Merry meet all,
The Halloween stuff is in the stores!! Oh my I’ll grab my broomstick and fly over and won’t be back till I’m broke!!! October is three months away. I’m still waiting for my veggies to grow though. I am anticipating a big harvest though. This is the time of year when I get excited. I live for Samhain. It’s time to dust off our brooms and our cauldrons, don our striped socks and head over to the stores selling the Halloween stuff.
My pumpkin vine has flowers!! My zucchini plant has a new flower too. I can’t wait for them to get big already. My cucumber plant has lots of flowers but tiny cucumbers. Oh my goddess it’s not like they have all year to grow. Can you tell I’m frustrated?
A real gardener is patient. I still can’t find that gardener. Since we are in harvest season, I hope you enjoy reading this post and learn how to grow your own!
Here are some tips on how to grow our favorite Halloween fruit-pumpkins. Pumpkins need up to 120 days to mature. Pumpkins can be grown from seed. However this year I had luck with the transplants I bought from the local plant store. Wait until all chances of frost have passed. They will grow in warm weather. They can take over a garden too and need up to 30 feet of room to grow.
Before planting your transplants, add plenty of compost material to the soil. You can grow the plants in hills. You mound up the soil and then (If you want to start from seed), put one seed per hill and plant up to four seeds in each hill Make sure there is plenty of room between the vines.
Pumpkins need tons of water. Be sure to only water the plants enough and to avoid root rot. If they look wilted, then the plant has died. Feed the plants a healthy mix of phosphorus and nitrogen, and add more phosphorus than nitrogen, which helps them grow their very best.
If you want to prune the vines, then be sure the vines have pumpkins on them first. When you carefully prune the plants, then you force the plant to stop concentrating on the vine growth and it focuses on maturing the fruit vine. This produces better fruit growth in the long run. Also, consider sprinkling diatomaceous earth under your plants. I did all summer and I have a healthy big zucchini plant in my garden that is pest bug free!
If insects are a problem on your vines, then plant nasturtiums. You have to attract pollinators to pollinate your plants. Aphids, cucumber beetles and stink bugs are a pest to your plants. By planting flowers such as nasturtiums, you will attract pollinators and the insects that might like some aphids for a tasty meal. Plant lots of flowers to increase your chances of healthy plants overall.
Harvesting pumpkins is fun and saves you money!! When the stem looks dry and the fruit is an orange color, it is time to harvest them! Knock hard on the rind of the pumpkin. It should sound hollow. Scrape your fingernail on the rind. It should not scratch easily. Harvest before the frost!
Use your favorite witch tool or boline to cut the pumpkin from the vine. Leave a few inches of stem to avoid disease. Let the pumpkins to cure for a couple of weeks first and store them properly. When they are fully cured, you will know. Allow for air ventilation and don’t dry them out near other fruit. Fruit give off ethylene gas. You can coat a pumpkin in oil which seals it for storage.
Enjoy your glowing orange pumpkins after all this hard work. !!