Planting, Growing, and Harvesting Pumpkins

Row of Pumpkins


Rate this Article: 

Average: 4 (794 votes)

Whether you use them for carving or cooking, pumpkins do not disappoint. Here’s how to grow your own supply of pumpkins.

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. Find your local frost dates here.

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


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 transplant. Learn more about soil amendments and preparing soil for planting.

Planting by Seed

  • Pumpkins do best when the seeds are planted directly 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 temperature (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.



  • 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.
  • Check out this video for tips on curing and storing pumpkins.

Recommended Varieties

Wit & Wisdom

  • Cucubits, such as pumpkins, are subject to an ongoing myth—that planting different family members or varieties will result in strange fruit. Actually, it is the seeds resulting from cross-pollination that are corrupted, so this is a factor only if you are planning to save seeds for next year’s planting.
  • Did you know? A slice of pumpkin pie before bedtime may help you to sleep.
  • Learn about the history of carving pumpkins. Pumpkins have become a traditional Halloween decoration and treat in the United States. We have great Halloween recipes and craft ideas for you!
  • Pumpkins are a nutritional powerhouse! Learn more about winter squash’s health benefits!


Cooking Notes

Reader Comments

Leave a Comment

Thanks for your expert knowledge on pumpkins.

We grow pumpkins in England, mainly for carving (grandchildren love them) to cooking. Your advice about mulching has been taken on board and our grass clippings are being used, the runners will be cut to allow three per runner. I have also mounded soil over the runners in the hope they put down more roots. Have you tried pumpkin curry? We will make one when ours are ripe. Cheers Alan and Cath in Crewe England.

sprinkler system setup

My plants are already coming out and the vines are coming. I am going to set up a sprinkler system,but what I am wondering is I can place the sprinklers so it justs comes out with a light spray. How far out of the ground should I leave them and can I place it right between the 2 plants that are practically next to each other or should I place it further away. I am trying to avoid getting the leaves wet as much as possible but I know that is hard to do. In between the mounds I can place one that can keep the soil wet for the vines. I am inexperienced but I am trying to learn by trial by error. Also, one other question. On on of the mounds I placed 4 and they are fairly close together. I never weeded it out. WOuld it be best for me to get rid of one or 2 of them. Thanks for your time

watering pumpkins

About thinning: thin to 2 to 3 plants per hill by snipping off unwanted plants without disturbing the roots of the remaining ones. Do this before you do anything else. And weed. Once the plants spread vines there should be far weeds. And mulch.

Drip irrigation is a slow, fairly steady release of water that gets to plant roots. Aim to replicate that with water of one inch per week, more during fruit set.

Water is important but read the “Pump Up Your Pumpkins” advice above; fertilizer is also going to improve your chances for a hefty harvest.

Pumpkin vine damage (unknown critter)

So I have a huge pumpkin vine growing I went out about a week ago the root was dug up and ripped out. I saved it (had just set second root week before, saved me full loss) but it's hurt.
I go out this morning, my Thai pepper is ripped up, the huge pumpkin root (but not root area), we've sighted skunks in the neighbor hood, are they digging for Pill bugs in my roots (which i have an infestation of) or something else? How do I fix this, by removing the food source (killing whatever they're eating)?

Pumpkin Vine

Hi David,

We’re sorry to hear of your garden troubles! It sounds like it could be a skunk doing the digging, though it could also be a raccoon or a couple of squirrels. Getting rid of the pill bugs might stop the animal from coming around; spread diatomaceous earth around plants and throughout the garden to reduce the number of pill bugs. Also, try putting up a short fence—2 to 3 feet high—and see what happens. Skunks can climb fences, but they usually choose not to. 

Pumpkin vine base

I live in Philadelphia PA. We have a pumpkin vine that is growing amazingly. But we just returned from a 5 day holiday and the base of the vine has darkened and the base leaves are a bit yellow. I'm hoping this is just the vine "hardening". We have an irrigation system that waters the garden for 15 min in the morning and evening. If we need to bump up the watering we can, seems like I need to snip some vine tips (per other advice), but any other insight you can provide would be really helpful. We have raised beds. Base of vine is in partial shade, but majority of vine is predominately full sun. Thanks in advance!

pumpkin care

Yellowing leaves at the bottom of the plant (the older leaves) sometimes mean an iron deficiency. Pumpkins are big feeders so perhaps they at a lot when you were gone and you need to feed them some more! We’re not sure what you mean by the vine “darkening.” As the pumpkin reaches maturity, the vine is more likely to turn yellow.  If the leaves start to wilt, look at the base of the plant and ensure you don’t have the squash vine borer. See more about identification and control: http://www.almanac.com/pest/squash-vine-borer


... what to do?

I've got about 15 plants; n a 3'x3' planter here in my So.California yardyard and they're all already a foot talltall each. What should I do about the area they each need for growth? I have room for the vines, to sprawl outout just don't know about them having room between each other...? -im Clueless but wanting to learn!

pumpkin spacing

The spacing will depend on the type of pumpkin you are growing. (The 15 plants are all pumpkins, right?) Ideally, follow the suggestions on the seed packet or transplant. In general, mini pumpkins may need about 1.5 to 3 feet between each after thinning, while standard pumpkins need about 3 to 5 feet. In a planter, the giant type of pumpkin likely wouldn’t be appropriate. For standard types in a 3x3 bed, thin out your 15 pumpkin plants to just 1 or 2, snipping the stems off at the soil surface, so as not to disturb the roots of the plant(s) you’d like to keep. For mini pumpkins, you might be able to keep 2 or 3 plants. (For pumpkins, it’s better to have a deeper container, such as 2 to 3 feet deep, if possible.) Good luck!

Small Sugar Pumpkins

Hoping someone can help me as I have scoured the internet and fpund very little information about my issue with my small sugar pumpkin plants. Grew them last year and the vines got very long and were very healthy, but I never once saw a female flower on any of them, only the males, so obviously I didn't get any fruit either! Anything I can do this year to encourage growth of the female flowers? They were in ground in full sun, sharing the same patch as my cucumbers. Thanks!

female flowers on pumpkins

Try adding a high-phosphorus fertilizer to increase bloom production. Some pros say that if plants are too close the competition between plants can reduce the number of female flowers; could this be it?


Would like to know the appropriate type of soil for pumpkin

Soil for growing pumpkins

Pumpkins love fertile soil. Before planting, spade the soil about a foot deep and mix in some compost, manure, or well-balanced fertilizer. Then plant two or three seeds in a group about an inch apart in moist soil.

Best hybrids by location?

I was wondering what would be the best hybrids to grow in Sarpy/Douglas County Nebraska? If you have a top three.


For such a specific location, we would encourage you to ask your Nebraska county extension: http://epd.unl.edu/


Love this article! Do you know if there is a book specifically on growing Pumpkins? About to start growing them. Thank You

pumpkin book

I’m not familiar with any books on growing just pumpkins, but a quick search online does list a few on growing pumpkins in general, or the huge record-breaking kind. For example, “The Perfect Pumpkin: Growing/Cooking/Carving” by Gail Damerow (1997) and “Gardener’s Guide to the Pumpkin and Winter Squash” by Paul R. Wonning (2016). Hope this helps!

Planting seeds

I planted my pumpkin seeds in a big pot this month. Do you think they will survive?

pumpkin underway

Wow, Jacob, there are so many ways to answer your question. Will your seeds survive? For one thing, it depends on where you are. Is it summer there? If there is any risk of frost, see here for when that might be: http://www.almanac.com/gardening/frostdates/zipcode/03444 You have to be wary of a late frost that might kill your plants.

Even a big pot may not be enough for a pumpkin. Plus, pots heat up (and dry out) faster than the ground soil does. So while that may seem advantageous, it means you need to be ready to water more often. You have not mentioned the type of soil you used; we will presume it is good quality compost.

lease understand that we are not trying to discourage you; we just do not have enough information on your particular situation. With time and your careful attention, you might have a bumper crop of pumpkins! We are just trying to point out a few considerations.

Good luck and let us know how it turns out!

Planting in pots works

Jacob, I planted my very first pumpkin in a wooden pot a few years ago. It was one of those wooden crate looking pots from Lowe's. The soil where I live is horrible but I can't dig down deeply enough because of the granite running below my house.

I kept an eye on the pot (it was a 2' in diameter pot, about 12" deep) and made sure it was well-drained and watered when needed. The vine grew very well and very long. The only issue I had was not enough pollination. All of my pretty flowering plants were on the other side of my house. I know better now!

So yes! Pots DO work for pumpkins. Just keep an eye on it for moisture balance.

I live in Zone 6A, by the way, in case that means anything for you.

growing pumpkins

Old Farmer, You answered so many questions I had. My 6 year old grandkid loved it too!

kids love it too

Hi, Rochelle! This is a delightful message to get on a gray day. THANK YOU for taking the time to get in touch. Happy to hear that you’ve got your grandkid—son? daughter?—interested in the Almanac and, we presume, gardening. Can we take just a minute to suggest that he/she might also enjoy The Old Farmer’s Almanac for Kids?! You can read about it here (and buy it, if you chose): https://store.almanac.com/product/old-farmers-almanac-kids-volume-6?list...

We just want to let you know that kids can’t put it down (and parents can’t wait to pick it up and read it themselves)!

Have a wonderful day and bountiful season!

Growing pumpkins

IAM so thankful to whoever put together this agriculture message.
IAM here in Uganda and want to grow these vines seriously.I have not been employed but I feel this project will do it for me.

Thank you so much!

pumpkin fall when still small

i do not understand why the pumpkins i have planted are growing good but as soon as it grows, after about 5 days its still small and becomes yellow and falls down!! why is that happening? please help someone!

Harvesting Pumpkins

I live in the Pacific NW (on the north Oregon coast) and the rains are getting heavy. Should I leave the pumpkins on the vines? Some of the vines are getting mushy and the fruit is still green. The rainy season has started and my vines are starting to deteriorate, but the fruit is still green. Should I harvest now or let them stay on the vines till the vines are done for? A neighbor already took one to make soup and said it was fine.

pumpkin troubles

If the vines are getting mushy, keep an eye on the pumpkins themselves, which may rot. You might want to harvest the pumpkins soon, especially if the mushy stem area is close to the pumpkins. You can then try to ripen them off the vine. Sometimes this works.

To do this, cut the pumpkin from the vine, leaving about 4 inches of healthy stem (if possible). Wash it, dry it thoroughly, and set it out on a sunny patio or similar dry spot in the sunshine (take in at night). Or, if it is still rainy, you can choose a spot indoors that receives strong sunlight. Rotate the pumpkin during the day to expose all sides to the strongest sunlight. Sometimes, if the pumpkin is past a certain point in its development, it will eventually turn orange (within a few weeks).

pumpkin seeds

I planted some pumpkin seeds from an organic pumpkin that I bought at a co-op.
The seeds were about 5 years old or older when I planted them. I planted the seeds in a big container. The pumpkins that appeared were about 1 inch in size and fell off the vine. What did I do wrong?

pumpkin woes

That is great that you got pumpkins from seeds 5 years or older; seed viability for pumpkins is said to be about 4 or 5 years. However, it appears that the pumpkin fruit aborting when small might be a pollination or growing condition issue. Sometimes developing fruit can abort if the plant is stressed or injured, especially high temperature (high 80s or 90s F in day, 70s at night). Drought or flood can also cause this symptom, as well as insect or disease damage. Check to make sure the soil pH is optimum. You might also try hand pollinating to help proper pollination.


i started growing this orange flower..... thought that was all i was growing.... then the vine started to grow everywhere.... now, months later i actually have something about 9 pumpkin looking fruits on the vine..... but they're about the size of a childs head.... sorry for not having a better example.... maybe 5 to 6 inches wide..... some of the earlier ones are turning an orangish color, but not the deep orange that one would expect from a pumpkin.... very excited that i actually grew something but don't know what to do.... i live in Austin, TX and it's getting close to halloween. Which means that wether will be unpredictable at best.... i want to finish what i accidentally started but i don't know where to go from here... help please....

To pick or not to pick

I have 3 pumpkins that are still partially green and on the vines. Since the days have gotten shorter the garden isn't getting as much sun. I was wondering to get them to turn orange would it be better to leave them on the vines, which are still green and living, or to pick them and leave them on my back deck which gets more sun and warmth?

turning orange...

