Best Way of Growing Pumpkins

Have you ever heard, “To be a successful gardener, grow pumpkins” it’s an old saying. This doesn’t mean growing pumpkins are hard. In fact, growing pumpkins are very easy, comparatively growing other plants. Bury the seed and wait for the harvest as simple as it is. But you need to follow some simple instructions.

Pumpkins are a creeper, so choose a good place with lots of space for their sprawling vines and where they can get at least 6 to 7 hours of direct sunlight everyday. Pumpkins are very sensitive for cold weathers as they are warm season vegetables. So before planting pumpkin, make sure the soil is frost free. Choose a well-drained, fertile, loamy soil with neutral pH.

Pumpkins do well when the seeds are directly planted into the ground. Allow the soil to get thoroughly warmed before you plant, so let the frosts pass. If you are planning to plant pumpkins for Halloween, then they are best to plant in the end of the May month to early July.

Best Way of Growing Pumpkins
Growing Pumpkin

Once you are ready with the location, sow the best pumpkin seeds directly into the ground with 1 – 2 inches deep and water them. Germination will take place within 7 to 10 days after planting the seeds when the temperature is about 60 degree F.

Within a week period you can see the seedlings growing with their set of true leaves. Pumpkins are very thirsty plants and they need lots of water to survive. Water them deeply and make sure the soil is moisture. Do not allow the water to sit, this will end up killing the plant. As long as you water them properly the plant will grow and look healthy. Water near the stem do not allow the water to sit on the leaves, as it will bring the fungal disease.

The best temperature for growing pumpkins are 75-85 degree F in the daytime and 60-70 degree F at the night time. Pumpkins are heavy feeders so feed them with organic nutrients. Pumpkins grow vigorous and aggressively covering lots of area. To develop a strong support system for the best growth of pumpkin you need to do proper pruning. Train the vines to grow in the direction you intend to grow it. Pruning will not only allow to grow in a proper direction, but also will encourage the plant to devote its energy towards the pumpkin fruit.

After 10 week’s pumpkin will start flowering, in the blooming stage pumpkin requires lots of water and nutrients. Pumpkin flowers are big and blooms in a golden yellow color. These flower blooms only for one day and then they die. A pumpkin plant grows male and female flowers. Make flowers sits on long thin stems where female flower sits closer to the vine.

Pumpkins appear when the flower falls off. Once the pumpkins grow bigger, leave them on the plant as long as possible. To harvest the pumpkin check the skin if it is hard and the color of the fruit changes into deep shades of setting sun and also if the fruit starts to crack near the stem, harvest them. Cut each pumpkin from the stem, leaving several inches of the stem attached.

Store your pumpkins in a warm, dry and airy place and save pumpkin seeds for next year. Pumpkins can be made into sweet or savory dishes, their seeds are healthy and fun to roast. Enjoy your Halloween, growing lot bigger pumpkins.

Growing Cranberries in Your Home Garden

Cranberries can be grown in your home garden easily with some arrangement and care. Cranberries grows well outdoors in zone 2 to 5 and other zones they can be grown well in containers in indoor gardening.

Prepare bed garden for Cranberry, digging 6 to 8 inches depth for about 4 by 8 feet area. Cranberries are very specific about the soil they grow. So remove all the existing soil and fill the bed with peat moss, 1 pound of blood mean, ½ pound of bone meal. Mix well the above material.

cranberry

Once you prepare the bed, water the bed thoroughly to make it wet but not soggy. Ensure that you water the bed properly. Peat moss take lot of time to soak completely for the first time so make sure you do not over water. Allow the area to completely soak for 24 hours before you plant.

Planting Cranberries

Buy rooted cuttings of Cranberries from your local nursery. Make sure you buy one year or three year old cranberry rooted cuttings. Purchase at least 5 to 7 cuttings. Plant the root ball cuttings 2 inches below the ground level in the bed garden and 1 foot apart each if the cuttings are one year old. 3 foot apart each for 3 year old cutting. Cranberries are runners so they need plenty for room between plants. As they start growing, they will fill your bed garden.

Best time to plant cranberries are from October to early November. They can also be planted in springtime in the middle of April to the end of May. For early berries grow 3 year old seedlings. Cranberry takes 3 years to start bearing fruit. If you plant 3 year cuttings, you might get some berries during the first fall. One year cutting make take longer to get harvest.

Water the plants regularly do not allow the area to dry. Cranberry roots will not survive if they are not wet. Feed your plant for the first two years with nitrogen. After that feed them with fish emulsion fertilizer (2-4-2) at a rate of 1/2 gallon once at the growing stage and at the blooming stage. Too much fertilizer will reduce the number of uprights which will lead to no berries.

