I have a Big Max pumpkin that sprouted a little over a month ago. It's looking good and producing lots of leaves, but I haven't seen the first sign of buds anywhere. I've never done pumpkins before, so I'm not sure when I should expect to start seeing blooms.

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I don't know about Big Max, specifically, but I believe that 40-55 days is the general time from pollination to fruit maturity for pumpkins. Extrapolating on that and the 110-day time to maturity for Big Max, I would assume that you would expect pollination to happen around 7-8 weeks after seed germination.

If you look at the vines, you should be able to see the little flower buds that will develop into flowers along the main vine, close to the base of a leaf. My pumpkins (Jack be Quick this year) first started showing buds around the 28 day mark.

Edit: If you want to read more about the effects of fertilisation on pumpkins, this paper on the subject is one I found helpful. It has some excellent information, but be sure to note that they were dealing with commercial-size plots and were using a fairly rigourous fertilisation schedule. As such, their anthesis/fruit dates should be expected to come sooner than a garden that isn't as closely monitored. Also, the paper uses data based on the Libby Select variety, which has an average maturation time of 105 days.

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    Hmm. I haven't really seen anything. My other question is that it isn't creeping like a vine. it's still standing straight up. I'll take pictures and post when I get a chance. It's producing lots of leaves. Should I get a more potassium-heavy fertilizer? Jul 14, 2014 at 20:21
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    @jordaniac89 If it is in the ground, it should be running by now. You're absolutely sure it is a Big Max? I used to grow those, and they generally acted exactly as Laughing_Jack describes.
    – J. Musser
    Jul 14, 2014 at 20:58
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    It might be helpful to know what fertilisers you're already using and what your soil is like. Also, good to mention what zone you live in. From the sounds of it, the plants have just been a little colder than usual and aren't quite as mature. Once the main vine gets over about 18-24" in length is when I would expect it to vine laterally more than just going straight up. Also, once it does that is when I would expect the buds to be more noticeable. Jul 14, 2014 at 21:01
  • Yeah, it's definitely a Big Max. I mean, it came out of a Big Max seed packet. I live in zone 7b. I've just been using the MiracleGro Shake N' Feed. It hasn't really been cold here. Usually 75 degrees at night and 90 during the day. It gets full sun until about 3-4PM Jul 14, 2014 at 21:33
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    Higher potassium (kind of like your Shake N' Feed, at 9-4-12) fertiliser will lead to a slightly later flowering time by up to a week or so, but I wouldn't really suggest changing it. Depending on soil composition/quality you might want to fertilise just a little more frequently than the recommended 3 months, but don't worry too much for now. Make sure you're not over watering; soil about 1" down should be moist without letting things become water-logged. Jul 14, 2014 at 21:53

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