I am often asked in September when families should plant pumpkin seeds for Halloween pumpkin carving. It’s a great question but my answer is always shocking and sad for them. I shout out "May", which is then met with a wave of emotion from surprise, to sadness, to utter disappointment. I’ve seen the hashtag #pumpkinparentfail from a number of friends.
The time to change that is now!
Here are my tips to get your pumpkins planted and ready in time for tricks, treats, and fall recipes.
Most pumpkins are mound plants, which is a little hill that needs to be in a very sunny spot. This makes them even more fun for kids to plant. Encourage them to grab a shovel and build the mound. We actually always have to build the mounds a couple times because we like to run up it and jump off before we actually plant the seed. It’s a great way to exercise and break up the soil pile while having fun. If your kids are really young, grab a sand pail and make a dirt castle for your pumpkin to grow on.
The mound is about the size of a small baseball pitcher mound. The reason for the mound is it helps warm up the soil faster and helps the seeds sprout faster. It also helps with drainage and pest control. So not only is it fun, it’s practical.
Here are a few things to keep in mind when planting pumpkins:
Of course, I found out quickly the real reason my kids wanted to grow pumpkins and it’s because we do a giant pumpkin smash after Halloween. I’ll save that messy story for another day…
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