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Smart Thoughts

In-ground or in the House: How to Grow Pumpkins that Impress

Pumpkin garden

Funky, fun, and fancy — these aren’t your everyday pumpkins! From teeny-tiny to gigantic, white to aqua to gold, pumpkins are everywhere these days, signaling a change of seasons and heralding celebrations to come.

These fancy, funky pumpkins can have hefty price tags, too. So you may have been wondering how to grow your own. If you have been thinking about how to grow pumpkins for future festivities, take a look at these tips on planting pumpkins, pumpkin growing, the best way to grow pumpkins, and how to grow pumpkins in a pot.

Planting pumpkins from seed? You’ll need to get started in late spring or early summer for them to mature in the fall. The soil temperature will need to be at least 60 degrees. Check with your local county extension office for the best planting time in your region, or check the back of your seed packet.

Pumpkin growing can take a lot of room, as the vines can extend to incredible lengths. So learning how to grow pumpkins can be as much about site selection as it is about planting pumpkins. You will need at least six hours of full sun, high-quality soil, great drainage, and plenty of water. Lots of folks find the best way to grow pumpkins is by controlling these factors and investigating how to grow pumpkins in a pot. A 20- to 30-gallon soft-sided container will give you all the soil volume and water capacity you need for success, plus the ability to place your container in the best possible sun. Considering an even bigger container, or soft-sided raised bed? You can plant a couple of pumpkin plants and watch them explode!

Pumpkin plants have separate male and female flowers and require pollination for successful pumpkin growing. One of the best ways to grow pumpkins is to plant a couple side by side. This increases the odds of male and female flowers being close enough for effective pollination. You can hand pollinate if necessary but Mother Nature should do most of the work for you. Add a slow release fertilizer, consistently moist (but not wet) soil, and plenty of sunshine. Boom! You’ve learned how to grow pumpkins yourself. Learning the best way to grow pumpkins is easy. Deciding which of the funky, fun, and fancy varieties to plant may be a the biggest challenge of all!