Pumpkin Companion Plants: What Can You Not Plant With Pumkins?
In this article we will share different views on pumpkin companion plants. If you are interested in growing your own companions, then you should read this article first before proceeding further. There are many things which can’t be planted with pumpkins such as tomatoes, eggplants, peppers, carrots and many others. Some of these things may be good but they are not suitable for our purpose.
The following list contains some of the most common reasons why you cannot grow certain plants with pumpkins.
1. Watermelons: They need a large amount of space and need lots of water.
If you want to grow them, you should consider growing other vegetables instead.
2. Cucumbers: They require a lot of time and care, so it’s better if you don’t plant them with pumpkins.
3. Melons: Pumpkins and melons should not be grown together as their root systems can become invasive.
4. Tomatoes: Companion planting is used to deter pests and tomatoes have a negative effect on pumpkin plants.
5. Eggplants: They are closely related to tomatoes and they will affect your pumpkins in a negative way.
6. Peppers: Like tomatoes, peppers also have a bad effect on pumpkins.
7. Carrots: Although their effects on pumpkins are not as severe as other plants, they can still affect them in a negative way.
These are the most common things that can’t be planted with pumpkins. There are also some specific plants that can harm your pumpkins such as potatoes and strawberries.
Companion Planting With Pumpkins: What You Should Know?
If you want to have a good harvest of pumpkins, companion planting is very important. By planting pumpkin companions you will be able to protect your pumpkins from several pests and prevent the spread of diseases.
You should also avoid companion planting pumpkins with various other plants such as tomatoes, cucumbers and melons. If you want to have a good harvest you should follow these tips.
1. Try to plant pumpkins with flowers such as Marigolds.
2. Marigolds can actually prevent insects from attacking your pumpkins.
3. Another good companion for pumpkins is beans.
Beans help pumpkins to grow faster and healthier.
4. By planting pumpkins with carrots you can improve their nutritional value.
5. Cabbages are also good companion plants for pumpkins.
6. Planting pumpkins with onions can improve their sweetness.
7. Radishes and Pumpkins are best friends and both of them love the sun, so they should be planted together.
8. Lettuce and pumpkins are good friends too; lettuce can protect pumpkin plants from pests.
9. Planting pumpkins with potatoes can make their skins thicker and healthier.
10. Pumpkin plants love mint and they also have a protective effect on them.
11. Marigolds helps your pumpkins to fight various diseases.
12. Another good companion for pumpkins is celery. It makes pumpkins less bitter and improves their taste.
13. You should plant pumpkins with turnips, because they improve their nutritional value.
14. During the last few weeks before the harvest you should remove all flowers and fruits from pumpkin plants as this will direct all of the nutrients to the pumpkins themselves.
15. If a single dead leaf or pumpkin blossom appears on your pumpkin plants, remove it immediately as this can attract various diseases which can destroy your entire crop.
It is important to keep your plants clean, so if you notice any dead leaves, flowers or fruits remove them immediately.
These are some of the most important companion plants that can protect your pumpkins from various pests and diseases. There are also some specific plants that can help your pumpkins grow better such as fennel, dill, and celery.
Pests That Can Attack Your Pumpkins: What You Should Know?
One of the biggest problems that most pumpkin growers face is pests. Your pumpkin patch can easily become home to all kinds of insects, rodents and even birds so you need to make sure that your patch is protected.
Insects can easily destroy your entire crop so you need to be extremely careful. Some of the most common insects that attack pumpkins are worms, aphids, hornworms and beetles.
There are also several birds and rodents such as squirrels, rats and mice that can easily destroy your entire crop. One of the best ways to protect your pumpkins from pests is by companion planting.
You should avoid planting pumpkins with various plants such as tomatoes, eggplants, and melons. You should also avoid planting them next to plants that grow tall as this gives rodents a perfect hiding spot from which they can access your pumpkins.
Some of the best companion plants for pumpkins include:
1. Marigolds: Marigold is one of the best companion plants for pumpkins that can protect them from various pests such as insects and nematodes.
Marigolds are also great for your soil as they release a chemical that kills certain kind of insects such as the root-knot nematode.
2. Radishes: Just like marigolds, radishes can be grown near your pumpkin plants and will protect them from various pests such as aphids and mosquitoes.
