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Garden Guru: Growing your own pumpkins for Halloween

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Photo: FLLewis/Media City G -- Garden Guru Emilio "Elmo" Telles

Photo: FLLewis/Media City G -- Garden Guru Emilio "Elmo" Telles

Oh geez! How many customers have I talked out of pumpkin seeds this week? Mark your calendars for next year around June if you want to plant a pumpkin patch for the kids or yourself.

clipart of pumpkins

Pumpkins are a warm season crop that likes the heat and ripens about this time in the fall. If you can find the starters about August, you might have some luck in time for some “smallish” pumpkins to come up for the kids. But don’t expect some jack -o-lantern size ones if you start this late.

The trick is, make sure you have room to grow them! That’s why Linus spent Halloween in a pumpkin patch!

Mulch the soil with a thick coat of straw, you can find at your local horse feed store, so the fruit will not rot and get mushy from contact with the moist garden soil. Another word, water the plant at it’s base and don’t flood the whole area with water.

Just like with other plants in the squash family, use an organic fungicide to help control the spread of powdery mildew, which is that white powder-looking stuff that gets on your roses. Oh, water in the morning to help fight against that stuff.

Once again, any questions, let me know.

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Emilio “Elmo” Telles is a garden expert at Armstrong Garden Center  5816 San Fernando Road, Glendale  91202.

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