Pumpkins play a big part in western customs and culture. From the jack-o’-lanterns of Halloween to the pies of Thanksgiving, pumpkins are being used in creative ways to celebrate festivities throughout the year. But just how much do pumpkins really weigh? I decided to find out.
So how much do pumpkins weigh? When fully mature, a standard carving pumpkin will weigh between 20-30 pounds (9-13.6kg). However, depending on the variety, some pumpkins can exceed well over 100 pounds. The largest pumpkin ever grown weighed in at a whopping 2,624.6 pounds (1190.5kg).
Pumpkins vary drastically in terms of weight. This is because there are plenty of factors that go into determining how large and how heavy they will get. Such factors include the amount of water they receive to the nutrients in the soil. However, one of the biggest factors that determines how heavy a pumpkin will be is the variety.
How much do Pumpkins Weigh?
The weight and size of a pumpkin will ultimately depend on the variety. So here is a table consisting of some popular pumpkin verities and their average weight when fully mature.
New England Pie
As seen by the table, pumpkins vary drastically in weight depending on the variety. Some pumpkins such as the Baby Boo variety weigh as little as 8 ounces. On the other hand, pumpkins like the mighty Atlantic Giant can weigh up to several hundred pounds. Most pumpkins you’ll find at the pumpkin patch however, will generally be in the 20-30 pound range.
How to Grow Bigger Pumpkins
While you may not be able to grow a record breaking pumpkin with a typical carving pumpkin, there are some tips and tricks you can implement to ensure your pumpkins reach their largest potential size. As stated earlier, there are plenty of factors that go into determining how large a pumpkin will get.
A large pumpkin vine is needed to support a large pumpkin. Therefore, pumpkin plants will need ample space to grow. Each pumpkin plant will need 50-100 square feet of growing space.
When starting your pumpkins, plant the seeds on mounds of soil 5 to 6 feet apart from each other and give rows 10-15 feet of space apart from each other. Pumpkin vines expand quickly, so this will give them plenty of space to do so. In addition, this will provide plenty of space for the pumpkins themselves to expand in size as the season progresses.
Pruning the Vines
As the main pumpkin vine grows, it will eventually develop secondary vines that shoot off from the main vine. Eventually, those secondary vines will develop tertiary vines and before you know it, pumpkin vines will be taking over your entire garden! This is where pruning your pumpkin vines comes into play. Pruning the vines helps prevent overcrowding in your garden and also helps direct the plant’s energy into pumpkin growth rather than leaf and vine development.
Once the pumpkin vine has formed several pumpkins, pruning can take place. Allow the main vine to grow at least 10 feet in length, but prune it if space is limited. Tertiary vines can be pruned as well if space is limited.
Once there are several pumpkins that have been pollinated on the plant, remove all the remaining flowers and flower buds from the vines. This will help direct more energy into growing the pumpkins rather than producing more unneeded flowers.
The more pumpkins growing on your plant the smaller each pumpkin will be. If your goal is to grow the largest pumpkin possible, remove all other pumpkins from you plant and allow only the most promising pumpkin to grow. If you just want regular sized carving pumpkins, allowing up to 4 pumpkins per plant is recommended.
Burying Pumpkin Vines
In addition to pruning your pumpkin vines, burying them can also help produce larger pumpkins. When you bury pumpkin vines, they will develop roots that will not only help keep the plant in place, but will also allow it to take in more nutrients from the soil which will in turn, help your pumpkins grow even larger.
To properly bury your pumpkin vines, locate an area where a root is developing. This can be found where a leaf and a secondary vine is shooting off from the main vine as seen in the video. Once a developing root is located, bury it with a mound of dirt. Water this area like you would with the rest of the plant and the roots will grow and make their way down into the soil.
Fertilizer for Pumpkins
When it comes to growing giant pumpkins, fertilizer is the key. Pumpkins love soil that is high in organic matter, so be sure to work compost and well rotted manure into the soil prior to planting.
When your pumpkin plant begins to grow, apply a nitrogen rich fertilizer such as blood meal to the plant on a weekly basis. Nitrogen will aid in the development of vine and leaf growth which is crucial early on in the season. Blood meal can be purchased on Amazon.com. Click here to see the current price.
When flowers begin to bloom, switch a fertilizer rich in phosphorous such as bone meal. This will help with root development and better flower formation. Better flowers will equal better pumpkins. Like blood meal, bone meal is also available on Amazon.com. Click here to check the current price.
Once your pumpkins have set and are growing, switch to a potassium rich fertilizer. Potassium helps encourage fruit growth and protects against crop diseases and drought. A good example of a potassium based fertilizer would be Potassium Sulfate. Potassium Sulfate can be purchased through Amazon. Click here to the the current price.