I love planting “anything”….but I especially love PUMPKINS! It makes one feel giddy with anticipation for Halloween as we see that iconic symbol for this auspicious holiday take form! I enjoy seeing the different shapes develop and my mind starts to imagine all the amazing characters that can come to life using this friend of the garden. This is also a great project to start with your young kids or grandkids…especially seeing their expressions of excitement and delight as it grows, not to mention the lesson in responsibility it can create. They can become the caretakers for this Halloween Icon!
The How-To’s of Pumpkin Growing….
When the spring rains have begun to lessen and temperatures stay in the low 70’s it is time to plant your pumpkin seeds! If you live in a colder climate then start your little fellas indoors and then transplant outside as it starts to warm up. Pumpkins will grow best in a sunny spot…5-6 hours of sunlight a day makes your pumpkins mighty happy! Our pumpkin friends like to have 110-140 frost-free days to grow and like all things this will depend on the type of pumpkin you plant. Pumpkin seeds like to be planted in the middle of small mounds that are about three feet in diameter. Surround each hill with a moat (about 4 inches wide and 4 inches deep) to help contain water around the roots. Plant 4 to 5 seeds in a circle in the middle of the hill, and space the seeds about 6 to 8 inches apart. If you are planting more than one mound of pumpkins, the mounds should be 10 feet apart. Thin the little sprouts out so the stronger ones can flourish….Nothing is better than a home grown “Jack-a-Lantern” for that most auspicious of holidays “Halloween”!