It is almost time to plant pumpkins for them to be ready by Halloween. The rule of thumb is plant July 4 for Halloween pumpkins. There are several varieties from which to choose, some are more geared toward cooking, some are smaller, more lobed than others. Renee’s Garden Seeds (www.reneesgarden.com) carries several varieties:
“Holiday Mix” Color coded seeds, Autumn Gold Jack O’Lanterns 15-22 pounds, and Early Spookie sugar pumpkins which are ideal for pies.
Cincerella’s Carriage, antique French pumpkins, flattened shape with deep rounded lobes.
Mini Jack, minerature baby pumpkins growing to 3 to 4 inches.
Giant Wyatt’s Wonder, globe shaped, deeply lobed, developed for impressive size and beauty. 70-150 pounds
Botanical Interests has the same types of seeds, but also includes a Lumina White Pumpkin Seed. (www.botanicalinterests.com)
Pumpkins take up space, especially the larger fruited varieties. Sow in average soil, in full sun. Sow 4-6 seeds about 3″ inches apart in hills 4 to 6 feet apart. Cover with 1″ soil and keep evenly moist. Pumpkins grow like squash and cucumbers as vines and need room to grow. There are male and female plants, and need to be pollinated to bear fruit. If you fear your pumpkins are not getting pollinated, you can achieve this be using a dry paintbrush to spread the pollen from plant to plant.