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PUMPKIN


  How To Grow Pumpkins


PLANT TYPE: Annual
SCIENTIFIC NAME: Cucurbita spp.
LIGHT: Full Sun
SOIL TYPE: Well-drained, high organic matter
pH RANGE: 5.5 - 6.5
MOISTURE/WATERING: Keep evenly moist, not waterlogged
MATURITY IN DAYS: 90 - 120
KNOWN PESTS: Striped and spotted cucumber beetles
KNOWN DISEASES: Powdery mildew



OVERVIEW:

No vegetable is more exciting to a child than the pumpkin. If you want to spark a childs interest in gardening, encourage them with their very own pumpkin patch. Theirs to nuture, care for and "weed". They may fuss a little when it is time to work, but when they see that pumpkin start to grow and then carve it at Halloween - they'll be hooked. Pumpkins grow quickly and can reach very large sizes - perfect for the kids. Of course, many adults get the same thrill from growing pumpkins.

Pumpkins benefit from a rich soil and a sunny location. For perfect pumpkins on Halloween place a good thick layer of straw underneath each pumpkin - this will keep moisture away from the pumpkin skin and produce better colour. Pumpkin is used in cooking for pies, cakes, bread and so on.


PROPAGATION / SOWING OF PUMPKINS:

Plant pumpkins after all danger of frost has past and when the soil has warmed to 21°C (70°F). For early plantings, use floating row covers to raise soil temperature, increase early growth and protect tender pumpkin plants from wind injury. Sow pumpkins 1” deep, 6” apart in rows 48-72” apart. Thin pumpkin plants to 24-36” apart. Plant vining pumpkins at the edge of the garden to prevent the plants from over-taking the entire site. Space bush type pumpkins 24” apart in rows 36-48” apart.


COMPANION PLANTING:

Pumpkins do well with celery, corn, onion, radish.


CARE & GROWING PUMPKINS:

Pumpkins prefer full sun and a soil pH of 5.5-6.5. Pumpkins are moderate feeders; prefer a rich loamy soil of good fertility and moisture retention. Mix plenty of organic matter into soil. Even and sufficient soil moisture is essential. Pumpkins benefit from mild feedings with a fertilizer high in phosphorous to initiate fruit formation.


HARVESTING PUMPKINS:

Harvest pumpkins before a killing frost or when pumpkins are deep orange in colour. Simply cut pumpkins from the vine leaving 4-6” of stem attached to the fruit. Store in a cool, dry area.












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If you want to grow larger pumpkins, allow one or two flowers to become pollinated and pumpkin begin developing, cut off all the other flowers so there is only one or two pumpkins to that vine.






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