Growing Pumpkins successfully is very rewarding and fun! However, if you don’t have the proper steps, it can be a real hassle. In order to grow a healthy and productive crop, it is important to follow some basic guidelines. This article will give you the basics when it comes to learning how to grow pumpkins successfully. If you do the steps correctly, you can be assured that you will have a bountiful harvest every year.
Harvesting and Nutrition: After the pumpkin has been ground, remove any seeds or broken off from the skin. Your crop should consist of approximately one and a half to two inches of inner bark and stringy fibers covering the inner layer of the skin. The outer stalk of the pumpkin has most of its nutrients and often can be used for soups, stews, or even chili. Harvest and Nutrition: After harvesting, dig the pumpkin’s base, taking care to leave about a half inch of the root ball. This allows more space in the soil for nutrients to settle into.
Start Garden and Care: While your seeds are still inside the shell, your next step in learning how to grow pumpkins, is to prepare the soil for planting. If you’re just starting out, you will probably want to grow in partial sun. This way your plants will receive all the sunlight they need to thrive. Full sun plants are more susceptible to disease and pests, so it is best to take them only in the afternoon to give them time to acclimate to daytime light.
Fertilizer: When you’re ready to plant, your seeds will need to be placed into the holes. If you have seeders, carefully cover the bottom of each hole with your first batch of compost or well-rotted garden compost. Once the holes are well rotted, add your fertilizer. It is very important that you use a high quality fertilizer to get good results.
Watering: Your garden will need to be regularly watered. Pumpkin seeds don’t like to be dry. Watering often will help your plants stay healthy. You can buy garden hose at your local nursery and attach to the base of your pumpkins to increase water flow.
Cardboard Boxes: When you harvest, place the cardboard boxes on top of the soil. This will provide a protective home for your vegetable seeds and help them grow into healthy plants. All organic material, including cardboard, can be purchased at a certified nursery.
Halloween Pumpkins: When the weather begins to get warmer, transplant your remaining pumpkin plants to an outdoor garden. The seeds from this plant will germinate and grow into your new Halloween pumpkins! Do your best to keep your plants as healthy as possible during their final harvest. This means watering them often, harvesting at the right time and taking care of the soil. Halloween pumpkins have a deep, dark color that will beautifully complement any lawn or garden.
Cardboard Boxes: Once Halloween season has come and gone, carefully remove the cardboard from your plants. Take along the empty, but still warm, cardboard boxes. Set these boxes in your yard. These will serve as a constant source of food and nutrition for your seedlings. Set your backyards apart from neighbors, and you’ll both reap the rewards.
Deadheading: If your pumpkin planting is successful, you should do a little deadheading just before the last frost date. This will encourage plant growth and help them produce healthier seeds. The easiest way to go about deadheading your plants is to divide the plants in half and use a sharp knife to cut the main stem at the base. Then, transfer the cut piece to a pot with an opening on the side that is large enough to allow the roots to spread out.
Soil Phosphorous: It’s important to maintain the correct soil pH level if you want your pumpkins to grow properly. A high pH level is necessary for a healthy root system and strong growing roots. Don’t fertilize your plants unless they are already showing signs of having a high pH level. When planning your fall planting schedule, check the soil pH for the time periods surrounding the time you expect the first frosts to occur.
Full Sun: Pumpkins prefer full sun for a healthy growing environment but some varieties need partial shade during the cooler times of the year. This doesn’t mean that you can’t plant them in shaded areas; it just means that you need to move them to a part of the garden that would receive a little bit of shade. Sunlight is very important for photosynthesis, which is necessary for plants to produce food. If you have a backyard with some shade available, don’t hesitate to lightly plant some pumpkin seeds. Even though they won’t grow as well in full sunlight, their roots will still flourish in the shade provided.