Whether you use them for carving or cooking, pumpkins do not disappoint.

Note that pumpkins do require a lot of food and a long growing season (generally from 75 to 100 frost-free days) so you need to plant them by late May in northern locations to early July in extremely southern states.

Do not plant this tender vegetable until all danger of frost has passed and the soil is warmed as the seedlings will be injured or rot. (See the Almanac.com/Gardening page for frost dates.)

That said, pumpkins are easy to maintain if you have the space.

Sun Exposure: 

Full Sun

Soil Type: 


Botanical Name: 

Cucurbita maxima, C. moschata, C. argyrosperma

Plant Type: 


Hardiness Zone: 



Selecting a Site

  • Pick a site with full sun (to light shade) and lots of space for sprawling vines. Vine varieties need 50 to 100 square feet per hill.
  • However, if your garden space is limited, no worries! Plant pumpkins at the edge of the garden and direct vine growth across the lawn or sidewalk. The vines will only be bothersome for a few weeks. You can also grow pumpkins in big 5 to 10 gallon buckets! Or, try miniature varieties.
  • Pumpkins are big greedy feeders. They prefer very rich soil that is well-drained and not too soggy. Mix lots of compost and aged mature into the planting site before you sow seeds or tranplant.

Planting by Seed

  • Pumpkins do best when the seeds are directly planted in the ground.
  • If your growing season is very short, seed indoors in peat pots about 2 to 4 weeks before last spring frost. Be sure to harden off before transplanting.
  • Wait until the plant soil is 70ºF or more before sowing seeds. Optimum soil temperature is 95ºF. Pumpkins are very sensitive to the cold.
  • Plant seeds in rows or “pumpkin hills” which are the size of small pitcher mounds. With hills, the soil will warm more quickly and the seeds will germinate faster. This also helps with drainage and pest control.
  • Prepare the hills in advance with an abundance of old manure dug deep into the ground (12 to 15 inches).  If you don’t have manure, loosen the soil and mix in a 2- to 4-inch layer of compost
  • Plant the seeds 1 inch deep into the hills (4 to 5 seeds per hill). Space hills 4 to 8 feet apart. 
  • Your plants should germinate in less than a week with the right soil temperautre (70 degrees F) and emerge in 5 to 10 days. 
  • When the plants are 2 to 3 inches tall, thin to 2 to 3 plants per hill by snipping off unwanted plants without disturbing the roots of the remaining ones. 
  • In rows, sow seeds 6 to 12 inches apart in rows 6 to 10 feet apart. Snip off plants to thin to one plant every 18 to 36 inches.


  • Use row covers to protect plants early in the season and to prevent insect problems. However, remember to remove covers before flowering to allow pollination by insects!
  • Pumpkins are very thirsty plants and need lots of water. Water one inch per week. Water deeply, especially during fruit set.
  • When watering: Try to keep foliage and fruit dry unless it’s a sunny day. Dampness will make rot more likely.
  • Add mulch around your pumpkins to keep in moisture, suppress weeks, and discourage pests.
  • Remember that pumpkins are tender from planting to harvest. Control weeds with mulch. Do not overcultivate, or their very shallow roots may be damaged.
  • Most small vine varieties can be trained up a trellis.
  • Larger varieties can be trained upward on a trellis, too—though it is an engineering challenge to support the fruit—usually with netting or old stockings.
  • If your first flowers aren’t forming fruits, that’s normal. Both male and female blossoms need to open. Be patient.
  • Bees are essential for pollination, so be mindful when using insecticides to kill pests. If you must use, apply only in late afternoon or early evening when blossoms are closed for the day.
  • Pumpkin vines, though obstinate, are very delicate. Take care not to damage vines, which reduces the quality of fruit.

Pump Up Your Pumpkins!

