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Growing Pumpkins: From Start to Finish

March 12, 2020

I grew up next to an empty lot which was turned into a garden and shared between 3 different houses. My parents were granted use of the front half. It was the biggest portion among the 3. 

 

My dad was the planter and the one that took the most care of it and my mom was the harvester and preserver of the food.

 

I spent many evenings shucking corn and snapping beans. To say I learned a thing or 2 would be an understatement. 

 

► This blog is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon. Just think of it as you helping me keep food on the table for all 7 of my kiddos. 😉

 

Being a mother of 7 I am constantly trying to find ways to save on our food and other items we use daily. So we decided to grow our own pumpkins! 

 

Along with our usual tomatoes, raspberries, and strawberries, we also planted beans and pumpkins!

 

The pumpkins we planted were from seeds I had saved from pumpkins we had gotten from a farmer's market the year before. See below! 

 

 The only ones we didn't save were the white ones. I honestly wish we would have! 

 

How to Save Pumpkin Seeds:

 

► Once you have gutted your pumpkin rinse seeds to get all the orange gunk off and let them dry on a paper towel. 

 

► Once they are nice and dry place them in an envelope and store in the refrigerator. 

And that's it! Keep them in there until it's time to plant. 

 

 

Planting the Seeds:

We started our seeds inside at the end of April and had little sprouts by May 2nd! If I were to do this again I would plant each type of pumpkin in a separate container.

 

This little jiffy starter had a clear lid to act as a little green house. Well, I wrote on the lid what kind was what. Each 9 pods were 1 type, so there are 4 different types of pumpkins. 

 

Funny thing... Once the little plants got too big for the lid to fit on, they quickly became a mystery. 

 

Yep! I had no idea which were which. Thinking ahead to this next year, I will find a better way to mark them or just plant them in separate trays

 

 

 

◄ These babies grow fast! This photo was taken only 2 days after the first one! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And this photo only 11 days after that! ►

(The other little sprouts behind these are my beans!)

 

 

 

Transplanting the Seeds Outside: 

 

Once the threat of frost has left, these little guys are ready to be planted outside!

 

But hold on! You'll want to acclimate them. This just means letting them get used to being outside. 

 

I set the tray out on my patio table in the mornings and bring them in at night. I did this for about a week. And then you can leave them outside overnight for a few nights. 

 

The plot I have for growing is quite small. So I only ended up keeping 2 plants of each type and gave my sisters the rest. I still had no idea which was which... 

 

 We planted them in the ground on May 23rd. Just about 30 days from sprouting. 

 

Ideally, you should space them a bit further apart then I did. 6 to 8 feet to be exact, but like I said I am very limited on what I'm "allowed" to do. We rent our house and our landlord doesn't want us digging out too much of "his" grass. 

 

This corner of my backyard gets a lot of sun during the day. At least 10 hours or so.

 

Pumpkins love sun! And it's hard to see, but they are planted on little mounds. 

 

A Time Lapse with Pictures:

 

This is almost my entire garden space. More towards the right are the raspberries(not pictured). This gives you an overall feel for my space. The pumpkins are in the corner.

◄ May 27th

 

 

 

 

 

◄ June 16th

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

◄ July 5th

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

◄ July 21st

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 BABIES!!! ► July 24th

I knew this would happen, but they are starting to creep out into the grass! 

 

 

► July 31st

 My son to show scale. 😉

 

 

► August 6th

Yes, we have a thistle problem... 

 

 

 ► August 8th

I was able to stand a few pumpkins upright. Just be sure you're not stressing the vines or the stem! I only stood up the ones I could easily maneuver. Broken vines equal dead pumpkins. 

 

 

► August 11th

Yep, that baby is in the yard. LOL! But it's ok! It is only temporary. And that other one is in between my tomato plants!

 

 

Speaking of the yard... The vines continue to spread and get longer! 

 

 

 

 

 

.

 

 

 

► August 14th

 

 

► August 19th

I am unsure how many pumpkins we had at this point. I just saw a few new ones on this day... And the others continue to grow bigger and are changing colors! Plus look at the vines now! 

 

 

If you look a bit to the right in this photo are my tomato plants. The vines are growing through them. And running to the left through my sunflowers as well. 

 

A little fun fact. The vines themselves actually grow roots to help stabilize them and provide more for the pumpkins growing on them. And they are quite prickly so be careful when touching them! 

 

 

►August 23rd

At this point it's pretty much impossible to weed because of all the poky leaves and vines.

 

►August 28th 

 

 

►August 30th

I decided it was time to see just how big my biggest pumpkins were! 

 

 

►September 7th

They are getting oranger! (Not sure if that is a word)