Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Sow under glass
Sow outside
Showing schedule for Southern England in United Kingdom

Soil facts and preparation

Quick facts..

  • Soil Type Fertile and Well Drained
  • Ideal Ph range 5.5 to 7.0
  • Site Full Sun
These big vegetables are going to make some serious demands on your soil in terms of food and water.

Fertile, well drained soil high in organic matter is required. Dig in plenty of well rotted manure or compost to the site for your pumpkin plants. To get the best from your plants they should be sited where they will receive plenty of sun throughout the day.

Sowing and planting

Quick facts..

  • Germination 5 to 10 days
  • Sow 25mm deep
  • Sow Spacing 1000mm
  • Rows 1000mm apart
Sow two seeds 25mm deep in pots of warm compost or directly in the ground after any risk of frost has passed.

Place the pumpkin seed on its flat side (not edge) or alternatively pointed side down.

You can, although it is not necessary, file or nick the rounded edge (opposite the pointed edge) to help the seed embryo emerge. This is only really done when growing giant pumpkin varieties as their seed cases are relatively thick.

Pumpkin seeds require warm soil at a constant temperature to germinate so use a propagator or place pots on a sunny window sill if necessary in your location.

Make sure there is plenty of distance between plants on average there should be a minimum of 2 meters between plants.

Growing a bumper crop

Water well and often. Uneven shaped pumpkins are often a sign that there have been periods of time when they have lacked water. Feed with a liquid fertiliser once a week.

Focus the plants energy into growing 2 or 3 good pumpkins by removing smaller fruits as they appear. If the base of the fruit is sitting on wet soil for any period of time it is likely to rot. Raise the fruit onto a pile of dry straw or a piece of wood to keep base dry.

Remove any leaves that are shading the fruit to aid ripening.

Harvesting the fruits of your labour

Quick facts..

  • Yield 5000g per plant
When the stem of the pumpkin goes brown and cracks, the fruit is ready for harvesting. Cut the stem leaving about 10cm to 15cm of stalk on the pumpkin.

Pumpkins to be stored should be left in the sun or somewhere warm for the skins to harden. Store in a cool dry place for anything up to 6 months

Your comments and photos