If your pumpkins are still on the vine, leave them there. Cut away any leaves tha might block sunlight. If a frost threatens, cover the fruit and the vine. Keep the fruit and vine covered, if cold is predicted to continue.
If you feel that the season is truly finished (and this time will vary from place to place), harvest the pumpkin from the garden. Wash off the dirt. Put the pumpkin on a  sunny deck or patio, with the green side facing the sun. If cold threatens, be sure to bring the pumpkin indoors. If you prefer, bring the pumpkin inside, and place in similar conditions. Make sure the pumpkin has good air circulation. Rotate the pumpkin every day or so. Neither of these methods are fool-proof/guaranteed. No matter what color  it is, your pumpkin will make a great jack o’lantern and you can be proud of having grown it yourself.

flowers and no pumpkins

I don't have any pumpkins on my plants…just flowers. And it's Sept. 28. When should you see the actual pumpkins begin to grow? Thank you!

no pumpkins yet

Hi, Jill, You do not indicate where you are located but, almost no matter: you probably will not see any pumpkins this year. It’s just too late in season—not enough sunlight/day length and heat, primarily. Without more information it would be difficult to explain what happened/why; our best guess would be that you started the seeds or seedlings too late in the season OR the weather did not cooperate, bringing too much or too little heat, or too much or too little water. Soil may be a factor… just too many possibilities at this time.

DO NOT GIVE UP! Think about these “maybe’s” and plan to try again next season. It will be here before you know it!

All flowers and no fruit means no pollination

Your flowers aren't being pollinated. I found this out, myself, with my first pumpkin plant. I had a vine full of beautiful flowers but only had 3 pumpkins grow. I read up and asked nurseries and found out the flowers on the other side of my house were attracting the bees and birds there, keeping them away from helping to pollinate the flowers.

The flowers are male and female and the pollen needs to spread between them. You can do this with a q-tip or using the male stem. Look on You Tube for this video: "Hand Pollinating Pumpkins!" by Home Farm Ideas. He shows you how to do it.


I need large number of pumpkins. In a few days from now am going to plant a pumpkins . Which is going to be on three hectares. I was looking for help. Am in Africa Uganda , we have enough Bees, sun and rain. we dont have frost , how to space plants? I am new in the game. I don' t like big pumpkin. Which is the best variety for my garden? I Like The Forum. THANK YOU FOR YOUR HELP.

I have a few questions.

I have a few questions. Something walked through my pumpkin patch and step on a quite a few stems, but no main vines are damaged, will my plants and pumpkins die? Also I have quite a few plants that are yellow and some leaves dead but still have pumpkins on them, will they mature or will they die? It is supposed to get down to 36 degrees farenheit tonight, will my pumpkins die? Some pumpkins are turning Orange but some are still green. I'm getting really worried.

Something wicked this way came ... into the pumpkin patch

If the stems are not crushed, torn, or separated from the pumpkins they should be ok. The leaves turn yellow for several reasons, including age (they are nearing maturity), nutrient deficiency (nitrogen, in particular; were they fed satisfactorily this season), water stress, infestation (it happens), or disease. You can try to remedy accordingly; however, if there is stem damage, the “fix” may have difficulty getting to the fruit. We can not know for certain if the pumpkins will mature; only Mother Nature knows. With temps near freezing, it would be wise to protect the plants with cover—layers of newspaper, frost blankets, whatever will keep the cold and possible dampness off. (Sorry we onl got to this on Sept 14; hope your plants are ok.) As you probably know, pumpkins thrive in warm conditions and they have a relatively long maturity period. So take heart in the fact that you brought them along this far. And if they do not all mature, start thinking about how you will grow them next year—what varieties, when/how to start them, etc. You did well! A lot of people would be envious (we are! do try to find out what wicked thing went your way so you can avoid that next year, too!).

Pie pumpkins

Can you take the pumpkin off the vine when the pumpkin is still green? Will it ripen on its own off the vine?

Picked Pumpkins

We had a large pumpkin patch this year with many varieties of pumpkins and gourds- Most of our pumpkins were ready to be picked (which we did the week before Labor Day)- We have them sitting out in the sun and a few of them (the gourds) have some type of milky liquid coming out of the stem and/or from a split in the side. What's causing this to happen? the pumpkins seem ok it's just the large gourds?

split gourds

Be very careful with the stems when you harvest gourds (or pumpkins), as they can damage easily. A strong connection is important, so as to avoid tears and splits that can invite disease and pests. If your gourds are showing splitting and leaking, it could be due to a few things, including the onset of rot. Separate those that are leaking from those that aren’t, just in case it is a disease. In some cases, small splits may heal during curing. Make sure that the gourds have plenty of air circulation.

You might also want to make sure that the gourds aren’t getting too hot, which can also cause cracking. Place the gourds in partial shade, to see if that helps to prevent further splits.

fertilizer shedule for pumpkin

hello sir
am mohammad thamjid working as engineer in green technology I don't have enough of information regarding fertilization of pumpkin...I want total fertilizer schedule for different growth stages of pumpkin crop

Mini Pumpkins

A couple questions about pumpkins: I found a "volunteer" pumpkin plant in my front yard sometime in early July. I decided to let it grow, and it's now HUGE. It has about a dozen little pumpkins growing on it, and I suspect that they are minis, because they are turning yellow and orange, even though none are bigger than about 4 inches across. Do mini pumpkin plants have big leaves like the regular pumpkins? I wasn't expecting minis when I saw the plant. Also, should I pick them when they are orange, or can I leave them for awhile? I don't want to let them rot, but it's only late August.

growing pumpkins

Congrats on your giant pumpkin!  What usually happens is that a pumpkin plant has multiple vines and you may have as many as 7 or 8 pumpkins growing. Normally, if people want a giant pumpkin, they choose the best pumpkin and remove most of the rest so the plant puts all its energy into the one pumpkin. You can still do this if you wish. Maybe cull it down to 2 or 3. Up to you! Pumpkins on the main vine or secondary (next biggest) vine usually have the most promise in terms of pure size.

I need a constant email

I need a constant email


Good evening! We have some BIG pumpkins growing and I just noticed that a few are splitting at the base... what causes this? We have had very warm temperatures but the garden is well watered. Bugs? Help?! Thank you for your time and assistance !! Have a wonderful evening!

splitting pumpkins

Giant pumpkins may split during the period of rapid growth, usually around July and August. Depending on the position of the fruit in relation to the stem and vine, it can cause splitting. Time your fertilizer and watering at a consistent, moderate pace throughout the growing season. It also helps to avoid splitting by protecting the growing fruit with shade cloth (but not the plant, which needs the full sun); shading helps to keep the skin of the fruit more flexible. Carefully support the vine as it meets the stem; some gardeners detach the secondary roots along the vine for about the length of 3 leaves, so that the vine can lift as the pumpkin grows in height. If small splits start, reduce watering and fertilizing, and apply a fungicide. Deeper cracks may invite rot.

My Pumpkins are already orange

Is it normal for pumpkins to be orange already? It's only August.
I'm concerned that they turned orange too soon, or is this normal?

It's my first time growing pumpkins.

Ripe Pumpkins

It is not all that unusual for pumpkins to start ripening in late August or early September. Weather can be an influence. Leave them on the vine for as long as possible, and plan to cure them before storing.


My pumpkins are orange and its only august, do I leave on the vines till october or do they have to be picked now?

early harvest

It is sometimes difficult to time the planting pumpkins so that they mature right around October; it can be a juggling act of variety (which can affect days to maturity), environmental conditions, and other factors. See above article for signs of when to harvest pumpkins (such as even coloring, skin has lost its initial shine, tendrils nearest the fruit are withered). If it appears that your pumpkins are fully ripe, it might be best to harvest them now, as keeping them in the pumpkin patch may encourage disease, insects, and animals. Follow the storage guidelines in the above article. Before curing, it may help discourage bacteria if you wash the pumpkin with a solution of 1 part bleach to 9 parts water, and remove dirt etc. Once cured, store in a cool, dry, dark place, with good air circulation. Temperature should be about 50 to 55F, and relative humidity about 50 to 75 percent. Do no store with apples. Under proper conditions, the pumpkins may last 2 to 3 months.


When will I start to see pumpkins ? My grandson planted them in the middle of June. We have blossums on some plants, but not seeing anything.

I have two pumpkin plants

I have two pumpkin plants that are having trouble. The both grew long vines (maybe 20 feet) and seemed healthy at the beginning of the summer. Sometime last month though, the parts of the plants closest to the root started wilting and turning yellow. Now those leaves are dying. Further out on the vines the plants seem healthy enough. My baby pumpkins are not maturing either. They get to be about an inch in diameter and then turn yellow and die before the flower blooms. I have had three survive to see the flower bloom, and those are growing just fine. I have seen a couple spotted cucumber beetles, but there doesn't seem to be any damage to my leaves. Any idea what's wrong or how I could help them along?

same problem

I am having the same problem with 1 inch few day old pumpkins starting out yellow and dying. They start as normal from a seemingly healthy plant but the stem turns yellow as does the pumpkin which then shrivels up and dies.

poor fruiting

Sometimes pumpkins can abort when just forming due to poor pollination. They may also be affected by too much moisture over a long time (causing wilting and fruit to drop), too little water (drought), or by high temperatures (above 70F at night or 90F in day). If temperatures in your area are in the 90s, shade the pumpkin fruit during the day, for several days after a flower is pollinated. Make sure the plants have plenty of nutrients to support fruit development (but not too much nitrogen, which may deter fruiting), as well as sunlight. Insect damage to fruit, or the vine in general, can also cause fruit to abort–check for squash bugs, cucumber beetles, tarnished plant bugs, squash vine borer, etc.

My thumb is too green!

I've never been into gardening. I decided to try pumpkins this year. I had about a 99% success rate with my seeds.

I got very confused on the hills concept. I didn't spread my seeds out. They are pretty close to each other on each hill. I was able to transplant some of them.....but I am afraid to continue.

What will happen if I let them grow as is? I have 6-8 plants growing in the same spot. Also, I planted these in my front garden, side of the house, and along one side of the fence each hill is 4-8 foor apart. Lots of sunlight. Also, I have kept them watered. I did not water them yesterday, and all of the plants that were exposed to the sun looked wilted. I watered really well....made sure there was standing water in the trench surrounding the hill.....and they perked right up.

Can i keep them all? Or do I have to thin them?

thinning pumpkin seedlings

It would be best to thin them to 2 to 3 plants per hill. Select the most vigorous looking to keep, once they get a few inches tall. Snip off the ones you don’t want at the base (do not pull them out, or it may disturb the roots of the others you want to keep). Thinning down to just a few plants reduces competition for water and nutrients (pumpkins are thirsty and hungry plants), gives each plant more room to grow (they love to sprawl!), and allows more air circulation (very important for combating powdery mildew, a troublemaker for pumpkins). It sounds like you have a great pumpkin patch coming along! Good luck!

Vines, flowers and leafs dead on one side

I started noticing powered mildew, so I have been treating it best I can, but the other day I came out and half the pumpkin patch had died, like over night. The Vines had turned yellow and brown and we're dying, all the flowers have died off along with half the leaves. Can can I do, to save the plants, also I was recommended to cut off the dead Vines, and all the dead leaves but at a loss here. HELP!!!!

powdery mildew

If you are sure that your plant has powdery mildew, cut the diseased vines and leaves to try to avoid its spread. Be sure to clean your pruners with a diluted bleach solution (about 1 part bleach to 9 parts water) before each cut, so as not to spread the disease. Toss the affected vines in the trash – do not compost or bury in the soil, as the disease will linger. Powdery mildew can spread through the air; it thrives in warm temperatures and humid conditions (such as from dew or rain), especially if there is poor air circulation. Avoid overhead watering – water at the base of the plant instead so as not to wet the leaves, and water in the morning, so that the sun can dry surfaces before nightfall.

Spray the top and undersides of remaining healthy leaves, as well as the vines and stems, with fungicide registered for edible plants/pumpkins. For more information, see:


If you have pumpkins on the vine that are close to mature size, leave them on the apparently healthy vine as long as possible, without encouraging rot, to help them to ripen as much as they can. When powdery mildew infects a vine, sometimes the yield, taste, and quality of the pumpkins will be affected (such as reduced size, and sunburn), especially if they can not reach full maturity. If you must harvest a developing pumpkin, such as from a diseased vine, then you can try to ripen it by washing it, drying thoroughly, and setting it out on a sunny patio or similar dry spot in the sunshine (take in at night). Or, you can choose a spot indoors that receives strong sunlight. Rotate the pumpkin during the day to expose all sides to the strongest sunlight. Sometimes, if the pumpkin is past a certain point in its development, it will eventually turn orange (within a few weeks).


giant pumkins

I have 2 pumpkin plants when pumpkins have been getting between 5 to 20 lbs they quite growing now have one that got to about 80 lbs and it stopped . Plants look healthy and have been fertilizing. watering and all the things that your to do trying to grow giant pumpkins. what is wrong, live in eastern Nebraska

giant pumpkin tips

Check out the tips below from Julie Chandler, a certified giant pumpkin grower.

hail damage

Hi. Great article. A neighbour gave my son and I some sort of giant pumpkin variety in early to mid june. I transferred it from a small pot it came from a nursary in, into the largest pot I could find - about 2.5ft tall and at the widest diameter as well. Week one : did nothing. Week two: began to look very healthy. Week three : few new, smallish leaves and the beginnings of runners. Week four: went nuts, some leaves nearly 2ft across, flowers starting all over plant. Next week: runners hit ground and spread around pot 6ft more. Different flowers starting.
A week and a half ago.....we had a very local, very destructive (think large dents in trucks) hailstorm. Our pumpkin looked like it had been thru a bailer (baler?)
I decided to wait and see if it would recover. Now, it has one new leaf, and a few of both sexes of flower. My question is if I should be pruning off the dead, dying, and or damaged leaves, vines, or flowers?
I'm not expecting a prize pumpkin any more, but it would be nice to have one to carve this year.
I live near edmonton, alberta. I've had the pot on a cement pad where a garage used to be in my back yard.

