Growing pumpkins isn’t tricky and is a great everyday gardening activity. Learn how to plant pumpkin seeds ahead!
But before you start planting pumpkin seeds, bear an eye that you’ll require plenty of space in your backyard for spacing across the seedlings.
What are pumpkins?
The pumpkin is native to the southwest United States, Mexico, and portions in South America. They are part of the Cucurbitaceae (gourd) family.
The pumpkin and corn are among the oldest known crop varieties in the Western part of the hemisphere.
The estimates suggest that pumpkins were grown throughout North America for almost 5,000 years. In the US, they are grown in USDA zones 3-9.
The pumpkin is surprisingly simple to grow and plant. The process of planting seeds for pumpkins is gardening enjoyable at its finest.
Place a seed in the soil, and within just a few months, you’ll reap an abundance of autumn’s most famous fruits.
Ensure the location you select gets plenty of suns and that the plants are well-watered throughout the summer.
They are quite heavy-feeders and need plenty of food. As fall arrives, you’ll have plenty of orange pumpkins to enjoy and take home to share with your family and friends.
The thick walls of specific pumpkins make them great to cook, and they can be stored throughout winter. The pumpkins used for carving are smaller walls, allowing kids to decorate them easily.
Preparing pumpkin seeds
There are two routes you can take with regards to seeds. You can either take the seeds inside an unopened pumpkin or buy ready-to-plant seeds from your local garden shop.
If you choose the second option, there’s some preparation you’ll need before you put seeds in the soil and take the necessary steps.
- You’ll have to wash off the pulp. Put the seeds in a colander, and then rinse them in cold water.
- After you’ve washed the seeds thoroughly, choose the most significant seeds. They are more likely to germinate and blossom.
- Spread them out on an old towel so that they will be dried in air.
- If you’re not quite ready to plant them, you can save seeds by placing them in an envelope and then placing them on the back of the refrigerator.
Store-bought pumpkin seeds for gardening
Visit your local nursery, look through an inventory of seeds, or search for sources on the internet and select the pumpkin seeds. It is best to choose a new packet of seeds to begin the pumpkin garden.
- Pumpkins for pie can be used to make cakes or for roasting. The best choices for a good start are Baby Pam, winter Luxury, and New England Pie.
- Halloween pumpkins are more significant and less delicious than pie. If you’d like to grow pumpkins big enough to be carving, you can try Howden, Rock Star, or Connecticut Field.
- Miniature pumpkins are cultivated for ornamental reasons. Jack-Be-Littles are an excellent option if you’re looking for tiny pumpkins that are orange right in time for the fall season.
Planting pumpkin seeds:
In ideal conditions, at most, 70% of seeds will sprout.
Seed life span: 2 Y
In one Ground Row (100 ft.): 60 to 65 seeds
Suitable time for sowing
The pumpkin’s growing season is a long; season which can last from around 75-100 days. They are best sown directly into your garden’s soil following the risk of frost is over. Direct sow seeds in the last week of May if you are in the North or direct sow in the beginning of June for summer-like southern climates. Seeds can also be started inside about a month before.
Propagation of pumpkin using seeds
The pumpkin seed coats are tough, therefore:
- For faster germination, soak seeds for a few minutes in water for 1 hour before planting.
- Seeds’ long sides can be gently filed using nail files, reducing the seed coat and speeding up the germination process.
- Seeds should be planted 2 centimeters (1 1) in.
- Place 3 seeds in the areas you want for a plant to grow. Then thin until the hardiest plant.
- Space plants a minimum of 90 to 120 cm (36-48″) and rows ranging from 120 to the distance of 180cm (48-72″) from each other.
- The seed will sprout in 5 to 10 days, at 70degF (21degC)
- Think about using the 12 cell plug inserts if you plan to transplant indoors.
When you transplant seedlings to the garden, ensure that the peat pot isn’t open to the air.
The plants favor soil high in nutrients and well-drained; the ideal pH is 6.0-6.8. These vast plants require plenty of nutrients. Pick a spot that is sunny and has fertile soil that drains well.
Dig up a large amount of composted manure. Dig into 1 cup of organic fertilizer beneath each plant. Before planting, clear all large rocks and other dirt from the garden beds and move it 8 to 10 inches deep.
Ideal soil temperature
It is possible to plant pumpkin seeds outdoors after the probability of frost has gone and the soil’s temperature has been raised to at least 65 F. (18 C.). Consider that pumpkin plants develop faster in warmer climates than in cold climates.
Make sure to mound the soil to a certain extent in the center of the location you have chosen so that the sun can warm the seeds of pumpkin. The warmer the ground, the faster pumpkin seeds will begin to germinate.
The most important thing to remember when growing the pumpkins you want to grow in your backyard is to give them the space they need to spread out. Some varieties have vines that can grow as long as 20!
The hills should be spaced 5 feet apart for the standard types and between 2 and 3 feet for smaller varieties. Seeds should be planted 1″ deep and 4-5 seeds per mound.
After the plants have germinated and seedlings grow to approximately two or three inches in height, cut them down to have only two or three plants per hill.
The fruit will get more significant when you have only one fruit for each plant. As the fruit grows, it is best to gently encourage it to develop at an angle of 90 degrees towards the vine.
