While giant pumpkins amaze people at their crazy size all grown from one seed at the other end of the scale there is the miniature varieties. I suggest miniatures to anyone that for whatever reason aren’t keen on growing giant pumpkins (although there are many reasons to grow giants) they are a lot more edible, easier to transport and just have a quirkiness about them that people really like, even though some people think they are fake when they first lay eyes on them.
Where do I get miniature pumpkin seeds from?
For miniature pumpkins you don’t really have the added decision making sometimes present with the giants, you just need the variety you want and you are set. My recommended place to get miniature pumpkin seeds locally is Kings Seeds. They have a good selection and get them to you pretty quickly. It is a minimum $15 order for online purchases, so stock up on other seeds when you have a chance or ask a giant pumpkin grower if they have any spare miniature seeds laying around.
What varieties are there?
Basically there are 4 different types you can buy from Kings seeds, Over the years I have grown 2 out of 4 and this year I am growing all 4 at once, so should have a pile of miniature pumpkins.
Jack be little
This is the smallest miniature pumpkin you can get, if you want miniature this is the one to grow.
- Usually 7cm across and 5cm high
- Has a very sweet flesh and can be used for cooking
- Can last up to 6 months when cured like a gourd
- The plant has on average 6-7 pumpkins
If you are entering a miniature pumpkin contest this is the type that will win you a prize, while growing you want to make sure the vine doesn’t rub up against the pumpkin too much as it can cause scars on the flesh of the skin which effect the appearance , something I will be making sure doesn’t happen as much as last years.
A great looking pumpkin that I really liked the shape of.
- Nice deep orange color
- Usually around 600g – 1kg in weight
- Good for pies
- Seeds are great for toasting
- Usually high yields from each plant
- Good storage of around 105 days
Wee be little
A great looking miniature with a great round shape and a great looking stem.
- Grows to the size of a cricket ball
- Sweet nutty tasting pumpkin
- Close spacing can be achieved due to the plants semi bushing type growth
Mini harvest blend F1
- Good yield containing edible jack be little pumpkins
- Contains the types: Bumpkin, Hooligan and Gooligan
Planting your miniatures
You can either plant first into a pot and then transfer into the ground like you would with a giant pumpkin or you can sow the seeds directly in the ground. Just be sure to do it once all the frosts have gone.
For me I sow them directly into the patch I am planting them into, as i don’t need to worry about vine orientation of these plants and it cuts out the step of transplanting I find they grow well like this and am planning on growing a lot this season.
How to grow
Once you have your miniature pumpkins in the ground there isn’t too much else to do. I have always let the bees pollinate the plants and this has worked well for me every time I have planted them. I’ve never had to prune or bury vines they just grow.
Some watering while they grow just like any other plant helps them along as well.
The only piece of advice I have in regards to them is that if you are growing them for a competition you really do need the best looking miniature pumpkin you can get. To help achieve this you will need to think about trying to keep any vines from rubbing on the young fruit as it is growing, this can cause scars on the skin of the fruit ruining the look of it. This is something I need to do this year to make sure I have the best looking miniature pumpkin I can get.
What to do with miniature pumpkins?
Miniature pumpkins generally store really well, so can be used as a decorative item around your house if you want. They are also very edible and due to their size can be roasted whole.
If you are the creative type you can usually find a creation type competition at most pumpkin events, if not maybe suggest it to your event organiser. Miniature pumpkin can be used for all sorts of creations, you just might need to grow a lot.
So there we have it, a run through about miniature pumpkins. They are great for small areas, kids love them and people are amazed at how small and perfect they are. Check them out if you are after something else to grow.