Thanks in advance

Yes, you should remove any

Yes, you should remove any damaged leaves and/or flowers. Good luck with your pumpkins!

Cure time

than you very much for the article I learned a lot ..I have a question about the cure. You mentioned that it is necessary to leave the pumpkins to receive sun. do I leave the pumpkins overnight or bring them inside when it gets dark? Thank you

curing pumpkins

You can leave the pumpkins outside all day and night. Good luck with your harvest!

will they keep growing?

Do pumpkins continue to grow after they change to orange? the ones i planted are supposed to be a med-large jack-o-lantern variety and they are about 2/3 of the way to being 100% orange and they're only roughly the size of a football... and is it too late to try again for bigger ones? I live in central CA and it stays pretty warm well into the fall season..

pumpkins turning orange

Yes, the pumpkin will continue to turn color after harvested as long as it has already started to turn color. (If green, they will not fully turn color off the vine.) In fact, many people harvest early to avoid pests and rot. You normally need 90 to 120 days to grow a pumpkin so that’s not a lot of time!

No, it has already turned

No, it has already turned orange and it is much smaller than i believe it should be. Will it continue to get larger even after it has completed its color change was my question...

harvesting pumpkins

It depends. If the plant is healthy, yes, the pumpkin may keep growing. If the stems are withering, no, it’s done.  The best way to really determine when a pumpkin is “done” is to know when it is ripe. The skin should grow hard so that you can’t puncture it with a fingernail. Tap it and it should sound hollow.

Pumpkin color

Field pumpkins continue to turn orange off the vine. One tip as a certified giant pumpkin grower, you should provide a shelter above the fruit to shield it from UVB rays which leads to sun scald. Temps hovering around the 90's are hard on any pumpkin plant. Also, provide even watering either along the vines by hand or drip method and avoid the stump area. You can also set up an irrigation drip system attached to your water source at your home. In the beginning, many gardeners believe synthetic fertilizers are best, but try to adopt an organic way using either products from Hollands or Advanced Nutrients. If interested, you can look at my grower diary (biddygoat). Thanks to The Old Farmer's Almanac, I only grow according to their suggested moon favorable dates. My veggies and flowers are county fair winners!! I wish everyone the best growing season!

Pumpkins in August

I'm looking for Pumpkins at the end of August and many places in California don't have them until mid-September or October. I've called over 12 farms and pumpkin patches and grocery stores in addition and they all mentioned the same thing. Where can I find pumpkins in August. Are they easier to grow in northern states where temperature is cooler?
Any recommendations as to where to purchase them would be very helpful. Thank you!

pumpkin harvest times

Hmm. Pumpkins do not like cold weather, and it takes between about 90 to 125 days to grow them. So, you want to avoid planting too early, unless you start them indoors, and also avoid planting too late, where they can be nipped by fall frost. Since they require a long season, having them available in August would mean planting minis around mid-May or others around mid-April, which would usually suggest starting them indoors. It is possible, but likely farmers time it so that their crop will ripen around autumn for fall decorations and for Halloween festivities. If you grew your own, you could certainly time it for August, but it may be hard to find them available commercially in that month. Look south, in warmer areas with longer growing seasons – perhaps try smaller farms that might specialize. Good luck!

Would that the word, "hills" had never been used.

"Hills" drain. As you put it, a pitcher's mound is a better example. I cannot convince anyone in the family that it is not logical to plant anything on a raised "hill" because all the water drains off. You can see it draining off immediately. Blasted "hill" instruction.

Growing pumpkins by accident!

Last winter, we threw an old pumpkin away in a raised garden area we weren't using. We had recently moved in and hadn't gotten that far! We now have so many vines with pumpkins forming I don't know what to do! They are EVERYWHERE, in the raised garden and all over the adjoining lawn area. They will obviously grow too soon, or IS THERE A TOO SOON?


Well done job. This pumpkin page was really educative and interesting! Thanks!

I learned alot from this

I learned alot from this page.


Hi, I just want to know if pumpkins can handle light frosts when grown but not exactly ready to pick. I am in Australia in the mountain and we are now in Autumn and frost nearly there can those few pumpkin I have can go through a few frost without been damaged? thanks.

No, it will kill the plant.

No, it will kill the plant. Definitely want to cover them if you are expecting frost. Early frost last year killed my pumpkins. You could still harvest even if immature if frost gets them, but they won't turn orange and continue to grow after a frost.

Fathers farm

I recently acquired my father's dairy farm along with my two siblings. My question is what can I do with it? About 80 acres of good tillable land. Barn in good shape & a couple of other buildings. I do not believe I would want to do dairy. It is too harsh of a climate and very labor intense. I'm looking to supplement my current income and it has a house on the property. Any suggestion would be greatly appreciated.


what to do?

Rent it.

From what we understand there are lots of young, aspiring people—men and women—who would like to farm. Or sell if off in smaller parcels, keeping something for yourselves, if you so desire.

That’s a simple answer to a complicated question. You should contact local farmer’s markets, coop ext (typically in university settings), agricultural schools even outside your area (which you have not defined) and talk to them. Talk to anybody and everybody you can.

This is not really our area of expertise, but we do know that the core mention above is true: Young people—and, hey, maybe some “old” people, too—are looking for affordable land to work.

And take some “payment” in produce! Don’t make it just about the money.


Farming/ pumpkin & other quick crops

The ten easy crop to have in your gardens

pumpkins in the flower bed

I buried my pumpkins in the ground and now have two good, strong plants. It is is March 2 but not cold at all. (So California). My question is will the pumpkins take too many nutrients from the soil and bother the plants around them? I have freesia, hydrangea, and gardenia. They are watered once a week, twice a week in summer.

pumpkin companions

Hi, Louise, We’ll presume that you mean you buried your pumpkin seeds in the ground. And we’re guessing that you want your garden to be a mix of the ornamental and edible, so popular today. There are considerations beyond nutrients; pumpkins tend to send out extensive vines and these might almost literally walk over other plants. For that reason, too, pumpkins usually need a good amount of space. You don’t indicate what variety/type/size of pumpkins you’re growing, so rather than answer simply yes or no, we suggest you cconsider the advice from these California sources:

http://ucanr.edu/datastoreFiles/268-489.pdf, this is by a master gardener; don’t be put off by te Halloween theme—lots of good info here

• Here’s a good deal of info re nutrients, etc. Note that this refers to industrial/large farm (not home garden) growing but much of the basics apply to your situation, too: http://sfp.ucdavis.edu/pubs/brochures/Pumpkins/

After reading these pages consider that if your pumpkins are seedling size, you might be able to transplant them—to give them the proper soil requirements, space, and water. You could consider a large container or simply another area of your property.

Or, leave the pumpkins where they are and see what happens. Growing any plant is an experiment in nature.

All the best!


this is a really nice site you have here. but please please please please please please please please please please please please please could you specify WHERE your dates and times refer to!
i live in Australia which is in the SOUTHERN hemisphere of planet earth. after all, i'm sure you know that your website reaches not only the northern hemisphere. also planet earth as a whole has BOTH a northern and southern hemisphere.
i have to say that i find it extrodinarily frustrating to have to technically vet websites to find out where the content originates. your almanac website is by far not the only website with this kind of oversight so you might imagine .......
thanks in advance

Roland, The Almanac Web site

Roland, Thank you for your kind words. The Almanac Web site is a free companion to our publications which are only published in the U.S. and Canada. For better or worse, we are only experts in North American gardening. Though it’s true that a Web site reaches many more people, and we leave it open and free for all, all of our planting dates, astronomical timetables, weather forecasts, and other tools are geared to our readership. That said, you’ll still find a lot of content that is useful across this Web site, regardless of region. With all good wishes, the OFA editors

container pumpkins?

I'm so glad I found your site. I'm learning a lot!

So, I planted some seeds that had already germinated inside my jack o'lantern October 2015. The only thing I had available was an 8" container (I have a balcony, no yard). I thought it would be fun to see if they grew. Two survived! They've already produced buds and one has blossomed. From what I've read, they look like males. Is it safe to transplant them into a larger container?

Here are other factors:
1) I live in Southern California near the ocean.
2) My balcony gets about 6 hours direct sunlight, southern exposure.
3) Currently temps range from 45 low-70℉ high.
4) I moved my plants next to a container of flowers that recently started attracting bees.

Your advice on transplanting them and anything else (like covering at night or fruit production) will be so appreciated! Thank you!

Yes, you can transplant the

Yes, you can transplant the pumpkins to a bigger pot. Make sure to add some compost or aged manure to the fresh potting soil. Keep the soil moist and be on the lookout for the female flowers. If you have bees and other pollinators coming to the flowers you should be all set. Just be aware that the pumpkin vines will grow long and you may have to set up a trellis or some other support system for the pumpkins when they get bigger.

Cmmercial pumpkin production

Thx a lot. Am inspired by your info. In uganda we have a green-white spotted pumpkin. If u know a monitor lizard color! They are in different shapes from oval to round. But round-hard shell is preffered. Now i want to produce them commercially but a bit worried about the market. I may produce like 150,000 pieces. Pse advise me. Am a retired civil servant. I also enjoy pumpkins a lot.

Moving, but I love my plant!

I accidentally planted a pumpkin back at Halloween.I now have vines and flowers(central FL) I am moving in April and I cannot imagine leaving my plant babies behind.Can I trim the plant down ,replant and keep it alive?If so,what is the minimum amount of pruning I can do to a pumpkin? Thanks and Merry Christmas all!

pumpkin transplanting

Pumpkins take about 3 to 4 months to mature (5 months for giant pumpkins), depending on the type, so yours is probably almost halfway through its cycle and, if all conditions were good, it would mature around end of February. In central Florida, though, it looks like your first frost is around late December into January. Pumpkins can withstand some frost, but not repeatedly. For light frosts, you can cover the plant with sheets or blankets overnight. Unfortunately, pumpkins do not like their roots disturbed and usually don’t transplant well. It is especially hard on them at later stages, when they are flowering etc. It doesn’t look like you have too many options: you can try to keep the pumpkin in the ground until it matures, giving it frost/cold protection when needed. Or, you can try to dig it up–including as many roots as you can and as much soil as you can, limiting the amount of pruning (which can stress it), and transplanting it to a container inside over winter. It likely will not survive until April, however, since the plants usually don’t live that long. Good luck!


Pumpkins are NOT vegetables they are fruit

How to plant pumpkin,water Mellon, okra and where to thier seedl

i will like you to educate me on how to plant the above mention vegetables, the suitable soil and where can i get their seedling for planting in Nigeria, especially lagos state.

I am new into agribusiness, so i need your advice please.

I will appreciate hearing from you immediately.

Thanka and my best regards.

Ogunlewe O.A

This is my first year doing

This is my first year doing pumpkins and I can't really complain. My only real question is do I pull the vines at the end of the year? I'm asking because I've gotten mixed answers previously. And I didn't see anything about that in the article that I read on this page. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Pull at Will

Hi, Mike: Thanks for the great question and special thanks for setting a good example by reading the page first. We pull them up, as they serve no real purpose. Of course, if they decomposed quickly, that would be another (organic) matter. But you can pull them up and put them whole into your brush pile, or chop them up and put them into your compost pile. In the latter instance, make sure that they aren’t diseased or unhealthy-looking, in which case you would want to burn them, not compost them. Thanks again!

Green Pumpkin

I have a pumpkin that I plant from store buy pumpkin last year. I have one pumpkin and it is still vary green and it get cold here will it ripen or not?

Green Pumpkins

Leave the pumpkins on the vine as long as possible. Remove any large leaves that shade the pumpkins. Once there is a killing frost, however, the pumpkin will not ripen on the vine any further. If you have to pick pumpkins when they are still green, wash and wipe them with a mild bleach solution to prevent any mold. Place them in a sunny spot on a patio or deck or bring them indoors. If you store them indoors put them in a bright room with big windows. You can try the grow light but keep it high enough so it doesn’t heat the pumpkins.

