White pumpkins grow creamy white skins with orange, edible insides. Popular as autumn decorations, white pumpkins go with any color scheme. White pumpkins grow well in USDA zones 3 and warmer, which encompasses southern Canada down through the tropics. These squash add a ghostly flavor to the common Jack-O-Lantern; the skins seem to glow when a candle is burned inside. Grown just like conventional orange pumpkins, white pumpkins are available in many different varieties like Baby Boo, Cotton Candy, Full Moon, Gooligan, Lumina and Silver Moon.
Things You'll Need
- Garden hoe
- White pumpkin seeds
Loosen the soil to the depth of 12 inches in a 36-inch-wide circle with a shovel. Break up the dirt clumps with a garden hoe. Mix in a 4-inch layer of compost into the loosened soil.
Create a hill of soil 6 to 10 inches tall by scraping the dirt up with a garden hoe. Plant four to five seeds, equally spaced around the top of the hill, 1 inch deep. Keep the hills 5 to 6 feet apart and thin the pumpkin seedlings to only three plants per hill once they reach 3 inches tall. White pumpkins need 50 to 100 square feet to grow well.
Spread a 2-inch layer of straw around the base of the plants when they reach 4 inches tall. Extend the layer of straw to cover the entire growing area. Mulching reduces weed growth and gives the developing white pumpkins a cushion to rest on so the skin is not damaged.
Water the pumpkin plants whenever the rain does not fall for the week. Dig a hole 6 inches from the plant with a hand trowel and check the moisture depth. Keep watering until the moisture reaches a 2-inch depth.
Feed the white pumpkin plants once the fruit appears by scratching the slow-release fertilizer into the soil with a rake. Use a complete, balanced formula like 10-10-10 or 20-20-20. Water the area immediately after applying to activate the fertilizer.
Pick the white pumpkins in late September or early October. The harvest must take place before the first fall heavy frost, which kills the vines. The pumpkins are ready to harvest when the skins harden.
Tips & Warnings
- Harvest the white pumpkins immediately if the vines die off early due to plant disease, frost or other damage. Store the pumpkins in a warm, dry location.
- Cut the white pumpkins off the plants with a sharp knife. Keep 3 to 4 inches of stem attached to the pumpkins, because they do not keep well if the stems are missing.
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