These tips on how to grow Jack-o’-lantern pumpkins include how to start Jack-o’-lantern pumpkins, how to transplant Jack-o’-lantern pumpkins, and how to care for Jack-o’-lantern pumpkins.
Carving your own Jack-o’-lantern is fun, but did you know that growing your own jack o lantern pumpkins can be a great time, too? Growing your own Jack-o’-lantern pumpkins isn’t just rewarding, but it can save you money in the long run as well. Instead of paying big bucks at a local grocer, you can enjoy the simplicity of walking to your own backyard to pick your pumpkin out. If this sounds like something you would enjoy, look below at helpful tips on how to grow Jack-o’-lantern pumpkins. By keeping these tips in mind, you can grow Jack-o’-lantern pumpkins you will be proud to display!
How to Grow Jack-o’-lantern Pumpkins
How to start Jack-o’-lantern pumpkins from seed:
Before you decide if you want to plant Jack-o’-lantern pumpkins from seeds or seedlings, you need to look at the length of your growing season. If experiencing a shorter growing season, you should plan on planting seeds indoors to get started, or waiting until you can plant seedlings outdoors.
If starting indoors, using peat pots is easiest since you can plant them directly into the soil when ready to transplant. Simply give each seed a roomy pot (a decent 3 inch pot is best) filled with moist and nutrient rich soil. Plant seeds about 1 inch deep, move the peat pot to a sunny space where it will get at least 6 hours of sunlight, and keep the soil moist until sprouting occurs.
How to transplant/plant Jack-o’-lantern pumpkins in the garden:
Once outdoor temperatures have reached about 70 degrees and stay at a constant 70 degrees or higher per day, your seeds or seedlings can be transplanted directly into the garden. When planting Jack-o’-lantern pumpkins you want to use the mound method. This gives the plant the support it needs to grow and tumble without the risk of being crowded by other plants. Here is how to create the mound growing method.
You should create mounds in your garden that are about 6 inches in height, 12 inches in width, and spaced at least 6- 12 inches away from fellow plants. This way those pumpkins will get all the room they need to grow, vine, and spread without bothering other plants. If planting in a small space, place the mounds on the outside edges of your garden where they won’t run into others.
Once your mound has been created, you can add your seeds (1-2 inches deep) or plant your peat pots directly into the soil. Build some mulch up around the mound to keep roots warm and protected while also helping keep moisture in.
How to care for Jack-o’-lantern pumpkins:
Now comes the part, the waiting! Jack-o’-lantern pumpkins can be slow growing, so it is important to keep them safe in the process. Using proper fencing or netting around the plants can help keep critters from dining on them, while plenty of mulch and regular feedings of fertilizer can help keep them growing in size. In the meantime, they will enjoy regular watering (at least 2 inches of water per week) lots of full sun, and weeding around the base and tendrils.
How to harvest Jack-o’-lantern pumpkins:
Your Jack-o’-lantern pumpkins will be ready for harvesting around late summer, early fall. They are bigger than your typical pie or baking pumpkin, and can range anywhere from 5 to 10 pounds in size. They will have a bright orange and smooth outer shell, and feel slightly soft to the touch when pressed. If you see excessive amounts of green or green streaks, it may be too early to pick. If the pumpkin feels really dense and the skin has no give when pressed, it may too early as well.
When you harvest, cut the pumpkin from the stem leaving some of the stem in tact for nutrients. Keep the pumpkin in a cool and dry place until you are ready to carve!
Growing Jack-o’-lantern pumpkins can be a rewarding experience. Consider these tips on how to grow Jack-o’-lantern pumpkins and see how fun it can be.