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The Blog: Let's Talk Gardening

Pumpkins in June? Are we off our gourds?!

When thinking of things to do in your garden in June you typically think about coneflowers, daylilies, coreopsis, hostas... and pumpkins. Yes, we did say pumpkins! Planting pumpkins in June is a great idea with the harvest timed just right for decorating for the holidays ahead. So, for any of you that enjoy a fun family tradition of carving pumpkins together, or if you like to have decorative pumpkins on display for Thanksgiving, take note. Now's the time to get those pumpkins & gourds in the ground!

Here are a few tips for growing pumpkins in your garden:

  • Growing pumpkins requires a lot of room. Many pumpkin plants can grow to be 30 to 40 feet long, so be sure to provide ample room for the
    sprawlers.
  • Plant your pumpkins where they will get lots of sun. The more the better.
  • Although growing pumpkins will tolerate some drought, it is best to make sure that they get regular watering (approximately 2 - 4 inches of water a week).
  • Squash bugs are the #1 killer of pumpkin vines. To help fend them off, place some companion plants nearby. Catnip, radishes, nasturtiums, marigolds, petunias and mint will help deter squash bugs from your pumpkins.
  • When you harvest your pumpkin plant, be sure you leave a lengthy piece of the stem on the pumpkin. This stem or "handle" will help slow down the rotting process.
  • Pumpkins can be harvested whenever they are a deep, solid color (orange for most varieties) and the rind is hard. If vines remain healthy, harvest in late September or early October, before heavy frosts.
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