I LOVE Pumpkin pie! And now that my dog Dozer is on a special diet for his severe allergies, he eats Pumpkin almost EVERY day. He goes through at least 1 1/2 huge cans a week. The costs add up pretty fast when you include the other items in his diet. Pork, Navy beans, fish and Sweet Potatoes. So that's how I got into gardening this year! Trying to save some money on dog food! Funny I know, but it's the truth.
So after lots of planning and debating, I finally transplanted the first "hill" of Pumpkins yesterday! I had to cage them off because my two dogs wanted to roll in the mud!
It was recommended on www.smartgardener.com to use spaces that are at least 3 x 3 ft. I plan to plant pumpkins and a few Watermelons along the North side of the house. (About 30 feet)
- Seed Depth:0.5"-2.0"
- Spacing:12.0"-48.0" (1 per 3x3) plants per sq ft
- Plant Height:18.0-24.0
I used the pavers to mark off the first area of 3 x 3 ft and as you can barely see in the photo, I'm already marked for my next 3 x 3 area.
I looked into companion gardening and found this information very useful! So I plan to also plant Marigolds, Nasturtium, Oregano and Dill in and around the Pumpkins and Watermelon! (I currently have some Marigolds and Nasturtium growing in the hanging pallet above the Pumpkins!)
PUMPKINS: Pumpkin pals are corn, melon and squash. Marigold deters beetles. Nasturtium deters bugs, beetles. Oregano provides general pest protection. Again dill may help repel those frustrating squash bugs. See squash entry for more tips.
SQUASH: Companions: Beans, corn, cucumbers, icicle radishes, melon, mint, onions and pumpkin. Helpers: Borage deters worms, improves growth and flavor. Marigolds deters beetle. Nasturtium deters squash bugs and beetles. Oregano provides general pest protection. Dill may repel the squash bug that will kill your squash vines. Generously scatter the dill leaves on your squash plants. Keep squash away from potatoes.
Watermelon: May be planted in between hills of corn. Grow them with corn, nasturtiums, peas, sunflowers, squash, cucumbers, pumpkins and radishes. Nasturtium helps to deter bugs and beetles. Oregano provides general pest protection.
I started from seeds and these buggers are growing super speed! Just about 2 weeks old now, and already root bound, I decided to needed to transplant them ASAP!
I can't be outside as much as I want to right now, so I'll just do one section at a time. I can handle that kind of commitment and will still feel accomplished if I only get one "hill" a week!
So after marking my first area, I started to dig up the grass and the ground was soo hard. We have a lot of clay here as well. I soaked the ground to make it a bit softer and although it was easier with the water running, it was much messier!!
After removing the clumps of grass (which I put in my compost) I added a bag of chicken manure and a bag of top soil. I mixed them up a bit and tried to mound the dryer mix so I could use the "hill" method.
I've read that Pumpkins are likely to get bogged down if they can't drain good, so by building hills I hope to help with the drainage.
I planted 5 pumpkin plants in the "hill" but will thin them out later. Only 10 more hills to go!