Step 16: Pumpkins,watering,feeding,planting,growing Climates,soil
While technically a fruit, pumpkin is a winter squash that's
called a vegetable. Depending upon the variety and gardening conditions,
each plant can produce anywhere from 3 to 12 pumpkins per vine,
ranging in size from 1 lb to hundreds of pounds each. When growing
pumpkins, the larger the fruit size, the longer it takes to reach maturity.
In addition to needing a long growing season, growing pumpkins requires
significant garden space. (Vines can sprawl to 20+ feet long.) You can
save space by growing pumpkins with corn. Don't plant near potatoes.
Well drained soil is good for growing pumpkins.
Mix well-rotten manure or compost in your garden soil
3 weeks before planting.
Pumpkins grow best in warm weather but do not tolerate
frost or cold weather. For best results in growing pumpkins,
pick a sunny garden location.
To get in early start in the cold cilmates start on growing pumpkins
by planting the seeds indoors 4-5 weeks early. Plant the seeds
in pot with seed-starting mix, 1” deep. Keep lightly moist and warm.
After the last frost plant the pumpkin seeds directly in your garden
mound up hills 2 feet wide and 1 foot wide, plant 1 inch deep in your mounds.
When the first true leaves appear, thin each "hill" to 2 or 3 plants by cutting off the
plants to be discarded at ground level
Water frequently during the dry days.
During hot days the pumkin leaves may wilt
so keep the soil moist.
When you see the first fruit forming, apply liquid fertilizer
Then repeat the application every few weeks.
1: Too much fertilizer makes an abudnance of leaves, but few pumpkins.
2: When watering, keep the water off the leaves and vines to help prevent plant diseases.
3: For easy handling and better long-term storage, leave 1-2 inches of stem attached.
4: If you're growing giant pumpkins, allow at least 60 feet (or more) for the vines to wander. Your giant pumpkins will reach their maximum size if you pinch off all other fruit on that same vine.
5: Allow at least 6 feet between hills (or as recommended on the seed packet for the variety you selected).
6: Short on space? Grow a bush variety.