Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Top 4 Tips for Growing Pumpkins and Melons in Maine

Maine and northern parts of the U.S. have short growing seasons but that doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy melons and pumpkins fresh from the garden. There’s nothing like the taste of fresh watermelon on a hot summer day and let’s not forget about the joy a few pumpkins bring to the kids’ faces in late October.

4 Tips for Success

I don’t recommend sowing pumpkin or melon seeds directly into the ground in Maine for the simple fact that these fruits take a long time to grow and mature. (though it can be done) Give yourself a head start by following the tips I’ve picked up over the years.

  1. Seeds: Start them indoors 4 - 6 weeks before the last expected frost
  2. Transplants: Plant these after the last frost & when soil temperatures have warmed
  3. Early Varieties: If starting your seeds indoors, make sure to buy early varieties of pumpkins and melons. When it comes to transplants, your plant nursery will sell varieties that grow best in your area.
  4. Black Plastic Mulch: Lay down black plastic mulch which warms the soil encouraging faster growth. Cut out holes and insert transplants.

Arvind Balaraman /

Early Pumpkin Varieties*

Racer: 85 days
Racer Plus PMR: 85 days
Chucky: 85 days
Big Doris: 90 days
Champion: 90 days

* These are the earliest varieties I could find after thumbing through my seed catalogs. The number of days listed are days to maturity.

olovedog /

Early Watermelon Varieties

Little Baby Flower: 70 days
Starlight: 75 days
Sweet Bite: 75 days
Sugar Baby: 76 days
Sunshine: 75 days
Sorbet Swirl: 77 days
Orange Crush Hybrid: 78 days

Please let me know if I’ve missed any early varieties, I’d like to add them to the list. What are your favorite ways to eat and preserve pumpkins and melons?

No comments:

Post a Comment