Neither berry nor vegetable, pumpkins are in fact a squash that has become synonymous with Halloween and the autumn season. They have also become an annual tradition at the Westmoreland Berry Farm, with visitors flocking from all around in search of the perfect carving canvas. Pumpkins also make great bases for pies, soups, dinner rolls, salsas and chilis, as they are a terrific source of Vitamin A and a minor source of Vitamin C. Pumpkin seeds are also widely used in many alternative cooking oils.
How We Grow Pumpkins
The Westmoreland Berry Farm loves growing pumpkins. Pumpkins are one of the last crops in the ground, with seeds planted directly into the ground in the beginning of May, often when the rest of the picking season is in full-swing. To reach their massive size, pumpkins require a ton of water and time to grow, often as many as three, frostless months (to ensure the seedlings remain undamaged). Once planted, pumpkin seeds become visible in as little as five to ten days. Watering pumpkins is very tricky; it’s important to supply adequate water while keeping the pumpkin itself and surrounding foliage dry. The pumpkin vines are kept intact, as this delivers adequate water and nutrients to the pumpkin.
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Pumpkins thrive in warm soil, with an optimal temperature of 95 degrees F.
Pumpkins need a lot of water, but it's important to keep the pumpkin, itself dry.
Pumpkins need (at minimum) three months of warm, frost-free weather to grow.
Bees are essential for pollination, but all other pests should be kept far away.