Seeds should be planted sideways and it's worth noting that if you soak overnight first, it speeds up the germination process.
You can plant pumpkin seeds in small pots from Spring or plant directly in the ground late May - June to ensure a Halloween-ready Jack-O-Lantern.
Keep seedlings in a warm and sunny spot on the windowsill and re-pot once they've established themselves and you have a plant to work with.
Once planted out, you need to allow for a good space for the foliage and fruits to grow in good well manured soil. Water in dry weather and train with some encouragement your trails. You can also manually encourage pollination with male and female flowers.
Keep the area weed-free and once fruits begin to appear, raise them onto a hard surface such as a plank of wood or lay some straw to prevent the bottoms rotting. You can remove excess foliage to provide more sunlight to ripen the pumpkins.
When the skins have hardened, they should be ready to harvest. Happy Halloween!
If you would rather steer away from pellets, broken egg shells are an effective way to rid your plot from these plant loving pests.
Turn the rose of the watering can around so you can see the holes for watering a wider area for quickness.
Cut a plastic bottle in half and use the cap end as a funnel - Place in the soil to direct rain water straight to the roots.
Label or make a note of the variety and the date you've sown, you can soon forget what it is and when it will be ready!
Scarecrow alternatives - Remove the lid from a plastic drinks bottle and put on the end of a cane in the ground – the sun will reflect off the clear plastic and the rattling noise will scare the birds away. You can also hang bunting or flags as a deterrent. Another method is to tie old CD’s to string and hang them up!