Botanical Name: Cucurbita maxima
Days to Maturity: 120 days
Native: Southern South America
Hardiness: Frost-sensitive annual
Plant Dimensions: 10’–15′ vines. ‘Big Max’ needs lots of room to grow!
Variety Information: Bright orange skin with 3″–4″ thick yellowish-orange flesh. Huge pumpkins can reach 20″ diameter and 100 pounds or more! ‘Big Max’ was introduced in 1964.
When to Sow Outside: RECOMMENDED. 2 to 4 weeks after your average last frost date, and when soil temperature is 70°–90°F.
When to Start Inside: Not recommended except in very short growing seasons, 2 to 4 weeks before your average last frost date. Sow in biodegradable pots that can be planted directly in the ground. Transplant after your average last frost date, when weather is warm and settled.
Days to Emerge: 7–14 days
Seed Depth: 1″
Seed Spacing: 2–3 seeds per mound
Row Spacing: 8’–10′ apart
Thinning: When several leaves, thin to 1 per mound
Harvesting: Harvest pumpkins before the first fall frost, and when foliage has begun to dry out. Cut stem with a knife, leaving 3″–-4″ of stem on the pumpkin. Do not hold the pumpkin by the stem; if stem attachment gets broken, or any part of the pumpkin bruises, the pumpkin may rot. Brush off any dirt or leaves. Ideally, cure at 80°-85°F and 80–85% humidity or a warm, sunny spot with good air circulation for 1 to 2 weeks before eating or storage. Do not allow harvested fruit to get wet.