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How to Grow Pumpkins

If your garden is looking more like a dust bowl, this guide will help turn that brown thumb orange in time for Halloween.


  • Step 1: Choose a sunny spot Choose a sunny location with good drainage and plenty of space for the vines to stretch out.
  • Step 2: Test the soil Test the soil for a pH of 6.5 to 6.8 and add lime or granulated fertilizer as necessary.
  • Step 3: Apply manure Apply cow or horse manure before transplanting the seedlings, and add mulch with straw or grass clippings to prevent weeds.
  • Step 4: Plant every few feet Plant each seedling 5 to 6 feet apart with rows spaced 6 to 8 feet apart to prevent vines from getting tangled and to prevent the pumpkins from being crowded.
  • TIP: Cultivate your seedlings indoors in small pots before the final frost if you live in a northern climate and want to get a jump on the growing season.
  • Step 5: Water consistently Water once a week on a consistent schedule but check the soil moisture every few days if you're unsure how quickly your garden drains.
  • TIP: Water in the morning or early afternoon to allow the leaves to dry and avoid fungal growth and other diseases from developing.
  • Step 6: Harvest Harvest your pumpkins when they turn a deep shade of orange and the rind has turned very hard and rubbery.
  • FACT: In 2009, the largest jack-o'-lantern ever had been carved from a 1,469-pound pumpkin.

You Will Need

  • A sunny spot
  • A soil test kit
  • Lime
  • Granulated fertilizer
  • Manure
  • Organic mulch
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Small pots (optional)

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