Caring for Your Cranberries

Do not prune your cranberries for first 3 years of planting. Trim your plant after three years by trimming the runners and cut the old shoots. Repeat the pruning process every 3 years or whenever it is necessary. Clean up the cranberry bed and give the plants more room to grow well. This will help the plant to grow healthy and produce heavier yields.
Mulch your plants heavily at winter with pine needles as they are the excellent to protect your plant.

Harvest your tasty cranberries before the first frost in your area. Ripe berries will be deep red with brown seed inside.

How to Grow Cactus Indoor or Outdoor Gardening

Cactus is a plant usually found in hot climates and desert areas, with the right growing conditions, the plant can live to be as much as 150-200 years old. There are over 2,000 species of cacti, with various shapes and forms. Cactus is also said as decorative plant.

The spines of the cacti are actually its leaves. The size of the spines can vary from species to species and they can be as long as 15 cm. As the leaves are small, they prevent loss of water. Another function of the sharp, pointed spines is to keep birds and animals from sucking out the water from the plant.

How to Grow Cactus Indoor or Outdoor Gardening

The tallest cactus plant is Pachycereus pringlei with a height of about 66 feet. It can weigh up to 5400 kilograms, which is mainly the weight of the stored water. The shortest is Blossfeldia liliputiana with a height of just a few centimeters.

Growing Cactus is not a big deal, as a small kid can also grow. Cactus is a tropical plant so they don’t require much attention but yes a little care can grow them amazingly. Cactus can be grown from its seeds or it from its saplings.

Growing from saplings: Remove a healthy saplings from the mother cactus and plant them in a container containing potting mix made especially for tropical plants. Water them and keep them under the direct sunlight. Within a week or more than a week they spread root and you can see one more sap growing above the planted one.

Growing Cactus from seed: Purchase seeds from your nearest nursery. Prepare the soil in a container, using high quality of potting mix of pumice or granite content with high drainage system or get a potting soil which is formulated especially for growing cactus with gravel and sand. This potting soil can be used for growing indoor cactus as well. Spread the seeds on the potting mix and cover the soil slightly. Do not plant the seeds deep inside the soil as they won’t be able to grow.

Once you covered the seeds, moist the soil with water. Remember cactus is a tropical plant so watering too much will end up killing the plant. Just moist the soil and place the container where they can get direct sunlight throughout the day. To retain the moisture in the container you can cover it with a transparent plastic lid or cover with a transparent plastic sheet.

Germination will take several weeks or it can be several months depending on the cactus species you have planted. Once the germination takes place make sure you water them every day with little amount of water. Cactus is a slow growing plant so it will take a lot of time to grow. Remove the cover when the plant emerge its leaves.

Always remember it is not a good idea to transplant your cactus, so before you plant seed make sure you have a large container for the cactus to grow. Even if you want to transplant the plant, then you should allow them to recover from the shock.

Watering Cactus: Cactus don’t need much water. Most of the cactus varieties require little water. So water the cactus every day with little amount of water or thrice in a week. Do not allow the soil to completely dry out or water logged. Too much of water will let into root rot and kill the cactus.

Cactus doesn’t require much attention though it need less amount of fertilizer. Use dilute solution of liquid fertilizer with nitrogen and phosphorus and feed your cactus once in a month.

Growing cactus Indoor: Cactus can be grown indoor if you can locate them where they can get at least 4 to 6 hours of sunlight every day. Indoor cactus require less amount of water comparatively to outdoor cactus. If you are not able to locate a sunny area, then place them under indoor growing lights.

Caring Cactus: Do not leave your cactus near windowsills in a cold climate as it will stunt the growth of your cactus and kill your plant. While handling cactus always wear thick hand gloves. Cactus make easily affected by mealy bugs. Know how to get rid of mealy bugs organically.

Cactus flowers: Cacti flowers usually bloom when it rains. The flowers of the cacti range from white, red, pink, yellow or violet. Some cactus flowers stand for several days, others die in just one day. Some cactus flowers bloom only at sunset, others only in the daylight. The century plant only blooms once in its lifetime, which is about 20-30 years. The flower stalk of this slow growing cactus plant can grow up to 40 feet. After it finishes flowering, the entire plant dies.

Uses of the Cactus: Besides being a decorative plant, cactus can have fruit which can be eaten and also made into syrup. The wood of some cacti species is used in making roofs and walls. The roots of a Mexican cactus were used for its medicinal properties. The spines of cacti if sterilized on hot coals may be used for bandages.