I am on the board of our community pool. We have several events throughout the year, one of them being a fall festival/kids halloween party. Our budget is very very tight. I would like to include a pumpkin carving contest and have small pumpkins for the children to paint at the festival. It is a large, sunny property with ample space to grow our own. In the past I have failed on pumpkins at home- they always rot out on the bottom as soon as they begin to color up. This may be due to excessive irrigation (plants at the pool will in general not be watered, but have to fend for themselves).
I'm zone 7/8 piedmont nc, very hot summers, maybe wet, maybe bone dry.
Any tips are appreciated! Especially concerning the rot issue.
What fun! We (my family and our next door neighbors) have tons of pumpkins growing each year with little effort. We're in zone 5 so I'm not sure how this will work for your area.
A couple of things come to mind.
Is there an area this can happen out of reach from curious or ornery people? I'd hate for someone to arrive at the pool one day and find smashed pumpkins.
Can you grow them up the fences?
Can you put a sign up that says what they're for to keep folks out of them?
We literally just toss seeds out (or whole pumpkins in the fall) and they grow. We water them in and off they go. I don't water and I don't think she does often, either.
Put the pumpkins up on blocks (or whatever you have around, rocks, whatever) and turn them once in a while. that will help with the rot. I get the same thing here unless I keep them moving.
You could try to put a mulch of straw under the pumpkins to help prevent rotting. I've seen it used in most of the pumpkin patches I've ever visited. It will also control weed growth in between the plants.
Apartment Farm - the chronicles of my cooking, gardening, crafting and other such things.
This is what I do, or I prop them up with something.
Proud wife to my handsome husband Malachi David (2010) and Jeremiah Daniel (2012) joined our family via two lovely homebirths...planning another homebirth for the new belly baby, due April 16, 2015! Doula for 8 years and apprentice midwife for almost 3!
Good luck with that - sounds fun! We've grown pumpkins very successfully - I just usually throw the seeds from an old jack-o-lantern out. Haven't had the rot issue, but sounds like a good idea to prop them up or use straw mulch.
Meghan, mom to 11yo, 8yo, and 3yo
I can't help about the rot --- or the zone either --- we're in chilly Zone 4. But I just wanted to relate my pumpkin growing story from last year. We have a compost pile in the back of our yard. We've not spent a penny on it, ever. We just throw our scraps there on a regular basis, including the old rotten halloween pumpkins from prior years. Well, last year we had pumpkins GALORE growing directly out of the compost, growing like WILD (these were from the old halloween pumpkin's seeds). We got SO many pumpkins from our "pumpkin patch" which we never even planted, growing out of the compost heap! It was unbelieveable. I could not have done better if I'd tried. I guess they loved that nutrient rich soil.