How to Grow a Pumpkin Inside A Pumpkin

pumpkinpicmonkeyDo you have any leftover little pumpkins from Halloween? Then I’ve got a great project for you and your future botanist! I quickly learned though, there is a right way and wrong way to do this. (As a side note: I am reminded how much comfort nature can give us in today’s world and what a great lesson of hope this is for kids.)

How not to do it:

A few weeks ago we opened up a pumpkin, marveled at all the seeds, packed it full of dirt and started watering it diligently. Curiously, about the same time, Andrew’s preschool sent home pumpkin seeds growing in a cup with dirt.

The seeds in a cup did MUCH better than our seeds sitting in a rotting pumpkin.  We dissected it for good measure and quickly chunked it. Then a good friend of mine showed me a picture of her daughter’s “pumpkin in a pumpkin” for a Daisy Troop project and it was flourishing! So we decided to try again.

How to do it:

We found another pumpkin but this time we scooped out the seeds first, washed them off, and put the seeds back into the pumpkin with soil.  That made all the difference. (And I didn’t voraciously water it). Four days later the seeds started sprouting! Now we have our own pumpkin-in-a-pumpkin!

What’s the science?

It’s been so much fun talking about how seeds turn into plants and the right and wrong way to grow a pumpkin. But the most interesting conversation has been about the mold on the pumpkin and how decomposition of fruits and vegetables occur.

Mold (which is a fungi) helps break down plants into smaller parts into the soil.  We will eventually put the entire pumpkin into our garden and see how it goes. (I’ll post pictures of it’s progress)

Now that you know the right way to do this, have fun with this easy simple pumpkin-in-a-pumpkin project!

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