Since we’ve been growing our organic garden about six years, we’ve only managed to grow pumpkins a couple of those years. I love pumpkins. I love fall. Halloween is, perhaps, my favorite holiday. So I’m sad every year we don’t have pumpkins growing in our garden.
But we’ve learned from the past that pumpkins are tough because they take up a lot of space. And, while I love pumpkins, they don’t provide the same food for our family that a row of beans does. This has led us to cut out the pumpkins most years, though I’m always melancholy about it in the fall.
On top of this, I recently read at Fresh Eggs Daily, my favorite site for natural chicken keeping, that pumpkin seeds are great natural de-wormers for your backyard chickens, so I really wanted some pumpkins this year.
Thankfully, this year, my neighbor mentioned that he had the best pumpkins ever last year, just by growing them in soil bags. My ears perked up! Best pumpkins ever? Soil bags? Pumpkins?
So I researched it and got to work. It turns out that many foods can be grown in bags, but pumpkins are great candidates because they need warm soil and good moisture. On top of this, if you factor the space issues for pumpkins, growing them in bags seems ideal. You can just put those bags anywhere in your yard. You don’t have to put them in the garden.
If you’re like me and really want pumpkins this fall but don’t have the space in your garden, check out how you can easily grow pumpkins in bags. And the process is so easy and fun that it’s a great way to get your kiddos involved in your gardening.
1. Your first step is to get a good bag of soil. You want at least a cubic yard, but these can be purchased at any gardening store. We chose organic soil, and my husband and youngest son built boxes for the cute factor and a little extra sturdiness. However, these boxes are not necessary. You just need the bag. Just be sure to put holes in the bottom of the bag for drainage.
2. Choose your pumpkin seeds. My son chose some varieties that looked fun and decided to try a blue variety this year as well. You can also buy starter plants at your local nursery if you prefer, but my son loves picking seeds. I like it too.
3. Cut an opening in the bag. I read the directions on the seed packages to make sure I had enough room. You definitely want to plant more than one seed because you just never know. I made my openings 4 inches by 7 inches because I planted 3 to 4 seeds in each bag, depending upon the directions for each variety. Plant your seeds at the depth and spacing required.
4. Cover with soil and then water.
Your next step is to just wait. If you’re like me, even though the seed package says it will take about 10 days for the seed to germinate, you will still check your seeds every single day after planting, just in case.
You’ll just want to make sure you plant in an area with lots of good sun and make sure you keep your soil moist. Hopefully, this fall, you’ll be enjoying some beautiful pumpkins right there in your own backyard. I’m dreaming of something like this. How about you?