Pumpkins are a cultivar of winter squash that is round with smooth, slightly ribbed skin and traditionally orange in colour. Native to North America they are one of the oldest domesticated plants grown for both food production and Halloween decorations.
Seed size varies from 5-8 seeds/gram.
How to Grow: Pumpkin is a hot weather crop. They need full sun and deep, rich, well drained, organic soil with a pH of 5.5 to 6.5. Before planting, work in lots of compost. Sow seed directly outdoors in late May through early June 2.5 cm (1”) deep in hills 2.4 m (8’) apart with 4-6 seeds per hill. After germination, thin to 3 plants per hill. Seed can also be started indoors 4 weeks before the last frost date in your area then transplanted to the garden. Pumpkins do not transplant well. If starting early indoors, use paper or fibre pots that can be set directly in the soil to limit root shock. For competition sized pumpkins, allow only two pumpkins per plant to mature. Protect mature pumpkins from frost and cold temperatures.
Harvesting: After the first frost, cut stem with a knife leaving 7.5 – 10 cm (3-4”) handle. Can or freeze the cooked flesh or store fruits in a cool, dry location until ready to carve for Jack O’ Lanterns or small sized table decorations.
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