Is the fall spirit convincing you to grow your own pumpkin patch? Keep reading to learn how and when to plant pumpkins, so they’re ready for next year!
Save the seeds from this year’s Jack-o’lantern carving session and the vegan pumpkin cake so that you can plant your own little pumpkin patch to enjoy next fall. Pumpkins are relatively low maintenance plants as they’re native to North America. All you need is water and lots of sunny space to nourish these guys. You will need about 50 to 100 square feet per pumpkin plant so the vines can spread out.
Remember, pumpkin plants don’t like the cold, so the seeds must be planted after the frost season has passed. They need to grow for about 75 to 100 frost-free days. If you live up north in a colder environment, you should plant by late May. In southern states, you can plant in early July. If you want your pumpkins to be ready for harvest shortly before Halloween, it’s best to purchase your pumpkin seeds and read about the growth period on the packet.
Pumpkin Planting Guide
- Find a big sunny patch where your pumpkins will have plenty of space to thrive. The spot should get full sun throughout the day.
- Plant the pumpkin seeds in rows at least six feet apart. The seeds should be about one inch below the soil and at least six inches apart. Top off with some compost, and water the seeds right after planting. You should see seedlings sprout within the first week or so.
- Water once a week, preferably in the mornings. Pumpkins must be thoroughly watered to keep moist soil. In very hot summers, you may need to water more often. Try to avoid getting water on the leaves and pumpkins themselves.
- Add mulch to the soil to soil to retain moisture and discourage pests.
- Nourish your pumpkins with organic compost regularly. Avoid using insecticides or fungicides as they can kill bees!
- Make sure to do regular weeding to protect your pumpkin’s shallow roots.
- Be patient. It’s normal for the first flowers not to fruit. Be patient as you wait for your beautiful fall pumpkins
- Enjoy! Come fall, harvest your pumpkins and do everything with them that your heart desires. If you have extra, remember you can also freeze and preserve the pumpkins to enjoy year-round.
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