Zeus (Hybrid Pumpkin)
Latin Name: Cucurbita maxima
Item #: F246L
PUMPKIN - for Halloween, processing & home garden.
Sow @ 3 lbs./1 kg per acre; oz./28 g sows 20 hills Pumpkins take over 100 days to mature from seed. Don't wait till late June to seed them, or they will never mature! For giant size pumpkins you can start seed indoors in 3 in./8 cm. peat pots about May 1st. Plant 2 seeds per pot 1/2 in./ 13 mm. deep, cover seed with fine soil and firm. Maintain a soil temp. of 65 - 70°F/20°C. After seeds have sprouted, feed pots once lightly, with a soluble fertilizer. Grow @ 60°F/16°C for sturdy growth.
Transplant in a sunny spot in 5 ft./ 2 m. rows, staggered 8 ft/2.4 m apart, in every other row. Each plant requires 15 - 20 ft/ 5 - 6 m in diameter. Dust plants regularly, every week to prevent cucumber beetles. Water plants at first sign of wilt throughout the summer - but don't wet -the leaves, it encourages disease. When small pumpkins are 2 in./5 cm in diameter, remove all the fruits at the ends of the vines, leaving the best 3 pumpkins at the center of the plant. For show size fruit (to be used at county fairs), limit fruit to one central pumpkin per plant. Remove all blooms or flowers from each plant from this point on to prevent further pollination.
Feed regularly (once every 15 days) with a weak solution of 5 - 20 - 20 fertilizer.
Pick pumpkins after they are bright orange and the skin is hard. If it doesn't freeze hard or rain for long periods leave them on the vine till Halloween. Harvest before severe frost, keep cool @ 55 - 60°F/13 - 16°C. Leave a bit of stem on each fruit, when it is cut from the vine.
COMMERCIAL CROPS: Sow outdoors from May 10th. - June 10th. (no later). Grow in 6 - 9 ft./2 - 3 m. Rows, 4 seeds per ft./31 cm. of row - or in hills of 5 seeds per hill, 4 ft./122 cm. apart in the row. Thin to 2 ft./ 61 cm. apart or 2 seedlings per hill. Treat extra early sowings with a fungicide, for cool soil protection. All vine crops depend on insects for pollination. Limit the use of insecticides when blossoms are setting.