The Q&A Archives: pumpkin seed planting

Question: I live in prescott arizona and want to know what time of the year I should plant pumpkin seeds to have pumpkins for halloween? Also where should I plant them, and how much water do they like? I planted some last year and they stayed small and the leaves dried up even though I was watering the a good amount.Help any pumpkin and gourd tips for arizona would be great! Thanks Karrie

Answer: Most pumpkin varieties mature in 100 to 120 days. By planting in June, you'll have pumpkins ready to pick for Halloween decorations and harvest arrangements. You're a little behind schedule so you might want to plant an earlier maturing variety such as ?Autumn Gold', an All American Selections award winner. It's a medium-sized pumpkin at 7 to 10 lbs., early to color and early to harvest at 90 days. The seeds of Autumn Gold can be roasted for a crunchy, nutritious snack.

Other medium-sized pumpkins I recommend are ?Spirit', ?Jack-0-Lantern', and ?Harvest Moon'. Some of the best small pumpkins at 2 to 5 lbs. include: ?Small Sugar', ?Wee-B-Little', and ?Spooktacular'. Some other recommended large pumpkins, 15 lbs. or larger include: ?Connecticut', ?Howden', and ?Ghost Rider'.

Pumpkins grow best in a moist soil, rich in organic matter. If you are planting pumpkins in your garden, locate them at the edge of the garden plot where the vines can grow out and away from other garden plants. This will help conserve space. If you wish to prepare a small garden plot for planting pumpkins, mix in lots of organic matter. Bagged compost or manure works great to enrich the soil for planting. Mix as much as you can into the top 12 inches of soil. At the same time, also mix in 2 lbs. of ammonium phosphate or similar vegetable fertilizer for every 100 square feet of garden bed.

Full sunshine, rich soil and lots of water are all pumpkins require for good growth. Best wishes with your pumpkins!

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