Most people go pumpkin picking at a local pumpkin farm and go on the hay rides and through the corn mazes and then bring pumpkins home to carve. My family does that, too, but every year we also get a couple of homegrown pumpkins. Three years ago when my mom put our carved pumpkins — and some that weren’t carved — on our front stoop, the squirrels got to them and scattered the seeds in our front garden. We didn’t think anything of it, and when the season was over my mom got rid of the pumpkins.

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The next July, my mom saw what she thought was a weed growing in the front garden and was ready to pull it out. One of her friends told her that she thought it looked like the start of a pumpkin vine. We realized that we actually did have a pumpkin vine growing in our front garden. By that October, the vine had grown all the way down our walkway and had produced two pumpkins. They weren’t very large, but it was very exciting to know that we had grown a pumpkin in our front yard.

Since then, my mom purposely puts some seeds into the front garden in hopes of a pumpkin vine growing the next year. Each year it does, and we have had two or three pumpkins that grow on the vine that we use throughout the fall season to decorate the front of our house. I recommend throwing your pumpkin seeds into a garden when the season is over and leaving them there for the winter. You may be pleasantly surprised the next June/July.