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The pumpkin project (revisited)

Posted by Eilis on October 14, 2011 at 7:05 PM

I have been getting lots of questions about the pumpkin seeds growing inside the pumpkin.  We started the pumpkin project for this year today.  I sure hope it is as successful as it was last year.  Anyway, my first post may not have made it clear that we only opened up the pumpkin, added a little soil and water, and watched the seeds (which were already inside the pumpkin) grow.  The pumpkin we used was intended for making pumpkin pie.  I am not sure how well a big pumpkin would do.  Here is a picture of today's "before" soil:

We left all the "guts" and seeds as they were (except the few that came out with the lid).

Here is last year's plant when it sprouted:

You can find pictures of the full grown plant growing outside our window here: http://www.growinginprek.com/pumpkins.htm

And as I mentioned previously, I LOVE to read the book Pumpkin Jack to my students several times while we observe the pumpkin life cycle.


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Categories: Pumpkins, Science, Books

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55 Comments

Reply Debbie
9:46 PM on October 14, 2011 
I'm so glad that you got linked up, because this is the COOLEST idea & one that I had not seen previously!!! Isn't it amazing what we have learned to do by blogging -- and yet what eludes us at the same time. LOL. I appreciate your efforts to 'link' into the system. If I could I would walk you thru the tech-stuff, but I'm afraid that this is a bit of the techno-infant leading the techno infant. Giving the reference is a brilliant step in the right direction. THANKS!!!

-- Debbie

RainbowsWithinReach
Reply Lindsay
5:58 PM on November 6, 2011 
I have a question: I live in a climate where pumpkins are only available once a year. Where do you get them in the spring when you'd like to plant? Or is there some way to plant in the fall?
Reply Eilis
6:14 PM on November 6, 2011 
Hi Lindsay,
I do the pumpkin plant in our classroom in October when we are learning about the pumpkin life cycle. Last year I planted it outside only because it was rotting in our room after a while. I also live in a warm climate. I think it would have made it through the winter sheltered under our window if we hadn't had one arctic blast that froze it. Interestingly, it grew again in spring (probably a different seed sprouted). It was just a very pleasant surprise when it flowered in spring. We grow beans in spring.
Reply Erin
2:06 PM on November 22, 2011 
Does the pumpkin rot at all while you are waiting for the seed to grow? Super cute idea!
Reply Eilis
8:38 PM on November 22, 2011 
Hi Erin,
I have done it two years and it has not started to rot until there were plenty of sprouts. My neighboring teacher tried it this year and was not so lucky :(, I use very little water to get it started. A little soil and moisture is all the seeds need. (Fran from Kindergartencrayons also had success this year.)
Reply Meg
4:52 AM on December 13, 2011 
We still have a small pumpkin from the end of October that we never carved at home. Do you keep the pumpkin indoors while it sprouts and then plant it outside when it rots, then? And when you plant it, I take it you plant it but leave the sprouts out in the open air...not under the soil?

I'm hoping it's not too late to try this with my 2-year-old! :-)
Reply Kay
10:08 AM on March 5, 2012 
OK, this is AWESOME! It looks as though you put the whole pumpkin underground at some point? And you actually grew pumpkins?? Soooo cool!
Reply Aurana Books
11:35 PM on June 13, 2012 
This is just what I was looking for. I did not expect that I?d get so much out of reading your write up! You?ve just earned yourself a returning visitor.
Reply fonda brashier
7:50 PM on June 22, 2012 
It looks fun, you can do it with the kids & both of you can learn something new. Always a win win..
Reply jerry lane
9:46 PM on August 20, 2012 
we will be doing this in class
Reply Betty Jo Haworth
11:03 PM on September 6, 2012 
I think that this is a great project. Could you please tell me how long after it sprouts do you plant it and how far down? Also, is there any special care that I need to do?
Reply Eilis
11:20 PM on September 6, 2012 
Betty Jo
We enjoyed watching it grow in our classroom for about two weeks. Around that time there is a point at which it needs to leave the classroom (the pumpkin starts to rot). That is when we planted it outside. Actually, it grew for a while, died back in a freeze, and grew back in the spring (probably different seeds). A kindergarten teacher who liked this idea, planted hers in a big pot in her classroom. I love that idea, just wish I had enough room to watch it grow without worrying about a freeze.
Reply Tara
7:12 AM on September 9, 2012 
I homeschool my2boys and would love to do this. If planting in a big pot indoors, how much sun light is needed and can I move it outdoors once spring comes? My boys are older, but this is still a great project no matter the age! I am excited myself!!! :) Thanks for posting!
Reply Eilis
8:33 AM on September 9, 2012 
Hi Tara,
The kindergarten teacher who tried it in a pot indoors was Fran at KindergartenCrayons. I don't know how it worked out, but maybe you could check with her.
Reply Capri + 3--Theresa
5:56 PM on September 12, 2012 
I just saw this on Pinterest. Please link this post (and any other arts, crafts and play posts) to Artsy Play Wednesday on Capri + 3. I hope to see you there.

: 0 ) Theresa
http://www.multiples-mom.com
Reply Karissa
9:05 AM on September 24, 2012 
I am a student teacher and my teacher loved this idea. I believe I have a good understanding so you only take out what comes out with the top when you cut it open?
Then you just add the soil?

Thanks

Karissa
Reply Eilis
10:41 AM on September 24, 2012 
Karissa
You've got it. And I recommend a small pumpkin pie type pumpkin. I am not sure if a big pumpkin would work.
Reply Jennifer Draper
5:28 PM on September 25, 2012 
This looks like a great experiment for my kindergarten students. We are going to do this next week. Thanks for sharing!
Reply Michelle E
9:02 AM on September 27, 2012 
Hi, I had a few questions. I saw that you did this and have been wanting to do this with my class. I too want to start in Oct like you did. How long did you wait till you transferred the pumpkin to the ground? and what were you gardenting prceedures? Was there any pumpkin growth by the time school ended?? Any help would be greatlyl appreciated!
Thanks,
Michelle
Reply Eilis
11:42 AM on September 27, 2012 
Michelle E
We transferred it to the ground when it was about two weeks old because the pumpkin started to decay and couldn't stay in the classroom in that state :). We watched the plant grow outside our window until it froze in January. We were pleasantly surprised when it grew again the following spring. It may have been different seeds that grew that time. Then, we were very excited when the kids noticed the orange flowers that spring. We did not get to see if the life cycle completed, because the plant was not watered during the summer when we were on vacation.