How To Grow Pumpkin Seeds

Overview

Known for making pies and jack-o-lanterns, the pumpkin is a steady grower which needs lots of room to spread out. If you have always wanted to grow pumpkin seeds, it can be a rewarding experience with great results. The orange and sometimes golden white of mature pumpkins look as equally attractive growing in your garden as they do sitting on your doorstep. Growing pumpkins is also a fun project for children because of the large size of the seeds and the beauty of seeing their full grown pumpkin.

Step 1

Soak your seeds overnight in a shallow bowl of clean water the night before you plan to plant them. Wait until after your last spring frost to plant as the pumpkin plants perform best when the air temperature is 50 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit and the soil ranges between 65 and 90 degrees.

Step 2

Prepare the soil in the spring by loosening the bed area and adding amendments such as compost to where you wish to grow your pumpkins. Create hills of soil anywhere from 8-12 inches tall, with each hill spaced 6-8 feet apart.

Step 3

Plant five to six seeds at each hill with the seeds spaced about 3-4 inches apart. The seeds themselves should be approximately 1 inch deep into the soil.

Step 4

Water the soil to create an even consistency of moisture over the entire hill. Keep a close eye on your seeds as seedling emerge and do not allow the hills to dry.

Step 5

Thin each hill out to hold only two to three plants each once the plants are 4-6 inches tall. Do this by pulling up the seedling or cutting it at the soil level so as not to disturb any root systems of the remaining plants.

Step 6

Continue to care for the plants by keeping the soil moist and regularly weeding. As the plants grow they will require more water so be prepared to monitor how much and how often you are watering and increase if you notice a slowing in growth.

Tips and Warnings

  • Avoid getting water on the leaves when you water your pumpkins. Wet leaves can be susceptible to leaf diseases and may affect pumpkin development. A ground irrigation system, such as a drip or soaker hose, can help with this and make watering easier.

Things You'll Need

  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Small bowl of water
  • Outdoor thermometer
  • Shovel
  • Garden soil, compost, or composted manure
  • Tape measure
  • Watering can or irrigation system

References

  • Vegetable Gardening: Your ultimate guide; Robert J. Dolezal; 2000
  • Growing Fruit and Vegetables; Richard Bird; 2003
Keywords: growing pumpkins, growing pumpkin seeds, starting pumpkins from seed

About this Author

Margaret Telsch-Williams is a freelance, fiction, and poetry writer from the Blue Ridge mountains. When not writing articles for Demand Studios, she works for WidescreenWarrior.com as a contributor and podcast co-host.