As each fall season comes to a close and pumpkins have been carved or cooked, if you save your seeds and allow them to dry out, you can plant fresh pumpkin seeds as soon as the last spring frost has passed through your area. Starting pumpkins from seeds is both a fascinating experience for many gardeners as well as a cheaper way to not only grow pumpkins, but also less expensive than buying ripe pumpkins from the store.
Fill a bowl with clean water and set on a counter or table. Add the pumpkin seeds you want to plant to the water and allow them to soak overnight.
Loosen the soil where your pumpkins will be grown. Add any organic material to the soil as you work it into hills spaced 6-8 feet apart, with each hill being roughly 8-12 inches tall.
Place up to six seeds, 1 inch deep, in each hill. The individual seeds should be spaced out anywhere from 3-4 inches away from one another on each hill.
Add water to your hills to moisten the soil well and evenly. Continue to add water throughout the season to maintain the moisture. While the hill can dry slightly, you don’t want the hill to dry out completely.
Select only a few strong seedlings from each hill to remain and thin out the others when the seedlings are about 5 or 6 inches tall. As the pumpkin plants spread, they will need as much room as they can get.
Place untreated wooden planks under your growing pumpkins when you see them developing on the vine. This keeps the pumpkin from touching the damp soil and avoids rotting of the rind.
Things You Will Need
- Pumpkin seeds
- Garden soil, compost, or composted manure
- Wooden planks
- Make sure the frost free date for your area has passed before you plant your seeds. The seedlings want to stay warm, and temperatures below 65 degrees can be hard on them. If you need to extend your growing season in order to be able to grow pumpkins, consider placing a portable cold frame over the hill until adequate temperatures arrive.
- Pumpkin leaves are sensitive to disease if they are consistently being watered which can also lead to poor developing pumpkins. Water the plants close to the ground to avoid this, or install an irrigation system which doesn't use a sprinkler method of watering.
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