JW Marriott Desert Ridge

Raising Arizona Kids

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Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Planting pumpkin seeds

Pumpkin seeds actually grow quite well in Arizona. Mid June is the time to plant the seeds if you want a crop of carve-able fun in October.

SUPPLIES
1 packet pumpkin seeds
Water and a nice spot of ground

INSTRUCTIONS
Locate a spot of ground that receives morning sun and afternoon shade. Because of their size, pumpkins do not grow well in pots or indoors.

Make a mound of dirt about 10 inches across and four inches tall. Poke a finger into the center of the mound to create a small hole one inch deep. Place three or four seeds in the hole, add a small amount of water and fill with dirt. Using both hands firmly pack the dirt on the mound.

Space each mound about three feet apart, allowing room for vines to spread. Water mounds with a fine mist. Initially you need to keep the soil  moist, so give your bed a good soaking each day.

Pumpkin sprouts should emerge from the ground in about 10 days. If all of your seeds sprout (you must have a green thumb!) thin to just two plants per mound, spaced at least a few inches apart.

After the sprouts emerge you can cut back to watering every other day. Try to keep water off the pumpkin leaves. As your vines flourish be sure to keep them off any lawn areas to avoid contracting fungus.

Come fall, when your pumpkins are ripe and bright orange, cut them from the vine and let set in place for a day or two to “cure.” Any un-carved pumpkins can be stored indoors for a month or two.

How to make rock garden markers

SUPPLIES
Smooth, large stone
Orange and green acrylic craft paint
Paper plate
Paint brushes or cotton swabs
Paint pen or permanent marker

INSTRUCTIONS
Wash and dry your stone. Pour out a small dollop of paint onto the paper plate. Paint a picture of a pumpkin on the rock. Let dry for a few hours.

Using a paint pen or permanent marker, write the word “pumpkin” in bold letters on the rock. Let dry, then place in garden.

Monthly “Real Crafts” are created just for RAK by Bettijo B. Hirschi & Aimée Lowry, the Arizona moms behind family-style blog Paging Supermom.

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