It will also help to control weeds.
3. Potatoes: This is another great companion planting strategy.
If you plant potatoes amongst your pumpkin patch, it will help to protect your pumpkins from pests such as Colorado Potato Beetles.
4. Onions or Garlic: If you grow onions or garlic in your garden, these will help to repel a range of pests such as aphids, white flies and thrips.
5. Catnip: If you grow this in your garden, it will repel various insects such as ants, mosquitoes and caterpillars.
6. Borage: Borage is a great companion plant to have in your garden as it helps to attract pollinators which helps your pumpkins to produce better fruit.
It is also one of the best herbs that repels mosquitoes.
7. Dill: This is another great herb that will help to keep away aphids and flies.
8. Sunflowers: If you have a lot of sunflowers growing in your garden, this will help to attract predators such as birds which will keep harmful pests away from your pumpkin plants.
9. Bergamot: This is a great plant that will repel a range of insects such as aphids, whiteflies and Japanese beetles.
10. Nasturtiums: This is a great plant that will deter a range of bugs and slugs from your pumpkin patch.
You can read more about companion planting here.
How To Grow Big Pumpkins – Step By Step Guide
So now that you know everything you need to know about growing pumpkins, let’s start growing some pumpkins!
Seed Or Seedling?
The first thing that you need to decide is whether you want to start your pumpkin growing from seed or from a seedling. You can usually easily obtain pumpkin seeds from local grocery stores and these are often sold after Halloween.
The advantage of growing from pumpkin seeds is that they are extremely cheap. The disadvantage is that they take a long time to grow and you also have no control over what type of pumpkins you will eventually grow.
If you want to have greater control over what type of pumpkins you will grow and you don’t mind spending more money, then starting with seedlings is a better option. Most garden centers carry a range of pumpkin seedlings and these can be planted at any time as long as the ground isn’t frozen.
If you do decide to start your pumpkins from seed, it’s best to start them 6 weeks before the last frost has occured in your area. Otherwise, pumpkin seedlings are best planted when the weather has warmed up a little and all danger of frost has passed.
Preparing The Soil
The next step is preparing the soil. If you are growing pumpkins directly in the ground, then your soil needs to be prepared about 4 months before the last frost. You should add a couple of inches of compost to the soil and mix it in well.
If you aren’t planting your pumpkins directly in the ground, then raised bed gardening is an easy way to grow them. All you need to do is add some fertilizer or manure to the bottom of your chosen containers and then fill them with soil.
You should prepare your soil about 3 weeks before planting.
Planting Your Pumpkins
Whether you are planting in the ground or in pots, the pumpkin needs to be planted about 4 to 5 feet apart. This gives the plant enough room to grow and produce good yields of pumpkins. As mentioned above, if you are starting your pumpkins from seedlings then you can plant these out once the weather has warmed up and there is no more risk of frost.
If you are starting your pumpkins from seeds, the seeds need to be planted 4 to 6 weeks before the last frost or 2 to 4 weeks after the last frost. If you live in an area which doesn’t get frost, then you can plant your pumpkin seeds anytime after the last danger of frost has passed.
You should plant the pumpkin seeds about 3 inches deep and water them well. You should keep the soil moist but not soaked. If you can feel moisture when you squeeze a handful of dirt, then the soil is wet enough.
After about 60 to 90 days, your pumpkins will start to grow. You will begin to see little green “joints” appearing and encircling the stem of the pumpkin. These joints are the beginning of the vines that the pumpkins use to start growing.
After about another 30 to 50 days, these joints will have grown all the way around the stem of the pumpkin and the pumpkins will begin to resemble their adult size. Within a day or two of this happening, you should harvest your pumpkins. You can do this by cutting them off the vine if you are growing them in the ground.
If you are growing them in pots, then you can simply pick them up.
If you leave the pumpkins on the vine past this stage, the vines will start to grow along the ground and can become a real mess!
You can eat your pumpkins as soon as they are harvested. They will only be about the size of a cantaloupe but they will still be delicious.
Pests and Problems With Growing Pumpkins
If you have problems with pests such as rodents or insects attacking your pumpkins, there are a few things you can do.
