Planting, Growing, and Harvesting Pumpkins

Row of Pumpkins


Rate this Article: 

Average: 4 (793 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

Harvest the pumpkins if there

Harvest the pumpkins if there is a chance of more frosty nights. They will not grow much more on the vines. Store them in a sunny sheltered place or bring them indoors. The pumpkins may turn a light orange but they will probably stay yellow.

Hello, we are in Windsor

Hello, we are in Windsor Ontario and first time growers as well. Ours started as a bright yellow (like a squash) and then turned, eventually, into a beautiful orange. Yours will get there as well!!

This year we had a volunteer

This year we had a volunteer pumpkin start in our compost pile. I kept it watered through the summer and it has thrived. There are 6 good sized pumpkins on it, all of which are at least 1/2 ripe. However, we are due to get a big, big storm this weekend and I suspect that if I don't want them damaged I need to pick them. It's not likely to ever get warm enough for me to set them out to "cure" in the sun before putting them in storage. We're not even due any sun for at least the next week. Can I pick them now and just put them into storage? Is there are way to increase their longevity without them having had a chance to toughen up? My kids really want these as their Halloween pumpkins but I'm wondering if that is feasible given the circumstances.

Hi Heather, Though it's best

Hi Heather, Though it's best to harvest pumpkins when they are mature, they will ripen off the vine IF they are already turning color and if held under the proper conditions. Cut pumpkins from the vines gently with a sharp knife or pruners and leave 3 to 4 inches of stem attached so they will keep longer. Ideally, ripen in a well-ventilated barn or greenhouse at temps of 80 to 85 degrees F with a relative humidity of 80-85%. Night temperatures should not drop below the 60s. Even if pumpkins are ripe, a period of curing can improve storage life. The curing period should be about 10 days. During this process, the fruit skin hardens to keep it from rotting. Then, just store in a cool, dry place where the temperature is between 50 and 60 degrees F.

I have a pumpkin vine on

I have a pumpkin vine on which half of the fruit started light yellow (and is turning orange) and half dark green (not changing color). I now have large beautiful orange pumpkins and small dark green ones. The seed package shows orange pumpkins so I'm confused as to why I have green ones. Will they eventually grow and ripen?'

Some pumpkins just ripen

Some pumpkins just ripen faster than others and it could be related to their location on the vine, how much sun they're getting, and other factors. Unless frost is coming, just let those immature pumpkins ripen on the vine; cut any leaves back to give them plenty of the remaining sunlight.

Hello. Live north of Edmonton

Hello. Live north of Edmonton AB and got frost last night. Didn't cover pumpkins. Leaves are done. Will pumpkins still ripen on the vine if we cover at night to protect from further frost? Thanks

A light frost will destroy

A light frost will destroy the vines but should not harm the fruit. You could keep it on the vine but it won't grow; we'd probably remove it to avoid pest and disease issues. A hard freeze may damage the fruit.

If I were to pick my pumpkins

If I were to pick my pumpkins now would they keep until Halloween?

Yes, your pumpkins will

Yes, your pumpkins will definitely last until Halloween if you treat them right. When you harvest them, keep the stem, let them cure in the sun for 10 days, and store in a dry cool place. With proper care, your pumpkins could last through the winter.

While harvesting a prize

While harvesting a prize pumpkin, I cut a small slice in the skin of a big max. I assume that spot will start to rot. Is there anything I can use to fill the slice and stop the rotting?

Perhaps you could do what we

Perhaps you could do what we do to keep carved pumpkins from rotting. Dab the cut surface with Chlorox Clean-up (with Bleach) and let it dry. Lightly rub on petroleum jelly to keep out new bacteria. Store in a dark, cool place.

When is it too late to water

When is it too late to water the pumpkins And how to prevent holes in the pumpkin

When to water?  Pumpkins are

When to water?  Pumpkins are ALWAYS thirsty. They are 80 to 90% water. The question is: How much? Just turn off the water when puddles appear and wait until the soil is just dry on the top before watering again. By mid-August the plants are pulling in a huge amount of water. If it’s a dry season, give each plant 15 to 20 gallons of water twice a week. Water in the evening, and do not water the leaves; water at the base of the plant to avoid disease.

Once again, I'm another 1st

Once again, I'm another 1st time grower. My plants are doing sooo well, I would like to plant the same ones next year...the problem...I can't remember which ones I planted. How can I plant from these pumpkins for next year, bc we have MANY!?!....we have close to 30 from only 6 plants!

