Quick Guide to Growing Pumpkins
- Plant pumpkins in early summer near the edge of your garden.
- Space pumpkin plants 2 to 5 feet apart (depending on the variety). Grow each pumpkin on a 3-foot wide mound of warm, fertile soil that has a pH of 6.0 to 6.8.
- Improve your native soil by mixing in several inches of aged compost or other rich organic matter.
- Pumpkins require a lot of water, so it’s best to use a soaker hose or drip irrigation. Avoid wetting the leaves.
- Give your pumpkins plenty of nourishment with a continuous-release plant food.
- As pumpkins start to form, elevate them off the soil to prevent rotting.
- Harvest pumpkins once they reach their ideal color. The skin should be firm and stems will have started to wither.
Soil, Planting, and Care
Like its cousin the cucumber, pumpkin demands warm, fat land for growth. Soil ph should be 6.0 to 6.8. plan to give each vine at least a 3-foot diameter pile, or hill, of warm, enrich dirt. Test your land every year or two to determine how to amend it for ideal pumpkin growth. If you do n’t do a soil test, you can improve your existing land by mixing in compost or aged compost-enriched Miracle-Gro® Performance Organics® All Purpose In-Ground Soil with the circus tent few inches of native soil, to provide more nutrition and improve the dirty texture. In aplomb climates, warm the dirty a week before planting by covering it with a piece of black plastic. To plant your pumpkin seedlings, cut a hole in the formative and plant through the trap. Pumpkin vines grow aggressively, covering lots of land. To keep your garden from being engulfed by vines, site plants near the edge of the garden. As vines grow, direct them toward the outdoor of the garden. Space life-size plants 5 feet apart, and mini pumpkins 2 to 3 feet apart.
Plants need ample water when flowers and fruits are forming. It is well to use a drip arrangement or downpour hose to directly water territory at the basis of vines sol as to avoid leak leaf. Try to water in the early good morning, so that any water that splashes onto leaves can soon dry. Wet foliation is more susceptible to fungus, such as powdery mildew, which can slowly kill all the leaves on a vine. Most vine wilt under the bright, hot afternoon sun, but if you see foliation wilting before 11:00 ante meridiem, that ‘s a sign that they need water. It ‘s besides a good idea to feed pumpkin plants throughout the season with a continuous-release fertilizer like Miracle-Gro® Performance Organics® Edibles Plant Nutrition Granules, which provides a source of firm nutrition for potent growth. Some gardeners promote branching to get more pumpkins by pinching the tips out of main vines when they reach about 2 feet retentive. You can besides increase the yield on a vine by removing all female flowers ( these have a small intumescence at the base of the bloom ) for the first 3 weeks. These practices may produce a sturdier vine that can set more, albeit smaller, pumpkins during the growing season if you have good dirty, sun, and moisture. If your finish is fewer, larger pumpkins per vine, once you have 3 to 4 fruits on a vine, pinch off all remaining flowers as they form. For a short fun, you can personalize pumpkins for children. While pumpkins are small and skins are soft, scratch a child ‘s name into the skin. The name will increase in size as the pumpkin grows .
The first few flowers on pumpkin vines will be male blooms. Their pollen attracts bees thus that when the female blossoms begin to open, the bees will have the pumpkin vines on their daily flight runs. male flowers concluding one day, then drop from vines. If vines are stressed, male flowers may predominate. insect pests of pumpkins include spotted and striped cucumber beetles, which can transmit bacterial wilt disease, which causes vines to crash and die. Treat adult beetles with neem or pyrethrum. Be aware, however, that these are toxic to all insects, including beneficial predators and bees. Make applications at dusk to avoid harming bees. early insect pests include squash bugs, which must be controlled early or they can be annihilating, and squash vine borers.
Powdery mildew, a fungus that produces white spots on leaves, can weaken plants. For instructions on how to handle pests and diseases, contact your regional reference agency .
Harvest and Storage
As pumpkins form, you can slip a piece of cardboard or folded newspaper beneath the fruit to prevent contact with territory and possible waste, particularly if you are growing a valued few. Toward the end of the season, remove any leaves that shade ripening pumpkins. Harvest pumpkins before freeze. Fruit is ripe when the away is amply coloured, skin is hard, and the root begins to shrivel and dry. Pumpkin vines are frequently bristly, then wear gloves and long sleeves when harvesting to keep from itching. To harvest, cut stems with a sharp knife, leaving at least an column inch of root on fruits ( more stalk is better ). Lift pumpkins by slipping your hand under the bottomland of the fruit. Never lift a pumpkin by its root ; if the stem breaks, the pumpkin wo n’t store well. Before storing, remedy pumpkins by setting them in the sun for 10 to 14 days to harden the skin, seal the stem, and improve taste. Dry, warm weather is good ; protect curing pumpkins from crisp nights with old blankets or by moving them into a spill or garage. shop cured pumpkins in a aplomb topographic point, arranging them so they do n’t touch. The ideal storage space has a temperature of 50 degrees with about 60 percentage humidity, but since a root root cellar is barely standard in most homes, do the best you can in a basement, vermin-free crawl space, or other frost-free storage. Under ideal conditions your cured pumpkins should store for 2 to 3 months .
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This young pumpkin grows under the shade of the plant’s leaves. Later in the season as the pumpkin matures, the vine will turn yellow and shrivel away.
The fruit grows from the pretty pumpkin blossom. If you want fewer larger pumpkins, pinch off a few blossoms.
Long pumpkin vines run at random, so give them plenty of space.
Leave the thick stem on your pumpkin when you remove it from the garden. Simply cut the vine away.
How do I know when pumpkins are ripe and ready to harvest?
Pumpkins should be harvested before the first hard frost. Vines die back and leaves shrivel at the end of the growing temper. The fruits change from greens to yellow to sunset orange. Cut pumpkins from the vine when the rind is firm ; leave several inches of stem attached to the fruit to avoid decomposition .
How do you prolong the life of a carved pumpkin?
Allow the pumpkin to sit for 30 minutes after carving. Dry out the cut areas and the insides with a towel. Coat the stinger areas with petroleum jelly. This reduces moisture loss and helps protect against decompose for a few days .
How long can pumpkins be stored?
If kept in a cool dry space, pumpkins can death up to respective months .