Approximately 5-12 seeds per gram.
Jack O Lantern Pumpkins are considered the traditional pumpkin for Halloween carving. They can easily weigh 4-7 kg (9-16lbs) each and be 20-25cm (8-10”) around. They are oblong shaped and tend to stand well on their slightly flattened bottoms. Jack O Lantern Pumpkins are slightly ribbed and bright orange when mature. The flesh is thick, orange to yellow and is fined grained.
Start indoors from late April, or direct sow outside in May, when the last chance of frost has passed in your area. Sow the seeds 2 cm (1”) deep, and maintain temperature around 18°C (65°F). The soil temperature should be around 15°C (60°F). Sow 2-3 seeds per hill, or in small pots, and keep the strongest seedling or keep all germinated seeds and plant together in a hill. Germination takes about 7-14 days, depending on the soil temperature. Transplant the plants into bigger pots when large enough to handle and keep them inside the greenhouse. Gradually acclimatize the plants before planting outside. Space hills or transplants 1.2 m (4’) between the plants. If you have more space, you can increase distance from plants. Pumpkin plants prefer sunny locations and very rich soil.
- Soil Conditions: Well worked rich, loose well-drained soil. Ideal pH: 6.0-6.8.
- Planting Depth: Sow Pumpkin seeds 2 cm (1”) deep.
- Germination: 7-14 days.
Height at Maturity: 45-61 cm (18-24") tall. Spread: 122 cm (4’).
- Days to Maturity: 90-110 days for maturity from direct sow.
Watering: 2.5 cm (1") of water a week ensures good growth, whether pumpkins are grown in single or wide rows. The amount of rain that falls during the week affects how much you should water your garden. Spooky pumpkin only requires moderate watering, do not over water. The trick is to only water pumpkins when they require it. Check the soil moisture levels with a trowel or a hoe and as long as you can see the moisture and your plant looks happy, you do not need to water. It is important to not get water on any of the leaves. Use drip irrigation if available, and water in the morning instead of late in the evening. This simple technique will help prevent fungal diseases like powdery mildew.
- Sun/Shade: Full Sun
Spacing after Thinning: Thinning is generally not required for 2-3 plants per hill, but you can thin to the strongest plant every 1.2 m (4’) of hill. Rows should be planted 1.5-2.5 m (5-8’) apart.