  • Pumpkins are HEAVY feeders. Regular treatments of manure or compost mixed with water will sustain good growth.
  • Fertilize on a regular basis. Use a high nitrogen formula in early plant growth. Fertilize when plants are about one foot tall, just before vines begin to run. Switch over to a fertilizer high in phosphorous just before the blooming period.
  • Pinch off the fuzzy ends of each vine after a few pumpkins have formed. This will stop vine growth so that the plant’s energies are focused on the fruit.
  • Pruning the vines may help with space as well as allow the plant’s energy to be concentrated on the remaining vines and fruit.
  • Gardeners who are looking for a “prize for size” pumpkin might select the two or three prime candidates and remove all other fruit and vines.
  • As the fruit develops, they should be turned (with great care not to hurt the vine or stem) to encourage an even shape.
  • Slip a thin board or a piece of plastic mesh under the pumpkins.


  • Squash bugs and cucumber beetles are common. Contract your local County Extension for controls.
  • Aphids
  • Powdery Mildew
  • Anthracnose
  • Poor light, too much fertilizer, poor weather at bloom time, and reduced pollinating insect activity can reduce fruit set.
  • Cucumber beetles and squash bugs can invest pumpkins, especially later in the summer.


  • Your best bet is to harvest pumpkins when they are mature. They will keep best this way. Do not pick pumpkins off the vine because they have reached your desired size. If you want small pumpkins, buy a small variety.
  • A pumpkin is ripening when its skin turns a deep, solid color (orange for most varieties).
  • When you thumb the pumpkin, the rind will feel hard and it will sound hollow. Press your nail into the pumpkin’s skin; if it resists puncture, it is ripe.
  • To harvest the pumpkin, cut the fruit off the vine carefully with a sharp knife or pruners; do not tear. Be sure not to cut too close to the pumpkin; a liberal amount of stem (3 to 4 inches) will increase the pumpkin’s keeping time.
  • Handle pumpkins very gently or they may bruise.
  • Pumpkins should be cured in the sun for about a week to toughen the skin and then stored in a cool, dry bedroom or cellar—anywhere around 55ºF.
  • If you get a lot of vines and flowers but no pumpkins, you need more bees in your garden to pollinate the flowers. Grow some colorful flowers next to your pumpkin patch this year and you may get more bees and butterflies!
  • If you’re saving seeds, they should last for 6 years.

Cooking Notes


Add new comment

It's my first time planting

It's my first time planting pumpkins at a first for my garden at the house we built, my question is, there seems to be what I first thought were spiders on them just walking around and around the perimeter of the leaves but then I saw then fly...not sure what they are or what to do????

I sprayed them with water but

I sprayed them with water but they just kept coming back, I researched further and mixed up dishwashing liquid and water and sprayed them and then sprayed them with the hose to wash off the soap...I'm hoping that will work and not kill my plants :o)

Could these be spiders that

Could these be spiders that were in the process of ballooning? Some small spiders, including those just hatched, travel by producing thin silk threads that get blown by the wind, taking the spider with it (sometimes for miles); this technique is called ballooning. Some mites also have this ability.

If these are spiders, you shouldn't have a problem, since they eat garden pests. If these are mites, monitor your plants. Some mites are beneficial and eat other insects; others, such as spider mites, may attack plants, drinking the sap and causing yellow speckles on leaves, and eventually weakening the plant. Spider mites usually aren't a problem unless there is a heavy infestation. If these are spider mites, you can release predatory mites (you can order these online), mist plants daily (spider mites like dry weather), or ask a local garden nursery about insecticidal soap.

I love pumpkins and spend a

I love pumpkins and spend a lot of money on them each year during the fall season. So when my wife decided to start a vegetable garden, I was delighted to use this as an opportunity to grow my own. I admit I have scanned some Google for basic info but really have no idea what I am doing. The bees are my concern. I have never really seen a significant amount where I live. So, if they don't come around is it possible to pollinate manually?

You can certainly pollinate

You can certainly pollinate pumpkins manually. For directions, search online for "hand pollination" and "pumpkins" and you should find lots of resources. There are even videos to help you. This is a popular method especially for those growing giant pumpkins, to ensure that the plant doesn't cross with a squash or a pumpkin variety whose traits aren't desired.