You can save the seeds from a

You can save the seeds from a mature pumpkin and plant them next year. Make sure you dry the seeds well and then store them in a paper envelope. Good luck!

I live in central Fl I panted

I live in central Fl I panted my pumpkins in the in of July begining of August and I have male and female flowers but am I late for my area and what time should I planted

Hi Mary, You will probably

Hi Mary,
You will probably not get pumpkins for Halloween. Look at  the seed package for days to maturity to figure out when to plant. Maturity of pumpkins varies from 70 to 120 days. Most varieties should be planted by early July to ripen in time for Halloween.Fall is a good time to grow squashes and pumpkins in Florida. You will enjoy your pumpkins for Thanksgiving.

in my garden the pumpkins are

in my garden the pumpkins are too small and they fall off before getting matured. how can i solve this problem??

Pumpkins need lots of sun,

Pumpkins need lots of sun, moisture and fertilizer. Make sure to dig aged manure or compost into the soil before planting pumpkins and sidedress the plants as they start growing. For bigger pumpkins it sometimes helps to keep just 2-3 pumpkins on a vine.

It is the first week of

It is the first week of September and I have two ripe pumpkins, about the size of a basketball. The vines are still green. I want to harvest them before they get stolen or damaged, but I do not have the proper conditions (55 degrees) to store them until Halloween. The temperatures are still in the 70s to 80s.

I have elevated the pumpkins to get them off the ground to (hopefully) prevent rot.

Any suggestions you have regarding harvesting/ storing until Halloween would be greatly appreciated.

I have 5 very large pumpkins,

I have 5 very large pumpkins, some are starting to turn orange. Have a huge problem of powdery mildew so i cut off some of the vines and by mistake took the ones the pumpkins were attached to. Will I lose the pumpkins or will they still continue to turn orange?

Leave as much vine as

Leave as much vine as possible on the pumpkins and put them in a well ventilated sunny spot. Turn the greenest part of the pumpkin towards the sun.

im a first time pink pumpkin

im a first time pink pumpkin grower how do i know when there ready to harvest? there some what pink now but have few brown spots is that from getting water directly on them? can some one guide me on this so i dont loose my pink pumpkins thx

my pumpkins are doing good

my pumpkins are doing good but my vines are wilting and turning brown. Please help

I have pumpkins growing

I have pumpkins growing however its the vines I'm worried about. The are starting to wilt and turn brown they were nice and green with big green leafs but not no more. What do I do

It is natural for vines to

It is natural for vines to wilt towards the end of the season and when the pumpkins are close to mature. If you still have green pumpkins on the vines you should check for insects. Squash bugs or borers can cause a lot of damage. Hand pick if possible or use an insecticidal soap or neem oil.
If you have white spots on the leaves it could be a form of powdery mildew.

this is the first time I have

this is the first time I have ever tried to grow pumpkins, I have a huge mass of vines everywhere and only three pumpkins all green. my biggest pumpkin had a bubble of an almost ooze like substance on it where the flower was falling off, is that normal or is it starting to rot inside?

I planted my pumpkins in the

I planted my pumpkins in the beginning of may, the vines now look brown and dead and I have about 25 mid size pumpkins. What should I do to try to keep these pumpkins until Halloween? Should I put them in my basement? and Also do you think that they will make it for Halloween?

You can leave the pumpkins in

You can leave the pumpkins in the field or you can store them in a cool basement. Make sure there is good ventilation and check the pumpkins often.

I heard there was a way to

I heard there was a way to preserve pumpkins longer by giving them a wash with some kind of solution. do you know what that wash would be? thank you

Some people wash pumpkins

Some people wash pumpkins with a chlorine bleach solution before storing them. Mix 1–2 tablespoons of bleach into a gallon of water. Wash the pumpkin and then dry completely.

My vine produced a single

My vine produced a single fruit about 10 days ago. The pumpkin is still solid green with thin skin. Yesterday, the gardeners cut the vine with the lawn mower and the vine is already wilted. Is there anything I can do to save the fruit?

If the vine was cut the

If the vine was cut the pumpkin is not going to grow more.With thin skin the pumpkin is not going to survive for long. Sorry!

