care of pumpkin vine
I have heard that when your vine has many blossoms that you should break off the end of the vine so that it puts more energy into growing the fruit and gives up on trying to produce more vine. Is this a good tactic? Also, to help the pumpkin ripen, should I remove some of the sheltering leaves? I'm not worried about size as much as I am numbers of pumpkins for jack-o-lanterns for my grandsons. Thank you for your input.
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
I would not break the stem. The more leaves the plant has, the more energy it can put into growing the pumpkins. What you can do is thin the pumpkins to the number you need only. Simply snip off the immature fruit of any that grow after you have the right number. This will force the plant to focus only on the remaining fruit without affecting its ability to make energy. The same thing goes for the leaves. Removing them will not make the fruit ripen faster and the plant will not be able to make as much energy with fewer leaves, so don't remove them.