Want to grow a giant pumpkin on a somewhat-dependable plant? It’s time to try growing Big Max pumpkins!
The Big Max Pumpkin is a giant, orange, pumpkin cultivar that’s been popular since the 1960’s. Big Max pumpkins are bright orange and are extremely large in size, often reaching 100 pounds. This variety is easier to grow and more ornamental than many other types of giant pumpkins.
Read on to learn all about Big Max pumpkins!
Big Max Pumpkins: The Basics
Big Max Pumpkins are extra-large pumpkins that routinely reach 50-100 pounds. It is not uncommon for them to reach 200 pounds. Big Max pumpkins generally do not grow as large as Atlantic Giant Pumpkins, but are much more reliable plants and tend to produce more uniform pumpkins.
Big Max Pumpkins are most commonly grown for shows, such as fall fairs and harvest festivals. They have a nice shape (less blob-like than some other giant pumpkins), and a nice bright red-orange color. They also make good cooking pumpkins, and can be used to make pumpkin puree and pumpkin pies.
“Huge pumpkins can grow well over 100 lbs! Nearly round, bright orange fruit is stunning and good for pies and canning. Very thick, orange flesh. Good for county fairs and displays.”Big Max Pumpkin, Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds
How To Grow Big Max Pumpkins
Big Max pumpkins are grown from Big Max Pumpkin Seeds. When planting the seeds, they should not be planted over an inch deep into the ground. Aim to plant the seeds 1/2 inch deep. While most pumpkins are planted outdoors directly in the soil, the giant size of Big Max can be increased by starting seeds indoors in cold climates.
Big Max pumpkins should be grown outdoors during the summer months. The ideal temperature for them is between 70 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. They do not do well under cold conditions and will definitely not reach their full potential if grown during the winter. They do not tolerate frost, so if you are living in an area that has harsh frosts, then you will need to grow them indoors.
It is suggested to wait at least two weeks after your last frost to plant Big Max pumpkins. They need at least 120 days to ripen, so if there will be a frost before then, do not grow them outdoors. Frost is extremely harmful to pumpkin plants.
During the germination period, you will want to make sure the seeds are receiving ample nutrition. Germination typically takes one week, however, it can sometimes take up to two weeks. The fertilizer being used should be high in phosphorous.
Caring For Big Max Pumpkin Plants
Big Max pumpkins do well with direct sunlight and warm weather. Full sunlight is ideal and should be provided whenever possible. However, some shade can be beneficial if the weather is particularly hot.
Big Max pumpkins require a large amount of water. They need at least one to two inches per week. They need moist soil, so frequent and consistent watering is needed.
Loam soil should be used for Big Max pumpkins. Loam soil retains water yet also has good drainage, which makes it ideal for many plants. It is made from clay, sand, and silt. Loam soil provides great air circulation which is ideal for Big Max pumpkins.
Loam soil can be purchased from a store, however, this can be expensive. In addition, you cannot be sure that your soil is being made with quality. Unless you research the provider you are purchasing from, you cannot know whether or not the soil is actually maximizing the potential of your pumpkin. Because of this, many gardeners decide it is easier to just mix their own soil.
The downside of making your own loam soil is that it is a long process. Although it is fairly simple to do, it takes a long time to perfect. The process should start during the fall and end in the spring. Because it takes so long to do, it is suggested to make your loam in bulk.
- During the end of the fall season, apply two inches of dried leaves onto the topsoil.
- During the winter season, water the dried leaves.
- During the spring season, mix the leaves into the soil until it reaches seven inches deep.
Other Types Of Giant Pumpkins
Here are some other giant pumpkins similar to the Big Max Pumpkin: