How to grow your own pumpkins

October 4, 2019 by  
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Fall is the time of year when we pull out the sweaters and boots, add a jacket to our attire and immerse ourselves in all things pumpkin. From creamer to donuts to home decor , pumpkins represent autumn from when the first leaf falls to long after the Thanksgiving dishes have been dried and put away. Of course, there is also the age-old practice of carving pumpkins for Halloween. While every supermarket has mounds of pumpkins ready for purchase, with a little planning you can grow and harvest your own pumpkins for everything from jack-o’-lanterns to pumpkin bread. Plan ahead By the time October hits, all you can really do is plan for next year’s garden (which is a great idea!). Seeds should go into the ground between the end of May and mid-July, depending on where you live. Be sure you don’t plant too early in the season. Although the plants will thrive and produce fruit happily throughout the late summer and early fall, you may find yourself with rotten fruit before the pumpkin-carving party if they ripen months beforehand. Provide space Pumpkin plants ramble. In fact, they will take over and may cause problems if confined, so give them a dedicated area to thrive. This is not a plant that will be successful on an apartment balcony. Allow them ample room to bush out without running into other garden crops, outbuildings or fencing. For planning purposes, set aside around 9-10 feet in each direction for each mound of plants (around 100 square feet). Related: How to cook a whole pumpkin (seeds, guts and all) Mound it up Rounded mounds of soil provide the drainage and depth pumpkins need to thrive. Pumpkin seeds and vines are finicky, so you don’t want to handle or transplant them once they are in soil . To avoid disturbing them, make sure your mounds are established before planting. Set them at least 5-6 feet apart from each other. Let it shine When choosing the location for your pumpkin mounds, select a space that receives a lot of sunlight . Pumpkin seeds don’t do well in cold soil or dirt that is too wet. They prefer a warm environment, so choose your selection with that in mind. Choose preferred varieties There are many varieties of pumpkins, some that look more like squash in shape and color. In fact, many people use the labels squash and pumpkin interchangeably. There are also a variety of sizes, from small decorative options to giant, 100-pound versions. Choose your seeds well to match the space you have available. Related: How to cook and enjoy 10 types of squash other than pumpkin Make them share Pumpkins grow well in clusters. To find the strongest plants, plant five or six seeds per mound. Seeds should be pressed into the soil about one inch deep and lightly covered. Once they are well-established, thin to the healthiest two to three plants per mound. Each plant will produce multiple pumpkins . You can see the potential when the plants bloom flowers. Soon, each of those flowers will have a pumpkin behind it beginning to form. Be mindful though — only female flowers produce fruit. The male flowers bloom briefly, giving bees an opportunity to find the flowering vines. Then, they drop off the plant. Female flowers, however, will show the bulb of the green emerging fruit behind them. Keep the weeds out Weeds can choke out the productivity of your pumpkin plants, so keep them at bay by frequently checking for new growth and removing them early on. A hoe works well for this task to avoid the back and knee strain from getting on the ground. Try not to dig too deep, which could interfere with the roots of the pumpkin plants. Avoid harmful weed killers anywhere near your plants (and preferably your entire yard). Applying mulch to pumpkin plants will help keep the weeds away and hold the moisture in. Stick to a watering schedule Pumpkins are fairly forgiving of a little neglect when it comes to water , as long as they have a chance to get established with reliable drinks. Give them a drink at least once each week, saturating the soil around the base of each plant while avoiding leaves and fruit wherever possible. In the beginning though, avoid flooding the seed and seedlings as they become established. Instead, give them shallow drinks. Schedule an extra watering if the weather is extreme during the early summer growing season. Growing care You won’t have to dote on your growing pumpkins too frequently. Given the right location, soil and temperature, they are pretty self-sufficient. If you are planning to use your pumpkins for carving, you may want to gently rotate them occasionally. This will help avoid pumpkins with a flat side and help them grow into a more uniform shape; however, the vines are persnickety, so use caution or the vine may be damaged. Tip: Set each pumpkin on a piece of cardboard and gently rotate it every few weeks for even heat and light. Harvest Your pumpkins will likely be ready to harvest during the last two weeks of September. They are ready when the stem is firm and the pumpkin turns from green to deep orange. Cut the stem carefully as most have sharp prickles. Use gloves and a sharp blade. Leave around 3-4 inches of stem attached to the pumpkin. You can leave the pumpkin attached to the vine, or cut it and leave it outside. However, if freezing weather is coming, cut your pumpkins and store them in a cool, dry location. Use as soon as possible for decor or your favorite recipe . Images via James Wheeler , Waldo Jaquith , Austin Kirk and K. Sayer

