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Pumpkins

Easy to grow Pumpkins are best direct-sown in well-draining, fertile, 60°F soil, two weeks past the last spring frost date with plenty of room to ramble. To win a prize for size, incorporate massive amounts of compost and/or well-rotted manure into the patch. Ease up on watering towards maturity to avoid watery flesh. Harvest with a sharp knife, leaving 2" of stem when leaves wither or skin is hard enough to resist piercing with your thumbnail. Cure, leaving outdoors in the sun for ten days, or in a warm, dry room for four to five days, then store in a cool, dry place. Besides Jack-o-lanterns and pie with whipped cream, Pumpkin is big in world cuisine now: Italians adore Pumpkin-filled pasta. How about Basque soup with Cabbage, Garlic and dried Beans or an exotic and spicy Moroccan pork and Pumpkin tagine? Bee friendly. Deer resistant.

Average seed life: 2 years.

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Gardening Tips

Pumpkin Sowing Instructions
Planting Depth
:1”
Row Spacing:5’
Hill Spacing:5’-6’
Days to Germination: 5-10 days
Germination Temperature: 65°-75°F

Pumpkins need space to ramble, as well as a hot growing site in full sunlight. They may be started outdoors shortly after the last frost. Direct-sow 3 to 5 seeds per hill, then thin to the 2 strongest seedlings. To start seedlings indoors, sow singly in pots 3 to 4 weeks before transplant date. Provide seedlings with good ventilation, strong light and even moisture. Transplant outdoors after the last frost date. Enrich soil with organic fertilizer, compost and/or well rotted manure. Cover seedlings with cloches if it gets cool, water regularly and feed as needed with kelp or fish emulsion. (Powdery mildew on leaves won’t affect the pumpkins.) Harvest when mature with a sharp knife, leaving 2" of stem at the top. To cure Pumpkins, if there is no danger of frost, leave outdoors in the sun for 10 days or place in a warm, dry room for 5 to 7 days. Store in a cool, dry place until use.

Our Pollinators are in Peril

Tips for Harvesting and Storing Pumpkins and Winter Squash

Deer Resistant Seed Varieties

Cooking Tip:
The Frost Is on the Pumpkin

We’d be happy just to grow Rouge d'Étampes Pumpkins for their beauty alone, but they also make heavenly, velvety soups. Since they often grow quite large, we cut them up into large chunks, blanch briefly in boiling water, then wrap the chunks individually in foil and put them in the freezer for a winter-long supply.