How To Grow Pumpkins
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How to plant, grow, and harvest pumpkins!
pumpkins require a long growing season. Since I live in a cold area so I have to plant pumpkins as soon as possible because pumpkins take a long time (70 to 100 days) to mature. Plant Pumpkins after all the danger of frost has passed and the soil is warm. Pumpkins and pumpkins seeds do best when the soil temperature is above 70 degrees.
pumpkins are easy to grow and maintain. One important thing in growing pumpkin is space. Pumpkins cover a lot of space. if you don't have space then you can grow vertically, They can climb trellises, hills, fences and other structures. You can also plant pumpkins in containers (5 gallons or larger).
Select the location
Choose a location that receives a lot of sunlight and space for Pumpkin vines to grow. Pumpkins do better in hill or soil mounts because those areas get warmer faster and the seeds grow faster in warmer temperatures.
Add a lot of manure or compost to the mount or garden bed before planting. if you leave in cold areas like me start your seeds indoors two to four weeks before last frost date.
Harden off your seedlings before transplanting it to the garden.
Plant the pumpkin seeds 1 inch deep on the hill or garden bed. It takes about a week for it to germinate but you can germinate it faster with fast seed germination method. When the plants are 2 to 4inches tall, thin out seeds that are too close together or poor performing ones. You can throw them out or move them to other areas.
If you plant your pumpkins in a row, sow your seeds about 8 to 12 inches apart.
Feed the plant regularly with liquid fertilizers like compost tea.
Use row covers and other covers to protect the plants from cold weather at the beginning of the growing season.
Pumpkins are heavy water consumers especially when they are producing fruits. water the pumpkins thoroughly 2 or three times a week. it is recommended to water pumpkin one inch per week.
If you can avoid wetting the leaves when watering. Watering the leaves will make the plant more susceptible to pest and diseases.
Put mulch around the plant to suppress weeds and keep in the moisture.
if your vines climb on structures and vines, you have to support the fruits with nettings and other items.
Pumpkins are heavy feeders so continue to add compost, manure and other organic fertilizer to the plant.
Fertilize regularly (I usually fertilize every two to three weeks.) I use compost tea regularly as my fertilizer. Read my post on how to make your own compost tea.
Use fertilizers that are high in nitrogen at the beginning stages and use fertilizers high in phosphorous before the blooming stage.
Pruning the vines is very important in the growth of the pumpkin, pruning allow more resources (nutrients) to go to where it is needed like plant growth of fruit production. when the fruits start developing, turn them with care so you don't break the vines or stems.
Pest and Diseases
some popular pests and diseases for pumpkins are: Powdery mildew, Anthracnose, Aphids, squash bugs, low light, lower number of pollinating insects and over fertilization are some of the regular issues gardeners face when growing pumpkin.
Harvest pumpkin when they are fully grown and mature.
Pumpkins are ripe and ready when they turn solid colors like orange.