Allison Watkins, Special to the Standard-Times Published 4:11 p.m. CT April 20, 2018
Plant pumpkins in the bounce to accord them affluence of time to grow.(Photo: carcar797, Getty Images/iStockphoto)
Pumpkins are a fun crop for home gardeners to try, and now is the time to get them planted, abnormally to abound ample pumpkins that charge a continued growing season. Abatement is the aftermost affair on a gardener’s apperception back it’s still spring, but to accept acquaintance pumpkins for abatement decorating, baking and carving, it’s time to get them started.
There are consistently affluence about to acquirement back the time comes, but growing them at home is account a try if there’s abundant space. In the home garden, pumpkins are abnormally fun to abound with children. The seeds are ample and accessible to plant, they germinate fast, and the bulb grows quickly. A attic application can be a acceptable science lesson, and kids can admeasurement advance and blueprint advance as the bulb and bake-apple grow.
Texas is one of the arch states in bartering attic production, and there are 5,000 to 8,000 acreage buried anniversary year – mostly in West Texas. Many plants in the annihilate ancestors (aka cucurbits) do able-bodied in our hot summers. Besides pumpkins, some acceptable options are watermelons, cantaloupes and squashes such as chicken summer squash, cucumber and acorn squash.
Depending on the blazon of pumpkin, it can booty anywhere from two and a bisected months to four months to abound a complete pumpkin. The beyond the variety, the best it takes. So be abiding to get them in the arena anon to ensure there’s abundant time to get affluence of complete pumpkins.
Choose varieties to bulb based on what they will be acclimated for – some examples accommodate Dill’s Atlantic Behemothic for ample pumpkins, Small Sugar for baking and Magic Lantern for carving.
The plants are actual ample and will booty up absolutely a bit of space, so there needs to be affluence of allowance for them to advance out in a artifice with abounding sun. The clay should be able-bodied drained, so till in some admixture if it’s abundant and compacted.
The attic seedlings will charge to be kept clammy back germinating; again abatement the abundance but access the bulk accustomed anniversary time as the plants grow. Use dribble irrigation to be able with baptize use, and administer admixture afterwards the plants appear and become established.
The People/Plant Connection, a bounded nonprofit organization, hosts a behemothic pumpkin-growing challenge anniversary year and is giving out chargeless behemothic attic seeds. Contact the People/Plant Connection for added advice at 325-656-3104, or stop by the Extension Office at 113 W. Beauregard Ave. to aces up some seeds.
Allison Watkins is the Tom Green County Extension horticulturist. Contact her at AEWatkins@ag.tamu.edu.
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