This guide will be describing techniques that will work in the Ohio Valley Region but can be easily adjusted for most climates.
Step 1: Fertilize your garden plot and till the dirt.
- I recommend testing your soil with a cheap test kit from a farm and home store. My soil was lacking in just about every nutrient I tested for, so I bought 13/13/13 fertilizer and applied it in early spring.
- I use a tiller in my garden due to the sheer size of it (40’ x 50’), but you can use a hoe to loosen the dirt and remove weeds in a smaller garden plot.
Step 2: Wait until late June/early July to plant the pumpkins.
- When the time comes, buy a plant from the local greenhouse and plant it at the specified depth. You will probably need to re-till before planting.
- Water thoroughly and immediately after planting.
Step 3: Keep weeded and watered!!
- Remove weeds gently around the pumpkin plant as needed. Don’t let the weeds choke and kill the plant.
- Water as needed – when the ground gets dry. Water in the morning or evening so that it can sink in and evaporate slowly.
Step 4: Pinch off blooms.
- To avoid the destruction of your plant due to vine borers, pluck off the flowers until the plant grows to a decent size, approx. 1 mo. after planting.
- The plant needs to send its energy to the production of leafy bulk to be able to support fruit.
Step 5: Grow pumpkins!
- After approx. 1 mo., stop pinching off the blooms, and let the plant start fruiting! The bees and other pollinators will do their job and pollinate the plant. One pumpkin plant will usually only produce 1-3 pumpkins, which is good!
- Since the plant doesn’t produce a bunch of pumpkins, the fruit that does grow will be bigger. That way, you can make some amazing Jack-o-Lanterns.
Have fun, and thanks for the support!