I must confess. October is my favorite month. Being a day-before-Halloween baby myself, I just groove on the whole orangeness of the month. Must be happy memories of birthday parties spent running from the chainsaw-toting guy at the haunted houses we went to. Plus, my first baby was born on Oct. 6, and it’s a good excuse to buy two-for-one bags of Halloween candy that you know will be gone well before the 31st.
One of the first things I do to get in the mood is put a few pumpkins on the front porch. No need to carve them. I like the raw harvest look. So this week I took my 3-year-old Brady to the grocery store to pick a few out. We chose a reddish orange one, a white one and a Cinderella style one in a soft burnished gold.
He marveled at seeing a white pumpkin and then the questions started coming.
Brady: “Where do pumpkins come from?”
Mommie: “Uhhh. A vine that grows on the ground.”
Brady: “What’s this thing (pointing to stem)?”
Me (a little uncertainly): “I think that is where it was attached to the vine. It’s how the pumpkin gets its food. Like a baby’s belly button.”
Of course I have no idea if that was right. The pumpkin stem part.
So, in a moment of parenting guilt, I figured I should look up the real answers and share them with other mommies getting similar inquiries. Online I went, to the wisegeek.com site.
Here’s an excerpt:
The pumpkin requires lots of sun and good soil for best results. Choose a sunny spot in your yard and consider using a little bit of organic compost to fill the hole once you dig. One must also choose whether to grow the plant from seed or from seedlings. Growing the pumpkin from a seedling is easier. Seeds should be started inside before being transferred to the growing site. Usually one must allow the seedling to become several inches in height prior to planting.
Pumpkin seedlings can usually be purchased in gardening stores and sometimes in hardware stores with gardening departments. Planting in the U.S. should begin in early July for a good yield by early fall. There are many pumpkin varieties to consider, and it is best to take the advice of the gardening department on which plants are most successful in your specific area. In most cases, if you are planting pumpkins for pies, the small, dense sugar pumpkin variety is preferred.
When purchasing seedlings, buy at least two. Pumpkins need to be pollinated in order to produce fruit. This wisegeek author made the mistake of purchasing only one long ago, and while she enjoyed the flowers, she was disappointed that no pumpkin grew. If you purchase only two seedlings, you will get one plant that yields a pumpkin or pumpkins.
Visit the site for more details. Or don’t and make something up. And, no, I don’t think I’ll be sharing the concept of pumpkin mating with Brady just yet. You never know what questions THAT might lead to.