Veggie of the Month: the Pumpkin!

It’s October and pumpkins are ready to be harvested for their use as jack-O-lanterns and pies.  But before you can enjoy the fruits of your labor, you should do some fall cleaning of your pumpkin patch, to ensure just as rich and colorful pumpkins for next fall.

Once you’ve harvested your pumpkins, you need to replenish your garden soil. Fall is the best time to do this because you can add raw and un-decomposed materials which will break down and mix into your soil over the winter, providing fresh, renewed soil for the spring.

As soon as you've harvested your pumpkins, you can add leaves, compost and raw manure. Then, work it into the soil with a tiller or shovel. It is also important to check your soil ph. The ideal pumpkin plant soil ph range is 5.5 - 7.5. Nature’s Balance 231 Plus is a great eco-friendly addition to your compost and manure. Nature’s Balance 231 Plus contains a soil conditioner that helps restore a sustainable soil environment and accelerate the natural composting process of after-harvest residues, cuttings, and other matter tied up in the soil.

The pumpkin may just be the most telltale sign that Halloween is on its way but pumpkins can do much more for you than spruce up your home as a Jack-o-Lantern on your porch. Pumpkins pack in an incredible amount of beta carotene. Beta carotene is converted into vitamin A by the human body which can help prevent cancer, heart disease, depression, high blood pressure and can help to boost your immunity and protect your skin from sun damage. Pumpkins also contain vitamins C, E and potassium, and the seeds are a good source of protein, fiber, iron and potassium.

So harvest, prepare your soil for next year’s pumpkin patch and enjoy a healthy Halloween with pumpkin soups, pies, seeds and breads!

 


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