Last year I let my

Last year I let my Granddaughter smash 2 pumpkins we did not use. Now I have 9 pumpkin plants in the middle of my back yard that I'm not sure about. They are very healthy; big green leaves, alot of shoots, big gold fowers and can grow where they want. My problem is the base of the root. The plant is so large and heavy that it is cracking at the base. I have tried to switch sides for it to lay, but only got more cracked stalks. I have been putting dirt around the base to try and protect the thinning and yellowing stalk. I am now a pumpkin gardener, who is not sure how to protect her plants. They picked me and my yard and I need help. Thank you

Actually, Cheri, these plants

Actually, Cheri, these plants may not be very healthy. It sounds like they have fallen victim to root disease and/or insect damage (such as by squash bugs)...and there's not much you can do. It also could have been caused by excess moisture or excess nitrogen. If this were a vegetable garden, we'd recommend rotating your crops but this is an accident—or a gift! For now, enjoy it while it lasts. Try again next year, on purpose, in a prepared garden bed.

Im new to gardening and I

Im new to gardening and I planted pumpkins way to early. I'd like to have some for Halloween. Is it possible to harvest my pumpkins when they are mature and the vines will continue to produce new fruit, leaving a pumpkin or two for Halloween?

Hi Audra, You can prolong

Hi Audra, You can prolong growing a bit but pumpkins will ripen between 70 and 120 days so use this as a guide. If you live in the South, you'd want to plant pumpkins in early July in the South to ripen in time for Halloween.
Pumpkins will last 8 to 12 weeks if stored correctly. PIck them when they are mature with a deep orange color and hardened rind. Be very gentle as pumpkins bruise easily. Then let them cure--either leave in the field if the days are warm and dry or place in a warm dry atmosphere (70-80°F) with good air circulation, such as a greenhouse, for up to two weeks. Curing allows rapid drying of the outer cell layers avoids infection. After curing, store in a dry building where temperatures are 50 to 55 degrees.

It's June 3rd and I have 3

It's June 3rd and I have 3 orange flowers, a lot of vines but no pumpkin. Will we get a pumpkin for Halloween? Its pretty warm where we live.

It's generally about 110 days

It's generally about 110 days from when you seeded it to maturity! You'll need to count out the days.


I noticed a large plant growing like crazy in my backyard a few weeks ago, then realized it was a pumpkin plant, not sure what type. Anyway, we only have one in the backyard, but just down the street is an entire pumpkin patch. (less than a quarter mile away). Are they close enough to fertilize and grow some pumpkins?

One plant can produce

One plant can produce pumpkins. They can self-pollinate. To ensure pollination, we would suggest you help them pollinate by hand. A male and female flower have to be ready to bloom and open on the same morning. (The female has a little round ball of flesh at the base, all stigma, no pollen. The male has a straight stalk and a flower with all pollen.) Pick an opened male flower, take off the petals to expose the pollen, and dab it into the stigma of the female flower. That's it!

5 good sprouts in my pumpkin

we carved our pumpkins very late. was just cutting them open to do pumpkin seeds and use the flesh for making pumpkin pie and cookies. when i cut into one pumpkin i had a lot of roots in it with five really good sprouts. i know it to late to plant them, but will i be able to save the sprouts to plant next year. if so what do i do and how do i save them. thanks

Pumpkins need a lot of

Pumpkins need a lot of compost and lots of space to grow. The sprouts will not do well in pots during the winter months. Put the sprouts in your compost and buy some pumpkin seeds in the spring to plant.

Baking Pumpkins

I love baked whole pumpkins. I cut them in half and then bake them until soft. Not only do I eat the meat, but I like to eat the skin (pumpkin rind) once baked as well, as it normally softens and tastes great. However, I recently bought a bunch of pumpkins (sugar/pumpkin pie variety) and since my apartment is humid and warm, one developed a mold spot. So I realized they needed to be stored in a cooler, dryer place in order to keep them longer. I decided to bake one of these today, which was stored in the colder area. It was MUCH harder to cut in half, and after baking, the skin completely hardened (unedible) instead of softening up (as I am used to). Was this because it was kept in the cold, or was it just that particular pumpkin? I'm wondering whether or not to move the pumpkins back inside, because I want the rinds to soften when baked. Also, I need to be able to cut them, which is nearly impossible when they are so hard! I'm just afraid they will rot if kept inside my apartment. What do you suggest I do?

