How to Grow Pumpkins

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To grow pumpkins, start the seeds after the last frost of the winter, allow the vines to grow across the ground and harvest the ripe pumpkins just in time for Halloween. Grow pumpkins in a warm climate, as they thrive in full, hot sun, with helpful advice from a sustainable gardener in this free video on gardening.

Part of the Video Series: Gardening: Edible Plants
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Video Transcript

Hi, this is Yolanda Vanveen, and in this segment, we're going to talk about how to grow pumpkins. Now, pumpkins are such a reward to grow because you start the seeds in the spring, they make a viney plant that blooms and then produces pumpkins for Halloween. And then that way, you can have your own Halloween pumpkins to make your own jack-o'-lantern. And it's really easy to do. Now, you can collect the seeds in the fall from the actual pumpkins, or you can start them by seed in the spring. But generally, the pumpkin seeds that you buy in the store have been roasted, so those won't grow for you. So you've got to make sure and buy the pumpkin seeds that are specially for growing pumpkins or save the seeds yourselves at the end of the season. And a lot of times, because they've been harvested and picked before they're actually ripe, the seeds might not be ripe. But I've tried, in the past, and gotten them to grow. So pumpkins are related to melons and watermelons and cantaloupes, so they're considered a warm-climate vegetable. So you don't want to start them until there's no chance of frost, and it's at least 60 degrees during the day consistently and staying pretty warm at night. So don't even start them outside until, at least, May or June. That's the trick because if you start them too early, you might lose them. And so just start them by seed and they'll come up and make a vine. And just let them stay on the ground because you can't really support the vine because the pumpkins would fall off anyway. And so they'll bloom and then they'll make the pumpkins that will develop into the fall. And the best time to cut a pumpkin off of the vine is as soon as it's matured and it's still green on the top and it's not turning brown in any way and it's full. It's the best time. You just cut them right from the vine right out. And then you can enjoy them for Halloween or enjoy them for decorations or make your own pumpkin pie. Now, you can let them keep growing until the frost hits in the fall, and as soon as it starts freezing at night, just cut all the foliage off and you can actually let it just mulch itself or get rid of the compost in another area. Either way, it's really easy to grow pumpkins, and you can just start them by seed again the next year. They need full, hot sun and good drainage and good organic compost -- good organic material -- and you will find that you can grow pumpkins with very little care.

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