Pumpkins are related to gourds, cucumbers, melons and squash. They grow on plants that have long, stretching vines that sprawl across the ground.
The best time to plant pumpkin seeds is during the last part of May to the middle of June.
Seeds will sprout about seven to 10 days after planting. The seeds will need a lot of warmth and moisture in order to thrive.
Growing towards harvest
A broad root system develops in the top foot of soil. A strong taproot will grow as deep as two to three feet. As this happens, the vines spread and the leaves develop. These roots, though shallow, will collect moisture, air and food for the plant.
The blossoms (yellow flowers) will start to appear after about three weeks of growth. The blossoms that produce pollen will appear first. About a week later, the female blossoms will begin to appear. The female blossoms will have a little pumpkin at their base. When both sexes appear on the vines, bees will carry the pollen from the male to the female. The little pumpkin will develop into a full size pumpkin after it has been pollinated. During the pumpkin’s growth period, the plant will continue to blossom.
It takes about three to six months for a pumpkin to grow to its peak size. The seeds found inside pumpkins can be saved to grow new pumpkins the following year.
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