Growing pumpkins from seed in the home garden
Do you want learn growing pumpkins from seed? yup, you are in right blog. Pumpkins can be used in savoury dishes and can also be made into a sweet. The seeds of pumpkin are healthy if roasted and they act as bright and beautiful decorations at the time of autumn. The process of growing pumpkins is simple and cost-effective as they will be able to survive in several different regions. You can also consider growing pumpkins in containers, but in this article, you can read the information below to know how to grow pumpkins successfully selecting the variety of pumpkin for plantation, finding the climatic conditions which help your pumpkin plants to survive as well as growth and harvest of your pumpkins. what are we waiting for let us dive into growing pumpkins from seed in your back yard, contianers, or on the terrace.
Preparation process for the growth of pumpkins:
You will have to check when is the right time for the plantation of pumpkin in your locality. The seeds of pumpkin do not undergo the process of germination in the soil which is cold, so they have to be planted after the frost has been passed. Always consider planting pumpkins at the end of the spring or the early stages of summer for harvest in autumn. Pumpkins usually take 3 to 4 months to reach the stage of maturity.
Choosing an area of plantation for pumpkins:
- Pumpkins will grow on vines and they require an adequate amount of space for survival. Select a place in your garden which satisfies the following requirements.
- Growing pumpkins in small spaces is possible. At least 20 to 30 feet of space which is open has to be considered. Your pumpkin patch will not have to take up your entire garden. You can consider planting it beside your house, or along the fence present in your backyard.
- Make sure that the area you are choosing to plant your pumpkin receives full sun. Do not select the site which is present under a tree or in any shadow. Always ensure that your pumpkins are getting a lot of sunlight throughout the day.
Preparation of soil for planting pumpkins:
- The soil required for the plantation of pumpkin should be well-drained. Soils which are clay-based will not be able to absorb water quickly and are not as conduction for the growth of pumpkins. Select a site which will not have standing water after heavy rainfall.
- For providing your pumpkins with an additional boost, consider preparing your soil before composing it. Consider digging large holes where you can plan the plantation of pumpkins and then fill them with a mixture of compost a week before the plantation.
Select your pumpkin seeds:
- You can visit a local nursery or you can also consider ordering seeds online from a catalogue to make use of them in your pumpkin patch. There are several different types of pumpkins, but for the purpose of home growing, they fall into three different categories:
- Pie pumpkins are the ones which are meant to be consumed.
- Large pumpkins which are used for decorative purposes. These are generally carved into jack o’ lanterns. These pumpkins seeds can be consumed, but the flesh of this pumpkin will not be flavourful.
- Small pumpkins which are again used for decorative pumpkins. These are also called as mini pumpkins.
Plantation of pumpkins:
- For growing pumpkins in raised beds, you can consider building a small mound of dirt and then plant your pumpkin seed at a depth of 1-2 inches. The hill will help in the improvement of drainage of soil and will let the heat to heat the soil quickly which will also speed up the process of germination of seeds.
- Consider planting 2 or 3 seeds at a distance of a few inches from one another, in case if anyone seeds do not sprout.
- Do not take into consideration which end of the seeds has to be pointed upwards. If the seeds work successfully, they will grow anyway.
- If the pumpkin variety you have selected will grow along the creeping vines, then make sure that you are spacing the hills in the same row at a distance of 12 feet from each other and then space the rows at a distance of 6 to 10 feet from each other, based on the size of the pumpkin variety you have chosen. The varieties which are of “Bush-type” which grow on short vines will require a space of 8 feet from all directions.
- If you have composted your soil before going with the plantation, you can consider skipping this step. If not, consider adding a thin compost layer or mulch layer in the areas where you have planted the pumpkin seeds. The compost will help in keeping the weeds away and will also nourish your pumpkin seeds.
- With utmost care, the plants of pumpkin have to sprout within a week.
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Caring Pumpkin plants:
Watering your Pumpkin Plants
- Pumpkin plants require plenty of water but make sure that you are not watering them too much. Always water your pumpkin plants when the soil is somewhat dry, instead of adding more amount of water to make your soil wet. Watering which is deep and infrequent would be the best.
- When you are watering your plants, make sure that you are using plenty of water and allow to soak deep into the soil. The roots of your pumpkin plant run many inches or feet down based on the growth stage and it is essential that the water is reaching them.