Store your pumpkins in a

Store your pumpkins in a cool, dry place with low humidity for no longer than one month. The optimum temperature is 50 degrees, but not higher than 65 degrees.

Yeah thier ok just leave it

Yeah thier ok just leave it alone so it won't die,but my pumpkin plants grow well and ok,just remember keep continued with nutrients and water,sunshine,space,and.fertilizer ok,my pumpkin patch is alive but is my first time so keep it continued.

two seedlings in my pumpkin

im a first time grower i found two little seedlings in my pumpkin i carefully took them out and planted them in soil ,used water and i added some nutrients do you think they're gonna be ok?

Pumpkins need 75 to 100

Pumpkins need 75 to 100 frost-free days and most of the U.S. and Canada is now past that time. The seeds do not germinate in cold soil. However, you could dry your seeds and save for planting next year.

i did the same thing two

i did the same thing two years ago, and i sure got a few great ones! i even grew a 257 lb. one and i was overjoyed! make sure you keep an eye on them and dont over water. until there growing big leaves. start the next seeds in pots and then transplant

Using old pumpkins for new pumpkins

I read that you can take your pumpkins uncarved from the previous year and leave them out in the yard to grow new ones the next year. Is this true? I living in northern Illinois.

If you leave your uncarved

If you leave your uncarved pumpkin outside it will eventually rot and some of the seeds may sprout plants next year. For better success dry and save some of the seeds from your pumpkin and plant them next year.

I'm a former pumpkin grower

I'm a former pumpkin grower from Rockford/Caledonia IL, and we'd regularly get pumpkin plants growing in our compost pile after the autumn holidays! We also had tomatoes in our garden every year, but only planted one plant the first year! The soil was very rich because we added compost and make every spring, which surely helped, but we didn't have a hose long enough to reach the garden and we had great harvests every year.

Soft pumpkin

I have a pumpkin about the size of large beach ball and growing larger each day. It is still without color. I noticed this morning that when I pressed on it, it was a bit soft. Is it rotting on the inside?

2 weeks to Halloween

With only 2 weeks to go until Haloween, I am wordering if the pumpkins will be ready. Once the fruit has started to grow and flower has disapated, how long will it take the fruit to mature. Any tips to speed the process?

Pumpkins need sun and warmth

Pumpkins need sun and warmth to ripen. Cut back any leaves that block the sun and stop watering. You can also harvest the pumpkin if it is big enough and place it in a warm, sunny location during the day.

Pale leaves

I know i probably planted my seeds a little too late but not sure how late.. I live in California, San Joaquin Valley...
The leaves are pale green and the flowers always look wilted ;( Is there anything you could recommend?

Most squash and pumpkin

Most squash and pumpkin flowers last only one day. Male flowers come first. They bloom on a stem and wilt. The female flowers have a bump (beginning of a pumpkin) attached to the bottom of the flower. Make sure you have pollinators in the garden when the female flowers appear.

Too late?!?

I live at the very tip of southern Illinois. I planted my pumpkins a month ago. I have 8 inch or so of vines. Will I have anything for Halloween?

Pumpkins need a long growing

Pumpkins need a long growing season (generally from 75 to 100 frost-free days) with lots of sun and warmth. If you only have a vine and no pumpkins growing yet you are not going to have pumpkins for Halloween.

vines but no pumpkins

i have vines all over bright orange flowers but no pumpkins yet.. will they still grow? its my first time growin pumpkins im not sure when the pumpkins are supposed to start growin in the vine

It's pretty late in the

It's pretty late in the season to have just flowers. If you live in a warm climate you may still have a chance to get a few small pumpkins. The first flowers to bloom are male. The female flower has a small bump under the flower that will grow into a pumpkin if pollinated.

harvesting green pumpkins

the frost is starting to set in here in labrador & my pumpkins are half orange & green,what should i do?thanks


Don't know what to do with pumpkins not totally orange and frost is coming?

