Pumpkin crop sheet

Activity

Both pumpkins and squashes come in a wide variety of colours and a range of interesting shapes. The flesh and dried seeds are edible. Remember that looking after any crop is an on-going process

  • Estimated time: 30 minutes
  • Location: Outdoors & Indoors
  • School term: Early Autumn, Early Summer, Late Summer
  • Level of experience: No experience needed
  • Subject(s): Science, PSHE

Learning objectives

  • Learn how to sow seeds
  • Learn what seeds and plants need to grow
  • Learn to plant at a specified distance
  • Learn to harvest vegetables

Preparation

Organic matter or fertilizer should be incorporated at least one month beforehand. The soil, raised bed or planter should have already been cultivated and weed-free with a fine, crumbly texture ready for seed sowing.

 

Equipment needed

  • To plant in pots: small pot, compost, label, pencil and seeds
  • To plant out: rake or hand cultivator, trowel, measuring stick, watering can with a rose, larger plant pot

Step by step

  1. Start pumpkin and squash seeds off indoors in 9cm pots in April/ May. They need a minimum temperature of 13 Celsius to germinate. 
  2. Remember to plant the seed on its side about 2.5cm deep and cover with compost. Water the plant when the compost is dry.
  3. After the danger of frost has passed, plant the young plant into its final growing hole up to its first two leaves. Plant each plant 1-1.8m apart to allow for maximum growth.
  4. Sink a larger pot in the soil next to the plant. This will make watering easier once the plant has grown larger. Pumpkins are thirsty plants, so keep watering.
  5. Fruits will appear after flowering, harvest at the size you would like to cook with. If you are growing pumpkins for decoration, wait until autumn for the leaves to go yellow before storing.

Hints & tips

  • Most pumpkins and squashes are trailing plants and take up a lot of room and water in your school garden. If you want to grow just one large pumpkin, cut back the stem just after that particular fruit to conserve the plants energy.

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