Pumpkins in January

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We know what you’re thinking… it’s too early to grow pumpkins now, but we could not resist.  We love the Seasons, and we love everything to do with Halloween, including pumpkins!  Last year was our first attempt at growing pumpkins in our backyard, and if it were not for the deers in our neighborhood, we could have produced more than one pumpkin. 

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Anyhow, on Monday (1/25) Mommy planted 2 seeds from her store bought pumpkin in a little green pot, and she planted 2 seeds from Daddy’s home grown pumpkin in a blue pot (Daddy’s seeds are the Connecticut pumpkin seeds which he produced a 20.4 pound pumpkin).  On Friday (1/27) to Mommy’s surprise, she saw her first sprout starting to emerge from the dirt.  Holy cow! Mommy said, as she stood there in shock looking down at the first sign of life from her little sprout.  Only four days and these little suckers are growing, now that is quick germination!  Daddy saw his first sprout emerge the next day on Saturday (1/28).  We watched these little sprouts all day on Saturday and could not believe how fast they were growing.  Walk away from them, then check back about an hour later, and they grew some more!  We also have a small little lamp with a 25w bulb sitting over these pots, so it keeps them warm and provides simulated sunlight during the day to help them grow. 

We wrote a post last year on how to dry pumpkin seeds, as we saved each and every seed from our store bought pumpkin and Daddy’s home grown pumpkin, which turned out to be over 1,000 seeds!  We know for sure that we did everything correctly on how to dry the seeds since these little sprouts are now growing quite nicely & quick too!  (Click on our link to read how to dry pumpkin seeds)  This year, what we are going to do differently is start our pumpkin seeds indoors to get the little sprouts big and healthy first, then we will plant them outdoors when the time is right.  I think we tried planting our seeds last year in May, and the May rains drowned out the little seedlings, so we had to replant.  Good healthy soil, good irrigation, bee pollination & lots of sunlight (and deer repellent) is a must for pumpkins to grow well.  (Note: If a bee does not pollinate the flower on the vine, then you will not produce any pumpkins!)  We learned some valuable lessons last year trying to grow pumpkins for the first time, so we won’t make the same mistakes this year.  We probably would have had more pumpkins if it were not for the deer who ate our pumpkin vines.  (Darn deer!)  This year will be different because we will be sectioning off the area of our backyard with a fence so the deer won’t be able to get anywhere near our pumpkins.

If you are interested in purchasing any of our pumpkin seeds, contact us today!  Keep checking back to see how our little sprouts are doing! 

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How to Dry Pumpkin Seeds for Planting

Trying to grow pumpkins was a great adventure for us this year, with a few setbacks from some critters & the weather.   We started our plantings back in May, but all the rain stunted the growth and we had to replant.  We ran into chipmunks who ate our little seedlings that were starting to grow, and then the most horrible day arrived when one morning we noticed that the deer had a feeding frenzy over night and ate half of our pumpkin vine.  We were devastated, but things ended up ok as we got one pumpkin that weighed in at 20.4 pounds!  We probably would have had a few more pumpkins mature if the deer would not have stunted the growth of the vine, but for next year we have a new game plan.  We are going to cage in the area where the pumpkins will be growing to keep the deer out, and instead of starting the seeds outside, we are going to start growing them indoors first. 

It was really hard to put the knife into our home grown pumpkin to carve it for Halloween, but that’s what you do – you carve a pumpkin.  We have done a lot of research to find out how to prepare your pumpkin seeds to be used for planting and we wanted to share them with you.

How to Dry Pumpkin Seeds for Planting
    1. While cleaning out your pumpkin, separate the seeds from the pulp
    2. Put the seeds in a colander and run cold water over them to help remove the pulp
    3. Drain the water off the seeds thoroughly
    4. Spread the seeds evenly & in a single layer onto a cookie sheet lined with paper towels
    5. Place them in a cool dry place and turn them every day
    6. Let the seeds dry approximately a week or more if needed
    7. Once the seeds are dried, place them in an envelope and store in a cool dry place to be used for planting next year
    8. Make sure you label your envelope of what kind of pumpkin the seeds were from & date the envelope

    Happy plantings!