The last days of summer are approaching, which means the seasonal sections of stores are slowly beginning to turn to hues of orange and fall decorations will soon adorn most homes in America.
If you’ve been wondering about your fall display for the season we have some news for you. The most chic décor for this season is a small surprise. Jack Be Little Pumpkins have made a comeback, showing up in store aisles, and inside the homes of people who want to celebrate the season in an adorable and unique way!
History of Jack Be Little Pumpkins
Botanically known as ‘Cucurbita Pepo’, these cute compact pumpkins were first released in 1989. They are easily complimented with hybrids like Baby Boo, Munchkin, or Sweetie Pie for the perfect harvest blend table setting and compact space décor like entry tables.
Pumpkins were first grown in Mexico and the United States hundreds of years ago as food for the early settlers who were taught how to plant them by the natives. Now we have several varieties of pumpkins all over the world from miniature varieties — like the Jack Be Little — to Giants such as the Atlantic Dill. As for Jack Be Little, there is speculation that this cute crop may have its roots in the Orient where pumpkins were offered to the spirits by the people.
Look Feel and Taste
- Color: Jack Be Little miniature pumpkins are a lovely bottle green and they uniformly orange as they ripen.
- Feel: Each smooth fruit has deep ribs and is slightly flattened.
- Size: This fruit measures a minuscule five centimetres tall and about thirteen centimetres across the top.
- Flavor: Jack Be Little has a rich citrusy flavor that deepens in sweetness when baked or roasted. They taste perfect in savory or sweet dishes.
Where to Get Jack Be Little Pumpkins
Jack Be Little Pumpkins grow best in zones three through nine. They are also grown in Mexico and Europe. You’re sure to find some at a pumpkin patch near you or at any local grocery store. If you don’t want to hunt for them outside you can simply order them online.
These pumpkins are undoubtedly adorable, and perfect for small gardens, vertical gardens as they are easy to sow and grow. They’re also incredibly simple to store and make for a great showpiece. Let’s take a look at how you can grow your very own small gourds.
Where to Grow Them
Even in the Pacific Northwest Maritime Climate where other squash varieties may struggle these mini pumpkins do great.
They have a higher tolerance to mildew, fungus, and pests, are better adapted to weather changes and can thrive in a cooler rainy climate or hot sunny climate between 50 to 90 degrees too. The vines are small, vigorous, and sturdy and can even grow in containers.
Jack Be Little Pumpkins succeed anywhere normal pumpkins would and need the same care in zones three to nine. Pumpkins are best grown indoors in early spring and sown after any risk of frost has passed and the soil has warmed up.
When to Plant Your Seeds
Plant your seeds from late May in northern climates to early June in southern climates for a Halloween harvest. However these squash plants are smaller and do not transplant easily so you may want to start them in biodegradable material or some sort of fiber that can peel away from the roots without damaging them.
Once the seedlings are ready to transplant, sow them in small groups. Since these are a miniature variety, you can leave a little room between the plants and make for a compact vertical garden by installing a Hoop trellis.
They tend to spread to a mature height of ten to fifteen feet, require full sun, are usually self-pollinating, and bloom mid-summer to fall with female flowers forming one to two weeks after male flowers. The blossoms are edible or can be used as a garnish but don’t accidentally pick the female flowers. These pumpkins prefer loamy sandy soil.
Water the pumpkins daily until established then by weekly to weekly depending on soil moisture. Ideally, they require as much as one inch of rainfall worth of water per week. Add a small amount of balanced all-purpose fertilizer once every ten days.
Remember gardening is about testing your requirements and applying online guides to those so there is no set rule book that’s applicable for everyone.
It is important to keep the pumpkin patch free of any weeds that can leach the nutrients of your plants. Mist the plants with equal parts milk and water to prevent powdery mildew.
Open-pollinated seeds mature in ninety-five days, each vine can produce up to eight fruits. The pumpkins are ready to harvest when the shells harden and the stems dry.
Try to harvest before the first frost in September or October. Cut the stem with a sharp knife leaving about 3 inches attached to the fruit and let them cure for a while in a bright warm place before wiping with olive oil and storing.
If these miniature marvels are allowed to cure fully on the vine, they can last for as long as twelve months, no joke! You can ensure this by reading our guide on how to make pumpkins last longer.
Jack Be Little pumpkins can be used as Halloween handouts, table décor, and even to make Halloween hangings and wreaths. While most people choose this miniature variety of pumpkins for decoration, they are actually edible and quite tasty.
They can be used in a lot of fun recipes for all kinds of delicious dishes. From being thinly sliced and grilled to being used in fall soups or used in a pie or candied squash; the possibilities are almost endless.
Now that you are greatly excited about tiny Jack Be Little Pumpkins, be sure to grab some the next time you’re shopping, or grow them yourself, to add that extra elegance to your fall décor.
Excited for more pumpkin content? Keep learning all about pumpkin plants to become an expert on pumpkin planting, growing, harvesting, cooking, and more!