If there’s something not to miss on Thanksgiving, it must be Fall’s favorite dessert the classic pumpkin pie. Other than that, pumpkins are most noticeable on Halloween. Making appearances anywhere in United States as the Jack O’ Lantern, hollowed out and carved. As a matter of fact, pumpkins are all about anything on Fall, from standard kitchen dish to the festivities.
Generally, pumpkins are closely associated for Fall as it is the time of the year to harvest pumpkins. Growing pumpkins are most gardeners’ objective when the Fall comes. Better yet, it becomes the pride of gardeners to compete, but we’ll get to that later. For home gardeners, there are diverse way to cultivate pumpkins on the home ground. Given that it’s not just for kitchen supplies, the vines and the fruit can be decoratives as well.
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Pumpkins are warm-season vegetables and they are sensitive to cold. In order to successfully grow this Fall delicacy, make sure there’s no more danger of the frost in the garden. Also, there are things to be mindful of for the gardeners to grow pumpkins. Pretty much all those things can be found below.
1. Start The Seeds
In reality, pumpkin seeds are just like any other seeds, they work best if gardeners start them directly in garden soil. Pumpkin grows from seeds to harvest in appro However, pumpkins need a long growing season, approximately 75 to 100 days to harvest. Despite the fact that some areas don’t have that long growing season, gardeners can adapt by starting the seeds indoors. Otherwise, the gardeners can directly sow the seeds to the garden soil right after the frost has passed.
2. Plant in “Pumpkin Hills”
The appropriate soil to grow healthy pumpkins should be well-drained but retain moisture well. It is important to check on the light since pumpkins thrive in a full sun area. To succeed in starting the seeds, the soil needs to warm up at least to 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Gardeners normally dig up “pumpkin hills” since this method warms up the soil quicker. Prior to sowing, loose up the soil and mix the compost or manure. Gardeners plant 4 to 5 seeds each hill for around 1 inch deep. The hills should be at least 4 to 8 feet apart.
3. Give Proper Care
The germination of the seeds commonly takes 5 to 10 days to emerge above the surface. Just as they reach 2 to 3 inches tall, thin the plant by snipping 2 to 3 needless plants. Be careful not to bother the roots of the main plant. Pumpkin plants are prone to weed problems. Therefore, cover the soil with mulch to suppress weed and retain soil moisture. Water deep to the soil rather than the foliage. Fertilize on early growth with a formula of high nitrogen and do it regularly. Before blooming phase, switch the formula into a high phosphorus fertilizer.
4. Emphasize Fruit Growth
Eventually, flowers will appear. However, to produce fruit the male and female flowers need to open. Pollination needs to occur, normally with the help of insects such as bees. Suppressing the vines growth will help the plant to focus on growing the fruit once it is formed. Commonly, gardeners pinch off the ends in each vines or just prune them. Feed the plants sufficiently with compost or manure in regular basis.
5. Harvest Matured Pumpkins
Pay attention the pumpkins and harvest them once they are fully matured. The pumpkins that are ready to harvest has turned into a deep solid orange color. Check the rind with fingers, if it feels hard then it is ripe. Carefully cut off about 3 to 4 inches above the fruit with a sharp knife. This way, by not cutting too close to fruit, it will store longer. Pumpkins need to be cured for a week under the sun until the skins toughen.
Not every areas in the United States are in favors to pumpkin’s long growing season. Due to the frost, certain areas need to do a little adjustment particularly starting the seeds. Home-gardeners in shorter growing season can alternatively start sowing the seeds indoor 2 to 4 weeks prior to the last frost. To make sure the seeds germinate well, let’s see what adjustments are essential to the steps.
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1. Sow seeds in starter pots
Firstly, prepare the container, potting soil mix, heating pad and obviously the seeds. Ensure the container got some holes for drainage. Then loosely fill the container with the potting mix that consists peat moss and good quality soil. Sow 2 to 4 seeds and cover them with another layer of soil for about 1 inch. Tap the soil lightly and water the soil until moist. Place the container on the heating pad. Lastly, locate them under bright light using fluorescent bulb light or near the window.
2. Toughen and transplant
Once the seeds germinate and sprouts emerge, toughen up the seedlings before transplanting. Give time for the small plant to adjust and avoid transplant shock. Transplant when the last frost has passed, remember to be careful of damaging roots while transplanting. The hole in the soil should be 1 to 2 inches larger and deeper than the diameter of the roots. After backfilling the soil, tap the soil and water deeply.
Dwarf varieties pumpkin are friendly to pot gardening. The dwarf varieties include the Jack B. Little and Wee Be Little. Those mini pumpkins are great for decorations. Other than that, gardeners also use pots to start pumpkin seeds indoors. See below to find some ideas to grow pumpkins in a pot.
Without a doubt, new gardeners face the risk of damaging small plant’s roots while transplanting. Therefore, it is advisable to prepare biodegradable pots when starting pumpkin seeds indoor, such as using this coconut coir pot. When it’s time to transplant, gardeners can cut the pots easily. It is a safer way rather than lifting up the roots and be susceptible to damage.
As a garden decorative, many gardeners fancy of growing mini pumpkins. The plant don’t spread, so they really need a little space. Yet, their 5-feet vine can bear 6 or more adorable solid-orange pumpkins. Wee-be-little pumpkins are ideal size to decorate the house. People would craft the skin, and the contents would still taste delicious on the plate.
Another great idea of starting pumpkin seeds indoors are using these peat pots to contain them. The gardener places the pots on top of a tray in purpose to keep them neat. The tray also allows to easily move the seedlings in and out of the house throughout the hardening-off phase prior to transplanting. Peat pots are easy to cut, too, making the transplantation safe for the roots.