Plant but no flowers

Ive been growing my white pumpkin plant for about a month and half. i have a decent size vine but still no flowers. whats up?

no flowers on pumpkin

Karra, you do not say where you are, but in many parts of the country, pumpkin season is finished. Pumpkins typically have a long maturity period spanning the heart of the summer season—including and especially the days with the longest periods of sunlight. Your plant may be growing but it is probably not getting enough sunlight, even if it gets sunlight all day. Remember, it’s October and the days are shorter now than they are in May, June (especially June), and July. It’s also possible that your plant is getting excess nitrogen, which promotes leaf growth over fruit, but it is more likely that it’s the lack of sun.

Next year, start your plant indoors some 4 to 6 weeks before your area’s last average frost date. When all danger of frost has passed, transplant it outside so it can enjoy the long, hot, sunny days it needs to thrive and produce flowers and fruit.


I just went out to harvest my pumpkins, the largest has a hole in the bottom. Would it be safe to bring it in real quick and cook it?

Hi! I live in new Hampshire,

Hi! I live in new Hampshire, and my pumpkins did not really take off until later summer. I do have quite a few large green pumpkins, but I am unsure if I should pick them now and try to orange them up on my deck, or let them keep going until threat of frost. The vines are mostly still healthy. Thanks!

You can leave them on the

You can leave them on the vine until a frost threatens.

I live in Filer, ID and i

I live in Filer, ID and i just moved into a house that had a pumpkin patch in the front, i get sun in the area only during the evening hours from 2 till sundown i have 6 pumpkins this year but only 1 is big the others are small how can i tell the difference between male and female blooms?its september 10th and only 3 are turning orange-yellow, is this normal? i trimmed the vines back a little but i wonder if i went overboard, most of the time they were growing there were weeds choking them are they salvageable or should i just cut my losses and harvest the yellow ones and wait till next year to grow pumpkins? i need help! unsure what to do.... also this is my first time tending to pumpkins.

You will see a bulb at the

You will see a bulb at the base of the flower that looks like a tiny watermelon on the female.

Female blossoms have a

Female blossoms have a swollen area at the base that will turn into a pumpkin if pollinated. Cutting back your vines may have inspired a second set of fruit which could explain why some are smaller and late to ripen or weed competition could have hindered their growth. Since the average first frost date for the Twin Falls area is Oct 1-10, you have plenty of time for your pumpkins to color up some more. They can change from yellow to orange quite quickly at the end of the season. Be patient and pick them if frost threatens, otherwise leave them until the vines die back. Next year consider moving your pumkin patch to a sunnier location.

I live in Iowa and my

I live in Iowa and my pumpkins are ORANGE already. Should I pick them off the vines? Also will they last until Halloween? The vines are dying. This just seems way to early.
Thanks NAN

If the vines are dying it is

If the vines are dying it is time to pick your pumpkins. Handle them gently and follow the directions in this article about curing and storing and they should last well past Halloween.

Hello, This is my first year

This is my first year growing pumpkins and have lost 2 pumpkins so far out of 4. The first one was about the size of a soft ball and slowly turned yellow and broke off. The second one was almost the size of a basketball and did the same thing. It slowly turned yellow and fell off and now all mushy. I have to other pumpkins that are dark green right now and almost the size of a basketball and I don't want to lose the same way I lost the others. What is the reason for them to turn yellow and break off? Is there a way to stop that? Also the pumpkins patch is directly on soil. For next year can I lay down mulch and grow my patch on a mulch bed?

thank you

Yellowing followed by death

Yellowing followed by death of the fruit MAY be caused by insect attack. cut open the fruitlet and you are likely to discover some worms inside. If this is the case, then know that the cause may be attack by fruit fly. To control : spray with an insecticide for fruit flies as per directions. Good luck!

hi,is it to late for me to

hi,is it to late for me to grow pumpkins in florida?

Is there a certain time to

Is there a certain time to stop watering? Worried about overwatering

Pumpkins are very thirsty

  • 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. Dampness can cause rot. When the vines start drying up and turning brown you can cut back on the water.

HELP!!!! The grasshoppers are

HELP!!!! The grasshoppers are not only eating the plant leaves but also my pumpkins..... I don't use any chemicals is there anything I can do with home products ... Or do I take them off the vines in late aug and hope they are still goodin October ? Very sad a d disappointed as I was growing them for my grandchildren

I disconnected a vine from

I disconnected a vine from the main and discovered a green pumpkin. Will it get orange without being connected or should I toss it?

A green pumpkin that is off

A green pumpkin that is off the vine can sometimes be encouraged to ripen. If you can, keep several inches of stem on the pumpkin. Clean the pumpkin and then place it in a warm, dry, sunny area with good ventilation, such as a patio (bring it in at night) or windowsill. Keep rotating the pumpkin every day so that all sides receive sunlight. Check for signs of rotting. In a few weeks, the pumpkin may turn orange. If not, it still can make a nice jack-o-lantern.

You might try handpicking,

You might try handpicking, and then placing fine-mesh metal screening over your plants (such as window screening). Grasshoppers may eat through cloth, plastic screening, and row covers, so be sure to use metal. Sometimes it also helps to grow a trap crop of tall grass around the border of your garden--some grasshoppers may prefer that to your pumpkins. Hope this helps!

Hi, Melissa: Yay! Good for

Hi, Melissa: Yay! Good for you! Don't do anything -- wait until fall, and when your pumpkins turn a deep, rich orange, cut them from the vine. Have fun!

This is my first growing

This is my first growing pumpkins and they are growing out of control and I am not sure what to do I have pumpkins on some of the vines

This is my first year growing

This is my first year growing pumpkins and I have a lot of male flowers that have bloomed but the female flowers keep falling off before they open so they can't get pollinated. What is the problem and what should I do?

Many factors could be at work

Many factors could be at work here. High temperatures - nights above 65 degrees and days in the nineties - will cause  blossoming issues.
Cut open a flower and look for black streaks. They are a sign of something called stigma death which means no pumpkins.
Soil moisture needs to be consistent - not too wet or too dry so mulch is important.
A pH imbalance can throw things off so test the soil.
An assault from insects can cause blossoms to fall off prematurely also.

Our first flowers were all

Our first flowers were all girls, at the beginning of July, then two weeks later the boys came and since the first appearance of the girls, no more girls period. Here it is August 8th and STILL no more girls. What gives? What could have happened? We grew 15 plants.


Stress (including heat waves)

Stress (including heat waves) may affect plant flowering and fruit set. Too much nitrogen can delay flowering. You might try adding a high-phosphorus fertilizer to increase bloom production. Some experts say that if plants are spaced too closely together, the competition between plants can reduce the number of female flowers. If this sounds like a possibility, try spacing your plants out a little further next growing season.

Hello, im a first year

Hello, im a first year grower and my plant and pumpkin went great til a few days ago i noticed that it stopped growing as fast and now i realized that the Stem on the pumpkin has kracked and teared itself almost from the vine, it has still like a 1/3 of the stem onto the vine, should i give up or will it still grow?

Since your pumpkin gets all

Since your pumpkin gets all its nutrients through that stem, it could mean this is as large as it is going to get. Growers of giant pumpkins are very careful to support their pumpkins as they grow to reduce the amount of stress on the stem. That said, even pumpkins with split stems can still continue to grow if the stem is still attached to the fruit. I'd adopt a wait and see approach. If after another week it hasn't grown any larger then you'll know it has reached its peak size.

I live in Georgia, first time

I live in Georgia, first time planting pumpkins. It is late July and my pumpkins are orange and the vines about dead. One already is off its vine. Will they keep until October? If I need to keep them cool my best bet is in my
House where it's about 72. Also we are thinking about planting more since they say they can be planted in July. Your thoughts?

You might be able to plant

You might be able to plant more pumpkins--it will depend on your area, your first expected fall frost, and the type of pumpkin you plant (days to maturity). You'll want to harvest before a hard frost--a light frost might damage the vines, but not the pumpkin. For a few frost dates in Georgia, see:
Or, contact your county's Cooperative Extension:
Choose a variety that has a short growing season.
As for storing your pumpkin -- it might just make it to Halloween, depending on the variety and how well it has been stored. (See above article.) Leave plenty of stem on the pumpkin (3 to 4 inches), if you can, and avoid any damage (bruises or cuts) to the rind. Be sure to cure it for about a week, then store in a cool (50-55 F) and dry area so that it is not touching any other pumpkin or fruit/vegetable and is not in the vicinity of ripening apples etc. Make sure there is plenty of air circulation. Pumpkins may store for 2 to 3 months.

Ginny I also am a first time

Ginny I also am a first time grower am on the east coast of Ireland and this summer has been pretty cool I wish I was at the stage you are at but I have just got my first flower it is going to be a challenge wish me luck as I do for yours

This was a great thread to

This was a great thread to read for a new pumpkin gardener. The question and answer format was so helpful. Thank you.

Minimum soil temp of 70F,

Minimum soil temp of 70F, optimum 95F?
That's a joke right?

My grandson and I planted

My grandson and I planted pumpkin seeds from out last year's pumpkin.
It has grown really big with lots of flowers, but the flowers fall off and there is no evidence of fruit. What do I need to do to ensure he won't be disappointed by no pumpkins.

You may need to read up on

You may need to read up on pollinating them by hand especially if you don't have a lot of bees around. Also make sure you're not over or under watering!

I have been trying to grow

I have been trying to grow pumpkins for several years and only ever get male flowers. Lots and lots of male flowers. How do I get female flowers?

Almost all squash varieties

Almost all squash varieties have male flowers bloom before female, so it may be a matter of time. Try adding a high-phosphorus ferilizer to increase bloom production. Some pros say that is plants are too close the competition between plants can reduce the number of female flowers; sound like you? (Powdery mildew can be a sign of overcrowding and poor circulation.) Hope this helps!

1st year pumpkin planter. To

1st year pumpkin planter. To be safe, I planted four seeds in each hole in my pumpkin patch. Just my luck all four sprouted and are growing fine. My question is: If I don't thin out the plants, will they still produce pumpkins? I have 10 planting spots and would hate to kill 30 young plants.

Hi, Bob, It depends on what

Hi, Bob, It depends on what your plants' growth habit it.
If the plants are vining type, thin to the best 2 or 3 plants.
If the plant is semi-bush varieties, thin to 2 plants per hill.
If the plant is a bush variety, thin to a single plant.
If the plant is a miniature variety, thin to the single best plant.
To thin, snip or cut off the stem at ground level, with scissors or a blade or the like.
You can certainly try to transplant a few of the seedlings, instead of thinning them. In so doing, disturb the remaining plant/s as little as possible and give it a little TLC when you've finished.

I Need to know if it is

I Need to know if it is normal for pumpkins to start out colored like a Water-mellon. This is my first garden ever

Most pumpkins are green when

Most pumpkins are green when they start developing and growing. They turn orange when they are fully grown.

We are renting a house in

We are renting a house in Japan right now and there isn't a lot of room for growing pumpkins. I chose a smaller pumpkin and i plan to try and grow them up a trellis. I am waiting till after the rainy seasons ends to start growing ( mid july). Is there anything i can do to ensure the best possibly outcome. Im not looking for A lot of pumpkins just enough so my daughter can cut one off like we did before we moved here.

hi every one grow Pumpkin i

hi every one grow Pumpkin i look on post every day some nice info

i start grow last year 405lb
that on path now i strat growing in Poytunnel looks pumpkin very happy keep fingers cross hi grow nice


My daughter brought home a

My daughter brought home a pumpkin seed she planted in a planting pot (the kind that can be planted directly into the soil). It obviously hasn't sprouted yet as she just planted it. I live in Virginia where its pretty hot already. Do I need to start the seed indoors and then plant it in the soil once its a bit bigger, or can I just plant it directly into the soil now (Mid June) since we won't be worried about frost?

For Virginia, now is a

For Virginia, now is a perfect time to plant pumpkin seeds outdoors. Happy gardening!

May I know why did my pumpkin

May I know why did my pumpkin plant have white , dark green and translucent spot on leaves? How can I solve this problem?

It's hard to know without

It's hard to know without seeing the damage, and knowing what the size of the spots are. Whitish spots can mean anything from powdery mildew to damage from an insect that likes to suck the sap from the leaves, causing stippling (small spots over the surface of the leaves). Translucents spots might be heat damage or sunscald. Dark green mottled areas might suggest a virus. Bacterial leaf spot might also be a possibility.
For more information about pumpkin pests and diseases, check these sites; you might look through the photos of damage to see if any match what you see on your pumpkins. Good luck!
bacterial leaf spot:

How do I pinch off the ends

How do I pinch off the ends exactly? I have read about it but am still confused as to how to do it

You can pinch the stem

You can pinch the stem between your thumb and index finger (if the stem is not thick) until it breaks off, or you can use pruning shears (recommended for thicker vines). Select an area along the stem that is just above a leaf node, which is where the leaves (and leaf stems) form on the vine. So, once you make your cut, you should have a leaf node remaining at the end of the vine.
This video shows using shears:
This image shows the main, secondary, and tertiary branches on a pumpkin vine:

Hi,I live in Ky and my

Hi,I live in Ky and my pumpkins are already Blooming flowers and it only June is this normal or is it to soon.Im a little worried...