I live in Suffolk County on

I live in Suffolk County on Long Island, NY. I am an organic Home Gardner and a first time pumpkin grower. I picked out a seed variety for decorate use as jack o'latern. In late May planted 15 seeds, none germinated. In early June planted the remaining 15 seeds and now have (1) huge plant, about 20 feet long.

It is growing on a southern exposure receieving about 8 hours of early sun daily, with some additional dappled late day exposure. The vine is growing both on along the ground & has sent shoots growing up an along a fence.

The plant has been flowering for about 3-4 weeks. I am finally seeing small quarter sized(mini pumpkin looking)growth on the ends of 3 or 4 vines with flower buds that have not yet opened. It's already the end of August. Am I going to have any pumpkins ripen in time for halloween? Is there anything I can do to expedite the flowers to open so they can be pollination?

If the weather stays warm

If the weather stays warm your pumpkins will grow and get bigger. You may want to pinch off some of the side shoots (vines) so that most of the energy goes to the main vine and the vines that the pumpkins are on. You may also consider to remove any new small pumpkins that probably will not mature to give the bigger pumpkins a chance to grow to full size.

I planted my pumpkins in late

I planted my pumpkins in late April and im afraid that they will be ripe before Halloween. they look like they will be
ready in mid September should I pick them and put them away somewhere or should I just leave them on the vine?

We would pick them when they

We would pick them when they are ready to avoid pest issues. Then store as described on this page.

If picked and stored as you

If picked and stored as you described, will they keep until Halloween?

Help!! I was putting a small

Help!! I was putting a small piece of wood under my growing pumpkin and I accidentally scratched the fruit with my fingernail. My pumpkin is still green and the scratch just took a bit of the outer layer off and is not deep. Will this kill my pumpkin? Is there anything I can do to help it or just leave it alone?

My pumpkin is about the size of basketball, its the largest we have, and we only have three others!

It will be fine .. Chipmunks

It will be fine .. Chipmunks take big chunks out of some of my pie pumpkins they will develop a scab .. I have 22 in my patch !!!!

my plant has several nice

my plant has several nice size pumpkins but there are insects on many of the leaves...look like little dark red larcae(?) and insects are tiny spidey looking..can find them in list of pests. TY... Illinois

The insects are probably a

The insects are probably a type of squash bugs. Removing the eggs on the underside of the leaves in early summer will cut back on adult bugs (but that's too late now). You can try to trap them under planks or newspaper in the garden as they like dark and damp places. You can also try to spray with neem oil (found in garden centers).

Hi, our pumpkins weren't

Hi, our pumpkins weren't planted this year, they're from rotted pumpkins that were thrown in our compost pile from last year. It's the middle of August and the vine has stretched everywhere, there are lots of flowers, but I don't see any pumpkins. Now, it looks as though the plant is dying. What should I be doing? What can I do to save it, or since there aren't any pumpkins, is it a waste of my time to try and save it?

Check to see if any of the

Check to see if any of the flowers are female (they have a small bump below the flower). If you do have female flowers and no pumpkins you may lack pollinators. You can pollinate by hand but it may be too late in the season for the pumpkins to have time to mature.

Hello, I too am a first timer

Hello, I too am a first timer planter. I planted small starter plants on May 5. I have 8 orange pumpkins and 4 green ones. My question is: I've had a bout with powdery mildew and have trimmed a lot of leaves. Do my remaining pumpkins need leaves? I want these pumpkins for carving and I don't have a cool spot. Any help would be appreciated. Thank you.

Leave the pumpkins in the

Leave the pumpkins in the garden as long as possible. You can pick the orange ones and put them in a shady spot outside. Pumpkins need leaves to grow flowers and fruit. If the vine is still green and the pumpkins are attached to the vine the pumpkins should be OK with just a few leaves.

Help! I am a first time,

Help! I am a first time, accidental pumpkin grower. My kids planted them, and the plants are taking over, and twisting around neighboring flowering plants that I love. They were planted in a fairly unoccupied corner, but the vine has grown about 15 feet along the base of many other plants, and there are vines climbing up and twisting around the other plants, some of which belong to my neighbors. Is there any way I can prune the pumpkin plants back at this point (were planted as seedlings around Memorial Day) without killing the entire vine? Otherwise I may have to pull the whole thing out, I'm so terrified what it might be doing to the beautiful plants around it. Many thanks for your advice.

You can prune the vine when

You can prune the vine when it reaches ten feet past the last fruit you are leaving on the plant. It will not harm the growing pumpkins. Also, take the cut end of the vine and bury it.

