Carolina Bed and Breakfast

The Kitchen Garden

Notes, recipes, and thoughts of an innkeeper

How to Grow Pumpkins in Asheville, NC (or not)

Posted on by Susan Murray

We didn’t actually set out to grow pumpkins at our Bed and Breakfast in Asheville, NC. It pretty much came about by accident.  Whether or not we will succeed is yet to be seen.

How did it happen?

How did this...

How did this…

When we bought the Carolina Bed & Breakfast in September of 2009 it needed a lot of work, both inside and out.  Obviously our priority was getting the interior into shape but I did watch the garden the first year to see what was out there worth saving and what was not.  Our Asheville Inn sits on almost an acre of land so there was a lot to watch.

Over in a corner, completely overgrown by English Ivy, was what looked like an old compost bin with a small brick lined path leading to it through the brush.   It was not possible to rescue the compost bin but it still made sense to use the area next to it as a dump for garden refuse and other compost-able items,  including our Halloween pumpkins, gourds and ornamental maize.  This went on for five years until this Spring when we finally got around to clearing the brush in the area.  It was a mess of bindweed, poison ivy, kudzu and worse, which was strangling  Dogwoods, Red Bud Trees and three lovely Rose of Sharon Bushes.

The big bonus was that it opened up a sunny location for me to plant some tomatoes and other vegetables.   The refuse pile which had been sitting there all those years had evolved into a rich, loamy soil just waiting to be spread out over the area.  We planted tomatoes and jalapenos, beans and strawberries.  Pumpkins never crossed my mind.  I do not plant squash as I am perhaps the only person I know who cannot grow zucchini!

Become this?

Become this?

And that is how you grow pumpkins in Asheville, North Carolina.  The soil which we spread out over the area contained the seeds of multiple gourds and pumpkins from past Octobers. And before we knew it the seeds had sprouted and were going strong.  We looked up how to grow pumpkins on the internet and we couldn’t see much we needed to do other than put some cardboard under the burgeoning fruits and train them away from the rest of the garden as they seem eager to take over the entire plot.

Finger’s crossed, we will have some home-grown decorations for the Inn this Fall!

Taking Over!

Taking Over!

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