Learn how to cultivate your own patch of pumpkins by planting seeds.
Pumpkin Planting Season
For fall harvest, the optimal period to plant pumpkin seeds is from late May to early July. It’s a simple task to choose ready-to-plant store-bought seeds or gather the seeds from a freshly carved pumpkin. Before you start planting pumpkin seeds, bear in mind that you’ll need a lot of area in your backyard to space the seeds out. Aspiring pumpkin growers who don’t have a lot of outdoor space might prefer to stick to the pumpkin patch or store.
Planting Pumpkin Seeds: A Guide
1. Organise Your Seeds
Before you plant seeds that you have taken from the inside of a fresh pumpkin in the ground, there are a few preparations you must make.
You must first clean off the pulp. The seeds should be rinsed with cold water and placed in a colander. Once all of the seeds have been cleaned, Watson advises separating and choosing the largest seeds. “They stand a better chance of developing and blooming. They should be separated on a paper towel so they may air dry.”
You can store the seeds by putting them in an envelope and keeping them in the back of your refrigerator if you aren’t quite ready to plant them.
2. Select a planting area
Watson advises choosing a growing location that receives full sun to light shade. Pumpkins need soil that is not too moist, therefore keep in mind that the soil should be able to drain.
You must clear a large area in your yard so that pumpkins can grow there. Watson advises spacing your pumpkin seeds five feet apart because of the strong vines. “The spacing alters if you are growing a smaller variety of pumpkins; alternatively, space them three feet apart.”
You may use a kit to check the pH of your soil, and it should be between 6 and 6.8. Ensure that the area is free of weeds, insects, and pests: Watson advises using weed block two weeks prior to planting so that the weeds can naturally die. Added choices? organic weed killers.
3. Plant pumpkin seeds underground.
When it’s time to plant the seeds, make sure to do it correctly. “Planting pumpkin seeds directly into the earth about an inch deep produces the best results,”
Top Pumpkin Growing Advice
1. Refrain from Invading Pests
Pay close attention to any weeds, insects, or pests, especially early in the growing season. You can begin routinely dosing the plants with a nitrogen-based fertiliser once they reach a height of around one foot.
2. Drinking water in the morning
According to Watson, “diligent watering is particularly crucial as the vine can become disease vulnerable.” In the summer, when the heat can cause the veggies to become extremely dry, watering first thing in the morning (about 6 a.m.) is essential. Watson suggests acquiring a soaker hose as well.
Mulch around the perimeter will assist the pumpkins retain moisture in addition to watering. Don’t forget to take care of the vine and shield it from harm so that it can eventually produce the pumpkin.
3. Cut the Vines Back
Once the vines start to appear, Watson advises switching to a high-phosphorous fertiliser. “Pinch off the vine’s fuzzy ends when you’re ready to inhibit vine development (after a few pumpkins have appeared). The vine can be pruned to aid with space and to concentrate the growth of blooming plants.”
How long do pumpkins take to grow, and when should they be harvested?
The usual growing season for pumpkins lasts between 75 and 100 days. Remove any leaves that are shadowing the plant a few weeks prior to harvest; this will assist the pumpkins have a richer colour.
According to research a ripe pumpkin will have the appropriate coloration on the outside and have skin that is hard to the touch. “The stem can also indicate whether a pumpkin is ripe. They will start to shrivel and feel dry to the touch.”
Put on gloves and trim the stem of the pumpkin when it’s ready, keeping in mind that if you trim it too short, it won’t keep as long. The pumpkin needs to be exposed to the sun for 10 to 14 days after the stem is chopped in order to fully harden and ripen.