You can cover them with a

You can cover them with a sheet at night or harvest them. Place the picked pumpkins in the sun during the day. They will still turn a bit more orange.

If you still have some warm

If you still have some warm sunny days leave the pumpkins on the vine and cover with a sheet at night if there is a chance of frost. You can harvest the pumpkins and put them in a sunny spot during the day. Make sure to protect them at night by moving them indoors or cover with a sheet.

green pumpkin?

I had a bunch of pumpkin vines growing in my flower garden (probably from fall decorating)I pulled all but 2 of them as I was not sure what it was. Now I have 1 good size pumpkin but it is dark green?? Should I cut the vine beyond the pumpkin or some of the leaves so it could get some sunshine?

Perhaps it is a green variety

Perhaps it is a green variety of pumpkin! In Australia lots (most) of the commonly grown varieties of pumpkin are green, grey or speckled. If the pumpkin you started with was a hybrid perhaps it has reverted to type? If this is the case then you should expose it to sunshine after it has been cut if you want to store it but just having one I would just eat it straight away.

Watering - Vines turn whitish color

Do I still need to water the plants/vines after the plants turn a whitish/grey and appear to be dying off? The vines are all brown but the actual fruit is beautiful orange. Do they still need to be watered?

Dying vines

Funny you should ask; I have the same problem here in New Hampshire: beautiful fruit on a white, shriveled, even moldy vine. It seems that the problem may be to much water—and that's not necessarily your fault. It could have been too much rain and too warm conditions. It also may be a symptom of bad insects.
If the vines are bad or going bad, they will not be able to deliver moisture to the fruit and in fact may decay further and more quickly if you water. Keep an eye on the fruit. Pick it and enjoy it in whatever way you can: on display, in a pie, whatever. It's part of the experience.
Next season consider crop rotation or amending your soil. Hope this helps.

Powdery Mildew

I live in northern Canada and have had great luck growing a variety of pumpkin. For the first time this year, powdery mildew seems to have overtaken a number of my varieties. I tried to slow it with sulfur, but almost all of my leaves are dead. We are moving to a new property before next year and I was wondering how to go about preventing, eliminating this problem (chemically-organic or otherwise). I know to water early in the day and not get the leaves or stems wet much... and high sun and to eradicate infected leaves on first sight...

Choose PM-resistant cultivars

Choose PM-resistant cultivars and provide enough space between plants so that each has plenty of air circulation. Keep up with weeding to reduce plant stress. Use soaker hoses. Avoid overfertilizing. There are fungicides for PM used as protectants (preventatives) and those for eradicating the disease once it appears; some offer both. Make sure that you choose one that is safe for pumpkins. Some strains of PM are resistant to fungicides.
Fungicides include: Sulfur. Neem oil solutions. Jojoba oil. Copper sprays. A solution of about 1 tablespoon baking soda and 1 tablespoon horticultural oil in 1 gallon water; baking soda solution without the oil is not as effective. Potassium bicarbonate is said to work even better than baking soda (sodium bicarbonate); you can find fungicides with potassium bicarbonate in garden centers; certain concentrations, however, can injure plants; baking soda, if used a lot, can affect soil structure. Ask your local garden center for recommendations.

Powdery Mildew on Squash

I am not really very experienced, but I got a lot of powdery mildew on all my squash plants this year. We live in the Denver, Colorado area. I just let the leaves die off, then picked them and cleared them out of the garden. By then there were a lot of fresh new leaves that took over. I think it helped to get the sun in there from picking the dying leaves. My plants did great after that. The fruit was good and all. I just harvested a 55 lb pumpkin, and have had many other varieties that did great too. The mildew did not return. I guess I was just lucky.

Hello my kids open a pumkin

Hello my kids open a pumkin last octuber and now we have a beautiful pumpkins in the backyard the vine gave around 8 big ones they are orange and huge when is the right time to cut and are they going to be ok for next october?

Uneven Pumkin Growth!