First of all, if you are growing pumpkins in the ground, you can make wooden frames (similar to raised beds) and place these over the area where you intend to plant your pumpkins. This will prevent rodent digging and also prevent most insects from reaching your pumpkins.
If you are growing pumpkins in pots, then placing the pots on small wooden platforms should prevent most insects and rodents from reaching your pumpkins.
Another common problem is the pumpkin developing a soft rot. This can be caused by a number of factors such as damage by insects or rodents, or being left in the sun for too long without enough water.
If this happens, you can cut out the rot and about an inch or so around the rotted area. You can then scoop out the inside of the pumpkin and discard of it. You should then seal up the hole you made with wood filler or some other suitable filler.
Once this has dried, you can then finish carving your Jack O’ Lantern.
Another problem is mold growing inside the pumpkin or on the skin of the pumpkin. This is a more minor problem that can be solved by simply cutting away the moldy parts and carving the pumpkin as normal.
Harvesting Your Pumpkins
You should harvest your pumpkins when they are fully orange. If you leave them too long, they will begin to rot inside and become unusable. They should come off quite easily as long as you cut the vine that is growing along the ground underneath them.
If the vines get too long it is best to simply cut them off to prevent them from becoming a problem.
If you are keeping your pumpkins for later use, you should store them in a cool dry place. It is best to keep them inside rather than outside as this will prevent them from being spoilt by insects or rodents.
Other Types Of Pumpkins
There are quite a few varieties of pumpkins that are bred for eating rather than carving. These include some of the following varieties:
Blue hubbard – These are dark blue in color and can grow quite large without becoming too heavy. They have a very nutty flavor and can be baked, boiled or even mashed. They can be used in most dishes that call for potatoes.
The skin is tough and should be removed before eating.
Cannonball – This variety grows to around 20 to 40 pounds and has dark green skin with deep ribs. They can be stored for up to two months when kept at 75 degrees Fahrenheit and 90% relative humidity.
Cheese pumpkin – This pumpkins is green colored with yellow flesh. It has a sweeter taste than other varieties. As the name suggests it can be used to make pumpkin cheese dishes.
Kabocha – These Japanese pumpkins are dark green in color and have a rounded shape with a flat base. They have a rich taste and feel rather than the common pumpkin. They can be boiled, steamed, roasted or even eaten raw in slices.
Red Kuri – These pumpkins are a dark green color with deep furrows along the sides and bottom. They have a nutty flavor and a firm texture. They are especially popular for making pies.
Benning’s Field – This variety is also known as Brunswick and is grown mainly for cattle feeding. It has a deep orange color and a firm texture.
How To Carve A Pumpkin
Carving pumpkins is one of the traditional hallmarks of Halloween. Jack O’ Lanterns have been a part of this holiday for many years and more modern versions using electricity have not changed the fact that in most cases it involves making a mess and getting your hands dirty.
There are several different ways to carve pumpkins and you can even use a purchased stencil if you don’t want to try to draw your own.
You will need:
A suitable pumpkin or squash
Knife (some people use special knives but a normal kitchen knife is fine)
Various tools such as nails, small wood pieces, needles, skewers and so on.
Carving Your Pumpkin
The first step is to choose a suitable pumpkin or squash to carve.
Pick one that is large enough for what you want to do and make sure it is firm as squashes and pumpkins can go bad within a few days after being harvested. When you shake the fruit you should not hear any rattling sounds.
You will need to carve out the pulp and guts of the fruit so you can place your candle inside. This is easiest to do with a knife but be careful as it’s easy to cut yourself if you aren’t careful.
Cut away the top and the bottom so that you can place the pumpkin or squash on its side and scrape out the inside. You may need to cut slits in the skin to help you remove the pulp as you go along.
Once you have a relatively clean shell you can turn it upright and trim the top so that it is even and flat. Carve a face into the fruit if that’s what you wish to do or you can leave it as is.
Once this is done you will need to decide on a method of lighting your creation. If you are skilled at carving you could create various holes and dips to allow the candle’s light to shine through. If you are less skilled you can simply make a small hole in the top of the pumpkin and place a candle inside which will give a less defined illumination.
The final step is to light your Jack O’ Lantern and place it in a safe spot where it can illuminate your Halloween decorations or just cast an eerie glow around your property.
