Visiting a nearby pumpkin patch has become a fall tradition for many families. But wouldn’t it be fun to grow your own? All you need is a little garden space, and you can grow your own pumpkin patch to enjoy next autumn!
Consider varieties carefully. There are over 100 different varieties of pumpkins, and you might be surprised at how versatile they are? Ask yourself about your goals. Do you want to carve pumpkins to be used at porch decorations in the fall? Do you want to make pies? Some large pumpkins are ideal for carving, but are not very tasty. Likewise, some of the sweetest pumpkins, ideal for making pies and other dishes, are not the best for carving.
Do you enjoy the unusual and unique? Pumpkins come in all shapes and many more colors than you might imagine. Yes, there are even white, blue, and green pumpkin varieties that can make your fall decorations really stand out!
When to plant. Pumpkins mature at different rates, but many varieties require well over 100 days. So if you want to harvest your pumpkins in October, put your seedlings in the ground by the early summer. Of course, allowing them to grow a bit longer can help to ensure larger pumpkins.
Pumpkins are susceptible to powdery mildew, so spritz your plants with a neem oil solution at the first sign of a problem.
Support your pumpkins. With pumpkins, you have two choices: Let the vines sprawl on the ground, or support them with a trellis or even individual hammocks.
For large pumpkins, you probably don’t want to bother supporting them. Their weight will pull down almost anything you will construct. But turning them regularly as they grow can prevent lopsided shapes.
Smaller pumpkins can be grown on supports, and you can really get creative with this. Supports can be purely practical, or you can construct a “pumpkin tunnel” in which pumpkins hang like lanterns!
If your garden is on the smaller side, you probably want to go with a smaller pumpkin variety that you can train to a trellis. Individual hammocks can help the pumpkins to grow into perfectly pleasing shapes.
What about ornamental gourds? Ornamental gourds aren’t edible, but they grow into interesting shapes and serve numerous purposes. If you’re strictly interested in the decorative aspect of pumpkins, gourds can become a fun hobby. Hollow them out, paint them, display them, or use them for a variety of other purposes. Their hard shells help them to last for years.
For more information on fitting a garden space into your landscape, give us a call. We can help you with information on soil conditions, building support structures, and much more.