Introduction – Growing Pumpkins
In the spirit of reducing food transport carbon emissions and having fun with your home garden, try growing pumpkins that will yield a great harvest. Pumpkins are easy to grow, they take up very little space, and they taste delicious.
Of course, pumpkins don’t need direct sunlight in order to grow; however, if you want pumpkins by October (when Halloween decorations are traditionally made), then you’ll need to plant your seeds now. So how much sun do pumpkins need? Keep reading for everything you need to know about planting pumpkins and growing them into tasty treats.
How Much Sun Do Pumpkins Need – Direct Vs Shade
If you have limited space and don’t have the option of planting pumpkins in full sun, you can still grow them in partial shade or even in a container. However, if you plant your pumpkins with no direct sunlight at all, they will need to be harvested earlier than those grown under more favorable conditions.
The best way to determine when your pumpkin needs to be harvested is by its coloration and size—if the pumpkin has a darker green coloration on top and lighter coloration on the bottom with a small stem that remains attached after harvest, it’s ready for picking.
Pumpkins Thrive With Warm Days And Cool Nights
Pumpkins need warm days and cool nights to grow. This means that the soil should be about 70 degrees F (21 C) during the day, and no more than 60 degrees F (15 C) at night.
Soil temperature can be measured with a thermometer or you can test it by sticking your hand in the ground; if it feels warm even after a few minutes, then you have the right amount of heat for your pumpkin plant.
Here’s where things get tricky: pumpkins love water but don’t like to sit in wet soil for too long. If they’re planted too early in spring, they may not have time to develop healthy roots before being hit by heavy rainstorms that could damage their root systems or cause them to rot completely.
The best way to avoid this is by planting pumpkins after all danger of frost has passed but before summer storms start rolling through town—you want just enough chill on those nights so that your plants don’t grow too quickly but not so much that they get frozen out!
Pumpkin Plants Are Easy To Grow As Long As There’s Space
As you’ve probably noticed, pumpkin plants are fairly large. They need a lot of room to grow and spread out. If you’re going to be growing pumpkins, it’s probably best to give them lots of space so that they can grow into healthy plants.
If you want your pumpkin plant(s) to produce fruit, then you’ll need plenty of sun as well. A good way to ensure that your pumpkins get enough light is by planting them in full sun exposure—and also on an elevated surface with no shading from other plants or trees.
Pumpkins Can Be Grown From Seed Or Starters
If you want to save money and grow your own pumpkins from seed, you’ll have to wait until the soil is warm enough for the seeds to germinate. The recommended planting dates vary depending on where you live, but if you’re in a cooler climate, it’s best to plant in early May or late April.
If growing from seed isn’t your thing and you just want something ready-to-plant, then try pre-chilled pumpkin seeds.
Once your pumpkins are planted, they need plenty of water—but not too much. Pumpkin plants actually take longer than most other vegetables because they bear fruit later in the season.
Most Varieties Of Pumpkins Will Be Ready To Harvest in 110-120 Days
Pumpkin is a warm-season crop, so it needs plenty of sun and warmth to produce pumpkins. Once you’ve planted your pumpkin seeds, it will take about 110-120 days for them to mature.
The exact amount of time it takes for a pumpkin plant to fully mature can vary depending on the variety you’ve chosen, but most varieties will be ready for harvesting between 100 and 120 days after planting.
You can tell that they are ready to harvest when they are about 6 inches in diameter, but if you don’t want to wait that long you can pick them when they are ripe.
Pumpkins grow best in warm soil and full sun, so if you want your pumpkin plants to thrive, it is important to plant them in an area where there is plenty of sun all day long.
Some varieties of pumpkins grow faster than others—some as fast as 75 days from seedling to harvest—while others take longer than 150 days from seedling to jack-o’-lanterns (or whatever else you want).
If you’re trying your hand at growing pumpkins on your own and want something that grows quickly but doesn’t yield large fruits compared with other plants in its class (such as squash or zucchini), try some smaller varieties like Sugar Baby or Gold Bar instead.
Most Plants Produce A Dozen Or More Pumpkins At A Time
Most pumpkin plants will produce a dozen or more pumpkins at a time. You’ll want to pick the biggest and best ones for your jack-o’-lanterns and pie, but don’t worry about discarding the rest. One way to take care of the excess pumpkins is to give them away, or turn them in different kinds of food. One of our favorites is soup.
Make pumpkin soup—it’s delicious. Just steam it until soft, add some chopped onions and garlic, then puree in a blender with stock until smooth. Add spices; salt & pepper work well here if you didn’t go with any other kind of seasoning like cinnamon or nutmeg (but those are both nice too). The best part is that you can freeze this stuff so you’ll have it ready come wintertime when everything else seems boringly brown and grey outside!
Pumpkins Need Lots Of Water Especially When The Fruit Is Growing
Pumpkins need lots of water, especially when the fruit is growing. Pumpkins are thirsty plants and need to be watered regularly. Pumpkins should be watered deeply and thoroughly to encourage root growth and spread.
While pumpkins don’t need direct sunlight to grow, they do need plenty of warmth and water to thrive. In order for the fruit to form, there must be enough warm days and cool nights.
Pumpkins also require plenty of space to spread their vines out and grow to their full potential.
How Long Does It Take For Pumpkins To Germinate
It takes 7-14 days to germinate. Pumpkins are one of the most popular kinds of gourds, with over 100 varieties on the market. They can be used for decoration and food, but if you want your pumpkin seeds to germinate into pumpkins, there’s a bit more work involved than just planting them in soil.
Pumpkins need warm soil to germinate—80 degree F (27 degrees C) is ideal—and they should be planted in the spring or fall (not during the winter). If your local climate isn’t suitable for growing pumpkins outdoors all year round without fail, try indoor seedlings instead!
If you’re planting outside: You’ll want to start preparing your garden area at least a month before sowing any seeds so that it has time to warm up.
Prepare your soil by removing weeds and rocks; adding fertilizer if necessary; making sure it has enough moisture; and working in some compost if possible.
Once everything is ready for planting out six weeks later when temperatures have stayed consistently high enough throughout springtime sun hours (around 10am – 4pm), simply sprinkle some seeds evenly spaced around where each plant will go according to package specifications (usually 4 inches apart on both sides), then cover them lightly with soil where they’ve been sprinkled so they can come up easily once they’ve sprouted fully after several days
For those who live somewhere colder than zone 5b – which means regions where temperatures can drop below freezing regularly during winter months – might consider starting their crops indoors using hydroponic methods rather than waiting until spring arrives! This will allow them
When Is The Best Time To Plant Pumpkins For October Harvest
It’s not too late to start planting pumpkins, if you’re planning on harvesting them in October. The best time to plant pumpkins for an October harvest is in late June or early July.
If you’re looking to have your pumpkins ready by Thanksgiving, you should plant them sometime between August 1st and mid-September. Finally, if you’re going for a Christmas jack-o’-lantern or pie filling, the best time to plant your seeds would be around September 15th through October 5th.
As long as your seedlings are healthy and growing well when planted out (and they will be!), they won’t mind being harvested a little early or late—so don’t feel pressured into getting everything done exactly on schedule!
If you’re growing your own pumpkins for Halloween, start planning now and be sure to give yourself enough time. Some varieties can take as long as three months to mature!
If you decide to plant from seed instead of buying plants from a nursery, keep in mind that it takes even longer because the seeds need time in the ground before they sprout into vines. Too difficult? Try our handy guide on building a home garden for beginners.