The male flowers come first

The male flowers come first and will fall off. About 10 or so days later, the female flowers will show up. Then, the bees will pollinate.

Are the male Pumpkin flowers

Are the male Pumpkin flowers just as edible as the female flowers, this is my first time planting pumpkins?

Hi James, Yes. In fact, we

Hi James, Yes. In fact, we only pick the male flowers. We leave the female flowers (which have a tiny pumpkin at the base) on the plant so it turns into a pumpkin.  The male flowers should be picked in the morning when they are in full bloom. Wash and prepare as you would a salad!

One of my large pumpkin

One of my large pumpkin plants vines broke due to high winds. It isn't broken all of the way through. I had the vine tied down with landscaping clips and have since reinforced it with more. Should I give up on the plant, or is there a chance that it will continue to grow? So upset right now because this plant was absolutely thriving and I was hoping to produce a prize winner from it. It was the largest plant by far in my garden this year. Any advice? Thanks

There is a chance that the

There is a chance that the vine will recover, as long as the break doesn't block all of the vessels in the plant that allow transport of water and plant nutrients, and as long diseases and pests don't set in.
If the vine runs along the ground, as soon as you can, dig a depression underneath the broken area, wide enough to cover the break, and as far along the stem until just after the next leaf node (where the leaves emerge from the stem). Gently place the broken vine into the depression, making sure the broken stem fits as closely as possible to the original alignment. Cover the stem with soil--make sure the entire break is covered as well as one leaf node where leaves are emerging. Do not press the soil down. Water the area periodically. Roots may eventually emerge at the leaf node.
Good luck!

I am attempting to grow

I am attempting to grow pumpkins for the first time and may have placed my seeds to close together. On one hill I have 4 plants growing in close proximity. (all within a 5'' by 5'' square.

Should I attempt to carefully dig up the plants and space them further apart?


Hi Steve, You did the right

Hi Steve, You did the right thing. We plant multiple seeds because they do not always germinate. Once they do, select 2 of the healthiest and thin out the rest. I  know it's hard but you have to "kill" the seedlings so that the others can grow.  Pumpkins do not like to be moved or cultivated once planted so we would not advise digging them up.

I broke up 2 pumpkins in yard

I broke up 2 pumpkins in yard yard last year after thanksgiving..they came up and I have pumpkins.. I have 7 now that are turning orange.. My question is why are my new baby pumpkins dying??

Last year I put my store

Last year I put my store bought pumpkin in the "garden" in front of the house and let it rot over winter. This year I have small plants coming up. Since it is a very small space I'll probably have to remove a few. How do I go about doing that and not hurting the one I leave? They are very close together. Would one of those circular trellises work with Pumpkins. With the one I tried to grow last year (need to self cultivate as the bees weren't doing their job and did it too late in the year)I had so much vine. Just wondering if it would hurt the vine to go up the trellis and then back down.


Hi, Steven: You most

Hi, Steven: You most certainly can grow pumpkins from latticework or a trellis. The challenge always remains to support the weight of the developing pumpkin if it starts to grow up in the air. If you can somehow identify which ones you don't want, you can just cut them off or pinch off blooms. We would just let everything grow and have some fun with it, seeing which blooms seem to be healthiest and then pinching off others to focus that plant's energy on the best fruit. Thanks for asking!

Its a rather dull but needed

Its a rather dull but needed question. How many seeds can I expect from a Lady Godiva pumpkin?

You'll get a pound of seed

You'll get a pound of seed from twenty pumpkins. 

Last year I planted three

Last year I planted three different varieties of pumpkin in Smart Pots, two being giant type and one being large type. None of them did well at all! They were all very small and rotted quickly. I've had excellent luck in the past with Connecticut Field pumpkins but I grew them in my raised bed garden. Our summer was also pretty mild last year.... My question is though, would planting pumpkins in pots effect their growth? should I stick with growing in beds?

For plants that typically

For plants that typically need a lot of space, such as melons and pumpkins, a dwarf variety should be selected.

The pumpkins I planted had

The pumpkins I planted had plenty of room to grow! I placed the pots in my back yard with adequate distance between them. I'll probably try again this year. Also, I noticed the main stem at the root of the plant ended up having a thick green film over it. I used miracle grow, would that cause this? Hadn't ever seen it before.

I want to get the seeds out

I want to get the seeds out of my pumpkins from this year to save to use to plant in the spring. I have not carved the pumpkins yet to get the seeds. Do you have any recommendations about how to get the seeds out and what to do with them over the winter so they will be ready to use to plant in the spring. Do I just take the seeds out and wash them and get all of the pumpkin meat off of them and all the strings off and put them in a bag and keep them in my basement until spring or what should I do so that I can use the seeds in May or June to plant? Any suggestions so that I will have good seeds to plant in the spring? Thanks for your help.

To save pumpkin seeds, wait

To save pumpkin seeds, wait until the pumpkin matures and then wait another 3 weeks before picking off the vine. Then carve a hole in the pumpkin, scoop out the seeds and attached stringy pulp. Separate the seeds from the pulp, wash the seeds to remove any remaining bits of pulp (some soak the seeds for 24 hours to help loosen the pulp before washing), and then let them air dry on paper towels or newspaper at room temperature for about a month. Then place them in an air-tight glass container, label and date, and store in a cool, dark, dry place for up to 3 years. For best viability, use within 1 year.
Note that open-pollinated varieties of pumpkins/squashes may cross-pollinate--plants need to be isolated from each other by at least a 1/2 mile. If you got your pumpkin from the store or home garden, it may have cross-pollinated, so the seeds may yield a plant/fruit that is different from the parent. The same is true for hybrid varieties of pumpkins: they may not yield the same pumpkin as the parent.

Thank you for your reply.

Thank you for your reply. Once I have washed the pumpkin seeds and removed all of the pulp and stringy parts of the pulp, and I have washed and then let the seeds dry on a paper towel for a month, you suggested that I place them in an air tight glass container..... must I use a glass container? Can I put them in a zip lock baggie or a ziplock plastic storage container? Also, is it ok to have a large number of seeds all stored in one container or do they need to be lying flat one seed in it's own space or can the seeds be bunched up in a baggie or air tight glass container? I am not sure I have an air-tight glass container, what type do you suggest I buy or find? Thanks again for your additional help! Leslie

Must I use a glass container?

Must I use a glass container? Can I put them in a zip lock baggie or a ziplock plastic storage container? Also, is it ok to have a large number of seeds all stored in one container or do they need to be lying flat one seed in it's own space or can the seeds be bunched up in a baggie or air tight glass container? I am not sure I have an air-tight glass container, what type do you suggest I buy or find? Thanks again for your additional help! Leslie

You can save dry seeds in

You can save dry seeds in bags, envelopes or jars. You don't need to store the seeds in a single layer.

thank you for this

thank you for this information on how to grow pumpkins,i scooped out the seeds from a supermarket pumpkin placed them on my kitchen window ledge with the meat of pumpkin still attached and they dried perfectly over a 2 month period, now looking forward to the warmer season in 2016 to plant my first ever batch :)

What would be the best

What would be the best variety of pumpkin to grow in plastic mold so that it takes the desired shape of the mold?

Good question, Vikas! It

Good question, Vikas! It seems that the person to ask might be the "Pumpkinstein" developer. You've heard of those: the pumpkins that were grown in face-shaped molds and came out looking like Frankenstein? The fellow who did that spent several years and $400,000 growing as many as 27 varieties of pumpkin before he found one that worked to his satisfaction. And he is not telling what that one is.
(Google "pumpkinstein" for more information on this.)
Thanks for your question!

i am here in Uganda and i am

i am here in Uganda and i am new pumpkin farmer who have started few months . and this is my first time but i have no experience but i want be one of best pumpkin farmer in the world , how can i get someone to help in this project? i have started with the 5 acle but i want to purify it and import abroad. but i dont have market . im looking for somebody to work with.

I'm glad you have success with pumpkins!

Hi! I'm glad you have success with growing pumpkins! I have many friends in Uganda - especially in and around Kampala, it turns out. I am not able to send them any funds as I'm not allowed. But I do give them advice now and then on things. And sometimes have sent seeds but cut down a lot on that as they often got stolen there.

Where do you live?
Debby, of Michigan, USA

I planted and grown some a

I planted and grown some a year ago and now I am raising and selling pumpkins for FFA it's my CDE project for the year.

I planted and grown some a

I planted and grown some a year ago and now I am raising and selling pumpkins for FFA it's my CDE project for the year.

I planted and grown some a

I planted and grown some a year ago and now I am raising and selling pumpkins for FFA it's my CDE project for the year.

I have been growing pumpkins

I have been growing pumpkins successfully for a few years now, mainly for the kids. I have a friend that asked me to grow her some next season. She is looking to get the most seeds possible out of the pumpkins to eat. I cant seem to find any varieties that specify seeds. Any suggestions? I live in North eastern ontario canada.

Although any pumpkin should

Although any pumpkin should work fine for eating the seeds (called pepitas), you might try a naked-seeded variety, which originated in Austria. Search for terms such as hull-less seed pumpkins, naked-seed pumpkins, oil-seed pumpkins, or Styrian pumpkins. These have a very thin hull around the seed, and are bred specifically for eating the seeds (which can be green or other colors). Some of these pumpkin varieties have an orange rind while others are striped with green. A few varieties might be good for cooking or carving as well, while others offer the sole benefit of tasty seeds. Varieties include: Lady Godiva, Kakai, and Triple Treat. Snack Jack and Baby Bear are semi hull-less.

I tried growing jack o

I tried growing jack o larnterns a few times with no luck. This is my best year. I'm down to 2 pumpkins After the flower falls off. The little hole is exposted. Should I plug it with a tooth pick or tape it to prevent bugs from going in.

Hi, Bryan, It sounds like

Hi, Bryan, It sounds like it's your male flowers that have dropped off. This is natural; these do not produce pumpkins. The male flowers come first and provide pollen for bees to polinate the female flowers. There is no swelling (future fruit) at the base of male flower stems. So just leave them alone; the are doing what nature intended. If/when the female flowers are pollinated, the flower/s will close and young fruit will begin to develop—and you will be able to see it.
However, if the female flower is not pollinated, it too will drop off and, of course, no fruit will be forthcoming. So that is also a possibility, sorry to say.
So, in short, don't plug anything or tape it. Just keep an eye on the plant and see what happens. (You do not say where you are, but almost everywhere it seems late in season for pumpkins to develop...)
Hope this helps!

Also you could pick the male

Also you could pick the male flowers and rub it on the female flowers to pollinate it. It works.

Hi! I live in Missouri, about

I live in Missouri, about 40 miles from St. Louis. I was wondering when the best time frame is to plant pumpkin seeds for my location? Missouri is such a finicky state when it comes to weather. :/

Hi back!  For St. Louis and

Hi back!  For St. Louis and central area of the date, the best planting dates for pumpkins is June 10 to 15. 

September 18th 2014. I live

September 18th 2014. I live on the Southern Oregon Coast. I have about 35 sugar pumpkins on the vine. Some are very close to complete ripening but the foggy, wet season is fast approaching. Can I harvest the pumpkins and place them under a grow light to finish ripening? Will it be too hot? I'm hoping to can them to keep for baking later in the year.

It's best to leave the

It's best to leave the pumpkins on the vine as long as possible. Remove any large leaves that shade the pumpkins. If you pick them when they are still green, wash and wipe them with a mild bleach solution to prevent any mold. Place them in a sunny spot on a patio or deck or bring them indoors. If you store them indoors put them in a bright room with big windows. You can try the grow light but keep it high enough so it doesn't heat the pumpkins.

I just bought a pack of

I just bought a pack of pumpkin tree seeds.I'm looking for information on how to grow them as far as planting the seeds to the actual time it takes the fruit to mature. I know this is really a type of egg plant, but still I am having a hard time finding information on this plant.

I planted my pumpkin seeds in

I planted my pumpkin seeds in mid June, and the vines have grown awfully large that they have taken over the whole garden. My question is I have numerous shapes and sizes of pumpkins now but, they are still green when should I harvest them? I live in Alberta.

I would Leave them be, keep

I would Leave them be, keep them dry and warm,so they can orange prior to picking them off the vine. Cover them every night as they are very sensitive to the cold...Mid September will be a good time to harvest them.

After 3 years in a row of

After 3 years in a row of trying to grow a pumpkin in my backyard in Chicago with no luck, not even to get a female flower pollinated. I have successfully hand pollinated a female flower last Monday August 25th. It is now Saturday and it looks like the fruit has set.

I know its late in the season but is there anything I can do to help this pumpkin ripen and make it before the frost comes???

