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Want pumpkins this fall? Time to get planting

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Growing your own fall decorations

Written by Abby Read 

Raising your own pumpkin patch, whether it is for decorations or pies, can be a fun a way to introduce gardening for your family.

Even though pumpkin season is several months away, it’s important to know the prime pumpkin-planting time is now.

Russ Wallace, Ph.D., Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service vegetable specialist, Lubbock provides tips and basic requirements for growing your own personal pumpkin patch.

Pumpkin planting season in Texas is summer

Sunlight hours and temperature play an important role in how well pumpkins grow in Texas. While too much sunlight and extremely hot weather can damage some plants, pumpkins thrive in early Texas summers.

Different varieties need various amounts of days to become completely ripe. You should choose the planting variety based on when you plan on harvesting your pumpkins for your fall activities.

“The best time of year to plant pumpkins is from early May through June, but it also depends on the variety to be grown,” Wallace said. “Some varieties mature in 85 days while others may not mature for 120 days. So those with 120 days to harvest should be planted early.”

Pumpkins require good drainage to thrive

Knowing the soil in your area is crucial as pumpkins thrive in soils with good drainage. Without good soil, pumpkins might need a change to their water intake, explained Wallace.

“Pumpkins can grow on any soil that has good drainage. In the High Plains pumpkins are generally grown on sandy loams to clay loams,” Wallace said. “If grown on sandier soils they will require more irrigation.”

If the soil in your area does not drain water well, adding organic matter such as peat moss and compost to the soil will give it better drainage. This should allow the soil to become suitable for growing pumpkins and other plants that need good drainage.

Pumpkin water requirements may be higher than you think

With their growing season in the middle of Texas’s hot and dry summers, it’s important to keep in mind that pumpkins need a lot of water to thrive.

“Pumpkins require about 25-30 inches of rain plus irrigation,” Wallace said. “They need most of their water when the fruit is developing/maturing. If water is not uniformly applied while fruit is maturing, the ends of the pumpkins may not fully develop. We see that a lot in high heat, drought conditions.”

Proper watering conditions will set your pumpkin plants up for successful ripening for harvest.  Irrigation and good, draining soil will help your pumpkin patch thrive in Texas weather.

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Alton “Fred” Allen

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Fred Allen

March 17, 1945 – May 15, 2022
RINGGOLD – Alton “Fred” Allen, 77, longtime resident of Ringgold, passed away on May 15, 2022 in Bowie.
The family received friends from 7 – 8 p.m. on May 17 at the White Family Funeral Home in Bowie. A graveside service will take place at 11 a.m. on May 18 at Cowboy’s Last Ride Cemetery in Bowie with Richard Allen officiating.
Fred was born March 17, 1945 in Decatur to Alton “Frank” and Zula Prestwood Allen. He was a lifelong worker in the oil field and in his free time enjoyed fishing, hunting and spending time with his grandchildren.
He is preceded in death by his parents and brothers, Dick Allen and Gene Allen.
Fred is survived by his children, Lynn Allen, Ringgold and Zula Carol Dietrich and husband Steve, Petrolia; grandchildren, Blake Allen, Brady Allen, Barrett Allen, Jason Gray, Jennifer Gray, Terry Dietrich and Timothy Dietrich; great-grandchildren Cody and Kendra Harralson and Lincoln Gray; sister Zelta Baker, Bloomfield, NM and numerous nieces and nephews.
Arrangements entrusted to the White Family Funeral Home of Bowie.
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Council facing lengthy agenda of new business

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Bowie City Councilors face a lengthy agenda of new business on Oct. 25 spanning outside audit proposals, amendments to the personnel policy and six planning and zoning commission requests.
The panel will meet at 6 p.m. in council chambers.
A pair of audit proposals will be reviewed from Edgin, Parkman, Fleming and Fleming, and Mathis, West & Huffines Group.
The personnel policy amendments center on paid quarantine leave and officer mental health leave.
A resolution for repayment of opioid-related expenditures and payment to abate opioid-related harms will be reviewed, along with the 2021 tax roll.
The council also will discuss the Richwood Lake Estates Park at Amon Carter Lake. This topic is a proposition on the Nov. 2 ballot.
An executive session will have the council discuss economic development negotiations on a project. Janis Crawley, executive director of the Bowie Economic Development Corporation, also will give the council an update on the recent Economic Development Administration grant that will provide $1,460,000 to the BEDC for infrastructure work at the Bowie Business Park.
City Manager Bert Cunningham will make his monthly report discussing the asset management program, the audit, search for a new finance director, a program with Honeywell that evaluates facilities on where the city can save money and an update from the Association of Rural Communities.
Public comments and the consent agenda wrap up Monday night’s council agenda.

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Fatality accidents

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Department of Public Safety officers are investigating a pair of multi-fatality accidents in Montague County Thursday night. One occurred at US 82 and FM 1806 and a half hour later one occurred near Star Travel Center outside Bowie. No details were available Friday but watch for updates.

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