It’s time to have fun! Oct. 26 is Nationwide Pumpkin Day, an ideal alternative to cease and recognize the multifaceted enjoyable of rising, consuming, carving and even portray pumpkins.
I gained’t declare to be an skilled at rising pumpkins since I’ve by no means tried to boost a kind of behemoth pumpkins weighing lots of (and even 1000’s) of kilos. The rising season on my northern Wisconsin farm is just too brief.
However I’ve grown smaller pumpkins for the final three years, favoring varieties like Early Prince Hybrid (assume “traditional carving pumpkin”) and Casperita (cute miniature white pumpkins). I plant a number of raised beds with pumpkin crops and encourage the vines to climb a welded wire fence.
It’s enjoyable to see the Casperita vines develop greater and better, dotting the fence line with little white pumpkins.
Learn extra: Hand-pollinate your pumpkins and different squash for higher success!
Pumpkin Rising Fundamentals
As soon as they’re established, pumpkin crops develop quickly. I discover it satisfying to look at them develop with seemingly limitless vigor through the peak of summer time. Even small pumpkins can develop noticeably from sooner or later to the following.
However pumpkins shouldn’t be left to develop unaided. They want a minimum of 1 inch of water per week, so diligent care is the important thing to success.
Weeding the beds early on is an efficient technique. I’ve, nevertheless, discovered that when the pumpkin crops take off, their gigantic leaves produce such deep shade that weeds typically aren’t too problematic.
After the pumpkins have matured, harvesting is a delight. The stems may be thick and prickly. Sturdy gloves and pruning shears simplify the method of separating fruit from plant.
Pumpkins are so lovely that’s it’s tempting to only place them round your own home and yard to get pleasure from their look. (There’s a Casperita pumpkin sitting subsequent to me on my desk.) However consider all of the scrumptious meals you’ll be able to put together with pumpkins! Pumpkin pie, pumpkin bread, roasted pumpkin seeds … the tasty prospects go on and on.
Learn extra: These 3 distinctive pumpkin varieties convey uncommon fall aptitude to the backyard.
All of the Pumpkins!
Then once more, why not eat some pumpkins and embellish with others? If in case you have a lot of pumpkins and need to get pleasure from some all through autumn, you’ll be able to remedy them for round two weeks. This entails storing them in a heat location (round 80 to 85 levels F) to dry out their pores and skin.
As soon as they’re cured, pumpkins can final for months and are excellent for adorning.
Should you’re helpful with a carving knife, the chances are limitless. Begin by slicing off the highest and eradicating the innards of the pumpkin, together with the seeds. You’ll be left with a hole fruit excellent for carving intricate designs into the pores and skin.
In fact, in case your inventive abilities exceed your prowess with a knife, you’ll be able to paint your pumpkins as an alternative. I loved coming into a pumpkin portray contest final yr. Whereas I didn’t win, it was a pleasure to color a pumpkin I grew myself.
I plan to enter once more this yr.
The purpose of this ambling Nationwide Pumpkin Day essay is straightforward. It’s to spotlight the pleasures of rising pumpkins and persuade you to present them a attempt in 2023. True, pumpkins can take up quite a lot of backyard area, however the rewards (as I’ve hopefully expounded on in nice element) are well worth the dedication.