Growing PumpkinsIt is that time of year to plant those pumpkins for fall harvest.

Pumpkins are becoming a popular produce around the country. From painting and carving pumpkins to new recipes being introdued daily on Pinterest.

Many pumpkin growers I’ve talked to in the last couple of years really like the lawn and gaden test package.  (Cost $25.00 analysis and recommendations) It is a complete soil test which looks at your soil nutrients and gives pumpkin growers the information they need to help with appropriate fertilizer and nutrient application. Get your results in 3 days.

In addition, I’ve also noticed that some pumpkin growers are also looking at plant tissue analysis by sending in pumpkin leaves for analysis of nitrogen levels to insure pumpkins are getting the appropriate nutrients from the soil. (Cost $24.00 analysis and recommendations)

So what does it take to grow pumpkins? I found this article in the Farmer’s Almanac. Check out some,(I left out a number of tips) of these pumpkin tips in the Farmers Almanac.

Planting

  • Pumpkins do best when the seeds are directly planted in the ground.
  • Minimum soil temperature for germination is 70ºF.
  • Optimum soil temperature is 95ºF. Pumpkins are very sensitive to the cold.
  • Pick a site with full sun (to light shade).
  • Pumpkins are big greedy feeders. They prefer very rich soil that is well-drained and not too soggy.
  • Mix lots of compost and aged mature into the planting site before you sow seeds or tranplant.
  • Select a site with lots of space for the sprawling vines. Vine varieties need 50 to 100 square feet per hill.
  • You can also grow pumpkins in big 5 to 10 gallon buckets! Or, try miniature varieties.
  • Plant the seeds 1 inch deep into the hills (4 to 5 seeds per hill). Space hills 4 to 8 feet apart.
  • When the plants are 2 to 3 inches tall, thin to 2 to 3 plants per hill by snipping off unwanted plants without disturbing the roots of the remaining ones.

Care

  • Use row covers to protect plants early in the season and to prevent insect problems.
  • Pumpkins are very thirsty plants and need lots of water. Water one inch per week. Water deeply, especially during fruit set.
  • When watering: Try to keep foliage and fruit dry unless it’s a sunny day. Dampness will make rot more likely.
  • Add mulch around your pumpkins to keep in moisture, suppress weeks, and discourage pests.
  • Pumpkins need lots of nutrients. A regular treatment of manure or compost mixed with water will sustain good growth.
  • Fertilize on a regular basis. Use a high nitrogen formula in early plant growth.
  • Fertilize when plants are about one foot tall, just before vines begin to run.
  • Bees are essential for pollination, so be mindful when using insecticides to kill pests.
  • Gardeners who are looking for a “prize for size” pumpkin might select the two or three prime candidates and remove all other fruit and vines.

Picture Source: Pixabay

BACK