As temperatures begin to rise and we’re just starting to enjoy time by the pool or planning our summer vacations, it’s hard to think about fall decorating and carving Jack-O-Lanterns. But, if you want to grow your very own carving pumpkin in 2014, you’ll need to think about it right away!
Whether you want to grow pumpkins for carving or cooking, pumpkins are a real treat. They are beautiful to behold, delicious to eat, and very healthy for you as well. Pumpkins require a long growing season, generally around 100 frost-free days. You’ll need to plant them by late May in the more northern locations and before July 1 in the southern-most states. Pumpkins are tender vegetables, so do not plant them until all danger of frost has passed and the soil is warmed. Soil that is too cool can damage seedlings or cause them to rot. Minimal soil temperature is 70ºF.
Pumpkins are easy to grow and maintain … the only real requirement is adequate growing space for their sprawling vines. You’ll need 50-100 square feet per hill. You can also plant them alongside a driveway or lawn and let them vine along the edges. Some people have even planted pumpkins in 5 gallon buckets and allowed the vines to grow over the edge and spill out onto the surrounding area.
Pumpkins do best when you direct seed them in the ground where you want them to grow. But if you have an extremely short growing season, you can try to start seed indoors about 4 weeks before the last spring frost. Just be sure to harden your seeds off well before transplanting.
Pumpkins like to grow in full sun but can tolerate light shade. They are very heavy feeders and like rich soil that is well drained. You’ll need to mix in some compost and add natural fertilizer during the growing season. Pumpkins are also extremely thirsty and need at least one inch of water a week. Be sure to water deeply, especially as fruits are forming. When watering, try to keep the fruit and foliage dry, and water at the base of the plant. This will help deter rotting. Mulch around your pumpkins to lock in moisture.
As you grow, if you notice lots of vines and flowers, but no pumpkins, this means you need more bees in your garden to pollinate the flowers. Grow some colorful flowers next to your pumpkin patch to help invite pollinators in!
To help you get started growing your own pie pumpkin or Jack-O-Lantern, we’ve put together a great Heirloom Pumpkin Package we think you’re going to love.
Our package includes 5 great heirloom pumpkin varieties and the book Pumpkin, A Superfood For All 12 Months Of The Year. This book isn’t just a cookbook, though it does contain over 125 great recipes. It teaches you everything you’ve ever wanted to know about pumpkins and how to grow the best pumpkins around. Learn how to use pumpkins in snacks, entrées, and even drinks!
You’ll also receive five seed packets of our favorite pumpkin varieties:
- Winter Luxury
- Red Kuri
- Thelma Sanders
With the Heirloom Pumpkin Package you’ll be ready to enjoy all sorts of pumpkin treats come fall. But you must order today to start growing in time! This amazing package is just $25.00 plus $6.95 for shipping and handling.
To order your Heirloom Pumpkin Package, CLICK HERE.