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Pumpkin 'Dill's Atlantic Giant'

Cucurbita maxima 'Atlantic Giant'

Pumpkin (Eng.), Pampoen (Afr.), Dill's Atlantic Giant

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'Atlantic Giant' is a trailing vine with massive pink-orange pumpkins. 'Dill's Atlantic Giant' may produce fruit weighing 90 to over 500 kg. These warm-season vegetables thrive in full sunlight and fast-draining, fertile soils with a pH of 5.8 to 7.2. 'Dill's Atlantic Giant' plants require at least 120 days of temperatures 15 degrees Celsius or warmer to produce a mature pumpkin.

Planning

Difficulty
Easy
Flowering time
Summer
Fruiting time
Autumn

Harvesting

Harvest the pumpkins before the first autumn frost date, once they develop a fully orange skin and reach the desired size. Harvest pumpkins by cutting each fruit from the stem with pruning shears or a sharp knife, leaving several centimeters of the stem. The heaviest Atlantic Giant on record weighed 782 kg and was grown in Jackson Township, Ohio, in 2009.

Propagation

Seed
Sow seeds in Spring, directly into the soil, 2.5 cm deep and 2-3 m apart. Sow 2 seeds per hole and thin out the weakest seedling per station after germination, which takes 6-10 days. Sow seeds two to three weeks after the last frost date, once soil temperatures reach 15 degrees Celsius.

Special features

Crop rotation
Heavy Feeder, companion plant with beans or legumes to provide food.
Attracts useful insects
Flowers need an insect to carry pollen from male flowers to the female flower before the fruit will set and grow into a pumpkin.

Geography

Origin
Bred by Howard Dill to win a giant pumpkin competition. Canada, Nova Scotia
Natural climate
Temperate

Environment

Light
Full Sun
Soil moisture
Moist
Soil type
Loam
Soil PH preference
Neutral, Acid
Frost hardiness
Tender

Uses

Edible
The fruits are edible, as well as some parts of the flower and the seeds. The fruit is used in cooking and baking.

Personality

Family
Cucurbitaceae
Flower colour
Yellow
Scent
Mild

Problems

The plants are susceptible to Pumpkin downy mildew. Bacterial leaf spot of squash produced by Xanthomonas campestris bacteria appears on the leaves of pumpkins and squash. To prevent avoid aerial irrigation; use rotation of crops (avoid planting other Cucurbitaceae species); use new seeds at each planting, as the bacteria is transferred through seeds; apply treatments with copper-based fungicides such as Zeama Bordeleza, Funguran, Champ, Curzate Manox. Pests causing a problem are, Red Spider Mite, Thrips and Aphids.

Companion plants

Maize when companion-planted with squash or pumpkin is said to disorient certain insects pests and protect the vining crop. Pumpkins and beans work well together. The nitrogen fixing qualities of the beans are well documented and pumpkin is a heavy nitrogen feeder. Marigold inter-planted with pumpkin helps to deter many pests. Marjoram, Nasturtium, Oregano will also help in pest suppression. The marjoram will provide a ground cover/mulch as well. Nasturtium also repels squash bugs, and striped pumpkin beetles.

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