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Save a Spot for Pumpkins in Your Garden

by Jeffrey Anderson, All About Lawns Columnist

Few things signify the arrival of autumn like seeing pumpkins being sold at roadside stands set up next to fields full of pumpkins as far as the eye can see. Before you know it they're showing up in yards as part of landscaping designs and harvest displays, sitting on porches as jack-o'-lanterns, and rumor has it they are pretty good in pies, too. Pumpkins are easy to grow even if your thumbs aren't green, and a garden full of pumpkins can be a great project for the entire family.


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Growing a Garden Full of Pumpkins

The most important thing pumpkins need to grow is room; seeds are planted in groups of 4 or 5 and each group should be about 5 feet from the next group in line and about 10 feet from the groups to the sides. Fertilizer should be applied based on soil test results and the seeds should be about 1 inch deep.

Pumpkin seeds should be planted in late May or early June for an autumn harvest, but you may need to adjust planting time for the growing season in your area. When plants begin to sprout, narrow your groups down to the best 1 or 2 plants, keep the weeds away, and water only if you have an extended period of dry weather. Some of the best pumpkin varieties for Halloween carving or landscape design are:

  • Autumn Gold
  • Ghost Rider
  • Big Max
  • Connecticut Field

The pumpkins are ready to harvest when they are a deep orange and their outer shells are hard. The University of Illinois and North Carolina State University have additional tips for growing pumpkins in your garden. Be careful not to break the stems off when harvesting and make sure you have lots of whipped cream for the pies.



About the Author
Jeffrey Anderson has a Degree in English from V.M.I. and served as an officer in the Marine Corps. He worked in Residential and Commercial construction management for 25 years before retiring to write full time.

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