In the era of eco-living awareness, people try to be mindful of the waste, especially in cooking. If you’re cooking a decent size of pumpkin, set aside the pumpkin skins in its whole shape. Pumpkin skins tend to be tough and durable, you can make it as a pot to grow another small plant in the house.
Go classic with the terra cotta pot to grow Jack B. Little in the garden. The warm tone of the clay combines well with the natural orange of the fruit later. People would love to grow them on the patio under the sunlight. The display would indefinitely enhance Fall’s festive vibe to the house.
Naturally, pumpkins grow in vines. Indeed they require a wide lot to spread. Alternatively, gardeners train the vine to crawl in vertical trellis or pergola. In result, the garden are visually much more neat and free up many ground space. Also, the trellis help create shades and build privacy.
A-frame trellis is the widely adopted set up to grow pumpkins vertically. The set up doesn’t require complex woodworking skill. Consequently, the vines will create triangular tunnel with pumpkins dangling under.
Arch style trellis to grow pumpkins are great to create garden tunnel. Home gardeners can find garden trellis arch in home depot stores. Growing pumpkins on a trellis provide shades to other crops to thrive under a shade area. Moreover, it gives a classic impressive looks in the garden.
You can work up a DIY project with a few pipes and wire strands as a mesh trellis. Hence, the vines will thrive up the mesh. The fruits that dangle under the mesh are insusceptible to rot and decay since they’re away from the soil.
Growing pumpkins in raised beds are very likely as an option. Typically, gardeners go for the miniature pumpkins varieties for this idea. In fact, growing pumpkins in a raised bed will give special look over the garden edging. Set up several poles for the vines to climb up. Wiring also will be necessary when the vines start to spread.
Everyone would love a walk in the park. In this recreational lodge, the garden provides shades with pergola for the visitors to walk comfortably on one fine day. The wooden trellis patched up on the pergola post is where the pumpkin vines can climb and decorates naturally. Thus, the visitors can admire the fruit that’s forming in the warmth of Fall.
Pumpkins are not merely a fruit of many celebrations. Beyond that, it is the pride of the gardeners. Annually, pumpkin gardeners gather and compete to find the largest, healthiest pumpkin of the year. Growing huge pumpkins for competition needs giant pumpkin variety seeds, some of which are listed below.
The rule of growing big pumpkins is to pump up everything to one fruit only. Therefore, gardeners cut off other pumpkins that don’t fit to be in the competition. To grow giant pumpkin, gardeners need a heap of fertilizer and water supply to feed the plant. Once the fruit is forming larger, it needs to be covered in a mini “glasshouse” with plastic cover. The shade will prevent scalding and avoid overheating.
Dill’s Atlantic Giant is a type of pumpkin which fruits can grow to weigh from 200 to over 1000 pounds. Generally, it takes 130 days to mature. The fruit color varies from yellow to orange. When you touch the skin, you feel it’s kind of rough slightly. Throughout history, many record-breaking pumpkins are from Dill’s Atlantic Giant variety.
Big Moose pumpkin is the variety that has a color of reddish-orange with occasional tan stripes. In average, each fruit can weigh from 50 to over 125 lbs. Big Moose takes 110 days to mature. Typically, Big Moose seeds are the one gardeners find for growing Jack O Lantern pumpkins. Since it huge appearance is quite intimidating and impressive at once.
Mammoth Gold pumpkin has a smooth skin surface. It’s irregular shape is full with mottled orange-gold colors. It takes 105 to 120 days to mature to produce 18 to 24 inches diameter pumpkin and vigorous vines. It weighs 40 to 60 lbs in average. However, some can weigh over 100 lbs. The flesh is yellowish-orange, edible as pumpkin pie.
Just by its name, it is the type that set eyes to the prize in pumpkin fairs. It easily reach 100 lbs and can reach up to 300 lbs. The characteristic of Prizewinner pumpkins are pretty competitive. The shape is typical pumpkin-round, with bright orange color and glossy surface. It matures in 120 days which contain a good taste for a pumpkin pie.
White pumpkins are the varieties of pumpkin that people commonly use as decoratives. Nevertheless, gardeners grow white pumpkins similar to any regular pumpkins. They matures in 90 days and need to be harvested right away to prevent color fading and stain.
The pure, clean scheme to welcome thanksgiving is achievable by arranging several white pumpkins for the table. The white pumpkins sitting on top of the rough wooden bed. Just before the white pumpkins arrangement, cover the table with monochromatic tablecloth. The arrangement serves as one simple yet meaningful centerpiece on the dining table.
Accomplish an eerie gothic halloween with painting and carving white pumpkins display. You can tie a jet black solid or lace ribbon to the pumpkins. The hollowed pumpkins are carved in geometric circular spots. The owner makes them a perfect company to the black chandelier at the porch.
Go for a lively and playful theme with this idea! You can collect some miniature white pumpkins of “Baby Boo” variety. Then, the owner decorates them with colorful sticky patches and metallic buttons on the skin. A black wire bowl is perfect to contain them to display at the front door.
Rustic decoration is timeless. The owner collects vintage decoration such as rustic pots, containers and a plate of iron clock. White pumpkins the Fall’s nuances are sitting on the clay pots inside the long containers. Additionally, a small spiky plants fill the rustic pots to give a spark of green to the display.
This idea needs you to grab a paintbrush and a black paint in case. Simply cover one white pumpkin fully with a black paint and paint another with a pattern. You can also use a stencil to copy certain pattern on your painting. Remember to have all the fun you want while doing this project!
To sum everything up, pumpkin is truly special, since people never adore other vegetables the same way. Obviously, it is the only fruit that makes gardeners head-over-heels and compete. Not only flavorful, the appearance is appealing with the solid color of from red, orange, golden to white. Indeed, pumpkin is Fall’s any occasion fruit, from many dishes to many festivities.
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