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Dill's Atlantic Giant Pumpkin

Dill's Atlantic Giant Pumpkin

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Dill's Atlantic Giant
Cucurbita maxima

120 days — If you are interested in raising "giant" pumpkins, 'Dill's Atlantic Giant' is the type of variety that the professionals use to set records. Fruit weighing over two-hundred pounds are common and ones in the four-hundred to five-hundred pound range are possible. These huge fruit have slightly rough skin that ranges in color from yellow to red-orange. As you may have guessed, these babies need a lot of room and are not for container gardeners. Space hills fifteen to twenty feet apart in an area that is protected from wind and that receives full sun.

The largest pumpkins tend to thrive in cooler, Northern regions. If you are in a warmer area, provide shade to reduce stress. Additionally, careful and regular watering are critical, since at the peak of the growing season the fruit can add fifteen or more pounds per day.

There is some debate over the exact origin of the 'Dill's Atlantic Giant' pumpkin. We do know that four-time giant pumpkin world champion, the late Howard Dill of Nova Scotia, Canada, made selections for size and structure in the 1970s and 1980s and was awarded PVP protection (since expired) back in 1986.[1] Mr. Dill is widely held as the force behind the modern competitive giant pumpkin growing hobby. Each packet contains two grams, which is approximately 8 to 10 seeds.
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Planting Instructions: After all danger of frost is passed and the weather has warmed, plant four to five seeds, 1 inch deep, in hills spaced 6 feet apart. When seedlings are 2 inches tall, thin to 2 plants per hill. Pumpkins prefer rich soil. Feed at planting time and again at the 4 to 5 leaf development stage.

Keep watered during the dry weather and cultivate or mulch to reduce weeds. Harvest fruit when skin has turned completely orange and it cannot be easily dented with your fingernail. Cut from vine leaving a two inch stem. Informational References:
  1. USDA Plant Variety Protection Office - PVP protection applied for in 1985, awarded in 1986 and expired in 2004.
  2. Atlantic Giant at Wikipedia