This is Grandma's First

This is Grandma's First Pumpkin Patch & the grandkids are loving watching the pumpkins grow. There are 5 pumpkins growing on the vines. I planted the pumpkin seeds May 18. Our first female pumpkin blossom to open was pollinated by bees July 26. It is has grown really fast & is now bigger than a basketball & the top is starting to turn orange. Squirrels have been bothering the pumpkin vines for the few past weeks & I'm worried they will bother the pumpkins next. I have been counting the days till harvest from the day the female blossoms were pollinated but none of the pumpkins is over 3 weeks old. Do you think they are turning orange because they are rotting? Anything I can do to save them? Thank You for any help you can give us. :)

Once the pumpkin is

Once the pumpkin is pollinated, the fruit should get ripe in 45 to 55 days. Your standard Halloween pumpkin starts out green and once it turns orange with a hard rind, it's ready to be harvested. You need to pick it, cure it, and store it -- and perhaps the vine will grow more fruit. However, if your pumpkin is a large pumpkin squash type (Cucurbita maxima), they turn orange early and just keep getting oranger and oranger. When the rind gets hard and mature, then it's time to harvest.

Thank you so much for your

Thank you so much for your help. So glad to hear pumpkins get ripe in 45 to 55 days. Package said 110 days & we thought it meant to start counting from the date the female blossom was pollinated by the bees. We are harvesting a couple of the bigger pumpkins that are turning orange to try to keep them safe from the squirrels till Halloween. Already have a new little pumpkin growing. Not sure who is enjoying watching them grow more, Grandma & Grandpa or the grandkids :)Thank you again for all your help!

My pumpkins are turning

My pumpkins are turning orange around the top already. Does that mean they are done growing larger? Can I harvest them now so the squirrels & insects don't damage them? Will they keep till Halloween? Thank You for your help! :)

Once your pumpkins are mature

Once your pumpkins are mature with that deep orange color and hardened rind, you can harvest them instead of holding the fruit in the field--to avoid pests and disease. Cure them for 10 days as discussed on this page. Under the right conditions, you can store pumpkins 8 to 12 weeks.

My grandson ad I planted a

My grandson ad I planted a pumpkin plant and it' lly a long vine now. We see lots of bl;ooms but they fall off. we had a powdery looking leaves nd we cut the vine to these leaves and put the other end of the vine in the ground, so it looks healthy now. we see bees pollinating them too.anything else I can do so my grandson will have at least one pumpkin for Halloween?

The male flowers come first

The male flowers come first and will fall off. About 7 to 10 day later, the female flowers will show up. Then, the bees can pollinate.  If you want to speed things up, you can take a Q-tip and move the pollen from the male flower to the female flower in the morning when both flowers are present and open.
If foliage is going down from powdery mildew, this may help with ripening, too.

Many of our pumpkins are

Many of our pumpkins are mature already. Can we leave them on the vine or should we harvest them and try to store for later?

Once your pumpkins are mature

Once your pumpkins are mature with that deep orange color and hardened rind, we recommend that cure them and store under proper conditions, if it is feasible. This way you avoid disease and pests. If you need/want to hold fruit in the field for pick your own or any other reason, using a protectant fungicide (eg chlorothalonil) to deter black rot, powdery mildew and some of the other fruit rots. Under the right conditions, you can store pumpkins 8 to 12 weeks.

I'm growing large pumpkins

I'm growing large pumpkins for the first time .It has been fun to watgch them grow the largest one is 24 ins. around and about 75 lbs. but they are beginning to decay.I live in Texas so it is pretty hot and so I feel like we have to water a lot, could that be the problem? I really wanted them to grow BIG the seeds said about 100lbs at maturity.Any advice would be appreciated.

Sunny, dry Texas weather can

Sunny, dry Texas weather can be good for pumpkins as well as the soil is kept moist and cool with mulch and you water deeply. Rot usually comes from humidity or damaged vines.  Check your vines to make sure not are damaged. If they are, you should remove the pumpkins and let them ripen in the sun off the vine. Also, put boards or stones under your pumpkin to avoid rotting. After curing, pumpkins will last months if properly stored.

