Why such a pumpkin experiment?
Easter is over and for me that is the official start of the Halloween season 2021. Last year I got a pumpkin of the “Giant Pumpkin” variety from the hardware store. That was a ready-grown plant that can be planted directly in the garden. In the first few weeks the pumpkin hardly grew, but then suddenly it took up a relatively large area of the bed. There were signs of several pumpkins, but only one survived. But then it also got big and heavy. He weighed 50kg, was 50cm high, 60cm in diameter and was 1.83m in circumference.
So I decided to pick up a few seeds from this pumpkin and try to grow the pumpkins myself for the Halloween season 2021. This marked the start of the Old School Haunter’s great pumpkin experiment.
In 2020 I tried (unsuccessfully) to grow pumpkins from seeds. This time I first browsed the internet to see what to look out for. I found 3 approaches how to plant the pumpkins.
- Dried seeds are simply put into the ground
- Seesds are soaked in water for 24 hours First
- The seeds are roughened with the help of sandpaper and then soaked in water for 24 hours
I would like to test these 3 approaches and then see which one brings me success.
Part 1 – It starts
First the seeds were prepared. There wasn’t so much to do, because the first time the seeds stay as dry as they are. The second option then required water. I put the dried seeds in a mug and put normal tap water into the mug. These soaked seeds now have to soak in water for 24 hours.
The third and last possibility was much more interesting. The seeds are roughened with the help of sandpaper or a rasp. Of course, this should not be overdone, otherwise the shell will break. A little roughening should be enough in my opinion. The main thing is that you notice that the seeds are a little rough. The core also comes off the dried skin. It may of course be that this makes a difference compared to the first two approaches, where the dried skin remains on the core. I will surely find out.
The next day the time had come. As a container I use normal growing pots that can be bought in hardware stores. I used normal potting soil for the soil. Unfortunately, at first I did not find any information as to whether special potting soil is required or not. The 12 seeds were then planted in the nursery pots. The seeds are inserted about 1-2cm deep into the earth and then lightly pressed on.
Part 2 – The germ sample
2 weeks went by and slowly the curiosity rose as to whether something was going on in the earth or not. Since you cannot look into the pots from the outside, I had set up a germ test parallel to the planting in the soil. I put 2 seeds on a kitchen towel that was hanging in water. The whole thing was covered with foil. It is very important that the film has air holes. Otherwise the seeds will start to go moldy.
After about 1.5 weeks the seeds began to germinate. The first thing that came out of the core was a white strand, which is the root. In one of the two cores, something green started to look out after 2 more days. That was a very good sign for me, because it showed me that the seeds can sprout. Therefore, at this point in time, I assume that the soil in the cultivation pots looks similar. I put the two cores of the germ sample in two normal flower pots. These are the two light brown pots. Let’s see what will come next.
Part 3 – And the winner is
Almost exactly 7 days after Part 2, the appearance in the growing pots has completely changed. During these 7 days, pumpkin plants grew out of 3 out of 4 pots. This was a success that I hadn’t expected myself. On the picture you can still see the two pots (right and left) in which I planted the plants from the germination sample. This is a very nice comparison. In the picture at the back left are the plants of variant 1. At the back right are the plants from variant 2 and in the front in the middle are the third variant. All 3 variants have brought success. I can use it to place the variants at this point.
3rd place: In third place is variant 1 for me. The core was planted in the normal way. Third place is only there because, compared to the other variants, it took the longest to see the first plants.
2nd Place: The second place goes to variant 2. The seeds were soaked here before planting. The plants came out of the ground faster than with variant 1.
1st place: The winner is variant 3 for me. The seeds were roughened, soaked and then planted. For me this is the “turbo” variant, because this is the quickest way to achieve success. The plants are the largest compared to the other two variants. That’s because they came up first.
Part 4 (May 17, 2021)
The weather is warmer now and the plants have grown to a decent size. So it’s time for them to move to their destination in the raised bed. A raised bed or compost is a very good place here. The pumpkin wants to have warm feet, they say. A compost is also a very good place, because a pumpkin needs a lot of nutrients.
In my case, I plant two of the plants into the raised bed. I took the two plants of the germ sample here, but only because they were the largest and no longer fit in the pots. The other plants have found loving buyers. I keep my fingers crossed that you are successful with the plants. Maybe there will also be a small competition here. Just take a look.
The raised beds are filled with normal soil that comes from sifting through the compost. After transplanting, the pumpkins must be watered so that they feel comfortable in their new place. Now keep your fingers crossed. In the video I also show how manure is made from nettles. I used it to fertilize the pumpkin last year and achieved very good results.