The Q&A Archives: tips on

Question: growing pumpkins

Answer: Pumpking growing is fun, and fairly easy. The long-vining varieties need lots of space, but bush varieties have been developed for smaller gardens. They do need a rich, well-drained soil to grow well. Amend your garden soil with compost and/or aged manure to boost fertility, moisture- holding capacity and drainage. Plant seeds according to package directions (depends on mature size of chosen variety) towards the end of May in your area, after danger of frost has passed and soil has warmed. Pumpkins are thirsty plants - mulch the soil with newspaper covered with straw/hay/grass clippings to help it retain moisture. Stick your finger in the soil near the roots to check moisture level - if it feels moist at the depth of one inch, they don't need watering.If you have to dig deeper than that, they can use a thorough watering.

Once bloom begins, you can apply a small amound of fertilizer to the soil around the roots (use as per directed by fertilizer label) and/or spray the vines once per month with liquid seaweed. Place a brick or piece of wood under each young pumpkin to elevate them away from the soil surface, and prevent insects and rot from marring the surface. Ripe fruit will be ready to pick anywhere from 85-120 days, depending on variety. I think that covers it - have fun!

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