When do you plants plunking

When do you plants plunking in for in time for

Look at the "days to

Look at the "days to maturity" on your seed packet. This varies by pumpkind type.

this is my first time growing

this is my first time growing pumpkins and I'm very excited, but I live in Michigan and it's the beginning of August and the female flowers are still green. Is this normal? And also, once the female flowers do start growing, is that when the bees start pollinating?

Once the female flowers open,

Once the female flowers open, the bees will make their rounds! Make sure your pumpkins get LOTs of water while flowers are blooming and they will progress.

Today is July 31, 2013 I

Today is July 31, 2013 I fertilized with liquid Neptune fertilize three days ago. It was a 2-3-1. When I went out I notice on two of my pumpkins the outside orange part was being striped off. I decided to remove the 19 pumpkins that were already all orange to protect them. I was trying to keep them on the vine for as long as possible. Will the pumpkins keep until october? I have them sitting in the sun. I live in SoCal it is about 90-98 degrees daily. I am going to live them outside for a week them bring them in. I am going to put them in a cool dark room in boxes. Will they last??? I realized I planted a month to early. It's hard in SoCal because of the heat waves we get that stresses the plant. Thank you for advice.

Hi! I need some advice! We

Hi! I need some advice! We are in Texas and we accidentally planted pumpkins in our flower bed last year. We have a beautiful thriving vine, but our lease is up on our house and we have to move. My children are devastated that they will not get to see the fruits of their labor. Is it possible to transplant the vine since it hasn't fruited, if we leave a big enough root ball? Please help! Thanks!

Pumpkins can not be disturbed

Pumpkins can not be disturbed while they are growing. You can, however, harvest a bit early. Though a mature pumpkin has a deep orange color and hardened rind, you can pick them as soon as the pumpkin starts to change color. It will ripen off the vine if is in a well-ventilated barn or greenhouse. If the pumpkin is still green, however, it will not ripen as you wish. The best temperatures for ripening are 80 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit with a relative humidity of 80 to 85%. Night temperatures should not drop below the sixties. stored in a cool, dry place. Ideal temperatures are between 50° and 60° F and relative humidity of 50 to 70%.

If you are going to carve the

If you are going to carve the pumpkin, do you still need to cure it? TY!

Yes, you should cure your

Yes, you should cure your pumpkins if you plan to carve it so it lasts and so that you have those nice thick skins. After harvesting, wash the pumpkins with soapy water containing one part of chlorine bleach to 10 parts water to remove soil and kill bacteria that causes rotting.  Dry well. Cure at 80-85°F and 80-85 percent relative humidity for 10 days.You can cure right in the field.

I have a large garden But,

I have a large garden But, got a late start planting so the only thing that went in was pumpkins I have probably about 8 plant. I have lots of vines lots of big flowers which I am assuming are the male flowers. What do the female flowers look like? Also, I have noticed lots of bees lately but no pumpkins I don't have anything that even looks like the begining of a pumpkin. Should my pumpkins be started yet. If so is there something I can do to help them?

A pumpkin plant's "days to

A pumpkin plant's "days to maturity" depends on the variety. Look at the seed pack. It can range from 85 to 160 days so, for example, if you want pumpkins by Halloween, count back this many days. In the U.S., most folks plant between late May and late June to get pumpkins mature in time for Halloween. The male flowers come first and the female flowers will come around 7 to 10 days later. The female blossom has a small bulb at the base. The female blossoms only open for one day so it's important the weather is good and that bees are around to transfer the pollen from to the male to the female. 

I have two plants with plenty

I have two plants with plenty of male flowers but I still can't see any female flowers growing. The male flowers have been blooming for almost a month now and still no females. I just looked today and saw what looks like two female flowers but they are still green yet . Are the female flowers dieing off or is it normal for it to take this long for the female flowers to start blooming? Thanks in advance.

This problem does happen.

This problem does happen. Pumpkins can take a long time to grow, especially if weather has been inconsistent. We hope the female flowers will arrive soon! One idea is to pinch off the main root to encourage lateral branching with female flowers. Also, be sure that you are attracting pollinators (bees) and that you aren't using insecticides (which deters or kills bees).

I had put netting over the

I had put netting over the garden about 3 feet high to prevent my dogs from getting into my garden, now the pumpkin is attaching to the netting, should I try to detach the smaller vines or just leave them alone?

