baby pumpkinsOK, it’s pretty hot here in the Southwest desert, but for those of you thinking about fall, run outside at 5:30 some morning and slip some pumpkin seeds into your garden. They are a good summer plants and will fill up what might be an otherwise empty garden bed.

October will be here before you know it, right? And this could be fun.

From The National Gardening Association, here’s what to do to grow great pumpkins: “Improve garden soil with a 4- to 6-inch layer of compost. Add nitrogen and phosphorus fertilizer, according to package instructions, and dig it in to a depth of 12 to 18 inches. If your soil is heavy clay, adding gypsum or soil sulfur can improve drainage somewhat, but it is not a cure-all. Pumpkins are heavy water users, so mulch soil with several inches of organic mulch to retain moisture. Small and mini pumpkins perform better in the low desert than the large Jack-o’-lantern types.” We like the “Sugar Pie” heirloom seeds from Botanical Interests.