Other “Carved” Pumpkins
If carving a traditional face into your pumpkin isn’t your thing, or you just don’t have the time, there are several other options available to you.
You can simply buy a premade plastic face to place in your pumpkin. These are especially popular with kids as it takes all the effort out of the task and lets them get on with the fun part quicker.
If you are artistic you can freehand trace a face onto your pumpkin or use stencils to create a fun effect.
Another way to do it is to cut the top off your pumpkin and scoop out the insides. Place a small candle inside, preferably one in a glass container so that it’s safer, and place the lid back on top. You will need to make a small hole in the top of the lid so that the light from the candle can shine through.
You can create the illusion of a carved face by placing vertical stripes on the pumpkin and then placing your candle inside. This creates the effect of having the pumpkin carved with thick vertical lines and the face is created by the light shining through the stripes.
It’s as simple as that! Here are some examples.
The ancient Japanese art of Origami, meaning “to fold paper”, can be a very unique and personal way to celebrate the harvest this year. While it takes some time to create these amazing figures there is nothing quite like holding a paper creation in your hands. It’s quick to learn and a lovely distraction that will keep your mind focused on happy thoughts for hours at a time.
What You’ll Need:
Sheets of Paper
A Striking Box (Optional)
Make sure you have plenty of paper and that it fits your needs. You can find all sorts from thick card stock to thin tissue paper so be sure to check the package to see what you will need for your project.
Fold a Paper Crane.
Yes, that’s right! Originally created in Japan as a symbol of peace, folding a single crane is often considered to bring good luck. The precise English name for the origami crane is the Juni Kozou or literally “double children”.
It gets this name from the folds of the crane resembling a child’s clothing. The Japanese name for the crane translates into “tens of thousands of children” for the exact same reason.
To create this origami figure all you need is a single sheet of paper. Start with the paper flat and with both hands in the center a small piece of the corner.
Fold it towards the opposite corner and tuck it under itself to lock it into place.
Turn the paper over and you’ll see the vertical creases begin to form the body of your crane.
Turn the paper over once more and you’ll see that the crane now has horizontal creases.
Open it back up and refold it into the previous step then tuck the flap under itself and your crane will be complete!
Make Your Own Creations!
There are probably hundreds of different ways to fold a single sheet of paper, all you need is a good imagination. Don’t be afraid to experiment, you’ll never know what you may come up with!
Add Some Halloween Themes.
If you’d like to add a spooky twist to your origami then here are some fun ideas to try out:
Creepy Crawlers – Make your own origami bugs using any type of sheet of paper.
Paper Boats – Make your own boats and sail them on a stream of water!
Pumpkin Faces – Add some fun to carving night by creating faces on pumpkin with a sheet of orange paper.
Halloween Origami Bats – These small bats are a great way to enpower any haunted house or graveyard scene.
Ghostly Guest Book – Create a guest book for your next party using this easy ghost design. All you need is a white sheet of paper and black permanent marker.
Spooky Origami for All!
If you’re really looking to impress then try your hand at creating some complex figures such as a crane standing on one leg, a tessellation pattern, or even a 3D horse! The sky’s the limit so just have fun with it!
Sources & references used in this article:
The Complete Guide to Companion Planting: Everything You Need to Know to Make Your Garden Successful by L Riotte – 1998 – Storey Publishing
COMPANIONP LANTING: BASIC CONCEPTS& Resources by D Mayer – 2011 – books.google.com
Companion plants and how to use them by G Damerow – 1997 – Storey Publishing
A Backyard Vegetable Garden for Kids by H ECHNICALN – 2001 – asu.edu
The complete guide to growing healing and medicinal herbs: everything you need to know explained simply by H Philbrick, RB Gregg – 2012 – books.google.com
Wisconsin Farm Lore: Kicking Cows, Giant Pumpkins and Other Tales from the Back Forty by AJ Leavitt – 2009 – books.google.com
HOW DOES YOUR GARDEN GLOW? by WM Vincent – 2011 – books.google.com
One Magic Square Vegetable Gardening: The Easy, Organic Way to Grow Your Own Food on a 3-Foot Square by M Hintz – 2012 – books.google.com