The most considerable varieties of pumpkins will be able to grow by their side. Feed them every week throughout the growing season for the enormous pumpkins by providing them with an algae-based fertilizer or fish.
They were maintaining the large plants kept, especially in hot temperatures. Ensure to water the soil regularly and clear any overhead watering other than rain.
Pumpkin flower pollination
All pumpkins produce male flowers first before the female flowers begin to bloom. Female flowers are tiny fruits located at the bottom of the petals, and they require pollination from bees.
Incomplete pollination is expected at this time of the year and can result in small fruit with a distorted shape at the top of the flower. Please get rid of the damaged fruit before they turn brown.
For more bees to visit your garden, you can put an insect house inside your backyard—plant colorful flowers around the area.
When to plant pumpkin seeds:
The pumpkins need between 75 and 100 days to develop from seeds before being harvested. Backward count from the date you’d like to gather and then plant simultaneously.
Many pumpkin gardeners strive to get their pumpkins ready to harvest by fall. To achieve this, you’ll have to decide on the ideal date to plant seeds, based on your environment.
The pumpkins will grow faster in warmer weather, So if your pumpkin seeds are not produced in time for the season, you’ll see them here but gone by Halloween.
Growing pumpkin in the spring
If you reside in a region that experiences mild summers and cold winters, planting your pumpkins late in May after the last chance for frost has gone is the best choice. The pumpkins will be harvested in time for the fall.
Growing pumpkin in summer
In a region with hot, long summers, it is possible to plant your pumpkins in the ground during July and get them prepared for Thanksgiving.
Suppose your main reason for growing pumpkins is for them as a crop for food, and you’re not worried about getting them ready for consumption in the fall season.
In that case, you can begin the seeds indoors three weeks before the final frost date in your region, and they’ll be ready for planting in the ground when the weather warms up.
For indoor seeds, start by sowing seeds in four-inch peat pots filled with seed-starting mix (not the soil). Be sure that the pots are clean and well-watered.
Place them in a bright window. The seeds will be ready to be planted outside within a couple of weeks.
Pumpkin sunlight requirements:
Place seeds in a place in your garden where the plants will be able to receive all-day sun for a significant time. Like other vegetables, in the garden, they require a minimum of between six and eight hours of sunshine each day.
The sun’s light is vital for photosynthesis and the other growth-related processes that create the gorgeous orange orbs we collect.
When to water pumpkin:
Your plants require a large amount of water when they’re flowering and the following pollination when gourds are beginning to grow.
Try to provide your plants with at minimum one inch of water each week. If your soil is very sandy and drains quickly, and you reside in a hot climate, you might need to water more.
Sprinkle compost over the bottom of the plants or treat the bed with organic fertilizer. Apply this treatment just after the seedlings have sprouted to promote healthy growth and prevent weeds’ development.
If you notice that your flowers are falling off and there are no pumpkins are appearing, you may require hand fertilizing. Use a paintbrush or Q-tips to move male pollen onto female flowers.
The pumpkin will be ready once the skin of its pumpkin changes to dark solid shades (orange for the majority of varieties) and its stem becomes hard.
Place your finger inside the skin of the pumpkin, and if it doesn’t resist being punctured, the pumpkin is mature.
Don’t tear it, and be careful not to slice too closely to your pumpkin. An ample quantity of the leaves (3 up to four inches) will improve the time it takes to keep the pumpkin.
Use a gentle hand when handling pumpkins or they might break.
Common varieties of pumpkins:
Over 45 varieties of pumpkins grown globally vary in size, shape, shape, and color. It is essential to consider the end-use when selecting which types to plant in your pumpkin garden.
Certain varieties are perfect for making pies due to their sweet, thick flesh, while others are perfect for roasting and carving the seeds you collect.
The most popular garden varieties are:
- Atlantic Giant
- Autumn Gold
- Baby Bear
- Big Max
- Gold Standard
- Jack O’ Lantern
- Small Sugar
- Sweet Sugar Pie
- Tom Fox
Pumpkin plants are prone to many bugs that feast on the foliage and the vine. Striped and spotty cucumber beetles, four-line beetles, aphids, and squash bugs are typical pests that you may see infesting your plants.
The good news is that most pest populations can be eliminated by either taking them off the plants with a hand or spraying them with water.
Pumpkins are prone to mosaic virus and mildew—plants with resistant varieties.
- Mosaic viruses cause squash plants to turn streaked with yellow and reduce in growth. Aphids transmit the mosaic virus. Remove aphids that are infested and take them out of plants.
Maintain the garden in order and free of any debris that pests and diseases can hide. Place water near the base of the plants to keep water from the leaves, and do not handle the plants when they are damp to prevent spreading fungal spores.
- The powdery mildew is a fungus that can cause leaves to change into a gray-white hue late in the season. An appropriate spacing and better air circulation can lessen the severity of this issue.
- Bacterial Willis carried through cucumber beetles. Bacterial wilt can result in pumpkins abruptly starting to die and wilt when they begin producing pumpkins. Take care to control the beetles to prevent the spread of the disease.
Eliminate and kill the infected plants before transmitting this disease to healthy ones.
Other related gardening articles:
- Easy Fruits And Vegetables To Grow
- How To Start Organic Farming
- How To Grow Lettuce
- Herb Gardening For Beginners
- 10 Organic Gardening Hacks That Will Make Your Life Easier
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