The Great Pumpkin Contest

Jul 6, 2012 4:50 PM by Jill Graves

It's July and you should have pumpkin flowers!

Well, we don't have flowers on our pumpkins yet but all of you serious competition pumpkin growers do!

Male flowers come first on the vines. These flowers are on a long thin stem and smell wonderful, according to Dr. Sabol. Female flowers will come later and will stay close to the vine and you will notice that it has a round green base: That is the pumpkin!

"July is a fun time of year... you get to see your pumpkin flowers open up to the sky and to the bees!!!" says Dr. Sabol.

Once the flowers come you want to cut back on the nitrogen in your fertilizer so your plant doesn't work so hard producing the vine and leaves. You want the plant to give you flowers and fruit. So you want to switch to a fertilizer that has less nitrogen and higher Phosphorus and Potassium.

Dr. Sabol likes a water soluable fertilizer 6-30-30, but 5-10-10 will also do the job he said.

The best time to water is in the morning, if you can, and if you do water in the morning, water the leaves as well. Dr. Sabol says the pumpkins will love it!

But be careful, if you water in the evening try to avoid getting water on the leaves so they don't mildew.

Here's to giant pumpkins!

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