When to Plant Pumpkin Seeds
Plant your pumpkin seeds outside after all chance of frost has passed and the soil temperature is 65 F. Most pumpkin varieties take between 85-125 days to mature. If you would like to have pumpkins on October 1st, count backwards to decide when to plant.
Where to Plant Pumpkin Seeds
Pumpkins love the sunniest place you can find. A neutral pH balance soil is best. If you get a lot of rain, make sure that your plants stay protected from heavy wind and rain.
How to Plant Pumpkin Seeds
Even though pumpkins need a lot of room to grow, we always plant more pumpkin seeds than we think we may need to increase the chance of each vine setting fruit. Plan on needing a minimum of 20 square feet for each plant – this can be found on the edge of the garden where the vines can trail down, or in an unconventional spot in your yard that has ample space. The warmer the soil, the faster the seeds will germinate, so mound the soil to help the sun heat it faster. Plant 3-5 pumpkin seeds about 1 inch deep in each mound. Once they germinate, thin to 2 of the healthiest sprouts. Pumpkins are 80-90% water, so they need a lot of it to grow. The secret is to only water pumpkins when they need it. If the plant looks healthy, there is no need to water daily. When the soil is dry and the plant looks limp, give it a long deep drink. Deep but infrequent watering results in a healthier plant.
How to Care for Pumpkins
As your Pumpkins start to grow, separate the fruit from the ground with a piece of cardboard to prevent possible rot. Keep your pumpkin in the sun and remove any leaves that are shading the fruit.
How to Harvest Pumpkins
Before the frost, cut the stem with a sharp knife. Wear gloves as the vines will be prickly. Keep in the sun for 2 weeks to harden the skin and protect it from colder nights by bringing it inside or covering it with a blanket. After the 2 weeks, you can store them in a cool place for up to 2-3 months.