Have you ever considered planting your own little pumpkin patch in your garden for the fall? If not, you should give it a try! It is so fun watching it grow and who doesn’t want their own pumpkins for Halloween jack-o-lanterns and homemade pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving? It is seriously the coolest thing. Here’s what you need to know to have your own pumpkin-palooza this year!
If you are going to plant pumpkins, you will most likely have to plant them from seeds. I have never seen transplants offered at the nursery, but that’s ok because you plant the seeds directly into your garden without having to worry about starting them indoors or transplanting. The best time for planting is late June through July so plant now before it’s too late! We have planted both the large species and the smaller species of pumpkins and both are really fun. Simply follow the planting directions on the package to determine seed depth and spacing, it doesn’t take very long to plant. (Note: It’s always a good idea to fertilize your soil a few weeks before you plant anything, but don’t worry too much if you don’t have time to do it now.)
After you plant your seeds you will need to get on to a regular watering routine. We have an automatic watering system with hoses that water our garden for 30 minutes, 3 times a week. As you can see by my picture above, the pumpkin plants seem to thrive with this amount of water. Our pumpkin patch always ends up spilling over the sides of our raised-bed garden and we have a chore keeping it from consuming the rest of our garden as well! I have actually contemplated making a whole new garden bed just for our yearly pumpkin patch, lol!
There is nothing cooler than seeing your first tiny pumpkins starting to form in your garden. I mean, come on, how cute is that teeny-tiny pumpkin?!! Our boys absolutely love planting from seeds and seeing the amazing transformation from empty soil to a full and blooming patch. It’s a really fun and educational experience for the kiddos.
As I said before, we have planted both large and small pumpkins in the past. I love the large pumpkins because they are great for Halloween carving, but the small ones are really cool for Fall decor as well. This year we have decided to plant the large ones again because the boys definitely want jack-o-lanterns and I want to try my hand at garden fresh pumpkin pie, pumpkin roll, pumpkin cheesecake, pumpkin muffins… You get the idea.
The only natural predators we have trouble with when it comes to pumpkins and that you may need to keep an eye out for are whiteflies. Although we have seen them in our patch and they have done some damage to our leaves, they haven’t seemed to affect our actual harvest to any significant degree. If you end up with a whitefly problem that needs addressed, there are lots of great tips for fighting them on the internet. I hope this post has got you wanting your own pumpkin patch this fall! If you decide to plant, good luck with your harvest and enjoy!