I’d like to know the secret to growing a decent-sized pumpkin for jack-o-lanterns for the grandkids and for decorating. My experience in recent years is that they get about as big as a basketball and then begin to rot. What am I doing wrong?
The longer the fruit is on the vine, the greater the chance it will rot. By September its size is apparent, and it turns orange. It is best to plant pumpkins in different soil each year or every two years, according to Sue Murdock, manager, Goebbert’s Pumpkin Farm, South Barrington.
The size and use of pumpkins is determined by the seed you buy. ‘Atlantic Giant’ produces fruits that weigh hundreds of pounds. A better choice is to grow ‘Howden’. It bears well-shaped 10 to 20-pound fruits, the perfect size for jack-o-lanterns. ‘New England Pie’ is the standard for pies with smooth, bright orange flesh. ‘Wee-B-Little’ is a miniature round pumpkin bearing 3- to 4-inch fruit useful for table decorations and suitable for tiny hands.
I plan on saving my amaryllis bulbs that I kept outside over summer, but I noticed red streaks on the inner side of the leaves. What caused that? Will I be able to save my bulbs?
I start ‘Dragon Wing’ begonia from seed under grow lights. What other begonias can I use to cross-pollinate with the ‘Dragon Wing’ so I can collect my own seeds?
I recently moved to Chicago from Houston and I miss fresh picked figs. Is there any way to grow figs in Chicago short of installing a greenhouse? Will sunny windows do? I’m desperate.