You talkin’ ’bout punkins in July?
Yup, that’s right missy and mistas. Because it takes pumpkins around 100 frost-free days to fully grow, the last week of July is pretty much the most ideal time to plant pumpkin seeds so that they’re ready for harvesting in October.
What You’ll Need
- A glance at your almanac online for free or buy a physical copy if you prefer (cause I don’t know what the hell I’m talking about)
- Autumn Gold Hybrid Pumpkin Seeds (these are the popular ones for carving)
- Dirt (even if you live in an apartment and can’t go digging around, you could always try throwing a 5 gallon bucket of dirt on your balcony or porch)
- Your hands, a spoon, or if you want to get really fancy, a Halloween-colored spade
- Water! (from what I’ve read, pumpkins are greedy little water monsters, and they need lots)
- Sun (hope you can find this one on your own)
Full Disclosure Time: Beyond planting some pumpkin seeds when I was kid (which I don’t even remember what happened) and doing a small test run this year that is going “okay,” I’ve never really, truly, properly, successfully grown some damn pumpkins. In fact, I’m hoping some of you with more experience can throw in some tips.
Step #1: Find a Spot
Our trusty almanac says that we want lots of space, the more the merrier. This is because pumpkins are jerks and want to hog up as much space as possible. They have vines that grow all over and might ravage the radishes if too close to your other garden goings-on. I suspect that the more space they have, the bigger they get too?
It’s recommended that they’re planted in rows, but come on man, we ain’t all gonna go that big, so like I said, even if you don’t have space or even time, try just throwing them in a bucket of dirt and then forgetting about them outside of giving them a drink once a day.
Step #2: Plant the Seeds
You only need to dig very small holes, 1-2″ deep and throw 4-5 seeds into each hole and then lightly cover. If you don’t see any baby leaves growing after 10 days, then they didn’t make it.
Step #3: Watering
Here’s what it says:
“Pumpkins are very thirsty plants and need lots of water. Water one inch per week. Water deeply, especially during fruit set.“
I don’t exactly have a green thumb, so I honestly don’t really know what the hell that means. I tried to find an answer in layman terms, like how often do you water, once a day, once a week? I failed. I think if you water once a day, you’ll be fine.
“Pumpkin vines, though obstinate, are very delicate. Take care not to damage vines, which reduces the quality of fruit.“
Woh, they were not kidding. I was watering my test-run babies and I accidentally snapped one of their necks.
While there is a ton more that you can do to optimize for the absolute best quality pumpkins possible, assuming you want to just have some fun and not turn this into a part-time job, you’re probably good to just let nature takes its course.
Step #4: Pumpkin Log (optional)
Keep a #PumpkinLog.
Take pictures (perhaps once a week) and make note of any pitfalls you learn along the way.
I’ll be tracking my progress with Twitter Moments.
🎃🤠 If this ain’t your first pumpkin rodeo, I hope you’ll share some tips with us!
Whether it's your first time or you're a pro, are you growing pumpkins this year?
— Halloween Love (@halloween) July 11, 2019
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