Is this your first-time germinating pumpkin “Cucurbita moschata? If so, you are in for a treat. Many backyard gardeners grow pumpkins just in time for Halloween.
Others grow their own pumpkins for Thanksgiving, autumn decorations, and fall festivals. Whatever the case may be, you need to know what to expect when germinating pumpkins.
You can start with what do pumpkin sprouts look like?
The pumpkin sprout emerges from the ground as two oval-shaped, green leaves attached to a tiny stem. Immediately upon making its emergence, the sprout’s leaves should be pointing upward toward the sun.
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People are more familiar with the term pumpkin leaf, which is more commonly utilized than the scientific term “cotyledon.”
The tiny pumpkin sprout has a whorl or pair of embryonic leaves. The tiny embryonic leaves at as storage for the sprout.
They store sufficient fuel to supply the sprout and eventually, the plant.
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Pumpkin Sprout Leaves “Cotyledons” Description
As previously mentioned, when the pumpkin sprout is only a few hours old, its leaves point upward toward to sun. Some gardeners like the term “praying leaves,” which is a sign of a healthy pumpkin sprout.
If you look closely at the sprout, you can see prominent veins “nerves.” The veins play a major role in the health of the pumpkin plant.
They serve the same purpose as the human vein, as they act like pipes that allow nutrients to travel throughout the plant.
They also serve as a support system for the leaves. While the tiny veins look vulnerable, they are very much the opposite. They are strong enough to support the leaves by keeping them open for the process known as “photosynthesis.”
This process utilizes natural sunlight to synthesize food from water and carbon dioxide. The compound chlorophyll is responsible for trapping the light from the sun, jumpstarting photosynthesis.
The key elements of the process are carbon dioxide “CO2” and water.
They will eventually spread open for photosynthesis, thanks to the tiny nerves inside the leaves.
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Mature Pumpkin Leaf Description
It can take up to seven days after the pumpkin seed sprouts for true leaves to appear. The mature pumpkin leaf is rounded and lobed, with serrated edges.
Each mature leaf features visible veins “nerves” like the embryonic leaf. The veins still act as a support system and nutrient transport for the plant.
Healthy mature pumpkin leaves are generally dark green. However, they can range between grayish-green and light green. At this stage of the life cycle, the stem and veins will take on a yellowish-green coloration.
This is nothing to be concerned with because it is a normal part of the pumpkin life cycle.
From the moment, the mature leaf emerges from its sheath, it will begin to grow. In the meantime, new true leaves will continue to develop. It can take between two and three weeks for the first set of mature leaves to develop.
The seedling will also continue to grow and strengthen.
The mature pumpkin leaf measures between 20 and 25 centimeters by 25 and 30 centimeters.
Pumpkin Stem Description
There is just something special about putting pumpkins on display in front of your home, that you actually grew.
This surely beats buying store-bought pumpkins, which are always limited to small- or medium-sized.
When you are in control, you can grow a pumpkin large enough to enter it in the Largest Pumpkin Contest.
If you ask gardeners to provide an in-depth description of the pumpkin stem, rarely, you only hear the term “hollow” mentioned, rarely.
A hollow pumpkin stem generally requires less energy to grow, making it stronger and sturdier.
Where To Get Pumpkin Seeds
Remember that you should begin planting your pumpkin seeds in late May or early June. Timing is essential for ensuring that your pumpkins grow large and healthy.
If you’ve successfully planted pumpkins last year, you can easily collect the seeds from inside the pumpkin. Carve the pumpkin to collect the seeds.
You might be able to collect seeds from a pumpkin you’ve bought at a retail store too. If the pumpkin was grown using an heirloom seed, you can use the seeds inside the pumpkin to start a new crop.
If you want to buy pumpkin seeds, you should be able to do so online or in person. Many stores sell pumpkin seeds. Since pumpkins are easy to grow, this is a good starting point for any new gardener.
Even if you don’t have a green thumb, you’ll be able to tackle this task without much difficulty. Try starting with a classic orange pumpkin since they’re easier to grow.
Sowing Pumpkin Seeds
Depending on the climate zone, it is safe to start planting pumpkin seeds as early as May. Pumpkins should not be planted until July in the Northern United States.
In the Southern portion of the country, they can be safely planted in May when the threat of frost is nonexistent.
Pumpkin seeds are very easy to grow. It is recommended to create holes up to 1 inch deep for pumpkin seeds. The holes should have about four inches of space between them.
Drop one pumpkin seed into each hole and lightly cover. If your garden is going to have several rows of pumpkins, there should be at least 10 feet of space separating each hill.
With proper water and nutrients, the pumpkin seeds should begin sprouting eight days later. Some seeds may need a bit longer to emerge from the ground.
You should not start fretting until the seeds have been in the ground for 11 days. If the seed does not sprout by this point, you should consider sowing another seed.
When you begin growing sprouted pumpkin seeds, you’ll notice that they’re remarkably different than regular pumpkin seeds. Typically, the former is lighter in color.
Regular pumpkin seeds have a deep, green hue. Sprouted pumpkin seeds as light green. When the plant begins sprouting, it’ll be short and compact.
The plant will start by developing two big leaves. They can be described as paddle leaves. Over time, the plant will begin developing more leaves in the middle that spread outward.
Pumpkins tend to grow close to the ground. Be sure that you have plenty of room for the pumpkin to spread and thrive.