Growing pumpkins can be fun as well as rewarding and easy. There are many varieties of pumpkins but for today we will concentrate on the ones that most people use for jack-o-lanterns: the Connecticut Field pumpkin.
Know when to plant Halloween pumpkins for Fall Harvest
The first thing that you will need is good seeds. When pumpkin seeds are properly stored, they will remain viable for many years. That being said, for a high percentage of germination, you will want the freshest seeds that you can find from a company that is reputable.
In climates where the growing season is short, these seeds can be started indoors. Be advised though that when these plants are started inside, they tend to be frail and do not take to being transplanted very well so only do this when it is absolutely necessary.
Pumpkins do well when they are exposed to the sun a lot. For that reason, they need to be planted in a place where the sun will shine all day. Also, always consider the pumpkin vines. These vines can be as long as 30 feet so the place will need to have enough room for them. It also needs to be a place where the water doesn’t stand.
When to Plant Them
Pumpkins are very sensitive to frost. Before you plant your pumpkins, the average daily temperature should be around 70⁰ F. In the United States, planting time can vary between the end of May and the end of June depending on where in the country you are. Planting later than the end of June can mean that you will not have mature pumpkins in time for Halloween AND they might be damaged by frost.
Most varieties of pumpkins will take anywhere from 85 – 125 days until they are ready to be harvested. Many of the larger varieties as well as the heirloom pumpkins will take the longest amount of time. The seed packet that you purchase should have the growing time listed on it. If you would like to be able to harvest your pumpkins around the first of October then simply count backwards from there to determine when you need to plant the seeds.
Do you plant Halloween pumpkins every year?