Plant where the vigorous vines can sprawl. Protect young seedlings from marauding birds by covering with berry baskets at sowing time, removing before plants get crowded. To concentrate energy into giant size pumpkins, pinch off all but one fruit on each vine at basketball size, so all the energy goes into that one pumpkin. Put a large square of plywood under growing pumpkins where they rest on soil to prevent rot. Feed regularly, about every three weeks, with a good all-purpose fertilizer and provide vines with ample water.
HARVEST AND USE
Giant pumpkins need to mature properly before harvesting. Wait until rinds are fully deep orange and tough enough to resist piercing with a fingernail. Cut from vines, leaving 3 to 4 inches of stem “handles.” Let cure in the sun for 10 days, then store in a cool, dry place to keep for months. Wyatt’s Wonders make fabulous supersized Jack O’ Lanterns to light up the whole neighborhood! You can also bake the rich orange flesh for pies, soups or casseroles.