I have done a lot of research but still have no idea how long from successful pollination of the female flower to a ripe pumpkin takes??? Everything says around 100-130 days to maturity but I’m pretty sure that is from planting the seed, as I planted my seeds the last weekend of May with that info my pumpkin should almost be ready to harvest lol. What is the day range from successful pollination to a ripe pumpkin?
Even though it was 85 degrees today should I cut the leafs around the baby fruit? Would that help?

Any tips help would be greatly appreciated!!!

Congrats, Grantford.  Once

Congrats, Grantford.  Once your pumpkins are pollinated, it could take 50 to 90 days to harvest. It really depends on the pumpkin variety and conditions. Pumpkins need LOTS of sunlight and warmth to ripen and turn orange, so that is the biggest issue as the days get "shorter."  If you're reaching the end of the season, you can keep the pumpkin on the vine and remove all the leaves to help it turn orange. If the pumpkin is still green when the season is over, then take it off the vine, wash it, and place it on a sunny deck or patio--or, eventually, inside in a sunny place. Rotate the pumpkin so the green parts get sunlight. Good luck!

Knoxville, Tn. Our 1st yr.

Knoxville, Tn. Our 1st yr. ever growing pumpkins. Vines doing very well w/pumpkins growing & looking good. 1is full orange, 1 turning orange, & a few still small & green. Amature grower needs to know when to harvest? Would appreciate your help, don't want to make a mistake & lose any! After turning orange, do I just leave on ground to see how large they will get, and for how long? Now that it's late August, getting very concerned. Thank you, & would appreciate a reply.

Hi Linda, If your pumpkins

Hi Linda,
If your pumpkins are orange and the skin is hard they are mature and probably will not grow much bigger. When the vine closest to the ripe pumpkin turns brun and hard it's time to pick the pumpkin. Just make sure you harvest the pumpkins before there is a chance of frosty nights. See our harvest and storage advice on this page.

Hi there! I am a novice

Hi there!
I am a novice gardener and started my pumpkins inside this year. I have two pumpkins that are a lovely orange but the skin is easily punctured by my thumb nail. Are these ready to harvest? Also, I have many more pumpkins just starting out, with the blossom still attached. Will these be ready in time for halloween? I live in Eastern Washington state. Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks!

I just saw my first "flower

I just saw my first "flower bloom" this morning. It feel off the stem. My question is about pruning. I did my 1st pruning about 1 month after the seeds were put in the grown. It seemed like I had twice as many sprouts/stems the 2 days following the 1st pruning. I'm afraid to continue with more pruning. How often do u recommend pruning?

Pruning is recommended to

Pruning is recommended to keep the plant manageable. Pruning involves cutting off the secondary vines that grow off the main vine. You do not want to trim all the way back to the main stem. Towards the end of the season you can prune the main stem about 10 to 15 feet away from the last fruit on the plant, if it gets out of control.

Hello, We live in Orange

We live in Orange County, Ca. I planted mini pumpkins in a large pot and my first female flower was pollinated today! I also planted in our ground a Halloween mix and I have tons of male flowers! I spotted my first female bud on the vine today. I hope I start getting more females. Any suggestions?

Congrats!  Our only

Congrats!  Our only suggestion is patience. The males come onto the scene a week or two before the first females. Just be sure you have plenty of pollinators around to do their thing when the females arrive or you need to take a Q-tip and pollinate the flowers when they open in the morning.

It is normal to see a lot of

It is normal to see a lot of male flowers first but just keep checking because somewhere there is a female flower that you have overlooked. I think that they are outnumbered 10-15 to one.

Hello this is my second year

Hello this is my second year planting pumkins. Last year being a successful one, i planted more seeds. Each one has come up. I planted them in may? June. Well i thought there should be beginner pumpkins. But the only thing i have is vines and all male flowers. No female flowers. Is it still early i live in northern indiana and we did have a late planting season also it has only been hot like two days a week. Will i get any pumkins by halloween. ( they are called halloween pumkins on tye seed packet after all).

I have over 1/4 acre planted

I have over 1/4 acre planted in pumpkins. They seemed to be growing fine. A little powdery mildew that I think is in check. Recently I noticed 1 plant that's leaves seem to be wilting. It has since died along with its fruit. Now I am seeing some early signs of the wilting on other plants. The leaves didn't seem to turn color first just drooped over and eventually died. Any ideas what this is or how to treat.

If your plants look healthy

If your plants look healthy you should have some female flowers soon. It is getting late in the season and I'm not sure that your pumpkins will have time to mature before Halloween. Did you check how many days to maturity on the seed package? Wish for some warm weather and cross your fingers!

I live in Missouri. My

I live in Missouri. My pumpkins are turning orange but I noticed this morning they are a bit soft on the side that isn't resting on the ground. The vines mostly look healthy, I've battled those darn squash bugs all summer. Every morning, I pick the eggs off and kill everything I see. I know I miss many. I think if I pick my pumpkins that are somewhat soft, they will rot. What do you think is causing them to soften before they are ready to pick?

Could be a number of things,

Could be a number of things, from diseases, insects, or cultural problems (such as too much water). If the vines and leaves look OK (no wilting, spots, signs of mildew, chewed leaves, etc.), it might be cultural. Insects can introduce diseases to the fruit--are there any entrance holes that you can detect in the pumpkin? You probably haven't had night temperatures cool enough to cause tissue damage yet. Anyone else have advice?

Straw bales for pumpkins:

Straw bales for pumpkins:

I had some plants volunteer in my compost buckets, so I transplanted a few into one of the straw bales I've been using as a raised bed this year. Most of them died, but one survived to become a thriving pumpkin plant. Unfortunately, I didn't realize it was a pumpkin until after I'd already harvested it too early. I'm hoping that one of the many flowers will fruit - will be trying some manual pollination to see if I can increase the odds since our weather has been a bit drippy the last few days. Meanwhile, I've learned that the straw bale is a wonderful medium for growing pumpkins. I didn't have to do anything to convince it to grow, just watered maybe four-five times so far during the dry season. I'm in the Pacific Northwest, so rainfall was adequate for keeping things moist for most of the growing season. The pumpkin vine started out on the top of the bale, then grew down the side and ran along the ground. Very pretty effect, and no issues with the pumpkin plant trying to smother my other plants in the tops of the bales. I definitely recommend it for those who have space limitations. I'm thinking next year I might try making a small pyramid of bales and letting the vines grow down from the top. Not sure the bales would remain stable, but it's worth a try. :)

My pumpkins are mature, I

My pumpkins are mature, I think. Do I have to take them off the vine right away or will they rot?

If your pumpkin is uniformly

If your pumpkin is uniformly orange and the rind is hard, you should harvest, we would harvest it. If you leave it in the field, it's more prone to disease and infection.

We through our decomposing

We through our decomposing pumpkin from Halloween last year that we didn't take the time to carve onto our pile of yard debris. Guess what! Now we have a huge pumpkin vine. It was growing so prolifically we had to cut it back this weekend. I'm afraid my wife may have been a bit too aggressive in her pruning. Now we have 4 good pumpkins and about as many leaves. I think I'm going to have to water it a bit more than normal to help it recover. I'm hoping it hasn't been killed now. Any encouragement would be helpful.

I have some white pumpkins,

I have some white pumpkins, maybe over 50 pounds. How do I know when to pick them? I want to put them in the garage before the squash bugs work on them
I also have some porcelain doll pumpkins which have turned pink.

Check the "days to harvest"

Check the "days to harvest" on the seed packet. The vines may start to brown and decay, but leave the pumpkins on the vine until they are difficult to puncture with a fingernail. If a hard frost is expected, harvest before it hits.
Porcelain doll pumpkins can be harvested when fully pink and the stem becomes corky. (Some growing conditions such as very hot weather may cause some of these pumpkins not to turn pink. Look for a corky stem and a hard rind.)

It might recover, but it may

It might recover, but it may now also be putting energy into producing more leaves, which make food for the plant. We'd suggest leaving any new growth (vines/leaves) that starts, but remove any new flowers/pumpkins. If it looks like the plant is weakening, remove one or two of the developing pumpkins, so that the plant won't spend energy on maturing more fruit than it can handle.

I have 3 Huge pumpkins that

I have 3 Huge pumpkins that are doing well. However, the vines are starting to wither from the root and up the vine. My question is this: Should I harvest the pumpkins now before the vine dies up to the fruit? The pumpkins are a bright deep orange but the skin is still very tender.

Leave them on the vines as

Leave them on the vines as long as possible. If your pumpkins are orange they are ripe but need just some time to cure.

Just n FYI......Pumpkin

Just n FYI......Pumpkin blossoms are very tasty too. PIck them in the AM when open but bee (sic) careful to avoid the pollinators. I pick only the male flowers to eat. To tell them apart from the females look for a small bulbous node at the base of the flower....that's where the fruits form. I have also found that our pond hold some excellent fertilizer in the form of carp and catfish. Bury one, mark the spot and plant 6 inches away next year.......JUst get ready for a VERY prolific pumpkin patch.....you might even raise a
Great Pumpkin."

Hello! I planted some pumpkin

I planted some pumpkin seeds about two weeks ago in a big container, and although there are 5 seedlings going now, I plan to thin them out to three after they reach a few inches in height.
I have PLANT-TONE organic fertlizer, which my local nursery recommends for just about everything, and I put some in the pot when I planted them (roughly a handful; it's a big pot!). The nursery recommends that I apply again in about three weeks. The temperatures here in South Texas are pretty high; heat index reaches triple digits. I'm watering about once or twice a week. To prevent squash borers, I'm going to put some pantyhose over the top of the pot. Any other suggestions? Any advice is greatly appreciated.

Hi Kim, See the "Care"

Hi Kim,
See the "Care" section on this page for helpful information about growing the pumpkins. Just remember to water often as containers tend to dry up quickly in summer heat. Remove any covering when the flowers appear so that your pumpkins can be pollinated.

My brothers grandchildren

My brothers grandchildren plated pumpkins in containers, they got out of control so that were planted in my garden. I am confused, there are what seems to be different types of pumpkins or squash off the same fine. Some are round, some oblong, some orange, some green striped. I am trying to figure out if this is common with some plants. I have no idea what they are. Could you help with this?

Thank You

Hi Bea,  Either the seeds

Hi Bea,  Either the seeds were a mixed bag of different types of squash or pumpkins do sometimes grow in many different shapes because of inconsistent weather, rainfall or watering. Perhaps it will be fun for the kids!

I had planted butternut

I had planted butternut squash, zucchini and yellow squash. During a storm, all my plants were damaged or killed. The one that survived is growing well and now looks like pumpkins. It went from looking like a pumpkin shaped zucchini to a dark green pumpkin. Will it turn orange and is it edible?

This is the first time that

This is the first time that we are growing pumpkins. We live in central Ontario Canada, so I am hoping we have the time to grow them. My question is,you say to prune the vines, do you mean to cut off the larger leaves, and if so do I cut them off at the main stem? Have lots of flowers,and a lot of very large leaves, but no sign of a pumpkin yet.

Hi, Cheyne, Pumpkin pruning

Hi, Cheyne, Pumpkin pruning involves cutting off the vines that grow off the main vine. You do not want to trim all the way back to the main stem. This should help the plant to develop fruit, too.
You can prune the main stem about 10 to 15 feet away from the last fruit on the plant, if it gets out of control.
By the way, too much nitrogen in the fertilizer (and soil) can lead to more foliage than fruit. Think of the three numbers that appear on fertilizer: the first is for nitrogen (it helps foliage), the next, P, is phosphorus (helps roots and fruit develop), the last, K, is for potassium/potash (good for the plant's overall health).
Perhaps a bit of phosphorus is needed. As you know, pumpkins need a long season to mature. If you get fruit, be prepared to protect it from frost, if necessary. Check your average fall frost date here: http://www.almanac.com/content....
Good luck!

Just a small error on your

Just a small error on your post. "K" is for potassium (K is the atomic symbol).

Thank you for pointing that

Thank you for pointing that out the typo! We've fixed it in the copy above.

Looking for early pumpkins

Looking for early pumpkins for a photo shoot. Does anyone know where I might be able to find some that could be shipped? Based in Wisconsin and haven't been able to find a local source. Any input would be greatly appreciated!

we have alot of different

we have alot of different size pumpkins that are ready.

We r in new glarus and have

We r in new glarus and have pumpkins growing next to our beautiful barn. Very picturesque. Would love to share it.

I have pumpkins growing in my

I have pumpkins growing in my garden and we already have ripened pumpkins! Orange and green! Very nice sized! As they grow, we put them to where they grow to be able to sit straight up! I can send pics if you would like?

