Cucurbita maxima 'Big max'
|Big Max "pumpkin" at a county fair in New York|
Big max is a large variety of squash that can exceed 45kg (100lbs) and 51cm (20in) in diameter under ideal growing conditions. Hybrid cucurbit varieties such as Big Max are not true pumpkins, but instead "squash-type pumpkins". They are often bright orange in color, with fine-grained, yellow-orange flesh. The skin, deeply ribbed and slightly roughened, can grow to be 76-100 mm (3-4in) thick, making them favorable for storage. The flesh has been described as good for canning and freezing. However, their size often makes utilizing them for culinary uses difficult, and they lack the flavor and texture present in smaller pumpkin varieties.
Best planted between two and four weeks after the average last frost. Although recommendations vary, seeds are often planted at a depth of 1-3cm (0.39-1.2in), spaced 3-8 cm (1.2-3.1in) apart, in hills of between five and eight seeds. Hills are spaced 1.5-2.4m (5-8ft) apart, and thinned to two to three plants. Seedlings sometimes emerge in five to ten days, though germination may take up to 14 days.
The cultivar requires large amounts of room to grow properly, and to achieve the maximum size, it is recommended to limit each vine to one fruit.
Big Max pumpkins typically become ripe 110 to 120 days after sowing. They are harvested before the first light frost, when the plant's foliage dies.
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