I am experiencing some uneven pumpkin growth. I have 4 fruit on a plant that are spread out evenly around plant. Two of the fruit are very nicely shaped. Then there are two that are pointed on the end! Is there any way that i can get the point out of their ends, maybe standing it up? If I can stand them up will it bother the small roots that taken ground throughout the vine? And what would be a good idea to prop them up! I have about three weeks till harvest date as well.


uneven pumpkins

Not sure that standing the pumpkin on the pointy end will help. But if you want to give it a try get a box that just fits the pumpkin and stand it up in the box.

bug question

I have a pumpkin nearly ready to harvest. I noticed a small soft spot where a few ants had gathered and started nibbling on it. Is there any way to save it and keep it until Halloween (about two months)?

Bug question

You can try to clean the spot with a fungicide solution and then seal the area with grafting wax or clear nail polish.

Northern Pumpkins!

I live in Labrador, and had heard that you could not grow pumpkins successfully this far north. Anyways, I wanted to try anyways to do something fun with my kids, so we planted some Jack-o-Lanterns and Conneticut Fields, and holy crap they're growing like weeds in the backyard. Right now I have 4 large healthy pumpkins growing in my backyard!


a pumkin rotted in my flower bed , it ia a small bed about 2 or 3 feet wide , it is now a patch with many male flowers and about two or three female flowers . i water it , i see two little pumkins forming , will this patch survive in this bed , and can i transplant it somewhere else for next season . Of course after the season is over ? thankyou


Enjoy your little pumpkin patch this season and hopefully harvest a couple of nice pumpkins. Save some of the seeds for next year if you like. In late fall compost the old pumpkin vines. Next spring plant pumpkin seeds in a new sunny location. Pumpkins need rich soil so add compost and aged manure to the new soil.

Only 1 Pumkin Plant Survived

I planted 3 pumkin plants in July, about 50 days ago, and Only 1 survived. There are 4 vines that are around 8 ft long. There are yellow flowers (blooms) all over, but there aren't any pumkins. When do pumkins start to appear and do I need more than 1 plant for them produce fruit?

Only 1 Pumpkin Plant survived

You will get pumpkins on your one plant. The first flowers that appear are male flowers. It takes some time for the female flowers to open. The female flowers have a little bump under the base of the flower. This will grow into a pumpkin if the flower is pollinated.

You need to fertilize the female

To prevent self fertilization, the pumpkin has a "Male" phase followed by a "Female" phase. If you only have one plant you won't get any pumpkins as you won't fertilize the female. I had this problem so went with an ear bud to an allotment nearby and got some pollen from somebody else's male plant to fertilize my female flowers. I now have two excellent large pumpkins growing.

pumpkin plant

My fiance hit my pumpkin plant with a weedeater, looks like it cut the main stem or vine of the plant. Is there no hope for it? What can I do?

If a vine broke, sometimes it

If a vine broke, sometimes it will heal itself. But if it's a major break, harvest the mature fruit and cure for a week outside; then, store them in a moderately warm, dry place until Halloween.

dying plants

I was told fish emulsion was a good fertilizer for my pumpkins. However, I think I may have used more than I should have and all the leaves are beginning to die. Is there anyway to save the plants?

Dying plants

Keep watering your pumpkin plants and stop fertilizing for a couple of weeks. Pumpkins need lots of water when they first start fruiting. Also check for bugs, blight and mildew which could cause the wilting leaves.


how do you keep mildew from growing one its started?

Pumpkin in the Avocado Planter

I recently transplanted my avocado trees to a larger planter. (There are three, grown from seeds, with intertwined roots so I kept them together.) Apparently a pumpkin seed from last fall's Halloween pumpkin that I left to rot found its way into the avocado planter and is happily growing. (1) Do I need to worry about the roots of the pumpkin damaging/choking the roots of the avocado trees? (2) Will the pumpkin vines try to climb the avocado plants? I was hoping it would just flip over the side of the planter and move to the ground/soil below and spread from there. (3) It's only a few weeks old. Can I dig it out of the avocado planter and put it into a planter of its own? Any help/suggestions would be appreciated.

