Support through charitable giving is fundamental to our mission of repairing the world, one seed at a time. West Coast Seeds held a call for submissions of original artwork for a chance to be featured on one of our seed packets. 100% of the proceeds of the artist seed packets sold will go towards a registered Canadian charity, selected by the winning artists. From hundreds of beautiful entries, two winners were chosen and we’re proud to feature their art on two seed packets. These artworks exemplify creativity and growth, beautifully demonstrating our connection to the garden as a playground for expression, a source of joy and wellness.
It's important to us to highlight the artists and their valuable contribution to the world of gardening and their chosen cause. Seed packets will be available online into 2023. Keep an eye out on our social, newsletters, and in our gardening guide for further info on the artist seed packets.
Variety: Neon Pumpkin
Charity: Food Stash Foundation
Myriam Bastien is a French-Canadian artist living on the west coast of British Columbia. Keeping her childlike wonder active, Myriam enjoys every stage of growing vegetables. From seed saving and gardening to cooking, she draws inspiration from the garden’s vibrant colours for her artwork. Check out her work on Instagram @mye._creations.
She deeply values food security and minimizing food waste. Food Stash Foundation is her selected charity that receives food waste from grocery stores and farm surplus and donates the produce to communities in need. Myriam has started a seed library for her local neighbourhood. If you’re in Vancouver, participate in her meaningful initiative in east Vancouver @mye._seedlibrary.
For future contests and opportunities, make sure to follow @westcoastseeds on social and sign up for our newsletter.
Direct sow or transplant in late spring when soil warms up for a fall harvest. For transplants, start seeds indoors 4-6 weeks after the last frost date. Try to get the plants into the ground no later than the summer solstice. Optimal soil temperature for germination: 25-35°C (68-95°F). Seeds should sprout in 7-14 days.
Sow seeds 2cm (1″) deep. Sow 3 seeds in each spot you want a plant to grow and thin to the strongest plant. Space plants at a minimum of 90-120cm (36-48″) apart in rows 120-180cm (48-72″) apart. If starting transplants indoors, consider using the 12-cell plug inserts.
Ideal pH: 6.0-6.8. These big plants need lots of food. Choose a sunny spot with fertile, well-draining soil. Dig in a generous quantity of finished compost and/or composted manure. Dig in 1 cup of complete organic fertilizer under each plant. All pumpkins grow male flowers first, then the female flowers are produced. The female flowers have tiny fruits at the base of the petals and require pollination by bees, mostly.
Pro tip: Incomplete pollination is common at the beginning of the season, and results in small fruits that are misshapen at the flower end. Discard these damaged fruits before they rot.
For the largest pumpkins, feed weekly throughout the growing season with fish or kelp based fertilizer. Keep the huge plants well watered, particularly in hot weather. Always water the soil, and avoid any form of overhead watering other than rain. Fruit will grow larger if you keep only one fruit per vine. As the fruit develops, try to gently encourage it to grow at a 90° angle to the vine itself. The largest pumpkin varieties will grow on their sides.
Like other winter squash, pumpkins are mature when they have coloured up well and their stems are crisp. For the best sugar content, cut the stem about 4cm (2″) or so from the body of the fruit. If the weather is dry, allow the pumpkins to cure in the field for 10 days, or in a warm room for 4-5 days. Bring pumpkins in under cover before rain.