Pumpkin, Jack O' Lantern
HEIRLOOM. The best pumpkin for carving.
Days To Maturity The average number of days from when the plant is actively growing in the garden to the expected time of harvest.
Fruit Weight The average weight of the fruit produced by this product.
Sun The amount of sunlight this product needs daily in order to perform well in the garden. Full sun means 6 hours of direct sun per day; partial sun means 2-4 hours of direct sun per day; shade means little or no direct sun.
Spread The width of the plant at maturity.
Height The typical height of this product at maturity.
Sow Method This refers to whether the seed should be sown early indoors and the seedlings transplanted outside later, or if the seed should be sown directly in the garden at the recommended planting time.
Start Indoors Starting seeds indoors is called Indoor Sow or Indirect Sow and these dates are when to sow seeds indoors in the spring or summerTransplant When to transplant bulbs or roots in the garden for springStart Outdoors Starting seeds outdoors is called Outdoor Sow or Direct Sow and these dates are when to sow seeds outdoors in the spring or summerStart Indoors Fall Starting seeds indoors in the fall called Indoor Sow or Indirect Sow and these dates are when to sow seeds outdoors in the fallTransplant Fall Transplant Fall-When to transplant bulbs or roots in the garden for fallStart Outdoors Fall Starting seeds outdoors in the fall is called Outdoor Sow or Direct Sow and these dates are when to sow seeds outdoors in the fallJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
How to Sow
- Sow in fertile, warm soil after danger of frost has passed.
- Sow seeds directly in the garden.
- Give large-fruited pumpkins plenty of room to ramble.
- For improved drainage sow in mounds, or hills, of soil 12 inches in diameter, 6-8 inches tall.
- Sow 4-6 seeds in groups about 3 inches apart. Each group should be about 4-6 feet apart. Cover with 1 inch of fine soil and firm lightly.
- Keep evenly moist.
- Seedlings emerge in 7-14 days.
- Do not plant pumpkins and other squash family crops in the same spot 2 years in a row.
How to Grow
- Thin seedlings to 2-3 per group when they are 1-2 inches high
- Keep weeds under control during the growing season. Weeds compete with plants for water, space and nutrients, so control them by either cultivating often or use a mulch to prevent their seeds from germinating.
- Keep plants well-watered during the growing season, especially during dry spells. Plants need about 1-2 inches of rain per week during the growing season. Use a rain gauge to check to see if you need to add water. It's best to water with a drip or trickle system that delivers water at low pressure at the soil level. If you water with overhead sprinklers, water early in the day so the foliage has time to dry off before evening, to minimize disease problems. Keep the soil moist but not saturated.
- Pumpkins have both male and female flowers on the same plant. Male flowers will open first and the female flowers will open later. The female flower has a miniature fruit behind the blossom.
- Do not move or step on vines as they are quite fragile.
- Monitor for pests and diseases. Check with your local Cooperative Extension Service for pest controls recommended for your area.
- If you are trying to grow extra-large pumpkins, allow only one fruit per plant to mature.
- Beds of vigorous, sprawling pumpkin vines can be bordered by corn, towering pole beans, sunflowers and other trellised or vine vegetables.
Harvest & Preserving
- Pumpkins are ready to harvest when the rinds are hard and a rich shade of orange or white depending on the variety.
- If a light frost kills the vines, the pumpkins are ready to harvest. Pumpkins are damaged by heavy frost.
- Cut pumpkins from the vine with a pruning shears, leaving about 3 inches of stem attached.
- Allow the pumpkins to cure in the sun for a week to harden skin.
- Store pumpkins in a cool dry place.
- Roast the seeds for a tasty snack.