Life-cycle of a Giant PumpkinFind out the growing cycle for a Giant Pumpkin
How long does it take to grow a giant pumpkin?
It can take anywhere from 140 – 160 days to grow a giant pumpkin, the general rule is 60 days of plant growth and 90 days of fruit growth. This can vary between sites due to climate, aspect, soil condition, seed genetics and a whole bunch of different factors. But transplanting your seedling in late October (Labour Weekend here in NZ) will give you a pumpkin ready in March/April the following year.
How to Work Out When to Start
To help work backwards to make sure you have enough time to grow for your event check out www.timeanddate.com, a great tool to help you work out dates in the future or in the past.
When a giant pumpkin is in it’s biggest growth phase it can be putting on as much as 20 + Kg’s a day at its peak. This is pretty mind-blowing when you think about it, one seed that only weighs a few grams can grow and produce a fruit that is in the hundreds of kilos.
Life-Cycle of a Giant Pumpkin
Please Note: This is a general guide to a giant pumpkin’s growth. Everyone’s will be slightly different, due to seed, location, weather, water etc.
Planting Seeds Indoors
Starting your giant pumpkin seeds early on in pots is the best option, early October is a good time to do this.
Plant Extras Just in Case
It always pays to have backup seeds, you never know how the start of the season will go.
Day 9 - 10
Seeds Start Germinating
If all goes well and you have started your seeds properly, they should be germinating by now. Some seeds can be slow starters.
First True Leaf will Appear
The first true leaf will appear in the middle of the seedling. Between the 2
Day 22 - 25
Transplant to Patch
Hardening off your seedling is an important step to a successful transplant out to the patch.
Day 25 - 36
Early Season Protection
Keeping your seedling protected from wind and cold is very important.
Keeping on top of any pests at the early stage of growth is important.
Pollination and the position of your pumpkin on the vine are things you need to think about.
A change in fertiliser to maximise growth of the pumpkin is advised around this time.
Consistent watering will help your thirsty pumpkin plant put on better growth.
These may be required to help control things like powdery mildew.
Lots of growth in the pumpkin will occur around this time.
Skin Hardens and Darkens
The pumpkins skin will start to harden, and possibly begin to darken.
By this time the growth has slowed right down, not much more will happen.