Leave the pumpkins

Leave the pumpkins alone. They don't like to be disturbed and you'll find that they actually use the netting for support. You can twine the vine tendrils through the netting as they grow.

first time pumpkin grower and

first time pumpkin grower and so far its great. huge leaves lots of vines from 1 seed. I have two large pumpkins one is starting to turn yellow. I have noticed several other marble size pumpkins but they dry up and never get bigger. when I harvest the big pumpkins will the plant produce more and get the size of a regular pumpkin? Or will these be the only ones I get?

Pumpkin growing is an art.

Pumpkin growing is an art. Some people want more (smaller) pumpkins; others want to grow one giant pumpkin. It's probably late in the game to control the growth, but if you wanted fewer, larger pumpkins, you would let a few pumpkins fruit and then pinch off any new flowers are they bloomed. You can increase pumpkin yield by pinching the tips out of main vines when they reach about 2 feet long. 
When pumpkins do not fruit well, it's because of pollination; both male and female flowers need to open at the same time and you need to have bees who will pollinate. As long as new blossoms grow and get pollinated, and your conditions are amenable, new fruit will form.

Hello. I planted about forty

Hello. I planted about forty pumpkins and chose the best ones and thinned out to seven plants and they were growing like crazy and suddenly the best, biggest one started turning yellow and then the edges of the leaves started browning and sections of the leaves are now crumbling away. I want to cry. The Internet is filled with scary options of disease. This is my first year in this house and we have a huge huge yard but it has been neglected and the whole thing is just dirt. So I cultivated and tilled an old flower bed and put good soil in and the plants and a soaker hose and then mulch and they were doing wonderfully but now this. I had thought it was potassium deficiency, or general stress, but now other plants have started going yellow and one is looking unnaturally wilty. Either I am overwatering (it is very hot here and desert environment) or sun scorch (full sun) or a deficiency of some sort or a disease. I just today put chicken manure around the base of the plants. Any help would be wonderful. Are there any pictures of what overwatering would look like?

We're so sorry about your

We're so sorry about your pumpkins!
Several diseases can cause yellowing, browning, and wilting, such as fusarium crown rot. For this disease, check if the base of the plant, the crown, looks soft or brown. The roots may be decaying, too. Overwatering can encourage this disease.
Verticillium wilt might be another possibility.
You might also check for squash vine borers--these insects usually bore into the base of the stem--you might see a hole or debris sort of like sawdust at the entrance. Inside the stem will be a larva, which you should remove; cover the wounded stem with moist soil to help it to recover. For more information, see: http://www.almanac.com/content...
Also check for squash bugs: http://www.almanac.com/content...
For best advice, we'd suggest that you take a sample to your county's Cooperative Extension service for analysis. For contact information, see: http://www.almanac.com/content...
Meanwhile, you might peruse a bit more on the Internet, especially on Cooperative Extension sites. For example, the Cornell Cooperative Extension Service offers these pages:
Water pumpkins about an inch per week; more in hot weather. Good luck!

Help those Sqush bugs are

Help those Sqush bugs are going nuts allready on my big pumpkins vines I KNOW THEY AR EARLY PLEASE TELL ME WHAT SPRAY POWER ANYTHING GET RID OF THEM I tried sevin 5 powder and the liquid didnt work and did like direction said. Please help me

Insecticides need to be

Insecticides need to be applied early, before the borer enters the vine. If it's in the vine, insecticides can't reach it. You need to find it. Search for an entry hole. Cut lengthwise up the vine with a sharp knife until you find it. Remove with your knife tip and destroy.
After "surgery", apply a fungicide to the wound. Best of luck!

First year for a pumpkin- the

First year for a pumpkin- the plant looks healthy but small fruit keeps falling off ( once it reaches about 2 -3 inches). What am I doing wrong? Is this an animal or disease? Thanks for your help!

Lack of fruit set is often

Lack of fruit set is often because of poor pollination. Sometimes, in the beginning, this is normal. If you have pollinators and decent conditions, the fruit should set soon.

End of pumpkin vine

End of pumpkin vine mowed!!!!!
My neighbor was kind enough to mow my yard but accidently moved over the end of my growing pumpkin plant. It was the main vine...It was blooming and the blooms are far back from what was mowed, about 2 inches is missing. Can my plant survive this trauma? Thank you.

If he just nipped the vine

If he just nipped the vine tips with the lawn mower, it should be fine.

Last fall we had many

Last fall we had many pumpkins on our front porch that fell into the garden and busted. We tried to clean up the seeds as best we could, but now we have too many pumpkin plants all over the place. I would like to keep some to have for the Fall holidays, but they are seriously taking over my front lawn. How can I thin the plants without killing all of them?

