A rare delight in Juneau’s cool, wet, maritime climate is being able to grow a pumpkin, Cucurbita pepo, to maturity. The “Racer” pumpkin was specifically bred in New England to mature early and is the best bet for pumpkin success in Southeast Alaska.
Pumpkins generally need a long, warm growing season where temperatures rarely fall below 65 degrees, day or night (quite the stretch for Juneau!). Even if only immature, these harbingers of Autumn are a joy to grow. Like all other squash, pumpkins are a North American native that are now grown around the world.
• “What’s in Bloom” is a regular feature that runs during the year’s warmer months and features blooming plants at the city-owned Jensen-Olson Arboretum.