The growth of beautiful

The growth of beautiful pumpkins are taking place in my backyard during this summer of 2014. There's a papa, a mama, the third and possibly, the good life for a couple more. The seedlings grew strong, like an octopus extending green arms with yellow-orange suckers underneath giant leaves of shade.....awesome :)

Quite unexpectedly, we had a

Quite unexpectedly, we had a huge vine growing across our front yard. It had giant leaves which resembled squash leaves, and huge, beautiful, orange flowers. Eventually, what I thought was acorn squash, turned out to be pumpkin. I mistakenly cut the two pumpkins off. I am so disappointed with myself. It is late July in Texas. Will my pumpkins ripen on their own, off the vine? Can I plant the seeds for more pumpkin plants? When should this be done?

Hi, Melina: Well, we're not

Hi, Melina: Well, we're not disappointed in you -- at least you're trying to salvage the situation as well as the pumpkins! Not to worry! To ripen your cut pumpkins, first clean them thoroughly with water. Then keep them in a warm and sunny place with good air circulation, like on your deck or on a card table in your yard. You can also put them in a wheelbarrow or cart and wheel them around to catch sun. Keep them dry. Work to keep as much sun on them as possible, and be patient. Bring inside at night if it is warmer than outside. After you've used the pumpkins, save the seeds by cleaning and then drying them on a newspaper for a week. Then store in a jar in a cool, dry place until next spring. Use the Frost Dates Calculator under Gardening above to find out when your last frost usually is. Plant your seeds a week after. There! All better now!

So this is my first pumpkin

So this is my first pumpkin attempt and I didn't really think all the plants would come up so I put out a lot of seeds about a month ago. Now I kind of have a problem.. They all made it and look great! I just don't know if me having 12-15 plants in a 10-15 ft by 20 ft area is ok? Should I thin it out? They all just look so good and have started to flower so I don't really want to kill any if it's not necessary. Help?!

The bumble bees have done

The bumble bees have done there job! My pumpkin plant has begun to produce fruit & the watermelon plants are flowering.. The small pumpkins are the size of ping pong balls.. I'm moving soon & am wondering if I can dig my plants out safely to bring them with me? -central Minnesota

Congrats. Your pumpkins are

Congrats. Your pumpkins are off to a good start.  Pumpkins, once they get going, can not be disturbed or cultivated. You can't move them. Once you dig them up, they are where they are.

Ok so im from Georgia and I

Ok so im from Georgia and I planted 2 different types of pumpkins. My patch is growing pretty well considering its my first time with pumpkins and I'd say i have about a 10x10 of just pumpkin vines and all appeared to be doing well with big rich green leaves. Last week tiny pumpkins started to develop and to my surprise a week long cold front swept through taking the evenings down to the high 50's low 60's. It did move out and now back to our normal hot July Georgia weather, but some of the little pumpkins that were sizes or quarters have turned yellow and fell off. What should I do to help my plant keep producing and will it make it through the season after a burst of cold

It could be that the little

It could be that the little pumpkins aborted because they were not adequately pollinated. Cool or rainy weather will slow pollinators (was it cool during the day, too?), which can lead to inadequately pollinated flowers, and small, sometimes misshapen fruit that might drop off before they mature. Some more flowers might develop, in which case, you might try hand pollinating them (transferring pollen from the male flower to the female flower, which has a tiny bulge at its base). Also check the health of the plant--stress, insects, disease, extreme temperatures, not enough nutrients, too much or too little water, etc may cause developing fruit to drop off. The plant should recover from a brief burst of cold in the 50s/60s. When it dips to 40s and 30s, it will affect the plant, slowing it down and stunting growth. When you expect cold weather overnight, provide row covers or blankets during the evening to help keep their environment a little warmer.

yes i got a question i got

yes i got a question i got pumpkins growing but they moved and now the have roots growing in the ground from the vines can i move them and if i do will anything happen to them

The short answer is: Don't

The short answer is: Don't fool with them! We really don't advise moving pumpkins at this late stage. Pumpkins do not like to be cultivated and are quite sensitive to any interaction. 

When switch fertilizer? Hi :)

When switch fertilizer?
Hi :) I'm wondering when I should switch to a high phosphorus and/or potassium fertilizer? I've been feeding my pumpkin plants high nitrogen plant food. They are still fairly small, main vines about 3 feet and the first male flowers appearing (but not blossoming yet).
I'm really hoping to get the most out of my pumpkin patch this year and any advice much MUCH appreciated!!

You've already got your

You've already got your pumpkins off to a good start by applying higher concentrations of Nitrogen (but not too much) in the early growth stage. Before starting fertilizer, I hope your soil was prepared with generous amounts of organic matter such as manure and compost as pumpkins are big feeders.
Switch to a formula higher in phosphorus when the flowers appear--and through the flowering and fruit stage--such as 5-10-5 or 5-15-5.
After fruit set, you can add more potassium for fruit growth. Either switch to a higher potassium formula or just supplement your 5-10-5 or 5-15-5 with extra potassium.

I planted pumpkin in a raised

I planted pumpkin in a raised bed. I am concerned i planted it too close to the edge (I had no idea what I was doing, i have never had a garden before). At this point there is no fruit but the vines and leaves are overtaking the bed. Besides the pumpkin, there is only a hot pepper plant in the bed. I am wondering both if i can and should transplant the pumpkin or the peppers?

If the pumpkin is growing

If the pumpkin is growing well leave it in the raised bed. We suggest that you move the hot pepper plant to a different location. The big pumpkin leaves would shade it too much.

The plants are growing VERY

The plants are growing VERY well in three long planters 26" long by 10" wide x 7"deep. Is it OK if the leaves and stems and vines cascade out over the sides of the planter and crawl along the grass in our yard to blossom and then bear fruit?

Hi! I just finished setting

Hi! I just finished setting two different varieties in the same bed and forgot to separate before hand. I know, I wish I had been more organised... too excited I guess:/ Do you suppose the Pumkin patch will still be successful? I planted Rocket (Large Carving) pumkin as well as Pie Pumpkins. Feeling worried. TIA

Hello, so last fall I took my

Hello, so last fall I took my pumpkin and just tossed it into my garden that had tomatoes and cucumbers growing in it in the previous season. I figured that the pumpkin would not cause a problem and would just decompose. Well, this spring i noticed several (what I thought to be cucumber plants) in my garden. Today the first flower has bloomed and I realized that they are actually pumpkins! I was just wondering if you think my tomato and cucumber plants will come back as well or if the pumpkins will overtake the garden?

I am also a novice at growing

I am also a novice at growing pumpkins but your comment was my first read as I also did the same thing as you and just tossed my pumpkin to the ground and now it's growing wild. Funny.

I am interested in growing

I am interested in growing some pumpkins for this year's Halloween. My question is what time of year should I plant the seeds, I have always been told to plant them the 4th of July but I want to hear your recommendation. If it is any help I live in southern TN. Also if available, what would be the the best pumpkin variety for my area and wishes.

For best advice for your

For best advice for your area, we'd recommend talking to your county's Cooperative Extension (http://www.almanac.com/content...) or a garden nursery. To check planting times for your area, see:
In general, for Tennesse, you can plant Halloween pumpkins in mid-June through early July. The exact timing will depend on the variety of pumpkin that you choose: check the days to maturity and time the planting so that they mature a week or two before Halloween. There are many varieties from which to choose, from minis to giants, to carving pumpkins to pie pumpkins. For jack-o-lanterns, you might consider something like 'Camaro', 'First Harvest', 'Gold Medal', or 'Early King'.

we grew pumpkins for years

we grew pumpkins for years and tilled our compost into the garden. Now there are hundreds of pumpkins sprouted all over. Can we harvest and eat these just sprouted seeds.

we are brand new gardeners.

we are brand new gardeners. We planted one pumpkin plant and the vines are about 6-10 feet long and growing out of the fence. How long do the vines typically grow? After reading I think we planted early. We have two baseball size pumpkins growing and still have lots of flowers. The leaves are larger than a piece of computer paper. Is that normal too? We are excited to see what happens.

Vine length will depend on

Vine length will depend on the variety of pumpkin that you are growing. Some larger ones can grow more than 30 feet long. Leaf size sounds about right. When the pumpkin(s) are about grapefruit size, many gardeners prune the main vine so that it is about 10 to 15 feet beyond the last fruit that one wants to grow on it. They also trim secondary vines back to about 10 to 12 feet from the main vine. (Burying the trimmed ends may help to discourage disease and insects.) Pruning the vine ends allows the plant to focus its energy on forming the fruit rather than growing more vine, and also allows the plant to fit better in smaller gardens.

I have been keeping an eye on

I have been keeping an eye on Youtubes Larry Hall and his kiddy pool and grow bag system and just planted a bag of Jack -O- lantern type pumpkins.Any ideas on how to do this better?

I am confused about how deep

I am confused about how deep the hole should be.. Also when you say 15 inches of manure is that the mixture of both manure and compost. Or is that just the manure? I would really like to know how deep the hole should be, and how deep the hole is, affects how much manure and compost should be put in the hole considering the depth. Thanks!

When we say 15 inches of

When we say 15 inches of manure, we meet that you need to dig that far into the ground to loosen all the soil and mix in the old manure to that depth, too. This includes the depth of the hill which should be the size of a small baseball mound.
In terms of the planting depth, it is only 1 inch deep when planted at the top of the hill.

I planted different varieties

I planted different varieties of pumpkin last year; lots of vines and flowers. Some fruit set by dropped off the vine before maturing. Any ideas what I did wrong?

Hi Christine,  Good fruit set

Hi Christine,  Good fruit set is usually related to pollination. Are you seeing lots of bee activity? The bees transfer the pollen from the male flower to the female flower. Poor pollination causes blossom drop.
Also, fruit set happens during a 2 to 3 week stretch so rainy and wet weather during that time can slow insect activity.
It can also be hard for the bees to pollinate if the plants have too many leaves; be careful not to use too much nitrogen fertilizer with encourage too many leaves at expense of flowers.

My pumpkins are growing

My pumpkins are growing really well but when a pumpkin starts to grow it just dies off when there about the size of golf ball -baseball size...what is wrong? I thought maybe not enough or too little water? Any suggestions please. Thank you. I live in northern California

I have the same exact issue.

I have the same exact issue. I also live in Northern California. It can't be just poor pollination because I was hand pollinating the female flowers. I also have very few female flowers and a LOT of male flowers. I tried more water, and covering the area with peat moss to help keep the moisture in, but now they are turning yellow and dying off even before the flower opens. I just learned peat moss is also acidic... I really hope they answer this one because I have been trying everything to get my pumpkins to grow fruit. I have one pumpkin just smaller than a volleyball that survived out of 6 vines. My tomatoes are doing great.

Lack of pollination is the

Lack of pollination is the number one cause for pumpkins falling off the vines. It could also be fungal disease (if your weather has been wet) or a nutritional issue.
You can try spraying with a fungicide (baking soda and water works well), and also apply a calcium supplement to the soil.

why i it bad to start seeds

why i it bad to start seeds indoors and when is the best time to start

It's not bad to start

It's not bad to start pumpkins indoors. In fact, they SHOULD be started indoors if your area has a short growing season. The timing, however, is very important. Start seeds indoors, up to two weeks prior to setting outdoors which is usually around mid-May, however, you need to find out the outdoor date in your area. See our planting chart here:

I read this in the PLANTING

I read this in the PLANTING section above: "You can also grow pumpkins in big 5 to 10 gallon buckets! Or, try miniature varieties." - My location is NJ (zip 08830). I believe I would have enough space to plant pumpkins inground in my backyard garden, but would like to try the buckets for this year. Should I start the seeds in the buckets indoors OR in peat pots instead, THEN transplant into a bucket and take it outdoorS? Also, should I drill holes at the bottoms of the buckets to allow proper drainage (like a pot)? Thank you!

Wait until the weather has

Wait until the weather has warmed up and plant your seeds in the buckets outdoors. Place the buckets in a spot that gets full sun and make sure the buckets have draining holes. Use a light fast-draining potting mix and fertilize about once a week when the plants start growing. Don't grow more than 1 or 2 plants in each bucket.

I have a question that I

I have a question that I can't seem to find an answer to. Why is it not recommended to start pumpkin seeds indoors earlier that 2-3 weeks prior to the last frost date? If they were planted indoors with lights, would it be bad to plant sow the seeds now (March 23), when I would plant them outdoors around May 1st? What would be the negatives of doing this? Thank you so much. I love your article.

That's about right. You

That's about right. You wouldn't want to seed pumpkins more than a few weeks before transplanting.
When you plant indoors to early, the plants get rootbound by the time you put them outdoors and won't transplant well.
In fact, pumpkins aren't great at transplanting in general; they prefer to be seeded in the ground, but the soil has to be quite warm so we understand why some people try to seed indoors.

I was wondering if you could

I was wondering if you could expand on the description of "hill" when planting, as well as, the best way to water. I have grown pumpkins in the past, with little luck (due to a variety of reasons: lack of pollination; lack of water; infestations of beetles and bugs; late planting.) I live in central New Mexico, and have tried to learn from my mistakes each time planting, but still have had little luck. Our soil is so sandy that we add several bags of peat and/or compost (currently in a 6 by 12 foot garden, but in the past a 6 by 40 foot garden) and loosen the soil at least 12 inches deep, working in the peat.

