HOW TO GROW PUMPKINS FROM SEED
Want to buy pumpkin seed? Click here to view seed shop.
As true fruits go, pumpkins can achieve monstrous sizes - so when it comes to growing them from seed you need to get the timing right so that they can make use of the warmest and sunniest part of the year.
If you live in an area where the summers are neither long or warm enough, you will need to give your seeds a head start by germinating them under controlled conditions indoors i.e. plenty of additional light and soil temperatures of between 25 and 30 degrees Celsius.
To give you seeds the best start - although it is not strictly necessary – lightly file the edges of the seed with a nail file, apart from the pointed end. Not only will this allow for a quicker and greater uptake of moisture into the seed more makes it easier for the leaves to emerge from the shell without damage.
Next the seeds can be soaked for several hours in warm water – not hot – as again this will speed up germination. For the cautious grower, once you have removed the seeds from the water, remove any excess with a paper towel and then treat the seed with a fungicidal powder. This will help to reduce the incidence of fungal infections – especially if soil temperatures start to drop or if the young seedlings get overly wet.
SOWING PUMPKIN SEEDS INDOORS
.Start off with 6 inch pots with the bottom inch or so filled with a good quality seed mix such as John Innes ‘Seed and Potting’ compost. Take one seed and place it either on its side, or with the pointed end down, then fill the pot to within 1 inch of the top with more of the compost mix. Water thoroughly, and then move to a warm and sunny position such as south facing windowsill - preferably by a radiator, but not on a radiator. However if you have a heated propagator or germination mat – use that.
Once the new seedlings start to emerge – anytime between 4 and 6 days - remove the basal heat, but keep them in a well lit area that receives as much direct sunlight as possible. If the seeds have not sprouted after ten days then consider that that batch has failed and you will need to make another sowing.
Your pumpkin seedlings will need to be watered every couple of days due to their high rate of growth but allow the surface to dry off before re-watering as this can tempt fungal infections. Also – after the first couple of days – you can commence feeding with a liquid fertiliser, but only at a half strength dose and only once a week.
Once the seedlings have been grown on for a couple of weeks they should be ready for transplanting outside so long as the threat of late frosts are over.
SOWING AND GROWING PUMPKINS OUTSIDE
The most important consideration with sowing pumpkin seeds outside is to make sure that the site receives as much direct sun as possible. Neither do you want a position that is particularly free draining soil as you pumpkins will require a lot of water in order to attain a decent size. In addition, they will also require a large amount of soil nutrition and so it is well worth while digging in plenty of well-rotted farm manure a few weeks before planting. If you are in an area that is prone to a lot of spring rain that you may also wish to mound up the soil where you will be sowing or planting your pumpkin seedlings so that they don’t become waterlogged at this early stage.
Create a mound of soil three feet in diameter with a shallow trench surrounding it for collecting water. Plant four to five pumpkin seeds on each hill, spaced between six to eight inches apart. If you are intending planting more than one hill, make sure that each hill is at least 10 feet apart to give plants enough space to spread their tendrils. Once the seeds have germinated, remove all but the strongest seedling to continue on through to fruiting.
This is similar to mound planting but instead you are creating an elevated row of soil with small, shallow trenches on either side to collect water. Plant 2 or 3 pumpkin seeds every 18 inches along the row. If you are planting multiple rows, each row should be at least 6 inches apart from its neighbour. Once the seeds have germinated, remove all but the strongest seedling in each grouping to continue through to fruiting.
For more information click onto:
Growing Parsnips from Seed
How to Collect and Prepare Butternut Squash Seeds for propagation
How to Collect and Prepare Pumpkin Seeds for Germination
How to Cure and Store Pumpkins
How to Compost
How to Germinate and Grow Cucumbers from Seed
How to Germinate and Grow Melon Plants from Seed
How to Germinate and Grow Okra from Seed Indoors
How to Grow Amaranth from Seed
How to Grow Aubergines From Seed
How to Grow Beetroot from Seed
How to Grow Broccoli
How to Grow Butternut Squash
How to Grow Brussels Sprouts from Seed
How to Grow Butternut Squash from Seed
How to Grow Butternut Squash in Pots or Containers
How to Grow Cabbage from Seed
How to Grow Carrots from Seed
How to Grow Celery from Seed
How to Grow Chinese Spinach from Seed
How to Grow Cilantro
How to Grow Eggplants from Seed
How to Grow From Seed
How to Grow Giant Onions
How to Grow Leeks from Seed
How to Grow Melon Plants from Seed Outdoors
How to Grow Okra from Seed Outdoors
How to Grow Peppadew Peppers from Seed
How to Grow Peppers
How to Grow Potatoes
How to Plant Pumpkins
How to Grow Pumpkins from Seed
How to Grow Pumpkins from Seed
How to Grow Radishes
How to Grow Red Kidney Beans from Dried Seed
How to Grow Runner Beans from Seed
How to Grow Spinach from Seed
How to Grow Sweet Corn from Seed
How to Grow Sweet Potatoes in Pots or Containers
How to Grow Tomatoes
How to Grow Tomatoes from Seed
How to Grow Vegetables?
How to Grow Watercress
How to Grow Watermelon Plants from Seed Outdoors
How to Make Spicy Pumpkin Soup
How to Propagate and Grow Chili Peppers from Seed
How to Propagate and Grow Sweet Peppers from Seed
How to Propagate and Grow the Bell Pepper from Seed
How to Sow and Grow Courgettes from Seed Indoors
How to Sow and Grow Spring Onions from Seed
How to Tell when Pumpkins are Ready to Harvest
Mexican Jumping Bean
The History of the Jack O'Lantern Hallowen Pumpkin
The Legend of the Jack O'Lantern Tradition
What is Composting?
What is a Pumpkin?
When to Harvest Pumpkins