Good enought to eat: Pumpkins

Macclesfield Express - - LEISURE -

Choose a lo­ca­tion with space and di­rect sun­light. If you’re short on space, you can grow pumpkins in a 40ltr bucket.

Pre­pare your patch, en­sur­ing you have rich, well-drained soil, and mix in lots of com­post.

Pump­kin seeds are sen­si­tive to the cold, so make sure the soil is as close to 30°C as pos­si­ble be­fore plant­ing.

To help soil warm quickly in the sun, cre­ate a small mound a few inches high and plant three to five seeds around the sides. Seeds are bet­ter sown on their side, di­rect into the com­post.

Once the pumpkins ger­mi­nate and grow to about two or three inches tall, you can train them to grow in the di­rec­tion you want. If you don’t have a lot of space, train your vines to grow up a trel­lis.

Wa­ter pumpkins reg­u­larly; they need about an inch of wa­ter per week, and this in­creases dur­ing flow­er­ing sea­son. Avoid get­ting the fruit and flow­ers too wet or it will in­crease the chance of rot. Pumpkins love food, so feed reg­u­larly with a wa­ter/com­post mix­ture, or use ma­nure.

Pinch off the fuzzy ends of each vine af­ter a few pumpkins have formed to stop vines grow­ing.

You should also prune un­ruly vines to pre­serve the en­ergy for fruit growth. As the fruit de­vel­ops, they should be turned – make sure the vines aren’t dam­aged when do­ing this – to en­cour­age an even shape.

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