Looking to grow some pumpkins for your restaurant? Well, that’s a great idea.
Whether growing pumpkins for decoration, cooking, or Halloween, pumpkin growing is fun and exciting. But before you get all excited, you need to know how to go about it.
Did you know pumpkins will not withstand any frost? Pumpkins require a lot of nourishment. You probably want to know about pumpkin fertilizer. Join me as I share some important tips for growing pumpkins for your restaurant today.
If you happen to have a garden with vegetables, then adding some pumpkins does make sense. You just need to make sure there is enough space to grow them. Around 1,000 square feet per pumpkin plant is recommended.
Below are some tips to help you grow pumpkins
Choose the right pumpkin variety
This is a good place to start. Pumpkins come in different varieties. You need to choose the right variety for your customers. Larger varieties take long to grow and require bigger space.
Small varieties mature fast and require little space. You just need to choose the right variety that best serves your needs. You also need to choose the best-tasting pumpkins.
While all pumpkins are edibles, consider varieties that your customers will love. Varieties like sugar pie are very smooth and have a sweet flavor.
Pay great attention to harvest times
Yes, you need to plant at the right time and know when you can harvest. Companies selling different pumpkin seed varieties will always indicate the growth period. This is the period that the plant takes from seeds to harvest.
You just need to do simple math and know when you expect to harvest. May and June are always great times when planting varieties that take 100 days to mature.
Space and sunshine
Space and sunshine are two things you need to provide pumpkins. Depending on the pumpkin variety, you need to space them from 5 to 20 square feet. Pumpkins grow and spread pretty fast. You want to make sure your garden has enough space for the pumpkin to spread.
Additionally, the area should have enough exposure to sunlight. For maximum growth, ensure the pumpkin gets at least 6 hours of sun daily, if not more. This is a crucial tip when choosing the location to plant the seeds.
Plant seedlings properly
A bountiful harvest starts with the proper planting of the seedlings. You want to plant the seedlings when temperatures are low, and there is no frost. This is the only way to set yourself up for a big harvest.
Consider adding some compost or manure around the seedling. When transplanting seedlings, dig the soil a little to loosen it up. This helps the roots get established pretty fast.
The compost and manure help maintain moisture in the soil. In addition, it helps add nutrients to the soil. Moisture and nutrients are two important things that pumpkins require.
You can also sow seeds indoors in cold temperatures to give them a head start. When seedlings develop poorly, the end result is a small pumpkin. You want to make sure you start right and set yourself up for a big harvest.
Water and feed the pumpkin plants
You need to water your pumpkin vines as much as possible. Pumpkins are 90% water, which goes to show why you need to water them often. They require a lot of water in the summer to ensure harvests are great.
Water the plant at a 2-foot circle to ensure the roots don’t rot. When you overwater the plants, the roots easily rot, causing the plant to die off. When watering, make sure you keep the water away from the leaves. This helps keep powdery mildew away. Fungus on the leaves can also get to the fruit and end up damaging your pumpkins.
Additionally, as I had earlier mentioned fertilizer and mulch. Pumpkins need a lot of nutrients. They are considered among the ‘heaviest feeders’ in our gardens. Make sure to feed them with high-quality pumpkin fertilizers, so the plants get as many nutrients as possible.
Fertilizers for pumpkins need to change for the best results, when in seedlings or transplants, the plant needs nitrogen-heavy fertilizer so it can grow strong vines. When the plant starts to bloom and the fruit starts to grow, fertilizer like 5-10-10 with phosphorus and potassium-rich fertilizer will be the best choice for these stages.
Harvest pumpkins carefully
When pumpkins are due for harvest, you need to treat them properly. Make sure you wait until the pumpkin stem is fully green and the fruit has a fully developed color. Harvesting pumpkins the right way helps extend their period in storage without going bad.
When harvesting, don’t cut at the base of the stem. Instead, consider cutting the vine on either side of the stem with sharp shears or a clean knife. A clean cut heals faster and prevents moisture and fungi build-up.
To further prevent any rot, clean the pumpkin’s exterior with a 1-2% bleach solution. You then need to rinse the pumpkins with water and let them dry in your garage.
When properly harvested, pumpkins can last for up to 1 year.