How to grow pumpkins

Written by c. giles Google
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How to grow pumpkins
There are many varieties of pumpkin. (Pumpkin image by PhotoVision from

Pumpkins can be grown easily in the UK and once ripe can be stored as long as six months. Many varieties are available, depending on what you plan for your pumpkin. The Crown Prince variety has grey skin and bright orange flesh and is ideal for cooking. The Jack of All Trades variety is also good for cooking and perfect for carving Halloween lanterns. The Baby Bear has seeds that are tasty when roasted, and its flesh is ideal for making pumpkin pie.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Pot, 3 inches deep
  • Compost
  • Water
  • Watering can
  • Windowsill or propagator
  • Pot, 5 inches deep
  • Trowel or spade
  • Fertiliser or tomato plant food
  • Wire
  • Wood or bricks
  • Cardboard or straw

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  1. 1

    Sow a pumpkin seed in a pot between April and June. Use a pot that is 3 inches deep. Fill it with compost, placing the seed on its side 1 inch deep.

    How to grow pumpkins
    Pumpkin seeds should be sown in a pot between April and June. (plant pot image by Allyson Ricketts from
  2. 2

    Water the seed and place the pot on a windowsill or in a propagator.

    How to grow pumpkins
    Water the pumpkin seed as soon as it is planted. (watering can image by aliengel from
  3. 3

    Transfer the seed into a larger pot as soon as roots begin to show through the bottom of the original pot. Go for a pot around 5 inches deep.

    How to grow pumpkins
    A larger pot is needed when roots appear. (potted plant image by Ritu Jethani from
  4. 4

    Remove the seedlings from the pot once they have established and plant them in a sunny, sheltered outside spot. Space them 6 to 10 feet apart in groups of two, 1 inch deep in compost-rich soil.

    How to grow pumpkins
    Adding compost to your soil will benefit the plant. (bêche image by Claudio Calcagno from
  5. 5

    Remove the weakest seedling after they have both germinated.

  6. 6

    Feed seedlings with fertiliser or tomato plant food and water regularly.

    How to grow pumpkins
    Tomato plant food is suitable for pumpkins plants. (Tomato plant image by Trombax from
  7. 7

    Restrict larger varieties to two or three pumpkins per plant. Train them to grow using wire, removing some fruits before they fully develop. This allows the plant to put all its energy into producing the remaining fruit.

    How to grow pumpkins
    Restrict large plant varieties to two or three pumpkins. (pile of pumpkins 2 image by Kate Jones from
  8. 8

    Raise the pumpkins up on to a piece of wood or brick as they get bigger; this helps prevent rotting. Make sure no leaves are blocking sunlight from the fruit as this could stop them from ripening.

    How to grow pumpkins
    Pumpkins need direct sunlight to ripen. (Sun image by KPICKS from
  9. 9

    Protect the pumpkins from an early frost by using cardboard and straw.

    How to grow pumpkins
    Straw offers protection from frost. (straw image by Katrina from

Tips and warnings

  • Seeds can also be sown directly into the ground from late May to early summer.

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