One of the most common questions I get asked is when is the best time to plant pumpkin seeds?! For pumpkin growers this is an extremely important question and something that needs to be done at the right time.
As soon as Christmas is long gone and the first signs of Spring appear people cannot wait to get going with growing pumpkins! I know how you feel as I get very excited too but please take heed and do not plant them too early!
In saying that do not wait until it is too late either or you will no carved Jack O Lanterns or pumpkin recipes on your kitchen table.
There are numerous factors that dictate when you should sow your pumpkin seeds including outside temperature and when you are planning to harvest your pumpkins.
Some people like to have their produce ready in October (for Halloween carving), whereas others prefer to have theirs ready closer to Thanksgiving.
Nothing beats some freshly prepared pumpkin for Thanksgiving dinner! If I have made you hungry please check out my favorite pumpkin dinner recipes!
Check Outdoor Temperatures
Do not plant your pumpkin seeds when there is still frost outside. If it is coming up to the time you need to plant your seeds you can start them indoors to give them a head start until outside temperatures reach desired levels.
Pumpkin seeds need a temperature of at least 50 degrees F before they planted and a soil temperature of slightly more than that. Pumpkin seeds will not germinate below 65-66 degrees F according to Harvest To Table so avoid planting outdoors during this time.
Please see my guidance on planting pumpkin seeds for more details on how to start your pumpkin growing journey.
When do you want to harvest your Pumpkins?
Harvesting pumpkins gives us great delight! Pumpkins generally take between 3 and 4 months to grow from seed depending on which variety you plant. I
Interestingly small pumpkins take the same length of time to grow as giant pumpkins, the difference is in the seed you plant.
If you want to harvest in October you should aim to plant your seeds in June and if you want to harvest in November the best time to plant pumpkin seeds is a little later than this!
Keep in mind even if you need to harvest your pumpkins earlier than anticipated you can always cook pumpkin and store it in the freezer for later use.
Summary of Best Time To Plant Pumpkin Seeds
Late May to Mid June depending on when you want them
When outdoor temperature is over 50 degree F and soil temperature is over 60 degree F. Please remember you also need to consider pumpkin fertilizer whenever you are trying to grow pumpkins.
Do you now know the best time to plant pumpkin seeds?