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2014 Giant Pumpkin Diary
09th Dec 2014

If you missed our weekly Giant Pumpkin Diary this year, below are some snipits. Keep any eye out for 2015 lets hope they are bigger and better!

Lets Get Pollinating!

At Ston Easton Park we are again growing our GIANT pumpkins, we hope to record a timeline of the pumpkins growth stages right through to hopefully its prize winning size! Watch this space.

It's Pollination time for our Pumpkins at Ston Easton Park! Our Gardeners Steve and Dale are hoping to yet again grow our GIANT pumpkins. This week they have been busy ensuring that the flowers are pollinated to enable the plants to produce their fruit.

What does pollination involve you may be asking?
In July the pumpkin plant will being to produce male flowers, there will be a fair few produce before the arrival of the female flowers.

How do you know the difference between a Male and Female flower?
Male flowers are:
On an erect stem that is fairly thin and they will shoot up several inches above the vine.
The centre stamen contains the pollen, do not pick the flower until the pollen is mature. You will know when this is as the pollen will easily come off on to your finger.

Female Flowers:
A tiny baby pumpkin fruit will be located between the stem and the flower.
They will be close to the vine and the stem will only be a couple of inches long at most.
In the centre of the pumpkin the flower has a multi-segmented stigma, the stigma must be pollinated in order for the fruit to develop.

How to Hand Pollinate:
You will know if the female flower is ready as it will be the day that the flower opens, you may be able to tell this the night before.

The prime time to pollinate the flower is early in the morning as the flower will close up later in the day.

Select the male flower which has mature pollen and remove the petals exposing the stamen. Using the stamen itself rub the pollen on to the inside stigma of the female flower. Make sure you make contact with all segments of the stigma.

All you can do now is wait!

 

Week 2 -  The Giant Pumpkin seems to be Growing by the Hour!!!!!!!

We've paid a visit to the Ston Easton Park greenhouse this morning to see how our hopefully giant pumpkin is getting along. It seems as though it has had a rather substantial growth spurt since last week! 

What have you been feeding it Dale and Steve??

This week the pumpkin is measuring 32 inches in circumference, dale measured the pumpkin last night and it has grown 5 inches since then! We are never going to be able to get this pumpkin out of the greenhouse at this rate.

Let's see what week 3 brings....... 

Week 3 - Giant Pumpkin Update!

It doesn't seem to be stopping!!!!!!!

The giant pumpkin we are growing in the Ston Easton Park Greenhouse is showing no signs of stopping, we are now at 50 inches in circumference. Due to the hot weather we’ve been having the pumpkin is rapidly growing we’ve had to protect the pumpkin with a sunshade! This is to hopefully stop the outer skin from getting too tough and splitting as it grows so quickly.

Next week we will hopefully have some tips on how to look after your pumpkin at home.

Week 4

This pumpkin never seems to stop surprising us here at Ston Easton Park.

The sunshade we've had to make bigger and it seems the pumpkin is starting to show its true colour!

So what are you feeding it Dale? We've not been feeding it any chemical growth enhancers, just natural enhancers for extra nutrients for example this morning Dale has given the plant Nettle tea soaked in water, this will help enhance the nitrogen levels. Dale has also said that we haven't used a lot of feed this year, it’s all natural!

The pumpkin measures this week: 75 inches in circumference.

What will next week bring!?

Week 5

Our giant pumpkin is really starting to live up to its name! 

At 87 inches in circumference the only way we could remove it from the greenhouse is to roll it out on its side. Dale our gardener looking after the pumpkin is worried that is has finished growing, it certainly doesn't seem to have slowed down from last week with an additional 12 inches in circumference! 

Any guesses on its finished size yet?

The plant itself seems to taking over the greenhouse, soon we won't be able to walk around it. The good weather is definitely helping but let’s hope it hasn't peaked too soon.

Week 6

This week Dale has been a little concerned that the giant pumpkin has stopped growing, the growth has definitely slowed down but it is larger than last week:

The pumpkin is now, 97 inches in circumference and weighs around 238lb. Even if it has slowed down this is still pretty impressive!

Not to worry..... We have a back-up! This year Dale has grown two different varieties of pumpkins in the greenhouse our back-up is an American variety (please see picture to the right). The pumpkin is a week behind the other and is very rapidly catching up at 91 inches in circumference and weighing roughly 226lb.

Let’s see what the future brings for the life of both pumpkins......

 

Week 7 of the Giant Pumpkins

The Giant Pumpkin story has now become a competition between the original pumpkin and our American variety. The American pumpkin is certainly not showing any signs of stopping with and additional 111lb weight growth in just a week!!

This week’s measurements are:

Pumpkin 1: 8ft 3in / 99 inches weighing 256lb

Pumpkin 2 (American): 8ft 11in / 107inches, weighing 335lb

This pumpkin never stops surprising us!!

 

Week 8

Both Pumpkins are still doing well, the original Atlantic Giant has definitely slowed down and looks as though it is a big as it's going to get! (Big enough, most people may say!)

The excitement doesn't stop there!

Dills Atlantic Giant Seed from the USA is likely to grow the largest out of the two, we hope that it might make it to 600lb in weight. We are currently at 401lb in weight and 9ft 7inches in circumference, if it keeps going at this rate it won't take long...... what weight do you think it will reach?

Contact us at reception@stoneaston.co.uk or via @stoneaston_park
Are you growing your own fruit and veg? Send you pictures through to us, we'd love to see them!

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