At least once a year a conversation pops up about greenhouses and growing giant pumpkins in them, in this post I’ll be talking about the positives and negatives of greenhouses and the conversation around if there should be a distinction between pumpkins grown within a greenhouse or out in the open. I’d love to hear your feedback on this subject, make sure to leave a comment at the end of the post.
Greenhouses, the good and the bad
People have a fascination with greenhouses, I think some of this stems from the fact that some of the biggest pumpkins in the world have been grown within a greenhouse, just look at the last couple of world records and you can see the results speak for themselves, but do they?
What are the positives and negatives of a greenhouse?
- Greenhouses allow you more opportunity to control the environment
- You can keep the greenhouse at a more constant temperature
- You don’t need to worry as much about the weather, storms, hail etc
- Greenhouses can cost a lot of money to purchase and set up
- You will need to have a lot of time to vent when required or have automation systems in place to help with this
- You may need to water a lot more
- Some diseases may appear sooner if you don’t have good airflow within the greenhouse
How many people are growing with greenhouses?
If you looked at all growers around the world the percentage of people growing giant pumpkins in a greenhouse would be very small, and the ones that are, are getting good results, there is no denying that.
But let’s stop and think about those numbers for a second, how many of that very small group bought and set up a greenhouse for just giant pumpkins? I bet it’s a smaller number, and what you will find is that a lot of people that are growing within greenhouses are doing so as they have that particular piece of equipment available to them. They already work in a nursery, or something similar and can utilise it for giant pumpkins.
And if that is the case, then the people that are growing within a greenhouse most likely have lots of experience of growing items within a greenhouse environment and know a lot more than someone that is new to greenhouses. I think there would be a lot more learning to be done to make sure I knew how to get the best environment for the pumpkins within a greenhouse.
This leads to the question that inevitably gets asked, should pumpkins grown within a greenhouse be in a separate class?
What is your initial reaction when you hear this question? Is it a hell yeah they should be in a different class, or no everything should remain the same.
I can see both points of view on this. On one hand, a small amount of people seem to have an “unfair” advantage over all the other growers out there, getting heavier and heavier pumpkins while everyone else still grows outside like a caveman.
The other side of the argument is that greenhouses are just tools and aren’t the be all and end all of giant pumpkin growing, they have their own problems and the results from pumpkins grown within a greenhouse should still be lumped in with the ones grown outside as it currently sits.
You must remember that no one is hiding the fact they are growing in a greenhouse, it’s easy to see from growers photos or talking to the growers themselves what their plans are for the season.
When thinking about this question, I like to think about other sports. How did other sports deal with extra classes over time? The example I will use is motorsport, in the beginning, there was probably just one class, because there was only the one kind of car available, over time things have changed, improvements have been made and people wanted to travel different distances, drive on different surfaces and use different vehicles.
Whatever you call giant pumpkin growing, be it a sport, hobby, or pastime compared to other activities it is relatively young, and in this short period weights of pumpkins thought impossible have been broken and smashed, what is the limit? Is there a limit? And with a relatively small base of growers and fans (think back to motorsport with lots of participants and even more fans) I don’t think we need to worry about having a separate class for greenhouses until one of two things happen.
- A huge majority of existing or new growers all decide to grow in a greenhouses.
- The top pumpkins in the world are all grown within a greenhouse AND the weights of these pumpkins are so far ahead of anything anyone can grow outside there needs to be a distinction.
Most growers if they go down the greenhouse path probably won’t swap back to growing outside, with the money invested why would they, but without the knowledge and extra resources people might find they won’t be getting the results they were hoping for.
And if we do go down this whole greenhouse path, will there be other things people want to have in seperate classes?
So while a lot of growers won’t have the funds or space to have a huge greenhouse to grow their pumpkin in all season, having something early on in the season really should be a no brainer for most growers out there.
What’s your opinion on growing within a greenhouse? Let me know in the comment section below.