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Viewing NatureWalker's Garden Diary: Pumpkin Jack Be Little Cucurbita pepo started inside already
Tuesday, February 28, 2006
This true miniature pumpkin is the tiniest pumpkin in the world! It easily fits into the palm of your hand, measuring 3" - 4" across and 2" high. The color is an attractive deep orange. Kids love Jack Be Little - particularly to paint and decorate. It makes an attractive accent for fall centerpieces. The tasty flesh is as sweet as winter squash when cooked! The compact vines are 10' to 12' long, and each plant produces 6 to 10 fruit. The fruit will keep up to 12 months.
I grow them upwards on a tomato cage. They do just fine... especially with a little pantyhose!
Days to Maturity: 95
When to Sow Outside: 2 to 3 weeks after last frost. Soil temperature should be at least 60 degrees.
When to Sow Inside: 3 to 4 weeks before last frost. Not recommended except in short season climates.
Seed Depth: 1"
Seed Spacing: 6 seeds per hill
Row Spacing: Space hills 4 to 6 feet apart
Days to Emerge: 5 to 10
Thinning: Thin to three plants per hill
Germinates in 10 to 14 days depending on soil and temperature conditions.
Remarks: Cut the mature Jack Be Little Pumpkin from the vines with pruning shears leaving 3 inches of stem attached.
Pumpkin vines are a bit like puppies: cute when they're little; not so cute when they grow up and trample the garden. Luckily, pumpkins (and puppies) can be trained. Trellising pumpkins that are volleyball size or smaller is a great way to keep the fruit accessible and save space. Buy or build a sturdy trellis and train the vine up the support. Make a sling for each pumpkin using panty hose. To avoid shading your garden, place the trellis along the north side.
The so-called summer pumpkins, like 'Rond de Nice', 'Tondo di Piacenza', or 'Eight Ball', which are usually grown exclusively as green summer squash; but when grown to maturity are orange.