I wonder if there’s anyone who is as crazy about pumpkins as I am. I love that they come in all shapes, sizes and colors, and it’s a good excuse to bring the happy color orange into the house. I enjoy decorating my home for Harvest – there’s an extravagance to the season that appeals to me.
So when my friend Jennifer Peralta suggested that I write about growing pumpkins, I was all in. If you haven’t grown them before, you’ll discover that they are an easy, fun and rewarding crop – and a great project to share with children.
While the seeds don’t go into the ground until after the last expected frost date (March 20th in McKinney), you can prepare for your upcoming patch now. Select a sunny spot that is protected from wind and large enough for the vines to sprawl (or grow up into a trellis or arbor). Prepare a 2 foot diameter circle for each plant by piling fallen leaves, well-rotted manure, or compost into the spot. Sprinkle in a cup or two of 5-10-5 fertilizer and allow it to winter over.
Then look for my article on Growing the Perfect Pumpkin around March 1st. I’ll give you the low down on the best varieties, how/when to plant seeds, when to fertilize, and harvesting, curing and storing information.