This happens more than most

This happens more than most people realize, and, yes, they will take over the front lawn. Pumpkins send out sprawling vines. (A less on in "be careful what you wish for.")
To thin the plants, pull out the weakest and leave the strongest.
Cutting back the vines dramatically could effect the growth of the plant and any pumpkins, although cutting (or mowing) off the tips of the vines is not likely to have an effect.

i live in san antonio texas,

i live in san antonio texas, and was wondering if there is a farm near by where i can purchase a pumpkin in the middle of the summer.

You could check our Farmer's

You could check our Farmer's Market Directory: http://www.almanac.com/gardeni...
Or, google "pumpkin patch san antonio TX" and see what comes up!

It's July 3rd I got a small

It's July 3rd I got a small pumpkin plant from one of the grand children and they want me to plant it for them . It s in a cup and not very big. Never planted one before and don't have a garden. Is it ok to
plant it in a large metal tub?? I understand it will need room for the vine. Thanks for your help .. Very confused Grandma ( Don't want to let them down )

It's ok to plant it in a big

It's ok to plant it in a big container. Add compost to the potting soil and make sure to have drainage holes in the container. Place the container in a sunny spot and water the seedling as needed. You can grow the pumpkin on a trellis to save room. You are a great Grandma!

It's my first time planting

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

I sprayed them with water but

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

Could these be spiders that

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

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

I love pumpkins and spend a

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

You can certainly pollinate

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

Last year I let my

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

Actually, Cheri, these plants

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

Pumpkin growing requirements

The best and most prolific, and largest pumpkins I have ever had, grew from discarded pumpkin seeds, and in a near rock-solid "bed" of old kitty litter "cement."

Im new to gardening and I

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

Hi Audra, You can prolong

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

It's June 3rd and I have 3

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

It's generally about 110 days

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


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

One plant can produce

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

5 good sprouts in my pumpkin

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

Pumpkins need a lot of

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

Baking Pumpkins

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

Store your pumpkins in a

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

Yeah thier ok just leave it

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

two seedlings in my pumpkin

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

Pumpkins need 75 to 100

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

i did the same thing two

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

Using old pumpkins for new pumpkins

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

If you leave your uncarved

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

I'm a former pumpkin grower

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

Soft pumpkin

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

2 weeks to Halloween

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

Pumpkins need sun and warmth

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

Pale leaves

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

Most squash and pumpkin

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

Too late?!?

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

Pumpkins need a long growing

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

vines but no pumpkins

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

It's pretty late in the

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

harvesting green pumpkins

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


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

You can cover them with a

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

If you still have some warm

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

green pumpkin?

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

Perhaps it is a green variety

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

Watering - Vines turn whitish color

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

Dying vines

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

Powdery Mildew

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

Choose PM-resistant cultivars

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

Powdery Mildew on Squash

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

Hello my kids open a pumkin

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

Uneven Pumkin Growth!

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


uneven pumpkins

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

bug question

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

Bug question

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

Northern Pumpkins!

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


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


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

Only 1 Pumkin Plant Survived

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

Only 1 Pumpkin Plant survived

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

You need to fertilize the female

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

pumpkin plant

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

If a vine broke, sometimes it

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

dying plants

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

Dying plants

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


how do you keep mildew from growing one its started?

Pumpkin in the Avocado Planter

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

Because pumpkins are heavy

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

Thanks for the information.

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

Garden Box Pumpkins

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

Yes, you can cut or pinch off

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

Will the grass choke out my pumpkins

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

It's best to create a

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

Keeping pumpkins nice till fall

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

pumpkin flowering

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

Any help is appreciated


If the plants are getting

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


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

If you're worried about bee

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

Growing pumpkins in buckets

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

You may wish to consider a

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


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

Store pumpkins in a cool,

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

Giant Pumpkin

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

You'll want to leave the

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

Hope this helps!

Will they still grow?

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

The plants that still have

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

pumkin surprise

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

Since they have vines, leave

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

does pumpkins cure any desease

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

growing pumpkins

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

growing pumpkin in small space

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


Does deer bother pumkin vines? Thanks

deer and pumpkins

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


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


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

hi what do you mean when you

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

pumpkin type

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

Easy way to grow a pumpkin

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


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

79.50 kWh

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