courage, fall, parenting, planting seeds, self care, single mom

The Great Pumpkins

Did you know that pumpkins have been grown in North America for 5000 years?

Pumpkins take a very short time to grow. Pumpkins need between 90 and 120 days after planting the seeds before harvest time.  Its best to plant by late May in northern locations to early July in extremely southern states. Wait until ALL danger of frost has passed and the soil is warmed, as the seedlings of this tender crop will be injured or rot. Plant the seeds directly in the ground one each deep in a row. They should germinate in less than a week and emerge in 5 to 10 days. A pumpkin is a thirsty plant and needs to be watered at least once a week. Also, pumpkins are heavy feeders, so be sure to give them plenty of compost or manure. Pumpkins are sensitive. They need the right amount of sunlight, heat, nutrients, and care to produce quality pumpkins. Now, this is key DO NOT OVER CULTIVATE. I never knew there was such a thing as over cultivating. Pumpkins grow on the vine and are very delicate, so take care not to damage when harvesting. It’s important to pinch off the fuzzy ends of each vine after a few pumpkins have formed. This will stop vine growth so that the plant’s energies are focused on the fruit. When harvesting the pumpkin, cut the fruit off the vine carefully. If it resists puncture, it is ripe. I’m ready!

My Great Pumpkins

Learning how to plant, cultivate and tend to pumpkins, made me think about my little pumpkins; my children. Children are the greatest gift God can give us. When parenting, the seeds you plant in your children are very important. What is even more important is how you cultivate those seeds. As single mom, it is your responsibility to promote their growth and development; their attitudes, abilities, beliefs, and life skills. This is a lifelong process. Yes, you get the interference of the outside world; family, school, peers and mostly environment. You can’t control the outside environment, but you can control the inside; your home. Like the pumpkin, children are very hungry and thirsty. Feeding them helps them grow. This can be literal or psychosocial.

When raising my children, I was always careful of how I spoke and behaved around them. When they were small, they were “heavy feeders” soaking up everything around them. I was cautious about the people I exposed them to, what they watched on television, music they listened to, food they ate, where we lived, everything that had an influence in their life. I made sure their physical, social, emotional, educational and spiritual needs were met.  All these things were a part of their cultivation. I did my best at making their growing environment one that would help them flourish. Trust me, I had struggles, but my home; my garden, was a place where I could ensure proper growth. By no means was my garden perfect. I had personal and financial struggles, unforeseen circumstances, and many disappointments. There were weeds throughout. Weeds that could have overtaken my garden. Weeds that constantly reoccurred, and needed pruning to increase my growth, their growth.


Sometimes you can over “cultivate” your children. You can pressure them to be something that they’re not and push your habits, beliefs, dreams and expectations on them instead of letting them grow on the vine at their own pace. If they are two, let them be two, not five. Every child develops at their own pace. Let them live. Let them explore. Let them learn. Let them fail. Let them grow. Let them be kids. Yes, you must set limits and be consistent, but most of all, value them.

The main thing is focusing your energy on the fruit. What I get from all this is that the fruit is connected by the vine. The vine is the fruit’s life support. You are that vine, and the vine must be pruned from time to time. It’s important to be healthy; mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually to nurture and nourish the fruit. Your children are your fruit, your little pumpkins. Make every effort to take care of the vine, because the pumpkin doesn’t grow far from the vine.

Be Courageous! It’s time to plant the seeds and produce the fruit you want to see.

Cheri Gardner, Life Coach for Single Moms

pumpkins 2015


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