If it’s possible to grow squash, then you can grow pumpkins; after all, they’re a type of squash. But they deserve their own category, if only for the amount of varieties as well as the means by which that you may use them. Branch out from “pumpkin”-colored pumpkins and grow softer orange, pink, redder or even gray or white pumpkins. There are tiny pumpkins that will delight kids and adults alike, pumpkins for eating, pumpkins for carving, even warty pumpkins. And in the event that you truly have the space, you can try your hand in colossal-size pumpkins. What you do with a 750-pound pumpkin is left up to you.

Use pumpkins tagged as pie pumpkins for cooking; the others, especially big ones, aren’t as yummy but are fantastic for autumn decorations.

In case you truly lack space, you can try growing pumpkins up a trellis. Because the fruits are so heavy, the trellis has to be very sturdy, and you will have to encourage the fruits with slings since they mature.

More summer crops to start in spring

Le jardinet

Days to maturity: 75 to 125
moderate requirement: Total sun
Water requirement: Regular

Julie Ranee Photography

Favorites: Atlantic Giant, Baby Bear, Big Max, Connecticut Field, Cotton Candy, Howden’s Field, Jack Be Little, Jack O’Lantern, Jarrahdale, Little October, Long Island Cheese, Lumina, Musqee de Provence, Prizewinner Hybrid, Red Warty Thing, Rouge Vif d’Etampes (Cinderella), Little Sugar (New England Pie), Sugar Pie, Winter Luxury Pie

Kikuchi + Kankel Design Group

Planting notes: Look for a warm, sunny site with well-drained, fertile soil. You are going to want plenty of space unless you’re growing miniatures; plan on about 20 square feet. Sow seeds about two weeks after the last frost date or when soil temperatures reach 65 degrees Fahrenheit (18 degrees Celsius). Start inside two to three weeks earlier then in the event that you’ve got short summers.

For traditional vining forms, make hills 8 feet in diameter, 6 to 8 feet apart. Sow five to six seeds around 1 to 2 inches deep and one inch apart in each hill, then lean to two plants after seedlings develop. Semibush varieties could be put a little closer, with 4-foot hills set 6 feet apart. Thin to two plants per hill.

Miniature and tiny pumpkins could be grown in rows 4 to 6 feet apart. Sow two to three seeds every 2 feet along the row, then lean to one plant every 2 to 3 feet. You may also plant those smaller varieties in a large (15- to 20-gallon) container)

Amy Renea

Care: Water often but avoid pops the leaves, stems or flowers to help prevent mildew; watering basins, furrows and drip irrigation are the best options. Weed and walk around the plants carefully, as both the roots and stalks are delicate.

Apply fertilizer when the plants start to bloom. When the fruit forms, slide a piece of timber or form under each pumpkin.

Aphids, cucumber beetles, squash bugs and squash vine borers can all cause problems, whilst anthracnose, downy mildew and powdery mildew are rather frequent ailments.

Care for extra-large pumpkins: Once the plants start to grow, cut the stalks until only one or two remain. When fruit forms, maintain only a single stem. Build a hill of soil every 2 feet along each stem to promote additional root growth. Otherwise the maintenance requirements are just like for smaller pumpkins.

J. Peterson Garden Design

Harvest: select the berry 80 to 120 days before the first frost hits (pumpkins can have a light frost but not heavy cold. Stop watering about a week before harvest. The casing should be firm, with great colour; usually the stem will probably have begun to die back as well.

Cut the stem about 4 inches in the fruit with a knife or shears. Handle pumpkins with care; proceed them by holding the fruit itself rather than the stem.

Julie Ranee Photography

Put your pumpkins in a warm, airy place outside with a temperature of about 75 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit (24 to 27 degrees Celsius) for one or two weeks to allow the fruit to heal. Store in a cool, dry place with an average temperature of around 50 degrees Fahrenheit (10 degrees Celsius).

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