development of tops, roots, fruits on the lunar calendar. I will do this in the next article on growing cucumbers outdoors.
Having built up powerful tops after tying the pumpkin fruit, in late June - early July, I began with skillful watering with warm, slightly podzolized water and working on the tops to tune the plant with its root system for enhanced fruit formation. By this time, the pumpkin plant had already entered the lunar calendar. When the moon passes the last quarter, the pumpkin bushes, throwing out new side shoots, and the roots deepen at this time. During this period, I water it less often, but more abundantly. On the growing moon, watering is frequent and the rate of growth is high. I clean the tops and remove excess shoots in the first days of the growing moon, as if freeing up space for newly growing shoots. But I never admit a sharp removal and restriction of tops. I had the best results in working with pumpkins then,when the fruit itself, as it grew rapidly, regulated the development of the tops, and I had to deal only with the health-improving cleaning of the planting, removing frail and diseased shoots and places that were very thickened. In addition to the lunar calendar, proper watering and fertilizing, the weather also affects the plant. It often interferes with the normal development of the plant. There were many cloudy days in late June - early July. But this is the most important period for a developing fruit, when powerful irrigation and powerful evaporation from the tops are needed. This is the time when the fruit is inflated like a balloon, literally before our eyes. But last season not only my pumpkin suffered because of this weather, but also the planting of melons and watermelons in the open field. No wonder they say that there are pumpkin years, tomato years, etc. The slowdown in the growth of the fruit during this period (due to lack of sun) corresponded to the rapid growth of tops.There is a lot of moisture, the greenhouse effect, the heat - that's the tops and grows.
With grief in half, I overcame this difficult period for pumpkins and melons. But at the end of July - August, sunny weather set in again, there were many warm nights, which I could skillfully take advantage of, and through irrigation and work with tops brought the matter to an end. By the end of August, I felt that I had already done everything I could, and I could not grow a larger pumpkin. Yes, all three lashes rooted in both the second and third steps, and when they came out onto the path behind the ridge, they were pinched. The main stem in the second stage also rooted next to the pumpkin. As the pumpkin fruit grew up, the whip could not rise up after it, and therefore I had to put a second wooden lining of 50x50 cm under the pumpkin and then raise the back of the pumpkin at an angle, tilting it towards the main stem so that the fruit would not detach from it.There was a clear threat of the pumpkin stalk breaking, the stalk was pulling the main whip away from the ground, and the root did not allow it to be done. Before sending the giant pumpkin to the AgroRus exhibition on August 23, we weighed it - it pulled 93 kilograms.
The task set for myself - to grow a pumpkin for 100 kg - I did not fulfill. If I had not made a mistake in the initial period, the pumpkin could have gained weight and 100 kg. Until mid-September, the weather was good without frost, and on the bush after cutting the giant by September 20, two young pumpkins weighing 8 kg and 5 kg grew, which we removed after the first freeze. Our pumpkin care consisted mainly of watering with slightly podzolized water. Twice a season I fed her with a light superphosphate solution. Two or three times I did foliar dressing with micronutrient fertilizers on foliage. To grow any crops, we spare no time for careful preparation of the ridges for planting, we fill them with food for the entire summer season. And we do not do all kinds of feeding, we do not have enough time, we only have time to water the plants.Before removing the pumpkin and taking it to the exhibition, I was sure that it would become a record holder, since the year was not pumpkin. I was right - the pumpkins brought to the exhibition by other gardeners were 25-30 kg in weight.
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