Because pumpkins are heavy

Because pumpkins are heavy feeders and require lots of space, it’s probably not a good idea to have it in the same container as the three avocado trees. We’d suggest either pinching off the pumpkin plant at its base, or carefully transplanting it. The avocado trees have shallow, rather delicate, root systems, so try not to disturb their roots if you decide to transplant the pumpkin. If the pumpkin was one of the smaller types, it might grow fine in a large container, with support. Some of the larger varieties would not do as well in containers.

Thanks for the information.

That's good to know. Thank you so much. I've been growing the avocados for a couple of years now and would hate to jeapordize them . I think tomorrow I will dig up the pumpkin and try and transplant it. If it makes it, great! If not, oh well, I tried. Thanks again.

Garden Box Pumpkins

Some of the stems are breaking cause they are vining down to the ground. Should they be cut and if so, where should we cut them(right at the break?)

Yes, you can cut or pinch off

Yes, you can cut or pinch off a few of the vines without harming the plant. Wait until some fruits form and then pinch off the ends of the vines.

Will the grass choke out my pumpkins

Will the grass choke out my pumpkins if so how do I prevent this I

It's best to create a

It's best to create a grass-free plot for pumpkins. Grass competes with pumpkins. Mulch the plot to prevent grass growth, but keep mulch away from root area. Once the grass grows in, it's very difficult to pull because pumpkins do not like the soil near them to be disturbed and it is easy to break vines.

Keeping pumpkins nice till fall

After I have harvested my pumpkins I give them a water and splash of bleach bath. Do not get top of pumpkin/ stem wet. I use a rag and wipe them down,then dry. This makes your pumpkins clean and polished. Mine last through the winter into spring here in central valley, CA. Then I create a pumpkin graveyard where I watch them break down, collect seeds, or bury pumpkin and watch it grow again! It's a beautiful cycle to watch. When the graveyard produces orange pumpkins by July it just gets me excited to plant more for October deadline. Oh, and the park walkers on my block love to watch them transform and grow!

pumpkin flowering

I had planted the seeds this June and now the plant has vines which is climbing on a stick I put in the ground. I see lots of yellow flowers which have bloomed. Am i close to getting a pumkin soon :) the vine is about 6 ft long now. and still continues to grow and climb up. Flowers open and close. I have put the garden dust to stop pests. Also watering the pumpkins generously. It rained a lot here yesterday as well in Long Island , NY

Any help is appreciated


If the plants are getting

If the plants are getting pollinated (by bees), you'll get fruit! A couple of tips: 1. At this stage, take care not to overfertilize; too much nitrogen can cause a plant to flower but not fruit. 2. If you use any insecticides, only apply in late afternoon or early evening when the blossoms have closed for the day or the bees won't be able to visit and pollinate.


first time pumpkin grower, thank goodness I did not grow too many other plants. The Pumpkins are taking over in a good way. The Bee count seems to be low in central CA. so I'm worried about pollination. Thanks for advice. p.s. what about self pollination with a Q-tip or something like that.

If you're worried about bee

If you're worried about bee activity (or lack of), you can hand pollinate. Tansfer the pollen from the male to the female flowers by using a small artists paint brush when the flowers are open in the morning. Be sure that you do not use any pesticides which kill the pollinators (bees).

Growing pumpkins in buckets

What sort of special considerations would you need to make when growing pumpkin vines in buckets instead of the ground?

You may wish to consider a

You may wish to consider a pumpkin variety that's more compact. Suggestions are: Autumn Gold Hybrid, Bushkin, Jack Be Little, Small Sugar, and Baby Boo. Use a 5-gallon container with drainage holes. We're not sure where you live, but here's a good link with basic container guidelines: http://ohioline.osu.edu/hyg-fact/1000/1645.html


In our first attempt at planting pumpkins, we may have started too early. We already have orange, large pumpkins. Approximately how long with they last after harvesting, if we store them in a cool garage? We grew these to donate to our school for the Fall decoration scene, but Fall seems so far away. I want them to last. Any suggestions?

