Earlier in the year my best mate and I decided to go head to head, mano a mano, in the manliest of all the pastimes – growing giant pumpkins.
A suitable supplier was found (http://www.diggers.com.au/) and the seeds were purchased – a pack of 8 for $3.95.
After several arguments with my partner I decided that I would be growing the thing in the middle of the back lawn. Clearly very inconvenient but I needed full sun for maximum growth and everywhere else in the garden is shaded by trees which screen us from the neighbours.
Since it is a temporary site I just decided I would make a mound of dirt in the middle of the lawn and grow the vine from that. I can’t remember exactly what went into this lethal mix of soil, but it was basically some potting mix (both cheap and expensive), some seed raising mix (don’t ask why!), some super phosphate type fertilizer and some dynamic lifter.
I put all that into a wheelbarrow and gave it a good mix and then dumped it on the lawn. I watered it in for good measure (necessary? Who knows!?) and ended up letting it sit for a few weeks. I saw on Gardening Australia that it’s typical to let a mound like that sit for six weeks or so before planting, but I’ve timed this based on the sun – and the sun waits for no man, so I could only spare two weeks before planting.
So in the seeds went.
After a couple of weeks of waiting for sprouts I was starting to get a bit dejected and doubt came to the fore. Had I put too many chemicals in? Maybe too much phosphate? The seed packet said 90% chance of germination but I had nothing to show for it.
Lo and behold, not two days later after a heavy overnight rain – bam! Seedlings!
Now I’m excited…