How to Grow Pumpkins

Grow your own pumpkins to the peak of perfection, then harvest and store them for use in autumn and winter.
Pumpkins Mature All Summer

Pumpkins Mature All Summer

Photo by: DK - How to Grow Practically Everything © 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

DK - How to Grow Practically Everything, 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

When to Start: spring
At Their Best: autumn and winter
Time to Complete: 30 minutes to sow; 1 hour to plant

Materials Needed:

  • pumpkin and squash seeds
  • seed soil mix and small pots
  • organic matter such as finished compost
  • straw

Sow and Plant Out

Sow the seeds indoors in spring and keep frost-free until the weather warms. Choose a sunny spot, and enrich the soil with plenty of organic matter before planting. Mulch with straw to seal in moisture and to prevent the fruits lying on wet soil and rotting.

Mulching a Pumpkin Plant

Mulching a Pumpkin Plant

Photo by: DK - How to Grow Practically Everything © 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

DK - How to Grow Practically Everything, 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Make a Reservoir for Watering

Pumpkins, squash and zucchinis are thirsty plants that hate dry soil. Plant in a depression in the soil or make a ridge of soil up around them to create a well. Water will then pool around the plant roots and seep into the soil, rather than flowing away.

Water Reservoir for Pumpkin Plants

Water Reservoir for Pumpkin Plants

Photo by: DK - How to Grow Practically Everything © 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

DK - How to Grow Practically Everything, 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Harvest and Store

Cool weather can lead to the formation of male, nonfruiting flowers at first, but later female flowers will come. Pumpkins need a long summer to grow and ripen. They are ready to harvest when the stalk starts to crack. Cut with stalk intact, keep the large orange fruits dry for at least 10 days, then store in a cool, dry place.

Lady Pumpkin Flower

Lady Pumpkin Flower

Photo by: DK - How to Grow Practically Everything © 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

DK - How to Grow Practically Everything, 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Keep Reading

Next Up

Harvest 101: How To Grow Pumpkins

HGTV offers tips for growing and tending pumpkins.

How to Sow and Plant Fruiting Vegetables

Large leaves, golden flowers and heavy yields make squashes, zucchini and cucumbers ideal plants for productive pots.

How to Grow a Giant Pumpkin

Tips from giant-pumpkin experts Christy Harp and Jamie Johnson on growing a major gourd.

How to Sow and Plant Mediterranean-Style Vegetables

The jewel-like fruits of these decorative plants make beautiful displays in pots in a greenhouse, on a windowsill or in a sunny spot outside.

How to Grow Parsnips

For the best winter parsnips, sow as soon as the soil has warmed up in spring. They will grow all summer, forming sweet and starchy winter roots.

How to Grow Shallots

Many people prefer the sweet, milder flavor of shallots as an alternative to onions. They can be harvested earlier and stored longer than onions.

How to Grow Watercress From Seedlings

One way to grow watercress is by starting with seeds, but you can also grow fresh plants by using watercress seedlings as a base.

A Guide to Growing Pumpkins

Make this Halloween and pie favorite a part of your vegetable garden with this simple planting guide.

Grow Asian Greens

These are some of the most useful fall vegetables, providing a variety of colors, textures and flavors, just as the weather is cooling.

Grow Easy Cress Indoors

Growing cress indoors provides a constant supply of fresh ingredients for salads and sandwiches all year round. This easy project is ideal for children, who love to watch the plants develop.

1,000+ Photos

Browse beautiful photos of our favorite outdoor spaces: decks, patios, porches and more.

On TV

Mountain Life

6:30am | 5:30c

Mountain Life

7:30am | 6:30c

Fixer Upper

8am | 7c

Fixer Upper

9am | 8c

Fixer Upper

10am | 9c

Fixer Upper

11am | 10c

Fixer Upper

12pm | 11c

Flip or Flop

1pm | 12c

Flip or Flop

1:30pm | 12:30c

Flip or Flop

2:30pm | 1:30c

Flip or Flop

3:30pm | 2:30c

Flip or Flop

4:30pm | 3:30c

Flip or Flop

5:30pm | 4:30c

Flip or Flop

6:30pm | 5:30c

Flip or Flop

7:30pm | 6:30c
On Tonight
On Tonight

Flip or Flop

8pm | 7c

Flip or Flop

8:30pm | 7:30c

Flip or Flop

9:30pm | 8:30c

House Hunters

10pm | 9c

House Hunters

11pm | 10c

Flip or Flop

12:30am | 11:30c

House Hunters

1am | 12c

Flip or Flop

3:30am | 2:30c

Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss HGTV in your favorite social media feeds.