Jack-o’-lantern pumpkins are a variety of pumpkin that are specifically grown and used for carving into Halloween jack-o’-lanterns. They are typically large, round, and have a smooth, deep orange skin. They are known for their thick walls and sturdy stems, which make them ideal for carving, as well as their long storage life.
To grow Jack-o’-lantern pumpkins, you will need to start by preparing your soil. Pumpkins prefer well-drained soil with a pH between 6.0 and 7.0. The seeds should be planted in a sunny location, in hills about 2-3 inches deep, about 6-8 inches apart. Water the seeds regularly, keeping the soil consistently moist, but not waterlogged. Once the plants are established, they require regular fertilization.
Jack-o’-lantern pumpkins are a warm-season crop and they typically take about 90-120 days to mature. They are ready for harvest when the skin is hard, the stem is dry and the color is uniform. They can be stored for several months in a cool, dry place.
When it comes to carving Jack-o’-lanterns, it’s important to select a pumpkin that is heavy for its size, has a smooth, even surface, and a sturdy stem. Once carved, the pumpkin should be kept in a cool, dry place and if possible, bring it inside at night.