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How to Grow Pumpkins For Fun

Sunday, 17 June 2012

Growing pumpkins can be lots of fun, both for adults and children. Unfortunately I did not this year. It's almost Halloween, and once again I'm thinking of growing pumpkins next year. I missed the window for planting this time as I was traveling on business, but won't next year. I've put in on my calendar and alerted the family so we do not forget!

Pumpkins need a large growing season, so in many climates you need to buy seedlings or start them yourself inside before it's safe outside. For example there may still be a perhaps surprise cold front or frost that will kill them. My garden store suggested a 6 week head start, which has been perfect in previous seasons. The head start you will need will depend on your climate, and in some areas, for example the mid Atlantic states, it won't be necessary at all.

Pumpkins like lots of sunshine and well drained soil. A somewhat shady moist area doesn't work well at all. A soil ph of 6 to 6.8 is perfect, but I've never measured and my pumpkins always do alright. If other similar plants grow well there chances are pumpkins too. Most decent gardening areas will work, but you may want to check and possibly adjust your ph to be sure.

Plant them five to six feet apart minimum as they need lots of space, and if you're tilling the soil, a great idea, till out fifteen to twenty feet away if you can as pumpkins spread their roots very far! They really stretch out when they can.

I water 2 or 3 times a week, more if it's very hot and dry, and fertilize with manure occasionally, including once before planting. Once the pumpkin fruits appear, you can pinch some of the vines in order to get fewer yet larger pumpkins. You can also slightly rotate the pumpkins so all sides get sunlight and the pumpkins end up rounder. You can't do that easily if at all with larger ones so I usually put a board under them to keep them from rotting. In any case, they will grow happily and this is simply for aesthetics.

When the vines shrivel in the fall, harvest! It's pretty easy to grow pumpkins, and kids (as well as adults) love to grow them! In fact growing pumpkins is a great school activity!

For more holiday articles, visit Tabletop Christmas Trees and Tabletop Christmas Trees varieties.
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