Growing Pumpkins: 7 Tips and Tricks
Posted by: Samuel Hirshfield on October 11, 2013
There are many motivating reasons to grow your own pumpkins, not the least of which is saving money. Seeds are much cheaper than the finished product at $3.50 a pack, keeping in mind that one pack generates several large pumpkins that provide their own seeds for next year. They make fun art projects and delicious treats! Plus, growing pumpkins is an easy task with these 7 tips and tricks.
Plant your seeds between May and July. Seedlings need warm soil and at least 75 consecutive frost-free days to produce successful vines, so be sure adjust your planting period accordingly.
The Connecticut Field Pumpkin will produce the familiar 10-20 pound jack-o-lantern type pumpkins and is one of the easiest varieties to grow.
Soil pH for your pumpkin plot should be between 6.0 and 6.8 for optimum growth (find out how to test your soil pH here).
Pumpkins love sun and water. Be sure to plant in a spot that will receive plenty of both.
Place your hills 5 feet away from each other. Each hill should have 4-5 seeds planted 1 inch deep.
Want more tips and tricks like this? Go to our website for more articles and top ten posts on gardening!
Pumpkin vines can grow aggressively, so consider how much pumpkin you can produce within the confines of your garden area before planting. That being said, pumpkins get along relatively well with their neighbors and vines can be trained to embark on any route you choose to lay out for them.
The best part about growing your own pumpkins- they can store for 3 months! When you harvest your ripe pumpkin, leave a long stem. Wash your pumpkins with soapy water and a dash of bleach to eradicate pathogens that may prematurely age your pumpkin. Finally, cure your pumpkins by leaving them in the sun for 10-14 days. Store in a cool place for up to 3 months!
Be sure to have your garden and lawn ready for winter before the cold sets in. Fall is the busiest time for landscaping and rental equipment, so you should take advantage of Compact Power Equipment Rental's "Rent 3 get 4 Free" deal" while it lasts and while the ground is still thawed. The best equipment to rent during the fall is aerial equipment because of its many seasonal uses like tree trimming, pre-winter roof repairs, gutter cleaning, and pruning.
Once your garden has been readied for winter and all your pumpins are harvested, it's time to reap the rewards! Some scrumptious treats you can make with your harvested pumpkin include roasted pumpkin seeds, pumpkin pancakes, and pumpkin pie. You can even concoct your own pumpkin spice latte using real pumpkin! (See the recipe below)
Pumpkin Spice Latte Recipe
Makes: 1 serving
1 cup milk, almond milk, or whatever milky deliciousness your prefer
¼ cup espresso or ½ cup coffee
1 tablespoon roasted, pureed pumpkin
1 tablespoon maple syrup or 1 tablespoon brown sugar
¾ teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
Brew espresso or coffee. While the coffee is brewing, combine milk, pumpkin puree, syrup, vanilla, and spice in a saucepan and heat over medium heat. Do not boil. Remove from heat after 5 minutes.
(Optional) Blend milk mixture with immersion blender or steam with a steamer to achieve foamy latte status. Although not necessary for flavor, this step adds to the genuineness of the “latte” experience.
Pour milk mixture over espresso in a large mug. Garnish with spice. Enjoy- you are now officially ready for fall!
To learn about how to make you backyard into a more intimate space, download our new ebook on privacy landscaping!