How to Grow Your Own Pumpkins and Gourds This Fall

Just in time for fall, Rosedale Nurseries sales associate Andrea Donnelly shares her best tips for growing pumpkins and gourds.

Pumpkins and gourds can take anywhere from 90-120 days to mature (with the larger varieties taking longer), so in order to have them ready in time for Halloween or Thanksgiving, you will want to start right away.

For smaller varieties, you will get between 3 and 6 fruits per plant; larger varieties yield fewer.  Whether you decide to start from plants or seeds is up to you, but Donnelly says pumpkins are very easy to grow from seeds if you opt to go that route.

For plants, she says, “Most often you can start them inside earlier in the year. Or they can be planted outside as soon as the ground is warm, usually around mid-June. The night temperature should be at least 55 degrees.”

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Tips for Successful Plants:

• Plant them on hills, so the water runs away from the fruit

• Make sure they have a lot of space, because the vines spread (Gourds don’t take up as much room as pumpkins, and their vines can climb.)

• As the pumpkins are ripening on the vine, consider adding a bed of straw underneath so they lie off the dirt. This will help avoid bruising or rotting in spots.

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