Planting pumpkins will not only give you lots of nutritious vegetables to eat, but it is a fun activity for the kids. When planning your pumpkin patch be sure to leave plenty of room, as the vines will take up quite a bit of space. The ground should be well fertilized with cow or horse manure and lots of well-rotted compost.
There are two ways to go about planting pumpkins and that is by row or by mound. Mound is perhaps the most used by home gardeners, as they don’t always have the space to grow pumpkins by the row. But no matter if you grow giant pumpkins or ordinary pumpkins the soil still needs to be well prepared. Sun is also important with at least 6 hours of sunlight being essential.
So dig one or two mounds about 3 feet across 3-4 inches high. They should be around 10 feet apart. Make a moat around each mound so that water run-off will be kept near the roots. In each mound place five pumpkin seeds, pointed end down. Place them in a circle about 6 inches from each other and 1 inch deep. Water carefully so the soil is not dislodged.
After the seeds have sprouted and grown for a few weeks, take out the two or three smallest, weakest plants and discard them. This leaves plenty of soil and fertilizer for the remaining two or three pumpkin plants to grow. If you are growing giant pumpkins, only allow one plant per mound.
Some people like to soak their pumpkin seeds overnight in water before planting them out, This will soften the shell and aid germination, but it is not strictly necessary. If you do, be sure to plant the seeds the very next day or they’ll be ruined.
Those who live in very cold districts can pre-plant the seeds in peat or other pots early in the season to get a head start on the growing period. Then they can be carefully planted out when the weather warms up sufficiently.
If planting in rows make sure you leave at least 10 feet between seeds. This will seem an enormous distance when you have two little plants pushing through the soil, but they will soon become very large leafed vines that ramble about everywhere. Plant two or three seeds together and pull out the weakest ones after a few weeks.
While you may think you’ve no room for pumpkin planting, your pumpkin plants can go in beside the corn and beans and they will wander happily through. The three plants seem to grow together in great harmony. Near a fence that they can scramble up is another option for growing pumpkins.