A GIANT MARROW
The Giant Marrow is a marrow which belongs to the
Cucurbita family ( cucurbita pepo ). The Giant Marrow grows as an
Annual and is a
with a vine that grows to a length/width of approx 4 meters x 4
meters. Giant Marrows are very similar to grow as the smaller varieties of
pumpkins, but they grow a lot larger than any normal varieties.
Preparation: To prepare the soil for your Marrow patch, care should be
first taken to select the correct piece of land. It should be well drained,
sunny but in a wind protected area. The ground should be turned as early as
possible, with manure or some other type of food (i.e. a legume such as oats or
chick peas) added to give the ground nourishment and compost.
Planting: There are three options when planting giant marrows.
Firstly, the seeds can be planted into a good seed raising mixture, until 2-3"
high. Care must be taken when transferring
small plant and its roots into the ground. The second option is germinate the
seeds in a humidifier (heated
fishtank or similar device) then transfer the germinated seed to a growing
pot. The third option is to plant the seeds directly into the ground.
The most important thing when planting a giant
marrow seed is DO NOT OVERWATER the ground/pot until the seed has germinated.
Too much water will rot the seed. The soil should be kept no more than DAMP
until the seed has germinated.
When to Plant: Giant Marrows are usually planted around the same time
of year that smaller variety pumpkins are planted in your area. They do not like
frost, so care should be taken to avoid the last frost, if you must plant before
frosts are finished for the year, protect the young plant. In Southern
Australia, the best time to plant is September to November. In Northern
Australia, growing seasons are often different and can be grown through the
Australian winter, check locally best growing times.
Basic Requirements: The Giant Marrow seedlings should be watered
regularly, as should the more mature plants. Great care should be taken in humid
conditions not to over-water the plants. Giant Marrows can rot very easily. The
plants should receive plenty of sun, but again they get sunburn, so you may need
to lightly cover the plants, but make sure there is room for air movement
Growing Time: A Giant Pumpkin takes approximately 5 months to grow. It takes approximately 70-90 days before any fruit appear on the vine. It then takes another 60 days or so for the fruit to reach maturity. It is recommended that only 1-3 fruit be left on any one pumpkin bush and only one per main vine. The more fruit, the more competition for food.
Pollination: Pollination is a key factor in growing Giant Marrows. If a
Marrow grows and only reaches the size of a large Zucchini and then dies off, it means the fruit was not pollinated correctly. Another option is to hand pollinate the male flowers with the female flowers. The best time for this is early in the morning.
Maturity: A Giant Marrow is mature when the skin of the
Marrow hardens off and begins to look a bit rough. The colour sometimes changes
and fades when this occurs. A giant marrow will only last about 4 months once cut off the vine. You should never cut a giant
marrow off the vine until it is ready for competition, or if you think
rot or disease may kill the fruit early if left on the vine.
Initial Downy Mildew Symptoms in Cucurbits Is Critical for Successful Management
Mildew of Cucurbits