There are many people who like to grow their own pumpkins for Halloween. You may have your own pumpkin patch, if you live in an area where pumpkins get about four to five frost-free months to grow, have lots of growing space and can receive direct sunlight for about six hours daily. The seeds of pumpkin are usually planted by late May, but the exact time for planting seeds may depend on local climatic conditions. You should plant the trees when the temperature in your area is consistently in low 70 degree F, during the daytime. A single pumpkin vine may grow as long as twenty-five feet and sprout many shoots along its length.
Growing Pumpkins For Halloween
Build pumpkin mounds in your yard, according to the space available, using loosely packed soil. Mounds should be at least 10 feet apart from each other and measure about three feet in diameter. Surround these mounds with a 6"wide and 6" deep moat, to help hold water around the roots. Pumpkins need lots of indirect water, moist soil and rising temperature, so you may have to water them twice a day. If the plant leaves are green and healthy, it means the plant is getting enough water. But if they are wilted, you may have to increase the quantity of water. Water the plants using an inexpensive drip system, burying the drip hose under the mound for about an hour. Water the topsoil too, by sprinkling water gently on it.
Soak the pumpkin seeds overnight before planting, to soften their outer shell, helping them to sprout more easily. You may plant four or five seeds in the center of one mound, in an inch-deep hole for each seed. Fill the holes with loose soil. It may take 7 to 14 days for the seeds to sprout and pumpkin flowers bloom only for one day and then are sealed closed. After two weeks, select the healthiest plants on each mound and pull out rest of the vines. Make sure that each of them gets enough sunlight and pumpkins are rotated slightly from time to time. Pumpkin plants grow very quickly and need constant pruning. If the pumpkin looks shriveled or unhealthy, it should be removed from the mound, so healthier ones can get more water and nourishment. Fertilize your pumpkin patch once a week, with good water-soluble fertilizer
Pumpkins should not be touched again and again. Pumpkin patch needs constant removal of weeds and protection from a variety of pests, such as beetles, aphids, vine borers, gophers and moles. Mildew can rot the pumpkins too. For a more rounded classic pumpkin for Halloween, be on alert when it is more than one month old. Be very careful when you lift the stem and vine of the pumpkin in one hand and your golden pumpkin in the other hand. Adjust it carefully, so that pumpkin's bottom is flat on the ground or wood. When the pumpkin attains a deep orange color, it is time for harvesting. Cut it with several inches of stem, so that the pumpkin stays fresh for longer periods of time. Put it in sun for about ten days and then store it in a cool and dry place.