- Do not try to water the leaves of your pumpkin plant. This will encourage fungus growth called powdery mildew which will cause withering to the leaves leading to the death of the plant.
- Watering your plant in the morning would be the best, instead of watering it at night so that the water which gets on the leaves of your pumpkin plant will have some time to get dried under the sun.
- When you see that the pumpkins have started to grow and are turning to orange colour, reduce the amount of water you are using. It would be better if you completely stop watering for about one week before you are planning to harvest the pumpkins.
Fertilizing your pumpkin plants
- When you see that the pumpkins plants have just sprouted, you can consider adding fertilizer. This will encourage the pumpkin plant to have healthy growth. You can visit your local nursery and ask them for a fertilizer you can consider adding to your pumpkin bed.
- To ensure that your pumpkins plants will give healthy pumpkins, you will have to keep monitoring them all across the growing process.
- Make sure that you are weeding your pumpkin patch frequently. Do not allow the weed growth crowd out the plants of pumpkin or absorb the nutrients on which they would be required to survive. Plan the weeding a few times a week.
Managing Pests and diseases
- The pumpkin leaves and flowers have to be checked for beetles which will eat the tissue of the plant and will finally kill the plant. They have to be scraped off from the plant.
- Make sure that you are mulching around your pumpkins to maintain the pressure of weed down and store the moisture of the soil.
- Aphids are one of the pests that will cause a lot of damage to the garden plants. These pests are mostly found at the lower section of the leaves and if you are not taking proper care about them, they will kill your plants rapidly. These have to be sprayed off by making use of water in the morning times so that the leaves will have some time to dry.
- If required, make use of an organic pesticide to get rid of the pests present on your plants. You can visit your local nursery or gardening centre to enquire about these products.
- The pumpkins have to be in bright orange colour with a shell which is hard. The stems of pumpkin and mostly the vine itself should start to get dry or withered.
- Make sure that you are not harvesting the pumpkins which are still soft. They will not be able to keep for more than a few days before they get spoiled.
- Make use of a pair of garden shears for cutting the stem, by leaving it a few inches in terms of length. Make sure that you are not breaking off the stems as this will cause rotting of pumpkins.
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- The pumpkins have to be stored in a place which is cool and dry. They should not be kept in a place which is humid, damp and receives direct sunlight. There is no need to refrigerate them. Pumpkins will be able to survive for many months after the harvest is done.
- Before you proceed with storage, consider rinsing them with mild chlorine so that this helps in the discouragement of fungi and mould. Make use of one cup of chlorine bleach which you use for your household along with five gallons of cold water.
Facts about growing pumpkins from seed:
- Most of the people do not understand that the pumpkin varieties which are small will take the same time after plantation to get ready for harvest as the large pumpkins which weigh about 100 pounds. Pumpkins require between 3 to 4 months to get ready for harvest after the plantation of seeds.
- Consider putting a cardboard or a piece of wood under the growing pumpkins. This will help in the elevation of pumpkins off the soggy soil for the prevention of rot. The pumpkins have to be watered at the base of the plant instead of watering over the complete patch.
- One pumpkin plant will generally produce 2 to 5 pumpkins. The mini pumpkin varieties will be able to produce up to 12 or so. There will generally be more number of female fruits, but some of them will not be developed for some reason.
- Consider the application of a fertilizer which is rich in the content of nitrogen once a week in the early stages of growing season for the production of a healthy plant. Once you see the formation of flowers, you can switch to a fertilizer which is rich in phosphorus content to get plenty of flowers. When you see that the actual pumpkins have started to grow, then make use of a fertilizer which is rich in the content of potassium.
- The leaves of your pumpkin plants sometimes turn into yellow and this may happen due to age, deficiency of nutrients or infestation caused due to pests and diseases.
- Sometimes you see that your pumpkins are falling off the vine. This will happen mostly because of poor pollination as the timeline for pollination is very narrow, i.e., for about 4 to 6 hours. If pollination will not take place at that time, the flowers will close for good and pollination never takes place.
- Sometimes you see your pumpkins turning black. This black rot is caused by a fungus which will attack pumpkins and other types of cucurbits. This will lead to a disease called “gummy stem blight” on melons and cucumbers. The loss of yield takes place because of black rot.
That’s all gardeners about growing pumpkins from seed in the home garden or outdoors.
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