Outdoor planting projects are excellent ways to teach kids about nature and the cycle of life. Pumpkins are a great planting choice for kids. Kids can plant the pumpkin seeds and care for the growing pumpkins all summer long. Then, when autumn arrives and it's time to harvest the pumpkins, they will have their very own pumpkin to use for a Halloween jack-o-lantern. They can also use their home-grown pumpkins to help make pumpkin pie. Once you know how to plant pumpkin seeds for kids, you will be well on your way to a fun and exciting summer and fall in the garden.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
Things you need
- Pumpkin seeds
- Watering can
Dig a hole with a shovel at least 18 inches deep, fill the hole with fertiliser (horse or chicken manure works best) then cover the fertiliser with the removed soil to create a mound. Be sure to pick an area that receives at least six hours of direct sunlight a day to ensure the pumpkins thrive. Pumpkins are ready for harvest within 12 to 20 weeks after sowing so be sure to begin planting in late April or early May if you want pumpkins for Halloween.
Soak the pumpkin seeds in a bowl of water overnight. This encourages germination by softening the outer shell of the seed. Have the kids do this step so they can participate in the planting process.
Plant the pumpkin seeds directly into the fertilised mound at 1.5 inches deep and keep 5 to 6 inches in between each pumpkin seed. Sow the seeds on their side to keep them from becoming waterlogged or having air trapped beneath them.
Water the pumpkin seeds using a watering can or a hose on the sprinkle setting. Be careful not to disturb the covering soil when you water. Growing pumpkins need plenty of sunlight and water, so be sure to keep the soil moist. You will begin to see the first leaves sprout within two weeks of planting the pumpkin seeds.
Prune the plants by removing any large leaves that may be blocking the sunlight; this will help the pumpkins ripen evenly.
Tips and warnings
- Planting pumpkin seeds for kids is more enjoyable if the kids help with the process. Have them make a sign to place near where the pumpkin seeds are planted. This will get them actively involved with the project as well as make a great way to mark the designated area.
- Pumpkins grow best in a warm climate. If the weather is still cool in April or May, begin the planting process indoors using planting pots.
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