Plant now and you’ll have a pumpkin for Halloween

Children at the Day Nursery Clarian Center select a pumpkin to take home from their playground.

Children at the Day Nursery Clarian Center select a pumpkin to take home from their playground.

This is the month to plant your next jack-o’-lantern. Who knew? Well I guess the folks at Scholastic do! I found this information on their website. They have lots of great resources for parents and teachers. In an article about “Hands On Gardening” they pointed out the clever names of many pumpkin varieties make it lots of fun: Ghost Rider, Baby Boo, Munchkin, Spooktacular, Big Max, Cinderella, Lumina (a white pumpkin), Jack Be Little, and Orange Smoothie, just to spotlight a few. Your child will be a successful gardener, because they are so easy to grow. Pumpkins need plenty of space and sunshine, and take a long time to grow. If you start them indoors in early May, or put them in the ground in late May after the danger of frost is past, you should have pumpkins to carve for Halloween. Pumpkins grow in almost any soil, but they don’t like wet feet, so avoid damp areas (and overzealous watering). They prefer six hours of sun a day, but don’t let that stop you from planting the seeds; pumpkins are vigorous and aren’t easily deterred. If you plant a seed from last year’s pumpkin and it grows into something with an unusual color, size, or shape, you may have grown a squmpkin — a hybrid (blend) of a pumpkin and another type of squash. Breeders are always experimenting with hybrids, to create new kinds of pumpkins with special characteristics that make them unique.

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