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How to grow your own pumpkins

Billions of pounds of pumpkin will go to the landfill after Halloween

October 29, 2018 by  
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Over the past few weeks, millions of people have bought nutritious, tasty treats that they won’t eat, and after Halloween, the majority will end up throwing them in the trash. Of course, we are talking about pumpkins. This week, billions of pounds of the delicious, edible and versatile squash will become  food waste instead of being cooked or composted. In the U.K. alone, eight million pumpkins will be in the garbage on November 1. According to The Guardian ,  this would be enough to make pumpkin pies to feed the entire country. Nearly 60 percent of people bought their pumpkins just to hollow out and carve. The #PumpkinRescue campaign said that only one-third of those people will cook the edible insides, and just over half of them will throw away the pumpkin flesh. Related: How to cook a whole pumpkin (seeds, guts and all) More than 1.3 billion pounds of pumpkins will be thrown out in the U.S., adding tons of waste to landfills. When we throw those pumpkins out, they decompose and release methane — a harmful greenhouse gas that contributes to climate change . In Canada, the pumpkin harvest attracts thousands of people to farms all over the country for hayrides and corn mazes. But farmer Rob Galey said that most visitors to his annual Pumpkin Fest won’t take pumpkins home to cook and eat. He explained that the visitors are buying a metaphor, not food. The pumpkin represents an abundant fall harvest and looks good in a photo, but it never makes it to the dinner table. Is our pumpkin waste ruining the environment? It’s certainly an issue, but the U.S. Department of Energy is working on the problem by teaming up with industry experts to develop integrated biorefineries, which are facilities that can efficiently convert plant and waste material into affordable biofuels. As of right now, none of the refineries are in full operation. In the meantime, keep enjoying your pumpkins . Carve them, decorate them and — after October 31 — eat or compost them to reduce the food waste. Via The Guardian , Vice , Pumpkin Rescue  and CBC News Images via Corey Blaz and Marius Ciocirlan

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Billions of pounds of pumpkin will go to the landfill after Halloween

Pumpkins cause climate change, says Energy Dept

October 30, 2015 by  
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Carving pumpkins is a fun tradition for many American families, but there’s a big problem with what happens after the tricking and the treating festivities are over. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, too many of those discarded pumpkin carcasses end up in landfills , and the influx of organic material during the squash-centric holiday season creates a nasty side effect. Our obsession with holiday pumpkins increases the greenhouse gas emissions coming from landfills to an epic degree. Read the rest of Pumpkins cause climate change, says Energy Dept

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Pumpkins cause climate change, says Energy Dept

The homesteader’s guide to a perfect Pumpkin Spice Latte

September 16, 2015 by  
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6 DIY Halloween Decorations Made with Upcycled Materials

October 28, 2014 by  
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You know that Halloween is just a few days away , right? Don’t worry: it snuck up on us too, and now we’re scrambling to decorate the house with a suitable number of scary items so we can celebrate in style. If your place is looking a little sparse in the spookiness department, there are some fun, easy decorations you can make with stuff that’s probably already lurking around your home. Read on for some fun-yet-creepy DIY ideas that you can put together in no time. Missing Attachment Missing Attachment Missing Attachment Missing Attachment Missing Attachment Missing Attachment Read the rest of 6 DIY Halloween Decorations Made with Upcycled Materials Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: creepy , dead dolls , decorations , DIY halloween , dolls , glowing , glowing eyes , halloween , Halloween decor , halloween decorations , halloween eyes , lantern , lanterns , mason jars , pumpkin , pumpkins , spider , spider egg , spider egg sac , spider eggs , spider sac , spooky , spooky jars , upcycled jars , vampire doll , vampire dolls