Store pumpkins in a cool,

Store pumpkins in a cool, dry, dark place (not inside). If you store in a dry place between 50 and 55 degrees, the pumpkins should last about 6 months. When storing, do not stack them or let them touch each other. They are best stored sitting on a board or cardboard or straw about 2 inches apart. Not a cement floor. One of our readers shared a tip: Wash the pumpkins in a very mild chlorine solution (one cup of chlorine to one gallon of water. This gets rid of bacteria which causes rot. Then thoroughly dry.

Giant Pumpkin

I am trying to grow a giant pumpkin in my backyard. Should I be burying the vines to encourage a stronger stem and multiple root systems?

You'll want to leave the

You'll want to leave the vines undisturbed. They are essential to the growth of the pumpkin. However, make sure the vines are growing in a direction where they will not be susceptible to breaks.

Hope this helps!

Will they still grow?

Last night deer ate most of my plants down to the stem. They were only leaves, no vines or flowers yet, maybe 6-8 inches high. A few still have some leaves or munched on leaves. Will any of them be able to grow now?

The plants that still have

The plants that still have some leaves will keep growing with some luck. The once with just the stems don’t have much chance to survive. Plant some more pumpkin seeds and try to keep the munching deer out of your pumpkin patch if you can. Thanks, The Old Farmer's Almanac editors

pumkin surprise

My children took seeds from 4 pumkins and planted them in the backyard two years ago. Since then we have put up a dog pin that houses a great dane. while moving the dog pin we found several pumkin vines growing in a 3'3 area. We live in tennessee and just need to find information on how to take care of the pumkin plants that we found.The kids like the idea of growing their own pumkins for halloween. So we want to take care of the plants the best we can.

Since they have vines, leave

Since they have vines, leave the pumpkins where they are. Pumpkins do not like being moved about; be gentle with them. They'll grow if they have plenty of sunlight--and you water and feed them as described in the "care" section above.

does pumpkins cure any desease

have just started pumpkins farming this year so i wanted to in one plant of pumpkins how many it produce?

growing pumpkins

It depends on the variety and if you are growing them for size or for eating. The small-to-medium varieties may produce 4 or 5 pumpkins per plant. If you want bigger ones, you can pinch off some and stick to 2 or 3. The most common pumpkin problems/disease are probably powdery mildew and squash bugs/cucumber beetles. See pest section above. Good luck!

growing pumpkin in small space

i live in an apartment in tennessee and last fall i carved two pumkins of medium size and left a few seeds in them both i left them to rott in the dirt and mulch all season through the winter and now it is spring and i have a lovely pumpkin patch with bright flowers and pumpkins are forming already...it didnt take any work at all.i do water them everyday though


Does deer bother pumkin vines? Thanks

deer and pumpkins

Pumpkins may be more deer-resistant but nothing is truly off limits for deer except tall and wide fences. While they won't like the vine, deer love pumpkins.


I wish you would talk a little bit more on how to prun the vines, how to prun the pumpkin plant?


To avoid having vine growth, pinch off the fuzzy ends of each vine after a few pumpkins have formed. This will stop vine growth so that the plant's energies are focused on the fruit.

hi what do you mean when you

what do you mean when you say pinch off fuzzy end?
Also I "accidentally" started a pumpkin patch with an "old" jackolantern and found out that pumpkins are self seeders if that is the right lingo? well now I am really into the patch and it is growing really well lots of vines leaves and flowers, but the flowers are now just falling off... are they all male? I see a lot of bees in the patch which i know leads to fruit... help

pumpkin type

im considering growing some pumpkins but im not sure what variety would be best for me. I live in the lower mainland of bc canada. I'm wanting a large variety of pumpkin that would be good for carving and cooking. I would like to try making pumpkin pie among other recipes so it needs to be sweet.

Easy way to grow a pumpkin

I had cut a whole pumpkin in half after Halloween and put the halves in the yard for the birds. Over the winter, one half ended up in an area I had not raked before the snow hit. It was a small area, perhaps 2' by 3', with some leaves over concrete. Come spring, the half had sprouted a new vine, and we had a homegrown pumpkin for Halloween!