The Great Pumpkin Patch
Growing Pumpkins this way will effectively double the production of your pumpkin patch.
Just about every backyard gardener at one time or another has grown pumpkins. Pumpkins are easy, fun and make a garden look festive around Thanksgiving, just in time for all the big dinner and all those pies. And don’t forget that ancient pagan holiday, Halloween where for one night, pumpkins become the center attraction carved into all forms of scary faces.
Pumpkins are used most for jack-o'-lanterns at Halloween. Pumpkins are also used to make custard, cookies, soup, bread, butter and pies. Although easy to grow, they are a delicate plant, so wait until the soil warms up to at least 55 degrees and the passing of the last frost before you plant.
Growing Pumpkins In Containers
Rarely will you see gardeners growing pumpkins in containers due to the room needed to grow them. Pumpkins typically require an area that is at least 20 feet square, which eliminates most apartment decks and patios. Providing you have the room however, you can use our medium sized plant multiplier; the Companion Planter™. You will also need to pick a sunny spot (pumpkins, especially the large ones need at least 7 hours of sunshine a day for a minimum of 3 months) and prepare your garden soil properly with mix of natural compost and organic humus (animal manure–preferably steer).
Companion Planters™ increase the number, quality and size of pumpkins; and you can grow them in a garden container. Until the introduction of the Companion Planter™, pumpkins, watermelons and squashes did not grow well in the confined space of a typical garden pot or planter. The Companion Planter™ helps plant roots take up nutrients. Its unique design feeds each plant individually assuring adequate nutrient sharing between plants. Now you can grow up to 24 pumpkin plants and harvest hundreds of pumpkins from just one planter - a Companion Planter™.
Watch video below and learn how to grow all types of pumpkins including Jack-O-Lantern Pumpkins, Pie Pumpkins, Giant Pumpkins and Ornamental Pumpkins using a Companion Planter™.
|How To Grow Pumpkins In A Companion Planter™
Make Super Charged Soil For Pumpkins
Garden soil is THE key component to growing great pumpkins. Sandy soil will not hold water and drain way essential nutrients before the pumpkin plants can absorb them. Water is not able to penetrate the hardened surface of clay based soils, so it runs off away from the plant before it can use them. The perfect soil is a loam soil, able to accept rain or irrigated water and absorb it and hang onto it long enough for the pumpkin plants to get the nutrients they need. Make sure that you test your loam soil so it has a 6.5 pH level throughout the growing season.
Watch the garden soil video below and learn how create a loam soil fortified with essential nutrients needed to grow great pumpkins.
|How To Make Garden Soil For Growing Pumpkins
How To Grow Pumpkins
How To Grow Pumpkins including why you need to rotate dressings, how to concentrate the sun for bigger pumpkins, a little known secret to growing giant pumpkins, how growing at right angles will increase pumpkin size, how prunning vines helps individual pumpkins grow properly and how to pollinate your pumpkins yourself and double your harvest.
Fertilize your pumpkins with rotating dressings of organic manure every couple of weeks once they flower until the pumpkin leaves start to dry and die back in the late fall. This will give you larger, more well formed pumpkins at harvest time.
Concentrate The Sun
Once you have chosen the best spot for growing pumpkins, lay down a black plastic barrier on the ground over the area where the pumpkin vines will spread. The black color will attract heat from the sun, which will radiate back throughout the pumpkin plants increasing both the number and size of your pumpkins. The plastic barrier will also virtually eliminate the back breaking job of weeding, which is a good thing because pumpkins do not compete well with weeds and plants growing amongst them.
The Secret To Growing Giant Pumpkins
The secret to growing giant pumpkins starts with choosing the right pumpkin seed. Atlantic giant is our choice for growing giant prize winning pumpkins. These pumpkins grow so big; they actually flatten due to their weight (when they reach a weight of about 400 pounds). Add lots of compost mixed with organic animal manure; at least twice what you would use for other types of vegetables. Regular watering and adding regular dressings of a combination of organic cow manure and guano (bat droppings) every couple of weeks. Pour a quart of warm sour milk next to the plant stems once the pumpkins are about 200 or 300 pounds or 24 inches across. Now you can reserve the forklift for the fall.
Grow At Right Angles
The position of a pumpkin in relation to the vine it is attached to is very important if you want to grow a larger pumpkin. Most pumpkins set at an acute angle to its stem and as a result choke off some of the growing potential for that pumpkin. Pumpkins really size up when you turn the pumpkin stem gradually over the course of a week until it is perpendicular to the vine. In this optimum position (90 degrees), it will reach all of its growing potential growing up to 25 percent larger.
Prune Vines To Promote Growth
Once pumpkins set on each vine out to 10 or 12 feet, start to prune the vine past that so the plant will concentrate its energy in sizing the pumpkins left on the vine. To reduce water loss, bury the ends of vines under ground or cover them to help the plant recover faster. You can also use a wooden clothespin to seal the end of the vine. Black electricians tape works well too!
Pollinate Pumpkins Yourself
A couple of months after planting, the first female flowers will begin to appear. These are recognizable by the small starter pumpkin at their base. To pollinate yourself, find a male flower (the one without the pumpkin at its base); pick it and peel off the outer leaves exposing the inner stamen. Now walk over to each of the female flowers and carefully swab the stigma (the inner part of the female flower) with its male counterpart like you would with a small paintbrush and increase your harvest dramatically.
A little know secret of champion pumpkin growers is to apply a few drops of Gibberellic acid to pumpkin flowers once they bloom and set fruit. In some cases, this practice will double the size of your pumpkins.
Types Of Pumpkins