Hello there! This post follows on from a previous post about what I think is easiest to grow in the garden. Since time is precious, we only plant what is easy to grow in our garden. In my view, the first place award of the “easiest to grow” contest belongs to garlic, but this is followed quite closely by pumpkins. We have found them to be very easy to grow, love how they brighten up the garden with their orange blossoms and the actual pumpkin, and especially love cooking and baking with them!
In late April, I usually start my seeds inside as we have a sunny hallway where they do well. The seeds are the seeds which I washed and saved from my pumpkins the previous year. The original purchased seeds were organic (of course!). In the picture above, my pumpkin plants on the right are well on their way, while my sunflowers on the left (shhh, those are my 3rd place winners for the “easy to grow” award!), have been planted later as I want them later in the season. Despite Kitty knocking over the plants, they survived just fine.
I have only grown baking pumpkins, although there are many different varieties of pumpkins. Basically, I want pumpkins for soup and pumpkin bread, so I tend to stick to what I like. 🙂
When it comes time to move your new potted plants outside, it’s important to not just throw them out into the wide open world without first acclimatizing them. It takes about a week. I’ll usually leave them outside during the day and bring them in at night. By the very end of May, after all chances of frost are gone (hopefully!) and we’ve given them their daily-dose of ‘outside weather’ for a week, I’ll plant them in a sunny spot in the garden.
Pumpkins love compost. Sure, what plant doesn’t? I work LOTS of compost into the soil. From what I read, they also like water, but I’ve never had an issue with needing to water them any more than other plants (haha! I do live in Ireland though…). We did have a very warm and dry summer last year, actually, and all of my pumpkins matured by the end of August! I’d never had that happen before. They are normally still green in October!
After they’ve settled in to the bed, the first flowers to appear will most likely be male. There are normally more male flowers than female, and the female flowers will bloom later in the season. But honestly, I don’t pay attention to any of this (or I haven’t in the past), and everything just falls into place when it should. I’ve always had between 6 to 12 pumpkins per season, which is fine by me.
Pumpkins start out (very) green!
Normally, near the end of the season I cut off all of the leaves of the vines to help the sun to ripen the pumpkins from green to orange. This can also happen after they are cut from their vines. To prolong the life of the pumpkins, you should leave them a bit longer in a sunny spot, after cutting from the vine. It is best not to leave them sitting in the soil though, especially at this stage. I’ll either have them sitting on flat rocks or I’ll bring them onto the front porch area.
Oh! I forgot to say that I also like using pumpkins in my photographs! That orange (and even when they are still green) is just fabulous!
I really like having pumpkins in the garden. It is great fun to see how many we’ll get, and how fast (or slow) they turn orange. Pumpkin is a taste that I think people either love or hate, there is no in between! There is also nothing like the taste of fresh, homegrown pumpkin!
I’ve linked our pumpkin bread recipe, but I need to update it to include the crumb topping we now always add. The original recipe is still awesome, it is just that bit more awesome now!
I keep our house decorated with a fall harvest theme until Thanksgiving.
Only after Thanksgiving do we start to decorate for Christmas.
Haha! Sorry, I just had to use the picture with the santa hats! 🙂 Back on topic; What about you? What do you think are the easiest things to grow in the garden? I’d love to know!
My only gardening the last couple of years has been flowers no food recently. I love pumpkin bread and pumpkin soup as well… such a festive post!
I am finding myself being drawn more and more to just growing flowers, but I still so enjoy having a few edible items! That’s why I’m making sure those items are worth the effort! Thanks for your kind comments 🙂
GREAT POST! I don’t really have any problems growing anything, it just the insects that follow some vegetables. Plus, I seem to have at least one resident vole that drove me insane. I didn’t plant a garden in 2018, but I may in 2019. It just depends on a few factors. I normally have a bumper crop of sweet corn and green beans. I have issues with tomatoes for some reason but I love them dearly. I experiment with different cultivars. Kale does very well, but next thing you know the worms arrive. I told them I planted plenty to share so we get along fine. With the Japanese Beetle problem being worse each year, I am just wondering how they will be in 2019. I didn’t have to bad of a problem with them in the garden in 2017, but they did seem to like the okra. Squash bugs can be a problem, and I learned they eat the skin off tomatoes…
Oh my goodness it sounds like you have quite a large garden! I’m a tiny bit envious that you are able to grow sweet corn! (not hot enough here) If I had more energy and more time, I would love to grow all of those lovely veggies! We’ve been fairly lucky with regards to the insects (dare I say that out loud?!). But one of our problems was our Kitty digging up the beds. I am going to clear a few of our overgrown beds to finally get some chickens! I’m really excited about that 🙂 Thank you for stopping by and your lovely comment!
A lovely and informative post. Ture that pumpkins love compost, because the only real success I had were the ones that grew from seeds in our compost!
Hi Cynthia, Thank you for your kind words. Haha! I love compost growing stories! Sure, what wouldn’t want to grow in such a rich environment? 🙂