Small Sugar Pumpkin
Seed Count: Approx. 10 seeds
Days to Maturity: 120 days
Description: The Small Sugar Pumpkin is an old heirloom that has been around for decades. It is known to be one of the finest pie pumpkins around! These prolific pumpkins produce 4-6 pumpkins per vine, growing about 7-10 inches in diameter each. This round, slightly ribbed beauty boasts classic yellow-orange skin, and smooth, thick, fine grained, very sweet, deep yellow flesh that's better for baking, canning, and roasting than a lot of larger varieties due to its high sugar content.
Mint2Grow Tip: Short on space? Try growing them vertically on a trellis instead. It'll save up space, and keep leaves and fruit clean and dry off the ground. By growing vertically in my humid area, I've minimized disease issues, like powdery mildew, as well as bug problems.
How To Grow
Sowing: Pumpkins need warm soil to germinate, so wait until soil is at least 65
degrees. They also do not transplant well, so peat pots or pellets are the best option. Plant 3-5 pumpkin seeds about 1 inch deep. Once they germinate, thin to 2 of the healthiest sprouts. Pumpkins need a lot of space to grow, so try growing on the outer edges of your garden, or a place that has ample space for them to sprawl. You can also grow them vertically, but for big varieties make sure to add a support hammock under developing pumpkins. You can do this with tulle, or old t-shirts.
Growing: Pumpkins are 80-90% water, so they need a lot of water to grow, however, only water them when they need it. If the plant looks healthy, there is no need to water daily. When the soil is dry and the plant looks limp, give it a long deep drink. Pumpkins do not tolerate frost, so provide protection from cold weather. Also, avoid getting the leaves wet, because it can cause rot and mildew issues. Squash are susceptible to squash borers, cucumber beetles, and squash bugs. Squash borers can and will kill your plants overnight, so make sure to keep an eye for damage, and take precautions to protect your plants, like applying an organic insecticide or diatomaceous earth. When the pumpkins start to develop pinch off remaining blooms to direct energy into pumpkin growth, or your pumpkins will stay small (which I allowed to happen since I prefer smaller pumpkins).
Harvesting: Pumpkins can be harvested as soon as the stem begins to dry and the skin becomes too hard to pierce with a fingernail. Harvest pumpkins before the first frost. To harvest cut the stem with a sharp knife, leaving a 2-3" length. Do not carry the pumpkin by the stem; a broken stem causes the pumpkin to deteriorate quickly. Cure the pumpkins in the sun or a dry location until the stem shrivels; do not wash pumpkins you intend to store. If kept in 45-50 degrees, most pumpkins will last for up to 5 months. Once pumpkin has been cured, the seeds are mature. Cut it open, remove the pulp and seeds; rinse off pulp and air dry the seeds. Seeds can store up to 4 years.