How To Grow A Pumpkin?

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Do you know that pumpkins can be made into sweet and savory dishes. Pumpkin seeds are healthy and fun to roast. They usually serve as beautiful and bright full decorations in most homes. Growing pumpkins is very easy and also cheap.

Pumpkins thrive in many different regions and therefore, can survive under various climatic conditions. You just need to know your favorite pumpkin variety and the environment that the variety will survive as well as planting and harvesting your pumpkin.

Do you know that pumpkins can be made into sweet and savory dishes. Pumpkin seeds are healthy and fun to roast. They usually serve as beautiful and bright full decorations in most homes. Growing pumpkins is very easy and also cheap.

Pumpkins thrive in many different regions and therefore, can survive under various climatic conditions. You just need to know your favorite pumpkin variety and the environment that the variety will survive as well as planting and harvesting your pumpkin.

Benefits of Pumpkin: https://www.health.com/nutrition/pumpkin-seeds-benefits

Preparing to grow pumpkin

Find out when to plant in your region

You need to know that pumpkins seeds do not make in cold soil and therefore, needs to be planted when there is no frost. You can plant your pumpkins during in the late spring or early summer so that you harvest in the fall. Pumpkins normally mature after 95 to 120 days.

If you are that type who celebrate Halloween and would like to have pumpkins ready by that time, then you need to plant in late July.

Choose where to plant and prepare the soil

Pumpkins usually thrive well in vines and also need enough space to spread. Choose a space in your garden with a 20 to 30 feet free space. You can plant a pumpkin along the side of your house or along the fence so that it doesn’t take most space in your garden.

  • Don’t choose a spot under a tree,
  • Choose soil with good drainage
  • Prepare the soil in advance by composting it so that you give your pumpkin an extra boost.

Choosing the seeds

You can get the seeds from your local nursery or order them from a known pumpkin dealer. There are three categories of pumpkin seeds.

  • Pie pumpkins which are mainly used as food.
  • Large pumpkins which are normally used for decorations. They can also be eaten by they are less tasty when they are fresh.
  • Small decorative pumpkins. They are normally referred to as mini pumpkins.

Planting the pumpkins

Pumpkin seeds are normally planted in hills. So, you mount small dirt and then plant seeds 1-2 inches deep. Mounts of dirt normally work to improve the drainage of soil and also allow the sun to heat the soil faster which hastens the germination of pumpkin seeds.

  • Plant about two to three seeds in one hole so that if one fails to sprout, the other one sprouts.
  • You don’t have to put the seeds in a certain position. Just put them in holes. It doesn’t matter the position it faces. If the seeds are viable, then it will definitely grow.

Plant pumpkins in wide rows

If you choose a variety of pumpkin which grows along creeping vines, then you need to allow a space of 3.7 meters in the same row and then space the 1.8 to 3 meters apart depending on the pumpkin species that you choose. If you have a bush type variety which normally grows on shorter vines, you need to leave a free space of about 2.4 meters in all directions

Cover the planted seeds with compost

If you had already compost the soil before planting, then you can jump this step. But if you had not done so, then you need to add a layer of compost or mulch in the spots that you had planted the seeds. Composting will help to reduce the growth of weeds and also nourish the seeds for proper germination.

  • Given proper care, the pumpkin seeds should sprout within a period of a week.

Caring for the pumpkins

1.    You need to ensure that you water the pumpkins when the amount of moisture in the soil is low. You need to know that pumpkin seeds require a lot of water when growing, but it shouldn’t be too much. You need to, only water the soil when dry rather than adding water to the already wet soil. When you water, ensure that you water the soil deeply and then stay for some time without watering the soil.

  • When you water the soil, ensure that water soaks deeply into the soil. This is because pumpkin plant seeds sink several inches down the soil depending on the variety that you planted.
  • You need to take care not to apply water onto the pumpkin leaves as this encourages the growth of fungi called powdery mildew. This fungus causes the leaves of the pumpkin plant to wither and then die eventually. It is normally advised that you water the plants in the morning rather than at night so that the leaves that get into contact with water dry.
  • When the pumpkin begins to produce fruits and turn orange, reduce the amount of water that you use. You can stop watering the plant at all for about a week before you start to harvest the pumpkin.

2.    Fertilize the pumpkin plant

When the pumpkin starts to sprout, add fertilizers to it to encourage health growth of the pumpkin. You can go to your nursery and ask for fertilizers that you can add to pumpkins while they are still in the bed.

3.    Control weeds and pests

In order to make sure that your pumpkin grows healthy and produce healthy pumpkin, you need to make sure that you monitor the growth of the pumpkin.

  • Weed the pumpkins from time to time. you need not to allow weeds to crowd around you pumpkin plant as they will absorb nutrients that are meant for the pumpkin plant. You need to have a plan to weed your pumpkin every week.
  • You need to be checking pumpkin leaves and blossoms for beetles which normally eat the tissues of the plant and eventually kill it. You need to be checking them and scrapping them off the plant every week.
  • Put mulch around your plant to reduce the number of weeds that grow around the plant and also conserve moisture.
  • You need also to spray your pumpkin plants to kill aphids which are found underneath the leaves of pumpkin.
  • If possible, you need to use organic pesticides to get rid of pests from the leaves of pumpkin plants. You can ask for organic pesticides from your local nursery.

Harvesting the pumpkin

1. Check if the pumpkins are ready to harvest

The pumpkin normally turns pale bright orange depending on the variety when they are ripe and ready to harvest. You will realize that the vine and the stem start to dry and wither.

2. Don’t harvest when they are still soft

If you harvest soft pumpkins, they will spoil and rot after a few days.

3. Cut the pumpkin stem

You need to use a pair of shears to cut the stem. Ensure that you cut it some few inches long to prevent rotting of the pumpkin.

4. Storage

You need to store your pumpkin in a cool, dry place. They o not need refrigeration. They can stay fresh for several months as long as you store them well in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight.

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