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Pumpkin Seed Starting Dates

Finally, at long last, it's time to start your pumpkin plants. At least you think it is time. New and inexperienced growers ask this question all of the time. Let's take the mystic out of when to start your pumpkin seedlings.

The earliest pumpkin starts, are for Giant Pumpkins, that require 130 days or more of growing time. Start giant pumpkin seeds indoors. Giant pumpkin growers time their starts for maximum growth, to produce a world record fruit in time for the fall weighoffs, which run from early to mid October. There's plenty of flexibility on the start date for other varieties. They should be timed to mature from September to early October, and can be started indoors or out.

New growers take note: Pumpkin plants are tender annuals. Frost will kill them, and cold weather will stunt their growth. Keep this in mind when starting your plants. use an indoor start, if necessary.

 Here is our recommendation for "ideal" starting dates for your pumpkin plants:

Important Note: All dates assume the last frost date for your area has past.

Giant Pumpkins:

  • Start indoors from April 25 to May 15th
  • Set outdoors after the first true leaves form.
  • Provide cold and frost protection...it's a must.

Jack-O-Lanterns / Field Pumpkins:

  • Direct sow into the garden from May 15th to June 15th.
  • Start seeds indoors, up to two weeks prior to setting outdoors
  • Provide cold and frost protection...this is a must.

Miniature Pumpkins:

  • Direct sow  pumpkin seeds into the garden from May 25th to July 1st.
  • Start indoors up to two weeks prior to setting outdoors

For more information, see our Seed starting tips

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