I truly do not understand the concept of a "hill"... and is that critical? I've always started with a level garden, then dug out long rows of valleys, which resulted in long rows of hills about 4 to 6 inches tall (where I plant the seeds).

I've tried to water with drip systems two ways: just the valleys, making sure they are thoroughly puddled; and directly over the plants' bases. Our drip system was watering for 20 minutes every other day, using 1/2 to one gallon drippers. Sometimes I didn't think that was enough, and manually watered until the ground was puddling.

Could you elaborate on the description of "hill", as well as, where the water needs to be focused? (directly on the plant, or saturating the areas around the "hills")

Happy to try to help. When we

Happy to try to help. When we talk about a "hill," you want to create a mound of warm, fertile soil that is at least a 3-foot diameter in size. Why a hill? Pumpkins must have very warm soil and the hill takes the soil off the ground.
The soil must also be very rich in organic matter but loose and well plowed, not compact.
In the fall, we would also add composted manure. Further, we like to cover the hills with black plastic to get the soil very warm, at least a week before planting. Make sure the soil is moist but not wet.
We would suggest you contact your New Mexico cooperative extension for more local advice. Here is a good fact page from NMSU: http://aces.nmsu.edu/pubs/_h/H...

I have had a little pumpkin

I have had a little pumpkin sitting on my kitchen counter since mid-late October. Seeing as how it's the end of February, is there anything I can do with it or is it too late? Should I just throw it out? I'm scared to see what the inside looks like so I never cut it open.

If kept in a cool and dry

If kept in a cool and dry place, pumpkins can store for 2 to 3 months. The only way to know is to cut it open!

Hi I grew some plants in

Hi I grew some plants in school and I grew a pumpkin. I took it home when we were done and I was wondering if my growing conditions are okay. I have the plant growing in a pot by the window in my bedroom. Right now there is still snow on the ground because, well, i live in Canada. So, it is inside because I can't take it out.It has one flower on it and I water it every one or two days. I can't get my hands on any fertilizer. I know how to get it pollinated. Is there anything important that i'm missing?

You can seed pumpkin inside

You can seed pumpkin inside in 2- to 3-inch pots. We're not sure what was used at school, but a good seed-staring mix should have plenty of nutrients. Provide water to the pumpkin every couple of days. Do not soak the soil each day. Let the soil dry out a little on the top first, then water thoroughly. The main issue is sunlight. Pumpkins need LOTS of direct sunlight to thrive. A sunny window may not be enough; in Canada, you may need grow lights.
Also, you have seeded too early. You need to seed indoors about 3 to 4 weeks before you would plant outside in the ground and you shouldn't plant pumpkin seedlings in the ground until 2 weeks after the last spring frost. For Canada, it depends where you live, but the last frost might be around late May/early June.
You could either plant the seedlings with a protective cover or you could just keep the bottom of the tray moist, or put some extra soil in the bottom of the tray, or transplant to a larger pot until it's time to go outside!
Hope this helps, the OFA editors

Thank you sooo much! I had

Thank you sooo much! I had absolutely NO idea what I was doing. This will help, but I might not be able to get bigger pots. I'll try to, though.

When can I start planting my

When can I start planting my seeds I have a good spot and I live in OK.

Pumpkin seeds won't germinate

Pumpkin seeds won't germinate below 60°F so delay planting until after the date of the last spring frost.

You can maybe start in a

You can maybe start in a sunny season like May or April.
Try it.

Hi! I'm having trouble

Hi! I'm having trouble finding information about pumpkin leaves! In Africa- acquired a wonderful taste for these. I do not know which variety may produce the most scrumptious ones and fo growing in SE Washington. Looking more for leaves than actual pumpkin outcome. Any suggestions?

How interesting! We don't

How interesting! We don't know which variety you might like best, but suggest that any variety here will do as long as you use leaves that are young, soft, and tender. As we do not have ethnic markets which carry pumpkin leaves, you might need to find a willing gardener who isn't obsessed about growing the largest pumpkin as the leaves are important to their growth.

I would like to know how you

I would like to know how you eat or cook pumpkin leaves it sounds interesting. I have plants with many leaves and flowers but not many pumpkins.

Any special instructions for

Any special instructions for growing pumpkins in the central Texas? I bought a lovely little pie pumpkin before Thanksgiving and would like to plant the seeds I saved.

this is a wonderful site, but I can't find anyone writing from Texas.

After all danger of frost is

After all danger of frost is past plant pumpkin seeds about 1 / 2 to 1 inch deep in groups of 3-5 plants. These vegetables are not fond of cool soil so don't plant too early in Central Texas. May to early June is about ideal and n o later than late June. Many types can take over 100 days to mature fruit.
Our gardening blogger, Doreen, actually lived in Texas for many years; she now lives in the Midwest but her blog tends to be relevant for North America and does not get too specific about one state or another. If you ever have questions for her, I'm sure she'd be happy to answer and she has that Texas perspective. Her blog is here: http://www.almanac.com/gardeni...

I decide to grow some

I decide to grow some pumpkins for next halloween for my children. No the seeds I've have cleaned then, dried and left them out on top of my refrigerator. And my question is are they still good for planting. And around what time of the year would be best for me to plant them since I'm in NJ

If the pumpkin freezes are

If the pumpkin freezes are the seeds still good?

We'd go for it. Clean and dry

We'd go for it. Clean and dry the seeds and see if they're good. After all, pumpkins reseed themselves from season to season, surviving the winter!

I would like to plant a few

I would like to plant a few pumpkin seeds in my classroom now (in Canada). I would like the students to be able to see the whole process (planting in spring means they miss the whole summer part and some students will be in another classroom before "harvest"). If we put them by a window, and water/fertilize as needed, will they produce fruit? We have a big rolling water table that could be used, so I don't think space will be the issue.

We understand your challenge

We understand your challenge but the soil and air needs to be warm for growth to begin. Plant your pumpkin seeds after the danger of frost has passed in early spring and the soil is thoroughly warm. You'll need about three to four months of warm growing days with daytime temperatures above 75 degrees. One idea: You can plant your seeds at the end of the school year (May/June) and then harvest pumpkins at the beginning of the next school year.

Hi! I am needing to know how

Hi! I am needing to know how to store my seeds until spring? We live in Oklahoma, and so we will probably plant early July, but how to I keep my seeds fresh until then? Do I keep them moist or dry? In an air tight container or air flowing container?

We've been accidentally growing them for 2-3 years, this time we are looking to do it right! I've read how to plant and care for them, but its the before I need help with. Thanks!

You simply dry out the

You simply dry out the cleaned seeds on wax paper for a couple days, then let them sit on a tray in a cool dark place for a few weeks and then store in an envelope until time to plant! Select the largest seeds and throw out any moldy ones.

I want to plant my pumpkin

I want to plant my pumpkin seeds today(October 27,2013) I want to get it done today I live in CT. It is getting cold and I don't know what to do. From some of comments it looks like they come in at spring time. I don't know if I should plant them wet or dry. My friend told me to to keep them wet, but my dad says they should be dry. Help me please with a reply who can help

Plant the seeds in the

Plant the seeds in the spring. It's too cold to grow pumpkins this time of year in Ct. Plant the seeds in the ground when the soil has warmed up.

I usually have someone else

I usually have someone else do the planting and I tend to the plants, well this time I want to do the planting and tending but I've been known to kill any and all plants. How can I make sure I don't kill my pumpkins and will my seeds hold out until late May-early July? I've never grown pumpkins before and I'm not sure what is to be done.

Your seeds should be OK to

Your seeds should be OK to plant next spring. Read the advice on this page about planting and caring for your pumpkin plants.

This is a tip: A pumpkin is

This is a tip: A pumpkin is not a vegetable it is a fruit....... I learned that from other websites and the dictionary...... it helps to know

You are the reason for the

You are the reason for the worldwide shortage of periods. One per sentence is all that's required. Please use them responsibly.

Although it may be true that pumpkins are a fruit, how that makes any difference in growing them is beyond me. Call them fish for all I care, they'll still grow as long as you follow the advice given above.

Hiya, Have had my first


Have had my first garden since AGES, and chose what I would thought would grow naturally well here as don't have a green thumb, and grew up in the So Cal desert where there really was no gardens! I am in North Wales of the UK now. Very wet, so thought pumpkins would do well (and Chester zoo has a huge, thriving pumpkin patch). Despite my dreams of being inundated with pumpkins LOL Have 2 that have made it. One very big (first that fruited), and a much smaller one that came later. All the others didn't make it past much at all. I didn't see many bees early on, but might also be the soil. Def no lack of water. Anyway, have read this about harvesting and know the vines and leaves dwindle as the fruit ripens, but am still not sure. As my vines are feeling VERY dodgy and soft. Main pest problem is slugs and snails, but has also turned colder and extra rainy here (though nowhere close to frost). My big one is maybe 1/4 orange...the smaller one just a bit. I know you say to wait until mature, but what if the vine feels so dodgy, soft and maybe rotting? Should I cut the pumpkin off now?

Also, what should I do with the vine remains? If want to plant next year, should I pull the remians out, or sort of dice them into the soil? What's the best way to winter prepare for the next year? many thanks and such a great page of info

Hello, If the vines are soft

If the vines are soft and mushy close to the pumpkins it's better to harvest the fruit now and put them in a nice warm, sunny spot outdoors. Remove all the vines and debris from your garden and put them in your compost pile. If the vines look like they have a disease destroy them and don't compost.

Ok will do. Thanks so much!

Ok will do. Thanks so much!

We have been growing 5

We have been growing 5 acker's of pumpkins for about 6 years. We cover the pumpkins that we have picked with some tarps when we know it is going to freeze. I this necessary to do? and what happens to the pumpkins in the field yet? will they freeze and rot?

Yes, covering your pumpkins

Yes, covering your pumpkins is a good way to protect from frost. However, if a hard freeze is coming, you really need to take them in. The vines will die and the pumpkin may go soft.

Help! I bought a beautiful

Help! I bought a beautiful large pumpkin and knocked the stem off getting it into the car! What can I do to keep this wonderful guy safe and happy as long as possible? I'd like it to sit on my shady porch through Thanksgiving and it's only October 6th now. How can I make the best out of a tragic pumpkin accident?

Wipe the pumpkin with a

Wipe the pumpkin with a bleach solution (1 part bleach to 9 parts water) and then put a dab of petroleum jelly on the spot where the stem broke off. Good luck!

I have an accidental pumpkin

I have an accidental pumpkin growing. It has thrived through everything WA State has thrown at it but it in now Oct 5th and even though it is huge with a hard rind it is still green. A very dark green at that. Am I supposed to removed it from its vine in order for it to turn its orange color or wait longer?

It's best to leave the

It's best to leave the pumpkin on the vine. Cut away any leaves that shade the pumpkin and make sure it gets as much sunlight as possible.

Some Pumpkin Varieties do

Some Pumpkin Varieties do have very dark green skin, they are suppose to be that way. The flesh inside will very likely be orange. It sound to me that your pumpkin is ready to harvest. Enjoy, try Pumpkin Soup with a little bit of Laksa Paste &Coconut Cream added, it's yummy

Last year I disposed of a

Last year I disposed of a rotting miniature pumpkin in a hole (from a removed shrub), and this year I have pumpkins growing. I never prepared the soil or anything. My luck is that I can only grow what I don't want or try to grow them, so very happy that I have 4-6 pumpkins growing. Probably needed to thin them out to have better growth, as I have about 8 different vines - they have survived my neighbor mowing over them, and even have some powdery mildew. Have watered every day (or every few days) and given a few scoops of dog "treats" to help them along. Temps have dropped to below 60 at night, but everything still looks great. Most are still dark green, so not sure when they will turn or when I should harvest..which brought me to your site. Thanks for the wonderful information.

We are first time pumpkin

We are first time pumpkin planters in Calgary AB. We planted from a big box seed packet we bought. The pumpkins that grew are yellow. will they eventually turn orange? or is it a variety of yellow that I've never heard of? Also, we had our first frost a few days ago, and the leaves are all dead. But the vines still look viable. Will my pumpkins still grow?


Botanical Name: 

Cucurbita maxima, C. moschata, C. argyrosperma

Plant Type: 

Sun Exposure: 

Soil Type: 

Hardiness Zone: 

Keep Your New Garden Growing

keepgardengrowingcover.jpgTop 10 Veggies.
Almanac Editors Tips- water, feed, pest control, harvest


You will also be subscribed to our Almanac Companion Newsletter


Solar Energy Production Today

140.70 kWh

Live data from the solar array at The Old Farmer's Almanac offices in Dublin, NH.