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6 DIY Halloween Decorations Made with Upcycled Materials

These Tiny Cabins Built From 100% Reclaimed Wood are the Perfect Romantic Getaways

October 28, 2014 by  
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Read the rest of These Tiny Cabins Built From 100% Reclaimed Wood are the Perfect Romantic Getaways Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Cabanas no Rio , cabin , cabins , Grândola , jetty , Manuel Aires Mateus , portugal , Reclaimed Materials , reclaimed timber , reclaimed wood , riverside , Sado River , wooden architecture , wooden cabins

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These Tiny Cabins Built From 100% Reclaimed Wood are the Perfect Romantic Getaways

5 Awesome, No-Carve Ideas for Your Halloween Jack O’ Lantern!

October 5, 2014 by  
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The Halloween season is here, and you’ve probably already seen pumpkins and gourds popping up everywhere. Carving a jack o’ lantern is tradition in many families, but not everyone has the time (or talent) to carve a great design. If you’re a little artistically challenged, prefer something more sophisticated, or simply have young children that aren’t ready for the carving knife, these awesome, no-carve ideas the simple solution. We’ve rounded up five painted designs that will give you unique, fall-themed pumpkins without lifting a single blade. Which one will you choose? READ MORE> Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Chevron , halloween , halloween decorations , home decorating , jack o lanterns , pumpkin carving , pumpkins

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5 Awesome, No-Carve Ideas for Your Halloween Jack O’ Lantern!

DIY: Light Up Thanksgiving By Transforming Halloween Pumpkins Into Centerpiece Candles

November 23, 2013 by  
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Can’t figure out what to do with those leftover pumpkins from Halloween? Check out this fun and easy DIY tutorial to turn those spare miniature  pumpkins into cute candle holders to brighten up your Thanksgiving dinner. With just six simple steps, this eco-friendly project is a great activity to do with the family. Combine different kinds of gourds and pumpkins for an even more colorful and unique Thanksgiving centerpiece! Read on for the full DIY tutorial. READ MORE> Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: diy candles , diy thanksgiving , ecofriendly diy , Halloween Pumpkins , leftover pumpkins , pumpkin candles , thanksgiving , thanksgiving centerpiece , thanksgiving diy        

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DIY: Light Up Thanksgiving By Transforming Halloween Pumpkins Into Centerpiece Candles

5 Awesome, No-Carve Ideas for Your Halloween Jack O’ Lantern!

October 12, 2013 by  
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The Halloween season is here, and you’ve probably already seen pumpkins and gourds popping up everywhere. Carving a jack o’ lantern is tradition in many families, but not everyone has the time (or talent) to carve a great design. If you’re a little artistically challenged, prefer something more sophisticated, or simply have young children that aren’t ready for the carving knife, these awesome, no-carve ideas the simple solution. We’ve rounded up five painted designs that will give you unique, fall-themed pumpkins without lifting a single blade. Which one will you choose? READ MORE> Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Chevron , halloween , halloween decorations , home decorating , jack o lanterns , pumpkin carving , pumpkins        

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Dallas Arboretum Unveils Massive Village Made From 50,000 Pumpkins!

October 31, 2012 by  
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Read the rest of Dallas Arboretum Unveils Massive Village Made From 50,000 Pumpkins! Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: 50000 pumpkins , arboretum , botanical gardens , Cinderella pumpkin patch , Cinderella’s Pumpkin Village , Dallas , Dallas Arboretum , halloween , pumpkin houses , pumpkin patch , pumpkin village , pumpkins , texas , topiary horses , world’s largest pumpkin patch

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Dallas Arboretum Unveils Massive Village Made From 50,000 Pumpkins!

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