For the past several years, we’ve purchased a variety of pumpkin seeds for my son’s Christmas stocking. We start the seeds indoors in April or May to give them a fighting chance against birds and squirrels. We have them in the ground by June, ready to harvest in August or September.
This year we started our seeds in a Burpee Self-Watering Seed Starting System®. The kit comes with 72 cells, a planting medium, a moisture-mat and a greenhouse-styled dome. Everything you need for success except water! Our new crop includes Lumina (white), Baby Pam (pie), Magic Lantern (20 lb orange), Munchkin (miniature, orange) and Howden Biggie (40-60 lb. orange).
In the past the seeds were usually jumbled together, so we never knew what was what till they started to produce. We were more methodical this year now that my son is older and more interested in the varieties. I photo-copied the seed packets on heavy card stock and taped them to chopsticks. When we transplant outdoors, the plant labels will be ready to go.
Every year we hope for one large pumpkin, but we’re never willing to sacrifice the other fruit to nurture just one plant. Once again, I imagine we’ll simply let nature takes its course (except for the squirrels of course). The chicken wire barrier keeps the nibblers at bay till the young plants begin to grow.