How to Start Pumpkin Seeds


The pumpkin is considered a winter squash that grows in the summer when the weather and the soil warms. Harvest generally occurs in September or October. Start your pumpkin seeds at the end of April, or four weeks before the weather will be warm enough to plant them outdoors--70 degrees Fahrenheit or warmer. Frost can kill the pumpkin seedling, so it’s important not to set the plants out too early.

Step 1

Fill the peat pots with seed starting mix to within 1/4 inch of the rim.

Step 2

Place the peat pots in a baking pan or a similar container. Pour water into the pan until it reaches halfway up the sides of the peat pots. Allow the pots to sit until they turn to a darker color, indicating that they are thoroughly saturated. The top of the soil should be wet. You may need to add more water to the pan to ensure that all the pots are moistened.

Step 3

Allow the pots to drain completely.

Step 4

Push the pumpkin seeds 1/2 inch below the surface of the soil, and cover with soil.

Step 5

Place the pots in a sunny area, and keep them moist until the pumpkin seed germinates. This should occur within 10 days.

Things You'll Need

  • 12-inch peat pots Seed starting mix Baking pan or similar container


  • Ohio State University: Growing Giant Pumpkins In The Home Garden
  • University of Maryland: Pumpkin

Who Can Help

  • Oregon State University: How to Start Garden Seeds Indoors
Keywords: start pumpkin seeds, germinate pumpkin seeds, grow pumpkin seeds

About this Author

Victoria Hunter has been a freelance writer since 2005, specializing in gardening-related topics and the real estate industry. She is a former broadcaster and real estate agent who has provided audio and written services to small businesses and large corporations worldwide. She writes for, GardenGuides and ProFlowers, among others. Hunter holds a Bachelor of Arts in English/creative writing.