Tips On How To Grow Pumpkins
Are you thinking you want to learn how to grow pumpkins? It really is not that hard. There are a few things you need to do before you get started.
First off, you want to figure out what you will be using your pumpkins for. That way you will know what type of pumpkin to plant as there are many different varieties to choose from. If you will be using them for pies, cooking or baking you may want to plant the Baby Pam’s type.
After you have figured out what type you want to plant, then you can start to scope out the best area to plant your pumpkins. Below you will find tips on when to plant, where to plant and how to care for your pumpkin plants.
Where & How Should You Plant:
Pumpkins require a lot of sunlight and a well-drained soil. Find an area that gets the sun most of the day but is not in a wet area. While pumpkins need a good amount of water to grow properly, an area that is prone to being wet can rot the vines as well as your pumpkins.
You will need an area that is not super close to other plants as these grow as a vine. That means they will spread out and cover a pretty wide area. The area you plant does not need to be super large just leave at least 20 feet between your pumpkin plant and other plants.
Depending on the zone/area you live, you can plant your seeds right in the ground or start them inside. If you have long winters you may be best to start indoors and then move the plant to the pumpkin patch when the time is right.
To plant you can either just drop seeds in the ground and cover with dirt or use the hill method. The only plus side to the hill method is it helps hold moister in longer on the roots but also keeps it lifted up slightly from any run off water (if your area is prone to it). To plant using hills, simply pile up some dirt about 10 inches around and about 3-4 inches tall. Then poke a little hole in the top of your hill about one inch deep and drop your seeds in or put your per-started plant there. Lightly cover with dirt and give it a little water.
In the right weather, seeds sprout in about 7-10 days.
How To Grow Pumpkins Care Tips:
Because pumpkins are made up of mostly water, they require a good amount of water. You can normally judge if you need to water your plants by how dry the soil is or if the plant leaves start to wilt. If the soil is dry or the leaves are wilting, give it a good heavy watering. Just try and keep the water off of the leaves and mostly on the soil.
It is also a good idea to water in the morning. Doing so helps to keep from having mold and fungal diseases. You should not water mid day when the sun is high as you run a risk of burning your plant. When you are about a week away from harvesting your pumpkin, you can totally stop watering your plant.
Be sure to weed around your pumpkin plant to keep them healthy. You can let the weeds grow around them and they will sometimes make it, but you do run the risk of the weeds choking out the plant or taking up the water and giving you less yield or small pumpkins.
If you run into issues with bugs eating your plants, you can use a few different options to control this naturally. You can use a mix of peppermint essential oil with a little water and natural dish soap. Another great option is Neem oil or an organic pesticide.
You will know when to harvest your pumpkin by looking at color and checking the feel. When they are ready to harvest, they will be a dark orange (depending on the type) and should not be soft. The stem where the vine attaches should also be starting to dry out when they are close to harvesting.
When Should You Plant:
With pumpkins, you do have to be very careful when you plant them as they do not take frost well. So the best time to plant is after the last frost in the spring into early summer. You can, however, speed it up a little by starting your seeds indoors and then moving them outside after the last chance of frost.
So if you are looking for a late fall harvest, you will need to have them planted 85 to 120 days before you want to be able to enjoy them. The length of the mature time depends on the type of pumpkin plant you are planting.
If you liked this post on how to grow pumpkins, here are a few others to check out.
- How To Grow Grapes In Your Backyard
- Tips On How To Grow Potatoes
- How To Grow Green Beans Better With These Tips
- How To Grow Strawberries Amazingly Well