Backyard gardeners and commercial farmers harvest their pumpkins just in time for autumn festivities. Knowing the ins and outs of pumpkin growing begins with research.
You must know everything from when to transplant, the type of soil needed, how much to water, and when to harvest. With your first attempt, you can expect to encounter some roadblocks.
With the right resources, your pumpkin will transition from a seed to a large orange shell comprised of pulp, seeds, and fibrous strands.
Pumpkins bloom 8 weeks after the seed is planted. But it also depends on several factors, weather, pollination, spacing, moisture, sunlight, maintenance, disease, nutrients, and when they were transplanted.
Pumpkins need well-drained soil to flourish. To build soil that drains quickly, a mixture of organic nutrient-enriched soil and compost.
The proper soil is crucial for the vitality of pumpkins, but so is spacing.
It is recommended to leave 6 and 12 inches between each plant. Drop no more than three pumpkin seeds in each hole about 1 inch in depth.
The soil temperature needs to be consistently between 65- and 95-degrees Fahrenheit (18 and 35 degrees Celsius).
To ensure the soil stay moist, and not drenched, add a layer of mulch to the surface.
[Related Article: Accidentally Cut Pumpkin Vine: How To Minimize The Damage]
Pollination plays a major role in growing pumpkins. The process requires a transfer of pollen between the male pumpkin flower, the stamen more directly, to the female stigma.
In the next step of the process, the ovule of the female pumpkin flower is fertilized. To complete the step, the pollen must successfully germinate and grow.
If the pollination process fails, a pumpkin will not form.
Since pollinators are needed to grow pumpkins, it is best to delay insecticides until the blooms are closed for the day. Most pumpkin flowers will close between early evening and late afternoon.
[Related Article: How To Encourage Female Pumpkin Flowers]
The classification “pumpkin” was designated for a variety of plant species in the “Cucurbita” genus. The Cucurbita pepo (pumpkin and winter squash), Cucurbita maxima (cultivated squash), and Cucurbita moschata (cultivars of pumpkin and squash).
A pumpkin bed needs at least six hours of direct sunlight per day. Botanists recommend between eight and 10 hours of direct sunlight.
Some gardeners and farmers describe the pumpkin as a “thirsty plant.” This latent term means the pumpkin plant requires a lot of water.
The Almanac recommends 1 inch of water weekly. Sufficient water is vital for the root system. More water may be needed during the fruit set.
Pumpkin plants have massive root systems that respond well to 10-10-10 fertilizer. The recommended application is no more than four pounds of fertilizer for every 100 square feet.
The soil should be applied evenly by working it into the top 3 inches of soil before seeding.
In America, pumpkins are decorated in celebration of Thanksgiving and Halloween.
The tradition is to remove the stem, fibrous strands, and seeds to make room for a single candle.
Most people decorate their pumpkins by carving faces, witches, skulls, bats, haunted houses, owls, and ghosts into the pulp.
While carving a store-bought pumpkin is exciting, it is nothing like carving a pumpkin you grow from seed.