The beloved orange squash that captivates the imagination of autumn revelers is not just a decoration. In recent years, it has become a ubiquitous treat appearing in many consumable forms, and is celebrated widely by its enthusiasts. Although it is classified as a winter squash, the pumpkin actually thrives in summer. Planting occurs in late May to early July depending on region, and harvest usually occurs towards the end of summer. Aside from common decorative use, pumpkins are used in pies, soups, and various purees. The spices commonly associated with these dishes are often incorporated into drinks and desserts.
Plant Pumpkins with these Great Vegetables, Herbs, and Flowers
Pumpkin Antagonists (do NOT plant Pumpkins with these)
So you’ve decided to plant pumpkin in your fantasitc garden, nice! According to our research on pumpkin, we don’t recommend planting potato nearby.
Tips for Planting and Growing Pumpkins in your Garden
Pumpkins require 75-100 days of frost-free soil in order to truly thrive. They require a lot of water and generous sunlight, with plenty of space for the large, sprawling vines. It is best to plant the seeds directly into fertile soil that is in an area with good drainage. Pumpkins love food, so adding compost and fertilizer to the soil will promote excellent growth. Plant your seeds 3 inches below the ground, and be sure to water the soil with at least 1” of water per week. Frequently adding fertilizer or compost will further enhance your pumpkin patch’s growth. To increase the size of the fruit, pinch off the fuzzy end off the vine after the pumpkin to prevent more fruit from growing, thus concentrating and optimizing demand for food and water.
When your pumpkins have grown to the size you desire, it is time to check them for ripeness. The outer rind should be a deep orange color, and sound hollow when tapped on. Another good way to ensure ripeness is to lightly press your fingernail into the skin. If the skin resists puncture, your pumpkin is ripe and ready! When harvesting, it is important to leave at least 3 or 4 inches of the stem, as this will allow the pumpkin to keep for longer. Do not rip it off of the vines; use a sharp knife or shears to remove it.